REYNOLDS / JOHNSON, Aldbury, 19th century
Adam Shire (adam @t verekerdrive.freeserve.co.uk) of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, writes: I have a Martha A. Reynolds born in 1814 in Northchurch. She married James Johnson on 4th August 1841, Aldbury, Herts. I was wondering if you have any more info on Reynolds in this area (esp. Berkhamsted etc.) I've had no luck finding Martha's birth on the IGI. In the 1881 census they were living in a Railway Cottage, Aldbury with their son, my great-great grandfather Amos Johnson, born 1851 there.
In a case such as this, where you don't say much about Martha Reynolds (for instance what was her father's name and occupation on her marriage certificate), my first reaction is to see what I can find out about her from other sources, as the family's social class and the names they give their children, etc., can suggest where to look. (see for example The Inheritance of Single Christian Names.)
I almost immediately ran into a problem. Was there one or two Amos Johnsons born in Aldbury in 1851? If there was only one we may be on a wild goose chase, and my comments therefore take the form of a question.
|James JOHNSON||Head||M||Male||61||Aldbury, Herts||Ag Lab|
|Martha A. JOHNSON||Wife||M||Female||67||Northchurch, Herts|
However the only Amos Johnson, born in or near Aldbury around 1851, was living at Feltham, Middlesex, and not, as you suggest, living with his parents:
|Amos JOHNSON||Head||M||Male||30||Aldbury, Herts||Gardener|
|Agnes JOHNSON||Wife||M||Female||30||Staines, Middlesex||Gardeners Wife|
|Agnes F. JOHNSON||Daur||Female||3||Tring, Herts|
|Amos D. JOHNSON||Son||Male||2||Feltham, Middlesex|
|Mary BROWING||Lodger||M||Female||54||Paddington, Middlesex||Annuity|
The IGI at familysearch shows that this Amos Johnson married Agnes Barnes on 7th January 1876 at Tring.
A check of the 1851 census left me even more puzzled. As you say Amos was born in 1851 he might have missed the census. James and Martha Johnson were living in Aldbury village:
|James JOHNSON||Head||M||Male||32||Aldbury, Herts||Agric Lab|
|Martha A. JOHNSON||Wife||M||Female||33||Northchurch, Herts|
|Sarah A JOHNSON||Dau||Female||4||Pitstone, Bucks|
|Mary GARMENT||Lodger||M||Female||33||Wendover, Bucks||Lace Maker|
|George GARMENT||Lodger's Son||Male||2||Aldbury, Herts|
However elsewhere in the village there was the following family:
|Elizabeth JOHNSON||Head||M||Female||38||Stone, Bucks||Seamstress|
|Hannah JOHNSON||Dau||Female||13||Aldbury, Herts|
|George JOHNSON||Son||Male||10||Aldbury, Herts|
|John JOHNSON||Son||Male||6||Aldbury, Herts|
|Mark JOHHNSON||Son||Male||2||Aldbury, Herts|
|Amos JOHNSON||Son||Male||1 month||Aldbury, Herts|
So is the Amos living in Feltham in 1881 your ancestor, and/or is he the son of ?? and Elizabeth Johnson rather than James and Martha Johnson? The key question is whether there were one or two Amos Johnson's born in Aldbury in about 1851. (See Right Name, Wrong Body.) If there was only one Amos, the limited evidence so far available to me suggests that Martha Reynolds is not your ancestor.
P.S. My own Reynolds ancestors did not arrive in Hertfordshire until about 1860 (see Jacob Reynolds)
Robert Bull (rjbull @t tiscali.co.uk) wrote: Just a small addition to the information you provided. The Amos Johnson aged 1 month is the son of Daniel Johnson (Christened Aldbury 23.3.1806) and Elizabeth Small (married Aldbury 25.10.1834). His older brother, George, is my Great Great Grandfather.
If you can add to the information given above tell me.