Answers to Questions


HART, Ware Area, mid-19th Century

August, 2010





Rick Poitras (RickisinCal @t of California, USA. writes: I am searching for a Joseph Warren Hart b abt 1830 at Ware. Family legend has it that he was a horn player in the Queens Band (Military I believe). Apparently he did not want to marry the woman chosen by his family; so when the Queens Band was on tour in Canada he stayed. He is shown getting married in New Hampshire, USA in 1855 according to I am looking for any family ties..

I guess you are unfamiliar with the tools for searching UK records of the period - so below you will find information about Joseph, his parents John and Emma/Amy Hart (nee Warren), his siblings. and his grandfather John Hart. In each case I have indicated where the information comes from, and if you check these out for yourself (using the tutorial for other examples if necessary) you will end up with the tools to search for John Hart and Emma Warren's baptisms (and parents). You may also want to chase up the siblings in later census returns (I use Ancestry) and fill in some of their details using FreeBMD.

The Parish Church, Ware, about 100 years ago. Familysearch shows that John Hart married Emma Warren here on 16th November, 1828.

You can arrange to see a microfilm copy of the register for this marriage, or the following baptisms, at your nearest LDS Family History Centre (address on familysearch), or can order a copy of the entry from HALS.


John and Emma Hart had the following children baptised at Widford Church.

Joseph Hart 13 Sept 1829
Sarah Hart 9 Oct 1831
Eliza Hart 3 Nov 1833
Levy Hart 28 Feb 1836
Helena Hart 6 Dec 1840

Wareside Church was first used for baptisms in 1841 so was not available for these children.

FreeBMD is a useful tool for looking for birth, marriage and death certificates after mid-1837 - but you need to buy the certificate to see what it says. I note that and Elenor Hart's birth was registered at Ware during the quarter ending in December 1840 (Reference 6 548)

At the time of the 1841 Census the family were living with what other records will show is John's widower father, another John Hart. The address is not given but  they were living in Census District 7, which includes Wareside.

John Hart 70 Ag. Lab.  
John Hart 35 Ag. Lab.  
Amey Hart 35    
Joseph Hart 11    
Sarah Hart 10    
Eliza Hart 8    
Levy Hart 5    
Ellen Hart 7m    

FreeBMD showed that a Sarah Hart's death was registered in Ware in March 1842. Could this be why Sarah was not living with the rest of the family in 1851? You will need to buy the certificate to find out.

At the time of the 1851 Census the family was living at Ellen Green, Wareside


John Hart Head 88 Pauper Ware      

You can view the census book pages including the details of your ancestors on Ancestry.

The place name is obscured by an ink blot but is probably the same as the next house - "Ellen Green" I suspect this is a spelling variant of the place in Wareside known as "Helham Green".

John Hart Son 50 Agricultural Labourer Wareside    
Amy Hart Daughter in Law 48 Agricultural Labourer's Wife Wareside    
Joseph Hart Grandson 22 Agricultural Labourer Wareside    
Eliza Hart Granddaughter 18 At House Wareside    
Levi Hart Grandson 15 Agricultural Labourer Wareside    

Castlebury Farm, Wareside    posted 1913

Joseph obviously did not join the Band and go to Canada until after the 1851 census.  I am sure the band would have had some military connection (virtually every major unit would have had its own band) - and the Queen would be Queen Victoria. You may be able to find some military records for John Hart in the National Archives - but I have no experience of chasing up soldiers for this period. They may even show that he went A.W.O.L. (absent without leave) in Canada - which may explain why he ended up in the U.S.A.

July 2011

Valerie Edwards (patzak @t of  North Saanich, BC. Canada, writes: I have extensively researched Harts in this area and found that Joseph, son of John & Emma/Amy (Warren) Hart is still around in Elm Green and Babbs Green area of Wareside in the 1860's-1880's and married to Elizabeth. Despite him having a middle name of Warren, is Rick sure he was born in this area to this couple? I see that a George Poltras has entered the following details on concerning Joseph

Joseph Warren Hart, born in Cambridge, England in 1832 (Died April 19, 1876 at age 44), left his native land when very young, because he didn't approve of the girl selected by his parents to be his bride. He came to New Hampshire by way of Canada. Having played a trumpet in the Queens band in England, he later organized the first band in Lancaster, NH. In 1855 he married Nicena Carter (born in Wenlock, VT, June 19, 1841, Died March 30,1931 at age 91). They became the parents of William Henry Hart, (Born in Brunswick, VT, Feb. 3, 1856, Died Aug. 9 1943 at age 87; Alfred Warren Hart, (Born in Lancaster, NH, April 23,1857); Lillian May Hart (Born in Lancaster, NH, Dec. 23, 1859); and Frank Hart (born in Lancaster, NH, Jan.19, 1861).


Ran away from home at the age of 14 yrs. went to Ireland. Returned home put in school and finally ran away and enlisted in the service (England) Ran away again "Gram" Knew him only by the name of "Hart", She never had a chance to see his mail. She married him when she was 14 yrs. EZRA, her father claimed, he was 35yrs.
He was a Buglar and was wounded in Battle of Amtietam (Spelling is like the note). The rest of the buglars had been killed and as he was the only one, they fixed him up a bed and kept him at his job. He could be heard two miles at the close of the battle he was taken off the field on a stretcher. His orders were that he was to blow the bugle as long as he lived.


    JOSEPH HART; "D" 5 N.H. Inf.

Know Ye, that JOSEPH HART a musician of Capt. John Murray's Company "D" 5th Vol. Reg. of N.H. who was enrolled on the 8th day of August, 1862 to serve 3 yrs, is hereby discharged from the service of the U.S. this 21st day of March 1863 at Baltimore, Maryland by reason of Surgeons Certificate of Disability.
Said JOSEPH HART was born in Cambridge, England, is 31 years of age 5ft 10in high, dark complexion, hazel eyes, brown hair and by occupation when enrolled a Musician.

Given at Baltimore, MD. on 21st day of
March 1863
                        George Rex
                        Surgeon of U.S. Vols.
                        In Charge of Hospitals

A.G.O. Concord N.H. Sept. 2,1870
Recorded John H. Hands Adjb. Gen.
No Of Wounds
Slipped and fell on Cornstalk.

If the Joseph Hart born in Ware was still there in the area in the 1860s onward he is clearly not the one who was a buglar. A few general comments would seem appropriate, but I will not be following them further - as the story has strayed out of Hertfordshire.

  1. Records and family recollections cannot always be trusted to be correct, and many of the queries I get relate to such problems. Then, as now, some people "disappeared" in one country and appeared in another, and for various reasons either changed details of their past (see What did your Ancestor call himself) or the story slowly modified as it was passed down the generations. I suspect that one or two bits of information on the Ancestry record quoted above may need to be viewed with caution - but I don't know which bits.

  2. In counties such as Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire records often do not distinguish between the county town and the county.

  3. A quick search shows that there was another Hart/Warren marriage at a relevant period - Thomas Hart married Alice Warren at Cottenham, Cambridgeshire in 1821. They had children Mary (1820), Minifield (1822), Ann (1824), Lydia (1826), Eliza (1828), Thomas (1831), Rebekah (1833), John (1835) and Esther (1837).  Unfortunately no sign of a Joseph - but could either Thomas or John taken the name Joseph (perhaps initially just as a nickname) when they crossed the Atlantic?

  4. The reference to an arranged marriage with "Gram" is very interesting if "Gram" could be a misread of "Grant" in some old family document. Familysearch records Joseph Hart, son of Joseph Hart,  marrying Elizabeth Grant, daughter of John Grant, at Toft, Cambridgeshire in 1847. Could this be the relevant Joseph? If Joseph and his bride were as young as suggested by the above story one would expect it to have been by licence and ages given on the marriage certificate.

  5. Few children went to school at any age, and most of those who did would have left before the age of 14. This means that the idea that he ran away at the age of 14 and on return was sent to school is seems unlikely. Someone who was still at school at the age of 14 would come from a wealthy family and would normally automatically enrol as an officer.

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

August 2010   Page created