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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!

As of 7/17, I haven't been able to find out much more about George. Sigh.

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"

Robert Andrew Boyd is my great-great grandfather. I know quite a bit about him.

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!

Later years

In a transcription of the 1841 England, Wales & Scotland census records, I found...

First name(s) 	Last name 	Gender 	Age 	Birth year 	Birth place
Sarah 		Green 		Female 	50 	1791 		-
William		Boyd 		Male 	25 	1816 		Middlesex, England

(Birth year, by the way, does not appear on the original census "return" (data collection form). It has been calculated for you... not always exactly correctly (there can be an "off-by-1" error)... from the census date and the age declared by the person to the census taker.)

The address is where John and Sarah Boyd lived in the early 1800s, when they baptised Robert, George and William: Glass House Street, St James, St James Westminster, London.

Sarah Green? Well... bear with me...

The age is right. Living with her: a William Boyd, of the right age to be the son Mary Boyd baptised. I think it says (above and to the right of the blue "3") "Fruitier" for Sarah's occupation. Mary Boyd's husband was a Fruitier. Just above the "3" is a "tick mark" between the F and r of my proposed "Fruitier", and the "F" is very florid, none of which helps the legibility!

The transcibers do us a wonderful service! Here's an chimera image from of the original...


Sarah wasn't at the top of her page... I've moved the headings down to make things easier. See the diagonal line, to the right of the "1"? I think that mark is used to say "new premises begin with this entry". (That's why my image only goes down to Eliza.) The last three entries you see were at the top of the page after the one Sarah appears on.

(Just above the "1", by the way, is, I think, merely "Glass House Street". (It is more legible in other entries like it, near by, outside of this extract.))

See the "+" signs? There are two of them, the first beside the blue "2".

At first, I believed they tell us about "units" within the dwelling, but the second "+" seems to fall in an odd place, if that's the case. But look at the ages and genders.

Sarah and William make one "household" within the building. Living with them(?) a mature single woman, not related... at least not with the same name... to others.

Then we have Robert and Juliet, and their children. The squiggle beside the first names Juliet, Mary, Henry, Priscilla, and the next two entries ("1 son", I think... newborn, as yet un-named? twins?) is for "Do.", signifying "ditto". Pity Robert's last name isn't more clear!

Then we have "Jane? Peters?", female, age 30- Nurse. Servant to Robert and Julia?

And finally a third family, a 20 year old husband and wife, with a 2 year old daugher. Husband a Tailor, I think that says.

All this at one address, if I read the census return properly.

But, I think, it tells me more about my several times great grandmother... Mary, once Boyd, became Green. Maybe that was merely a nick-name, given that she'd spent all those years selling fruit? Maybe she reverted to maiden name for some reason. I'd love to find a marriage in a sensible year, between a Mary of the right age and a Mr Green! That might lead to information on John Boyd's death?

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