The Gillians of Roestock
The following is the culmination of years of research by Richard and a request for more information about the places his ancestors may have lived in Roestock, Colney Heath. Richard was planning to visit the area but ill health has meant the trip has had to be cancelled. This text is from a recent e-mail from Richard to this site and pictures of where his ancestors lived have been added to enable him to take a virtual tour down Roestock Lane. If anyone has any more information for Richard he would be delighted to hear from you. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org Click on the thumbnail to reveal full size downloadable images. These are large files and will be slow to download.
Leaving England for Canada
Between 1900 and 1914 many people left England for Canada under a scheme heavily subsidised by the Canadian Government and Canadian Pacific Railway. The idea was to populate the vast areas of Western Canada in order to provide more revenue for CPR.
My grandfather, Jim Gillians, took advantage of the offer and left for Montreal in 1907 to work as a labourer. Like most immigrants they lived in the poor section of Montreal. He died of cancer in 1913 and my grandmother died during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919.
My Dad's two older brothers, Tom and Albert, went overseas with the Victoria Rifles, fought at the Somme and Vimy Ridge. Dad was invalided out of the army in Canada and spent a great deal of his time in hospital in Montreal. After WW1, Dad married and I was one of three sons.
Clues from the Census
Looking at the 1841 census I have my Gr.Gr. Grandfather living at Roestock Lane (no numbers) with his son John age 15, daughter Mary age 12, Thomas (Gr. Grandfather) and his twin sister Sarah, ages 8 and Samuel age 5.
The 1851 census shows my Gr Grandfather Thomas and his twin sister now living with John and Ann Hutchins, their aunt and uncle at Roestock (Again no number).
The 1861 census show the Aunt and Uncle living at 65 Roestock Lane, William Gillians age 60, my Gr. Gr. Grandfather and my Gr Grandfather Thomas and his twin sister Sarah living at 66 Roestockl Lane. Across the road another son of William's , name of John Gillions, his wife Hannah and 5 kids living at 73 Roestock Lane.
The 1871 census shows my Gr.Gr. Grandfather William age 80, living with his sister-in-law Ann Hutchings at 64 Roestock Lane, shown as a widow and living on parish allowance, also midwife. Also my Gr Aunt Sarah, her daughter Hannah age 9 and a grandson James, age 16. Across the road living at 70 Roestock is Williams's son John and family.
My Gr Grandfather Thomas, now married , shown living at 64 Deep Bottom, North Mymms. His wife and my Great Grandmother Jane Elizabeth Gillians, sons Albert and James lived at the same address.
My Great Grandfather died in 1877 and my Gr.Grandmother Jane remarried to a William Hipgrave in 1879, who was a night watchman at the Union Workhouse. My Grandfather James left home shortly after and I lost him in London until I found his marriage to Edith Rainer in Woolwich in 1888. They came to Canada in 1907.
My Great Grandmother Jane (Gillians) Hipgrave died July 22, 1920 at Bullens Green, Roestock, North Mymms. I gather when she married Hipgrave, my grandfather James had a difficult time and he was estranged from the family until he died in 1913 in Montreal.
Written and submitted by Richard Gillians, June 2001 email@example.com