Hertfordshire Genealogy

Answers to Questions


PETTS, Ware, circa 1890

May, 2008




John Fenn (john.fenn @t ntlworld.com) of Bedford wrote trying to find birth details of Florence Louisa Petts - and has provided much relevant information (in some cases from certificates) in an exchange of emails.

The key information is:

The absence of a birth registration could be for any of the following reasons:

Clearly there are definitely gaps in what is known with any certainty - and waiting until the 1911 census is released in 2009 should provide further information on the birthplace of Florence Louisa Farrow.

In the meantime one can make some guesses and hope something turns up:

The assumptions are:

A check on FreeBMD shows two possible marriages:

It should be noted that two marriages were recorded on each page of the register, and FreeBMD cannot indicate which bride married which groom. In the second case there is an error in the indexes and there is a missing bride index entry.

A search of the 1891 census appears to eliminate the Bishops Stortford marriage as James Petts was living with Emily - and the children did not include Florence.

In the case of the Ware marriage there is only a 50% chance that James's wife was Eliza Anne Day - and a search of the 1891 census reveals nothing. However a search of FreeBMD  came up with the following entry:

This could well be your Florence Louisa Petts - and buying the birth certificate should give the name of her mother  if it turns out that she was born on 3rd February. Buying the marriage certificate for the James Petts who married in Ware October/December 1886 should confirm this.

There is one further point.

You have already got the death certificate for a James Petts, who died 23 December 1890 of TB at the General Infirmary, St Andrews, Hertford. He was a Barge Labourer of Ware, the death being registered by Emily Ricks, sister, of Amwell End.  (Emily Recks in 1891 census). Because of his occupation he could well be Florence's father (or step father).

So where was James's wife, who would normally be the person expected to register the death. Had she already died?? If so Florence would have been a four year old orphan, and was probably being looked after by relatives (or in the Workhouse). Once you have worked out more of the family, particularly on her mother's side it would be worth checking the 1891 census to see if any of the relatives' families had an odd 5 year old girl who could be Florence. (In such cases it would be easy for the enumerator to make a mistake and give the child the surname of the head of household.)

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

Page created May 2008