Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


TURNEY/PRATT, Frithsden, mid 19th century

July 2001




Alison Childs (acnz99 @t hotmail.com) of Lyall Bay, Wellington, New Zealand says she has just started a one name study of the TURNEY and has put together many of the TURNEY families in Hertford between about 1760 and 1881. I am wanting to know if there is anyone else reaching the TURNEY family in the Hertford area. I have a data base (small but growing) of Turney sources, Mostly marriage and census info so far and I am more than happy to share the info I am collecting.  I can also look up NZ sources for people if they have connections there.

My other interest is Eliza PRATT b 1832 in Frithsden (parents Richard and Elizabeth Eliza went on to marry James TURNEY but as yet I don't know if there is any connection between James and the TURNEY families who were Eliza's neighbours in Frithsden but would be keen to hear about any researching this name also. I am also keen to discover more about Frithsden.

I assume that you have seen the 1851 census, which shows Richard Pratt (49 year old widower) & family close (in terms of listing) to Mary Turney (50 year old widow) & family. You may not yet have seen the British Vital Records Index CD which contains many Turney, including the family of Luke and Mary Turney, with Mark (born 1815) William (born 1818) Arthur (born 1827) and John (born 1832) who were all baptised at Berkhamsted. Luke Turney married Mary Picton at Berkhamsted on 20th March 1812. This would appear to be the Turney family living close to the Pratt family in 1851.

Looking deeper into the VRI CD one finds that Luke was one of a large family baptised between 1771 and 1788: Daniel, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth. Matthew, Mark. William, Ann, Luke and John. Three of the four names were passed to the next generation. Not a James in sight which is a negative pointer to a close link - see Christian Names.

August 2001

Julie Baker (Bakerjh @t hotmail.com) writes: Eliza Pratt born 1832 is my 4th cousin 4 times removed. I am not sure what other information you have about her but her mother was Elizabeth nee Newell the daughter of William alias Joseph Newell and Frances (Fanny) Patrick.  I am tracing the Newell family who originated from Frithsden/Berkhamsted. I believe she was one of 10 or maybe 12 although I had not found her marriage.

August 2009

Michael Dines (dinesmike @t hotmail.com) of Luton, Bedfordshire, writes: I have just come across your emails back in 2001, but no other information of anything that developed.  I have just started looking at my family tree and Eliza is my great great grandmother on my mother's side. My mother is 90, but can't quite remember Eliza Eliza according to my records married THOMAS Turney on 8th August 1852 at Luton Register Office.  Fathers were James Turney a labourer from Woburn, Bedfordshire and Richard Pratt Eliza and Thomas had eleven children, the oldest my great grandfather.  Could this help your enquiries?  I am hoping to do more into next winter and live in the area - in Luton.  My mother remembers going to Dunstable to see relatives in the 1920's and 1930's, but I cannot make any connections at the moment with the children of Thomas and Eliza, although all the children were born in Dunstable, there must be another link and family connection somewhere.

One of those children was Albert born in Dunstable in 1873 who emigrated to New Zealand with his first wife Elizabeth, but she died shortly afterwards (1913), after bearing him a daughter Elizabeth who died in Napier in 1914 at 12 years old.  His niece Mary Turney went out to New Zealand and married Albert. They had a son Thomas Hardy Turney who I believe worked on the Wellington Cable Car.  He had 4 children.  Albert himself died in Hastings NZ in 1956.

 Another of the children of Eliza and Thomas - James Turney b. 1864 married Elizabeth Pratt who had been born 1861 in Frithsden and they adopted Nellie Pratt, Lizzie's niece who became a bookbinder/book-keeper, who married an Albert Bryant in 1919 in Fulham.

There is very little of Frithsden, I have driven through it, but am going back sometime this summer to have a good walk round.

As usual in such "delayed" responses I am forwarding the above to Alison and Julie in the hope that their email addresses are still alive after eight years. I have reproduced the message here (less some references to living people) and further comments from anyone interested in these Frithsden families is welcome.

It is probably worth adding that online genealogy has changed enormously since 2001 - as in those days even the censuses were not available online - and this site had very few pictures (and they were prepared on a cheap hand-held scanner) and no page for Frithsden!

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

Email address updated July 2008