GROOM, Much Hadham, Hertford & Bramfield, pre-1920

February 2002

Ann van de Linde (atvgroom @t of Schaumburg, Illinois USA, wrote  I first contacted you back in October 2000 when you were kind enough to forward information regarding an ancestor Arthur GROOM from Much Hadham. I tried to access your archives to see if any additional responses had been made to the name of Groom. Unfortunately, I could not seem to go back far enough.

Due to a serious software problem the web site had to be changed and it was impossible to maintain access to the old files. However I have text copies of all the files and in the interest of continuity I give an edited version of your original enquiry below:

In October 2000 Ann van de Linde wrote: I'm trying to confirm the birthplace and possibly identify the parentage of my paternal grandfather Harold GROOM and his father Arthur GROOM . According to family notes: Harold was born March 27th 1910 in Much Hadham. He was the middle child of 5, (4 boys and 1 girl), all of whom I believe were born in Much Hadham. Charlie; Leslie; Harold: (born March 27th 1910 died abt 1985); Bid and Fred. Unfortunately I have no idea of my ggrandmothers name. The closest match showing in the IGI is a Arthur Harold GROOM, christened December 25, 1872 Houghton Regis, Beds - although in a different county I believe this is fairly close by.

Assuming you are certain your Arthur GROOM was born before April 1881 and he was born in or near Hertfordshire, the most likely candidates (not exclusive) are:

1. Arthur GROOM, 10, born Toddington, son of David (bricklayers labourer, born Toddington) & Mary A (bricklayers labourer) in Limehouse, London

2. Arthur GROOM, 9, born Dunstable, son of James (general labourer, born Houghton Regis) & Emily (sewer (straw)), living at Dunstable

3. Arthur GROOM(E), 9, born Redbourn, son of James (carman, born Redbourn) & Mary Ann, living at St Albans

4. Arthur Edward GROOM, 8, born St Albans, staying with grandfather Daniel (agricultural labourer, born Bedford) in St Albans [may have been illegitimate son of one of his daughters, Emma or Eliza]

5. Arthur GROOM, 7, born Hertford, son of Charles (brewers labourer, born Bramfield, Herts) & Emma (shopkeeper (general)), at Hertford

6. Aurthur [sic] GROOM, 6, born Houghton Regis, son of William (agricultural labourer, born Houghton Regis) & Sarah (straw plaiter) living at Houghton Regis

Of these Bramfield and Hertford are the nearest to Much Hadham - but are not so near as to rule out other possibilities. Toddington and Dunstable are both close to Houghton Regis. To find out which (if any) of these is the right one you will probably need to get a copy of Arthur's marriage certificate - which will give his father's name. Harold's birth certificate will give his mother's name - which could help you locate the marriage certificate.

She continues: I have recently established that that lead you gave me below is the right one:

5. Arthur GROOM, 7, born Hertford, son of Charles (brewers labourer, born Bramfield, Herts) & Emma (shopkeeper (general)), at Hertford.

I am therefore writing again in the hopes that you can help since I now have more information regarding the family and would like to try to establish contact with anyone searching under the same names.  The additional information I have is:

1.  Arthur had a sister Alice who married a second cousin Raven.
2.  Arthur's Parents - Charles Groom (bn circa 1850) and Emma Hart nee Raven were married June 17, 1868
3.  Parents of Charles Groom (father of Arthur) were William Groom (bn circa 1834)and Charlotte Swain
4.  Parents of Emma Hart Raven (mother of Arthur) were Joseph Raven and Sarah Fox

I don't know if you have seen it, but the British Vital Records Index shows two children for Charles and Emma Groom. Alice was baptised on 3rd January 1869 and Arthur on 12 October 1973, both at St Andrews, Hertford.

You have a problem with your dates. The 1881 census CD lists the relevant entries in St Andrews Street, Hertford as:

Charles GROOM



Brewers Labourer





Shopkeeper (Gen)


Henry HART



Bricklayers Lab


Arthur GROOM





An "Allice Groom" aged 12, born Hertford, was visiting a Miss Sarah Barlegs (50, born Cheshunt) at 21 Bengeo Street, Bengeo [Hertford].

The census suggests that you may have problems with your dates as it would appear that Charles was born in about 1841/2 - which rules out his father being born circa 1834. The BVRI shows that two Charles Groom, both sons of William Groom, were baptised in Bramfield in the 1840's. One was baptised on 14th December, 1845, the son of William and Sarah (who had 9 children between 1843 and 1864). The other was baptised on 3rd July, 1842, the son of William and Charlotte (who had 5 children between 1827 and 1842). Care must be taken to ensure you you do not confuse the two Charles Grooms - although I suspect that the older is the more likely to be your ancestor. See Right Name, Wrong Body - in such cases it is doubly important to check the microfilms of the original documents for every ounce of evidence. Looking at the earlier census returns is also important.

You may well find it useful to see what other information there is on the BVRI disc - a quick glance showed it contains the marriage of Emma Ravine to William Hart in 1858 and the baptism of two children - James in 1859 and Henry (see above census) in 1861.

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Ann van de Linde (atvgroom @t of Schaumburg provided the following additional information: I have William Hart (son of Henry & Frances  Hart nee Bayford) marrying Emma Ravine on 26 Sept 1858 in St. Andrew's Church, Hertford. (He was a brewer). Their 2 sons James & Henry were born in 1859 & 1861 in the same parish.  William Hart died in St. Andrew's in August 1866.  Emma remarried Charles Groom (son of William Groom, labourer) on  14 June 1868 at St. Andrew's Hertford. Their children, Alice & Arthur, you already have. In the 1871 Herts. PO Directory Charles is listed as a Confectioner in St. Andrew's Street. In the 1871 census for St. Andrew's, Hertford (CRO RG10 1372 and LDS film 828462) he is listed in St. Andrew's St as follows:

Charles GROOM head marr. 27 Brewer born: Stanstead.
Emma Groom wife marr. 35 Born: Bramfield.
James Hart step-son 12 born: Gilston. (wasn't, he was born in Hertford.)
Henry Hart step-son 9 born: Hertford.
Alice Groom daughter 2 born: Hertford.

April 2004

Mike Stephens (mike.stephens @t writes: Henry Hart and Frances Bayford were married 26 Dec 1829 St Andrews Hertford.  Henry was born to John Hart and a Ruth Groom ( any relation?) who were married on 14 Oct 1797 with many siblings. Henry died between 1871 and 1881 whilst Frances lived out her later years at the Almshouses in St Andrews until she died in 1885. any help that you or your questioner can give with Ruth Groom would be gratefully received .

My first comment is that while the marriage of Ruth Groom at Bramfield in 1797 is "properly" indexed from the parish register on familysearch there are a bevy of other entries suggesting that someone of the same name was born about 1771 of Bramfield, 1779 of Breachwood Green (Kings Walden), about 1788 or 1789 at Offley (3 entries). These entries are all family tree submissions and the format suggests that they are all guesses which the original researchers couldn't or did not bother to verify - which is not a promising sign. For more about such misleading entries see The limitations of familysearch. You may also find Where is my ancestor's baptism before 1837? useful.

To go further you must assemble all the readily accessible information you can find about Ruth Groom and her husband Henry Hart including any which throws light on their social status.

Further information which may contain references to the Groom family in Bramfield, such as land tax returns, will be held at HALS - see Tracing Your Family History in Hertfordshire for details of the type of material they hold.

In addition the later  reference to Emma Hart marrying a Charles Groom may well be a cousin marriage - so tracking back from there may link back to Ruth's family from a different direction. (For an example of how families intermarried see Who is related to who.

There is a web page for Much Hadham, Hertford & Bramfield

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


Page updated April 2005