HADSON/HUTSON, St Albans, early 19th century

May 2001



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.

Kaye Vernon (kjvernon @t tpg.com.au) of Beacon Hill, NSW, Australia has just found a convict ancestor John Thomas Hadson, sometimes written as Hudson. He was tried at Surrey Assizes and his usual abode was St Albans. Are there any Hadsons in any of your census returns. He could read and write very well so he must have been well educated

I have checked a number of sources under St Albans in the Universal British Directory (1797), Pigot's Directory for Hertfordshire 1823/4, the 1832 Poll Book for Hertfordshire and the 1855 Post Office Directory for Hertfordshire - all drew a blank. There were also no Hadson or Hudson in St Albans at the time of the 1851 census. There was a possibly relevant Frederick Hudson (51) lodging in the High Street, Redbourn, a few miles away. He was a brewer born in Bermondsey, Surrey. You don't give your John Thomas's age or occupation, the nature of his crime or why he was tried in Surrey. It's a very long shot but perhaps they were brothers, from Surrey, living in St Albans in 1825.

More likely there was the Hutson family living in Spencer Street, St Albans, at the time of the 1851 census. David Hutson was 57, assistant clerk in the St Albans County Court, and born in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire. His 49 year old wife Ruth was born in St Albans as was his 20 year old son William Philip. In addition, living at Tyttenhanger Green, near St Albans, was Thomas Hutson - an 81 year old brewer, born at Hockley, Essex, his wife Margaret (61 born Weston, Herts), daughter Margaret (29, dressmaker, born Harpenden) and grandson William H Lambert (4, Scholar, born Markyate.)

David Hutson was responsible for distributing bribes in the 1847 and 1850 elections in St Albans and gave evidence - see the Bribery Report.

April 2004

Yvonne (szwedyc @t virtual.net.au) writes I found your reply whilst doing a google of the name Hutson. Thomas' birth place was stated as Hockley, Essex - which is where I am researching, I did a little more checking and found the IGI for Thomas at the LDS family search site. He is another of the family I am researching - son of George Hutson and Mary Kennett. His sister married William Wyatt Law (birthplace unknown) and I am directly descended from this family. I have much information on the family and descendants of William W Law and Sarah Hutson (I have the father George's will). Yvonne is happy to share information on Hockley family and also asked about Thomas's daughter Margaret. Was her surname Hutson or Lambeth? I am trying to see if the grandchild was in fact her boy, or another child of Thomas & Margaret had left him with them for the day.

The transcript clearly shows Margaret to be unmarried and with the name Hutson. A check on the familysearch index of the Harpenden registers shows Margaret's baptism, and that of her brother Thomas - but no sister who could have become Mrs Lambeth.

 However it is important to realise that errors and misunderstandings can occur in a number of ways, from the time the household form was completed in 1851, via the copying of the data to the enumerator's books (which is what survives), to the making of the actual transcript, and the interpretation of the transcript by the family historian. For example I have not seen the original but it is almost certain that Margaret's surname would have been recorded as "ditto" - and overzealous dittos can happen.

In the case of the young boy, William Lambeth, he may have just been there for the day (as you suggest) but he could have been orphaned, or he may have been there to "help his mother out". In some cases, where a mother had difficulty in coping with a large family (perhaps with father, mother and half a dozen children in a one bedroom cottage) one or more children may have been informally fostered by related couple, or semi-permanently placed with grandparents.

Another possibility is that either Thomas or his wife Margaret may have been married before, and he is actually the step-grandson to one of the couple.

If you want to sort it out the best way is to get the birth certificate of William Lambeth to see who his parents were.