STEABBEN, St Albans, 19th Century

January 2007



St Albans

Jane (joonszoo @t of Melbourne, Australia, wrote I know that my ancestors, George & Louisa Martha Steabben were in and around the St Albans area and were butchers, grocers and drapers. I have used family knowledge and census information so I know most names and occupations and birth and death dates.

My question is; is there a particular cemetery they would be in and if so is there a website or a way I could see the "residents" list of this cemetery. Some cemeteries in Australia have headstones on a CD for purchase. As this is the only part of my family who came from the UK, I am just learning what resources there are in UK.

[Extended version of an email reply sent when the site was "under maintenance."]

There are two "Old News" references to the Steabben Butchers already on this web site. A Stock Sale at Hatfield describes a typical news item recording the sale of livestock at a local market. Such sales were a regular event and were often described in some detail in local papers towards the end of the 19th century. The big sales were shortly before Christmas and the top butchers vied to buy the prize animals, so that their customers could see in the paper where to go to get the best meat. The other news item, An Accident on the Harpenden Road, relates to death of a cyclist who fell under the wheels of a butcher's cart.

As butchers the Steabben butchers almost certainly brought livestock that had been reared by my great grandfather, Jacob Reynolds, or other of my farming relatives. The advert comes from the 1907 edition of the Homeland Handbook The City of St Albans. I also found the following St Albans references in old trade directories.

Universal British Directory 1791-8
Stebing --, Grocer

Pigot's Directory for Hertfordshire 1823
GROCERS & TEA DEALERS: ... Steabben Isaac, George Street & Fishpool Street

Post Office Directory for Hertfordshire 1851
Steabben George, grocer, Market Place
Steabben John, grocer, St Michael's

Kelly's Directory for St Albans 1949
Steabbens (C. T. Dent. propr.) butchers, 15a Market pl. (66


Stebben & Son's butcher's shop
From Photochrom card circa 1910
(Image provided by Mike Gray)

There is some general advice about burials and memorials on my web site and in particular many graveyards are indexed by the Hertfordshire Family History Society and booklets may be purchased from them.

The important thing to be aware of in the case of St Albans is that four parishes are involved - each with their own churchyard and there are also other churches and chapels, some of which had their own graveyards. A number were full by Victorian times, when a large corporation cemetery was opened on what was then the edge of the city.  If your relatives are buried in the city cemetery the City Council  will be able to tell you the plot number if you tell them the name and date of death - but I don't think they provide a service to tell you whether there is a stone there, and if so what it says.

Herts Advertiser, 21 December 1878

Herts Advertiser, 15 December, 1906


Alfred Wren, who worked for Steabbens circa 1920

[Picture kindly provided by Hilary Walker]

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

January 2007   Page created
September 2017   Herts Advertiser adverts and photo