Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Latest Old Hertfordshire News updates from the BNA

Recent additions have been made to improve the coverage of Hertfordshire news in the last 30 days.

  • Coverage of the Hertford Mercury & Reformer (starting in 1834) has been extended by including the Hertfordshire Mercury for 1939
  • The 1859 editions of the Hertfordshire Express & General Advertiser mean that coverage is now from 1859 to 1871
  • Just over the border the Bedfordshire Mercury (formerly just 1843) now covers from 1837 to 1871.
  • Bell's Weekly Messenger was a Sunday paper, with National coverage, and is now online (with some gaps) from 1801 to 1871.  From 1832 it gave extensive coverage to agricultural affairs and was for many years the leading agricultural newspaper in the U.K.
I decided to do a quick check on the two out-of-county publications and a pretty random search immediately found several interesting items in : Bedfordshire Mercury

Saturday, August 22, 2015

How should this be correctly transcribed?

How do you think the following place/street name entry should be recorded?
It comes from the 1881 census from the Rickmansworth area.
I would be interested to see if people agree - so make a note of what you think it is and record it as a comment after reading on - so I can compare the different ways people read it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Samuel Debenham: An Early (1862-3) Photographer at Hitchin

I recently purchased a small pile of carte de visite by various Victorian photographers from Hitchin. In no case was the sitter identified but I set about trying to date them. Much to my surprise, and with the help of the British Newspaper Archive, I was able to date this card to between September and November 1863, although I still have no idea who the gentleman is.

So how did I do it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Email Problem - Lost messages

Yesterday I have a system problem while the software was compacting the contents of my "sent" box., and the result was that my computer lost all the Genealogy emails that I have sent in recent months, apart from some which I had deliberately archived. If you are replying to one of my messages please ensure that your reply included a copy of the message you are replying to - so I know what I said.

Was there an early Harley Street connection with Gadebridge House, Hemel Hempstead ???

Can you help?
Gadebridge House was occupied by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, surgeon at Guy's Hospital, London, in the early 19th century, and he may well have had it (re)built in the form shown in this photograph. The book The History of Hemel Hempstead states that William Wigg, physician, lived there in the early 18th century.

Mark has just contacted me about the death of an ancestor, Robert Neale, who is reported to have died at Gadebridge House, Hemel Hempstead, on 18th September  1790, aged 39. A quick look online (Discovery) shows that in 1790 insurance on the house was paid by Thomas Latter, who also had an address of 22 Harley Street, London. 

Gadebridge House, Hemel Hempstead, circa 1900
There are many possible reasons why Robert might have been visiting Gadebridge House - but one is of wider interest. Later Harley Street had become famous as being the area in London where the top doctors practiced - supposedly because it was not too far from a number of railway stations. There were 20 there by 1860 and almost 200 by 1914. However there must have been some doctors there before 1860 and the area around Cavendish Square was the abode of the rich and wealthy by the end of the 18th century - and the occupants would have wanted the best doctors to live nearby. This raises an interesting possibility. Could Thomas Latter have been some kind of doctor and could Robert have been a patient who at gone to Gadebridge House to avoid the noise and stench of London?

I am currently rushed off my feet and don't have time to follow up this story - especially as it could mean looking at London Records. So if anyone out there can throw some light on the issue both Mark and I would love to here from you.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Halton update - with Army Camp Photographs.

While Halton is in Buckinghamshire there was a major army camp there during the First World War and there were strong connections with Tring. I recently acquired this card and in adding it to the web site I discovered other cards of the camp and the war which had not yet been posted online. I have therefore used the opportunity to restructure the Halton page - so there are now three linked pages - one deals with Halton House and the Church, the second with the canal, and the third had pictures of the army camp.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

An Advert for Christmas photographs at St Albans.

Lea Latimer Christmas was a photographer  who moved from Stoke Newington to Watford sometime before the 1911 census, and was still in Watford when war broke out in 1914 - and is of particular interest because of his photographs of soldiers. Towards the end of 1914 or early 1915 he moved to St Albans (with many more wartime photographs). I recently obtained a 1917 copy of the Herts Advertiser and found this advert - showing him at the same address as the earlier post card artist Karaktus.
See some of his war time photographs of soldiers HERE