31 August 2010

Huntingdonshire Heritage

A long, long time ago, in a small town called Eynesbury, there lived a carpenter called Robert and his wife Martha. It is not exactly known how many children Robert and Martha may have had but it is known that they had a son called Tom who was born in 1840.


Tom grew up to be strong and healthy. He and his family left Eynesbury sometime in the late 1840s and went to live in London, in the borough of Southwark, south of the River Thames.

Eynesbury was not very far from the Great Northern Road, leading south to London. I know this even though several census records state that Eynesbury was in Hampshire. Eynesbury was in Huntingdonshire. This means that there was some confusion by the census recorders in Southwark between the pronunciation of Hants and Hunts, the shortened versions of the counties names. Have you found similar confusions when searching census records?

History of Eynesbury in Huntingdonshire - Visions of Britain


To add to the confusion, Eynesbury is now a part of the town of St Neots, rather than a separate village. The town of St Neots is now in Cambridgeshire as Huntingdonshire no longer exists as an administrative county. Tom's surname was recorded on his birth certificate as Gin, when the family surname is usually spelled Ginn, and pronounced with a hard "G" as in garden, rather than like the alcoholic spirit.

Read a book, published in 1820, called The History and Antiquities of Eynesbury and St Neots in Huntingdonshire and of St Neots in Cornwall

In the 1841 census for Eynesbury, Robert and Martha and their children were living in the High Street of the village. Next door lived a woman and her baby daughter. The daughter grew up to be Tom's first wife, which is very romantic. Her name was Annie Anderson. It is not known if Annie and Tom had any children of their own, but after Annie died, Tom married Sarah Cole and had a daughter called Annie, who was my great grandmother.

Sarah died in 1911, and Tom's eldest son, called Arthur Tom Ginn, died on the first day of the Gallipoli campaign in World War One. I think Tom is wearing one of Arthur's medals in the above picture.

My earlier blog post about Arthur Ginn

My great grandmother - on my By Any Other Name blog

Tom became a carpenter like his father when he grew up. He later became a builder's foreman and he frequently moved with his job to various parts of Surrey and Middlesex. I wonder how many of the buildings still standing in London were Tom's workplace at one time or another.

Even though Tom moved from Eynesbury when he was a boy, he still kept a connection with St Neots. I would like to know more about that connection, and its part in my Huntingdonshire heritage. Perhaps you can assist me.

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I especially appreciate historical insights.