MARTIN & WILMOT,
St Albans, 19/20th century

February 2001

Answers

Places

St Albans

PLEASE NOTE: When this question was asked the amount of information available online was very restricted and the only census available (on a CD) was the 1881 census. The answer given below should be carefully checked using the additional information now readily available online.

Edited posting to a query on the old forum - February 2001

Phil Martin (martin_phil@sympatico.ca) of Marmora, Ontario, Canada is looking for his father's kin from St Albans. His father's name is Leonard John MARTIN and he was born Jan 14, 1914. He lived at 6 Prospect Road, St Albans, until he married Ivy SHEPPARD, on Sept 2, 1939. His mother was Lizzie WILMOT (father Alfred WILMOT and mother Emma MARDLIN?)and father George David MARTIN. He had a sister Hilda and I think a brother Sid and a sister Maisy. I believe that I have found Lizzie WILMOT birth date (1883) but not George's. it should be around 1885.

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Unless you are lucky - and your messages on the internet are seen by a relative of yours who has already researched this branch of the family - information less than 100 years old is less likely to attract free responses than older information. Your best bet is to follow the advice given in all guides to researching your family history (have you looked at GENUKI yet?) and purchase the relevant birth and marriage certificates.

Once you get back to 1881 it is usually possible to locate the family easily on the 1881 census CD - which is the only census indexed nationwide. As the family was probably in St Albans you could also try the 1891 census on mircofilm - which can be obtained at a pretty nominal fee at your nearest LDS Family History Centre. (The 1901 census will be available online for a fee in 2002).

As you say your Lizzie WILMOT was born in 1883 it is clear that Alfred WILMOT and Emma MARDLIN (yes that is a local surname) would have been alive in 1881 and possibly already married. I therefore had a look at the 1881 census CD to see if I could find them. The following family was living at Ash Green, St Peter, St Albans in 1881.

Alfred WILLMOTT

29

M

Sandridge

Head

Ag Lab

Emma WILLMOTT

30

F

Hatfield

Wife

Brazilian Hat Maker (Straw)

Susan WILLMOTT

11

F

St Peter

Daug

Scholar

George WILLMOTT

8

M

St Peter

Son

Scholar

Lizzie WILLMOTT

6

F

St Peter

Daug

Scholar

William WILLMOTT

4

M

St Peter

Son

 

Ellen WILLMOTT

2

F

St Peter

Daug

 

Emma WILLMOTT

4 m

F

St Peter

Daug

 

This would seem to fit (the difference between WILMOT and WILLMOTT is not significant) except that there was already a 6 year old Lizzie WILLMOTT. Could you have your Lizzie's age wrong? or perhaps the Lizzie born circa 1874 have died and another child given the same name? This is where birth certificates (and the parent's marriage certificate will help to make sure you have the right family.

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The MARTIN family was still in Prospect Road, St Albans, in 1949. Kelly's St Albans Directory shows the following households in Prospect Road:

4a MARTIN, Harold.
6 MARTIN, Mrs
8 MARTIN, William Albert.
37 MARTIN, Charles (on other side of the road)

There were 47 other MARTIN households in St Albans, including my great Aunt, Mrs Rose Mary MARTIN nee REYNOLDS, who was not related to your MARTIN family. This would appear to connect your relatives to living memory, and you may well find it useful to contact newspapers such as the St Albans Observer, which runs a weekly Nostalgia column which often includes requests from people looking for their relatives.

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May 2005

Phil writes updating this message: I want to thank you for keeping my Martin/Willmott message alive for so long. The Willmott family you added was the correct one, as Lizzie was born in 1875. She married George David Martin Oct 12 1896 in the registry office St Albans. She died about 1967 at her #6 Prospect road home. George David Martin was born 1868 in Harpenden Herts. He died in St Albans 25 Aug 1910 at the workhouse infirmary. His father John Hoar Martin, born 22 Oct 1834, St Pancras London, married Sarah Figg 10 May 1858 Old church St. Pancras London. John was a chiropodist (foot doctor) and he died at age 47, sept 21 1880 in Oswald road St Albans. Present at his death was Ellen Maria Johnson (who ever she was). 

I was interested to note your final comment - as normally one would expect the widow, or an adult child, to report the death - and the widow and her family were living in Alexandra Road, St Albans, a few months later at the time of the 1881 census. I also noted that Ellen Johnson was living with her husband and children in Oswald Road at the time of the census.

As I was going to be in St Albans with half an hour to spare I called into the St Albans Central Library to see if anything was reported in the newspaper, The Herts Advertiser. The paper had the following in the "Deaths" column of 25th September, 1880.

September 21, at Oswald Road, St Albans, Mr John Hoar Martin, aged 47

There was no account of the funeral in the following week - which does not help. It is likely that most of the entries for St Albans in the "Deaths" column were taken from the register, although some entries (particularly those from outside St Albans) were clearly submitted.

It may be that in 1880 the Martin family lived in Oswald Road - and that Sarah was also ill when her husband died (particularly if he had an infectious disease) and a neighbour registered the death. Another possibility is that John was chronically ill and was being cared for (for a fee) by the Oswald family. The cause of death would give a clue, but wouldn't, of itself, prove anything.

A check of the trade directories (Harpenden in 1866 and St Albans in 1878 and 1882) was also negative. The fact that John is not listed says something about the status of "medical workers" at the time. Normally details of medical doctors are given under the hospital they worked at, and/or at the institution, such as the Workhouse, where they did duty. They would also be listed at their home address under the "Gentry" heading. and as Surgeons or Physicians in the "Trade" section. Dentists were similar. Other medical workers are almost totally ignored by the directories. For instance in 1882 there is only one optician and no chiropractors listed in the whole of Hertfordshire

Page updated May 2005