NASH, Radlett, after 1912

September 2001

Sue Cornish of Maidstone, Kent, says  I have been trying to locate Dorothy Howard who married William Ernest Nash in July 1912 in Radlett. I have tried the F.R.C, Family Search, Freebmd, and visited HALS for information e.g Parish Records, election rolls and even visiting the Churchyard-but nothing after the Marriage. She was born 22-07-1889 daughter of Henry John Dick Howard and Rosanne (Andrew) several details have been found re siblings but now I'm stuck, any ideas? Sorry to be so longwinded I think your website is brilliant.

Looking for women can be difficult as most records of the time are male dominated and you seem to have checked the more obvious sources - although sources such as familysearch contains very few 20th century records. If you can follow up Dorothy's husband until women get the vote you may be able to check from the electoral registers whether she was still living with him - which would give you some dates. If the family was not too poor it would be worth checking up to see if either she or her husband (or any siblings) left wills. While not everyone left a will the will indexes are more informative than the death indexes at the Family Records Centre - with only one volume to check per year. And if you find a will it can be most informative - the best are made by maiden aunts or bachelor uncles who list all their nephews and nieces! It may also be that Radlett was covered by a Watford street directory - and if so there are probably copies in the Watford Central Library - which has an excellent collection of directories.

There can be many reasons why people disappear. One of my relatives - a married man with a large family - is said to have disappeared around 1900 on a family trip to the seaside. When I talked to a cousin who would have known the "widow" and some of the children she said it was believed he had drowned and the body had never been found. This may well have been the story put around at the time. However I later contacted a descendant and family historian who said that some 20 years or so later the "widow" received a begging letter from him from Australia - and she replied saying she didn't want him back!

If both Dorothy and her husband have "vanished" it is possible that they left the country - maybe moving to Scotland or emigrating to somewhere like Australia.- or perhaps changing their names  - see What did your Ancestor call himself and the recent posting PECOVER, St Albans, 19th century. If you can trace her husband but not her, perhaps they divorced and she remarried or went back to her maiden name, maybe he "did her in" and nobody knew what happened to her, or perhaps she just moved in with another man and took his surname to avoid scandal. There may also be an error in the official records, see A Comedy of Errors.

Unfortunately 1912 is really before "living memory" but if Dorothy and her husband lived in Radlett into the 1920s or 1930s a letter to the Watford Observer to see if anyone remembers them would be appropriate.

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