Posted by Carolyn B on March 16, 1998 at 08:13:53:
In response to Transients, written by Cheryl on March 15, 1998 at 18:53:20
] I found the chapter on Jane's neighborhood fascinating. I didn't realize that people were so mobile then. The families moving in and out, changing names, a mixture of old and new money came as a surprise to me. I suppose I thought that the neighborhood would be like Longbourne or Highbury; the same people year after year with anything new causing a great stir...
I think we tend to picture people in the "good ol' days" sitting around on the old homestead, but people 18th & 19th C. moved around for the same reasons we do today (secure better jobs, find a bigger or smaller home, get away from their family ; ) Otherwise many Americans and Australians and Canadians, etc. wouldn't be where we are today!
Landowners might be more likely to stay put since they had a vested interest but even in the oldest, settled families daughters and younger sons had to be sent off somewhere. And if they lost their fortunes and had to rent their estates to admirals and move to Bath.... (but that's another story)
I think changing one's name nowadays involves so much paperwork that we're less likely to do it than people were in the past. And it's the name-changing and multiple spellings of a name that make historical research so challenging.
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