Parochial Pedigrees compiled by Reverend John G Hale

Transcribed and contributed by John Hicks, Oct 2006

Copied with permission from Herts Archives and Local Studies (HALS), custodian of the original volumes on behalf of the Diocese of St Albans (doc ref: DP/107/29/10-12, microfilms 466 & 467).

Reverend John Godwin Hale was Rector of Therfield from 1870 until his death in 1907.  During this time, he compiled 3 volumes of 'pedigrees' for his flock.  He obviously had access to Therfield parish registers, but much of his information must have been supplied by the parishioners themselves - information that can be uniquely valuable.

Hale allotted each family a numbered page.  The numbering scheme is retained in the transcripts, but with the adjustment that page numbers in Vol.2 have been increased by 200, and those in Vol.3 by 400.  An alphabetical index of the families can be accessed from the panel on the left, or you can browse the pedigrees via the links below.

Each of Hale's pages actually consists of 2 sides facing each other, which he has effectively used as 2 columns - the left one mainly for names & dates, and the right for comments and additional data.  The 2-column format would be too wide for most screens, so it has been condensed into one page.  This has hopefully been achieved without adding any (more) confusion to Hale's text.  The underlining of names by Hale appears to be random, and is presumably not significant, but it has been copied as faithfully as practicable.

The pages are extensively cross-referenced by Hale, and use has been made of these reference numbers by converting them to clickable links.  Where Hale has overlooked opportunities to include cross-references, additional links have been included to the transcripts, for ease of navigation.

Modern research, using records not available to Reverend Hale, shows that he made a few mistakes.  He also made transcription errors when copying data from the parish registers.  Most of these have been copied 'as seen', but in some blatant instances a correction has been appended.  As with other comments which are not part of Hale's data, such corrections are in square brackets [in green text].  But don't trust us, or Hale.  ALWAYS LOOK AT THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS, both Hale's volumes and the parish registers he cribbed much of his information from - both of which can be viewed at Herts Archives and Local Studies (HALS).  If you spot any apparent errors, please let us know.  If they are Hale's, a comment to that effect can be included in the transcript.  If they are ours, they will of course be corrected.
  Vol.1 1-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80-89, 90-99, 100-109, 110-119, 120-129, 130-139, 140-149, 150-159, 160-169, 170-172  
  Vol.2 201-209, 210-219, 220-229, 230-239, 240-249, 250-259, 260-269, 270-279, 280-289, 290-299, 300-309, 310-319, 320-329, 330-334  
  Vol.3 401-409, 410-419, 420-429, 430-439, 440-449, 450-455  

A comparison with the 1871-1901 census data reveals that Reverend Hale omitted about 25% of the inhabitants.  Investigation shows that most of these were from the extreme north-east and south-east of the parish, in areas that were subsequently transferred to Royston and Buckland parishes.  These people presumably worshipped (if at all) at their nearest church, rather than trek to St Mary's, and therefore Reverend Hale did not consider them to be part of his flock.  A small number of the 'missing' have been found to be Chapel-goers, and a couple are absent for no apparent reason.  In the future, using the parish registers, plus other sources unavailable to Hale (e.g. the census), pedigrees for the missing 25% are planned - in the same style as Hale's.  They won't have the same value, but it should be an interesting exercise.

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