Hertfordshire Genealogy

Guide to Old Hertfordshire


Genealogy in Hertfordshire

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May 2011 Archive


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This Blog is to provide up-to-the minute information on updates together with some background on how I run this web site, plus more general genealogy news.

If you have any Hertfordshire history news that should be reported here, please Tell me about it

For more recent items see the Current Blog

28th May, 2011

Message from the Resident Genealogist

I take a short holiday ...

Over the last few days I have been very busy, and have been feeling over-tired. I had planned to complete an update of the site for this weekend but have decided that it would be best to spend the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend relaxing effectively skipping one weekend update.

The next post, which will include the April statistics will be targeted for the 1st June with the following one for the weekend of 11th June.

I apologise to any of you who have emailed in the last week who have not had replies and hope to deal with all messages received by today by the end of May.

19th May, 2011

Your Questions Answered

Some quick queries about Places

Heather is visiting England and asked about the location of Snook's Grave at Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead. I referred her to some pictures on Geograph - which show the grave and its location on a map. I also sent her the Google satellite view, where the grave can just be identified as a white dot in a green field.

    Kathy has an old wedding photograph taken in the Hoddesdon area but cannot identify the church. I have suggested that she gets a copy of the Marriage certificate and this will say where the ceremony took place.

    As a result of comments from Michael I have clarified the references to Barnet after 1965, which is the year it moved out of Hertfordshire.

Snook's Grave, Box Moor

Snook's Grave

The King's Head and Bell & Crown, Hertford

Michelle wrote looking for pictures of these two Hertford pubs. I was able to find old pictures of the Kings Head in St Andrews Street - but not of the Bell & Crown in Cowbridge. Can you help with a picture of this pub as it was? I have also added information on the publicans.



Hertfordshire Books

New Hertfordshire Books

Diane has drawn my attention to a change of the URL for the page giving details of books available for purchase at HALS. They sell over 100 different titles - many of which I have not yet seen. If you have a copy of one of the books on their list why not write a review for this web site - to help other visitors to this web site. (If you are the author or publisher why not send me a review copy instead ...)

Why not review a book?


 The London Orphan Asylum, Watford


I have recently acquired three more postcards of this major institution and also recorded thumb sized images of six more, which I was outbid. I now know of nine different views of the "London Orphan School & Royal British Orphan School" produced by The Commercial & General Photographic & Reproduction Co, presumably shortly after the merger with the Royal British Orphan School in 1921. Do you know of any other photographs in this set?


13th May, 2011

Message from the Resident Genealogist

This is a No-advertising Web Site

I recently received a message from a commercial advertising firm offering a fee if I would accept adverts. My reply to the enquirer was as follows:

One of the reasons for the success of this web site is that it is a non-commercial educational site which is not corrupted by the needs to pander to the needs of commercial advertising. (Just see what has happened to Rootsweb - which provided unbiased advice before it was "taken over" by Ancestry. Now the Rootsweb advice pages are censored to ensure that no-one recommends services which might be considered competitors to Ancestry.)

I am sure you will be able to find other sites which are prepared to accept your 40 pieces of silver. After all, with the world's resources running out and the climate warming you will find many people who are more interested in making a fast buck today, and have no interest in leaving a better world for future generations. My site is a site for genealogists, and genealogists are not only interested in the past, they would also like there to be future generations who can look back at their 21st century ancestors with pride.

Your Questions Answered

Colney Butts, Watford

Earlier question related to Farraline House, Watford, 19th/20th century and I was able to tell Catherine of the possible origins of the name for the area, Colney Butts


Hipathite, Rickmansworth area, 19th century

Annie is just starting out on researching her ancestors and at first sight the name Hipathite is distinctive enough - except that it can easily be misspelt. The name (with this spelling) seems to have appeared in the West Hyde area of Rickmansworth early in the 19th century. To help her get going I have not only indicated the web sites where she can find information - but also highlighted the various spellings actually used. also


Old News

Temperance at the Trinity Chapel, St Albans

George Farr Arnold celebrated 32 years as a total abstainer, and 170 working men were entertained at tea. The photocopy of the article from the Herts Advertiser was kindly supplied by Jon.

St Albans

World War 1

L. L. Christmas, Photographer. Watford & St Albans

One of the frustrating things about many First World War photographs is the fact that they are not properly identified. I recently acquired a post card, "Fall In" by L. L. Christmas of soldiers lined up outside some wooden huts - presumably on a military camp in Hertfordshire.  The photographer is known to have taken other military pictures form either a Watford or St Albans address.  Can you help identify this photograph.

Rogues Gallery

8th May, 2011

Your Questions Answered






GREEN, St Albans, early 19th century

Maureen reports that it has proved impossible to get birth details of Levi Green, who at the age of 12 was transported to Australia. I review the evidence I suggest he had a brother Enoch, and that they were probably orphans, and that Levi got caught up with criminals (compare with the story of Oliver Twist) and was caught stealing leeches from the local fishmonger. Anthony has added that Levi Green was one of the Parkhurst boys who where apprenticed to Western Australia.

St Albans

90 Culver Road, St Albans, circa 1900

One of the advantages of this web site is that it allows people with similar interests to contact each other and exchange information. I have therefore emailed Mike to say that Jenny may have some useful contact information.

W. B. MOSS, Hitchin, from 1861

Caroline is a descendant of W. B. Moss, and has written to say that the family genealogy has been documented and there is information about the Moss shops in both Hertfordshire and Yorkshire. She mentions a former web site (now no longer directly available) but hopefully it may be possible to trace it via Way Back. There has also been discussions about the firm on a Leeds web site.


1st May 2011

Message from the Resident Genealogist

Enjoying the Holiday Break


As I am retired Bank Holiday don't normally affect me very much - but four Bank Holidays and two weekends in 11 days means everyone is in a relaxed mood. Apart from visits to family and friends I have been making the most of the fine weather with healthy countryside  (see pictures). I need the exercise to make up for the time I have spent sitting in a chair watching the World Snooker. This all means less time at the keyboard so I hope you will understand a late and shorter than usual posting.

 Bluebell Time in Ashridge

Your Questions Answered








Your Questions Answered

Building Houses in St Albans circa 1880

Following last week's posting about BAIL, Oswald Road, St Albans, from 1878 Greg sent copies of some of the documents he had, which I have reviewed, while Jon emailed asking about George Farr Arnold and the possible restrictions in the deeds. While Greg's documents show there were no such restrictions I have added some Old News reports mentioning George Farr Arnold.

The Oswald Street Documents

The four documents scanned by Greg (Conveyance 1878, Mortgage 1880, Mortgage 1892 & Will 1917) provide a useful example of the kind of deeds which can survive for houses erected in the Victorian building boom.

Biography of George Farr Arnold

Because of the interest in George I have added the following "Old News" items to the site - and will hopefully add more items and draft a biography at a later date.

George Farr Arnold gives workmen a holiday 1859  (Includes list of employee surnames in cricket team.)

Entertainment by the Band of Hope 1871  - George President

St Albans Cricket Club AGM 1882 - George made Life Member of Club

St Albans Union Elections 1886 - George re-elected unopposed

The Death of George Farr Arnold 1897

St Albans


Old News

REYNOLDS/TEMPLEMAN, Bramfield, mid-18th c.

Edna has provided a very useful update on the Templeman family - but the exact identity of William Reynolds is still uncertain.



Hill End Hospital - World War 2.

Barbara's mother was a Bartholomew's s Hospital patient at Hill End during the war, and asked what happened to the patients when Barts was relocated from London. In fact over 1000 were moved to other hospitals.

Hill End Hospital

The Webmasters Report


Statistics for April

Site Totals: (comparison with April 2010): Visits 18546 (18233) of which 5007 (3560) were repeat visits within the month; 3176 (2798) different pages were viewed, the total number of page views being 48764 (50986). As last year, the overall figures for April are less than for March.

The Editorial Blog: This was viewed  470 (172)  times.

The Guide to Old Hertfordshire: Visitors to "Map" page 470 (185)..

Wikipedia: 436 (57) visits from 107 (26) different Wikipedia pages. The top page was for Ashridge (20 views) which is why I have added some extra pictures.

This site supports the charity Herts Mind Network

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