The Lines Family in the Lea Valley

Descendants of Emily Lines (b. 1875 in St Albans)

Emily Lines, aged 17, at The Folly

I have this charming photograph of my maternal grandmother, Emily Lines.  Emily was born in St Albans in 1875 and the photograph was taken in 1892, when she was 17, in a field at the Folly, Wheathampstead.

Her parents were Anne and (Alfred) George Lines.  George was born in Sandridge in 1852, the youngest son of John and Anne Lines and worked as a labourer at Turners Hall Farm at one time. Emily, her mother and siblings spent some time in Wheathampstead workhouse but eventually the family obtained a cottage at The Folly, Wheathampstead, and George spent the rest of his very long life there.

He apparently was a local ‘character’ and a well-known local runner and a picture of him hung in the Royal Oak pub opposite The Folly.

Emily had six siblings one of whom was Gertrude, who married George Males (Mayles?) in 1906 and they also lived at The Folly.

Emily (on the right) with one of her sisters

Emily married firstly John Jones (they probably lived in London as their children were born there).

Emily is seen here (as Mrs Jones) on the right with one of her sisters who also lived at The Folly.   

Her second husband was William Deeley and they are photographed here in Batford in the 30s/40s

I think Emily moved back to Batford when she was widowed and lived there until she died in 1955

A number of the family lived in Batford.  The Jones family (uncle Albert, Nance and their daughters, Joan and Barbara) lived in the cottages a couple of doors along from The Gibraltar pub on the Lower Luton Road, before, during, and after the war.  Another aunt and uncle, Grace and Bert Parkin and their four girls, lived at 4, Batford Road, just round the corner.

Family group outside the Gibraltar pub 1940s

I am the little girl in this photo standing next to my Mum. Albert (Chopper) and Nance Jones are also in the photo.

Sadly, my sister Doreen Martin drowned in the River Lea 24th April 1941 aged just 2.  She was playing in the front garden of the cottages where we lived, a few doors from The Gibralter pub.  Gypsies called at the cottage which we shared with my uncle and his family.  My mum answered the door, but did not have money to buy pegs etc. that the gypsies were selling.  They walked away cursing, leaving the garden gate open!  My sister then wandered through the gate, crossed the road and slipped into the River Lea.  A lorry driver passing by from London saw her and got her out; took her to the Gibralter pub and she was laid on the counter whilst they tried to revive her but she died!’


  1. Emily’s siblings were – Mary (b.1873), Ada (b.1878), Eleanor (b.1881), Alice (Rose) (b.1884), Gertrude (b.1888) and William (b.1892).
  2. Gertrude and George‘s children were Harold, Septimus, Queenie, Myrtle and Venus.
  3. I have traced some of my maternal family back to Samuel Lines (spelling sometimes transcribed slightly differently), born in Harpenden 1574.   The family resided, at various times there, at Sandridge and at Wheathampstead.

I would LOVE to hear from anyone who has any pictures, information or memories especially if anyone knows of the whereabouts of the picture of George Lines that hung in the Royal Oak (now a private house).

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for your replies to my posting of my grandmother, Emily Lines.

    Karen…I very vaguely remember Nobby Frances.  Joan and Barbara (Jones) are my double cousins.  We’re all still in contact.  Their dad, Albert, was my mum’s brother….and their mum (Nance) was my dad’s sister.

    Graham….thank you.  You have SO much information on the Lines family, so hope you will keep in touch.

    Alison….please email me any time you wish.

    Chris….Aunt Grace was my mum’s eldest sister. I’m guessing that you’re my cousin Doris’ son?

    By Pat (14/02/2016)
  • My grandparents Bess and Nobby Francis lived at 8 Batford Road - and were friends with Grace and Nance. I am still in touch with Barbara who lives in Australia and some of Joan’s children.

    By Karen dorney (francis) (02/06/2015)
  • My name is Graham Lines and I have data base of nearly 2000 Lines family members from around this area dating back to c.1545. I’m not saying it is anywhere complete but it may contain some useful information. So please feel free to contact me.

    By Graham Lines (09/03/2015)
  • I am researching the Lines of Harpenden family tree. Michael Line born 1776 was born to John Lines born 1743 and Ann born 1745 from Harpenden. Would you be able to help with any info of their family and life in Harpenden in the 1700s

    By Alison Read (10/02/2015)
  • My grandparents were Grace and Bert Parkin and I can remember my great grandma Deeley confined to her bed in the front room of 4 Batford Road in the last years of her life.

    By Chris Blomfield (08/11/2013)

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