HONEYWOOD, Redbourn, late 19th century

April 2001




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.

Peter Honeywood (gypsy @t tig.com.au) of Sydney, Australia is looking for be a rather elusive great grand father. William Honeywood was born Feb 1874 and married Eliza Neville born June 1873. According to information on my grandfather's passport and other documents, William was listed as being a Bootmaker in both Redbourn and St Albans before moving to Long Buckby.
I also have information that list other children to William and Eliza as Bill, Bert, Alfred, Baden (my grandfather), Edward Arthur, Nellie, May, Eddie, Charlie and Alice.

A quick check of the resources available to me have proved negative. There is no Honeywood listed in the 1851 census for the St Albans area which includes Redbourn, and the only Honeywood anywhere in Hertfordshire in the 1881 census was in the following entry:

High Street, Redbourn, Hertfordshire




Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire


Licensed Victualler




Horsham, Sussex


Licensed Victualler Wife




Horsham, Sussex



Susan DEAN



Gaddesden Row, Herts


If there is any connection, William Honeywood might be the illegitimate son of either Laura - or possibly Lizzie (who might be Laura's sister), and was living somewhere else (perhaps in a children's home).

On a national basis there is no suitable William Honeywood listed anywhere in England in the 1881 census - which means that he was missed, there are errors in the returns or the indexing, or if illegitimate, he was listed under some other surname.

I have checked the St Albans section of the 1898 trade directory for Hertfordshire (I don't have immediate access to the Redbourn section) and there was no Honeywood listed, as a bootmaker or otherwise.

Your best bet at this stage is to try to purchase William Honeywood's marriage certificate - which will give his father's name and occupation (if known) as you can probably estimate the date of marriage from the birth dates of his children - assuming that you don't already know it. Even better, if your information is accurate, would be to try and purchase his birth certificate which will give information about both his father and mother, as well as his place of birth. Even if you are a year or two out on his age the name is sufficiently uncommon that, if he was registered as William Honeywood, there should be no difficulty.