Potton History Society
|Preserving Potton's History & Heritage Since 1977|
We have a great deal of information in our files of interest to the family historian. We have copies of all Census returns from 1841 to 1901 including full (and updated) details of all burials in Potton. Research by our founding Chairman Norman Parry has produced a detailed collection of local Wills. We also have copies of Potton entries for the local trade directories from the late 1700s to 1940. Our photographic collection has a wealth of detail about local families.
We aim to create a family database to enable ease of access to our material.
We have been contacted by Thomas Sartell Potton from Alaska. He tells quite a shocking story (see below) about many local residents killed in a shipwreck. For further information from Alaska click the link below.
Solomon Brown of Sutton:- Sole survivor of Australia’s worst shipwreck.
For further information please on the image below.
We have recently been contacted Mr & Mrs Valentine who have been researching their family tree which contains many miller's from down the ages. Of particular interest to those of us in Potton is Stephen Docwra Webb, born 1873 in Great Gransden, Huntingdonshire.
Stephen Docwra was the son of William Jabez (b 1850) and brother of William Edwards (b 1872) and Aubrey Lemuel (b 1878). In 1891 Stephen was lodging at St Mary’s Street, Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire where he was a Miller Improver. Stephen was the Miller at Potton from 1899 until the mill closed in 1932. He lived with his wife Lizzie (nee Sherman) and family at the Windmill, Mill Road, Potton, Bedfordshire. For a more detailed version of their family tree please click the image below.
We have been contacted by Robin Hoare from the Hokianga Community Educational Trust in New Zealand. Robin has been tracing his family history through the Freemans. He has however found a link with the Richardsons of Potton. Potton has never been short of Richardsons, they were the second most numerous family in the 1901 and 1911 Census returns.
Robin has found a link with William Richardson who was the stepfather of Amos Freeman and is hoping that by trying to find out more about him he may be able to find out more about his natural father whom he presumes may have died between 1818 and 1839.
Robin has provided us with an excerpt from a copy of the contents of a Ledger by Amos Freeman, Basketmaker, Girtford, Sandy, Bedforshire, 1872-1889.
Neville Spriggs has recently donated material regarding his late uncle Frederick to the Society. Included in the article are several letters from the front line. One letter mentions his sister Maud and the other refers to Mr Jones, a shoemaker in Potton who Neville's Father, Horace, was apprenticed to.
Mr Spriggs knows of his Uncle's listing on the Potton War Memorial but wondered if there had ever been a grave. The Society undertook some research for Mr Spriggs and found that he had been killed in action in Flanders on 13 April 1918. Mr Spriggs body was recorded as 'Lost In Action' but we were able to inform Mr Spriggs that his uncle is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.
Please click on the image above to download the items donated to the Society.
Albert And Lizzie Field
Society member Keith Lawrence has been researching a man that his studies led him to come across. Albert Field was born in Biggleswade on the 12th of August 1888. He emigrated to Australia in 1910. During the Great War he met a nurse called Lizzie and later they married.
Keith has researched their story in great depth and it makes fascinating reading.
To download the full story click here.
Do You Remember The Braybrooks Family?
We have had a request from a lady who rembers two ladies, Marjory and Dorothy Braybrooks 'whose father owned the Tanyard at Potton'. We have plenty of material about the Tanyard and Alderman F.W.Braybrooks but little in the way of memories about the family. Can anyone add to our family files for this and any other Potton Family?
WANTED. Enthusiastic Family Historians to develop our ever growing collection of family material. No pay or contract but unlimited pleasure!
We plan to add current families files to this section of the web site on a regular basis.
Below are downloadable files containing the Trade Directories held in our archive.These were issued by commercial firms and were the 'Yellow Pages' of their day. They are of great interest to Local Historians not only for the details of the traders in a town but also for the local details included at the start of the trade listings. Mrs Yates copied the details of all the available Bedfordshire Directories in the County Records Office in the late 1970's. Hence some of the photocopies are of poor quality but all are readable. They were issued at irregular periods but cover the period 1785 through to 1940 with a few 1950's additions.
Again we appeal for YOUR HELP! A visitor to the County Records Office could obtain better quality copies of poor pages. Also transcribing the information to a spreadsheet would greatly improve access to the family information on the sheets.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE 1881 CENSUS FOR POTTON (click to downoad as a pdf file).
This was transcribed along with a full index as a Research report back in 2000 by Norman Parry. The CD-rom produced by the LDS Church and the Federation of Family History Societies was used in the compilation of the document.
THE 1891 CENSUS FOR POTTON (click to download as a pdf file)
This is a pdf file of a spreadsheet that Doreen Cooper transcribed from a set of 1979 Census sheets that were funded by Potton Charities.
How Accurate are the 1891 Census Details?
Each household had to fill in a form. Their memory or spelling could be at fault. The Census Enumerator then copied the information into the summary book. He could misread or make his errors. The original household forms were destroyed so the primary evidence has been lost. Potton History Society acquired a photocopy set of the summary books. Some information is obscured by Census analysers adding up and classifying occupations. Some parts of the photocopy are not 100% clear. Peter Ibbett digitised the photocopies on the on the Potton History Society A3 scanner and Doreen Cooper used the digital file to create a spreadsheet of all the information checking with Peter Ibbett over unclear entries.
Hence most information is probably accurate but there are bound to be some errors! If you find any please let us know so we can correct the file.
THE 1901 CENSUS FOR POTTON (click to download as a pdf file).
This was transcribed by Peter Ibbett from micro-fiche copies. There may be some transcription errors or misreading of names and places from badly written or crossed out words. Please note that street numbers do not refer to modern house numbers. In most cases families were recorded in a logical order in a street so that it can be quite easy to work out who was living in which modern house.
Society member Peter Ibbett has recently undertaken to analyse the 1891 and 1901 Censuses. These examine surnames, age distributions, place of birth and occupations. They also compare the two Censuses with each other and with that of 2001.
The 1911 Census has been analyised by Society member Peter Ibbett by street and by name. The search facility of Adobe Reader allows the reader to narrow their own search. Much individual information is aditionally available due to Peter's in depth analysis.If you do not have Adobe Reader please follow the link at the bottom of the page for a free download.
We hope that you have found this information useful. If you would like to make a donation to help enable our work to continue please go here.
Don't have Adobe Reader™? Please click here