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Brentford High Street Project Site Guide

Purpose of this site

The initial purpose of this site was to bring together information about the people and properties of Brentford High Street, 1840 to 1940, as a resource for family and local historians.

Over time the scope has broadened and the site now includes information about other parts of Brentford and for a wider range of dates.

Use links (to the left) under 'People', Properties', 'Sources & More' to access details or read on if you are interested in a particular family, a High Street property or history, sources, web links etc. Perhaps you can contribute?

Interested in a particular family?

The Home page includes a search facility for surnames: this will pick up any matches on this site (but recently added material is not 'picked up' immediately).

Has somebody already researched your family? It is worth checking the Families pages, which include research notes generously contributed by people from around the world. These often include details only a family member knows; some pages have family trees, occasionally photos and other material are included. Over 200 family names are available as at March 2017

Check Surname indexes for links to trade directories from 1797 to 1928, 1841 head of household census and other indexes from 1800 - 1934.

Perhaps members of your family were captured in one of the 'crowd' photos? Try the Photos of people links. Maybe you can help identify some of the people in the Mystery photos?. Maybe you can help somebody with their enquiry on the Seeking page?

You may also find some useful information in the occupations page.

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Interested in a particular property?

The Home page includes a search facility which can be used to search for the number of a High Street property, eg 237, or a road name. This will pick up any matches on this site (but recently added material is not 'picked up' immediately).

If you know the house number of a High Street property the Properties introduction is a good starting point.

Maps from ca 1840 and 1894 may show your ancestor's home, the shape of their yard or garden and nearby local landmarks such as pubs and alleys. You may find a brief description of your family home from the early 1900s, see 1909/1910 Valuation.

If you don't know exactly where your ancestors lived then the Surname indexes links to pages which may help. (I also have indexes from censuses for the High Street, 1851 - 1911, please email me for a free look-up.)

Perhaps a postcard or photograph includes your family home. The Photos page has links to a range of images from the last 100 years, including a set of photos from 1945/6 showing over 50 High Street properties and there are also many photos taken at various Brentford sites between 1972 and 1975 by Peter Young. Sources lists local history books which also may be helpful.

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History, sources and a sense of place

Janet McNamara, a local historian who has researched and contributed much to this site, has written about the History of the development of Brentford and its High Street from pre-historic times to the current day. This will give you an insight into how Brentford came to be the way it is today. She has also researched local families, institutions and businesses.

Sources lists local history books: even if no longer in print, copies may be available via Amazon, or Ebay. Web Links includes web sites which may help in your local or family history research. Document Samples includes documents which may be relevant to your research: eg a Brentford British School certificate from 1894.

Newspaper accounts are fascinating to read and tell us much about society at the time: a selection of articles about Brentford can be found here, dating from the early 19th century to the 20th century.

What did writers think of Brentford? Read John Betjeman's evocative piece from his visit in the 1950s.

What about the views of people who lived and worked in Brentford in the past? See Memories for unique memories dating from the 1920s onwards; also Occupations to find out more about local occupations.

Finally if you want to know more about

Can you contribute?

I hope you find something of interest on this website. If you have any memories, photos, postcards, family research or stories about Brentford please get in touch, Id be delighted to include them.

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Published December 2008; last updated March 2017