NICHOLS, Welwyn/Hatfield, 20th century

February 2002

Michelle Nichols of Richmond, NSW, Australia, says I have two ancestors that lived in Hertfordshire at least in the 1930-40s.

Firstly John Tucker NICHOLS b. 1872 London. He had 2 daughters and his first wife died in 1941 & he remarried circa 1941-2. Last correspondence family had was in 1948 & he lived at 18 Holme Road, Hatfield. He had worked for De Havilland Aircraft, toolmaking 1938-46+ No idea of death or descendants. Is there a cemetery in Hatfield, and where would transcriptions be held. Also do De Havilland have any archives, where would I contact?

Secondly, John's sister Ellen (aka Nellie) Nichols 1874-1945. She was very involved with the Salvation Army and I have found a mention of her death in the Salvation Army Yearbook 1945-46. What newspapers were around at this time, would it be possible an obituary was written about her? I am aware she was living at "The Anchorage" Turpins Chase, Oaklands, Welwyn. Would you know anything about this property and if it is still standing?

I have very little direct information on the 20th century but I can give you some ideas where to search.

Maps - Try Multimap for the locations you mention - If "The Anchorage" still exists under the same name it should be marked.

Cemeteries - Town cemeteries are the responsibility of the council - and the modern relevant on would be Welwyn/Hatfield. If there was a burial (rather than a cremation) they may well have the location of the grave. The address of their web site is given on the Hertfordshire County Council page.

Archives - Company archives (if they have survived) could be anywhere - but it is worth asking HALS if either they have them or they know where they are. I am sure there must be some published company history. Worth trying online library catalogues or a general web search engine such as google.

Local Newspapers - see Modern Hertfordshire Newspapers for current ones - as you can sometimes write a letter to the editor asking "if anyone knows ..." The British Library Newspaper catalogue will tell you which papers were around in the 1940's.

Wills - If Ellen was unmarried she may well have left a will identifying her nephews and nieces so this is well worth a try. While major genealogical libraries may hold microfiche of the indexes they may not be up to 1945/6 so you may have to make a direct enquiry to First Avenue House, where the wills are kept. If you do have access to more recent indexes it could be worth looking for John Tucker NICHOLS as the will indexes are easier to search than the death indexes.

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

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