Answers to Questions


GATWARD, Therfield, early 19th century

January, 2005




Jenny Thomas (mail @t of Hatch End, Middlesex writes: I am trying to find great great grandfather Josiah Gatward born 1829 Therfield

The 1881 census shows the following family living at 24 Cambridge Terrace, Prittlewell, Essex:

Relation   Age Birthplace Occupation
 Josiah GATWARD   Head   52   Therfield, Herts   Railway Guard 
 Eliza GATWARD   Wife   45   Bradwell, Essex   Railway Guard Wife 
 Alice BLAKLEY   Servant   19   Romford, Essexs   General Servant 

At the time of the 1881 census his son, also Josiah Gatward (aged 26, born Chadwell, Essex), was Railway Station Master living at Prittlewell with his father in law William Perkins. Young Josiah helped with building of the Brazilian railway where he died of yellow fever about 1896. My grandmother, Ella May Gatward, whose birth I can't find was shipped back from Brazil with her sister Grace, and married Evan Thomas from Boncath, Wales.

If you visit familysearch and look for Josiah Gatward born anywhere in England at any time you will find there is only one - Josiah Gatward, son of William and Sarah Gatward was baptised at Therfield on 8th October, 1827.  Bearing in mind that at the time Josiah was born most people living in England couldn't read or write, it was not uncommon for people to be somewhat uncertain about their age - so it is virtually certain that this is your Josiah.

The source information reveals that the Therfield register between 1706 and 1850 is batch number C048911 and if you repeat the search for anyone called Gatward in batch C048911 you get 107 entries - showing that the name Gatward was common in the village for over 100 years. This will also allow you to find that Josiah had a brother called Alfred, who was baptised in the village on 6th November 1824. I suspect, but I haven't tried that further searches will reveal the marriage of William and Sarah, and hopefully William's baptism - and hence your great great great great grandparents - and you may be able to go even further back searching the IGI for yourself.

In addition you should visit the Therfield page on this site - and you will find that the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses for Therfield are available online - so you should be able to find out more about your ancestors from these.

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