Archives for adoption search

Going back to the Family Records Centre

One of the issues I faced when writing Ignoring Gravity was the change in technology over the years it took me to write the book. Ten long years, during which paper archives went digital, census and registry records became available online. The first draft of the book saw Rose making a trip to Myddleton Street, North London to visit the Family Records Centre in order to get a copy of her original birth certificate. I went too, to research the archive, to follow the process Rose would follow. Recently I retraced my steps, knowing the FRC did not exist, its records long since gone digital. I found it a sad procedure. I’d liked the old building, the anticipation of the Tube journey, turning the corner, walking up the steps, the loud banging of the archive drawers, the friendly atmosphere of family history researchers poring over huge volumes. Recently, with some curiosity, I went back to the very first draft to find the rough draft of the scene where Rose visits the FRC. Here it is:- It was a disappointing building. For something so momentous as the Family Records Centre, Rose had at the very least expected bay windows, Georgian steps
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Categories: Book Love, My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity' and On Researching.

Reading for research… Relative Strangers

The sub-title of this book is ‘A history of adoption and a tale of triplets’ and it is a fascinating read if you are at all interested in family history and adoption. Yes, there is some history, but Hunter Davies keeps you turning the pages by telling in parallel the story of three babies, triplets, separated at their birth in 1932. May 18, 1932. Kate Hodder gives birth to triplets – rare in those pre-IVF days – and dies the next day. Her husband, jobbing gardener Wills, is left with the three babies plus six older children. He cannot cope. Two go to live with grandparents, and four go to Barnardo’s. The triplets are adopted separately, with seemingly no effort made to keep them together. They live their lives, until finally reunited in 2001. The process of their lives, the changes to adoption law, and the roles of real people such as Thomas Barnardo and Pam Hodgkins, founder of adoption counselling service NORCAP, is told seamlessly by Davies. Florence was the first to be adopted. Aged eight months, she went to live in Devon. Adopted by Emily Davy, a single mother who ran a guest house, Florence’s name was changed
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Categories: Adoption, Book Love and On Researching.