Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


RADLET, Aldenham, circa 1711

January, 2005




Theresa (Tigger) Ellmer (tiggerradlett @t aol.com) of South Chailey, Sussex, is researching the RADLETT surname and has come across an isolated reference in Hertfordshire. The IGI records the baptism of John, son of John and Mary Radlet at Aldenham on 20th May, 1711. She writes I tried checking this at London Metropolitan Archives and have note "unreadable." How can I find out more about this family / do you have clearer local records?

First - getting access to more readable records:

As Aldenham is in Hertfordshire, HALS will have the original register, and the London Metropolitan Archives would only have microfilm. If an original register is difficult to read the microfilm will be even harder.

The registers were transcribed by Briggs and Gibbs in about 1902 (when any discolouration of the register pages may have been less extreme) and I assume that HALS also has a copy of this transcript. (The IGI entry on familysearch may have been taken from the published transcript and not from the microfilm.)

Secondly you ask about the family:

All we have for certain is a computer record which you have assumed to be an accurate transcript from an almost unreadable page of a parish register. The possibilities would seem to include:

  1. It is an accurate record of a baptism.
  2. The information recorded may have been incorrect (by modern day spelling standards) and the name was not Radlet. I have had a case when a record of a "Phipson" turned out to really be of a "Fitz Penn".
  3. The written name was not Radlet, but because of either (a) the poor handwriting, (b) the poor condition of the register and or (c) a mis-read by the transcribers, it has incorrectly been recorded as Radlet.
  4. Part of the original text of the entry is totally unreadable and the original line ended "of Radlet" indicating where the couple lived. (Radlett was at that time a hamlet in Aldenham.) Because it is not clear what text is unreadable Radlet has been taken as the surname rather than the place.


Because of the uncertainty over the legibility of the original, and the fact that the entry is the only Radlet(t) entry for Hertfordshire on the IGI, I would be wary of assuming that there is firm evidence of anyone called Radlet in Aldenham in 1711 until you find another reference to the name - perhaps in the burial registers if you have not already checked them.

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