Boy At Foundry

Regular readers in Phantom Land will know I do not encourage individual family history enquiries. Depending on the mood I’m in family history people either get packed off to the Heritage Centre or, very occasionally, I make an effort to help.

This one is from Canada and it mildly intrigues me because it could mean many places. And of course, because it intrigues me, I can’t be of much help.

Keith’s trying to find out about his grandfather’s Uncle Henry Rees who was born in Greenwich. The only information he can find is in the 1871 census when Henry was 15. He’s listed as ‘boy at foundry’ and Keith’s wondering what that means.

Sadly I can’t read the address – it’s Something-Fields – but it’s clearly in Deptford. The only ‘Fields’ I can think of is ‘Hughes Fields’ – but the spidery writing doesn’t look like it says that on the census.

As a non-expert, even in Greenwich, I’m not really sure what foundries lived in Deptford – I’m guessing there were quite a few. So which foundry young Henry Rees would have been the young muscle for also eludes me, making me utterly useless – but I’m thinking that maybe some of you might have some suggestions for Keith…

Actually, I’m now blushing. Ian has just reminded me that the place to look for foundries is, of course, the superb Greenwich Industrial History Society. How could I have forgotten such an obvious link? I even subscribe to their blog. D’oh.


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