SEYMOUR, Hemel Hempstead, Mid 19th century

February, 2004

Terry Seymour (terryseymour2001 @t of Cardiff, South Wales writes: William Seymour was my great grandfather and the following appears in Cardiff in the 1891 census.

Head - William Seymour - age 48 -place of birth - Hemel Hempstead - occupation - Gas Worker.
Wife - Elizabeth Seymour - age 39 - place of birth - Dublin Ireland - no occupation given.
Son - James William - age 18 -place of birth - Aldershot - Bricklayers Labourer.

[James was living on his own in Cardiff in the 1901 census, aged 27, born Aldershot Barracks]

I have ( twice) sent for a copy of his birth certificate but they could find no trace. I have tried 1881 census, all the LDS searches, 1837 online, Southport etc. I wonder, were they a family from that area or were they just travelling through ?

You don't say where you applied for a copy of the missing birth certificate - as the most reliable copies will be with the Registrar at Hemel Hempstead. However in 1843 not all children were registered, and if the family was "mobile" he may have been registered somewhere else. The 1851 census for Hemel Hempstead has been indexed but the index is not very available (there is a copy in Hemel Hempstead central library, and another at HALS). However I have been able to have a quick look - and there was no-one with the name Seymour in Hemel Hempstead in 1851.

It is not clear whether you have yet located James's birth certificate, or William and Elizabeth's marriage certificate, and if not I would make them a top priority. James's birth certificate will give William's occupation - and if he was in the Army it may give his regiment - opening the way to find his army records. The document will also give Elizabeth's maiden name, and more information on the address the family were living at in 1873.  The marriage certificate should also give William's occupation at the time - and more importantly his father's name and occupation.

If you can find these documents they will provide possible addresses to look in the 1871 census - which could give you more precise information on William's age and place of birth. If he was in the Army there could be quite a lot of records, and it may be that he met his wife while stationed with the Army in Ireland.

I doubt that I can offer more help at this stage - as most of the research will be outside Hertfordshire - but if you get more information which relates to the county please feel free to come back.

There is a web page for Hemel Hempstead

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