Answers to Questions


FLITTON, Flamstead, To USA in 1868

(and earlier records)

June 2001





Ann Mead (gordonandanne @t wrote:  Some time ago we read on a list, somewhere, that Joseph FLITTON, born 1825, in Flamstead and married to Hannah HANSTEAD was connected to the Church of Latter Day Saints.  Unfortunately we cannot find where we saw the information (it will teach us to be more careful with events, etc.) and we have now found that he was the brother of my husband's 3xgreat grandfather.  We know from Eric Edwards book on Flamstead that there was a Church of Latter Day Saints here in Markyate in the late 1800's.

I don't know where you saw it, but the following information from the Mormon Immigration Index CD would appear to be relevant.

". . . In 1868 a strong effort was made in Zion to gather means to assist the poor Saints who wished to emigrate, and large sums of money were sent to the British Islands to assist members of the Church to this end, especially faithful Saints of many years' standing. Besides this, the Church sent for the last time teams out to the terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad to bring them thence across the deserts and mountains . . ."

One of those who went was Joseph Flitton, a 43 year old manufacturer from Luton. He sailed to America on the James Bright, which left Liverpool on 4th June 1868 and arrived in New York on 14th July 1868. There were 722 LDS immigrants on board from all over Britain with 176 from Scandinavia, the church leader being James McGaw.

Also on board were Hannah Flitton (42), Susan (19), Albert (17), Elizabeth (11), Emily (10), Thomas (9), George (7) and Julia (6) from Luton.

It should be worth visiting familysearch to see if there is an ancestral file on the Flittons who went to Salt Lake City.

April 2003

Darren Flitton (DarrenFlitton @t writes: At the age of 15 I travelled with my parents throughout the USA. While in Utah I contacted a fellow whom directed me to Dorothy Chase. I had many questions about where I came from and she sent me a very informative family tree with some interesting stories. I do not have the folder with me this minute but if there are any questions about the trip to USA that I could answer please feel free to e-mail me.

May 2003

Connie Flitton Herron (cherron3 @t of Mesa, Arizona, writes: William Flitton was born in 1706 and married Mary Joans in 1731.  Mary was born in 1711 and died May 9, 1773 in Flamstead, Hertfordshire.  William is my direct ancestor. He and Mary had 5 children, one of which was Jonathan Flitton who is in my direct line along with his son Jonas Flitton (he is in the 1881 England Census). I do not have any record of William's parents and cannot travel to England at this time. I do go to the Latter Day Saint Geneaology Library but still cannot find William there.

It is clear that the Flitton family included members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and and a check on the records for Flamstead in the LDS Library (on familysearch) includes a record of the members of the Flamstead branch of the church between 1842 and 1853, with earlier Bedfordshire records from 1837. The 1851 census of Religion (see Religion in Hertfordshire 1847-1851) shows the priest in charge was Joseph Flitton and their chapel had been erected in 1850. As the Church was only founded in 1830, in America, the Flamstead branch of the church must have been a very early one, and prior to about 1837 the Flitton family were almost certainly associated with another non-conformist church (probably Baptist or perhaps Methodist). None of the pre-1837 registers of the local chapels appear to have survived.

A look at the IGI on familysearch shows a vast number of duplicate/guess entries submitted by members of the LDS (See The Limitations of Familysearch). There are few, if any, baptisms/births recorded in the earlier parish registers - which fits with a family with long-term non-conformist beliefs. 

So where did the 18th century Flitton family data on the IGI come from. Members of the family joining the church in the 1830's would have recorded their known ancestors and a family tree going back just over 100 years is about what you would expect from living memory, perhaps augmented by entries in a family bible and dates on grave boards. William's son, Jonathan, would probably have known his grandparents (details of which you seek) but he had died in 1830, aged 96, so that information could have already been lost by the late 1830's. The many entries on the IGI suggest that a lot of people have looked for earlier records and none have been found - and it is quite possible that no relevant records exist.

My own feeling is that LDS records (in the USA?) are more likely to hold 18th century family information than the Church of England baptism registers - although members of the family may have been included in the marriage and burial records. There may be references to members of the family in other records (estate papers, manorial records, etc.) but one needs to do a proper survey of what survives in HALS and elsewhere to know whether a detailed search of manuscript documents is appropriate. 

Many later Flittons are mentioned in A New History of Flamstead

November 2004

Melvyn Cox (melvyncox2003 @t writes I have been doing family history research now for about 1 year. Today I came across this website and was fascinated to read about the Flitton family.

I have the Flitton name within my family tree. My closest relative being Sarah Flitton (born c1848, Flamstead, Herts). She married Hosea Godfrey (born 14/06/1846, Flamstead, Herts). Hosea and Sarah were my Great, Great Grandparents.

I have so far traced back my Flitton line to John Flitton (born c1684, Dunstable, Beds) and his wife Mary (maiden name uncertain, born 1686, Dunstable Beds.) They were married c1731, Dunstable Beds. John and Mary were the parents of the William Flitton referred to in your Website.

I had not heard about the emigration to the States. This is fresh data for my collection.

It looks as if this site has succeeded in making another distant cousin linkup.

October 2007

John Osborn (nhoj.nrobso @t from Derbyshire writes:  I have a connection with the Flitton family through my paternal grandmother. Her name was Hilda Daisy Hyde and was the daughter of Henry Hyde (b 1868, son of Sophia Hyde, whose father John Hyde was born in Flamstead in 1814) and Emily Flitton. Emily was born in 1869, the daughter of William Flitton (1834 - 1895) and Mary Bonnick (1839 - ?). Mary was another Hertfordshire girl, from Redbourn. John also reported that the family he is researching lived in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Clearly you have not yet established how your William Flitton is related to Joseph Flitton, who is mentioned at the start of the page, and there is more work to do. For instance the 1851 census shows four different William Flittons were born in Flamstead between 1830 and 1835 and it is not clear which is yours - although it is clear that your William Flitton was married to Mary and living in Redbourn by the time of the 1861 census, before moving into Bedfordshire in later censuses. When you probe further you may well find the warnings on the help page "Right Name, Wrong Body?" helpful - and I am forwarding a copy of your email to the others who have shown an interest in the Flitton family of Flamstead.

July 2009

Geoff Moody (geoffrey.moody1 @t of Easbourne writes:  I too have the Flamstead/Markyate Flittons on my tree. Joseph Flitton, born February 8th 1825, is a cousin. I am connected to the Flittons via Joseph's mother Sarah Piggot. What is interesting considering Joseph joined the Mormon Church is that THE Joseph Smith is also a cousin via a another relative, in the Breed/Bread family, who settled in Massachusetts around 1631. I have several other families on my tree who emigrated to Canada & the U.S. and were members of the LDS Church.

January 2011

Andrew Vaughan (andrewvaughan @t of Bagshot, Surrey, writes: Came across this site whilst researching Flamstead where a number of ancestors lived. Jonas James Flitton (father of Joseph Flitton) is my 5th Great Grandfather). I am related through Lydia Piggot Flitton who I believe was the eldest sister of Joseph. It has given me a whole host of new information to add to my family tree. The family knew there was a link somewhere to the USA but did not know where from. Now we know through the pages relating to Joseph Flitton. Thanks.

October 2011

John Osborn (nhoj.nrobso @t writes: The Flittons come to me via my paternal grandmother. Her maiden name was Daisy Hilda Hyde (it should be noted that at various times during her life she is either Daisy Hyde/Osborn or Hilda Hyde/Osborn, I suppose it was all down to how she felt on the day. Her father was Henry Hyde, son of Sophia Hyde (no father on his birth certificate). Gran was born in Luton in 1899. Henry was born in Luton in 1868. Sophia was born in Luton in 1848. Henry Hyde married Emily Flitton in East Hyde in 1887. Emily was born in Flamstead. She was the 2nd of 5 children of William Flitton and his wife Mary Bonnick. William was born in Flamstead in 1834 and Mary in Redbourne in 1839. William was the oldest child of 6 of Thomas Flitton and his wife Elizabeth Prior. Thomas was born in Flamstead in 1812. Elizabeth was born in Waltham Abbey, Essex in about 1813. Thomas was the 4th of 10 children born to Jonas Flitton and his wife Sarah Piggott. Jonas was born in Flamstead in 1780 (youngest of 6). Sarah was born in Ashwell, Herts in 1783. As I say above Jonas and Sarah had 10 children, my 3x great grandfather Thomas being the 4th oldest. The Joseph who went to the USA with the Mormons was Jonas's 9th child and youngest son. So Joseph is the brother of my 3x great grandfather Thomas.  So this makes Joseph the uncle of my 2x great grandfather William; the grand uncle of my  great grandmother Emily: the great grand uncle of my grandmother Daisy: my dad's 2x great grand uncle and my 3x great grand uncle.
Several generations of the Flittons had large families and it is proving very difficult to unravell them all.
 As I said above Jonas Flitton and his wife Sarah (my 4x great grandparents) had 10 children. Their 3rd eldest child (another William, born about 1809) was killed in 1865 in an agricultural accident. His death certificate gives the cause of death as "Struck by lightening whilst working in a turnip field."

For another possible LDS links to the Flamstead area see WALKER, Flamstead, 19th Century

 and GURNEY, Wigginton, 18th Century

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

Latest update October 2011