Sunday, May 22, 2016

Stevenage pages upgraded on my Web Site

Stevenage FHS

Stevenage was on of the Hertfordshire Towns which had been rather neglected in recent years and I have completely restructured the pages to make the information about the town much more accessible. In addition I had made higher definition images of some of the pictures and added new external links, including one to the Stevenage Family History Society. 

This change will make it possible for me to add even more pictures and information in future, and I have about a dozen pictures, etc, in the queue waiting to be added.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Interesting Local History from an Estate Agent's Account Book

Last Wednesday I gave a talk about this interesting 1850s account book to the Tring & District Local History & Museum Society and all the slides are now available at:
You will find the menu on the left gives you access to
  • A page describing the Account Book
  • The Calendar - which in turn allows you to view all 283 folios
  • William Brown's A-Z Customer Index
  • The slides for the talk (to see additional notes press the [A] button)

Bearing in mind the recent news about the Conservative Party not properly declaring their election expenses one of the slides that cause much interest was:

The 1851 election was caused because one of the MPs was unseated because too much "bribery" money had been spent wining and dining prospective voters... 

I think all the audience were distressed that historically valuable documents relating to the history of the town had ended up on ebay, and that some key documents have ended up with unknown buyers. It is possible that other less attractive looking but historically important documents may have been rubbished. At least the account book will end up in the museum collection - and the information it contains is available to all online.
Two areas are still being worked on. The Calendar uses the headings on every page but only some pages have a supplementary list of personal names and places and it is hoped to complete this over the next few months. In addition I have still to add supplementary notes to some of the slides.

Three further books - the minute books of the Tring Agricultural Society - will also be passed the the museum when I have provided more online information about them.

In addition only a few pages have been studied in depth, and if you are interested in following up the history behind any folio (including those relating to people and places over the boundary in Buckinghamshire) do not hesitate to contact me.

Policy: DNA Testing and the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web Site

Recently I have had a few queries which involve DNA testing and this raises the question of how such matters are best handled on my web site. Your views would be welcome.

Way back in the 1980s (well before the World Wide Web came into its existence) I was involved with the problem of "data protection" and the implications of the international exchange of information about people and what they did, using email and bulletin boards. I even had one of my computer articles on the subject reprinted in a specialist legal journal!

Prize Fighting on No Mans Land in 1833

Following a useful correction from John I have added some useful references to prize fighting and a brief extract from a lengthy press description of the fight, which led to the death of Simon Bryne.

In the five following rounds, both fought in a wild and scrambling manner, equally exhausting to each; and in the 49th round Burke, who had summoned all his remaining vigour to his aid, rattled away with such fury, that Simon at last went down weaal. Here was another change - and Burke again became the favourite. From henceforth to the 99th round, repeated changes took place.

Friday, May 20, 2016

First World War casualties from Ludgrove School

The Military
Hilary is researching the musician George Jerrard Wilkinson whose First World War obituary says had been a music teacher at Ludgrave school, (then near Barnet) sometime between 1908 and 1914.  I am unable to confirm this (can you help?) but decided to see what I could find about the pupils (mostly from prominent families) from the school who had died or other wise contributed. 
I was interested to see that one of the teachers at the school, Henry Peter Hansell, became personal tutor to the sons of King Edward VII - especially as more recently both Prince William and Prince Harry went to the school in its "new" location in Berkshire.

The former pupils and teachers who I identified (I am sure there were many more) were: 
Nigel F. E. Anson
Basil H. Barrington-Kennett
Wilfrid Stanley Bird
William Arthur Derrick Eley
Richard Hallwatt
George Ronald Lane
William Archie Arbuthnot Middleton
W. L. O. Parker
George Harry Thornton Ross
Richard Sutton