My 3x great grandfather was Richard Lucas, born around 1810 in Rotherhithe, Surrey. Richard worked as a Sail maker on the docks. He married Mary Ann Young on 23 November 1834 at St James, Bermondsey.
– Map of Rotherhithe from 1848, showing Paradise Row.
The Lucas family appeared on Paradise Row on two census entries. The street was apparently the principal one in Rotherhithe. Henry Mayhew noted sail makers at the docks and “their windows stowed with ropes and lines smelling of tar”, in his work London Labour and the London Poor (1851). Paradise Row was later renamed “Union Road” and they lived there in 1871. By 1881, the family had moved to Rolt Street, Deptford.
I am fascinated by researching maps as part of my family history research. As cities and streets evolve and sometimes disappear, it may not always be possible to understand how an ancestor’s house or street once looked. By referring to maps, you can imagine the streets and the sights they encountered in their daily lives. This can then be compared to contemporary sources to complete a more vivid picture.