Enquiry page

We will try to help you find the answers to your local questions.

If you have an enquiry about the history of St Albans or Hertfordshire, or can help with an earlier enquiry, please add a comment at the bottom of this page. We often can't answer a question but can only suggest sources for research and it is important to know about the work you have already done.

  • Do you know St Albans well?
  • What sources have you already investigated?
  • Do you live here and have access to our libraries?
  • Do you have any connection with a property you are asking about?
  • Have you visited the Hertfordshire Libraries websites?
  • Have you considered the County Archives at HALS?

Don't forget that the Society's library can provide information on a range of local queries; check with the library team who may already have the answer!

We recommend the website Genealogy in Hertfordshire which is run by Chris Reynolds, who is also much more able to help if you can give details of your previous research.

Be sure to leave your email address so we can get back to you.

This page was added by Brian Bending on 10/07/2012.
Comments about this page

I am looking for a family that I was a pen pal of 60 years ago the name was Brian Howard they lived at 39 Prospect Rd St Albans.
In 1953 they sent my baby son a Coronation Crown & bible & I would like to make contact with a member of the family to let them know that my son Jim still has the Crown & Bible & also the letter they wrote. Hope you can help.
Regards, Kath Lelliott

 lelkat@skymesh.com.au

Attempted reply. Address rejected

By Kath Lelliott
On 11/07/2012

I am looking for any information on Peter George Hammond, aged 26, who lived or stayed at 29 Royston Road in St Albans in January 1940. He was a soldier, possibly American, and had arrived from Lagos, West Africa on the 'Abosso' on the 28th January 1940, and gave his UK address as Royston Rd on the passenger list. Would be very grateful if anyone recognises him.

In progress

By Deborah Madell
On 02/11/2012

A person on my familt tree was born at Hamaro House(?) in Grange Street, St Alban's in 1906. Despite having been down the house and looking aat resources, I have been unable to trace this address

In progress

By Mrs Janet Wyatt
On 27/11/2012

Whilst researching my ancestors, I discovered that my Great Great Grandfather Richard Hammond moved from Devon to St Albans between 1841 and 1851 with his wife Elizabeth. The 1851 cencus shows him living at Aster Hill with wife children. His occupation is given as Gardener. The Hammonds are listed along with other servants etc as living at Aster House in the parish of St Johns. I can find no info on Aster House and was wondering if it still exists. The family moved back to Devon before the next census in 1861. I would be grateful for any information you might have on Aster House and who lived there. Regards Jeff Hammond

Answered privately

By Jeff Hammond
On 27/11/2012

Hi, I am looking for information regarding the building I work in, 1 Holywell Hill St Albans. It was formally The Swan Inn going by a plan we have within the showroom as of 23rd January 1674 in Probate of William Jones, Saddler. If you are able to help I would appreciate it. Kind regards Marsha

Answered privately

By Marsha Trew
On 24/11/2013

Can anyone tell me if a shop call whitehouse or whitehead was ever in St Albans.

Further details are as follows:

 

My mum said we had family connections with St albans before 1800- 1900. I believe the name is Whitehouse.
we have a great great grandmother called Elizebeth Ann Whitehouse born Luton Beds 1853, and we believe it was her family that had the shop.

By sidney king
On 28/04/2014

Hi im trying to find out about my dads family, the Clarry's they had a farm at Cheapside Farm , i know some of them played football for St Albans and were associated with St Stephens church. also my aunt is buried there and I dont know how to find out where her grave is please help. thank you.

Answered privately

By leanne panting
On 27/04/2014

My great-great-great grandparents, William Warren and Martha Element (or Elment) were married at St Albans Abbey on 28 March 1799. Would it be possible for me to obtain a copy of their marriage certificate from the Cathedral or another source? Quite happy to pay a fee.

Answered privately

By Geoff Warren
On 29/05/2014

Answered privately.GPMcS

By Martha Rojas
On 30/09/2014

Hi

I am trying to find out about 'Glenside Maternity Home' which was in Carlisle Avenue in St Albans in the 1920s.  My grandfather was born there and I haven't been able to find any record of the place so far.  Just wondering if anyone has heard of it and could tell me a bit more about it.

Thanks

Susan

 

Answered privately.

By susan
On 03/01/2015

Hi,

I'm the Curator at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, undertaking research into the distribution of artefacts excavated in Egypt between 1880 and 1980 (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/petrie/research/research-projects/AHRC_project ). I note from http://www.stalbanshistory.org/documents/1890_1891_00_.pdf that some antiquities from the Egypt Exploration Fund were exhibited at the Architectural and Archaeological Society. Does anyone know what happened to them subsequently? Many thanks.

 

Answered privately.

By Alice Stevenson
On 22/01/2015

I have moved from St Albans to Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire. The local church, All Saints, has extremely faded wall paintings. I have searched in vain for any reproduction of how they may have looked in earlier times. Any help appreciated.

By Rodney Hale
On 02/03/2015

In August 1945 the then Dean of St Albans (Very Rev Thicknesse, I believe) made national headlines for refusing to allow the Abbey to be used for a service of thanksgiving - on the grounds that ending the war by atom-bombing Hiroshima & Nagasaki was unacceptably barbaric and unchristian.Do you have any further details of this event? 

Many thanks

Answered privately G P McS

By C R Hill
On 15/06/2015

Good afternoon - I am trying to find a photo (not postcard) of the Cattle Market held in St Albans in the early 1900's - can you advise who I could contact to source such a thing - it is for a gift. Many thanks

Unable to contact by email. If not too late, try http://www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk/verulamium/

& ask for photo dept.

G P McS

 

By Ruth de Groot
On 19/06/2015

hi

i am trying to find out any information about a childrens home that was on King Harry Lane in 1943, my mother was there from a baby until she was fostered a few years later. she believes the home to be called St Lawrence childrens home, although i have searched numourous sites, i am unable to find anything. i would really like to trace her life, but am stuck at the first stage. i hope someone can help

kind regards

catherine 

Answered by Email. (There was a 'Lawrence Home' No 26) GPMcS

By catherine lloyd
On 24/07/2015

Further to the enquiry by Catherine Lloyd. The Lawrence Children's Home was indeed situated at 26 King Harry Lane, and I was there myself as a young child between 1949 and 1953. The building, originally named 'Campbellfield', was run by the Public Assistance Committee of Hertfordshire County Council and had been gifted to the Council in 1938 by the then owner Sir Walter Lawrence of Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, who was a master builder and cricket enthusiast. 'Campbellfield' was originally owned by Andrew McIlwraith, a successful businessman, who retired to and died in Salcombe, Devon.  

I, too, have always had great difficulty in researching the history  of the Lawrence Children's Home so can readily understand Catherine's frustration. The only item I have ever read about it is a short article with a b/w photograph entitled 'New Convalescent Home' from an unknown edition of the 'Herts Advertiser' in 1938.

The Home was eventually demolished, I believe, sometime in the 1970's. If anyone can add any further detail to the history of the Home then I would be very pleased to hear more.

Many thanks,

Peter  

By Peter Thompson
On 23/08/2015

Does anyone know what happened to Ragged Hall, off Stanley Avenue?

Answering by email GMcS

No response

By Ron Cave
On 20/09/2015

I'm transcribing a 1952 travel diary of a cousin who toured from London to St Albans. Her writing is small and sometimes hard to decipher. She mentions having tea at a quaint little restaurant on the far side away from town having to walk via Fishpool St to go back to the bus. The writing looks like "Sully or Sally Runner or Ruins" Any ideas from older locals?

Sally Lunn Tea Room(s). Closed  years ago. Answered by email. G P McS (No reply)

 

By Denise Bosse
On 03/01/2016

I'd like to buy a copy of the book A Local St Albans History by Tony Billings, local author, but I can't track the book anywhere to purchase [there is a copy in the library, published 2002]. Does anyone know this local historian's contact details?

Thank you, Stephanie 

Passed to Tony. GMcS

By Stephanie
On 18/01/2016

My family (the Hill's of Hatfield) have always believed that an ancestor, George Ruffett had been Landlord of 'The Fighting Cocks' in the 1850's. Can anyone provide information regarding this or how we can investigate landlords of the past. George Ruffet was also associated with The Butcher's Arms (1871) and The Prince of Wales (1861) in Park Street, Hatfield. Many thanks, Carol Miles

Answered by email. Ruffet was the publican from c.1851 to c.1857. JM

By Carol Miles (nee Gell)
On 20/01/2016

In response to Catherine's enquiry about Lawrence House, the children's home operated until Mid 1970 when it was closed. The children and staff moved to a new purpose built home in Jupiter Drive, Hemel Hempstead. 

By Tony
On 06/04/2016

Hello!

Where might I locate the various materials on the surnames within http://www.stalbanshistory.org/documents/1932_09_.pdf ?

Thank you!

By Susan Hathaway
On 13/04/2016

I am writing on behalf of St Albans Warlords - a wargaming group meeting on Sundays at the Royal British Legion in Verulam Road between 4pm & 10pm. 

 

It is our intention to recreate the first battle of St Albans as a participation game that can be taken to shows to promote the club, St Albans and the Wars of the Roses as a gaming period.

 

We are currently at the planning stage and are recreating in 1/56th scale a model of St Peters St including the Chequers, the keys and the Castle Inns, the Clock tower and the Eleanor cross.

I would be very grateful if anyone could furnish any information as to what the St Albans Eleanor cross looked like and whether or not the market place, and adjoining streets would have been cobbled in 1455.

many many thanks in advance

Trevor Gillard

Answered by library staff

 

By Trevor Gillard
On 13/04/2016

I am writing to you from Shoreline, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. I am planning a family reunion for our family which will be held on July 9, 2016. Our family originated in Nottingham, England. One family member, a schoolmaster Robert William Fox, moved to St. Albans from Nottingham and taught school in St. Albans for his entire teaching career. The dates were approximately 1890 to 1918. I am wondering if archives exist of staff portraits from that era? I am writing a booklet of the life of my great-great grandfather and Robert William Fox was his nephew. Robert William Fox married Margaret Ann Kendle in 1898 and they had one child, a son named Robert Frank Fox. He was born and raised in St. Albans. When he was just 18 years old, he enlisted in the British Army and was sent to France to fight during WWI. After just three weeks, he was killed by German artillery fire. His name appears on the WWI Memorial in Somme, France and also on the WWI Memorial in St. Albans. I am wondering if any class photos might exist or school records with photos? There is an existing photo online showing the entire Army regiment he was assigned to but sadly the names of the soldiers are not listed on the photo. I assume Robert Frank Fox was in school in St. Albans around 1902-1914 so if photos or portraits exist, they would be from that approximate time frame. If there is anyone in your historical society who might be able to research possible available photos from that era, I would gladly pay for the time and any other costs plus make a donation. Thank you for any help or response you might be able to provide me. Very gratefully yours,Kathi Peterson

 

Replied to by a Society member via email

 

By Kathi Peterson
On 07/06/2016

I would like any information, documents etc concerning the development of College Street. In particular I am interested in the end of the street starting at 2  to 6 which was not developed into housing until the 1920's. Many thanks David Squire

 

Replied to by library staff via email.

By David Squire
On 05/07/2016

Hi, I am walking to St Albans on 11th August on the trail of the Eleanor Crosses. I have a bit of info about the cross at St Albans & that it probably stood where the clock tower now stands. please would you point me in the direction of further infomation about Queen Eleanor's connections with St Albans. Kind regards, Nicola

 

Replied to by email

By Nicola Stell
On 01/08/2016

Hi. I am trying to research the history of the house we live in at 8 Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans. The  survey states a build date of 1867, but I have a feeling this is more of a guess than an accurate date. I have looked in St Albans library but can only find a map of 1878 which clearly shows it in its current form rather than as a previous building on the same plot. I was told it was once called Postmasters Cottage from someone who knew it many years ago.  It is currently called 'Drakes Drum', renamed by Alan Drake, the once owner of the Herts Ad when he lived here. Any help would be much appreciated.

By Ian Woodroof
On 08/02/2017

Hello, I so want to learn about my home (28 Beaconsfield Road) . I have searched in the appropriate places and found these people to be the owners. If any of you might know these people, relatives for friends...I so want to hear from you PLEASE. I would love to see old photos, hear stories etc.

House Built 1903

1911- Mrs Martin(house was called Valletta)

till about 1930 the following people also lived at 28 Beaconsfield Road:

- Emily Susan Martin

- Emily Alice Martin

- Amy Constance Evans

- R.M Martin

1933-Mrs. M Sutton

1940 - Alfred Williams

1946 - 1958 Madam Merodi *****This is intriguing. Does anyone know anything of the Madam

1964- 1967 Geo R Asthon

1970 Peril Thos

1972-73 William Fox

Thank you so so much.

 

Kind regards

Constance

By Constance Uzwyshyn
On 13/02/2017

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