SHIP(P), Much Hadham & Bishops Stortford, 19th century

February 2003

Barbara Warren nee Shipp, from Western Canada, writes:  I am tracing my relatives from Much Hadham The family name is Ship/Shipp spelt both ways. On a marriage certificate in a parish record it was spelt both ways on the record, no wonder I am confused.

Don't get confused - at a time when most people couldn't even write their own name there were no "authorised" spellings so variations far more drastic than this were very common. Some place names didn't get a standard spelling till the 20th century.

[This record was George Ship married to Elizabeth Linkhorn M072621 1812-1837 0991312] These were my  GGG Grandparents. They were married on September 21 1815, in Little Hadham. George died in 1846. In the 1851 census Elizabeth was living at 149 Village. Question #1 What kind of address is that? Is it still around?

Have a look at the Census Returns pages to see why the 149 is not a house number. "Village" simply means in the village in contrast to the parish - which would contain outlying farms and cottages.

In this census she had her daughter Lydia aged 28 seamstress, son Joshua 18 labourer, son Frederick 15 labourer [my GG grandfather] Elizabeth is registered as a pauper. Question #2 if she was a pauper why wasn't she in the poorhouse with her family? Did she get some other kind of support?

This suggests that she was on parish relief - but she was with her family who would have supported her.

 I have Frederick Ship[sic] and Elizabeth Rist marriage certificate, Sept 26th 1857 at The Church of Much Hadham. On this he is stated as a labourer. Question #3 How can I find out what kind of labourer he was?

What does the 1861 and 1871 census say? What do the birth certificates of his children say? They may be more helpful. It may simply indicate that he was prepared to do any unskilled labouring job. (By the 1881 census he was a platelayer - so would have been working on the railway.)

My grandfather Alfred was born to this couple, I have his birth certificate and the spelling is with double "p", he was there fifth living child in the 1881 census, I believe another son William was born in 1882. [Film LDS 991366]  The family were now living at Collins Cross, Bishops Stortford, and the father Frederick was now a platelayer. Question #4 Is Collins Cross still around as an address?

If you use an online streetmap such as Multimap you should find it! My modern printed map shows a tiny bit of road on the outskirts of Bishops Stortford with the name.

My grandfather Alfred Shipp b1879 is still living with his parents in 1901 census. [RG13 place 1289 folio 71 page30 schedule #218} He is a Domestic Gardner. Question #5 How can I find out where he worked and how was he trained as a gardener?

You don't give his address but does the census show that there a large house nearby which might have employed him. Otherwise very difficult to answer. Good records of employees have rarely survived,

Just an aside to this, he taught me a great love of wild flowers when I used to walk with him as a child, he knew the Latin names and would tell me both. This love of identifying flowers has been a gift, when we immigrated to Canada this gift was used. My grandfather Alfred eventually lived and died in Mountnessing, as he married an Essex girl! [I understand there are jokes about Essex girls!] He married an Emily Cox in 1902 in Ingatestone and my father Robert was their youngest child.

But I have a final question for you. Do you know anyone else who is researching these families, [Ship, Shipp, Rist, Linkhorn]? If you do is there any way you can put us in touch with each other?

Have you checked Rootsweb to see if there are any relevant surname mailing lists?

I loved your web site. I probably have asked too many questions.

Yes - so you have only had off-the-cuff answers rather than any detailed research - but I felt a bit of general advice could be useful to you in view of your next comment.

I am coming to UK in April /May this year and found your article how to prepare very helpful. Thank you - Looking forward to your reply.

Enjoy your trip - You may be interested to know that I will be in Western Canada this summer. My son is getting married in Vancouver, British Columbia, while Lloydminster, Alberta, is celebrating its centenary by opening a museum in an original farmhouse - which was built by one of my wife's Devonshire relatives.

There are web pages for Much Hadham & Bishops Stortford

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