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History surrounding the birth and growth of Gyoury

Although we do not know where Michael Gyoury was born we know he settled & started his new family in London, England. We can discover a wealth of information about the surrounding world at that time; this webpage is a small scratch at the surface of London & British history, this is only an attempt to show some surrounding facts whilst remain interesting and relevant. Links are provided for further information.

To get a clearer picture lets start by going right back to the 17th Century. Population of London had grown from about 200,000 people in 1600 AD to around 350,000 by mid-century. The plague of London claimed many lives while the great fire of London in 1666 destroyed around 80% of the City which 'helped' to completely change the face of London forever. While many left the City due to the lack of housing, London slowly began to rebuild and enter into the 18th Century.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 when Scottish and British Parliament joined with the 'Act of Union'. King George the First reigned 1714 to 1727 which began the Georgian period in history (4 King Georges). During this time London began expanding beyond traditional borders, with new bridges over the Thames creating growth in South London, while Mayfair extended to the west as a place for the rich and the docks and Port of London expanded in the East. George the Third acquired Buckingham Palace and London was to rapidly become the true centre of the growing British Empire.

The 18th century world was all about international trade, world power, empires, growth and domination, so not much different from today then?  Well slightly different because Britain did actually have a hugely powerful empire then. London had transformed from burnt ruins into a global political, financial and trading capital, and its riches were a worldwide attraction. Immigrants and foreigners were very important in shaping the nation, yet no-one could have predicted the floods of people that soon came to settle.

During the last quarter of the 18th Century England was at war with America and with France. International trade financed wars, so was more important than ever before. The seas were full of boats, Galleons and Frigates, and it is known that British Armies and the Navy were not just made up of English born citizens. At this point we'll bring in Michael Győrỳ, who was soon to be born. Maybe Michael's father was fighting for the British, maybe a sailor, maybe he was just a traveller or trader, maybe even connected with international trade or simply born here himself? But its very possible that Michaels parents never visited England and that Michael lived his younger life elsewhere. Some possible clues may indicate this, and it is probably most likely that Michael moved to London alone, without family.

There is no doubt that London was the place where many wanted to settle and the boom had already begun. By 1790 there was a solid political infrastructure and the capital city was an ideal base with so much to offer, especially as the worlds greatest manufacturing centre, worlds greatest port and a centre for finance and industry. The Bank of England produced its very first English Pound Note in 1797 and by 1800 London's population had extensively grown, making it the largest city in the world.

The population had trebled over the previous 100 years (1700~1800) to reach almost 1 million by 1801. Leaving the 18th century behind really was the beginning of major change, with the population more than doubling again by mid-century to 2.3 million, and then reaching more than 6 million by the end of this century 1800-1899. 

The largest city in the world soon went from ~1million in 1801 to ~7million in 1901 and shows London was a massively popular place, that obviously had lots to offer. Industrialisation, invention and progression was like no other time in the worlds history.

So London at the start of this new century seemed perhaps an ideal place for everyone to live? Well the fast pace of growth brought change that was uncontrollable with such little preparation. The well known famous fogs or 'smog', were from a massively polluting coal fired world which filled 19th century air. The sewers and night-soil men grew increasingly inadequate to the task of removing human faeces produced every day. The roads contained more and more horse & cart traffic each day with trails and layers of manure left behind. Even the rain didn't help to keep London clean, it just brought soot-filled dirty water which would create mud and sludge in the roads. Personal cleanliness and the washing of clothes was not something that was done unless you were among the higher classes. Even the bodies of the dead were to become a constant problem for Londoners, with churches unable to cope. For any outsider London may have seemed an attractive place to go to seek employment and success, but when you got to the City the stink would be unbelievable.

Born here or not, Michael did choose to settle and live in London and that's why all this history is relevant. As a single man in his twenties Michael was living and working as a servant in the home of Major Joseph Marks, Thayer Street St Marylebone. The location is just behind Manchester Square, a new development which had been created during Michaels early lifetime. Certainly not the worst part of London to live, on the outskirts of old London, close to the edge of Regents Park. Michaels salary is documented as 5 pounds per month, which is a decent salary for the time. Sarah also may have lived in the St Marylebone area, so possibly where they met and courted. Their marriage in 1807 was in the Church of St Marylebone, just a few streets away between Regents Park and Manchester Square.

Michael and Sarah moved to the quiet suburb called St Pancras, not too far away from St.Marylebone but a cheaper area to live just outside of the City, with an offering of newly built houses that were small and had cheap rent. The area of Somers Town was situated next to Euston Square, just south of St Pancras Church which was one of the oldest churches in England, and still is. This is the area where the first documented evidence of the name Gyoury originates. It's also where the Gyoury family seems to be based for many years, with the next generation growing, marrying and having address's within the small area of Somers Town, St Pancras.

Interestingly, 1808~1809 saw the inventor Richard Trevithick demonstrate his Steam Locomotion in Euston Square, right next to Somers Town. You could take a ride in the carriage pulled by steam at a cost of 1 shilling, which made this the very first fare paying passenger railway in the world. Maybe Michael and Sarah would have enjoyed the demonstration first-hand, but they would not have realised just how much impact steam power would have in their lifetimes, let alone on the future of London.

Growth continued, 1815 saw Napoleon defeated at waterloo while London continued expanding, new roads, new housing, more sewage, more industry & trade, but also more smog, immigrants, poverty and increasing crime. In 1817 a new bridge over the Thames opened, located between London Bridge and Westminster Bridge. This was named Waterloo Bridge in memory of the recent British victory, and provided a much needed link between fast developing areas. Locally to Somers Town, 1822 saw the opening of St Pancras New Church. Its total cost was £89,296 which made it the most expensive Church in London since the rebuilding of St Pauls Cathedral.  Plans for a new London Bridge were accepted in 1824 and the first granite stone laid in 1825, finally opening in 1831. For quite some time Londoners would have been able to see both London bridges spanning the Thames and no doubt early Gyoury's were privileged with that extremely rare view. The 1820's also brought us the creation of a Metropolitan Police Force based at what is now Scotland Yard, while King George IV also began the transformation of Buckingham House into a Royal Palace, now known as Buckingham Palace. Steam engines were beginning to be successfully used from 1825 and in 1831 the scheme for a Euston to Birmingham railway was made public.

The palace of Westminster was damaged with fire in 1834 its re-building began to create the Houses of Parliament. Trafalgar Square was created as a memorial to Lord Nelson and the city swallowed the suburb areas as it pushed its borders further. The Georgian period of English history that Michael and Sarah were born into was now to evolve into the Victorian period. Queen Victoria came to power in 1837, but by 1840 Michael and Sarah, the founders of the name, had past away. 1837 also brought the start of official records for all Births, Deaths and Marriages within Britain.

The next generation of Gyoury's were expanding the tree and continued in booming London, with many still living in the same area of Somers Town. By 1841 only 60% of people living in London had been born there, but Somers Town certainly had a very high percentage of immigrants, it had become a place for the poor and a place for foreigners.


Events Time Line






Georgian History





 1775 > 1783
American Revolution




1805 Nelson-Trafalgar

Battle of Trafalgar Educational BBC Animation




london birth gyoury



Early 19th Century



Old Maps



Online book covering the area and period-

Somers Town

& St Pancras



1808 Steam Engine Richard Trevithick


1815 Waterloo
Napoleon Defeated



 St Pancras

New Church

 Metropolitan Police  Created by Sir Robert John Peel

 London Bridge


 Registrations Births Deaths Marriages

During the 1830's and 40's almost half the funerals in London were for children under ten years old. Lack of nutritious food, toilet facilities and the poor quality of drinking water resulted in many people dieing from infections and diseases that we would rarely die of today. Poor families were more likely to suffer death or disease and half the poor children born in London died within their first year. Raw sewage flowed directly into the Thames, which was also the main supply for drinking water. Burials were banned within the city since Churches were unable to cope with the strain of rotting bodies overflowing their churchyards. The purchasing and developing of land outside the city borders created soaring prices and many had no choice but to move further into the countryside.

The first railway completed in London was London Bridge to Greenwich, opening in 1836, but Euston Station was to be the second to open and the first major rail-link for London, completed in 1837. The area just to the east of Somers Town was renamed in 1830, from 'Battle Bridge' to 'Kings Cross', although Kings Cross Station and railway was not completed until 1852. St Pancras was also to get its own station but that was not completed until 1868. Certainly during the mid-century period the railway boom was 'full steam ahead' and by 1854 every English town would be connected by rail. With the boom of railways London had also become a centre for leisure activity, with day trips from afar now possible.

The Thames offered water activities and rowing had become popular. Cambridge and Oxford universities still continue to hold the annual boat race as they have every year since 1845. The first successful tunnel under the Thames was completed in 1843 but was only to be used as a foot-tunnel due to lack of funds. The Rail network continued to expand due to its popularity which created faster population swell and more development.

Great Ormond Street Hospital for sick children was founded in 1852 at a time when it was very common for lower class children to work at an age of just 10 years. One in nine girls over 10 would be domestic servants to the wealthier classes, cheap child labour was abused although it perhaps kept children out of a life of crime. Child criminals were punished in the same way as adults which included adult prison, transportation and even the death penalty.

1856 the Metropolitan Board of Works had been formed to carry out large public works in London, including the construction of a sewage disposal system which was desperately needed. Many new Thames bridges were completed and opened during the 1860's to help with traffic and Railway demand, but the amazing construction for the period had to be the underground rail links for trains which began to open from 1863, the first in the world and years ahead of rival countries. The foot tunnel under the Thames was to be used for rail by 1869.

The Government introduced a system of education from 1870 that enabled local authorities to set up schools, paid for out of the rates or taxes. This meant that all children between the ages of five and thirteen could go to school if they paid about 2d (2 pence) a week. Many people could still not afford to send their children to school but classes were large and often had over 60 pupils.

The National Society of the Prevention for Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was set up in 1889. The real invention of 'the child' had emerged from the 1800's, and certainly a child living at the end of the 19th century would have experienced a very different childhood to that of their grandparents born in the earlier years. By the end of the century, not only families but the government too had changed the way it treated children, since at that time, more than a third of those living in England were under 15 years old.

In an attempt to control the growing numbers of young people whilst, at the same time, protecting them from violence and poverty, the government introduced laws relating to the specific needs of children. This new attitude helped the young to develop their own identity. They were no longer officially seen as 'miniature adults' but treated as a distinct social group with their own needs and interests which deserved special laws and treatment. By the end of the 1800's, children who committed a crime were more likely to be sent to special youth prisons called Reformatory schools, since it was realised that adult prisons were bad for children and likely to encourage them to commit crimes when they became adults. As from 1891 the government introduced 'free' education for all children up to the age of eleven. In 1899 the school-leaving age was raised to twelve, but many children still failed to attend school regularly, and continued to work during the day to help support their families.

For now, that takes us into the 'modern' history of the 20th century. The children grew, the Gyoury name continued spreading and expanding. Families were now moving to different areas and losing touch, but London and its boom era had been a major part of the very little-known invention...... GYOURY.

Victorian History




1837 Railway London Euston Birmingham




1852 Child Hospital
Great Ormond St




1870 Education
Reduced costs




1891 Free Education Government Funded




Gyoury History

In Pictures


London modern map
 vs. old maps

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