Where John Springfield lived

Extract of 1882 Kelly’s Directory for Guildford

A key part of family history is to look not just at when your ancestors lived but how. This may involve the buildings and areas they lived and worked in and the people they associated with. Good resources for this are trade directories. Surrey History Centre has a range of trade directories on microfiche.

On the 1882 Kelly’s Directory for Guildford, John Springfield is shown as a boot and shoemaker with premises at 12 Chertsey Street. Fellow traders on the same street include William Tiller a saddler at number 5 and David Young a blacksmith at number 13.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Guildford map 1881

According to the 1890 Kelly’s Directory John had moved to 30 Stoke Road. Other traders on this road include another bootmaker, Abraham Seagar at 92 and James Smith a draper at 46.

Maps are a fantastic resource for documenting the change in shape and size of an area. Surrey History Centre holds a wide range of maps from tithe and enclosure maps to estate plans and OS maps.

This 25″ OS map (OS sheet XXIII.16) published in 1881, shows the area of Guildford where John Springfield lived and worked.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Locate Chertsey Street (Stoke Road runs into Chertsey Street). Near to Chertsey Street is North Street, where the Wesleyan Methodist Church is situated. Just off North Street is Commercial Road, where John Springfield is said to have taught at Robert Macdonald’s Mission Industrial School. Close by is Abbots Hospital on the High Street, where according to the collection (SHC ref 1714), Eliza Springfield worked.

Chertsey Street, Guildford

Sometimes illustrations or photographs of a building or street survive. The SHC Photographic Collection includes an early photograph of Chertsey Street. Although it is not clear whether John Springfield’s shop would have featured on the photograph, it gives an idea of how the street may have looked at the time.

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.

Find out more…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *