07 June 2010

My Fair Ancestors in Mayfair

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Here is a six minute youtube video clip that is (sort of) connected with some of my ancestors, although I do not know if any of them were called Alfred P. Doolittle. I do know that the Londoners in my family probably pronounced Mayfair as "My Fair".


When I was a little girl, my great grandmother Annie pronounced cake as "kike", and so did I. My accent has changed over the years and, like Eliza Doolittle, I developed RP instead of Cockney, or even Aussie!



Annie's grandfather, on her mother's side, was called Welcome Cole, whose father and grandfather had the same name as he did. I am very fortunate in that a couple of people had already researched the family line before I started, not because they were directly related to any of the men called Welcome, but because they thought it was an interesting name. Luckily for me, some of that research was online when I began searching for my family history.

So, what is my possible connection with My Fair Lady?

Well, Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza's father, was getting married in a high society church in Mayfair. I know from examining other people's research into my ancestors that some of the information about my own family history is probably inaccurate, but I am intrigued by one particular record: I want to know if a very important (at least to me) marriage took place in St George's Church in Hanover Square almost exactly 200 years before my own marriage.

St George parish was very large at around the time of the French Revolution so my ancestors, Welcome Cole and Elizabeth nee Wilson, may not have actually married in the main church. But I would still like to know, especially as I like the music of one its earlier parishioners, George Frideric Handel, not just during weddings.

The marriage records are in the Archives at Westminster City Council so if you are in London, and you have a spare few moments, perhaps you might like to assist me!

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I especially appreciate historical insights.