My name is Martin Robb and I’m a very amateur genealogist and historian, based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.
This blog is a record of my research into the many and various branches of my family tree. My aim, to adapt the words of E. P. Thompson, is to rescue from obscurity the servants, shoemakers, laundresses and law clerks whose interwoven lives created the conditions for my own.
My father is Peter Ernest Robb (b. 1933), son of Arthur Ernest Robb (1897 – 1979) and Mary Emily Elizabeth Webb (1898 – 1965). My mother is Joyce Alma Londors (b. 1933), daughter of George John Londors (1896 – 1961) and Minnie Louisa Roe (1902 – 1987). My father’s family tree also includes the surnames French, Bowman, Larke, Seager and Monteith, while my mother’s includes Blanch, Holdsworth, Gibson, Greene, Byne, Forrest, Manser and Fowle, among many others.
My father’s family came to London from Aberdeenshire via Glasgow and Yorkshire in the early nineteenth century, and then moved slowly eastwards until they reached East Ham. My mother’s family also ended up in East Ham, but they have roots in Stepney and the City of London going back at least to the early seventeenth century, as well as in Bedfordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire and Sussex.
I’ve written more extensively about my mother’s Sussex ancestors here, about their descendants in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century London here, and about my nineteenth-century East End forbears here. You can read about a Glasgow offshoot of my father’s family here, and about a possible double bigamy among their nineteenth-century London descendants here. My family history research led me to an exploration of Catholic recusants here, and of nonconformist families here. I’ve also researched the history of the part of Essex where I spent my childhood at this website.
Family history is essentially a collaborative endeavour, and comments are always welcome, especially from relatives, however distant, and those researching the same families, periods and places. Contributions will always be acknowledged.
You can email me at:
The header image is part of a 1615 map of Stepney (via spitalfieldslife.com)