In 1837 it became compulsory to register all births, marriages and deaths. Registration districts were defined and all records began to be collated nationally – as they still are today. Copies of birth, marriage and death certificates for England and Wales are available through the General Records Office www.gov.uk/general-register-office
In 1841 the first nation-wide census of the UK was taken, and these have been conducted every 10 years ever since and released to the public under the 100-year rule. Several enterprises have created online searchable databases of these records either by subscription or (less comprehensively) free, and each of these provides records of who was living where in Hunsdon at each point in time.
Prior to 1837 the only records were those kept by parish churches of christenings, marriages and burials. Records for Hunsdon back to 1546 have been located and are now stored in the Hertfordshire Archives in Hertford. However in 1915 the Hon. Herbert Cokayne Gibbs of Briggens took it upon himself to assemble the various records, transcribe them from manuscript and publish a magnificent book “The Family History of Hunsdon Co. Hertford 1546 – 1837”, of which several copies are available around and about the village.
In 2006, Hunsdon Parish Council supported a proposal to create a database of these records and to make them generally available online. The transfer of nearly 7000 records has now been completed, thanks to a few individuals including, especially, John AshleyMBE, Alan Hampton and David Kitching. Click here to start searching the records.
- For anyone interested in tracing more recent family history, there is a link here to a searchable database of burials in the lower (new) churchyard at St Dunstan’s Church.