Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all

Our usual Christmas dinner with a difference  (see what we had in 2011), and despite appearances we have not cut back on our usual feast. A few days ago I was busy shopping in preparation for three busy days cooking for family and friends- viz: (1) roast Aylesbury duck, (2) baked gammon and (3) roast lamb spread out over the Christmas and New Year period. The rest of the time was free  for relaxing or an even updating files on the computer.  Then a couple of days before Christmas I updated my diary to include attending a cremation of a good friend, an invite to an 18th birthday party, and two half days travelling. Then planned travel arrangements for Christmas Day visitor were changed - so I cooked the duck legs, etc., today - and will now be cooking the duck crown tomorrow, with all the extras. 

In fact I have a number of genealogy related updates to the Genealogy in Hertfordshire web site in the pipeline - but they will have to wait until the New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Was William Hogg the last regular horse-drawn cabbie in Hertfordshire?

William Thomas Hogg of St Albans had worked at the cab rank in Harpenden for some years, but when all the other cabbies were switching to cars, friends had helped to provide him with a replacement horse and cab so that he could still provide a regular service at Harpenden Railway Station.

However old age caught up with him and in 1936, shortly after giving up the cab and his horse Robert, he died  (?Perhaps of a broken heart?).

Do you know of any other horse-drawn cabs that were still operation on a regular basis after 1936?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

James Coles of Water End Farm

James William COLE (1851-1923)
David Cole writes: My grandfather Charles Percy COLE (1884-1966) was a member of the family of James William COLE (1851-1923) who inhabited Waterend House soon after your ancestor Dolphin Smith left there,  i.e. from around 1878 until at least 1907 when my grandfather emigrated to Canada.
I note the following facts:

1860's CDV by Avery of Hitchin (and more on his family)

Jan contacted me and and provided additional information on George Avery, photographer, of Hitchin including a link to a useful family tree. George took over the business of Samuel Debenham in 1863 and sold the business to Thomas Latchmore in 1870.

At the same time as updating the family information on the George Avery page I have added two early photographs from about 1863/4. One, which has the hand written Hitchin address on, is of the Rev John Henry Howlett (1779-1867) who died in Kent, and the back suggests that it may have been taken in Kent at the time George was moving to Hitchin in 1863.

I would be very interested to learn of other photographs taken by Samuel Debenham (in Hitchin, Bedford or Luton) or by George Avery (in Hitchin or Kent).

[I have not investigated the history of the Rev Howlett - comments will be welcome.]

Fehrenbach, Clock & Watchmakers of Bishop's Stortford

Following a query about this family of clock & watchmakers I have updated the Fehrenbach page on this Bishop's Stortford company by adding a picture of one of their clocks, details of a theft of clocks and jewelry, and two brief obituaries.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holloways at Aldbury

The Back Holloway at Aldbury
As the result of a query from the National  Trust (who own a large part of the former Ashridge estate) I have added two new pictures of the holloways running up the escarpment from Aldbury Village, and provided higher resolution pictures online for others. Several of these relate to the unusual Franco Series of post cards.

NOTE: I have a large collection of Hertfordshire post cards - many of which have not yet appeared online. While plans are being considered as to the best way to continue the web site on a reduced scale (see earlier post) I have decided that over Christmas and the New Year period I will be posting additional post card images. If you would like to see more pictures of a particular town or village let me know and I will try and digitize any relevant post cards I hold.