Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


SAUNDERS, Kings Walden, Mid 19th century

September, 2005



Kings Walden


David Everest (davidjohneverest @t hotmail.com) of Great Sampford, Essex, writes: I am trying to make sure Herbert Saunders christened on 5/4/1857 at Kings Walden to Thomas & Eliza Saunders and shown in the 1861 census (ancestry.com) as born in Kings Walden is the same as shown in the 1881 census living in Dartford and married to Mary Ann Rose ( my great grand parents) where the place of birth is shown as Peter Green. I know from his marriage cert that his father was Thomas a farm labourer which fits (married 10/08/1879).

I found in the 1871 census that Herbert (b Kings Walden) was a servant at 15 years of age at Stoppley Luton I cannot trace any other Herbert Saunders for this year for this area.

It is important to realise the distinction between the village and the parish and the information given on different records, and its accuracy. Most rural parishes consist of a village (normally with the same name as the parish) containing the church, and a number of outlying hamlets. For instance Ley Green is a hamlet in the parish of Kings Walden, and Peters Green is a hamlet in the adjacent parish of Kimpton, very close to the border with Kings Walden Parish. In those days there was no house  numbering or post codes and a hamlet name, such as Peters Green was the equivalent of the modern street address.

In addition the way the census returns were collected and entered could lead to variations and it is worth comparing the 1861 and 1881 returns for the family,

In 1861 Thomas and Eliza were living at Ley Green, Kings Walden and the relevant entries on the original return read:

Thomas Saunders Head 27 Ag Laborour Do Do 
Eliza Do  Wife 26   Do Do
Herbert Do  Son 4   Do Do
Walter Do  Son 2   Do Do
Jane Do  Daur 1 m   Do Do

The Do Do are dittos from earlier entries on the page and stand for Herts Kings Walden - which is the recorded birth place of most of the people living at Ley Green. The 1871 census shows the family still at Ley Green, although the two older boys have left home and the initial    "   "   stand for Kingswalden Herts:

Thomas Saunders Head 37 Ag Lab

   "   "   

Eliza   Wife 26 Plaiter    Kimpton   "   
Jane Daur 10     " Kingswalden  "   
Edwin Son 8 Scholar    "   "   
Eliz Daur 4      "   "   
Henry Son 1      "   "   

By 1881 the family had moved to 28 North Street, Luton - and the information has come from the computerised index:

Thos SAUNDERS Head 47 Bricklayers Lab

Kingswalden, Hertford, England

Eliza SAUNDERS Wife 46 Straw Plaiter    Kimpton, Hertford , England
Edwin SAUNDERS Son 18 Bricklauers Lab Kingswalden, Hertford, England
Elizabeth SAUNDERS Daur 14 Straw Plaiter Kingswalden, Hertford, England
Henry  SAUNDERS Son 11 Scholar Kingswalden, Hertford, England
Ellen  SAUNDERS Daur 9 Scholar Kingswalden, Hertford, England
Mary A SAUNDERS Daur 4 Scholar Kingswalden, Hertford, England

In this case the dittos which undoubtedly existed have been expanded, and the place names rewritten in a standard form - so that the original wording, including dittos, is lost. I was unable to locate Herbert but Walter was living at Fogmore End, another hamlet in Kings Walden, and his wife was born in nearby Preston:

Walter SAUNDERS Head 22 Ag Lab

Ley Green, Hertford, England

Emma SAUNDERS Wife 23 Straw Plaiter    Preston, Hertford , England
Emily Eveline SAUNDERS Daur 1  

Fogmore, Hertford, England

Rosa Nellie SAUNDERS Daur 2 m   Fogmore, Hertford, England

Jane was a domestic servant for William Felks, at  16 Melson Street, Luton, and is recorded as being born at Kings Walden.

It would seem that there is one family, and as Peters Green is so close to the Kings Walden parish boundary, I would not be worried about Herbert's identity. There shouls be no difficulty about getting his birth certificate as you know the approximate date, and both Kimpton and Kings Walden are in the Hitchin registration area.

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

Page created September 2005