BARBER, Tring, 19th century

August 2001




On August 2nd Norina Pauling (Norina @t posted a couple of quick queries which I have answered as Visitor's emails. However she mentioned the Barber family of Tring, and below I repost (in edited form) earlier correspondence  on this family from the earlier forum, which is no longer available online.


Beckett Family in Tring

On 16 March 1999 Peter Newins-Beckett (Peter @t of South Ockendon, Essex, asked:

We have traced our family tree back to William Newins-Beckett who was born in Tring in 1833. He married Ann Reed in 1859 in Clerkenwell, London. William's father, James, was born in 1791 in Tring and married Maria Barber in 1816 also in Tring. James, according to William's marriage certificate, was a Lawyer. James' father was George Newins-Becket who was born in 1767 and married Frances (Fanny) Row in 1790, all in Tring. His father was also called George, born about 1748 in Tring. He married a girl called Ann (no surname available) in about 1765. In the Census record for 1871 William's family were living in Weston Street, Clerkenwell. This included 5 children: Sarah born 1861; William born 1863; May born 1866; Henry born 1868 and James.

If anyone has any further information or think they may be linked to us, please get in touch.

Beckett & Newins Family, Tring, 1851 Census

On 23 March 1999 Peter Newins-Beckett (Peter @t asked:

We noted in your reply to the Pockock families in Great Berkhamsted, you mentioned a Thomas Newens and Charles Barber in Akeman Street, Tring. We have connections with both names and wondered if there could be any relationship? Although we were led to believe our name was Newins it would appear that it was probably Newens. We are determined to find the link between the names.

BARBER & NEWENS, Tring, 1851 census

On 23 March 1999 I replied

BARBER was a very common name in Tring at the time of the 1851 census, details of which are published in "Population, economy and family structure in Hertfordshire in 1851, Volume 1: The Berkhamsted region" by Nigel Goose, University of Hertfordshire Press (ISBN 0-900458-73-9)

Basically there were about 15 different households containing people with the name BARBER, with two containing the parents and eight children, and it is only possible to highlight a few points.

Most were clearly at the lower end of the social scale, and are not mentioned in the 1850 trade directory. With (at first glance) only two exceptions, all very born in Tring, or in a nearby village. It is also very likely that many were members of one or other of the local Baptist chapels - and unfortunately the records of these chapels have not survived. Heads of households include Amos (a 27 year old silk throwster living near the silk mill at Brookend), Shadrach (a 56 year old pauper living in Akeman Street) and Abednego (a 46 year old canvas weaver also living in Akeman Street). There were two other head of household canvas weavers, James (30) and Thomas (54) who both lived in Duckmore Lane. They almost certainly worked for William Cato.

Bearing in mind the suggestion of a link with the NEWENS family, who were blacksmiths) two households are of particular interest.

Benjamin BARBER was a master grocer living with his wife and eight children in Akeman Street. He was aged 40 and was born in Devizes, Wilts, and is listed as a beer retailer and shopkeeper in the 1850 trade directory. His eldest son Charles (19) was a blacksmith, and sons Henry (15) and George (13) were turners. Living on the other side of Akeman Street, and also listed in the trade directory as painter and turner, was Edmund BARBER. He was 45 and also born in Devizes, Wilts. The household included 6 children - the eldest being Edwin (19, a turner) - and a 17 year old niece, Ann TOMPKINS, a straw bonnet maker born in Hoxton, Middlesex.

These two families are regularly listed in the trade directories (which were published at about 4 year intervals. Benjamin is still listed as a grocer and beer retailer until 1882, and as a private individual until 1890. Charles is listed as a blacksmith in Akeman Street until 1882, while Edmund is last listed as a wood turner and painter in 1878, when he lived at 6 Western Road. [NOTE - Due to a later renaming this is now part of the High Street] It is possible that George Barber, who is listed as a beer retailer in Western Road in 1869 is the George mentioned above.

Next door to Edmund BARBER in the 1851 census was Thomas NEWENS, a 65 year old smith and farrier and his 49 year old wife Ann, both born in Tring. Thomas NEWINS is listed in the 1850 trade directory, while Job NEWENS, is listed as smith an farrier in 1862.. A check shows that Job is listed in the 1851 census as a 27 year old farrier in Church Lane, with his wife Mary (25) and she may be the Mrs Mary NEWENS running the Harrow, Akeman Street, in the 1874 directory.

Barber, Tring

On May 16th 1999 Bill Barber (langton1851 @t of Southampton wrote:

I am a new user and came across an interesting article posted by Chris Reynolds Subject Barber & Newens, Tring, 1851 census.

Benjamin Barber the master grocer born in Devizes 1810 was my G.G.Grandfather and Edmund born 1805 was his brother, there was also two sisters Harriot born 1807 and Hannah born 1808 (there could be more?)

Their parents were John Barber and Ann Juston married in the parish of St. Mary, Devises in 1804, their address was put as SOJOURNER (so do not know their birth place). This information came from the Wiltshire Record Office in Trowbridge.

What I would like to know is, as the two bothers are in Tring is there a record of John and Ann the parents, also being in Tring or did the family move lock stock and barrel from Devises to Tring.

Also in the article it states that there was six children in Edmunds house and names only two, could someone give me the wife's name and other children's names and ages.

Benjamin married to Mary, also had other children Elizabeth B 1840, Ann B 1843, Daniel B 1845, Caroline B 1847, and Garnett.

Re: Bejamin Barber, Tring, 1851 Census

Later the same day I replied

The 1851 census for Tring is published in "Population, economy and family structure in Hertfordshire in 1851, Volume 1, The Berkhamsted Region." by Nigel Goose.

It shows that Edmund BARBER (45, born Devises, Wilts) was a turner and painter living in Akeman Street. His wife Ann (42 - domestic duties) and all the children were born in Tring. The children were Edwin (19, turner), Mary Ann (17, sew), Rebecca (14, straw plaiter), Frederick (8, scholar), Elizabeth (6, scholar), and Walter W (4 months). There was also an unmarried niece, Ann TOMPKINS (17, straw bonnet maker) who was born in Hoxton, Middlesex. As TOMPKINS was a common name in Tring at the time of the census, it is possible that Ann was Edmund's wife's niece.

There is no mention of Benjamin or Edmund Barber's parents, and there are very few people from Wilts. Apart from Benjamin and Edmund BARBER there was David PIKE (35, a gas fitter from Malmesbury) at Tring Wharf, Edward HADLAM (55, canal labourer from Warminster) at Wilstone Hill, William ELLIOTT, (26, saddler & harness maker from Marlborough) in the High Street, Edward POPE (39, medical & general practitioner from Chippenham) in Akeman Street, Joseph FORD (35, groom, from Wilts) also in Akeman Street and Mary W HAROLD (40, house servant from Marlborough) working in Tring Park House. None of these suggest that any addition members of the Barber family were living in the area in 1851.

Re: Benjamin Barber, Tring, 1851 Census

On May 18th 1999 Bill Barber (langton1851 @t replied

Thank you for the prompt reply, it looks as if the parents have disappeared or it may be that it is the two brothers that have gone to Tring as Benjamins wife came from Chesham.

Benjamin Barber

On June 9th 1999 Bill Barber (langton1851 @t of Southampton wrote:

I am trying to locate the marriage of my ancestor Benjamin Barber to a Mary Ann ? in the County of Hertford. The marriage would have taken place approx. 1831, the first son Charles being born in 1832. Benjamin was born in Devizes Wiltshire and moved to Tring, and lived in Akeman Street, where he was a Shopkeeper. His parents were John and Ann Barber and were classed on their Devises marriage entry as sojourners (hence my previous listing). Benjamin died in Akeman Street where he had lived all his life and Mary Ann Barber was the informant on his death certificate.

On Benjamin's death cert the Registration district is Berkhamsted, the death was in the sub-district of Tring in the Counties of Herts and Bucks, is this usual to have two counties mentioned.

Benjamin BARBER of Tring, 19th century

I replied on June 11

>> I am trying to locate the marriage of my ancestor Benjamin Barber to a Mary Ann ? in the County of Hertford. The marriage would have taken place approx. 1831, the first son Charles being born in 1832. <<

I don't know if you have yet looked at the Tring 1851 census (details and selected extracts of the published transcript given in earlier postings) but it contains over 70 members of the Barber family, which may or may not be related. However, as you known that Benjamin's parents were described a sojourners when they were married in Devizes (so they didn't live regularly in the Devizes area) it is possible that he came to live in Tring because his relatives already lived there. The transcript also shows that Benjamin BARBER's wife Mary (aged 37) was born in Chesham - so it may well be worth looking in Bucks - as marriages often occurred in the bride's church.

>> On Benjamins death cert the Registration district is Berkhamsted, the death was in the sub-district of Tring in the counties of Herts and Bucks, is this usual to have two couties mentioned. <<

You don't give the date of his death but prior to 1888 registration districts (and census returns) were based on the Poor Law Unions, and these did not automatically follow county boundaries - and I have seen a posting in connection with the 1881 census that suggests that over 100 Unions crossed county boundaries - so it was very common.

Barbers in Tring

Bill Barber ((langton1851 @t came up with another query on August 28th, 1999:

I have a death certificate of my ancestor Ann Barber, wife of John Barber lock keeper, who I believe to be deceased. Ann Barber died on the 7th September 1851 at Marsworth in the registration district of Berkhampstead in the sub-district of Tring. I cannot find Marsworth on the old Hertfordshire map. Also I would like to know the possible churches that my ancestor was buried from.

Ann BARBER of Marsworth, died 1851

I replied on August 29th:

The Grand Junction Canal (now the Grand Union Canal) runs through Tring, which is the highest point on its route from London to Birmingham. The highest point is at Bulboune. To the south the canal is level for several miles (no locks). To the North the canal descends through a series of locks, and there are a series of lock keeper's cottages. At this point it runs almost, but not exactly, along the Herts/Bucks border, and I suspect that most, if not all the lock keepers cottages are in Bucks. At Startops End there are some reservoirs (to provide water for the canal) and while the farm is in Herts, the canal-side pub and several other buildings, including a lock keepers cottage, are in the parish of Marsworth, Bucks.

It should be possible to find your Ann BARBER in the 1851 census for the parish of Marsworth, Bucks, which was in the registration district of Berkhamsted, Herts. (The registration districts were based on the Poor Law Unions, not county boundaries.) She could have been buried in Marsworth Parish Churchyard, or Tring Parish Churchyard, or one of the non-conformist churchyards - the nearest being the Baptist Chapel at New Mill, Tring. [If there ever was a memorial stone it almost certainly has not survived in either of the parish churches.]

BARBER, Tring, 1871 census ??

On November 7th 1999 Bill Barber (langton1851 @t asked:

I visited Tring in the summer to get all the information I could about my family, it appears that I have lost some notes about the following family. Has anyone access to the 1871 census and could do me a big favour and look up George and Mary Ann Barber (sorry no address) and tell me who else is listed in the house.

In the 1861 census they lived at 15 Pleasant Lane with Elizabeth (dau) 2years and William (son) no age given.

In the 1881 census they lived at 71 Akeman Street with Elizabeth (dau) 22 yrs, Emma (dau) 16 yrs, Sarah (dau) 14 yrs, James (son) 11 yrs, Annie (dau) 7 yrs, Frederick (son) 5 yrs, Eliza (dau) 2 yrs and Kate (dau) 1 yr.

Howlett & Barber of Tring

On Feburayy 13th, 2000 Norina Pauling (Norina @t  posted:

I am researching the Howlett family of Tring. Frederick Charles opened a bakers in late 1890s. Percy Howlett, his son married Elsie Barber, dau of William & Alice, 16.4.1928. Any information would be appreciated.

BARBER, Tring, 19th century

In addition to providing information on the Howlett family I replied on February 15th:

About 70 people called BARBER are listed for Tring in the 1851 census, and a similar number in the 1881 census. So these records, and the other census returns are well worth checking in detail

There has been significant BARBER research on this Forum and relevant postings are: Archive 3: " Beckett Family in Tring" & "BARBER & NEWENS, Tring, 1851 census"; Archive 4: "Benjamin Barber, Tring, 1851 Census" & "Benjamin BARBER of Tring, 19th century"; Archive 5: "Barbers in Tring", "Ann BARBER of Marsworth, died 1851", "Barber Family Research"; Archive 6: "BARBER, Tring, 1871 census ??"

Source: "Population, economy and family structure in Hertfordshire in 1851; Volume 1; The Berkhamsted region" and the 1881 census CD.

August 2001

On August 3rd 2001 Bill Barber (langton1851 @t  added: I now know that John Barber, Edmund and Benjamin's father was born in Chesham along with his sister Mary and brother William (I am sure there is more) and his parents were Walding (what a name) and Mary they were married in Chesham. Walding is buried in St Peters and St Pauls in 1803, I have written to the vicar to see if there is any further information in the minutes or church mag, but as yet I have not had a reply.

I doubt that there is anything that early in the Parish Chest at St Peters and St Pauls. Most old "official" records that have survived would be at HALS. When I wrote Tring in 1947 I found it contained a large pile of parish magazines - and while I can't remember the earliest I doubt it was as much as 100 years old. They are, of course, not indexed ... (In fact I don't know when parish magazines started but I would guess late Victoria times. Definitely I would not expect any before the newspaper tax was abolished in 1855.)

You don't say when you wrote but the current rector of the Tring Team Parish (which includes the local villages) is new, the post having previously been vacant for perhaps a year. He is kept very busy with the current pastoral needs and and his priority is obviously getting to know his parishioners. I am sure you will understand he is in no position to spend time rummaging around dusty old volumes in the  parish chest.

More about Benjamin Barber

This is a message from Bill Barber.

Their email address is

The address field reads: Southampton.
The Query name is: Benjamin Barber.
The location is: Tring Hhertfordshire.
The dates are: 1846.

The message reads: Hi I have contacted you many years ago and you gave me some helpful information, I wonder if you can give me some help with one of your web pages.
On the page about The Black Horse 2012 it is stated that according to 1846 P.O directory Benjamin Barber was in Frogmore End/Street.
I can only find him in Weavers Arms Akeman Street from 1838 (court case selling beer on a Sunday) and 1882 Kelly's.
Can you tell me where to see this 1846 entry as Hals have told me that they do not have that year directory.
Many Thanks Bill Barber.


1838   Benjamin Barber, Weavers Arms, Akeman Street, from 1838 (court case selling beer on a Sunday)
1839 Pigot's Directory   No entry (but this directory did not list beerhouses)
1844 Herts Mercury  (24 Feb)   James Jennings (17) accused of steeling an earthernware jug, of the value of 4d, the property of Benjamin Barber, of the Weaver's Arms, Tring. Mary and Benjamin give evidence - but James found not guilty because the identity of the jug was not firmly established.
1846 Post Office Directory   Benjamin Barber, beer retailer, Akeman Street
1851 Post Office Directory   Benjamin Barber, beer retailer & shopkeeper, Akeman Street
1854 Craven's Directory   Benjamin Barber, beer retailer & shopkeeper, Akeman Street
1863 Dank's Directory   Benjamin Barber, beer retailer, Akeman Street
1866 Post Office Directory   Benjamin Barber, beer retailer, Akeman Street
1867 Herts Mercury (7 Sept)   Benjamin Barber gave evidence at inquest held in the Harrow, of Thomas Philbey, who killed himself at Tring. [Possible publican connection with Philbey family]
1878 Post Office Directory   Benjamin Barber, grocer & beer retailer, Akeman Street
1881 Bucks Herald (31 December)   At Tring, on the 25th inst, Mary, wife of Mr. Benjamin Barber, aged 68 years.
1882 Kelly's Directory   Benjamin Barber, grocer & beer retailer, Akeman Street
1883 Bucks Herald (13 October)   Benjamin Barber unsuccessfully tried to recover a debt from Thomas Garment, of Tring. [No information on nature of debt.]
1886 Kelly's Directory   Benjamin Barber, private resident, Akeman Street
1890 Kelly's Directory   Benjamin Barber, private resident, Akeman Street
1891 Bucks Herald (28 November)   At Tring on the 21st, Benjamin Barber, aged 80

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

Email addresses on page updated March 2005