07 June 2010

My Fair Ancestors in Mayfair

Although none of my known ancestors went by the name of 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 a semi-RP instead of a Cockney accent or a Scottish accent or a Staffordshire accent or even Aussie one. 

Having moved about a bit, all I want is to be understood!

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 anyone 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 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 in September 1789.

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 of its earlier parishioners, George Frideric Handel, and not just during weddings.

The marriage records for the church 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.

Update:  January 2016

I now have confirmation that the record is correct!  More information to follow in a new blog post soon.

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I especially appreciate historical insights.