Answers

LAVERS, Hemel Hempstead, from late 19th century

April 2003

Maria Carrillo (iampocahontas @t hotmail.com) who lives on the Canary Islands, reports that she has been researching the Lavers family for a long time. My ancestor is Frederick Walter Lavers He went to Canary Islands, Spain, his brother is the father of William Henry Lavers Timber Merchant of Hemel Hempstead.

William Henry Lavers married  Julia they had 3 children Charles Henry was born in Vauxhall, Middlesex, Hamilton Payne and John William Reginald Lavers were born in Hemel Hempstead, where the family lived in Corner Hall. I knew Lavers Family in Hemel Hempstead were owners of W H LAVERS & SONS. but have little information beyond the 1881 census. 

I am using this question to demonstrate the kinds of information that can be obtained from a series of directories, mainly the Hertfordshire Post Office/Kelly's directories which were published at about 4 year intervals.

1862 Post Office Directory: [nothing]

1863 Thomas Danks' Directory: Moore, Richard, builder, George Street

Different directories sometimes picked up different small businesses, which may be why Richard Moore is not recorded in the Post Office Directory.

1866 Post Office Directory: [nothing]

1870 Post Office Directory, Lavers & Moore, merchants (Charles L. Howard, agent), Fishery Wharf, Boxmoor

Has a business arrangement been made between a small local builder and a member of the Lavers family, living elsewhere to set up as builders merchants at Fishery Wharf, on the Grand Junction Canal, Boxmoor. The above entry can be assumed to be directly linked to the following by the 2003-4 entry which claims the business was established in 1868.

1878 Post Office Directory: Lavers, Wm. Henry, timber merchant, Fishery Wharf, Boxmoor

The birth places of the children suggest that William Henry Lavers came from Vauxhaul to live in Hemel Hempstead in about 1875. He appears to have taken responsibility for the Fishery Wharf business.

In the 1881 census he was living at Corner Hall with his wife and three children.

1882 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, Wm. Hy., timber mer., Corner Ha

The business had moved about half a mile towards London, apparently to a better wharf. It should be noted that Foster's Saw Mills were close to the Fishery Inn, Boxmoor, and continued for many years afterwards, but there is nothing to link the Lavers family to these mills.

1886 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, timber, slate, cement, plaster, lath, brick, drain-pipe & chimney pot merchant,  Corner Hall wharf; & 35 King William street, London E C

This is a paid entry - while the entry for 1882 is the typical one line free entry. The difference is not significant - apart from the fact that the business justified the extra expense of the advertisement.

1889 Brackett's Hemel Hempstead Almanack & Directory: Lavers: W. H., timber merchant, Boxmoor Railway wharf

Did Lavers also have a site (handling timber) at the Boxmoor (now Hemel Hempstead) Railway Station?

1890 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry, timber, slate, cement, plaster, lath, brick, drain-pipe & chimney pot merchant,  Corner Hall wharf; & 35 King William street, London E C

William Henry Lavers is now considered important enough to be listed under the private resident heading. This is a paid advert which demonstrates a business link with London. It would be necessary to look in London directories to see how long Lavers trades from this address.

The 1901 census (online search for Lavers, Hemel Hempstead) shows William Lavers (61), Julia Lavers (61), Hamilton Lavers (25), William Lavers (20) and Charles Lavers (4).

Full details, including address and the relationship to young Charles Lavers (a grandchild?) will require the appropriate page to be purchased.

1902 Kelly's Directory: Lavers: W. H., timber & slate merchant, Corner Hall wharf

1908 Kelly's Directory: Lavers: Wm. Hy., timber & slate mer., Corner Hall wharf

1912 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf (TN 5 Boxmoor); & at Victoria street, St Albans. TN 35 St. Albans

The St Albans entry has: Lavers, Charles Henry, 12 Alma Road,  private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants, Victoria St. (TN 35 St Albans) & at Corner Hall wharf, Hemel Hempstead. TN 5 Boxmoor,

The 1881 census shows Charles Henry Lavers is William Henry Lavers' son.

1914 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf (TN 5 Boxmoor); & at Victoria street, St Albans. TN 35 St. Albans

1917 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf (TN 5 Boxmoor); & at Victoria street, St Albans. TN 35 St. Albans

1918 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf (TN 5 Boxmoor); & at Victoria street, St Albans. TN 35 St. Albans

While these entries are probably OK, the man-power to resurvey businesses would have been limited during the War - and some may simply be copies of earlier entries.

1922 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf, TN 5 Boxmoor

The Timber Merchants section in the Trades Directory section shows: Lavers, William Henry & Sons, Corner Hall wharf, Hemel Hempstead; Boxmoor; Victoria St, St Albans & Merton Road, Watford.

While there are three separate locations it has been decided not to cross-reference the entries, as had been dobe earlier.

1922-23 Town & Counties Herts & Essex Trades Directory: Timber Merchants: Lavers, W. H., Corner Hall, Boxmoor

1926 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, William Henry, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf, TN 5 Boxmoor

1926 Town & Counties Herts & Essex Trades Directory: Timber Merchants: Lavers, W. H., Corner Hall, Boxmoor

1929 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, Hamilton Payne, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf, TN 5 Boxmoor

Hamilton Payne Lavers was William Henry Payne's son [1881 census] so W H Lavers probably died between 1925 and 1929 - suggesting a period where one might be able to track down a will.

1933 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, Hamilton Payne, Corner Hall, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf, TN Boxmoor 505 (2 lines)

1936 Hemel Hempstead Official Directory: Timber Merchants: Lavers & Sons, Lawn Lane  - Display advert above. (I do not have the street directory portion of this directory)

ADVERT

The change of address is a renaming for postal purposes - possibly related to the development of housing alone the road which runs past the wharf. (In 1962-4 I lived in a house in Lawn Lane that had almost certainly been built in the 1930s.)

1937 Kelly's Directory: Lavers, H. P.,  18 Lawn Lane, private resident / Lavers, William Henry & Sons, timber, slate, cement & general builders' merchants,  Corner Hall wharf, TN Boxmoor 505 (2 lines)

1944-5 Town & Counties Herts & Essex Trades Directory: Timber Merchants: Lavers, W. H. & Sons, Corner Hall, Boxmoor

1953-4 Town & Counties Herts & Essex Trades Directory: Timber Merchants: Lavers, W. H. & Sons, Corner Hall, Boxmoor

1962: I moved into a house close to Lavers wharf. I don't know if Lavers still used canal transport (the adjacent Balderson's wharf definitely did) but the long frost during the winter of 1962/3 meant the canal was frozen for three months. The result was that virtually all commercial transport along the canal ceased from Christmas 1962 and never resumed.

2000 BT Phone Book: Lavers, W. H. & Sons Ltd., Timb, Bldrs Mrcnts, Corner Hall Wharf, Lawn Lane, Hemel Hempstead (01442) 251311

2003/4 Yellow Pages: Timber Merchants: W. H. Lavers & Sons Ltd (Est. 1868) Local Timber & Builders Merchants. Standard and Purpose Made Joinery, Timber Treatments, Strength Grading, Special Mouldings, Doors, Sheet & Insulation Materials, Decking, Stair Parts, Hardwood & Softwoods Sawn & Prepared, Trade & Retail Welcome. Prompt Delivery. Tel:10442 251211, Fax:01442 264149. Lawn Lane, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 9HR.

There is a web page for Hemel Hempstead 

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

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