NORTHAGE, Herts, late 18th, early 19th Century

September, 2003

Stuart M Northage ( of Brighton says: My GGGGrandfather John Northage was born in 1794 in Hertfordshire (1851 census) and died in London in 1853 (Records Office). He was a gardener. His wife, was Hannah Glass and they married at Clerkenwell in 1832 (Pallotts). Possible that he was the son of John Northage who was recorded at Hatfield Union Workhouse in 1841 aged 70. 

I've noticed a number of Northage's in Herts up until the end of the 1700's (IGI) when they suddenly start to pop up in Nottingham and London (there's a few strays).... what I'd like to know, is have you come across the name before, and have you any trace of John or any siblings.

Apart from confirming the surname in Little Hadham, Furneaux Pelham, and adjacent parts of Essex in the 18th century, I have drawn a blank on later references to the surname of Northage in Hertfordshire.

At this stage the best approach is to consolidate all the information you can find out about John, and while he did not emigrate, he has moved from an unknown address into London, and many of the points raised in My Ancestor emigrated from Hertfordshire are relevant. I will not dwell on the points on that page, but specific additional points which may give clues are:

The Clerkenwell marriage register for 1832 should record the parish he came from - which may give a clue if he was not normally resident in the Clerkenwell.

The lack of a place within Hertfordshire on the 1851 census is unfortunate, and if you have not already done so it is worth checking the microfilm of the actual return. Census enumerators often wrote as little as they could - so the county was very rarely written "Hertfordshire" but more often "Herts" or "Hertford". Because of poor original writing, a badly faded book, or poor transcription I have come across cases where "Hants", "Hunts", "Wilts" and "Kent" have been misread as "Herts". "Hertford" might be the town or the county, and by looking at other entries on the same page you may find that all county names have been omitted - so "Hertford" probably refers to the town. Confusion with Hereford is also not uncommon.

The 1841 census might help, although it is less informative, and you may be able to get the exact address from one of the children's birth certificates. Sometimes there will be a relative staying in the house (if you are very lucky a parent) and this gives you another line of research - and given the additional name you may be able to go back to the 1851 census and find where they came from ....

There could be poor law and other records about the John Northage, who was in Hatfield Workhouse in 1841, aged about 70 (ages on this census are not exact, and should always be treated with care). You should  contact HALS to see if they hold any relevant documents.

You may also find the book Tracing your Family History in Hertfordshire useful.

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