Monday, June 30, 2014

Genealogists' Magazine - June 2014

Because this magazine, the Journal of the Society of Genealogists, covers a very wide field this issue has no articles directly connected with Hertfordshire - but two could be of interest to readers of this Newsletter.

The Loyalty Oath Rolls of 1723: an early census, by Sylvia J Dibbs, is a useful article on the history of these documents. It includes a reference to the web site History Working Papers - including a list of all the known surviving copies. Hertfordshire has a surviving roll which includes over 6000 names. While the site does not include these names they have been recorded in Hertfordshire County Records:  Volume VII, ed. W. Le Hardy (Hertford, 1935), pp. 477-563 - which is available on CD (Archive CD Books).

It is an Illegal Date, by Robin Bailey, provides good reasons for looking very carefully at the dates you find in parish registers around 1752. While you may be aware the when the calendar was changed there were 11 missing says in September 1752 - but the change stared the day after 31st December 1751. The change in the law meant that the next day was 1st January 1752 - which must seem obvious to us now - but if the change hadn't happened the next day would have 1st January 1751. What the law did was to change the start of the year and in England 1st January 1751 to 24th March 1751 never existed. However changing the law does not mean that people understood the change and mistakes "carrying on in the old way" can often be found in original registers, sometimes for several years. The lesson is to check the individual register entries (and noy just the one affecting your ancestor, to see if the minister got the year wrong!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Tring Implement Gate is a copy!

The "unique" Tring Implement Gate is a copy. 
The original was made in Northamptonshire in 1861.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Timeline for J. Barnard, St Albans Photographer

St Albans

I have just completed a timeline (with examples) for John Barnard (1841-1894) who took portrait photographs, and some views, when he had a studio in St Albans between about 1878 and his death in 1894. It seems he initially opened a studio in St Albans at the same time as he had a studio in Bedford. The St Albans studio then passed to another photographer, Atlas Church (biographical time line to follow), but when, after little more than one or two years, Atlas Church left, John returned to having a studio in St Albans. I am currently not certain whether the ""City Portrait Rooms" and the "Silvio House Studio" were in the same building or not.

Further examples of his work, particularly if dated or have a negative number, would be very welcome, as they would allow the time line to be refined further.

The picture of the lady "climbing over a style" comes from the City Portrait Rooms and dates from about 1880.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Is this a Hertfordshire Regiment Summer Camp?

I am currently investigating some soldiers who were members of the Hertfordshire Regiment (Territorial Force) in the Waltham Cross area prior to the outbreak of war and fought through the war. This post card shows an army camp at Eastbourne and I suspect that it shows the Herts Regiment at their summer camp shortly in the early 1920s - (not 1920 when they were at Yarmouth). Does anyone know which year (if any) the Hertfordshire Regiment had a camp at Eastbourne.

A First World War Nursery Rhyme

Fire away, fire away, soldier man,
Kill all the Germans as fast as you can,
Bomb them and shell them for the sake of old E.,
And come back quite safely to Baby and me.

From an old school magazine, The Mortonia.
Based on one of the earliest known nursery rhymes and clapping games. [Wikipedia]

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Pat it and prick it and mark it with "B"
And put it in the oven for baby and me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Staffordshire Regiment at Harpenden

Enhanced view of post card currently advertised on ebay
This post card, by D. B. Skillman, shows the Staffords at Harpenden during the First World War. It is currently on sale on ebay - and while it is more than I can afford I would be interested to know if anyone knows the dates at which the Staffordshire Regiment was posted to Harpenden.

Rural Relaxation - At College Lake Again

View from the new viewing platform (formerly site of Goddard Hide)
When I need a break I often take a walk at College Lake, which is only a couple of miles from Tring. There is always something to see as the seasons change and Nature continues to reclaim this old chalk pit. And (assuming I get back to the Visitor Centre by 4 pm (3 pm in winter) I can round off the outing with a cup of coffee and a cake. However I may be cutting back on the walks (but hopefully not for long) because yesterday I strained my back. The first time was well over 30 years ago - moving furniture in my office at work prior to the office being repainted and I was laid up for three months. However I now know what to do - and have a set of exercises which usually get me fully mobile again within a week or two.  The last time was about five years ago, when we still had Franci - who wanted his daily walk - so I went to Ashridge and took a mobility scooter so I could walk him through the woods there, with Franci trotting alongside. 
Many different species of grasses could be seen - but I don't know the names of any of them!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Names for the Wheathampstead War Memorial

I have just received the following message:
Good news about the Folly memorial windows! Through the work of Terence Pankhurst and his wife in Wheathampstead, they have identified 4 names which are currently missing from the main war memorial in the village These names will be inscribed on a plaque, to be added to the current war memorial  The names listed on the Folly Methodist Chapel Memorial Windows, which are missing at the moment from the main one, are as follows:
Sidney Bandy,
Francis George Gray,
Murray Walter Harrison.
Cyril John Pearce is to be added to the war memorial although he was technically not a soldier at that time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Old Hertfordshire Recipes: To make Brawn

Take a Pig's face, feet and ears &c rub them with Salt-petre, let them be salted, in common Salt, three days; then boil them very tender; Have ready a wooden Mould proper for Brawn {an old Seive will do} let it stand in a Pewter plate, and put a Cloth in the Mould, or you will find it difficult to get the Brawn out. When it is boiled and quite hot, take out all the Bones, and then take the different pieces as you judge best, and place them in the Mould alternately fat and lean; take care to put pieces of skin outside. Press it down afterward as close as possible, and let it remain under the weights for one Night. Take it out of the Mould and keep it in a pickle made of Salt and Water, and a handful of Bran and a little Vinegar. This Pickle should be boiled, and the Brawn should not be put in until it is cold again. The Pickle should be made fresh every 3 or 4 days.
       A couple of ox feet are good ingredients.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More on New Birklands School, St Albans

I recently posted some pictures of this school. I have now added further information (from the Dundee Courier!) about its move from London to St Albans in 1905, plus two extra photographs of the school after it had dropped the "New" from its name. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A 1904 De Dion Bouton in Hertfordshire

Last Saturday I visited Jim Mullary, who lives in a house built on the site of Heath Farm, Bernards Heath, St Albans, to see his collection of photographs (which mainly came from one of my cousins, Beryl Grove, and from Ron Walsh, a former employee of Heath Farm Dairy). A number of pictures will appear on this site in future, but this is the first.
This picture show a 1904 De Dion Bouton 6HP Two Seater, (Identified by the Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society) and the registration number shows it was registered in Hertfordshire in the later part of 1904. The driver looks like Arthur John Reynolds, my great uncle, and son of Jacob Reynolds of Heath Farm. Arthur farmed Cheapside Farm, Sandridge, which adjoined Heath Farm.

Monday, June 16, 2014

WW1 Memorial Window from Folly Methodist Chapel, Wheathampstead

This memorial window can currently be seen as part of the Keeping the Home Fires Burning exhibition (until 16th November 2014) at the Museum of St Albans

The names are: 
S. Bandy, C. Carter, F. Gray, M. Harrison, H. Izzard, H. Lawrence, G. Minal, A. Munt, A. Odell, C. Pearce, G. Upton-RobinsH. Wilson.

Click here for the story of how this web site helped in the window finding its new home.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

History of the Farriers Arms, Hunton Bridge, Abbots Langley

Help Desk
Suzanne asked where she might find a picture of the Farriers Arms, Hunton Bridge, and I not only located a picture but also drafted the pub's history from 1851 to its demolition in 1965.  

This picture is from Abbots Langley, A Hertfordshire Villageby Scott Hastie, and dates from about 1910.

Are there hidden gaps in parish registers?

Help Desk
Colin's question about the birth places of the Rev. Thomas Charles Hose looked straightforward enough - but when answering a question other unexpected issues come up.

 On the 1st November 1866 Thomas baptised his son Arthur at Little Wymondley and the entry in the register is followed by the words:  
I, Thomas Charles Hose, Incumbent of Little Wymondley certify that the above is a true copy of the Register of Baptisms solemnized in the parish of Little Wymondley during the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty six.
Witnessed my hand this 12 day of July 1867
J.C. Hose 12/7/67
So what was going on? The register was meant to be the master record of baptisms in the church - so why is this "a true copy of the Register of Baptisms" ??? The most likely explanation is that Thomas had been keeping a private register rather than enter the baptisms directly into the official register, and had, in July 1867, copied the entries over.

This raises a possible source of error in baptismal (and burial registers). When a wedding was held (at least after the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753) the register had to be filled in at the time because the register needed to be signed by the couple and witnesses. The register is not needed at a baptism or burial service, but is completed afterwards. Not only could the minister forget to record it - but it seems that a number of ministers wanted the registers to look neat and tidy and wrote the details in a private notebook and entered a whole batch of entries at one time. This practice opened the possibility of all kinds of additional errors and omissions - especially when the minister died before he could update the register.

Little Wymondley
In the case of Little Wymondley the patronage arrangements had changed in 1863 and prior to this date there may have been an unofficial parallel register. (Further investigation is needed as while FindMyPast shows individual pages of the register it does not allow scrolling through for unusual entries or patterns of entry.)

For more information - including details of Thomas Charles Hose and his family - READ ON ...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hertfordshire’s aircraft heritage: de Havilland in Hatfield

Picture from "Hatfield Aerodrome" booklet
Over a year ago John Clifford and I exchanged information on Harpsfield Hall, near Hatfield, which was demolished when Hatfield Aerodrome was constructed in the 1930s. John's research is progressing and on June 24th he is giving a talk entitled de Havilland in Hatfield - The Golden Years on June 24th at County Hall, Hertford. [Details].

Friday, June 13, 2014

100 Years Ago - Countywide Scout Rally in Clarence Park

Oh the 13th June, 1914 Boy Scout groups from all over the county gathered for a rally in Clarence Park, St Albans and various groups put on displays. In addition they were addressed by Sir Ernest Shackleton about his experiences in Antartica. The news article appeared in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette on 20th June 1914 and mentioned the following scout troops:

1st Boxmoor
2nd Boxmoor (St Johns)
3rd Boxmoor
1st Kings Langley
1st Markyate
1st Tring
4th St Albans

The article concludes "There are now 91 troops in the county and the organisation has made remarkable progress since 1909. Then it had 934 members, and last year's returns showed the figures 2263."

With hindsight the article, and all the other news in the paper that week, are interesting in that there is nothing to suggest that a few weeks later the country would be at war - and undoubtedly many of the older scouts would become casualties. In addition the younger scout would become involved in activities supporting the was effort.

The list of scout troops named in the article reflects the circulation area of the newspaper - and undoubtedly other papers, in other parts of the county, would have carried similar articles, again with a local slant. Let me know if you have details of such articles - or even better a picture or two of the event.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Ashridge Training Camp, 1914, and the Outbreak of War.

When War was declared in August 1914 the Territorials in the Hertfordshire Regiment were at their annual training camp - which was being held at Ashridge. The latest Dacorum Heritage Trust Newsletter (Summer 2014) includes details of the the camps as published in The Gazette on 1st August 1914, and what happened using information published on 8th August, together with some contemporary pictures.

The newsletter also says that on August Bank Holiday (Monday 25th August) Dacorum Heritage Trust will have a WWI themed display at the Lions Fete at Berkhamsted Cricket Club ground. Come and visit us in the marquee.

Hemel Hempstead
For further information on what was happening in the Hemel Hempstead area when war broke out see my book, The London Gunners come to Town, and the many pictures at higher resolution at Military Camps - Ashridge Park July 1914. More of the background is included in my talk The Terriers in West Herts in World War 1.
Click here for pictures of earlier camps.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Better Pictures of Napsbury Military Hospital


Peter has kindly provided larger images of a number of the pictures by Ricardo of patients and wards in Napsbury Military Hospital. This could help anyone trying to identify an ancestor who was in the hospital between 1916 and 1919.

Monday, June 9, 2014

First World War Ancestors at HALS

Tracing your WW1 military ancestors Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies will be hosting a free WW1 event onSat 5 July 10.00 - 14.00. Simon Fowler, a professional WW1 researcher and writer will be lecturing at 11.00 on How to Research your WW1 Ancestors. Staff will be on hand throughout the day to show you how to use the internet to uncover more about your family history. Historic documents relating to Hertfordshire's experience of the war will also be on display.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Did Gladys pack seeds for Samuel Ryder (of Ryder Cup fame)?

Packing seeds at Ryders (St Albans Museum picture)
St Albans

In the early 20th century the Wilson family lived at 5 Queen Street, St Albans, and in 1928 Gladys died, the death certificate showing that she has worked packing seeds. Maggie wanted to know whether she worked for Samuel Ryder. While there were four seed merchants listed for St Albans at the time Samuel Ryder was by far the biggest and she probably worked him, perhaps packing penny bags of garden seeds.

Help Desk

Thursday, June 5, 2014

On the road to the Army Camp, Gadebridge, 1915

Shortly after the Royal Field Artillery of the 2nd London Division moved into Hemel Hempstead in 1914 work started on building a wooden camp. The shortest route between the camp and the centre of the town was through a ford on Gadebridge Lane.  In March 1915 my grandfather, Walter Locke, was borough surveyor, was responsible for building a bridge over the ford which was published by George Day of Hemel Hempstead.
for biography of George Day, and other post cards he published

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hertfordshire People No 129 now out

The picture shows "Minnie"
The latest issue of Hertfordshire People is now out - and members of the Herts Family History Society can now get it by email. It contains the usual collection of news, stories, etc., and as usual I will briefly report on the items that interest me - in the hope that it might tempt non-members to join and receive a copy themselves.

Needless to say First World War research and activities are mentioned. Over the years the Society has produced many booklets of Memorial Inscriptions and they plan to produce one of the War Memorials so far recorded, including details from family graves and memorials which could easily be overlooked. There is also an article on the exhibition to be held in Bushey in August (Details at which you might like to note for your diary if you are in Hertfordshire this summer. I also note that that the next issue will give details of a competition to write about what your relative during the War. There is also a list of relevant events being organised at HALS.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

SAHAAS Conference: St Albans at War 1914/15

SAHAAS Conference: St Albans at War 1914/15

Troops in St Albans Market
Picture from County Life, 1914

To commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war, the Society is organising a conference on Saturday 20th September to consider how the inhabitants of St Albans responded in the difficult first eighteen months of the Great War.

An exciting program is planned:
  • Britain on the Eve of War in 1914
  • St Albans: A City on the Cusp of War
  • “Saturday Night Soldiers” - The St Albans Territorials 1908-15
  • The German City of Worms during the First World War
  • The Army in St Albans
  • Feeding the City
  • The Response of Citizens to Wartime Challenges
If you are interested in the 20th century history of St Albans, or are carrying out research on other towns in Hertfordshire or elsewhere that became training camps for large numbers of territorial troops in 1914, this conference, with its high power speakers, is a must. Book now to ensure you get a place at what is bound to be a very popular conference. 

Having written the book The London Gunners come to Town about Hemel Hempstead during the same period I rushed to make sure I got a ticket before they sell out. I will be very interested to see how the neighbouring towns compared when the 2nd London Division of Territorials "took over" in August 1914. I will also be intrigued to here about how the German population, in the City of Worms, viewed what was happening at the same time.

Month End Report (May 2014)

A busier month than I had planned - in part because of a lot of extra email-driven activity especially early in the month - and while my current plan is to post about 15 times a month I somehow managed 26!

I am tweeting @HertsGenealogy to notify people when I post something new and  currently have 49 followers - and quite a few of my tweets have been retweeted - definitely bringing in some extra traffic to the Newsletter and main web site. However, as the visitor from the Ukraine has highlighted, quite a lot of traffic is generated by criminals and I have taken a close look and estimate that perhaps a third of the traffic shown in the graph does not involve a real human viewing the blog. I suspect that some of the most "popular posts" on the Newsletter have only been there for week after week because of this unwanted computer generated activity. There is no way of flagging that an active post should not be included in the "popular list" and I have temporally withdrawn several "top posts" so that other posts have a chance to work their way to the top of the list. As the withdrawn information is also on the main site users can still find it if they want it.

Background Activities Include

Sally's family tree included Shadrach, Meshack and Abendigo and she wondered how common these names were or if her Day relatives from Harpenden and Hitchin were related to the similarly named Barber brothers from Tring. I replied: The names Shadrach, Meshack and Abendigo were unusual in the general population - but Old Testament names were used by some groups of non-conformists. It is very likely that you Day ancestors from Harpenden and Hitchin belonged to the same religious sect as the Barber family of Tring, and there may be a common link via a minister or a particular chapel.  In such families non-conformists (before 1837) would have had to marry in a parish church, and might sometimes be buried in the parish churchyard (possibly in an area separate from Church of England burials). However their children are very unlikely to have been recorded in the parish registers and many non-conformist baptism records are lost. This can make tracing their families very difficult!

Robert has brought the information on the Pubs in London Colney up to date.

Jon has provided additional information of Henry Jeffries of St Albans.

A check showed that a number of links were missing and broken. These have been corrected and information relating to the following pages should now be easier to find: