Genealogy in

Answers to Questions


HAILEY, Hitchin & Welwyn, late 18th/early 19th century

October 2001





Glen Hickson (Glen.Hickson @t of Weston Turville, near Aylesbury, Bucks, has carried out extensive research using original records and I have reordered his notes into date order to make commentary easier. In making these comment the references to burials come from the National Burial Index - which includes St Mary, Hitchin - but not Welwyn - for the period 1800-1850.

Daniel Hailey & Ann Wootton married 12/4/1761 Bedford St Cuthbert. They had some children in Bedford before returning to Hitchin and I believe Daniel Jnr. was lost along the way. I could be wrong. Daniel Snr. had four brothers who could have been the father but I have eliminated them for various reasons.

I note the burial of Daniel Hailey (born circa 1731) aged 86 at Hitchin on 26th April 1817. There are two possible Mrs Ann Hailey burials. One (born circa 1736) was buried on 27th March 1816, aged 80, and the other (born circa 1740) was buried on 23rd February 1810, aged 70.

There is a Sarah Read christened in Welwyn in 1767.(IGI)

Daniel Hailey married Sarah Read at Hitchin St Mary 2/8/1789 and christened there Elizabeth 9/7/1790,  Joshua 9/5/1792, Hannah 21/3/1794,  Leuisa  23/10/1795, Sarah 11/8//1797, George 12/8/1798, Sarah 8/8/1800, Daniel  10/11/1802, Fanny 14/10/1804,  Judith 30/10/1807, James 14/4/1809.

Daniel was living/working in Hitchin in 1801.(local census record)

Daniel was buried there 13/2/1809 aged 35?

Clearly if the age of 35 is approximately correct the marriage in 1789 would have had to be by licence? What does the register say? Was a marriage licence issued? This needs to be followed up.

My problem is that on 13/10/1813 Sarah Hailey (widow) and her three children Daniel, Fanny and Judith were removed from Hitchin to Welwyn.

I agree. By this date there is absolutely no doubt that Sarah and her children were properly settled in Hitchin when Daniel died and there is no obvious reason why they should be removed from Hitchin to Welwyn. However it is possible that they had moved to Welwyn and gained settlement there because they were there for 40 days without any objection to their residence. This could be because the family was not badly off at the time Daniel died and they moved into a property in Welwyn worth more than 10 per annum - but they had become destitute a few years later. I feel it would be useful to look at the Land Tax records for the period for both Hitchin and Welwyn to see if Daniel Hailey paid the tax in Hitchin prior to his death, and Sarah Hailey made one or two payments in Welwyn shortly afterwards. The rate books, if they survive, could perhaps tell a similar story.

There is also mention in the Overseer's Accounts for Hitchin of a 25 week allowance for Daniel Hailey wife and family for 1813/14 from Welwyn. This was amongst payments to substitutes in the Militia.

What on earth!!! My guess is that the family were removed to Welwyn in error (or as a dubious attempt to pass the buck). Welwyn objected and charged Hitchin for the cost of looking after them, and then presumably sent them back to Hitchin. I would look for a court case in the records at HALS for a dispute between the overseers of the poor in Welwyn and Hitchin. I would also look very carefully at all surviving overseers documents in both places for this period.

I cannot find Sarah in the 1841 census for Hitchin or Welwyn. I haven't had the opportunity yet to look at Welwyn PRs.

Did you look in the Workhouse records? In some cases workhouses only recorded their inmates by initials - and if this happened you would have been looking for "S.H., widow, aged approximately 74"

Sarah was buried at Hitchin 13/8/1848 aged 85

Was she? On 6th January 1840 a 71 year old Sarah Healey was buried at St Mary's, Hitchin - and I would have thought that this is just as likely to be your Sarah. The spelling is well within bounds for the period - and if she was buried from the workhouse no-one would have worried about exactly what was written in the burial entry. This would clearly explain her absence from the 1841 census.

If there was a dispute about settlement it makes a most interesting story. However in such cases one always has to be careful about identifying people correctly - see Right Name, Wrong Body - and at first sight we appear to have two possible Ann Hailey and two possible Sarah Hailey. You may also find it useful to look at the Workhouse site, if you have not already done so.

I will be most interested to hear how your research develops.

Glen Hickson wrote to say more about her research: Firstly, thank you very much for your reply. You are quite correct that I have done extensive research since I began 20 months ago especially on the HAILEYs which is my family name. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm female-not obvious from the name. However, I still feel very much the beginner when it comes to interpreting records. Because I have so much information, I omitted some which was obviously of relevance.

Daniel HAILEY Sen. was christened 8/7/1739 Hitchin St Mary son of George and Susan(na) nee BALDOCK. His age was slightly out at burial as was his wife Ann's in 1816. The Ann (TRISTRAM) buried in 1810 was the widow  of Joseph HAILEY (Dan's brother) who died in 1793.

I think the age at death of Dan Jnr. should be 45 otherwise he would have been only 15 when he married. The marriage was by banns. Also, this week I have seen the Return of All Male Inhabitants 17-55 in Hitchin 29/7/1803. Daniel HAILEY is listed as aged 40.

Although there was a wealthy HAILEY family in Hitchin at this time I have been unable to connect them to mine. Mine were poor. Daniel's grandfather George is mentioned several times in the Overseer's records in receipt of a bedstead and clothes and shoes for his children and Daniel's grandson another Daniel was the subject of a Removal Order in 1841.

Also this week I looked at the Welwyn Overseer's Records- when I wrote last week I hadn't expected to get to HALS this week.

he only mention of Sarah HAILEY was on 7/1/1818 when it was resolved that Widow HAILEY's allowance be reduced to 4 shillings a week. Does this mean she was not actually returned to Welwyn but paid the allowance to her in Hitchin? Was this also what was meant by the reference in the Hitchin records?

I found no reference to HAILEYs in the Welwyn PRs. nor to Sarah in Hitchin or Welwyn workhouse.

I'm certain I have the correct Sarah's death as I have her death cert. which states she is the widow of Daniel-labourer and present at death was Sarah HAILEY-her grandson Daniel's wife. Her address was Back St. Hitchin which was where I expected to find her in 1841.

Sarah Healey (nee TAME) who died in 1840 was the wife/widow of James. They also married in 1789 at St Mary and was the first appearance of James in Hitchin. He could possibly be James HALY of Lilley son of William and Elizabeth but I don't know how or if they are connected to mine.

Do you think the Sarah READ christened in Welwyn in 1767 is mine and that Daniel HAILEY met her whilst working there and that was how he gained a settlement there? If he served as a substitute in the Militia, would that gain him a settlement?

One thing which is not clear is exactly what Daniel junior did - the only information I can see is that he was described as a labourer when his widow died some thirty years after his own death. After all there Welwyn and Hitchin lie on one of the major roads out of London and there would have been a significant amount of work associated with the traffic along the road. For instance if Daniel worked as a carter at one stage in his life he could regularly travelled between the two places. This means that there would be nothing surprising in marrying a girl from Welwyn.

As to the settlement situation - I am afraid my experience is inadequate to advise you further, as all my work with settlement and overseers records have been comparatively straight forward - and there seems to be something odd here,

January 2011

For more about Fanny Hailey see Frances/Fanny HAILEY, Hitchin, bapt 1804

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

Last updated January 2011