Saturday, August 23, 2008

Response to research request on the Fenstanton Hall Family

Cambridgeshire Archives Service
Historical Research Service

Date sent 28/07/08


I first searched for the marriage of Edward and Mary in the Huntingdonshire Marriage Index, which includes all marriages that took place in the county from 1600-1837. I could not find any relevant entries 10 years either side of 1790. I also checked similar sounding surnames, in case the information had been mis-transcribed (Hale, Hales, Hill, Hills), but again I could find no relevant entries. As Fenstanton is on the border with Cambridgeshire I also checked the marriage index for this county, but again could find no relevant entries.

Between 1754-1837 people were obliged to marry in an Anglican church (regardless of religious beliefs) with the exception of Quakers. We have a transcript of Quaker marriages, but Edward does not appear in it.

I next went on to look for the baptism records of Edward Hall (c 1760) and Elizabeth Hall (c 1790) in the following parishes surrounding Fenstanton:
- Hilton
- Hemingford Grey
- Hemingford Abbotts
- St Ives
- Holywell cum Needingworth
- Fen Drayton (Cambs)
- Papworth Agnes (Cambs)
- Papworth Everard (Cambs)

I consulted the original records in each case, apart from those for St Ives and the three Camdridgeshire parishes, for which we hold indexed transcripts.

Original Hilton Parish Register (HP42/1/1/1)

I found the following baptisms in the above register:

28th Mar 1761 William Hall son of William and Margaret
28th Nov 1762 Thomas Hall son of William and Margaret
30th Dec 1764 Edward Hall son of William and Margaret
14th Dec 1766 John Hall son of William and Margaret
19th Feb 1769 Hannah Hall daughter of William and Margaret

Indexed Transcript of St. Ives Parish registers

I found the following baptism in the above transcript:

22nd Feb 1769 Edward Hall son of Edward and Hannah (born 23 Jan 1769).

I could find no other baptisms for an Edward Hall in other parishes checked and unfortunately I also couldn't find a baptism for Elizabeth, but I have enclosed a copy of her marriage to Henry Childs as requested.

2. Catherine Setchell

I enclose copies of the marriage of William Hall and Catherine Setchell at Hemingford Grey, as well as cpoies of the baptisms of their two children, Samuel and Thomas.

I also managed to find Catherine's baptism, along with those of two of her sisters in the Hemingford Grey BT's, but unfortunately they were too delicate to copy so the details are given below:

Hemingford Grey Bishop's Transcripts (AH28/41/2)

31 Jul 1796 Catherine Setchell daughter of Thomas and Catherine
31 Jul 1796 Susannah Setchell daughter of Thomas and Catherine
28 Jul 1799 Jane Setchell daughter of Thomas and Catherine

3. Israel Hall

I checked the same parishes for the baptism records of Israel Hall (c 1764) and John Hall (c 1790-1800) as I did for Edward and Elizabeth's. Unfortunately I could find no record of their baptisms.


I have found the information requested on Catherine Setchell and two possible baptism records for Edward Hall, but unfortunately my search did not find any further information on Elizabeth, Israel and John or Edward's marriage.


As Fenstanton is on the border between the old counties of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire it may be worth requesting a more detailed search of baptism records from near-by Cambridgeshire parishes, as we only hold original records for Huntingdonshire.

You can contact them at

It appears that Edward and Sarah married outside the county; therefore it may also be worth enquiring with neighbouring archive services to see if they also have marriage indexes you could check, i.e. Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Essex and Norfolk.

As mentioned in my previous mail, this may be a fruitless search as it was not uncommon during this period for records to be kept poorly so it was possible that the events went unrecorded. I wish you luck with any further research you undertake and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.


There may be a lead with the Hall family of Hilton - will have to dig.

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