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John Brown 1782/3 - 1843 Sarah Brown 1852 - ?
published by peter_scott71 on Mon, 12/02/2024 - 11:53

I have a pretty complete tree for my maternal grandfather, but a couple of dead-ends.

The first one is three generations back. He married Sarah Lott of Wraxall on 29th January 1804. He was described as of Portbury parish, but I have found no record of him in Portbury or anywhere else in the area. I'm told that he is very unlikely to have been Irish. An agricultural labourer according to the 1840 census.

He appears to be unrelated to another family in Wraxall that derives from a Patrick Brown. 

Any ideas as to how to pursue this one?

The other concerns a granddaughter of John Brown, Sarah Brown born (according to the registration) on 7th May 1852 to Charles Brown and Elizabeth nee Williams. In 1871 she was a servant in Kings Down Parade St James Bristol to a William Mealing grocer. She was admitted to Clifton Workhouse on Sept 7 1872. The Creed Register does not record her discharge. The Bedminster Workhouse records show that she was the subject of a removal order from Bristol Union in April 1874, presumably on account of her being pregnant with my grandfather William, who was born in the workhouse infirmary at Long Ashton on 16th May. At his first marriage William gave as his father William Brown a grocer (sic).

In 1881 William is with his illiterate grandparents in Wraxall, We have a probable identification of Sarah Brown in Wood Street Walthamstow as a domestic servant with a fur merchant, after which nothing.

I did ask Pat some years ago about this one and posting it was suggested. A long shot - any sign of Sarah back on home turf?

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British field hospitals WW2
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Mon, 05/02/2024 - 14:27

My father was in the Royal Engineers during WW2. He served in various areas one of which was in Holland. We know he was helping to mend the dykes on Walcheren and was also in Knokke & Blankenberg. I found out that he was hospitalised whilst testing a dumper truck along a well used track when it struck an uncleared mine. The force of the blast was absorbed by the load but Dad was taken to hospital. I assume it was to a military hospital, but this is not necessarily the case. The RE records are poor as the engineers were working with diverse sections of the fighting army and my enquiries with them have been unsuccessful. Does anyone have any ideas how I may find any more information?


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published by Pat Hase on Sun, 04/02/2024 - 18:53

Request received from John Lamb a member from Huntspill

In one of John Bailey's Mercury articles he covered the village of Huntspill and related the story of a Miss ROGERS of Hunstspill Court who died of a broken heart after her fiancee, a seafaring Captain was drowned at sea.  She was, so the story goes, buried in her wedding dress which was adorned with all her jewellery - so her grave was covered by an extremely large stone to prevent any disturbance or possible theft.  In Mr Bailey's 1960 article he stated that the large stone could still be seen at that time. 

This incident has been repeated in at least one subsequent publication but any facts to confirm it are hard to come by: e.g. there are no relevant burials recorded in the Parish Registers (the ROGERS were at the Court around the 1830s) and no one, myself included, can recall the stone being there.  Are there any family historians interested in the ROGERS from this area, please, who may have any information on this event?

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Confused of Knowsley
published by zumrob on Wed, 31/01/2024 - 15:46

I'm not exactly asking for a solution to this - just an opinion would be good. Twice in as many weeks I have come across a child given the same name as another to the same parents. No -  I'm not that daft - I know that parents used to gave the same name to a previous child who had died but in these instances the first child was very much alive and kicking.

First one - Lionel SMITH b 6 Jun 1908 in Brixton to Leonard William & Hilda SMITH. Then Lionel Arthur SMITH b 7 Jul 1912 in Bromley, Kent to Leonard William & Emma Jane Hilda Sarah (signed Hilda) SMITH. In 1911 Lionel SMITH is living with his grandparents in Oxfordshire - in 1921 he is now called Lionel John CLARKE - still living with grandparents. Meanwhile Lionel Arthur SMITH is living with the rest of his siblings in London with the aforementioned Leonard William & Emma Jane Hilda Sarah CLARKE.

Second one - Alfred Harry BOWN b 1868 in Chard to Alfred & Emma BOWN, then Alfred Edwin BOWN b 1880 in Bridgwater to Alfred & Emma BOWN. Both appear on the same 1881 census record for Alfred (called Albert for some reason) and Emma BOWN in Bridgwater.

It is the first (& second!) time I have come across this - has any else had anything similar?



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Chapel/ Bedminster union/Long Ashton Union
published by uphill on Thu, 25/01/2024 - 17:03

St George Chapel/Church built 1860 at the

Bedminster Union Workhouse/ Long Ashton Union Workhouse/ Cambridge House/ Farleigh Hospital (all the same place !) - when this was sold to developers  - the Chapel/Church was converted to offices. On the borders of Long Ashton/Flax Bourton.

My question - does anyone know where the  Church/chapel REGISTERS were deposited when the building was decommissioned ?

Grateful of any help !


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What does "relict" mean on gravestones?
published by Jude on Thu, 25/01/2024 - 14:11

Having read the recently published Abbots Leigh memorials I was surprised to see some of the inscriptions. They were certainly not what I would want on memorials for my family! My question relates to the word "relict" which appears on some of the older graves. Can anyone explain what it means?


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