GOODSON, Little Tring, 19th century

January, 2006

Claire Read-Ball (claire.readball @t of Sidmouth, Devon, writes: I stumbled across your very interesting website earlier on today, whilst looking for more information on the Goodson side of my family, who were based at Little Tring.  I found reference to William Goodson, on your pages with reference to the canal at Little Tring. I know that my William Goodson was born about 1812 in Little Tring, and was an engine driver.  This is the same profession that you have listed for the William Goodson on your website.  I was wondering if this could be the same William Goodson.  The only address I have is Canal Side, Little Tring (all obtained from the 1861 census).  Do you know if there would be any likelihood of any canal company records, that might verify if this is the same man.  I know that he was married to a Maria, who was also born in Little Tring, as were all their children, born 1835 to 1857.  I have looked on the IGI, but can't find any marriage record for them.  I was hoping that you might be able to help in anyway to identify them.

The William Goodson I mentioned on Lock Keeper's Cottage, Bulbourne, 19/20th Century is the same William Goodson you found in the 1861 census. 

If you look on the Ancestry site you will find him listed at Little Tring in 1851 with his wife Maria and seven children, the oldest being Fanny aged 16. He is listed as an engine driver while Maria is listed as a straw plaiter, as are the three oldest children. A Thomas Goodson, a labourer aged 28, was also living at Little Tring with his family, as were a Zilpha Goodson with her son, Joseph Rance, and a lodger.

As you know, in 1861 William was still at Little Tring with his wife, four of the children listed in 1851, and a six year old son, William. In 1871 only two of the children remained at home, and there was a visitor, Martha Burr, living in the house. By 1881 Maria was a widow, with a niece Elizabeth Smith (29) and granddaughter Annie M Harrowell (12) in the house. I could not find her in the 1891 census, and presumably she had died by then. I have not checked the 1841 census.

A search of the IGI on familysearch for a William Goodson marrying a Maria about 1833 produces 7 entries relating to 2 different marriages. William Goodson is shown as marrying Maria Reed in Tring on 19th October 1831 and a William Goodson (was this the same one???) married a Maria Smith on 16th December 1834. A search for William Goodson's baptism shows only a "guess style entry". All the entries come from family trees submitted to the Church of Latter Day Saints and NOT directly from the parish registers - so the parish registers definitely need checking before you assume this is correct - see The Limits of the IGI on Familysearch. However it means that someone has already researched part of the family and you may be able to get more information from your local LDS Family History Centre (see familysearch for the address).

The name Goodson was a common surname in Tring (and possibly over the county boundary - I haven't looked). There are a number listed in Tring (and Long Marston & Wilstone) in the 18th century militia lists. There are 16 Tring burial between 1800 and 1850 (HFHS CD). The census returns show 52 listed in 1851 (including 7 William Goodson) and 28 listed in 1881.   It may well be that they are all related.

Clearly there is a lot of work to do sorting out the many Goodson's in the area, and I will be interested to hear how you got on.

There is a web page for Little Tring and the Grand Junction Canal

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


Page created January 2006