Answers to Questions


CHILDS, Rowley Green, near Barnet, mid 19th century

July 2001




Kerri (gkmus @t of Tasmania Australia says: I am doing research into my history which up until now has all been in Australia. My Great great grandfather, John Robert Childs, according to his daughters birth certificate, was born at Rowley Green, Hertfordshire, in 1851 or 52. I don't know when or why he came to Australia but he married Catherine McGirl here in 1879. I am very interested in knowing my families history in Hertfordshire and if you have any information at all it would be very much appreciated. I thank you for your time and effort in maintaining this site. Cheers!!!.

At the time John Robert Childs was born Rowley Green was a hamlet to the west of Chipping Barnet (as it was known), apparently in the parish of Shenley, in the south of Hertfordshire. Since then boundary changes moved it first into the county of Middlesex, and later into a London Borough, I believe Barnet. As a result I am not 100% certain where the relevant original records are.

I did a quick check of the Shenley entry in the 1850 Post Office directory for Hertfordshire, which mentions Rowley Green but no-one called Childs. However if John's father was an agricultural labourer working, for example, for Mr William Vise of Rowley Farm, he would not have been listed.

My suggestion is that you apply to HALS for a copy of John Robert Childs birth certificate, suggesting that he was probably born in 1851/2 at Rowley Green, Shenley. This will give you information about his parents and where they lived. While John was probably born after the 1851 census his parents may well have been at the same address and (depending on where you live in Tasmania) you should be able to arrange to the the 1851 census for Shenley at your nearest LDS Family History Centre (addresses on the familysearch web site). If successful this should provide you with John's parents date and place of birth, and the names of any older siblings living at home.

CHILDS, North Mimms, 1881

September 2001

Kerri Mus (gkmus @t writes: I have since learned that John Robert Child's father was William Childs and his mother was Martha Brett. John moved to Australia but according to the 1881 census William 55, a roadsman, Martha 47, and Anne 10, lived in Pancake Hall, North Mimms, Hertfordshire. Would you possibly have any info at all on this family. Thank you for you time and I often enjoy browsing your great site. Well done.

First a cautionary point - as it is easy for people to misunderstand you unless you are careful. In the 1881 census index William is a 55 year old widower, and Martha is his unmarried sister, but as you worded it it would be easy for someone to assume Martha was his wife - although you should always check the microfilm of the original. (I was at a talk today where the speaker estimated that on average each household contained at least one error in the index.)

Have you looked at the North Mimms page? The Brookmans Park site contains a number of references which may well refer to your Childs family.

Did you purchase John Robert Child's birth certificate? If so you should have an address for the house his parents were living in which should be checked on the 1851 census microfilm. As William was 55 in 1881 it would seem very likely that he married between about 1845 and 1850 - and you could buy his marriage certificate from HALS (assuming he married in Hertfordshire) which will give the couple's father's names - which might allow them to be spotted in the 1851 census. The 1861 and 1871 censuses  would help to identify John's brothers and sisters.

There are web pages for Barnet, North Mimms & Shenley

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

Page updated September 2005