Although to date we have released numerous stories and blog posts on our website, we are always looking for additional information to further enhance our understanding of a person, event or theme.
African Students in Filey 1950s/60s
Last week we received several lists (see gallery of images below) with the names of African students who visited Filey in the 1950s and 1960s. This greatly enhances our understanding of the collection of photographs which featured in our seventh picture blog entitled Sudanese Officials in Filey c.1960. Watch out for a more detailed story of their time in the region towards the end of the year.
With thanks to Mike Kain and Brian Mulrine, archive supervisor at the Crimlisk Fisher Archive.
The relatively recent surge of interest in family history has prompted websites such as Ancestry and Find My Past to digitise a broad range of records to aid research. These websites have been extremely useful in helping us identify and reconstruct the lives of people with African heritage in Hull and East Yorkshire.
Recently, we have been using online data from the 1881 census to find potential people of African descent in the region. While information from the census usually, raises more questions than it answers, it is a fantastic starting point as each entry records a person’s full name, birth place, age, occupation and address.
Below is a list of names that we have collected from the this census so far. With additional research, it is hoped that we will be able to identify those with African heritage and provide stories about their lives.
Unfortunately, it may not be possible to find further information about all of these individuals as often people disappear from the records. However, every person we identify with African heritage is important in demonstrating that that there was a Black presence in Hull and East Yorkshire in the late nineteenth century.
Please contact us if you have any further information about the people featured in this list or you would like advice on how you can help our project by becoming a volunteer researcher in your spare time.
For the past week we have been analysing the original Wilberforce House visitor log which contains the signatures of those who toured the building between 1891 and 1900. Although the museum was not opened until 1906 the house was still a relatively popular tourist attraction for people who could gain access.
Many of the names inside the log are of local men and women, with only a small proportion of people stating that their birthplace was outside of Yorkshire. However, amongst the often-illegible signatures, two names clearly stand out.
The first is dated 15 May 1893 and is the signature of Nigerian Bishop, Reverend Isaac Oluwole. The second is unmistakably Haitian scholar and diplomat Louis Joseph Janvier who visited Wilberforce House on 7 November 1895.
Keep checking our website to learn more about these very interesting men and why they travelled to Hull. Their exciting stories are coming soon!
This week we have added some new research leads to the Africans Project website. Firstly, Audrey Dewjee has provided us with some information on West Indian recruits at RAF Hunmanby Moor in Filey in 1944. Below is a photograph taken in June 1944 of the airmen with the congregation at Reighton Chapel ( reprinted in the Filey & Hunmanby Mercury, 25 June, 1994). Click on the photo to go to the page and see if you can help add to the story!
A Jamaican-born sailor in Hull
Another interesting piece of research this week is the addition of the story of Jamaican-born sailor and Hull resident Thomas Henry Biggs. We discovered the lead to Thomas's story while trawling through the Hull Daily Mail archive and came across a couple of stories relating to Thomas and his wife Gertrude. Read this truly fascinating story HERE!
Dr Lauren Darwin
African Stories Project Researcher.