Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Charles Dickens at the Family Records Centre (FRC)

The central theme of Oliver Twist is the quest for the young orphan’s true identity. So it’s surely more than just a coincidence that when Oliver first enters London in the company of the Artful Dodger they make straight for the site of the Family Records Centre, just off what is now Exmouth Market, following the same route that thousands of visitors to the FRC take every week nowadays:

“They crossed from the Angel into St. John’s Road; struck down the small street which terminates at Sadler’s Wells Theatre; through Exmouth Street and Coppice Row…”

Dickens knew the area well and from 1837 to 1839 he lived nearby at 48 Doughty Street, now the site of the Dickens House Museum.

The novels of Charles Dickens provide an unrivalled source of material for family historians who are interested in the social background to their ancestors’ lives, particularly those with ancestors who lived in London in the early to middle part of the nineteenth century.


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