Below is a list of some of the historical events that happened during the life-time of my ancestors - from the mid-1700s to the mid-1900s. These are events that they may have known or heard of. The tendency is for us to think of our ancestors as living in a static world where, if, for example, they were born in 1720, then, throughout the whole of their lives they wore the clothes and did the things that one wore and did in the 1720s. Well, at least, I did until I started to look at historial timelines. In reality, their lives would have passed through many periods of change; in dress, in society, and by improvements in technology
The changes in language must have been no less than the changes we see, and struggle with, to-day. My grandsons, for example, keeps talking about things being "cool" when they, quite obviously, aren't - even for them a hot day is "cool"!
Charles Dickens, when visiting America, was asked whether he wanted his meal "right-away" but, after a careful minute's consideration, he replied that he would have it just where he was; the use of "right- away" to mean "now" hadn't yet reached England!
Something I think to be most strange is that my grandfather was born during the American Civil War, which to me is very old history and, yet, I knew my grandfather!
1718 - Britsh convicts begin being transported overseas
1723 - Poachibg becomes a capital offence in Britain
1726 - 5 x great grandfather born, John Newport (1726-1813)
1730 - 5 x great grandmother born, Elizabeth Browning (1730–1754)
1727 - George V dies and is succeeded by George VII
1739 - Britain declares war on Spain.
1740-1744 - Anson sailed around the world in HMS "Centurion"
1754 - 4 x great grandfather born, John Newport (1754-1813)
1759 - 4 x great grandmother born, Susannah Brookes (1759–1846)
1756 - Start of the "Seven years war" between Britain and France.
1776 - America declares independence from Britain
1779 - Start of the Industrial Revolution
1782 - 3 x great grandfather born, John Newport (1782–1845)
1783 - Steam powered cotton mill invented by Sir Richard Arkwright
1786 - 3 x great grandmother born, Anne Paye (1786-1844)
1788 - First convict ships are sent to Australia
1796 - Edward Jenner invented a vaccination against small pox
1799 - Income tax introduced to pay for the Napoleonic war.
1801 - First census - population of Britain is 8 million
1804 - The first steam locomotive is built by Richard Trevithick
1805 2 x great uncle born, William Newport – Royal Marine (1805–1865)
1805 Oct 21 - Battle of Trafalgar
1806 - 2 x great grandmother born, Sarah Spicer (1806-1880)
1807 Mar 25 - Abolition of the slave trade in Britain
1809 - 2 x great grandfather born, John Newport (1809–1882)
1812 Feb 07 - Charles Dickens born
1815 - The Battle of Waterloo
1820 Jan 29 - George III dies
1830 Jun 26 - George IV dies
1832 Jan 2 - Rev. Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) born
1834 Aug 01 - Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire
1837 - Great grandfather born, George Newport (1837–1906)
1838 Jun 28 - Coronation of Queen Victoria
1840 - The world’s first prepaid, adhesive postage stamp introduced
1840 Feb 10 - Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert
1843 - Great grandmother born, Matilda Martha Natt (1843-1931)
1845-1848 - Potato famine in Ireland
1851 May 01 - The Great Exhibition opens in London
1854-1856 - Crimean War
1861 Dec 14 - Death of Prince Albert
1861-1865 - The American Civil War
1867 - Grandfather born, John James Newport (1867–1946)
1868 May 26 - Last public hanging in England
1870 Jun 08 - Charles Dickens dies
1873 - Grandmother born, Emily Harriet Aslett (1873-1958)
1875 Aug 24 - Captain Matthew Webb swims English Channel
1881 Oct 26 - Gunfight at the OK corral
1882 Apr 03 - Jesse James shot and killed by Bob Ford
1882 Apr 19 - Charles Darwin dies
1883 - First electric railway built at Brighton by Magnus Volks
1898 - Father born, Cuthbert John Victor Newport (1898-1980)
1898 - H. G. Wells publishes "The War of the Worlds"
1898–1900: - The Boxer Rebellion in China.
1901 - Queen Victoria dies.
1909 - First old age pensions paid.
1910 - Death of Edward VII
1914 - First World War - Britain declares war on Germany
1918 – WW1 - Armistice declared.
1919 Jun 28 - First World War officially ends (Treaty of Versailles)
1930-1933 - The Depression
1932 – Frank Whittle (later Sir Frank) invents the Jet Engine
1939-1945 – The Second World War
1951 – The Festival of Britain
1951 – Sir Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister
1952 – King George VI dies and Elizabeth becomes Queen
1953 – Coronation of Queen Elizabeth
1953 – Stalin dies and Nikita Khrushchev takes over
1953 - DNA discovered
1957 – The EEC is born with the signing of the Treaty of Rome
1958 – Charles de Gaulle becomes President of France.