Monday, September 10, 2012

Did your ancestor go to a private boarding school?

I have just had an question about the school that Paul's ancestor George FitzGeorge went to in 1851. He is uncertain about George's father and ideally he would like to find school records relating to his admission. Unfortunately the school was typical of the large number of preparatory boys boarding schools where there are no surviving school records. If you have a similar problem to Paul have a look at Rev. TUCK's School, Welwyn, Little Wymondley & Northaw, c1840-c1930 to see the factors I considered in trying to find more.

It is important to realize that it is likely that many of the pupils who went to the school went there because of personal recommendation - and might be relatives of the headmaster, or linked in some way to his family. For this reason I investigated the headmaster's family (including search online local newspapers) and also investigated a bit of the social background of the other pupils at the school in case there are any obvious contacts. The history of the school could also be relevant - as key documents may have been been kept when/if the school changed location or management. In this case the school may have been a continuation of an earlier boarding school  that was at Welwyn in 1839. In 1851/2 it moved from Welwyn to Little Wymondley. The school continued under a new schoolmaster and then moved to Northaw and the management changed again.Unfortunately the paper trail that school records might have followed goes cold in about 1935.

1 comment:

  1. Your correspondent refers to Anthony Camp's web site from which it is apparent that they are interested in the George Fitz George who married 16 January 1859. Clearly this cannot be the George FitzGeorge born 1844 found at school in Welwyn, who would have been too young to wed. The one at Welwyn fits very well with an officer of the Hussars found in a later census. There is more about him in Harts Army List as available on findmypast. He was on the Duke of Cambridge's staff. Indeed he is no doubt a son of the latter on whom there is a Wikipedia entry that shows his ancestry and explains the rather intricate question of his legitimacy. Thus I propose that the Duke's son may have been at Welwyn but your correspondent's ancestor was not. In which case Hertfordshire Genealogy is unlikely to throw further light on the matter. Anthony


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