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Synopsis

‘East Enders are a very special breed and tracing your East End ancestry is going to be tremendous fun. Everyone has got some East End ancestors - and if they haven’t they invent them, rollicking chaps, larky and resourceful, talking a funny language to keep “them” guessing, eating at eel and pie shops, shouting out their wares in clattering, colorful markets. Their wives and masters (“ ‘er in doors”) are brazen lassies, smart as paint, tough as their men folk, presiding over an undoubted matriarchal society where Mum rules OK? The good tales are of bright little kids, unshod and streetwise, rising above their origins and making a mint. The bad ones are of indescribable horror - children dying in diseased heaps, infant sex for sale and gangs of armed bandits terrorizing the neighborhood.’

As author Jane Cox writes in the preface, the East End of our great grandparents’ days was another world, and her fascinating and accessible guide to East End ancestry will help you find out about it. She takes readers through the maze of courts and alleys that was the home of their ancestors, bringing to life that vibrant, polyglot society, and describing the many sources researchers can consult – archives, records, books, the internet – in order to discover the lives of individuals who lived in the area or passed through it.

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