JARMAN, Great Gaddesden, Redbourn & Hemel Hempstead, 19th/early 20th century

May 2001



Gt Gaddesden

Redbourn & Hemel Hempstead

Mike Jarman  (mikej @t xtra.co.nz) of Waiheke Island, New Zealand was born in Kings Langley (his grandfather was Arthur Jarman, Mayor of Hemel Hempstead in mid 1930s) Arthur's grandfather was Benjamin. He is trying to track down Benjamin's family and also his wife ..think it was Susannah Collings, where she came from and dates? He has information (from IGI) that connects Benjamin's birth to Box Lane Independent, Hemel Hempstead.

Your great great grandfather Benjamin JARMIN (49, straw factor, born Great Gaddesden) was living at Snatchup, Redbourn, at the time of the 1851 census. With him were his wife Ann (43, straw factor's wife, born Redbourn), and children Charles (20, straw cutter), Ann (16, plaiter at home), Joseph (12, straw cutter), Edward (10, straw cutter), Catherine (9, plaiter at home), George (7, plaiter at home), Thomas (5), Elizabeth (4), Sarah (2) and David (1) - all born at Redbourn.

The 1881 census lists a number of the family in the Redbourn area - but your great grandfather George (37, bricklayers labourer) had been very mobile as judged by the birthplace of his children. He was living in the Old Plait Market Yard, off the High Street, Hemel Hempstead, which was the poorest area of the town. His wife Julia (37) was born in London. The children were Edward (15, errand boy, Luton, Beds), Lillian (13, domestic servant, Harpenden), Florence (12, scholar, Harpenden), Bertha (9, scholar, Redbourn), George (7, scholar, St Albans), Arthur (4, St Albans) and Daisy (2, Hemel Hempstead). Possibly his work on building sites caused him to move around.

Your grandfather was probably the first borough councillor in Hemel Hempstead to come from a working class background, and his early life (working in a stables if my memory is correct) is recorded in his autobiography. However by 1908 (Kelly's directory) he was working as deputy registrar of marriages, and living in Cotterells. He is mentioned several times in my book The London Gunners come to Town. He would have known my grandfather, Walter Richard Locke, who was Borough Surveyor, but whether they got on is another matter. In 1922 the Council approved my grandfather using a car, instead of a pony and trap, for driving round the town on work related activities, and allocated him an allowance of 120 a year. Two years later Councillor Jarman proposed that the allowance be reduced to 100 - and the following year my grandfather retired due to ill health - possibly aggravated by pressure from a small number of councillors. Arthur Jarman later moved to Moor End Villa, Marlowes.

Have you know about the Sport/Entertainments complex, and major supermarket erected on Jarman Fields - which is named after Arthur?

See also Box Lane Chapel

Mike Jarman  (mikej @t xtra.co.nz) replied: Thanks so much for the information on Benjamin and George Jarman and also one or two things I didn't know about my Grandfather, Arthur. I'm sorry if Arthur gave your Grandfather a hard time! I was farmed out with my Grandparents towards the end of WW11 and I found him a rather grand figure although a little stern for a four year old. My Grandmother, Clara Grace (nee Monk) was however a lovely warm lady. I know even less about the Monks although I assume they came from Hemel Hempstead. Her father was Charles (died 1912) and her grandfather was Thomas but that's about all I know...Can you help me on that side.

By the way my maternal Grandfather was Edgar Needham (owner of Berkhamstead Gazette for many years) I have a copy of your book " The London Gunners Come to Town" and I'm delighted to see a picture of my mother Phyllis Needham at Oakley Lodge School (p.37).

I have started a new page MONK, Hemel Hempstead, late 19th century

Web site: Gazette - Includes an extensive article, with thumbnail photos.

September 2005

Kelly Thurgood (sparkelly69 @t hotmail.com) writes: I have just discovered your website (and it is a wonderful website may I say!?) and found the query by Mike Jarman in 2001. It sent a shiver down my spine as I am descended from Benjamin Jarman too and never knew about Arthur Jarman going on to become the Mayor of Hemel Hempstead! My great great great Grandfather was Benjamin's son Thomas Jarman, whose daughter Jessie Maria is my Great great Grandmother. I know that Susannah Collins (wife of Benjamin) died in 1839 and he married Ann Smith months later. I have a copy of their marriage certificate.

I am forwarding your query to Mike Jarman and would be interested to know if there is anything else to be added to this page.