WALLEN, Much Hadham, 19th century

April, 2004

Chris Wallen (chrisw @t of Edge Hill, Queensland writes: I am trying to gain info on my Great Grandfather Henry James WALLEN. I know he married a Sarah HOLT & lived in Bishops Stortford. They had 4 children, James Henry, Joseph, Fred & Hannah. James, Joseph & Hannah were all baptised at Much Hadham. My father was Kenneth James (born Berkhamsted) son of Joseph, who of course was the son of Henry James. I was born in Hitchin in 1942 and emigrated to Australia in 1963.

I'm trying to find out Henry James's date & place of Birth and who his parents were if possible. I believe he is buried at Gosport Hants.

Chris provided the following additional information.

Henry James Wallen (my Great Grandfather) was born 1848 I think. Don't know where. He married Sarah (nee Holt) and they lived at 146 South Street, Bishop Stortford. When they lived there or at Much Hadham ? they had their first son, James Henry.

James Henry, born 13 Nov 1892, Christened at Much Hadham 1 Jan 1893. He died from influenza in Italy, buried at Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa. This info on James I gained from

Their next son was Joseph, (my Grandfather) born 30 Nov 1894, Christened at Much Hadham 6 Jan 1895. Joseph married Ethel (nee Knill), they had 2 sons, Kenneth James (my Father) & Peter John Knill Wallen. Unfortunately my father got married in 1940 against his parents wishes & lost contact with the family. Joeseph was in the police force somewhere in Hertfordshire I think.

Then Henry James Wallen had Hannah born 4 May 1897, again Christened at Much Hadham 4 Jul 1897.

Then Henry James Wallen had Fred, born 4 Nov 1904. Fred was killed in WW2, on 23 Aug 1941, in HM Submarine P32, in the Med. Hit a mine. Remembered at Chatham Naval Memorial. Again I got this info on Fred from

I have confirmed the DOB of the 4 children through database England & Wales, Civil Registration Index: 1837-1983.

The first thing I noticed in searching for the Henry James Wallen is that the spelling of the surname varies and other versions include Wallin, Wallyn and Walling.

I then checked the 1901 census index (which is very pedantic about spelling) and found the family over the county boundary in Great Parndon Entire, Essex. (You will need to purchase the census page to get full details - which could include the farm he was working on and the name of the farmer that employed him.)

Name Age Where Born Occupation
Henry Wallen 51 Herts Buck Hadham Horsekeeper on Farm
Sarah Wallen 41 Essex Stanford Rivers  
James Wallen 8 Herts Much Hadham  
Joseph Wallen 6 Herts Much Hadham  
Hannah Wallen 3 Herts Much Hadham  

This provides an age and place of birth. A check on the IGI at familysearch showed that a Henry Wallin was baptised on 14th July 1850 at Much Hadham, his parents being James and Anna Wallin. A check of batch C072681 (the Much Hadham baptism register between 1813 and 1858) shows many other entries (mainly Wallyn) possibly including siblings and his father James. I leave this for you to follow up, possibly using a microfilm of the register at your nearest LDS Family History Centre, as the register will contain additional information. It could also be worth checking the microfilm of the 1851 census for Much Hadham at the same time.

Using the above information I had a quick search of the 1881 census for Henry James Wallen without luck. However, if he was in an occupation working with horses he might have been on the move in 1881 and either overlooked by the census takers or recorded in a rather casual manner.

I have not checked the 1891 census online.

There is a web page for Much Hadham

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