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Family of John and Sarah Boyd

Glasshouse Street, London, 1812-1817

George, Robert Andrew, William

29 July 2010: Visited Westminster City Archives, London England. Very pleasant, helpful staff. Nice lockers for backpacks, etc. Looked at microfilmed copy of register of baptisms for parish of St James, Piccadilly, London

While the register says "in the PARISH of...", I, with little proof, believe that these were baptisms which took place in the little church on the south side of Piccadilly (the street), 250 m SW of Piccadilly Circus.

George Boyd, b. 1812, London, England

Found, in a "batch" of 16 baptisms done on 9 August, 1812....

George Boyd. S. of John & Sarah... July 24"

That's a pretty fair representation of all that is to be seen in the register, on that line. Date of baptism taken from an earlier line. From clues in the context (and simple common sense!), I would say that his reported date of birth was 24 July 1812.... but the record doesn't explicitly say that is what the "July 24" means.

The entry, and the image of it, are wonderfully clear. I doubt that I have mis-read anything. Pity it is short, but at least it should be accurate!

I scanned adjacent records, but, on 29 July 2010, none of the names rang any bells.

Robert Andrew Boyd, b. 1814, London, England

In the register for 1815, I found the following...

January 5 / Robert Andrew / John / Boyd / Glasshouse St / Fruiterer / J. Glen

The headings of the columns were....

Date / Child's Christian Name / Parents' Name (Christian) / Parents' Name (Surname) / Abode /...
Quality, Trade or Profession / By whom the Sacrament was performed.

(The "/"s in both are not present in the originals; I put them here to show the column boundaries.)

Under the date, January 5, 1815, is another date, "Nov 30th". I take this to mean 30 November 1814, and to indicate Robert Andrew's date of birth. There's nothing explicit to confirm this.

There's also, still in the "Date" box, under the "Nov 30th", "No.25". This last seems just to be a serial count of the year's baptisms, going from the entries for other children. There are few others with a second date in the "Date" box.

Again, the entry was very legible. I could be wrong about the "J. Glen", but I'm pretty sure that even that is correct.

The top of the page said: "Baptisms Solemnized in the Parish of St James, Westminster, In The County of Middlesex, in the Year 1815"

Glasshouse Street... John's abode... is a small street leading out of the top of Piccadilly Circus, east of Regent's Street. Old maps of London show that the bottom part of Glasshouse Street extended further south, but Piccadilly Circus has expanded over the years. (A "circus" is a place where a number of streets come together, and where there is often a "roundabout" (English), which readers in the USA may call a "rotary".). Given the date, it is reasonable to guess that John's place of business may also have been Glasshouse Street... although maybe not, if he was merely working for someone else, and that Robert Andrew was born in Glasshouse Street. (Well... a dwelling with that address!)

While Sarah is not mentioned in this document, she is mentioned again in the next one, living with John, "Glass house St". No abode was given for John and Sarah on the registration of George's baptism, but it seems likely they were even then near St Jame's Church, given their choice of where to baptize the boy.

I scanned adjacent records, but, on 29 July 2010, none of the names rang any bells.

William Boyd, b. 1817, London, England

The headings for William are similar to those for Robert Andrew, with the welcome addition of a "When born" as the penultimate column. His entry reads:

6 / William / John & Sarah / Boyd / Glass house Street / Fruiterer / March 8 / E. Smedley

The "6", from adjacent entries, means "6 July 1817"

In addition, under the date he was baptized is "No. 693". The adjacent record is also "No. 693", but I see nothing to connect the children, and the double use of a number didn't appear anywhere else I could see. Simple mistake by person who wrote register, I think.

I scanned adjacent records, but, on 29 July 2010, none of the names rang any bells.

My ref (Meaningless for you, Gentle Reader): prime notes on the above are on "fsh410729a".


It occurred to me to wonder if I could find John and Sarah's marriage, and St James seemed a logical place to look.

I searched the microfilm of the relevant register, by "hand" for 1 Jan 1811 to 10 August 1812. (George was born in July 1812). Found no John/ Sarah marriage. All entries were sufficiently legible to allow me to say they aren't in that register for that date range. There is a possibility that they had an earlier son, 1810, in Holborn, but I'm still working on that one. It is possible that they were married in Holborn (London) in 1809, but again... I'm still working on that one. There were many, many John Boyds around then, and not a few Sarahs!

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