|Royal Naval College Greenwich taken by Anne in 2008 on Flickr. Creative Commons Licence here.|
It's difficult not to be impressed by Greenwich. It positively oozes history. Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves here. Mary I and Elizabeth I were born here. It's the home of the Royal Observatory (up on the hill behind these buildings in the photo above) where the concept of Greenwich Mean Time originated. British mariners set their chronomoters to Greenwich Mean Time to calculate longitude.
From a family history point of view the institutions that might be of interest are the following:
Royal Greenwich Hospital - founded in 1694 by Queen Mary II for disabled and retired seamen, it closed its doors in October 1869. (Brian Lavery, Able Seamen, pp 61-63). The Family Historian's Enquire Within advises that:
details of apprenticeships of pensioners' children and registers of the admission and discharge of pensions 1704 to 1869 are at the TNA.(Markwell and Saul, p. 85)
Royal Greenwich Hospital School - 5% of the Navy's recruits came from this School according to (Lavery, p. 255). It offered secondary education (Simon Fowler in Tracing your Naval Ancestors, p36). Markwell and Saul advise that the TNA holds a collection of registeres including school admission papers from 1728 to 1870 - ADM 73.
Royal Naval College - founded in 1873. The buildings pictured above were the old Royal Greenwich Hospital.
Royal Naval Asylum - for young children. Founded by the Endeavour Society in 1798 for orphans of naval seamen, in 1806 George III gave Queen's House to the Asylum for its use. You can see Queen's House in the background of the picture above. The Asylum then became amalgamated with the Royal Hospital School. For a timeline go here. You can see the modern version of the school here.
The National Maritime Museum - is just to the right of Queen's House in the photo above.
The Caird Library and Archive ,at the National Maritime Museum, is open to the public Mondays to Saturdays but you are strongly advised to read their guide before your first visit and register for a reader's ticket through the Aeon system here. Their website states:
If you are not able to visit the Caird Library and Archive, staff are happy to answer enquiries by telephone, email and letter about items in our collection and can offer up to 15 minutes of free research time.
Online research guides provided by the Library of most use to those tracing family in the Royal Navy are:
Aren't librarians wonderful to create these guides to help us navigate our way through records? What would we do without them?
Here's a map so you can see Greenwich in relation to Deptford where my great-great-grandfather Edward Connor married Rebecca Foyne. Edward described himself as an Engineer on his marriage certificate and their first two children were christened in Deptford. That's Deptford Creek in the middle separating Deptford on the left from Greenwich on the right.
Happy navigating on the Blogging A to Z journey!