Google Street-View for Genealogy

Google Street View came out for Britain a year or two ago and I had great fun looking up various ancestors’ streets.

I spent a happy few evenings virtually walking round Stoke on Trent, where I grew up, and finding the streets (and possibly the actual houses) various ancestors lived in, with the help of the census records and a webpage on site which converts old street names in Stoke to their new equivalents.  In the 1950s lots of them were changed because the six towns which made up the city of Stoke on Trent had grown up independently and there were lots of duplicate street names, with resultant confusion.  Lots of High Streets, Albert Streets, Church Streets, etc!

Here are a few of the streets in Fenton, not far from where I lived until I was 11.  Fenton is the town that the 19th century novelist Arnold Bennett, in his novels about the Potteries, missed out: the residents never forgave him for the omission.

This is Berdmore Street where my great grandmother, Minnie Simpson, was living before she was married:


John Swetnam, my 1st cousin 4x removed, lived somewhere in this street in 1871:


The husband of the half sister of my great great grandmother, Sarah Swetnam, lived in this house (that is, if the numbering hasn’t changed) in Heron Street in 1901 (sadly Sarah died in 1883 but several of my first cousins 3x removed were there.)


William Brown, my second cousins 3x removed, lived in this street in 1891; then it was Peel Street, now Ramsey Street.  He was a mineral water carter.


Hope you enjoyed this little tour round one of the Potteries towns!


  1. I’m envious. In the U.S. we’ve had the Google Street View for awhile, but the view here isn’t as interesting. Far fewer of the old buildings still standing, and those that are still up are not often livable. The price of “progress,” I guess.

  2. Great photos. This is an area that I want to explore on my next trip to the UK. I don’t think I have any family history there, but it sounds interesting from a tourist’s perspective.

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