STERRY, Hertford, 1904
Robert Sterry (rsterry @t zip.com.au) of Kurrajong, NSW, Australia, writes: I have acquired the birth certificate of a Hilda Sterry born Sub-District: Hertford 10th September 1904 GRO Birth Reference: Hertford 3a 787 3 1904
I would like to try and find her baptism. I have checked the Hertfordshire GENUKI site and determined that the following civil parishes were part of Hertford RD in 1904: Bengeo (Rural), Brickendon (Rural), Datchworth, Hertford, Hertingfordbury, Little Amwell, Sacombe, St. Andrew (Rural), St John (Rural), Walkern, Watton at Stone. The GENUKI site then goes on to give excellent detail on where I can find the relevant registers
However, that's still a lot to check - especially from Australia. It would be most helpful if I could reduce the possible parishes to search. I'm not able to determine which parishes were within the the subdistrict of Hertford.
The subdistrict of Hertford corresponded to the Hertford Union (see workhouse) and would definitely have been bigger than the rural district. The Union in the 1882 Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire consisted of the parishes of All Saints, Aston, Bayford, Bengeo, Bennington, Bramfield, Brickendon, Datchworth, Hertingfordbury, Little Amwell, Little Berkhampstead, Sacomb, St Andrew, St John, Stapleford, Tewin, Walkern and Watton and I have not reason to suppose it changed by 1904.
In addition there were many non-conformist churches and chapels in the area - and Hilda Sterry could have been baptised in any of these - if indeed she was baptised at all - and it may even be she was not baptised in the area! When you do track it down it may contain no more information than you already have on the birth certificate - except that it will give you details of her parents' religious inclination.
However the birth certificate should contain information which would give you an idea of which parish - as it should give an address. If it only gives a street address (and not a parish name) it will be in one of the the three Hertford parishes. If Hilda's father's occupation was relatively sedentary there is a good chance that she was born and baptised in the same area. (There were no Hertfordshire Sterry recorded on the 1881 census CD so Hilda's Sterry forebears most likely come from some other part of the country.)
Robert Sterry (rsterry @t zip.com.au) replied: Thanks very much Chris for your response to my recent query. As you suggested I checked the birth certificate and the address is given as 4 Cowbridge Hertford U.D. Both the District and the Sub District is given as Hertford. I'm not sure what the U.D. stands for. Urban District perhaps? [Yes - Urban District] Does this mean Hilda was baptised in All Saints, St Andrew or St John? I trying to establish at least the established churches in the Hertford District. I referred to Gibson's Poor Law Union Records. He notes the time periods when these parishes came under the RD of Hertford as follows: All Saints (1835-1900), Hertford St Andrew (1835-1894), St Andrew Rural (1894-1924), St Andrew Urban (1894-1900), St John Rural (1894-1900) and St John Urban (1894-1900). So if I'm looking for a baptism about 1904, which one do I look to? I must admit it's a bit confusing.
Cowbridge is in the Parish of St Andrew's (at least according to the 1881 census returns), so if Hilda Sterry was baptised in the Church of England this is the one to start with. There was also an Independent Chapel at Cowbridge whose baptism records are at HALS (and may be available on microfilm through your nearest LDS Family History Centre). You may also be able to get a clue from where her parents married. For example, if they married in a Registry Office this could indicate that they had no strong religious affiliations - and hence they would probably not have had their children baptised at all. The kind of church/chapel Hilda married in might also give a clue.
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