My favourite discovery in my research has been that I was born in Harlow and my paternal family in the early 1800’s were also based there, and my Dad had no idea.
There are entries in the parish registers for births, marriages and deaths in the church in Old Harlow, St Mary & St Hugh, but as the parish register was lost the entries have been rewritten as lists in a new book. Unfortunately this has meant that research is a bit sketchy, as the documents are just not available.
Harlow was only a small village when the family lived there, so pretty sure everyone knew each other. My families were living in Back Street, which (I think) ran along behind the main street.
I have a copy of this map that someone has kindly posted on the Harlow old and new FB group. I have marked with a black square J Brett 180 and 241 allotments and cottages. Marking the pubs that are still there.
The railway came to Harlow in 1841, I feel that this must have made the difference to the family, as George Brett is living in Walthamstow in 1851 census, and in 1855 he marries Harriet Everett in St Pancras. He is a Horsekeeper in the 1861 census, interesting that his brother Edward Brett is also a groom. in Warwickshire.
James Brett & Ann Tucker had 10 children, and most of those that I have found died outside Harlow, they stayed in the town until their deaths.
and it seems to be the similar story for Harriet’s family and parents:
No one found their fortune with their move….but they all had gainful employment and some lived to a good age!