Answers to Questions

PATRICK, Hemel Hempstead, Early 19th century

August, 2007

Chris Friell (moggy8 @t of Whitfield, Dover, Kent, asks:

How can I be sure that I have correct mother of GG Grandfather Joseph Patrick, a British subject born 1830 in France? As I believe that I will be unable to get a birth certificate- British Subject born in France 1830 can you think how I can prove his ancestry?

In the 1851 census he was lodging in South Darenth, Kent, with Joseph Patrick senior.

Joseph Patrick  Lodger M age 43  Papermaker  b Herts, Hampstead
Joseph Patrick  Lodger U  age 21  Papermaker  b France

I have my 2x G. Grandfather - Joseph Patrick's marriage certificate 14th March 1852 to Sarah Lynn, in Kent. His father shown as Joseph Patrick  a Papermaker

I have looked at Census's and cannot find him (Joseph born 1830) living with Hannah, nor his father until his father (I presume) shows on the 1881 Census, at 44 Hill Street, Bingley, Yorkshire

Joseph Patrick  Head  Mar 73 Papermaker Retired  b Hemel Hempstead
Hannah Patrick  Wife 76  b Surry or Sussex
Emma Patrick    Daur  un age 40  b Wales

I have found Hannah on other Census's with at least seven children Elizabeth the eldest with her born 1832 all born in Wales and then moved to Yorkshire---- but Joseph not shown on the 1841 Census nor his father.

I have found who I think was Joseph's mother on a marriage that took place at St Peter's St Albans in Sept 1830 between Jos; Patrick  and Hannah Wheeler (this is all the information I have on a scrap of brown paper)

I have thought that he must have been trained somewhere as a papermaker, but that wouldn't show his mother would it?   That I imagine would have been at Hemel Hempstead

Technically this is not a Hertfordshire question as there is no evidence that Joseph Patrick junior was ever in Hertfordshire. However the movements of his father are of interest to this site in the context of the paper making industry at Hemel Hempstead at the time.

Joseph Patrick senior was a paper maker who was born at the same time as there were pioneering developments in mechanised paper making taking place at Hemel Hempstead. He may well have developed marketable skills working at one of the "modern" paper mills in the Gade Valley and then travelled to various mills helping them with mechanised paper production. It seems that he worked in France (circa 1830), then Wales (from circa 1832), then Kent (1851 census - did he work for the T.K. Saunders' paper mill at Darneth, Dartford, Kent?), and maybe later have worked in Yorkshire (but, for example, was not "at home" at the time of the 1871 census).

So what about documentation about Joseph Patrick junior's birth? If he had been born in England you would definitely not be able to get a birth certificate - because they were not introduced until 1837. I have no idea when birth registration started in France but that is something you would need to look into.

So was there a baptism? Again I cannot advise on French records - but if Joseph junior was a babe in arms when the family moved to Wales he may have been baptised there - possibly in the same church or chapel as Elizabeth (born 1832).  He may have even been baptised at the same time as Elizabeth. You should be aware that there are not surviving baptism records for everyone - see Where is my ancestor's baptism before 1837.

While you will not find an English birth certificate for your Patrick there should be birth certificates for the children born after civil registration was introduced - such as Emma, who was born in Wales circa 1840. This will provide the maiden name of her mother (and also a possible address for finding the family in the 1841 census).

I was unable to check on the St Albans marriage, but in checking I noticed on familysearch that a Joseph Patrick is said to have married a Hannah at Overseal, Leicestershire in 1829. (Actually in Derbyshire, but on the county boundary). This is a submitted entry to the IGI and its reliability is uncertain (see The Limitations of the IGI on Familysearch) but as Joseph Patrick senior was very mobile there is no reason why he shouldn't have been in the Midlands. (But read Right Name, Wrong Body?)

If you can't find documentary evidence of Joseph Patrick's birth you may find it useful to look at How can you be certain about ...

In exploring earlier records you may be interested to know that a Francis Patrick was working at Apsley [paper] Mills, Hemel Hempstead in 1823. [The Endless Web.]

See "Paper Making" under Occupations

November 2008

Valerie Chaney (Valerie @t from Berkshire writes:

I am researching the Patrick family who lived around Hemel Hempstead. David Patrick born 1841 was a blacksmith, his father was also David born in 1808. many of the Patrick women were hat sewers and plaiters. The men were paper makers. Some of whom moved to the paper mills in Kent. Do you know of anyone researching this family.

It would appear likely that you are a relative to Chris Friell and I will be forwarding you message, and my comments to him.

The common link can be found by looking in the census for all the male Patricks born in Hemel Hempstead between 1790 and 1830. Using the approximate birth dates one can find their births/baptisms on familysearch. From these one can find the appropriate batch number to find all the children of Francis and Elizabeth Patrick at Hemel Hempstead:

  Born Baptised Census Burial Address at death
Sarah 3 July 1797 13 August 1797      
Ellen 4 July 1799 4 August 1799      
James 7 January 1802 21 February 1802 V 3 March 1802 Hemel Hempstead
Elizabeth 9 April 1803 29 May 1803      
David 20 October 1805 1 December 1805 found    
Joseph 26 January 1808 22 May 1808 found    
Henry 22 July 1812 4 October 1812 V 25 February 1816 Picotts End
John   30 October 1814 found    
Amelia   17 April 1817 V 9 April 1817 Picotts End
Daniel   17 April 1817 V 19 May 1817 Picotts End

Your ancestor is David Patrick, born 1805, while Chris's is probably the Joseph born 1808. Piccotts End is a hamlet just north of the main street in old Hemel Hempstead.

Valerie responded:

You mentioned Joseph Patrick, born 1808, in your reply. He is my main research interest. He was a paper maker journeyman. His son Joseph was born in France in 1830 and I am trying to get to the bottom of it. Can you think of a reason why the family would be in France. I know both men were members of The Union Of Paper Makers and that mechanised machinery came in around that time.

The Gade Valley around Two Waters and Apsley End, Hemel Hempstead, was a world centre in paper making machinery. Most modern paper-making machinery in use today is developed from the Fourdrinier machines. The first two machines were installed at the Frogmore Mill in 1803 and 1804, followed by the third at the nearby Two Waters Mill. John Dickinson, on the other side of the valley from the Frogmore Mill, at Apsley, also designed a paper making machine, although he later used Fourdrinier machines. As a result the area became a worldwide centre of paper making expertise - for instance see John Dickinson and the Brandywine where designs turned up in America. As the technology spread there would have been ample opportunity for people from the Hemel Hempstead with a knowledge of paper making technology to travel overseas.

A museum has been set up which includes a old working Fourdrinier machine - for details see the web site The Paper Trail.

There is a web page for Hemel Hempstead

Page update November 2008