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Early Families of Wheathampstead - Page 3

King and others | Kingston | Lamb | Landeryou | Latchford | Lawrence | Lewin | Lines | Lines | Manning & Fisher | Marks | Mayles | Messer | Mondin | Morris | Munt  | Noblett  | Norris | NorthOdell  |  Owen | Parker | Rainsden/Rainsdon/Hornet | Riddell | Robards | Robins | Rosher/ Rozier.. 

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This page provides a location for information about early families of Wheathampstead.  It is for general interest and to enable those that have descended from the families to contribute into the source of information.

Updated 14 June 2016

King and others

My mum was born in Gustard Wood. KINGS, MUNTS, CARTERS, FRENCH, COBB, are my ancestors. I've been to your beautiful village a number of times.

Arthur Holdford, Columbus, Ohio USA  email Arthur 

More details about the King and related families    Descendants of William Carter  
Descendants of Thomas Munt


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My great grandparents, Walter and Annie Kingston, were landlords from c.1908-c.1918 of The Cross Keys.  They had previously owned a coffee house at Aston Birmingham and came to The Cross Keys on account of Walter having tuberculosis and being advised to live in a rural area.  They had four daughters: Harriet, Catherine, Annie and Nell.  My granny, Catherine, worked at Luton Hoo and she met her husband there, Michael CurtinHarriet married Thomas Lamb as he delivered the milk to The Cross Keys from his parents farm which stood on the corner by the church in Wheathampstead.  My great grandparents are buried in St. Helen's Churchyard.  The pub was very busy and some meals were available.

Maria Curtin - email                                                          added August 2006

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Concerning the Lamb and Kingston families.  I have now got a photo of Town Farm complete with Tom and Alexander in it taken in 1910 - I will need to get this scanned.  Alexander Lamb had come from Galloway in Scotland to take over the farm.  He supplied milk around the village and beyond.  He specialised in cattle.  I believe the farm was demolished by error.  Thomas Lamb, his son, took milk to The Cross Keys at Gustard Wood and met and married the Kingston daughter, Harriet, (my great aunt) as a result!

Maria Curtin - email                                                      updated April 2007

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My Great Grandfather died in WWI.  His name was H W Landeryou.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists wife A. B. Landeryou, of 4, May Cottage, Wheathampstead, Herts.  Native of Hampstead, London.  Could you provide me with any information about this location? Pictures? My grandmothers name was Muriel Landeryou. Is there any pictures or information in your archives about her?

Thank you for your time and cooperation with my quest.
Respectfully your, Edward J Cove 3rd, Lynn, Massachusetts, USA   email -

Herbert Walter Landeryou married Ada Blanche Morris at St Andrew, Haverstock Hill, on 2 June 1906. He was from St Pancras and she was from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. Their daughter Muriel Marion May Landeryou was born 31 March 1907. Herbert enlisted on 19 January 1915. He had previous experience with the 3rd London Volunteers so was sent to France on 30 January (qualifying for the 1915 Star). He died three weeks before the Armistice on 20 October 1918 of pneumonia contracted while on active service; his place of death was the 18th (U.S.A.) General Hospital, France. Herbert’s address at enlistment was 53 Mansfield Road, Kentish Town, and that was where Ada received her widow’s pension. In 1920 Ada and Muriel sailed to the United States on M/S Olympia together with Ada’s sister Effie Florence Morris (Morris was both Effie’s maiden and married name). It is not clear what her connection to Wheathampstead was.

Contributed by Anthony M. Carter    email -                                                 Contributed May 2011


1901 Census searched just by surname and Wheathampstead (showing age, where born, occupation)
Charles Latchford 10 Herts Wheathampstead
Charles Latchford 36 Herts Wheathampstead, Hair dresser
Ellen Latchford 35 Herts Wheathampstead
George Latchford 7 Herts Wheathampstead
Lizzie Latchford 5 Herts Wheathampstead
Maud Latchford 10 Herts Wheathampstead
Thomas Latchford 7 Herts Wheathampstead
Thos Latchford 13 Herts Wheathampstead, Farm labourer
Thos Latchford 37 Herts Wheathampstead, Farm labourer
Violet Latchford 2 Herts Wheathampstead

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Lawrence of Wheathampstead

My Great Grandmother was Emily Lawrence (born circa 1883).  She was a daughter of James (born circa 1857) and Charlotte (born circa 1861) Lawrence, of Marshalls Heath cottages, (1881 census) and The Folly (1901 census).  Picture on left shows George Schug & Emily Lawrence c 1904.

Emily married George Schug (a German Baker, working in London, born 1866) on 25th Sept 1904 in Wheathampstead.  They had a son Francis Walter George Schug born 25th Sept 1906 in Poplar (London), who died 17th Feb 1909 (aged 2 years 5mths, buried in St. Helens churchyard Wheathampstead).

Their second son, (My Grandfather) George Lawrence Schug, was born 20th Oct 1910 in Poplar (London). Emily unfortunately died during or soon after childbirth, so her younger sister Maud Lawrence and her husband Arthur Dineen brought up George Lawrence Schug along with their children Ernie Dineen and Eileen Dineen (The Folly).

Other siblings of Emily were:-

Walter Lawrence (born circa 1886)
Bertie Lawrence (born circa 1897) 
Killed 3rd July 1916, Somme, 
Horace Lawrence (born circa 1899)
Charlotte Lawrence (born circa 1889)
Albert Lawrence (born circa 1891)
William Lawrence 
Nelly Lawrence (married Jack Gale)

I would be very pleased to hear from anybody who can share with me any information or allow me to copy any photographs etc of the Lawrence siblings and their families I also would be keen to hear of any information etc regarding James and Charlotte (Snr) Lawrence.

Other Wheathampstead families on my Grandmothers side are Lines (Cherry Trees) and French (Folly). I have been greatly helped in research of these by Gay O'Neill (Lines) and Alec French (French).

I have a fair amount of information, photos etc of all the previously mentioned families and also the following Wheathampstead / Harpenden families, that I am willing to share:

Moules (Harpenden) 
Swallow (Folly & Cherry Trees) 
Elmore (Folly).

Kris Schug. e-mail        (you will have to type this into your email as it is an image only - to prevent spam)

1851 Census - 
Lawrence at Luton Rd:
Thomas Lawrence, Mar, 21, Ag lab b Whstd
Elizabeth Lawrence, wife, 22, b Harpenden

Fensom/Lawrence at Marshalls Heath:
James Fensom, Head, Mar, 50, Ag Lab b Kimpton
Maria Fensom, wife, 52, b Whstd
Eliza Fensom, dau, 13 straw plait, b Whstd
Charlotte Norris, dau, wid, 29, straw plait, b Kimpton
Wm Norris, grandson, 9m b Harpenden
Thomas Lawrence, son-in-law, mar, 22, Ag Lab b Harpenden
Ann Lawrence, wife, 20, b Whstd
Mary Lawrence, grandau, 1 b Whstd

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William Lewin

There is no christening record for William in Wheathampstead although it might appear under the surname of Lewis. He married Mary Messer on the 1st June 1789 in Wheathampstead but records for children only begin in 1795 so there must be a gap in the records or they simply were not recorded.

1. Mary – She was christened on the 12th July 1795 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead. It appears that she never married and in both 1851 and 1861 she was residing with her sister Jane and her husband James Humphrey at Wheathampstead Hill.
2. Jane – She was christened on the 1st October 1797 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead where she married Edward Welch on the 1st October 1825 and then James Humphrey in about 1838. For further information see the next ancestor record.
3. William – He was born on the 16th July 1800 in Wheathampstead and christened on the 13th July 1800 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead.
4. Samuel – He was born on the 31st December 1802 in Wheathampstead and christened on the 30th January 1803 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead.
5. George – He was born on the 2nd February 1805 in Wheathampstead and christened on the 3rd May 1805 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead.
6. Thomas – He was born on the 11th September 1807 in Wheathampstead and christened on the 11th October 1807 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead.
7. Ann – She was born on the 28th August 1810 in Wheathampstead and christened in the September of 1810 at St Helen’s Church in Wheathampstead.

Jane Lewin 1797 -

Year Place Address Relation Condition Age Profession Birthplace
1841 W’stead Wheathampstead Hill Undefined Undefined 40 Undefined Undefined
1851 W’stead Wheathampstead Hill Wife Married 54 Straw Plaiter Wheathampstead
1861 W’stead Village Cottage Wife Married 63 None Wheathampstead
1871 W’stead Wheathampstead Hill Mother Widow 77 Formerly Plaiter Wheathampstead

Jane first married to an Edward Welch on the 1st October 1825 in Wheathampstead, their first child being born 2 months later. Edward must have died in either the end of 1828 or early in 1829 as their son Reuben was christened under Jane’s name alone and no more children follow this event. There is no marriage date for Jane to the widower James Humphrey but it must have occurred in about 1838. By 1871 she had been widowed yet again and was living with her son Charles at Wheathampstead Hill.

Children (1st Marriage)
1. Susan – She was born on the 21st December 1825 in Wheathampstead and christened on the 15th January 1826 at St Helen’s in Wheathampstead. She still lived with her mother in 1841 but was not listed with an occupation.
2. Reuben – He was born on the 11th April 1829 and christened on the 3rd May 1829 in Harpenden. In 1841 he was living with his mother and stepfather at Wheathampstead Hill and was working as an Agricultural Labourer.

Children (2nd Marriage)

See under James Humphrey.

Matthew J Butcher email 

1851 Census - 
Lewin at Cold Arbour:
William Lewin, 49, Ag Lab, b Whstd
Eliza Lewin, 34, wife b Harpenden
William, son, 14, Ag Lab, children all b Whstd
Charles, son, 12
George, son 10
Thomas, son 8
Lucy, dau 6
John, son 4
Samuel, 4
Joseph, 3m

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(Added Nov 2006)

I have come across the 1840 Tithe Map and wondered if there is any way of cross referencing the numbers with particular families? 

Graham Lines  email -  

Note on Tithe Awards:
The original tithe map also has a list which is known as an award. Individual properties are numbered on the map and details of ownership can be found on the award. The payment of tithes started in England in the 8th century [700-799AD]. At first tithes were payable in kind - 10% of farm produce was payable to the local parish. In 1836 an Act of Parliament changed the payment to a rent-charge payable in cash. In order to set up this charge, a large-scale map and award were created for most English townships. These documents are known as the tithe award and map. Three copies were made. One copy was for the Bishop [Diocese], the second copy was kept by the local church [Parish], and the third copy was made for the Tithe Office. 

Information about 1840 Tithe Map provided by Ruth Jeavons: (Nov 2006)

I've looked up Lines family name on it and can supply the following information - also from the militia lists which Mr Lines may already know of. 

There are lots of members of the Lines family on the militia lists. 

Abel Lines was a ploughman to Mr House* and is in the militia lists for 1768, 1769 and 1772
Ezekial (sic) Lines, Servant 1786
Henry Lines Sawyer with 7 children 1772
John Lines, farmer's servant 1763, (also in 1764 and in 1768 as labourer to Mr Downs Sr.) 
Joseph Lines was blacksmith 1762 - 1786
Thomas Lines was blacksmith at Bower Heath in 1759 and various dates up to 1786
Timothy Lines in 1759 was a labourer at Bamville Wood; in 1760 he was blacksmith at The Cross (Cross Farm); 1761 he'd moved to Hill Farm as a labourer; 1762 three references to Timothy Lines variously as blacksmith, farmer's servant and labourer all at Wheathampstead.  (They could all be different individuals with the same name.) 
William Lines is listed as being a glover at The Town (Town Farm**?) in 1759.  In 1768 he is down as a ploughman to Mr Lake in Wheathampstead; most dates from 1772 to 1786 a William Lines is listed as blacksmith, labourer or servant in Wheathampstead, with 2, 3 or 4 children. 

According to the 1840 tithe map schedule:
Charles Lines and "others" occupied plot no 17 (cottage and gardens) from J.I. House (owner) (north side of present day Church street?) 
John Lines and "another" occupied plot 57 (cottages and gardens) also from J.I. House (owner) (off Lamer Lane)
Geo Lines rented plot 399 (cottage, blacksmith's shop garden and yard) from Thos. Patmore (off the Lower Luton Road, just beyond Batford Mill)William Lines and "another" rented plots 299 (Further Field) and 300 (Middle Field) from R. Oakley (owner).  He also rented plot 449 (Common Piece), 451 (Common Piece), 495 (Bower Heath Close) (grass) from Levi Ames.  He owned plot 500 (Blacksmith's shop, orchard) and rented plots 501 (cottage and gardens) and 502 (Acre field) arable from R. Oakley.  He rented plot 525 (meadow by river) grass from Levi Ames (all near Bower Heath.

*For further information, in 1840 J.I. House was the farmer at Grove Farm with 480 acres and 32 labourers working for him. 
** Town Farm was owned at this time by Widow Seabrook and consisted of 88 acres. 

Hope this helps, Best wishes, Ruth 


(Updated Sept 2005)

George Lines (born Bower Heath about 1795-1800) and his wife Ann (nee Dickerson born in Kimpton 1801) occupied the Blacksmith's shop next door to Gibralter Public House in 1840George was the Blacksmith at the time.   The names of the Children of George Lines and Ann are as follows:

William  1819  Harpenden
George  1821  Harpenden
Edmund  1824  Harpenden
Sarah  1826  Harpenden
Samuel  1829  Wheathampstead
John  1832  Wheathampstead (My Great Grandfather who Married Maria Nash)
Eliza Harriet 1835  Wheathampstead

William Lines married Ann Mannin
George Lines married Mary first, then her sister Martha Parkins
Edmund married Martha Samuel
Sarah married David Pestall
Samuel married Mary Susannah Whalley
John married Maria Nash (immigrated to Australia in 1858)
Eliza Harriet Lines married Edward H Barrett.

The picture on the right shows John and Maria Lines family in 1880 in the Salvation Army Uniform in South Australia. They came to Australia in 1858 and at that stage the "Salvo's" had not formed so they would have converted to that religion.



I would like to contact any descendants of any of the Lines family. as I have extensive Lines research from the area.
Gay O'Neill Western Australia

Added 23 June 2002

Extracts from the 5 volume books.
Wheathampstead and Harpenden found in the Wheathampstead library reference 942.58

Extract from Volume 5.

Blacksmiths produced every requirement made of iron, not only horseshoes’ but hand tools and pieces for horse drawn vehicles and agriculture machinery. At times there were forges at :

· Kingsbourne Green
· Bowling Alley
· Bowers Heath
· Gustard Wood
· The Folly
· St Albans Rd Near ….. end
· And Batford as well as the Village Centre (i.e. attached to the Swan Inn..Gays added notes)

Many of them had been flourishing in the 18th century (p175-177) but only three survived into the 20th century. The aptly named Anvil Parade in Harpenden High Street replaced the forge run by Joseph Lines and his descendants. (P177) from the 1820’s until 1942. Batford forge next to the Gibraltar public house was operated by George Lines in the 1840’s. It was one of the last two working forges in the area but was located near the ford in Crabtree Lane. Other members of the Lines family had worked the forges at Bowers Heath, Gustard Wood, Upper top street Farm and Harpenden Common. This last situated near where the golf club-house now stands was run by Edward Lines in the 1860’s and 70’s and before him by Robert Dunkley.

Extract from Volume 4. Page 176

In 1694 Joseph Lines had left to his wife Phoebe and on her death to his son Samuel all that my messeage or tenement at Bamwell Wood neare three mile Lane End with the orchard.

Samuel Lines, who appears in the Harpenden 18th Century Land Tax Returns was a Blacksmith. It would seem probable that a smithy was created by Samuel which later passed to the Roes.

The Smithy at Bower Heath belonged to the Lines. Four or Five different Lines appear in the Wheathampstead Militia lists described as Blacksmiths. The Lines are one of the most interesting of Harpenden and Wheathampstead families (pp 161 and 176). Their relationships have only partly been disentangled but it seems probable that they al descend from three brothers, John, Joseph and Samuel, mentioned in the 1678 will of a fourth brother Timothy, - who was a bachelor. Most of the Lines who were prominent 18th century farmers descend from John. His Grt Grt Grandson was Joseph Lines who worked from 1826 as a Blacksmith, Farrier and Wheelwright at the forge which was, until the late 1850’s near the site which became Anvil House in Harpenden High Street. The elder Joseph Lines, a Blacksmith himself was the ancestor of the Wheathampstead Smiths and of Samuel who worked in Harpenden. Samuel the 3rd brother left offspring who seem to have been servants and laborers in Harpenden.

Extract page 161

The Lines probably came to Harpenden from Gaddesen in the late Seventeenth century and soon spread into Wheathampstead although they worked as shopkeepers, innkeepers and malsters, their most important trade was as blacksmiths. (Pp176-177) they were important farmers during the 18th century, occupying several different farms and small holdings.

Militia Lists gives the occupations of males between the ages of 18-50 (forty five from 1762) Men with 3 children or more or those who had already served in the militia and those who were deformed were not subject to the annual ballot which decided who would serve. (There are a number of Lines men in the militia lists for Wheathampstead.)

Christian Names

(Page 179) Two curious names one of them mentioned is Ignum or Eignon Lines. Welsh Christian name may indicate a family connection with the Beynons of Beaumont Hall in Redbourn who used the name,

Volume 2 Mentions:

Joseph Lines - Blacksmith - Husband - His will of 1686 finalised in 1694.
Tim Lines - Husband - habitation Harpenden - Will 1678 - probate 1680 - 5 shillings.

Added 4th December 2002, link to Lines family research Hertfordshire at here http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~lines/

Gay O'Neill email 
Western Australia

Names of interest - Lines, Nash, Luck, Dickerson .

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I am researching the Lines family of Wheathampstead (they also lived at Sandridge, Batford, etc.) 

I’m currently trying to find a picture of my great grandfather, whose name was Alfred “GEORGE” Lines.  He was born in Sandridge in 1852, the youngest son of John and Anne LinesGeorge Lines was apparently a local “character” and for most of his very long life, lived at The Folly, Wheathampstead.  He was also a very well known local runner.  A picture of him hung in The Royal Oak pub, right opposite The Folly.  I know that The Royal Oak is now a private house, but do the occupants of the house, or anyone else, know what might have happened to that photograph ?  Does anyone have ANY photographs of the locals of that era, because maybe a member of my family could be among them ? 

My grandmother, Emily Lines, was born in 1875 and she lived at The Folly, along with her mother Anne and father George.  My grandmother’s siblings were Mary b. 1873, Emily b. 1875, Ada b. 1878, Eleanor b.1881, Alice (Rose) b.1884, Gertrude, b. 1888, and William b. 1892

I know that my great aunt Gert’s married name was Gert MALES (or Mayles) and they also lived at The Folly.....her children were Harold, Septimus, Queenie, Myrtle and Venus

I had quite a lot of family living in the Batford area too.  The Jones family (uncle Albert, Nance, their children Joan and Barbara) lived in the cottages a couple of doors along from The Gibraltar pub on the Lower Luton Road before, during and after the war.  Another aunt and uncle, Grace and Bert Parkin and their four girls, lived at 4, Batford Road, just around the corner. 

My sister was drowned in the River Lea in 1941 age just 2 and she was taken out from the river and laid on the counter of The Gibraltar pub, where she died minutes later. 

I would so LOVE to hear from anyone who has any pictures, any information, or any memories. 
Pat Colebourn

Please e mail me at :           or          

                                                                                                                                         contributed 18 Feb 2010    


My Great-Grandfather JOHN LINES (1835 - 1903) was born in Wheathampstead and emigrated to Australia in 1856.   He arrived in Queensland January 1857 n "The New Great Britain'  He married JANE MUNRO (1833 - 1921) in 1861 at Wombo, Condamine.  My Grandfather WILLIAM JOHN LINES (1863 - 1952) was born at Taroom, Queensland.  

The following shows my ancestral line:

Timothy Lines 1678 Harpenden m 1703 (Kensworth) Sarah Seabrook c1682 Wheathampstead
  • ? Edward 1713 Harpenden
  • Tim Lines m 1730 Ann Arnold
    • Timothy Lines 1733 Harpenden
    • John Lines 1740 Wheathampstead
    • Tim Lines 1742 Wheathampstead
    • William Lines 1745-1823 m 1771 Wheathampstead  Sarah Dickson
      • John Lines 1722 Wheathampstead
      • Philip Lines 1774 Wheathampstead
      • Elizabeth Lines 1777 Wheathampstead
      • William Lines 1781Wheathampstead- m Ann Cook 1782-1836
        • William Lines 1803-1803 Sandridge
        • John Lynes 1806-Sandridge m1828 Hannah (Ann) Edmunds
          • Elizabeth Lines 1829 Wheathampstead
          • Mary Ann Lines 1831 Nomansland
          • Emma Lines 1833 -1834 Wheathampstead
          • John Lines 1835-1903 m1861 Jane Munro 1833-1921 - John born in Wheathampstead
            • William John Lines1863-1952 m1891 Ada Alice Crane 1869-1946
              • William Roy Lines 1906-1969 m 1932 Olive Mary Luck 1910-
                • Neville Ian Lines 1933 m 1964 Heather Mary Clark
                  • Jamie Cameron Ian Lines 1970 m 1998 Michelle Cooke
                    • Edward Carl Lines 1999
                    • Heath Alexander Lines 2000
            • Annie Jane Lines 1865-1936 m1885 Robert Henderson
            • Alexander Munro Lines 1867-1932 m1893 Harriet Isabel Munns
            • Marion Lines 1869-1919 m1894 Alexander Troup
            • Jessie Sophia Lines 1871-1967
            • Charles Duncan Lines 1987-1949 m1908 Catherine Ida Keegan
            • Minnie Theresa Lines 1876-1906
            • Mary Isabel Lines 1878-1953 m1907 Samuel Dunn
          • Sophie Lines 1838 Wheathampstead
          • Elizabeth Lines 1840 Wheathampstead
          • Charles Lines 1844 Sandridge
        • Mary Lines 1815 Sandridge
        • Eliza Lines1818-1818 Sandridge
        • Sophia 1820-1837 Sandridge
      • Sarah Lines 1784 Wheathampstead
      • Susan Lines 1784 Wheathampstead
      • Hannah 1790 Wheathampstead


The 1851 Census for Sandridge gave

Name Position Age Trade Born
John Lines head 43 Malster Sandridge
Ann " wife 41 Malster's wife Wheathampstead
Eliza " dau 22 Malster's daughter   "
John " son 16 General labourer   "
Sophia " dau 13 Straw platter   "
Elizabeth " dau 11 Scholar   "
Charles " son 7 Scholar Sandridge

and this was supported by the 1841 census with a further daughter Mary then aged 10.

Can you help identify these 3 ladies  - Lines, or relations? (approx. date?)
Photos taken by I Barnard, Silvio House, St Albans

I have some  details of children of some of these marriages.   

Regards Neville Lines,  email   

See also http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~lines/ 

 LINES & other names, including - Blake, Bolton, Brown, Elwell, Herbert, Hooper, Horsey, Hutson, Lines, Sibley, Taylor.

Thomas Brown married Mary Taylor in 1753 in Wheathampstead and had at least 6 children, one of whom was Thomas Jr. who was baptized in Wheathampstead in 1763. In 1781 he married Sarah Hutson and they had 8 children: 

  1. Mary (born 22 Jan 1781, married John Sibley abt 1797, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Sibley. John and Mary Brown Sibley had at least 10 children, one of whom Anne, born 1798, married Thomas Herbert in 1821 - Thomas and Anne Herbert had a daughter Charlotte abt 1826 who married George Bolton in 1851. George and Charlotte Herbert Bolton had 2 children, Herbert Manners Bolton and Ada C.M. Bolton. Charlotte died in 1866 and George Bolton remarried in 1868 to Caroline Horsey); 

  2. George (born 1785 and died before 1800); 

  3. Betsy (born 1792 and died a small child); 

  4. Elizabeth (1794, never married); 

  5. Charlotte (1797 - 1863, married a Mr. Blake who died sometime before 1851); 

  6. George (born 1800 married Mary Hooper - these are my gt-gt-grandparents); George and Mary had 8 children, one of whom was Julia, my great-grandmother, who was born in Wheathampstead 1 August, 1836 and died in Harlow, Essex in 1893. She married Henry Joseph Lines in 1863. One of Henry Joseph and Julia Brown Lines children was my grandmother, Mabel Lines, who was born in Harlow, but baptized in Wheathampstead in 1877. Mabel Lines married Frederick Elwell and emigrated to Canada.

  7. Harriot(1804); 

  8. James (1807).

Regards Sue Barr,  email -                                                        contributed 16 Oct 2006

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Manning & Fisher

I would like to give you details of my family connections to Wheathampstead in the hope that it is of interest to others & may interconnect with someone else's searches.

My Gt Gt Grandfather William Manning (son of George Manning & Ann Joiner ) born 14/12/1848 Cromer Hyde moved to Wheathampstead after his marriage 9/9/1872 @ St Helens to Sarah Fisher of Gustard Wood ( Daughter of Joseph Fisher & Ann Edmonds ) they lived at Hogs Island Gustard Wood from then until their deaths in 1937 & 1939 ( both buried @ St Helens ) They had 4 daughters the oldest of which was Annie Maria ( my Gt Grandmother ) born 21/4/1873 who married in the village 3/8/1903 to Arthur Dan Miller & moved to live in Tottenham.  The other girls were Nellie, Sarah Jane ( Known as Ginny ) and Emma who married Arthur Frank Harris ( Both also buried at St Helens) Aunt Emma ( as my Dad knew her ) lived at Hogs Island as a widow until the 1960's when I think she was the last of that part of the family to live in the village.  Sarah Fisher's brother Thomas and his wife Charlotte also lived on Gustard Wood with many siblings and their children Dorcas, Charlotte, William and Arthur all stayed in the area. I would be delighted to find somebody descended from the Mannings or the Fishers ( like myself ) as they may help me unravel further information, or maybe I can fill something in for them. William Manning was apparently quite well known as 'Young Bill ' and worked as an Agricultural labourer all his life into his 80's. At one time for Mr Baxendale.

Sorry if this is a bit of a muddle, but I have a lot of info and trying to narrow it all down is difficult. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Regards and many thanks  Tracy Rogers email  

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Very informative site.  I am interested in information relating to William Cherryman Marks who as I understand lived in a cottage by the Tin Pot Pub. He died aged 90 in cica 1938.  Also Fredrick Bangs who married Mary Marks born 1878

Any help would be appreciated.
Derek Marks email

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Hello I wonder if you can help me I am trying to find some information regarding some of my relatives...in particular Willett Charles Mayles, Ted Mayles ( his brother ) who I believe may have moved to Kimpton.  He also had another brother who's name I do not know.

Also Ralph Mayles my grandfather who I was named after.  Also looking through your site I see references to a M Mayles in the early 50s he was with a committee I believe.  One of the postings also refers to an Ian Mayles who was in the Bull pub in the last couple of years who's father was a postman maybe.  He may have some information which would help.

I would be grateful for any help from anyone.  Thankyou
Ralph  email
077667 05898

Added 15/10/04

I was having a browse on the web today & decided to do a search under "Mayles", in the headings listed I noticed a Wheathampstead site & I remembered that my late grandfather originated from there.  On viewing the site, to my surprise, I noticed a "Percy Mayles", he was my grandfather who died on the 19th Dec 1931 when my dad was 4 years old, so I never ever knew him, he was married to Alice. The site also lists all his brothers & sisters, Mabel, George, Harold, etc. who my dad can remember.  

My dad, Arthur aged 77, now lives in Norfolk moving there from Luton, Beds in 1982. He was born & bred in Luton, which is where I live with my wife & family. My dad also has a sister, Kath, who lives in Dunstable.  My dad & myself would be interested to know more about our family links.

Ian email -

1881 Census Wheathampstead

Dwelling: The Folly Wheathampstead, Hertford, England
Age Where born Relationship Occupation
Matthew ARNOLD 31 Codicote, Head Laborer
Rebecca ARNOLD 25 Codicote Wife Plaitter
Bertram ARNOLD 6 Codicote Son Scholar
Agnes A. ARNOLD 4 Codicote Daur Scholar
Eleanor M. ARNOLD 2 Codicote Daur 
Frederic ARNOLD 3 d Wheathampstead Son 
James MALES (Widower) 67 Codicote Wifes Father Laborer

Dwelling: The Folly Wheathampstead, Hertford, England
David MALES 52 Codicote Head Laborer
Caroline MALES 45 Codicote Wife Laundress
Amos MALES 23 Codicote Son Laborer
Sarah MALES 20 Codicote Daur Straw Trade
Alice MALES 9 Codicote Daur Scholar


1901 Census Wheathampstead
  Age Where born Occupation
Ada Mayles 38  Wheathampstead Herts    
Amos Mayles  43  Codicote Herts  Ploughman Horse
Amy Mayles  Wheathampstead Herts   
Charles Mayles  Wheathampstead Herts    
George Mayles  15  Wheathampstead Herts  Horsekeeper On Farm
Harold Mayles  12  Wheathampstead Herts
Mable Mayles  Wheathampstead Herts  
Percy Mayles  1   Wheathampstead Herts  

1851 Census - 
Males at East Lane :
Joseph Males, Mar, 21, Maltman, b Codicote
Ann Males, Wife, 23 straw plait, b Whstd
Mary Ann Males, dau, 1 b Whstd
Michael Seabrook, brother-in-law un, 14, Farmers lab, b Whstd
George Seabrook, visitor, Mar, 24, Tea Dealer, b Whstd
Sarah Seabrook, visitors wife, 26, b Datchworth, Herts
Mary Anne Seabrook, visitors dau, 1 b Watton, Herts

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I didn't know there was such a site but I have now had a quick look. It is very interesting to me as I have traced my husband's MESSER family directly back to the 1700s. They lived in Wheathampstead where his direct line were blacksmiths. In 1756 one of his direct ancestors was the licensee of the Swan Inn. I have a photo of the Swan Inn taken a couple of years ago and I suspect that it is "R" in your series of photos.

The family were all baptised and married in St Helen's Church until in the mid 1800s. His gggrandfather became a founding member of the Independent Church so some of the family worshipped there.  It seems that the family lived at Brewhouse Hill as that is where his grandfather was born.

More details of the Messer family 

Val Messer   valmess@bigpond.com

1851 Census - 
Messer at Wheathampstead Village
John Messer, Mar 50, Blacksmith employing 2 men, b Whstd
Mary Messer, wife, 44 b Whstd
James, son 20, blacksmith, all b Whstd
Thomas, son 18, servant to baker
Ebenezer, son 14, Errand boy
William, son 12, scholar
Alfred, son 7, scholar
Mary, dau 2
John, Nephew 13, scholar

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See the Mondin page by Matthew J Butcher   email  

1851 Census
Mondin at East Lane
Henry Mondin, Mar, 39, Ag Lab, b Whstd
Eliza Mondin, wife, 35, straw plait, b Whstd (nee Steed)
Rebecca, dau 13 straw plait b Whstd
Emma, dau 9 straw plait b Whstd
George, son 4 b Whstd

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Does anyone have anything on the Morris family in the early 19th century? William Morris, labourer, and his daughter Emma, born around 1836? Emma Married Arthur Croft of Great Wymondley and lived into the 20th century.  Emma appears in the census returns right up to 1901, birthplace Wheathampstead circa 1836. She was married in Great Wymondley, and from the marriage certificate I have identified her father as William Morris, labourer. That's all I have - I can't find him on the 1881 census. 

Does anyone have information that may help my research?

Robin Croft  email - 

East Lane, Wheathampstead 1851 Census:
William Morris, Head, Mar 49,Ag Lab b Whstd
Sarah Morris, wife, Mar, 47, Straw Plait b Whstd
Emma dau, unm 15 Straw Plait b Whstd
John son 11 scholar b Whstd
Sarah dau 9 scholar b Whstd
Mary Smith, Mother-in-Law, Wid 71 Straw Plait b unknown, Beds.

added Mar 2005

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My mum was born in Gustard Wood. KINGS, MUNTS, CARTERS, FRENCH, COBB, are my ancestors. I've been to your beautiful village a number of times.

Arthur Holdford, Columbus, Ohio USA  email

  Descendants of Thomas Munt


1851 Census
Munt at Cherry Trees
Mathew Munt, Mar, 46, Ag Lab b Caddington
Rebecca Munt, wife, 42 b Kensworth
Sarah A, dau 14, Bonnet Sewer, children all b Whstd
Mary, dau 12 straw plait
Eliza, dau 10 straw plait
Elizabeth, dau 8 scholar
Alfred, son 4 
George, son 1 

Munt at Ayres End:
William Munt, Mar, 40, Ag Lab b Harpenden
Eliza Munt, wife 30, b Harpenden (nee Barker)
Emily, dau, 10, scholar, all children b Whstd
Eliza, dau, 13, scholar
Alfred, son, 3
Mary Ann, dau 1

Munt at Wheathampstead Hill:
Thomas Munt, Mar 39 Ag Lab b Whstd
Maria Munt, wife 35 b Whstd (nee Faulder)
Charles, son 16 Ag Lab all b Whstd
George, son 14 Ag Lab
Harriet, dau 11 
Amos, son 8
Alfred, son 6 scholar
Thomas, son 4
Anne, dau 1

Munt at Leasy Bridge Farm :
Joseph Munt, Serv, Unm, 18, Shepherd b Sandridge
Living with Benjamin & Mary Welch & family, Ag Lab

Munt at Gustard Wood:
William Munt, Appr, Unm, 20, Shop Apprentice b Whstd
Living with William Lines & Ann (Mannin) & family, Blacksmith

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So pleased to have found this website.  I am interested in my family genealogy and have recently discovered that my grandfather's brother, Thomas J. NOBLETT (1880-1940) lived in Wheathampstead.  He worked for a Helmet company. I believe he had 3 sons, two of whose names are Leonard and Thomas.  

Does anyone know of this family? The boys played Rugby for a local club.  Are there any descendants living in the area? I would very much like to correspond with anyone interested in this family. Many thanks.

Eileen Giuliani   email: 
North Vancouver, , B.C., Canada - 23:03:11 Thursday 10 February 2005

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My 3xgt Grandfather was David Norris, born Wheathampstead 1782:  by 1809, he was living in Gt Gaddesden and somewhere along the line had married Eleanor Snelling, daughter of Richard and Eleanor, landlords of the Red Lion at Water End, Hemel Hempstead.

David and Eleanor became Landlords of the Cock and Bottle, Gt Gaddesden, and had their own family there:  c1830, they moved to Widford and opened The Red Lion, but were soon on the move again, their last pub being the Kings Head, Ivinghoe, Bucks.  David died there in 1852 and is buried in Gt Gaddesden:  Eleanor continued to run the Kings Head until c1861, and then retired to Gt Gaddesden, where she is also buried.

Two of their sons also became publicans, William at The Red Lion, Water End, and Arthur at The Bridgewater Arms, Lt Gaddesden.  I have extensive but incomplete details of descent from them.

David’s parents were John Norris and Sarah nee Finch who married in 1763 at Wheathampstead:  I have details of other children of theirs and possible lines of descent.  Are there any Norris’s in Wheathampstead now?

I have not got any further back at present, but I am told that there were entries for MORRIS further back, and I am wondering if in fact they should be NORRIS.

If you have any information, or think you may have a connection,
please Email me Donald Massey

1851 Census
Norris at The Folly:
Joseph Norris, Mar, 36, Sawyer b Whstd
Sarah Norris, wife, 31 b Whstd (nee Fensom)
Ann M, dau, 9 all children b Whstd
John, son 7
Joseph, son 4
Hannah, dau 4m
Elizabeth Fensom, sister-in-law, unm 28, Straw Plait, b Whstd

Norris at Gustard Wood:
John Norris, Mar, 51 Sawyer, b Whstd
Caroline Norris, wife, 42, straw plaiter b Sandridge

At Gustard Wood:
Mary Norris, Wid, 67, Retired Farmer b Benson, Oxon
James Norris, visitor, unm, 20, Dressmaker b Whstd

Norris at Marshalls Heath:
James Fensom, Head, Mar, 50, Ag Lab b Kimpton
Maria Fensom, wife, 52, b Whstd (nee Hornet)
Eliza Fensom, dau, 13 straw plait, b Whstd
Charlotte Norris, dau, wid, 29, straw plait, b Kimpton
Wm Norris, grandson, 9m b Harpenden
Thomas Lawrence, son-in-law, mar, 22, Ag Lab b Harpenden
Ann Lawrence, wife, 20, b Whstd
Mary Lawrence, grandau, 1 b Whstd

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THOMAS NORTH son of DANIEL NORTH and HANNAH was baptized 17 January 1802 at Kimpton. He was a farm labourer. He married ELIZABETH GIDDINS at St. Pauls Walden on 21 June 1823. She was the daughter of JOHN GIDDINS and ELIZABETH EDWARDS and was born about 1800 at St Pauls Walden. They lived in Bendish and at Batford Mills, Wheathampstead. Thomas died at Batford Mills aged 49 on 21 July 1852. Elizabeth thereafter lived at Harpenden and she died aged 90 on 21 May 1891 at Lower Cravell’s Road, Harpenden. There were eight children.

1. WILLIAM NORTH was baptized 26 October 1823 at Kimpton. He was a farm labourer. Thomas married MATILDA STEED (daughter of GEORGE STEED) 3 March 1850 at Wheathampstead. They lived in Harpenden. William North died aged 62 in 1887. Their children were:

a. THOMAS NORTH was baptized 30 June 1850 at Wheathampstead. He worked for the Great Northern Railway and was station master at Smallford. He married LYDIA GROOM (daughter of JAMES GROOM) 2 November 1872 at Harpenden. They had ten children.

b. WILLIAM NORTH was born 1860. He was a tailor. He married ANNIE BANDY (daughter of JOSEPH BANDY) 2 May 1881 at Harpenden. They lived at Harpenden and Luton and had eight children.

c. LOUISA NORTH was born 1864. She married SAMUEL GRAY (daughter of JAMES GRAY) 28 April 1894 at Harpenden.

d. ARTHUR NORTH was born 1866. He was a tailor. He married ROSE MARY GARDINER (daughter of WILLIAM GARDINER) 14 August 1895 at Harpenden. They lived at Harpenden and had three children.

2. THOMAS NORTH was baptized 28 May 1826 at Kimpton. In 1841 he was a servant at Barleybins (Barley Beans) Farm in Kimpton. He was buried at Wheathampstead aged 22 on 22 April 1849.

3. MARY ANNE NORTH was baptized 19 October 1828 at Kimpton. She is probably the Maryanne North aged 1+ buried 9 February 1830 at Kimpton.

4. FRANCES NORTH (FANNY) was baptized 16 January 1831 at Kimpton. She married WILLIAM ODELL (son of JOHN ODELL) 14 October 1854 at Wheathampstead. William died aged 80 in 1909 and Fanny aged 84 in 1916. See my entry on the Odell family. Fanny was my great great grandmother.

5. HANNAH NORTH was baptized 14 April 1833 at Kimpton. She married THOMAS MORLEY (son of SAMUEL MORLEY) 26 July 1856 at Harpenden.

6. CHARLES NORTH was baptized 2 August 1835 at Kimpton. He married CHARLOTTE HARRIS (daughter of WILLIAM HARRIS) 26 March 1876 at Harpenden. She then had a child WILLIAM G HARRIS. Charles died in 1918 and Charlotte died aged 59 in 1910. They lived at Harpenden and had four more children:

a. ELIZABETH NORTH was baptized 4 March 1877 at Harpenden She married WALTER GIBBS (son of JAMES GIBBS) 24 December 1898 at Harpenden.

b. HELEN S NORTH (NELLIE) was born about 1880. In 1901 she was a domestic servant. Nothing more is known.

c. THOMAS CHARLES NORTH was baptized 29 May 1881 at Harpenden. He probably married ADA WRIGHT in 1918.

d. CAROLINE NORTH (CARRIE) was born about 1884. In 1901 she was an India rubber factory hand. Nothing more is known.

7. MARY NORTH was born about 1840. In 1861 she was a bonnet sewer. She probably married FREDERICK SWAIN in 1863. They lived in Harpenden. 

8. ALFRED NORTH was born about 1845 and was baptized 30 June 1850 at Wheathampstead. He was a farm labourer in 1861. I am unsure of his subsequent fate. Possibly he married MARY ANN CATLING in 1868, in which case he settled in Watford.

Contributed by Anthony M. Carter   email: acarter [at] health.sdu.dk                          April 2010

I am trying to find any information on my great-great-grandfather, William North, who lived with his wife Sarah and children at Gustard Wood in 1861.  He was widowed by the 1871 census, when he lived there as a lodger.  The 1861 census lists him as an agricultural labourer, and she was a straw plaiter.

Many thanks, Bill Almquest  email -                   

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JOHN ODELL was born about 1789 at Stopsley Bedfordshire but his father may have been from Wheathampstead (Odell removals from Bedfordshire parishes to Wheathampstead are recorded in 1812 and 1818). He was an agricultural labourer. John died in 1861 but no burial record has been found. He married SARAH DUNHAM 1 June 1822 at Wheathampstead. She was buried at St Helens Wheathampstead 24 May 1845 aged 58. The children include a daughter and three sons.

1. MARY ANN ODELL was born 11 August 1821 and baptized 9 March 1822. Nothing more is known of her.

2. GEORGE ODELL was born 10 October and baptized 21 December 1823. He died aged 84 in 1908. He was a retired builder in 1901. He married MARY (SMITH?). Their children are:

a. THIRZA MARY ODELL was born about 1848. She married CHARLES DEARMER in London in 1879. In 1911 her daughters DAISY DEARMER and MAY DEARMER are found living with her brother Samuel.

b. ELLEN ODELL was born about 1850. In 1911 she is found aged 60 living with her brother Samuel.

c. CATHERINE ODELL was born about 1858. In 1886 she married CHARLES JOINER in London. In 1911 she is found as a widow aged 53 living with her brother Samuel.

d. ELIZABETH ODELL was born about 1859.

e. OWEN ODELL was born about 1861. He was a builder in 1901 and bricklayer in 1911. He married DORCAS JANE GATHARD in 1884. Owen died 31 May 1930 and Dorcas 27 March 1927 aged 62. They had at least six children:

i. VINCENT ODELL was born 1891.

ii. EDITH ODELL was born 1893 and died 18 May 1917.

iii. ALICE ODELL was born 1896 and died 11 January 1916.

iv. FRANK ODELL was born 1899 and died 8 January 1917.

v. REGINALD ODELL was born 1901.

vi. CYRIL ODELL was born 1904.

f. EDWIN ODELL was born about 1863. Nothing further is known.

g. SAMUEL ODELL was born about 1865. He was a carpenter in 1911 and apparently a bachelor. He died in 1939.

3. THOMAS ODELL was born 7 April and baptized 16 September 1827. He died aged 58 in 1884. He married HANNAH WEBB 31 January 1853 at Wheathampstead. Their sons were:

a. GEORGE HENRY ODELL born about 1858. He died aged 59 in 1917. He spent some time in Staffordshire and lived most of his life in St. Albans. He was a builder’s foreman in 1901. He married first EUGENIE ADELINE SCARBOROUGH, from Luton, at Burton on Trent Staffordshire in 1880. They had seven children. She died in 1896. In 1898 he married EDITH COWARD who was from Stourpaine, Dorset. They had at least two children.

i. LAVINIA HOOPER ODELL was baptized 31 January 1881. Nothing further is known.

ii. GEORGE HENRY SCARBOROUGH ODELL (Harry) was baptized 25 December 1881. He was a bricklayer in 1901.

iii. HERBERT FRANK ODELL was baptized 27 May 1883. He was a bricklayer’s labourer in 1901.

iv. FREDERICK JOSEPH ODELL (Fred) was baptized 22 February 1885. He was a brick carter in 1901.

v. EDITH ELIZABETH GRAVESTOCK ODELL was baptized 28 February 1886.

vi. MAUDE F. ODELL (Mary) was born about 1890.

vii. AUBREY ODELL was born about 1892.

viii. FRANCIS ODELL was born about 1899.

ix. ELLA ODELL was born about 1900.

b. CHARLES ODELL was born about 1862. In 1881 he was a bricklayer together with his brother George at Horninglow, Staffordshire.

c. ALFRED ODELL was born about 1865. He was a bricklayer in 1881.

4. WILLIAM ODELL was born about 1831. He was a bricklayer. He married FANNY NORTH 14 October 1854 at Wheathampstead. William died aged 80 in 1909 and Fanny aged 84 in 1916. Their children are:

a. ELIZABETH ODELL was born about 1853. She was enumerated aged 8 in 1861 but nothing more is known.

b. SARAH ANN ODELL was baptized 14 January 1855. She married WILLIAM SAUNDERS 9 April 1882 at Wheathampstead. Their son CHARLES WILLIAM SAUNDERS had been baptized 25 May 1879. Sarah had a daughter Ellen Lizzie who was baptized 3 April 1877 and died the same year.

c. MARY ANN ODELL was born about 1857. She married WILLIAM ANSELL 6 June 1881at Wheathampstead. They were my great grandparents. They had seven children, see my entry under Ansell.

d. ELLEN ODELL was baptized 3 July 1859. She was enumerated aged 9 in 1871 but nothing more is known.

e. FREDERICK WILLIAM ODELL was baptized 24 November 1861. He was a wheelwright in 1881. He probably moved to Barnet and was a bricklayer there 1891-1911. He married EMMA BROCKLEY and they had a daughter NELLIE ODELL.

f. CLARA ODELL was baptized 27 December 1863. She was enumerated aged 40 in 1911.

g. WILLIAM JOHN ODELL was baptized 26 November 1865. He was a bricklayer in 1891. He married CICELY JANE SHEPPARD in 1896. The lived at The Folly. William died 27 February 1945 aged 79 and Cicely 2 March 1955 aged 83. Their son was:

i. ALBERT WILLIAM ODELL born 1896. He joined the Hertfordshire Regiment in 1914 and later served with the 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment in France and Flanders. He was killed in action near Ypres on 23 September 1917 aged 21. He is buried in Vlamertinghe Cemetery.

h. ANNA ELIZA ODELL was baptized 23 February 1868. She was enumerated aged 3 in 1871. There is an Annie aged 10 in 1881 and 18 in 1891.

i. EMILY ODELL was baptized 8 August 1870. Infant death registered the same year.

j. EMILY ODELL was baptized 30 June 1872. She died aged 6 in 1879.

k. JOHN HENRY ODELL was baptized 27 February 1876. He was a bricklayer in 1901. He married MAY SEAR in 1900.

l. CHARLES WILLIAM ODELL was born about 1880. He was a bricklayer in 1911. In 1910 he married EDITH BIGGE. Charles died 6 April 1931 aged 51 and Edith 19 December 1953 aged 73. Their children included:

i. HELENA ODELL born about 1910.

ii. MAURICE C. ODELL born 2 November 1915 and died 4 August 1990.

iii. PHILIP LIONEL ODELL born 1916. He served with the Royal Tank Regiment , Royal Armoured Corps, and was killed in action in the Middle East 7 October 1942.

Contributed by Anthony M. Carter,     email:                                   6th March 2009


Extracted from monumental inscriptions in Wheathampstead. (Published 1994  - Herts Family & Population History Society)

Charles William Odell died April 6th 1931 aged 51, also Philip son, killed in the Middle East Oct 7th 1942 aged 26.  Also Edith, wife of above who died Dec 19th 1953 aged 73.  Also Maurice O'Dell 11.2.1915 - 4.8.1990

William John Odell died 27th Feb 1945 aged 79 also Cicely Jane Odell wife , died 2nd March 1955 aged 83.

Samuel Odell 1865 - 1939, also May Gray 1891 - 1974.

May O'Dell who fell asleep Aug 19th 1945 aged 66.   Vylet Odell 1925 - 1966.

Alice Odell died Jan 11 1916 aged 21.   Frank Odell died Jan 8, 1917.   Edith Odell died May 18 1917 aged 24.   Dorcas Jane Odell wife of Owen Odell died March 27 1925 aged 62.  Also Owen loving husband of above died May 31 1930.

Douglas Edward Odell who died Dec 6th 1959 aged 58.  also his wife Ethel May who died June 11th 1963 aged 61.

V Odell  HMS Astrea - Wheathampstead Congregational Church Roll of Honour


Vincent ODELL born 4 October 1891 was commemorated on the Roll of Honour at the Congregational Chapel. He joined the Royal Navy on 3 February 1913 and served on HMS Astraea from 22 April 1913 until 19 July 1916. This second class cruiser was serving off Africa when the First World War started. Vincent would have seen action at Dar-es-Salaam in August 1914 and in support of the invasion of Kamerun from May 1915. He served in many other ships and completed his period of engagement in the Royal Navy. He was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in May 1928

Service record contributed by Anthony Carter, June 2009


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John Reginald Owen 
Date of birth - 5 August 1887, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England, UK. Died 5 November 1972, Boise, Idaho, USA. (heart attack).  See press article about mother's death. (Herts Adv 21Jan1944)

Played in many films including Ebenezer Scrooge in 1938 "A Christmas Carol"

Reginald Owen was probably Hollywood's busiest character actor - making more than 80 films. He was educated in England at Sir Herbert Tree's Academy of Dramatic Arts. Owen excelled and made his professional debut also in England at the age of 18. He came to New York in the early 1920s and started working on Broadway by 1924. He left New York in 1928 and moved to Hollywood, hoping to make it in films. In 1929, he landed his first role in The Letter. In 1932 he played Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes. Although, he didn't get many leading roles, he did get to work with some of Hollywood's most beautiful leading ladies like, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Jeanette MacDonald (Owen's personal favorite), Barbara Stanwyck and Elizabeth Taylor. Owen continued to work into his 70s and 80s making family classics, such as Mary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). He died in 1972 at the ripe age of 85 of natural causes.

Information extracted from the web April 2006

Those with the surname Owen in Wheathampstead in 1901 Census.  These may or may not be of the same family:

Age Name Where born Occupation
45 Frances E Owen Hants Basingstoke  
44 Joseph F Owen Surrey Reigate Builder & gravel merchant
17 Joseph R Owen Wheathampstead Assistant manager brickworks
15 Beatrice M Owen     "  
13 John R Owen     "  
11 Dorothy M Owen     "  
8 Hugh H Owen     "  


Joseph Fenwick Owen (elder). b.1855 d. 14 Oct 1926. He was born in Reigate, Surrey and was a master builder who had his own sand/gravel pit there. He was married to Frances Ellen Bedford b. 1856 d. 16 Jan 1944, who came from near Basingstoke in Hampshire, and they moved to Wheathampstead in about 1880 and he built "Gustard Wood" as the family home shortly thereafter. It remained in the family until Aug 1957, when it was sold for £2500. Shortly after the families arrival at Wheathampstead he established brick making works at Hill End nr. St Albans, at Digswell Hill, Welwyn and at Summersham (Hunts). He employed approx 80 men. He had gravel pits as well as 2 brick works - one large and one small. Quote "he was a very level headed man, knowing what he wanted and knowing how to get it! It can also truly be said that he had no enemies." He was a freemason being a member of the Halsey Lodge and was a member of the mid-Herts golf club, and a keen member of the local Conservative Association. He is described by his son Jack as being " an ardent sportsman and an excellent shot - there was always a plentiful supply of pheasants and partridges hanging in the cellar." They also had an excellent vegetable garden that was supervised by his wife and she was an accomplished artist! This probably accounts for the artistic talents some of the children.

The children were:

Joseph Fenwick Owen b. 1883 d. 1962. He was born at Wheathampstead - was an assistant brickworks manager at the age of 17 (from the census). He inherited the business from his father and had brickworks at St Albans (Hill End Brickworks), London Colney, Somersham, Fenstanton and Ayot St Lawrence. He lived at Wheathampstead, Herts and later had homes in Ashley Mead, London Colney, then in Douglas Rd, St Albans and, on his retirement, lived at Peddars Way in Suffolk. He was a Rotarian and a member of the St.Albans club. He married Marjorie Hampson, the daughter of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1915 and they had 4 sons: Robert, Derek, Trevor and Keith. Robert was a bomber pilot during WWII, and he was killed. He had started to takeover the brickworks before the war and this, together with the downturn in requirement for high quality bricks post WWII, was the reason the brickworks were closed and sold in the late 1940s. Derek was an engineer, running his own business in Huntingdonshire and, later, in Surrey. Trevor was a farmer in Rattlesden, Suffolk and Keith ran a number of small businesses in Northumberland before retiring to Norfolk. He is still alive.

Beatrice May Owen (known as May) b. 24 Jan 1886 d. 9 Oct 1968. She went to S Africa for a short period of time where she married Authur Drax Bacon on 8/4/1933 - he was 63 and she was only 49. They had no children. The husband died on 14/2/1948 at 11 Peak Drive, Pinelands, Cape District of a heart attack aged 78 and was a mining manager. She returned home to Selsea, W. Sussex where she remained until her death.

John Reginald Owen (known as Jack) b. 5 Aug 1887 d. 5 Nov 1972. He trained for the stage in London after leaving school and went to Hollywood in 1924 where he spent the remainder of his life. He featured in 80 films but had few significant roles. He signed a long term contract with MGM in 1935. Further information about his career is readily available on the internet. He married a Lydia Bilbrooke (known as Billly - an actress) at the age of 21 in 1908. This marriage was dissolved in 1923 although they stayed in touch for the rest of their lives. He then married Mrs Harold Austin, a British Actress, who died in 1956. He was survived by his third wife Barbara, and a stepson, Robert Haveman. She was the daughter of the late Princess Barbara Argoutinsky Dolgoroukoff and they married in 1956.

Dorothy May Owen b. 24 Oct 1889 d. 8 Dec 1989. She was a gifted musician and became a volunteer nurse during WWI. During her service she nursed at the Hopital de l'Alliance in Yvetot, France. She founded the Guildford County School of Music in 1919 with Claud Powell who became a very close associate. With him, she organised the long series of concerts by the Guildford Symphony Orchestra, which he conducted, and these continued under other conductors after his death. They were also responsible for the foundation of the highly successful amateur reportory company which played regularly at St Nicholas Hall until the outbreak of WWII, and also the Guildford Choral Society. An extract from press reads "Miss Owen was the partner of the late Claud Powell in the Guildford School of Music from its foundation in 1919 until his death on 10/5/1958, aged 78, and since then has been its director." She was never married and lived to be 100 yrs old and died at Pixiewood House in Dorking, Surrey!

Hugh Leslie Owen (known as Pat) b. 1893 d. 5 Jun 1930. He painted with the nickname "Horosho" and enlisted in the army as soon as WWI broke out. Within weeks, he was involved in active service, before becoming an RAF observer. He sailed from Newcastle on the troopship "City of Marseilles to Murmansk" and was in Archangel when the Armistice was signed! He suffered from asthma as a boy and is purported to have died at the age of 37 of TB having which he contracted from cows when in Russia! He visited Venice to paint in Jun 1922 and appeared in a show called "Pandora" with Marylaine Howlett in London. An extract from a programme reads "Mr Hugh Owen toured with Mr Matheson Lang's Company in S Africa and the Far East before the war. He studied art at the Slade School and at Heatherley's. He designed the Guildford Pageant and decorations for several London productions before becoming assistant designer to the Birmingham Reportory Theatre in Jan 1926. Since Jan 1927 Mr Owen has designed all scenery and costumes for our work in Birmingham."

A note in the family written by Joseph Fenwick Snr. reads that the boys went to a preparatory school in the village and the girls went to a day school in Harpenden so that they were all under the one roof (their father's wishes!) When old enough, all went to the City of London School (a public school). It was at Thomas Embankment and involved a trip by train, then on the underground and bus. The day started at 7am, they caught the train at Wheathampstead at 8 and they each had a bike to use to the station where father would see them safely on board. There is a monument at Wheathampstead Rectory which commemorates the lives of earlier members of the family - certainly upto Reginald in 1972!

I trust that this may be of interest to you, albeit too much, but it is factually correct.
Yours sincerely, Rob Owen (eldest son of Derek, who was the son of Joseph Fenwick Jnr.)                added May 2007

Update: The family lived at Gustard Wood and the house was built by their father.  The name "Owens' Corner" was given by the local bus drivers who used to stop at the entrance to the house!                                  added Jan. 2008

In 1877 Joseph Fenwick Owen, aged 26 and James Williams, bought the Kilby's building business... His workshop, sawpit and yards were on both sides of Lamer Lane at the southern end of Gustard Wood a spot still known as "Owens Corner"  - from Wheathampstead & Harpenden Book V, by The History Publishing Society, Harpenden.1991        

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Parker E W G Parker

I have a Edward William George Parker1870 (My grandfather) born to George Parker b 1831 and Phoebe Bennett/Parker.   I did find George Parker b 1830c of Wheathampstead committed for trial at the quarter sessions for sheep stealing in old Hertfordshire News in 1871.  Photo on right includes E W G Parker (he is in front row 5th from right - move cursor over image).

Any information on this family would be appreciated
Regards  Pat Williams  email -                                                                                 (May 2007)

1881 census
Dwelling: Ayres End, Census Place: Wheathampstead. (name, marr, age, sex, birthplace, relationship, occupation)
George PARKER M 50 M Wheathamstead, Hertford, England, Head , Shepherd Farm
Mary PARKER M 53 F Ayott St Lawrence, Hertford, England, Wife, Railroad Labourer
Walter PARKER U 22 M Welwyn, Hertford, England, Son, Railroad Labourer
Charlottee PARKER U 20 F Welwyn, Hertford, England, Daur, Sewer (Str)
Alice PARKER U 15 F Welwyn, Hertford, England, Daur, Sewer (Str)
Edward PARKER 11 M Welwyn, Hertford, England, Son, Scholar
William PARKER 4 M Harpenden Common, Hertford, England, Son
Rosa PARKER 6w F Ayres End, Hertford, England,

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I was just looking for information on my family (Rainsdon) and stumbled upon this site. If you know anything more on Henry Rainsdon I would appreciate it. My family records show nothing of him.
Maria Rainsdon <rainsdon@nmsu.edu>
Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States - November 2005

See also historic pictures (13)

In searching for my husbands roots on the Hornett line, I have come across a group of Rainsden who seemed to have a son named Joseph Hornet...it lists his parents as William Rainsden b. abt 1847 and Dinah Rainsden b. aby 1847, from the Wheathampstead area.  Any information that goes with this would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks, Pam Hornett email 

1851 Census
no Hornet listed.

Rainsdon at No Mans Land Common:
John Rinsdon, Mar, 42, Agr Lab & Beer Shop Keeper b Whstd
Martha Rainsdon, wife, b Redbourn (nee Fowler)
John, son, 11 Ag Lab b Whstd
William, son 4, b Whstd
Isaac, son 2 b Whstd

At Amwell :
William Rainsdon, Unm, 48, Ag Lab b Whstd
Ann Rainsdon, Mother, wid, 73, Straw Plait, b Whstd (wid of Edward) (nee Allen)
Elizabeth Rainsdon, Sister, 13, scholar b Whstd
Mary Crew, sister, mar, 32 straw plait, b Whstd
Mary Ann Crew, niece 8 b Northaw
William Crew, nephew 1 b Whstd

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Added 8 July 2006

We are the Riddells. Our grandfather came from Northumberland to find work.  The picture on Ruth Jeavons article titled 'Wheathampstead in 1901' (3rd picture down) is in fact my grandfather, second from the left.  His name was Henry Riddell , but known as Harry to friends. The shop was moved to the barns in the back carpark of The Swan, later in the 1900's.  When grandad gave the shop up to retire, he then did a post round in Wheathampstead, until he passed away.  He had 6 children after his marriage to Annie Lines.  Their names were Leslie, Constance, Edna, Algenon, Cecil and Harry. Harry was killed as a young man on the railway line in Luton.

Cecil, our father, married Dulcie Pearce. They resided at Caesars Road and Brewhouse Hill.  They had three daughters, Carole, Susan and Jacqueline.

There were many Wheathampstead cousins, including the Westwoods which were from Dulcie's side of the family.  Dulcie also was employed over the years at both Helmets and the Murphy Chemical CompanyDulcie turns 86 this year.  Cecil died in 1976.  He made many friends over the years as he was a frequent visitor to the local pubs, especially The Nelson.  Susan (now 56 years), migrated to Australia in 1971, Dulcie in 1983 and Jacqueline (50years) in 1987. Carole (60 years), the oldest sibling still lives in the UK at Norfolk.

We have attached some photographs (see History Pictures 16) and will continue to look for additions to your website.

Susan McAllan (Riddell)  email - 
and Jacqueline O'Hare (Riddell)

I was born in Wheathampstead and my family (the Riddell family) used to live up Wheathampstead Hill, we moved away when I was 3 in 1949 but often returned to visit my gran and aunt who lived in Wayside Cottage Wheathampstead Hill, their name was Bracey.  I also had a aunt Sylvia Field who used to live at 46 Necton Road, sadly these people are all deceased now.  But I have many memories of Wheathampstead and when we stayed at my grans cottage we often played on The Wick behind her cottage.  My grandfather owned a Saddlers shop in the High St in the early 1900s.  Love to here from anyone who remembers our family or the Braceys etc.  Love the website

Kings Lynn, Norfolk,                                                                                 submitted 17 January 2006

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I am descended from the Robards and Lake families of Wheathampstead. Here is more information

Gary Robards email:

Submitted 16 June 2002

1851 Census
Robards at Bury Green:
Halsey Robards, Unm 66, Shoemaker b Whstd

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On your Wheathampstead web site you mentioned Emma and Olivia Upton Robins at Delaport House (see picture on right). I wonder if this family is related to my own.  My great grandfather was Strode Upton Robins, a solicitor who lived and practiced in Stevenage. He was the son of George and Helen Robins. George was also a solicitor of Paddington,London.If you have any information I would be interested to hear from you. 

Thank you, Elizabeth Browning.

submitted May 2002

Update 23 May 2002 - I have just discovered that my great great grandfather, George Robins, was the owner of Delaport house in 1881 and that he was married to Emma and had 2 children: Flora O.J. Robins 3yrs and George J. Robins 2 yrs.  My great grandfather Strode Upton Robins was George's son by a previous marriage and was a practicing solicitor in Stevenage until 1893.  If anyone has any information about any of these people I would be delighted to hear from them.  Does anyone know if there are pictures of Delaport House and/or the Robins family?

Update 10 July 2002 - George Robins was married 30 DEC 1846 to Helen Brinson White , a widow whose maiden name was Brinson Ferris at the Parish church, Lymington, Southampton. His father, a solicitor, was Francis Theophilus Robins. Her father was in the R.N.; William Brinson Ferris. As far as I can tell they had only one child, Strode Upton Robins b. 31 May 1848 in Paddington , (then) Middlesex. Strode attended Rugby school and Trinity college Cambridge and as you know was a solicitor. He married Blanche Shelley Reid of The Node, Codicote, daughter of William Reid, brewer, of the firm Watney Combe & Reid. They had (I think) 5 children:Blanche Eleanor Upton b. 12 Jan 1872 at The Node Codicote,d.12 June 1879 Delaport Wheathamstead (sic) of scarletina. Death certified by G.M.Phillips. M.R.C.S. and certificate signed by George Upton Robins.

1881 census for Stevenage (schedule #105) at High St. shows: Strode Upton Robins 32 Solicitor & licensed Victualer at 6 High Holburn employing 3 women and 13 men. born Middlesex Paddington

Blanche Shelley 29, wife, b. Herts Codicote.
Florence Helena Upton, daughter, 7, b. Middx Westminster.
Violet Mary Upton,dau,6. b. Middx Westminster.
Margaret J. Upton,dau, 4. b. Middx Paddington.
Francis Edward,son,1. b. Herts Stevenage.(my grandfather)
Eleanor.C.L. Bayliff, visitor,5.b. Middx Paddington.
Francis Cook, servant. 63. Nurse(domestic) b. Hampshire Blackwater
Harriet Riddle, ,,      28. Cook. b. herts Shipdale.
Caroline Mead,  ,,      22. Undernurse.b. Herts Welwyn
Gertrude Rolfe,  ,,      18. Parlourmaid.b. Herts Whitwell
Mary Ann Lovell ,,      17.Kitchenmaid.b. Middx Paddington.       

History shows that Strode, who held the trust funds of Blanche and several of her siblings  and the funds of other clients , "bolted" in 1893 "to South America" with the money, leaving Blanche and his children destitute and other family members and clients financially ruined. He was never heard from again.


Webmaster's comment based upon above and other material - 

The 1881 census for Wheathampstead, at Delaport House has- George N. Robins 60 a retired solicitor and his wife Emma F. Robins 39.  Their children were
Flora O.J. Robins  3,  George J. Robins 2.  Also widowed sister Florence Burridge 53 


  • George N Robins 1816-1895 m 1846 Helen Brinson White (nee Ferris)1821-1875
    • Strode Upton Robins 1848 m Blanche Shelley Reid (dau of William Reid a wealthy brewer of Watney Coombe and Reid whose residence was The Node in Codicote Herts)
      • Blanche Eleanor Upton-Robin 1872 - 1879 died scarlet fever
      • Florence Helen Upton Robins 1874
      • Violet Mary Upton Robins 1875
      • Margaret J Upton Robins 1877
      • Francis Edward Robins 1880
  • 2nd marriage George N Robins 1816-1895 m Emma Flora 1842-
    • George Robins 1879-1915 (Captain East Yorkshire regiment died from the effects of gas poisoning at Hill 60, near Ypres May 5th 1915, he was the last man to leave Hill 60 the rest of his Company having died in the trenches.)
    • Flora Olivia  J Robins 1878
  • Florence Robins 1828 - (sister of George N Robins) m Mr Burridge 

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I am researching the early Wheathampstead surnames of Rosher. Rosier. Rozier. Roshier back to the 1830's and welcome any help for these names before this time.

Denis Rosher  email

 Added 30/04/04

I came across your page of Roshier this is my family the first name I have is John Roshier born about 1795 married Mary he was a gamekeeper at Gustard wood died 1839,had three boys -

  1. Robert 1821 married Elizabeth had a son William and lived in Islington London making shoes.

  2. William 1823, married Elizabeth Sibley he had eleven children, living at Kimpton and was a wheel-wright by trade.

  3. John 1827, have not been able to trace, born at Knebworth,

I hope this is of interest.  Alan Rosher - email address

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