Friday, April 23, 2010

Distillation of HALL enquiries in Huntingdonshire - 2

Based on the third set of responses I've received from the Hunts/Camridge archives I've updated my HALL research summary:

My search started searching for the birth of my earliest known ancestor Edward Hall, who lived in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire and was buried there. His expected birth date (abt 1760) was based on his burial in 1839 at a given age of 79 years. We also know he was married to Mary (unknown surname), presumably about 1790 as they had a daughter Elizabeth abt 1791 and their first child baptized in Fenstanton was William (my ancestor) in 1794. His occupation was shoemaker (from his death certificate) and his son William carried on this trade.

The search has included several searches for an Edward HALL in Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire, born in the period around 1760. Records checked include IGI, and having the following parish registers searched in Huntingdonshire: Godmanchester, Houghton and Wyton, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots and Holywell cum Needingworth, St. Ives – these are the parishes that surround Fenstanton. As Fenstanton is close to the county of Cambridgeshire, the following parishes were also checked: Fen Drayton, Swavesey, Papworth Agnes, and Papworth Everard.

Two births for an Edward Hall were found in these areas.

One in 1764 in Hemingford Abbots:
30th Dec 1764, Edward Hall son of William and Margaret.

One in St Ives in 1769:
22nd Feb 1769, Edward Hall son of Edward and Hannah (born 23 Jan 1769).

Hemingford Abbots is a little closer to Fenstanton, and 1764 is much closer to the date of birth expected for Edward Hall. Supporting this is that a marriage record for the Edward of St Ive’s was found:  28 Apr 1762 HALL, Edward (bac) to CORBET, Hannah (sp), BOTP (both of the parish). Witnesses: John Newman, Jos. Eversden. Edward and Hannah also baptized several other children in the parish of St. Ives: Hannah (1763), Henry (1764), Mary (1766), William (1771), Ellen (1774) and Thomas (1777) - in other words his life can be accounted for.

This evidence all points to Edward Hall of Hemington Abbots being the correct one.

Births in Hemingford Abbotts
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

Edward Hall is bolded above, the middle of five children baptized in the parish to William and Margaret.

Marriage of parents: 1760 William Hall m. Margaret Trice at St Ives, Huntingdonshire.

Anoter way to confirm this is the correct Edward Hall is to assess whether an alternative Edward Hall marriage or death occurred in the parish of Hemingford Abbotts.

The following burials recorded in the parish of Hemingford Abbotts:
20 Apr 1795    Hall, John, son of Margaret and William
10 Dec 1804 Hall, William, aged 77
30 Jun 1815    Hall, Margaret, aged 87

No related marriages were recorded in Hemingford Abbots. William and Margaret were clearly the parents of Edward and his siblings, and John died in 1795, aged abt 29.

William Hall (abt 1727 - 1804) was clearly well known in the district as the records for the parish of Hemingford Grey note:

8 Dec 1804     Old William Hall died

One other burial was recorded for the family in Hemingford Grey:
24 Feb 1802, Samuel HALL, no age recorded
A corresponding birth has not yet been identified.

The Huntingdonshire Marriage Index (1754 – 1836) was checked to see whether there was any record of William and Margaret’s other children marrying.

1786    Hall, Thomas of Hemingford Abbots to Warboys, Sarah at St. Ives
1787    Hall, William of Hemingford Abbots to Austin, Hannah at Hunt All Saints/St. John

The marriages of several Hannah Halls were mentioned but none in Hilton or the Hemingfords. Hannah Halls were married in Woodwalton in 1788 and in St. Ives in 1793 and 1796, but a burial for an Ann Hall at Hemingford Grey matches her age perfectly:

Hemingford Grey burials
19 Jan 1826 Ann HALL aged 56

So all four sons and the daughter of William HALL and Margaret nee TRICE are accounted for.

Why can't Edward's marriage to Mary be found? This has bothered me a great deal and I've searched and considered several possibilities, including military service, travel and poor parish records. This latter seems most likely. GENUKI ( contains excellent descriptions of most English villages and the genealogical resources available. The page for Hemingford Abbots, where the HALL family appears to have lived in the 1700's, reveals that there is a  big hole in the parish records: Marriages 1754-1812 are missing. Given this large gap, I'm lucky Edward's brothers and parents all married in other villages or the trail would be very cold indeed. It accounts for the fact I can't find a marriage in the area for Edward HALL in the early 1790's, and suggests that his wife Mary was from the same village (weddings were often held in the parish of the bride).

What of Edward's father William HALL? Given that William Hall died in 1804 aged 77, he was born about 1727, and as stated above he married Margaret TRICE at St Ives in 1760.  The Hemingford Abbots registers reveal William's baptism to parents William and Mary, as well as the birth and death of older siblings.

The following events all occured at Hemingford Abbots

Marriage: William HALL to Jane Randall 11 Nov 1717

Baptism: 2 Nov 1718 Susana Hall, daughter of William and Jane
Baptism: 20 Jan 1720 William Hall, son of William and Jane
Burial: 24 Jan 1720/1 William Hall, son of William and Jane [laborer BTs]
Baptism: 14 Apr 1723 William Hall, son of William and Jane
Burial: 12 Jul 1723 Jane Hall, wife of William
Burial: 7 Jan 1723/4 William Hall, son of William
Marriage: ?
Baptism: 18 Aug 1726 William, son of William and Mary at Hemingford Abbots

Burial: 22 Mar 1761 William Hall, son of Wiliam

So William HALL senior (?-1761) married Jane RANDALL, and they had three children – Susana, William and William. It appears that the two Williams died in their infancy, as in 1726 William had another child with Mary (marriage not found in Huntingdonshire marriage index), a son William baptized on 18 Aug 1726, which fits perfectly with the expected date of William. A William Hall married Mary FISHER in 1724 at nearby Bluntisham Cum Earith (4 mi away) and this will be checked. Note also that William senior's father was stated at his burial in 1761 as William, and while not reliable the IGI indexes indicate that a William Hall was baptised at Hemingford Abbots in 1692 - this will need to be checked. Clearly there are a few holes to be filled in above, and these will be followed up on - including a confirmation of what HALL records exist in the 1600's in Hemingford Abbots.

EDIT: I had been confused about the birth of William's first son William in 1720. The transcriber at Cambs Archives wrote in braces 'laborer' and afterwards 'BTs'. BTs stands for Bishops Transcripts. These were ordered to be kept from 1598 when the clergy were required, within a month of Easter, to send transcripts of the registers for the previous year to the bishop of their diocese. Bishops' Transcripts (BTs) are useful in that they provide a second record and may have survived when the parish register has not. Details of baptisms, marriages and burials were also sometimes recorded on loose sheets prior to copying into the registers, and it is possible that some BTs may include entries not listed in the parish registers. 

In the instance above, it means that the fact that William Hall was a labourer appears in the BTs but not in the original burial register, and suggests that whoever copied the original burial register to the BTs knew William Hall, knew that he had been a labourer and added the information. Thanks to Roy Stockdill for this information.


As an aside, the death of Edward Hall’s brother William, born 1761 and married Hannah AUSTIN in 1787 at Huntingdon is recorded as follows:

Sourced from
Latter struggles in the journey of life; or, The afternoon of my days
By George Miller
Published by Printed by J. Colston for the author, George Miller, of Dunbar, East Lothian, 1833
"But before we conclude, I shall produce at least one evidence, that however strong and enduring the conjugal attachment has manifested itself on the female side, it has not been altogether unresponded to on the other, — and the instance, that I shall select, a very recent one, is the following, — from the Morning Herald, of Monday, the 5th March, 1832; and taken, by it, from the Huntingdon Gazette : —  “Died on the 15th January last, HANNAH, the wife of WILLIAM HALL, of Hemingford, Hunts, at a very advanced age. After the interment of the deceased, her poor, sorrowing, aged husband, grieving at the loss of his long faithful partner, expressed a desire that he might die before the next Sunday passed, and be buried in the same grave with his late wife. — Alas ! (but why say alas !) his frail thread of life snapped asunder, and he was a corpse on the Wednesday following.”

I was initially unsure but Margaret Long recently checked Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey burials for me and came up with corresponding burial entries confirming that it was indeed this couple: 

Hemingford Grey burials
22 Jan 1832 Hannah HALL aged 69

Hemingford Abbots burials
27 Jan 1832 William HALL aged 74

The one confusing aspect is that their burials are recorded on the two adjacent parishes. It would be nice if a headstone existed to prove they are together.

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