Using a wide variety of resources Surrey History Centre has constructed a basic family tree for John Springfield. Light has been shed on the remarkable life of Guildford’s first black man. Other sources may reveal even more of John Springfield’s life.
Further research may lead to other record offices. For example John and Eliza’s marriage certificate shows they were residing in Croydon in 1870. Perhaps Croydon Local Studies Library and Archives have records relating to their time there. They will at least be able to reveal what Croydon was like in that period.
Aspects of John Springfield’s character could be explored, such as his religious beliefs or his involvement in the anti-slavery movement. This may lead to the Methodist Archives and Research Centre or Anti-Slavery International (which has a historical library holding over 200 years of literature on the subject of slavery and the anti-slavery movement). He may be included in some of the records of the Wesleyan Methodist Church on North Street, or perhaps he was mentioned in contemporary newspapers.
There are many sources that can be useful for researching family history and many aspects of an individual and their families that can be explored.
Surrey History Centre has delved deeper into the story of Guildford’s first black man.
Follow the life of John Springfield and find out some of the types of sources useful for tracing family history.