William SMITH, St Peters, St Albans, 19th century

May 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.

"Alison" (r_a @t winshop.com.au) of Queensland, Australia, asked the ENG-HERTFORDSHIRE-L rootsweb list: "I am hoping someone will be able to assist me with information on my g-g-grandparents William Smith & Mary Ann Thompson. Their son William was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, around 1834, and he married Sarah Launders on 15-6-1857. They were married in the Church of England in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia. Sarah Launder was born in Seven Oaks, Kent, and her parents were George Launder & Sarah Roberts. Their children were William Herbert b1858, Lucy Clara b1860, Emma Victoria b1862, Harold Albans Victor b 1864, (my g-grandfather) & Annie Mary Lucia b 1867. Both William Jnr and his father were butchers. I am trying to find the shipping records I have an idea I have seen them on the net but have forgotten where."

I am researching the Bernards Heath area of St Albans, which means I am interested in brickmaking (and hence have information on builders, etc.) and also the Smith families in so far as I am trying to track down the parents of Robert Smith of Heath Farm, Bernards Heath. This means I have ready access to a number of relevant sources to answer your question.

While William Smith is a confusingly common name I have found a family which almost certainly contains your great-great-grandparents and their son William. At the time of the 1851 census the following family was living in St Peters Street, St Peters, St Albans:

William SMITH

Head

44

Carpenter employing 3

St Andrews, Middx

Mary A SMITH

Wife

43

 

St Albans

William SMITH

Son

17

Butcher

St Albans

Rosannah SMITH

Dau

16

 

St Albans

James T SMITH

Son

12

Scholar

St Albans

Mary L SMITH

Dau

10

Scholar

St Albans

Lucy SMITH

Dau

8

Scholar

St Albans

Emma SMITH

Dau

6

Scholar

St Albans

Elizabeth R SMITH

Dau

4

Scholar

St Albans

Maria SMITH

Dau

2

Scholar

St Albans

Clearly the names of the parents fit - as does the name, age and occupation of the eldest son. Only William Smith senior's occupation is wrong. A check of the baptisms at St Peters Church (picture St Peters) as indexed on familysearch up to 1846 gives the following children born to William and Mary Smith:

Name

Christened

Mother's Name

Mary Susannah SMITH

26 Sep 1832

Mary Ann

William SMITH

2 Feb 1834

Mary

Rose Anna SMITH

4 Oct 1835

Mary Ann

Samuel Francis Tiggell SMITH

26 Mar 1837

Mary Ann

James Tiggell SMITH

1 May 1839

Mary Ann

Mary Lucia SMITH

14 Feb 1841

Mary Anne

Hannah Rebecca SMITH

12 Jun 1842

Mary Anne

Lucy SMITH

4 Dec 1842

Mary

Emma SMITH

25 Aug 1844

Mary Ann

William James Arther SMITH

26 Jan 1845

Mary Ann

 If we compare them with the names of William Smith junior's children we find the common elements William (not surprising), Lucy, Emma, Annie/Anna & Mary Lucia - the latter combination being very unusual - and surely is much more than a coincidence.

It would seem that William Smith senior stayed in St Albans when his son went to Australia as there is a continuous record of him in various trade directories.

1834 Pigot's Directory; [nothing obvious]
1839 Pigot's Directory: SMITH, William, carpenter, St Peters Street
1847 & 1850: William SMITH, carpenter, St Peters Street, was one of a very large number of people who accepted bribes for voting in parliamentary elections. He also gave evidence in the official inquiry. [Parliamentary Report]
1850 Post Office Directory: SMITH, William, carpenter, St Peters Street
1855 Post Office Directory: SMITH, William, builder, St Peters Street
1862 Post Office Directory: SMITH, William, builder & undertaker, St Peters Street
1866 Post Office Directory: SMITH, William, builder & undertaker, St Peters Street
1870 Post Office Directory: SMITH, William, builder, St Peters Street
1874 Post Office Directory: [not checked]
1878 Post Office Directory: SMITH, James Tiggle, carpenter, London Road [No relevant William Smith]
1882 Kelly's Directory: SMITH, James Tiggle, carpenter, London Road
1886 Kelly's Directory: [no obviously relevant entry]

As James Tiggle/Tiggell Smith was clearly alive in 1881 a quick look at the 1881 census CD revealed the following family in Alexandra Road, St Peters:

James Tiggle SMITH

Head

42

Carpenter (Master 1 Boy)

St Albans

Harriet SMITH

Wife

38

 

St Albans

Harriet SMITH

Daur

6

Scholar

St Albans

Wm. J. SMITH

Son

5

Scholar

St Albans

Mary E. SMITH

Daur

3

 

St Albans

Saml SMITH

Son

2

 

St Albans

I found one probably relevant reference to James Tiggle Smith on my file of St Albans Press extracts. On 8 September 1866 the Herts Advertiser reported a cricket match on Bernards Heath between two teams of carpenters, led by Mr C. Paul and Mr J. Smith - but I didn't copy down full details.

I am not sure how many churches dedicated to St Andrew there are in Middlesex, but William Smith senior may well be the William SMITH who was baptised 29 Jan 1806 at Saint Andrew, Holborn, London, the son of James & Ann Smith. [familysearch]