MILLER, Bishops Stortford, Mid-18th century

January, 2008

Robyn Miller (robynmiller6 @t of Whyalla, South Australia, writes: William Miller was born about 1738, He married Mary Thickings (or Thickens/Thickins) (B 1740). I am unable to find a birth record for him, mainly so I can trace further back, I know some of the family after him in the late 1700's were bargemasters. Could you please send me in the right direction in how to find out these details.

Another thing, Does Bishop Stratford have a book out about the town with details from the era I am looking at?

You need to remember that you are looking for a real flesh and blood William Miller who was your ancestor - ands not just an entry in a church register that says that a "William Miller" was baptised in 1738 or about. Over 200 William Millers are recorded on familysearch as being baptised in England within 5 years of 1738 - and there will others for which there is no surviving baptism record. You say later generations were bargemasters - presumably on the River Stort which opened for navigation in 1769. This suggests that William might have been in the transport business - possibly along the road from Cambridge to London - and if he regularly travelled he could easily have been born in Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, or parts of London - which still provides about 30 possibilities.

In this situation there is no way I could even start to identify "your" William Miller from the very limited information you provide. What I can do is to suggest what additional information you should try to assemble, to turn William from a name on a family tree to a real person. Once this had been done it should will provide a context for planning an assault on his birth/baptism/parents - assuming the problem has not already been solved in the process.

You may also find the following pages give you some useful ideas:

Robyn also asked: Another thing, Does Bishop Stratford have a book out about the town with details from the era I am looking at?

Most of the recent books on Bishops Stortford concentrate on photographs and neglect the earlier centuries. Your best sources are the Bishops Stortford and Thorley web site, while the Victoria County History is on the British History web site. In addition the book Bishop's Stortford - A Short History is a good introduction to the town's history over the years - and copies are often available for sale on the internet.

There is a web page for Bishops Stortford

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


Page created January 2008