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Street name Alexis Street

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Tuesday 28 March 2017 9.52pm
Greetings from Tropical Far North Qld Australia

Hi everyone! I have a lot of ancestry from Southwark
with one predominant family by the name of ALEXIS.

As I have only ever found one family by that name
of whom 99% were born and bred in Southwark,
I am wondering if the name ALEXIS STREET might in someway
be associated with one of my family? How did the street
get its name does anyone know?

I have tried to find this from the Internet but without success.

Is anyone reading this related to the Alexis family I wonder?

Kind regards, Diana
Wednesday 29 March 2017 7.57am
After London grew substantially in the 19th century, many streets bore first names such as Mary. One reason for this was speculative builders creating fresh streets and naming them after their daughters.

In itself this isn't decisive, but I noticed Alexis Street (which is both a girl's and boy's name) leads to Linsey Street.

It's natural to assume street names arise for a specific reason, with reference to a famous person, place or whatever. This is true for some streets. However, after researching a few names I've discovered there can be other explanations.

For example, a few years ago someone wrote to this forum from Sri Lanka, asking if Colombo Street had a link to their country. When I checked I found the street previously was known as Collingwood Street.

Against the background mentioned earlier, in the 1930s London County Council acted to rationalise street names across the capital to remove repetition, so taxis didn't take people to the wrong place and so on.

At that time half a dozen local councils had a street called Collingwood. The LCC asked each authority either to make a case for retaining that name (with just one lucky winner), or to change it to something else.

At this point a local historian helped me by pointing out 'Collingwood' and 'Colombo' start with the same 3 letters. He said the word Colombo had probably been chosen to replace Collingwood in a haphazard way, with a council official looking for an alternative in an atlas or newspaper. It's unlikely there was a specific Ceylon / Sri Lanka connection.

If you wish you could send an enquiry to Southwark's Local History Library. Good luck with your search.
Wednesday 29 March 2017 8.38am
According to 19th-century maps available on-line, Alexis Street was originally Alexander Street. But the name doesn't appear in the list of changes made by the LCC that Lionel referred to. See
Wednesday 29 March 2017 9.41am
Fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing, Lionel and John.
Wednesday 29 March 2017 9.20pm
Very humble thanks to both Lionel and John for your most helpful replies to my enquiry!
I feel quite stupid not thinking about the fact that Alexis might have been the Forename of
someone rather than a Surname! I am so obsessed by my Alexis family history research, it just
never crossed my mind, and as soon as I saw Alexis Street I simply assumed it must apply to someone in my family.

I have never come across another family by this name in England so am clutching at straws to try and discover where they came from. There are some in the extended family who think that the father (Nicholas Alexis b. 1770) came from Russia and others (myself mainly) that think he might have been French, so I hoped that there might have been a clue in the Street name!

Anyway, thanks a million for your explanations of Street naming there. Much appreciated.
However if anyone reading this knows anything of the Alexis family, I would love to hear from them!
Cheers from Down Under......Diana
Thursday 30 March 2017 5.28pm
Hi Diana. I found a baptism for a Lamira Jane Alexis who was born in Snowfields which is in Bermondsey near Tower Bridge born in 1839. Fathers name Henry who is listed as working as a blacksmith. The family are listed in numerous family trees on Ancesrty dating back to 1797. If you pm me your email address I can send you screenshots.
Thursday 30 March 2017 5.40pm
Also found a William Alexis sentenced to death for house burglery (in the county of Surrey which at that time included Bermondsey) and later commuted to transportation for life in Lent 1833.
Thursday 30 March 2017 7.25pm
Hi Paulse1

Many thanks for your help! I do in fact have full details about both of the people you write about. The descendants of Henry Alexis and Lemira Pearce actually ended up in America and I am in touch with them today. I have also got all the documents on William Alexis when he his death sentence was commuted to transportation, and can follow everything that happened to him over the next 15 years. He then somehow managed to get back to England (strictly against his sentence which stated that he could never return to England) can be traced there until death. After his ticket of leave he actually became a policeman here in Tasmania!!

I don't think there is anything I do not know about the the family, but would love to make contact with more present day descendants. As mentioned, in my previous message I think, what I really want to know is where Nicholas came from!! I am descended from his daughter Ann Alexis.

Again my sincere thanks for writing to help me. Cheers, Diana

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