Answers to Questions



Collier's End & Braughing,

 Circa 1800

January, 2011





Brenda Macreavy (brenda @t  writes from France saying: I cannot find birth record for William Jennings of Colliers End. He is in the 1841 census with family: William (45), Mary (50). David (15), Sarah (13) and Elizabeth (9). I have used

When you ask a question it is far better to give too much information rather than too little as there may be several people with the same name and similar ages - as you can see from the examples on the page Right Name, Wrong Body, which I urge you to read. If you ask questions on the internet and do not provide all the relevant information it can easily happen that you get the wrong answer!

In searching for a birth/baptism it is always useful to collecting together all the data you have already found. For instance from the 1841 census you know that William was aged between 45-50  (which is what the age 45 means for this census only) and he and all the family were living in Colliers End (which is part of Standon) and all were born in Hertfordshire. As he was an agricultural labourer he almost certainly could not read or write, and probably lived in a rather humble cottage.

As you have used Ancestry to look up the census data you presumably already know that William, and his wife Mary continued to live at Colliers End, which was in the parish of Standon, until at least the 1871 census. In 1851 William was described as 59, born Dessel; in 1861 as 70, born Braughin; and in 1871 as 79, born Dassells - and if you look at the image you see that a later enumerator note has been added to indicate that Dassells was in the parish of Braughing. (People were meant to give their parish or town of birth - but some only gave the names of hamlets or even farms. In this case the original entry was corrected.)

So what you know from the census pages on Ancestry  is that William Jennings was born in approximately 1792 in a place called Dassells (various spellings) in the Parish of Braughing., and lived in Colliers End at least between 1841 and 1871. As an additional check he was presumably the 87 year old William Jennings whose death was registered at Ware in Jan-Mar 1879 - See FreeBMD.

So I have reworded your question to be

William Jennings was born in the parish of Braughing (possibly in a hamlet called "Dessel" or "Dassells") in about 1792. Who were his parents?

You only mention that your have used Ancestry - which is a commercial site whose aim is to make money for its shareholders - and which is very bad at directing users to "competitive" sites where they can get free information. If you have never used the familysearch website may I suggest you do so now. When you get to the "Search" select "advanced search" and ask for all William Jennings that were born in Hertfordshire within 2 years of 1792. You will find there were four. One of them is almost certainly your William and I leave it to you to decide which one. You could find it helpful to purchase copies of the relevant entries in the Braughing baptismal register from HALS or view the microfilm (by prior arrangement) from your nearest LDS Family History Centre (address on familysearch).

You should also be able to find William's marriage to Mary using familysearch and probably more information on their children.

If you still have any difficulty in identifying William's parents I will be happy to take the matter further, when you have supplied all the relevant information you have.



These Houses in  Dassels look old enough to have been there at the time William was born.

Click on the picture to explore modern Dassels and view the Google map of the area.

It could help you to get to grips with the local geography. There is information about Collier's End on this web site and references to its position on the Old North Road. The Old North Road (a former Roman road) continues north of Puckeridge and Dassels (the modern spelling) is one of the unnamed villages north of Braughing on the 1719 map of the Road to Kings Lynn. "Darsell" is also shown on an 1808 map showing the Braughing area.

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

January 2011   Page created