Answers to Questions


REYNOLDS, Tyttenhanger Green, Prior  to 1916

June, 2009



Tyttenhanger Green

Colney Heath
St Peters

Ruth Sawford (nee Reynolds) (ruth.sawford @t of  Bedford writes: I have been trying to make some headway in tracing my family on my father's side (Reynolds), who lived and worked in Hertfordshire.  A place called Tittenhanger Green.

Initially I was interested to follow up on the story behind a very old newspaper cutting passed down from my parents which came from a local St Albans newspaper dated 1916, entitled "Father and six soldier sons".  This gave a picture of said father and sons in various types of military uniform.  It only mentioned the first name of a couple of them, namely Bert (16 years), for whom I have managed to find a birth certificate, and Edward who died in France and I have a found a photograph and wording of his commemoration on the Menin Gate.  There was also a sister mentioned and I have found her birth certificate too.

The problem I am up against now is that, despite having the unusual name of Tittenhanger  Green, I don't seem to be able to get anywhere on the census to try to find out the Christian/first names of the siblings as it  looks like you need a more detailed address than I have at present.  I am at a loss as to how to find out the fuller address which I feel would help.

I had been down to the Hertford Archives Office some years ago to obtain a copy of the newspaper photo in a more readable format so I wonder if they may have any records that may help here but I'm not sure how to approach this.

I have found some birth and marriage certificates of family from this area but they only state 'Tittenhanger Green, St Peters RSD' and registered by St Albans.

I would be most grateful if you could help with any further information or suggestions as to records to try and locations which hold specific records for Hertfordshire.


Tyttenhanger Green (various spellings) was no more than one of a large number of small hamlets and as such "Mr Reynolds, Tittenhanger Green" would have represented a full postal address at the time. Originally it was in the rural part of parish of St Peters - and so was not part of St Albans (which included the urban part of St Peters). It became part of the parish of Colney Heath.

You don't say which census you tried to search, which index you used, and what search terms you used, but it maybe that you were inexperienced in using the census, and had been asking too precise questions.

You mention two names Bert  (aged 16 - and really too young to be fighting so presumably the youngest) and Edward. A search for a "Bert Reynolds" living in Hertfordshire in the 1901 census using Ancestry produced nothing - but of course this is not surprising as "Bert" is usually a nickname and not the real name.

A search for "Edward Reynolds"  living in Hertfordshire produces a list of people of that name of various ages and near the bottom of the first page you find the following entry:

NAME:   Edward Reynolds
BIRTH:   about 1895 - Tyttenhanger Green, Hertfordshire , England
RESIDENCE:   1901 - Tyttenhanger Green, St Peter, Hertfordshire, England

The full record will show the following information:

1901 Tyttenhanger Green

George Reynolds Head 53 Railway Labouter Tyttenhanger Green
Ebber Reynolds Wife 46   Colney Heath
Elizabeth Reynolds Daughter 11   Tyttenhanger Green
Alfred Reynolds Son 9   Tyttenhanger Green
May Reynolds Daughter 8   Tyttenhanger Green
Edward Reynolds Son 6   Tyttenhanger Green
Leonard Reynolds Son 4   Tyttenhanger Green
Bertram Reynolds Son 1   Tyttenhanger Green

This shows that "Bert" was short for Bertram and names his parents and some of his siblings, although the age of the parents leaves room for older children who have left home. "Ebber" may well be a rendering of the rare Christian name "Heber" and suggests that the family were illiterate (as were many in those days) and the census return was completed on their behalf by the census enumerator who wrote down what he heard.

Of course Bertram does not occur in earlier censuses but his father George was 53 so should appear in the 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses. To help you find out more about him I did a quick search on Ancestry so I could warn you about any problems you might have in finding him.

1851 George was living at Tittenhanger in the Parish of St Stephen with his parents and a younger brother.

1861 He was with his grandfather - who was a farmer at Tyttenhanger Green, in the Parish of St Stephen. I did not look for his parents - so I don't know if he was at his grandparents (Bert's great grandparents) for a short visit - or whether something had happened to his parents.

1871 A 22 year George living just across the county boundary in Puller Road, South Mimms and born in "Hertfordshire" is probably the one you want. While the census says he was the "brother" of the Head of the household I suspect he may have been the "brother-in-law".

1881  The census lists him as living at The Green, Tyttenhanger, St Peter with his wife Heber and three older children,

1891   My quick search did not find him - which could be for a multitude of reasons - see But I Cant Find .... and Problems with finding census returns.

Because of the charging mechanism I do not advise on the 1911 census.

The Book of Colney Heath includes some information and pictures of Tyttenhanger Green, but is not indexed so I could not do a comprehensive check. However it gives the names on the War Memorial at Colney Heath, and these include Sergeant. Major. W. Reynolds of the 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment and Lance Corporal E.Reynolds of the 9th Lancers.

As you may have realised my own great Grandfather, Jacob Reynolds, lived at St Albans and I have extensive extracts from the local paper, The Herts Advertiser, for the late 19th century. Unfortunately I can see no reference to your family. Labouring families rarely got covered in the paper unless there were involved in a court case (as the criminal or a witness) or for winning first prize for the biggest turnip (or something similar) in the local village fete.  The First World war changed this as news of casualties and heroic deeds were given good coverage.

For related individuals see REYNOLDS, Ridge & Colney Heath, 19th Century 

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

Page created June 2009