A History of Preston

in Hertfordshire

Names
Ages
Mobility
Occupations

The census was taken on 2 April. There were 424 residents in Preston - 212 males and 212 females. They included 75 couples and 17 widows or widowers.

 

They occupied 76 cottages, an average of 4.8 inhabitants in each home. Temple Dinsley, its stables and ‘The Cottage’ as well as seven farms also housed families. Four houses in the village were unoccupied.

The following “core” families were in Preston. They comprised 33 % of the village’s population:

Jenkins

Sharp

Palmer

Peters

Jeeves

Andrews

40 members

29

20

18

17

15

These were the most popular Christian names:

Male

William

John

Thomas

Henry

29

23

22

15

Female

Mary

Sarah

Ann

Emma

22

15

11

10

One hundred and eighty of the villagers (almost half) were aged under 20.  The youngest was two-month-old William George Boston and the oldest was Mary Palmer, 84. When she died in 1876 she was said to be aged 94.

Of the 368 surviving villagers from 1861, 205 remained in he village (58%). Sixty-nine moved locally within a five-mile radius of Preston. Eleven relocated elsewhere in Hertfordshire and 27 moved out of the county.

 

Eleven villagers moved to Hitchin and eleven migrated to London.

 

Employment on the railway, which first passed through Hitchin in 1850, enticed Charles Mayes (whose family lived at Back Lane, Preston) to move to Harpenden, Herts where he was a railway plate layer.

The oldest plaiter was Mary Scott (65) and the youngest was my four-year-old great grand aunt, Lizzie Fairey.  No male plaiters were counted

It was noted that Elizabeth Stratton was presiding over a plaiting school. A school mistress is recorded for the first time - the 20-year-old Susannah Hayden from Cambridgeshire who was lodging with Daniel and Margaret Smith at Preston Green post office.

 

Isabella Breed (70 ) was receiving parish relief and there were five paupers mentioned: Sarah Jenkins (71), Thomas Boston (73), James Brown (71), William Farr (70) and Mary Palmer (84).

On the land

Farmers

Farm labourers

Cowman

Farm bailiff

Woodman

Gamekeeper

Hurdlemaker

Ploughboys

Shepherds

Gardener

  7

90

  1

  1

  1

  1

  1

  3

  2

  1

Women and children

Straw plaiters

Domestic  servants

Dressmakers

Needlewomen

School mistress

Governess

Housemaid

Servants

65

  7

  3

  3

  1

  1

  1

  2

Tradesmen

Blacksmiths

Butler

Carpenter

Cattle dealer

Coachmen

Footman

Coal dealer

Cordwainer

Grocers

Wheelwrights

Miller

Police constable

Publican

Tailors

Wood carter

Apprentices

Bricklayers labourer

2

1

2

1

2

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

2

1

2

1

Movement of villagers 1861-71

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Link to transcription of 1871 Preston census.

Link to alphabetical list of names in 1871 Preston census.

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C1861

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1871 Census -

Analysis