Sunday, May 19, 2013

Behind the Scenes Activity

Help Desk
While I have been posting less new posts there has still been some activity in my mail box, some of which may lead to full posts later.

St Albans
St Albans Own East End. This web site covers the Fleetville, Camp, Hill End, Marshalswick, Smallford, and Cell Barnes areas of St Albans and Mike Neighbour, who runs this informative web site has just published the second volume of his book on the area. The site also contains much other information 

Sergeant Herbert Alfred Penn: Denise has pointed out that I had two post cards on my web site addressed to her great grandfather when he was based at Jullundur, Punjab, India with the Northamptonshire Regiment. One of Watton was sent by Ada Jepps and the other was of the Fore Street, Hertford. Both Alfred and Ada were born in Watton or nearby Datchworth.

Hitchin Hospital: I had a query from Bonny looking for a photograph of Hitchin Hospital in 1946/7. I don't have a suitable picture of that date - but in any case this was the time when the NHS was formed and the old workhouse became a hospital. As a result I am not sure what building is being referred to. I referred Bonny to Hitchin Historical Society, as Hitchin Museum is currently closed prior to a move to the old Town Hall building.

St Albans & Hertford Prisons: Further to the posting Was William Willson your ancestor's Goaler I have just discovered a very detailed online government report with the impossible title  Reports from Commissioners: Prisons: Fourth Report: 1 Home District: Session 5 February-27 August 1839: Volume XXI. If I ever have time I would like to use this as the basis of a report on the two prisons in Hertfordshire in the early 19th century - but because I already have a very long "to do" list I suggest you read the report (which also covers other prisons in other parts of the country) rather than wait!

The GBS Special: Roy contacted me to say he had a picture of the George Bernard Shaw Special at an unknown station  (perhaps Harpenden) and I have asked him to send a digitised copy for identification.

The Queen's Head, Pinner. Further to the post Reuben Randall Links between Watford and British Collombia, Canada someone has suggested that the public house is the Queens Head, Pinner - and an online check shows that in the past it carried the date 1705 - so the identity seems pretty certain - so not Watford but not far over the border into Middlesex.

Latest Post card Images: Several new post card images have been posted during the last few weeks.

Help for Beginners: This really is a specialist site which aims to help people who have already done some serious research - but who have hit a brick wall. Every month I get several queries which could be answered in minutes by the questioner themselves if they had spent a bit of time reading a suitable "How To" book or an online equivalent. I occasionally get a question which catches my fancy (such as A few thousand miles off topic) but in most cases they get an acknowledgement, a link to a site which will answer their question (I check first to see that it does) and a suggestion they spend some time reading up how to do it or join their local family history society.

Rural Relaxation: On April 29th I posted Rural Relaxation - The Water levels are up which included a picture of all that was left of Big Paddy island on College Lake. I checked again early in May and it was definitely getting smaller and had vanished by May 15th - apart from the top of the wooden post. The heavy rains over the last year had another effect. In May last year I posted Candles for Lucy about how the horse chestnut tree my daughter had planted was smothered with flowers. It is going to have a lot (but not quite so many) this year - and I wonder how many conkers there will be. Last year, despite the large number of flower heads, there were only two - the continual rain last year had basically stopped insects fertilizing the flowers!

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This is the newsletter for the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web site. Comments on this blog are moderated and may be transferred to the web site where appropriate. If you have a local or family history query you want answered you must use "Ask Chris" - See box in right hand column. Anonymous comments cannot be answered.