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Following membership of the Royston & District Family History Society, which embraces the villages of Barley and Reed (Herts) where the South ancestors originated, contact has been made with Tom Doig, a local historian. He has traced the South family back to the mid sixteenth century and has generously provided details of his researches.

These records include interesting comments on the relationship with the Bysouth family. Tom has concluded that the names are interchangeable and certain family members are variously described as South and Bysouth at different times. It is suggested that the prefix was added to identify separate South families.

In the Reed Baptism Records of 1 October 1654 for Richard, son of Joseph Bysouth, there is an anonymous note saying "out of the south Cometh." South descendants continue to live in the area.

When Joseph South left Barley after the marriage to his first wife, Emma Bright, in 1844 to work his way towards London as a brickmaker, the Souths' had lived in the region for at least nine generations.

Joseph    Mary Ann

 Emma died after the birth of her eighth child, Moses, in 1867. In 1869, Joseph married Mary Ann Dutton and they emigrated to New Zealnd in 1874 (Archive Update No. 7).

In New Zealand, Joseph began again as a brickmaker and in 1880 established South & Company in Walton Park. His last, eighteenth child (Elizabeth - mother of Judith Cranefield), was born in 1889. Joseph died (aged 84) in 1906.



 In the early 1900's Samuel(1) moved from Devonshire Hill Farm to "Langhedge" 43 Snells Park, Edmonton where he lived until his death in 1919. Samuel(2) also moved from No 2 Tottenham Terrace to 39 Snells Park, a semi detached house, one house away from his father.

Snells Park was a mixed road with larger houses at the northern end near St James' National School(1851) which several of the young children of Samuel(2) attended.

The southern part of the road consisted of smaller terraced houses and lead to the Edmonton Congregational Church where Samuel(2) had married Emily Maud King  on 14 September 1899

"At 43 my grandfather South [Samuel(1)] lived and his family. It was a detached house with nine rooms and outbuildings - a large cellar - two greenhouses and a large garden with an entrance in Langhedge Lane. Next to us was a family named Atkins who ran, from a large building in their garden, a flourishing laundry"

Hilda Beech 1984

"Grandfather [Samuel(1)] lived with grandma [Alice] and the four unmarried daughters [Alice, Maud, Ethel, Lily] in a very nice superior house, also in Snells park and one house away from our own home. {The} house had quite a large beautifully kept garden with a gardener who would not let us go into the greenhouses there"

Gladys Short 1991.

The houses occupied by the two South families have been marked on the 1914 Ordnance Map using the clues given in the descriptions of Hilda and Gladys. Have they been correctly identified? The comments of family former occupants are invited.


River House (see Updates 1;2;3;4;5) derived its name because the abandoned bed of the New River ran through the grounds. The New River was constructed between 1609-1613 from Chadwell in Hertfordshire to Islington, London, to convey fresh water to the City of London. The river followed the 100 ft. contour in a series of wide loops. Over later years the route was shortened by the construction of tunnels and culverts bisecting the loops which were abandoned.

When Samuel(2) and his family moved to River House from Snells Park in 1917 the  abandoned stretch of river still held water and was crossed by a footbridge. It was a haven for wildlife. The river was filled in three stages using spoil carted from the Potteries as new clay pits were either opened or enlarged and the area became part of the kitchen garden. 

Plan on the deed conveying "the abandoned channel or bed of the New River" to Samuel(1) on 26 March 1915 [Update No 1]

Very interesting photo X bed of Old River filled in. View from garden looking [south] down to Pipers Court [Update No 3]."

Comment of Samuel(2)


It has been discovered that the postcard reproduced in Update No 8 was one of a set of four illustrating different views and operations of the Potteries. The remaining cards will be included in future Updates.


KLB 11/97


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