A History of Preston

in Hertfordshire

The 1939 Register

“The Wartime Domesday Book”

2 November 2015 was an auspicious day for family and local historians. The 1939 Register, known colloquially as The Wartime Domesday Book, was released.

 

The Register was a reaction by the British Government to the threat of war. Forty-one million people were listed by 65,000 enumerators. Their records showed the name, full date of birth, address, marital status and the specific occupation of the vast majority of the population. It was in effect an interim census.

 

The so-called Hundred Years privacy rule means that unless an individual noted in the Register died after 1939, their details cannot be viewed if they were born after 1915. This means that in the example and the schedule below, if the record of a household has a note that the details of a member or members are officially ‘closed’, this refers to individual(s) who are aged twenty-four or under.

 

The Register was used to issue National Identity cards, for rationing and, when WW2 ended, to set up the National Health Service. As a consequence, some details such as addresses were updated. Single women who married between the summer of 1939 and around 1945 also had their details altered. For example, in the piece below, my aunt Margaret (‘Maggie’) Wray’s name has been altered to Whitby after she married Ron Whitby in the latter part of 1939. Likewise, my mother’s name was also altered from Mills to Wray after her marriage to Dad in 1945.

 

Below is a sample of the Register which shows the residents at Chequers Cottages, Preston including my father, Sam Wray, and his mother, Emily.

The reason that folk are so stirred up by the release of the Register is that the 1921 census will probably not be released until 2022, the 1931 census was destroyed; there was no census in 1941 with Britain in the grip of war and the 1951 census will not be available for more than thirty-five years. Therefore, the Register is an important snapshot of who lived where at a time when there are as yet no census details, albeit it is basically a searchable data base like a national electoral register which includes occupations and full dates of birth.

 

In the case of Preston, I have copies of several years of electoral registers. These include the records from 1930 and 1951. (The electoral registers for the mid-1930’s are at the British Library, not Hertfordshire Archives.) By checking these registers it is possible to say where most of the inhabitants of the village were living in 1939. As viewing fifteen households costs almost £55 - and there were more than seventy households at Preston in 1939 - it is far, far cheaper to drive to the National Archives (where the full details of the Register can be viewed for free!) than downloading the entire Register of the village now to discover the occupations of villagers.

 

In the meantime, here is a summary of the people of Preston aged over twenty-four years in 1939 and their likely abodes:

WATSON

WATSON

ALLBON

 

DALE

DALE

 

PETERS

PETERS

 

JEEVES

JEEVES

JEEVES

 

PALMER

PALMER

 

WRAY

WRAY

WHITBY/WRAY

 

ARMSTRONG

ARMSTRONG

NEWELL

 

SMITH

SMITH

 

HAMMOND

HAMMOND

 

FOX

FOX

 

JENKINS

JENKINS

JENKINS

JENKINS

JENKINS

 

JENKINS

JENKINS

JENKINS

JENKINS

CURRELL

 

BLANCHARD

BLANCHARD

 

SUNDERLAND

SUNDERLAND

SUNDERLAND

 

BROWN

BROWN

 

HEDLEY

HEDLEY

HINE

 

WALLER

WALLER

 

MIDDLEDITCH

MIDDLEDITCH

 

MORRISS

MORRISS

HANDLEY/HOLTON

MORRIS

 

WEBB

WEBB

 

HEDLEY

HEDLEY

 

MILES

DAVIS

 

NASH

NASH

WARDELL

 

PRYOR

PETERS

 

CANNON

CANNON

 

WORTHINGTON

WORTHINGTON

WORTHINGTON

WORTHINGTON

HODGES

 

CARR

 

PETERS

PETERS

PETERS

 

DEWAR/MULLINEY

MOORE/TYLER

 

CHALKLEY

CHALKLEY

 

SMITH

AYRES

 

WHITE

WHITE

TOMLIN

TOMLIN

BIRKMAN

 

AYRES

 

HUTCHINS

HUTCHINS

 

BERRY

BERRY

 

PETERS

BUNYAN

 

CURRELL

CURRELL

 

PERRY

 

DOBBS

DOBBS

 

JENKINS

JENKINS

JENKINS

 

CARR

 

GARNER

GARNER

 

PETERS

PETERS

PETERS

 

SHARP

SHARP

 

PETERS

 

WHITING

WHITING

WHITING

GRICE

 

CROOK

CROOK

 

BAIRD

BAIRD

 

DARTON

DARTON

 

DARTON

DARTON

 

WHITE

 

CARR

 

SEEBOHM

PATERNOSTER

COOPER/BAKER

ANTELL/BESLEY

POWLEY

 

SARGENT

SARGENT

PEACHMENT

 

GARNER

GARNER

GARNER

 

LAMBERT

LAMBERT

BURCH/WILLIAMS

 

KIMBER

GILHAM/KIMBER

FEW

NESBITT

 

BROWN

BISHOP

FROST

 

ANDREWS

ANDREWS

 

CRAWLEY

MARLOW/CRAWLEY

 

SHARP

SHARP

 

GARNER

GARNER

 

WOODHAMS

WOODHAMS

 

JACKSON

JACKSON

 

HAMMOND

HAMMOND

HAMMOND

 

WALKER

WALKER

WALKER

WALKER

STEVENS

 

LONGLEY

LONGLEY

 

PETERS

PETERS

 

PALMER

PALMER

 

HALL

 

CRAWLEY

CRAWLEY

RICHARDS

 

HARPER

HARPER

HARPER

HARPER/NEWMAN

 

MAYBRICK

MAYBRICK

 

PRAIN

WILTON

BEAUMMONT

WOOLDRIDGE

LUCKY

FRUNGHAM

PARK

NEWT

PARKS/JONES

CARTER

Sydney W

Doris K

Lizzie

 

Frank T

Gladys

 

Thomas

Annie M

 

Amos

George

Sarah

 

Arthur

Lizzie

 

Emily

Sam

Margaret

 

Henry J

Gertrude K  

Leonard T

 

Leonard C

Ada L

 

Katie

Herbert W

 

John Thomas

Lucy J

 

Herbert

Phyllis

Frank

Maggie

Willie

 

Ernest

Lizzie

Richard

Violet

Frank

 

Frederick O

Eva Constance

 

Frank T

Lucy K

Edward M

 

John B  

Phyllis R

 

Thomas E

Alice R  

Harry

 

Bertram G

Phyllis J

 

Philip D

Ethel M  

 

Owen A

Ellen W

Rosie V

Michael O

 

Ephraim R

Elizabeth E

 

James E

Martha L

 

William K  

Evelyn M  

 

George W

Bertha E  

Mary

 

Ralston de Vins

Annie C  

 

Ernest F  

Florence M

 

Harry

Margaret E

Rose M I

Allan

Jeanette I

 

Joan

 

Leonard C  

William J

Florence E  

 

Josephine J

Irene May

 

William A

Harriet

 

Emma  

Rosa M

 

Arthur W

Mary L  

Harold

Nora M

Henry

 

Arthur

 

Reginald C T

Eva C B

 

Arthur J

Kate

 

George H

Ellen  

 

Arthur

Annie

 

Kathleen A

 

Arthur

Agnes D

 

Minnie

Arthur  

Horace  

 

Robert E

 

George W

Nellie

 

Hubert T

Eliza

James A

 

Percy J

Lucy J L  

 

Nora E

 

Frederick G

Francis A

Thomas F  

Jack

 

Harold R

Alice S

 

William  

Jennie

 

William A

Emily

 

Charles E  

Gladys

 

Gladys

 

Robert E

 

Marjorie

Ellen

Edith M

Dorothy M

Lesley W J

 

Stanley E

Lily

Jeanette A

 

John Thomas

Daisy

William A

 

Reginald G

Beatrice M

Olwen G

 

Thomas

Minnie

May C A

Emily E

 

Hannah M

Lilian

Clara S

 

Frederick W

Daisy M

 

George

Lilian M

 

Herbert

Emily

 

Sydney John

Ivy C

 

William J

Mary

 

John

Clara S

 

Ernest W

Evelyn J

Pamela

 

Frederick

Alice

Violet A

William F

Percy

 

Albert B T

Caroline

 

Walter C

Philadelphia C

 

Alice M

Arthur J

 

Samuel

 

Robert

Louisa

Cuthbert R

 

Frank

Narid

Edward A

Doris

 

Frederick H

Clarice

 

Vyvyen A

Cynthia M

Marjorie

Alison

Elizabeth A

Margaret E

 

Helen

Alison

Patricia

1898

1899

1863

 

1907

1906

 

1853

1898

 

1872

1900

1874

 

1869

1865

 

1863

1906

1910

 

1883

1880

1911

 

1891

1890

 

1911

1913

 

1861

1874

 

1879

1875

1905

1911

1913

 

1863

1875

1908

1910

1880

 

1894

1894

 

1879

1878

1911

 

1885

1895

 

1898

1892

1882

 

1907

1907

 

1896

1903

 

1902

1908

1913

1934

 

1880

1886

 

1872

1874

 

1860

1881

 

1883

1879

1856

 

1863

1881

 

1879

1879

 

1880

1875

1910

1872

1893

 

1915

 

1871

1904

1905

 

1912

1908

 

1900

1884

 

1866

1876

 

1883

1883

1911

1911

1913

 

1866

 

1882

1907

 

1881

1877

 

1870

1879

 

1895

1894

 

1914

 

1890

1893

 

1872

1902

1912

 

1913

 

1892

1894

 

1870

1876

1912

 

1897

1897

 

1902

 

1908

1905

1928

1913

 

1882

1885

 

1901

1906

 

1900

1906

 

1902

1900

 

1891

 

1913

 

1879

1887

1900

1908

1903

 

1909

1908

1888

 

1889

1886

1915

 

1896

1899

1901

 

1883

1891

1905

1912

 

1860

1906

1863

 

1888

1897

 

1905

1915

 

1874

1874

 

1900

1903

 

1911

1913

 

1867

1871

 

1886

1893

1931

 

1884

1885

1910

1913

1914

 

1871

1876

 

1896

1896

 

1891

1891

 

1869

 

1870

1869

1916

 

1899

1899

1937

1922

 

1903

1875

 

1895

1903

1890

1908

1890

1903

1903

1905

1917

1930

 

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

2

2

2

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

4

4

4

4

4

 

4

4

4

4

4

 

1

1

 

2

2

2

 

2

2

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

3

3

3

3

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

4

4

4

4

4

 

1

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

4

4

4

4

4

 

0

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

 

1

1

 

3

3

3

 

1

 

1

1

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

0

 

3

3

3

3

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

0

 

1

 

5

5

5

5

5

 

2

2

2

 

2

2

2

 

2

2

2

 

3

3

3

3

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

3

3

3

 

4

4

4

4

4

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

1

1

 

0

 

2

2

2

 

3

3

3

3

 

3

3

 

1

1

1

 

3

3

 

0

0

 

0

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

0

 

1

1

1

 

0

0

 

1

1

 

0

0

 

0

0

0

0

0

 

0

0

0

0

0

 

1

1

 

0

0

0

 

11

11

 

0

0

0

 

4

4

 

3

3

 

1

1

1

1

 

2

2

 

0

0

 

1

1

 

4

4

4

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

2

2

2

2

2

 

1

 

0

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

2

2

2

2

2

 

0

 

2

2

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

5

5

 

3

 

4

4

 

0

0

0

 

1

 

3

3

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

 

1

 

1

1

1

1

 

1

1

 

4

4

 

4

4

 

2

2

 

3

 

1

 

1

1

1

1

1

 

5

5

5

 

0

0

0

 

0

0

0

 

4

4

4

4

 

0

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

 

3

3

 

2

2

 

3

3

 

2

2

2

 

1

1

1

1

1

 

4

4

 

3

3

 

4

4

 

0

 

1

1

1

 

2

2

2

2

 

0

0

 

 

Preston House,  

 

 

 

1 Chequers Cottages,

Chequers Lane

 

2 Chequers Cottages

 

 

3 Chequers Cottages

 

 

 

4 Chequers Cottages

 

 

5 Chequers Cottages

 

 

 

Elm Cottage,

Chequers Lane  

 

 

13 Council Cottages,

Chequers Lane

 

14 Council Cottages

 

 

New Bungalow,

Chequers Lane  

 

Castle Farm

 

 

 

 

 

17 Chequers Lane

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Cottage

 

 

The Wilderness

 

 

 

Pond Farm

 

 

1 Holly Cottages,

Back Lane

 

 

Greenfields,

Back Lane

 

Keepers Cottage,

Kings Walden Road

 

Ye Olde Bakerie,

Church Road

 

  

 

St Martins Place,

Church Road  

 

Red Lion inn

 

 

Crunnells Green

 

 

Laburnum Lodge

 

 

 

The Laburnums

 

 

Fig Tree Cottage

 

 

Vine Cottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crunnells Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Crunnells Green

 

 

 

Holly Cottages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Holly Cottages

 

4 Holly Cottages

 

 

 

 

2 Holly Cottages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitchwood Cottages

 

 

Hitchwood Cottages

 

Hitchwood Cottages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minsden Dairy

 

 

Kiln Wood Cottage

 

 

Crunnells Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poynders End

 

 

 

 

 

The Garage,

Poynders End

 

 

Poynders End Farm

 

 

 

The Lodge 1,

Temple Dinsley

 

 

The Lodge 2,

Temple Dinsley  

 

 

 

Old Post Office,

(aka Spindle Cottage)

 

 

The Chequers Inn

 

 

12 Council Cottages

 

 

11 Council Houses,

Chequers Lane

 

10 Council Houses,

Chequers Lane

 

 

9 Council Cottages

 

 

 

 

7 Council Cottages, Chequers Lane

 

 

 

6 Chequers Lane

 

 

 

 

 

5 Council Cottages, Chequers Lane

 

 

Chequers Lane

 

 

4 Council Cottages, Chequers Lane

 

 

5 Council Cottages, Chequers Lane

 

 

 

 

 

Wain Wood Cottage

 

 

 

 

Preston Hill Farm

 

 

Princess Helena College  Headmistress

                                          School teacher

                                          Bursar/secretary

                                          School teacher

                                          House keeper

                                          School matron

                                          School matron

                                          Cook

                                          Cook

                                          Student

 

 

 

 

 

SURNAME

FORENAMES

 

Yr

of

Bth

 

No.

of others

in H/H

 

No.

of ‘Closed’

in H/H

LIKELY ADDRESS

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Site contents

OCCUPATION

Sub-branch manager, insurance (Flying Officer WW1)

 

Police constable

 

 

Ag lab retired

 

 

Jobbing gardener

General farm labourer

 

 

Roadman

 

 

 

General farm labourer

Capstain lathe operator (aircraft)

Gardener

Sub postmistress

Agricultural tractor driver

 

Woodman and farm lbr

 

 

 

Railway porter

 

Retired coach builder

 

 

Pigman

 

Agricultural estate labourer

Domestic worker

Leather dresser

 

Horseman

 

General farm labourer

 

 

 

General manager -

Manufacturing

 

Carpenter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chauffeur and tractor driver,

ARP  AFS

Schoolmaster

 

Bricklayer ARP Warden Preston

 

Gamekeeper

 

 

Master baker

 

 

 

 

Retired grocer and Post

Office worker

 

Licensee

 

 

Builder/foreman retired

Housekeeper

 

Self-emplyd bricklayer

 

Old age pensioner

 

Land surveyor retired

Housekeeper

 

Farmer retired ARP

 

 

S/E haulage contractor ARP

Shopkeeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook

Parlour maid

House maid

School teacher LCC

 

Chauffeur/handy man

 

School cleaner

 

Farm foreman

Dairy maid

Joiner

 

Chauffeur

Domestic worker

Domestic worker

 

Water engineer

Domestic duties

Domestic duties

Domestic duties

 

Retired

 

 

 

Gardener

 

 

Gardener

 

 

Woodman

 

 

Horseman