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SAUNDERS, Hitchin, 1884-1930

May, 2004




Michael & Glenys Saunders (glenys @t of Long Sutton, Lincs: writes:  Trying to trace my husband's great grandparents - his name was Lewis Saunders, her maiden name was Rose Jacobs. Not sure where in Hertfordshire he was born but he was in the police force and died at the age of 48 in Hertford hospital of peritonitis a result we believe of a fracas that took place a week before his death. Alas my late father-in-law Harold Albert Saunders (who was born in Hitchin in 1909) was never very forthcoming regarding family history - so we have virtually no information. Have tried tracing Lewis (or Loius) in the 1901 census without luck - hope you may be able to help.

While the family were in Hertfordshire between 1909 and 1930, it is not clear from what you say, where Lewis or Rose came from. The marriage could have taken place anywhere/ 

The key step at this stage is to get a copy of Lewis and Rose's marriage certificate as this will tell you where they married - and also Lewis's father's name and occupation. If Lewis was born in 1884 he is unlikely to have got married before 1902 and you know that he was married in 1909 when his son Harold was born (or earlier if Harold had an older brother or sister). FreeBMD can be a useful source, but I have checked and the most likely years have not yet been indexed. However the registration indexes are online so you can search these and order a certificate if you find the entry.

Another source could be police pension records - as his widow most likely got a pension. I don't know where theses are held but ask HALS, and if they don't know try the Hertfordshire Police Force. If these records exist they would be very valuable in your researches.

Once you have got the marriage certificate and/or police pension records you may have enough information to find him in the 1901 census - remembering that you need to search for all likely spelling variations (Lewis/Louis Saunders/Sanders, etc). One possibility is that he joined the army to take part in the Boer War and was in South Africa at the time of the census. On his return he may well have like the military life and decided to become a policeman.

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