Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


MALIN, Ware, Mid 19th century

August, 2003




Ann Malin (antonym @t zipworld.com.au) of Sydney, Australia, writes: My family is trying to trace the ancestors of our grandfather, Samuel Malin, who was born in Ware, Hertfordshire, in 1852 (according to his marriage certificate). Samuel left England (we do not know the year) and travelled to Australia where he married in Sydney on 5th February, 1889 (he died in 1907). According to the marriage certificate his father's name was William Joseph Malin (Samuel said his father was a grocer) and his mother's name was Selina Lockyer.

In the 1881 British Census a Samuel Malin (clerk to Grocer) is recorded as part of the household of his brother Ebenezer Malin, whose address is listed as East St Grocers Shop, Ware, Hertford, England.  However, the birthdate of this particular Samuel Malin is given as 1861. According to family history, Samuel had no contact with his family after his father learned that he wanted to remain in Australia. I have tried numerous genealogy sources on the internet but with little success.  It seems that Samuel Malin was quite a common name.  However, I did find a reference to the marriage of William Joseph Malin to Selina Lockyer in a Free BMD Search. The marriage was recorded at Marylebone in December 1840.

This is all of the information that we have and I am wondering if you can point us in the right direction in our search. 

The first thing to say is that the internet should be treated as no more than a very incomplete index, which contains many errors - and to do serious research you will need to buy birth, marriage, and sometimes death certificates, and look at microfilms of census returns and parish registers, etc. In major Australian cities, such as Sydney, there are very good facilities for the genealogist researching their English roots, and microfilms, etc., not held locally can be ordered for viewing. In fact the distance you would need to see to travel in Sydney to see some microfilmed documents relating to Ware is almost certainly less than I would need to travel to see the same microfilmed documents in Hertfordshire! If you follow the How To ... links on the menu to Family Events and Census returns you will find what you need to know to explore these records.

Looking into trade directories, it would seen that William Malin came to Ware after he had married in London:

1839 Pigot's Directory - No Malin, grocer, in Ware

1840 William Mallin married

1846 Post Office Directory: William Malin, Grocer, High Street, Ware.

1851 Post Office Directory:  William Malin, Grocer, Land Row, Ware

1866 Post Office Directory: William Joseph Malin, wholesale grocer & provision merchant, East Street, Ware

1881 Census: Ebebezer Malin (36), Wholesale Grocer employing 4 men and 1 boy, East Street, Ware

        Samuel Malin (20), Clerk to Grocer

        Charles Malin (31), Grocer, Musley Villas, Ware

1882 Kelly's Directory: E & C Malin, grocers, East Street, Ware

1886 Kelly's Directory: Ebenezer Malin, Grocer, East Street

1890 Kelly's Directory: Post Office Directory: No Malin, Ware

You mention the problem of Samuel's age in the 1881 census transcript, but this may not be what the census says. If you look at the microfilm of the census you may well find the date is unclear, and that, for instance, the actual age could be either 20 or 30. [On many census returns the age is partly obscured by a check mark - whether this is the case here can only be verified by looking at the microfilm.]

I would suggest that your priority should be to get Samuel's birth certificate (assuming his age when married in correct within a year or to), and William Joseph Malin's marriage certificate. It would also be appropriate to check the 1861 census microfilm for Ware to hopefully find Samuel in William's household with at least some of his siblings.

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