My ancestor Henry Lewis came from Scotland or England, joined the East India Company and went to Becoolen (now Bengkulu, Indonesia) in the 18th century. I’m trying to find out where he came from. My research in the East India Company archives in the British Librairy in London, the Singapore National Archive and the Dutch East Indies archives in the Leiden University Librairy shed more light on my ancestors. I can find many of their letters and other documents about them there. However, it’s like looking for needles in a hay stack, the archives are huge. When I was in London I found out that besides the online archive, there are even more documents and letters that aren’t digitalized yet. So I got a membership card.
While I was traveling and researching, three other descendants of the same ancestor found me online. It was great to hear their stories too. Neither of them knew where Henry came from in Scotland or England either. Recently I met Debbie in England (and Karen by video call). I thought I read an address on a letter from Henry’s son (also named Henry) I found in the online archive. He wrote this to the Bengal government, while he was living in London for a few years from about 1820 to 1826 (shortly after his mother died). I wrongly remembered it was Southampton Road. So Debbie and I went there to see if his house could still be there. When I came home, I realized it was Southampton Row, so I have to go back again. I also went to Westminster Abbey and found the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles, who worked with and was a friend of my ancestors. It’s a different one than the ones in Singapore, that I visited before and after.
I received the same DNA test as Karen and Debbie, exciting! 🙂 As I expected I’m from all over the world. I therefore call myself a citizen of the world. About 70% is from all over Europe, including The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, UK, Scandinavia (probably from the vikings), many more countries and even 1% jewish. To my surprise the 30% from all around South-East asia is not only Indonesian and Malaysian, but also a large percentage from different parts in the Philippines and some from Maladives, East-Timor and a few small islands in this area. My ancestors travelled around. 🙂
Debbie went to Southampton Row and sent me some pictures. I’d love to go here myself as well.