Hollingsworth/Baker Marriage, Puckeridge, 1922

January, 2015




Normally I only answer questions where someone has come up across a brick wall, or raises an issue which is of wider interest. What I don't have time to do is to carry out extensive research for free when the information is readily available online and the questioner could easily find the answers themselves. However I occasionally get well written requests for help from someone who is just starting out and, if they are to be successful in the long term they need the experience and practice to find the "easy stuff" for themselves. I include the following example to illustrate the kind of advice I give in such circumstances - if I have time!


George Arthur Hollingsworth's Birth Certificate

(1894, copy 1919)


George & Dorothy Baker's Marriage Certificate 1922


Nora Hollingsworth's Birth Certificate 1929


click on certificates for larger images



Hello Chris,

Iím trying to trace some family that I believe came from Puckeridge/Standon area and enclose some certificates.  The name of my grandmother was Dorothy Annie Baker (b. 1894) who lived in Lemon Cottage.  Her father was Edwin Baker who was a ĎRollermaní.  Likewise Iím looking for information on my grandfather George Arthur Hollingsworth and his wife Jane Ursula (nee Stead).  Iíd very much appreciate any information youíd have on any of the names or cottage.

Kind regards,

John Richards

Christchurch, New Zealand

Hi John,


Thanks for your query from which I gather you have just started on the exciting voyage of discovery finding out who your ancestors are, and what they did. My role in such cases is to help people to make the discoveries themselves and point them in directions where they can unearth the past for themselves - and in some cases advise when they have hit a particularly difficult brick wall in their research.


You are obviously starting out from scratch - with both a birth and a marriage certificate - and your next step is to search one of the online data bases for the individuals in the UK census returns. I did a quick check and the easiest for you to start on would be Ancestry.com. This (and the other alternatives) are not free - but in England - and perhaps in New Zealand - can be accessed free in some public libraries.


You should have no difficulty in finding census returns showing George Arthur Hillingsworth - living with his parents and siblings as a child. Dorothy Annie Baker is harder but if you look for an Edwin Baker living in Standon in 1911 you will find him - but no daughter called Dorothy. However this records tells you Edwin's age and place of birth - which you can then use to find him in the 1901 census (not living in Hertfordshire) and his family includes a young Dorothy of the right age.


Once you have got this far you will have learnt how to use an important online resource - and with a bit of practice you should be able to discover much more about your ancestors. You may also be able to find out about other places to explore by spending some time on my web site.


I would also recommend joining a local Family History club as talking to others who are also looking for English ancestors from New Zealand will give you lots of ideas about how to find what your ancestors were up to - and there are bound to be some books on English genealogy available - although so much information is coming online that their references as to what is available on the World Wide Web is frequently out of date.


Chris Reynolds


Visit www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk or www.hertfordshire-genealogy.blogspot.co.uk and if you find it useful please say thank you by visiting http://www.everyclick.com/hertsgenealogy2013 and making a donation to support the mentally ill in Hertfordshire.

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

July 2015   Page created