Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Brasener, Brasenor, Brasner, Brazener, Brazner
Category: 2 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way, but currently in some countries only.
Contact: Mr Aubrey Cox
I started researching my wife's family history in 2007. It transpired that in 1810, one of her great, great, great grandfathers had married a Catherine Brazenor, at Hyssington, Shropshire. The surname generated some interest with my wife's relatives in Shropshire because no one had heard of the name before. It had disappeared from Shropshire whilst other uncommon names were still around after several centuries and one could find the present holders by just looking in the phone book.
I was intrigued by this and decided to investigate further by looking for Brazenors in the UK censuses and by taking my wife's Brazenor/Brasner line back to the parish of Worthen, Shropshire. The results of this investigation form the basis of this study. When my son, who had been living in Ballarat, Victoria, informed me that there was a Brazenor Street in that city I decided to make a world-wide search for the Brazenor name. I joined the Guild and registered the Brazenor one-name study in 2008.
There are now just over 800 persons on the main Brazenor (and variants) family tree, the descendants of Randolph Brasner and his wife Margareta Niccolls, of Worthen, who both died in 1704.
In the UK, the most common variant of the name is Brazener, in fact there are now more Brazeners than Brazenors. In the USA , the variants are Brazener, Brazner, and Brasner. The latter name appears to have at least two origins with several Jewish sources appearing in online search results. Brasnor appears in a very few instances. In Australia, the name is Brazenor.
Some deviants of the name include Braysner, Braesnor, Brasenore ,Brazoner, Brazena, Brassner and Bracenor.
The name Brazenor has its origin in the parish of Worthen, Shropshire. It is probably derived from the name Brasnell, which preceded it at Worthen, being present there from before the commencement of parish registration, in 1558. After 1616, Brasnell disappeared from Worthen, to be shortly replaced by Brasner. The Brasnell name continued in other parishes particularly in the eastern part of Shropshire lying between Newport, Market Drayton and the Staffordshire border. The Brasner name continued at Worthen , as Brasnor/Brasenor/Brazener/Brazenor for about 150 years. The last Brazenor christening at Worthen was in 1729, the last marriage in 1754, and the last burial in 1771. The name disappeared from Shropshire with the death of Ann Brazenor, in 1915.
This paragraph will be used to profile historical Brazenors from time to time, presently :-
William Brazenor (1789 - 1859)
William, who was baptised at Pontesbury in 1789, was the eldest of the five saddler sons of Richard and Mary Brazenor, nee Cooper. After learning his trade from his father, William, moved to Birmingham, where he married Margaret Pugh on 1 January 1816, at Aston, Warwickshire. Margaret was the daughter of Simon and Sarah Pugh of Guilsfield, Montgomeryshire.
William appears to have changed his business and premises in Birmingham fairly frequently, as revealed by his listings in various trade directories :-
1821 – Pigot’s – saddler and harness maker (S & HM) – at 6 Carr’s Lane.
1823 – Wrighton’s – S & HM – 21 Jamaica Row.
1828 He took a lease on a property in Alison Street, his occupation victualler and saddler.
1828 – Pigot’s – victualler and saddler – 6 Carr’s Lane.
1830 – Wrighton’s – S & HM – Bath Row.
1830 – West’s - S & HM & victualler – 20 Phillips Street.
1833 – Wrighton’s – victualler – 32 Bath Row.
1835 – Wrighton’s – victualler – 32 Bath Row.
1839 – Robson’s – publican – The Welsh Harp – 32 Bath Street.
1841 – Pigot’s – victualler – Welsh Harp – 32 Bath Street.
During 1838, he acted as one of the executors of his father-in-law’s Will and in that same year William and his youngest brother Robert became the victims of a crime of theft. In the 1841 Census, William and his wife Margaret were at Bath Street and living with them were Margaret’s sisters Mary Ann and Emma Pugh. On 20 May 1842, it was reported in the London Gazette that William was detained at Warwick Gaol, as a debtor. In July 1842, William appeared before a meeting of creditors for public examination. A summary was given of William’s business history which included being a saddler at Carr’s Lane, a publican and brewer at the Red Lion Inn, Bull Ring, Birmingham, some time at Spark Brook, where he was out of business, a publican and brewer in Phillips Street, Birmingham, a publican and brewer at the Cross Inn, Bath Row, and lately of the Welsh Harp Inn, Bath Street, Birmingham, where he was the publican and also a dealer in gun stocks.
By 1849, William had bounced back and reinvented himself as a Racket and Bowls Maker, in Bath Street, his residence being at 106 Great Charles Street, Birmingham. In the census of 1851, William was a racket maker of 302 Summer Lane, Birmingham. Living with him was his wife Margaret and his 85 year old mother – in – law Sarah Pugh. His sister -in -law, Mary Ann Pugh, was by then the licensee of the Welsh Harp. On the 4 June 1854, a notice appeared in Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, that a benefit event was to be held on 6 & 7 June, at the Bath Street Racket Court, for W Brazenor’s Farewell, as he was leaving for Australia. Some of England’s finest exponents of the game were expected to be playing, entrance tickets being 5 shillings. The Bath Street Court, which was for the indoor game of Racquets, has been associated with the invention of the game of Lawn Tennis, which is thought to have first been played in Birmingham, in the garden of one of the Bath Street members. It could well be that William manufactured the first tennis rackets or at least the rackets first used to play lawn tennis.
There is, as yet, no record found of William and Margaret’s departure from England or arrival in Australia. From Margaret’s death certificate it is estimated that they arrived in Melbourne, Victoria in about December 1854, assuming that they travelled together. Just two months later in February 1855, Margaret died of dysentery in Melbourne. From the absence of some details from her death certificate it is evident that William was not with her at her death and it may be assumed that he was out at one of the goldfields. In the following months advertisements appeared in the The Argus, Melbourne, announcing that unclaimed letters addressed to Mrs Brazenor, and also W Brazenor were awaiting collection at the Post Office, Melbourne. As yet, I have no record of William’s departure from Melbourne or his arrival back in England.
William’s death occurred at Birmingham, in the December quarter of 1859, his name being recorded (or transcribed) as Brazener, though throughout his life his name was always Brazenor. In about 1865, after the death of his brother Samuel Brazenor, at Pontesbury, Richard Brazenor of Spring Hill, Birmingham made an affidavit that stated amongst other things, that his brother William had died intestate and without issue, at Birmingham on 29 November 1859. Mary Anne Pugh, of Birmingham, also made an affidavit to the effect that William Brazenor and her sister Margaret had died childless. It is assumed that William must have been made a beneficiary in Samuel’s Will.
William and Margaret had been the first Shropshire Brazenors to migrate overseas. On his return to Birmingham, William must surely have influenced his young nephew William Brazenor (1833 -1916) to try his luck in Australia, which he did in 1857, and in so doing established the Brazenor name in Australia.
Between 1658, when records of baptisms, marriages and burials recommenced following the Civil War, and 1718, the world centre of Brasner/Brazenor life was Worthen, Shropshire. They were living in the hamlets of Brockton, Bromlow, Leigh and Aston Pigot, all within walking distance of each other and the parish church. During this period some individuals moved to surrounding Shropshire parishes and a few crossed the border into Montgomeryshire, Wales. They were mainly described as being yeomen, farmers or husbandmen by occupation.
During the period 1718 - 1808, the percentage of persons with the Brazenor name living in Shropshire declined from 88% to 77% and the main concentration of the name moved from Worthen, to the adjacent parish of Pontesbury. The name had also spread to London, Herefordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, though numbers were small. By occupation, they were now mainly farmers, saddlers and labourers. By 1841, only 43% of Brazenors were to be found in Shropshire, with another 14% in adjacent parishes within Montgomeryshire. The main destination for the migrants from Shropshire had been the industrialised towns of the 'Black Country', of the English Midlands. Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire together accounted for 37% and the next largest destination was London, with 4%.
Between 1851 and 1881, the main centre of concentration of UK Brazenors remained the Midlands, with percentages fluctuating between 68% and 49%. London, the next largest concentration increased its numbers from 7% to 27%. Other localities included Sussex with 10% and Gloucestershire also with 10%. In Shropshire, however numbers declined from 18% to a mere 4% of Brazenors.
Over the period 1891 - 1911, the centre of concentration increasingly became London, with numbers rising from 40% to 49% of the UK Brazenor population. In the Midlands, there was a reduction in numbers from 31% to 17%. Other centres were Gloucestershire with 15% and Sussex with 12%. Today, the main concentration of Brazenors/Brazeners in the UK, is in Nottinghamshire, with 56% of the population. Other centres include Berkshire with 24%, followed by London and Gloucestershire each with 7%. During the 19th and 20th Centuries a number of individuals emigrated to the United States of America, Canada and Australia. Interestingly, most of them were the descendants of a family of saddlers from the village of Pontesbury, Shropshire. The sons migrated from Pontesbury to the Midlands, London and other parts of England and their descendants migrated overseas. Today, in the United States there are Brazenor/Brazener families in New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, California and Oregon. For the most part they are the descendants of migrants from the United Kingdom, who could trace their families back to Shropshire.
There is a second origin for the Brazener name in the United States with the migration of Joseph Brazener who was of German extraction. He appears in the Illinois Census in 1855. There are several other individuals who came from Germany and what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is not clear at this stage whether the name started out as Brazener in Germany or whether it was interpreted/transcribed as Brazener in the States.
In Australia, there are Brazenor families in and around Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. The earliest Brazenor migrants were probably William and Margaret who came to Victoria in 1854. Margaret was to die in Melbourne in 1855, just months after her arrival. They were followed by their nephews William and Henry and by their niece Annie, all of whom settled in Ballarat, Victoria. Of these only William is known to have produced offspring in Australia and he also gave his name to the stepchildren of his second marriage to Maria Smyth. William, Henry and Annie were the siblings of Edward, Richard, and Sarah, who migrated to the USA and Canada. Thus the same family established the Brazenor name in North America & Australia.
Census record images for England and Wales for 1841-1911, available from various sources e.g. IGI, Ancestry, Find My Past, and British Origins.
Parish Register data available online from IGI, FMP, British Origins, and Freereg.
Extracts from the original registers for the Parish of Hyssington, available at Shropshire Archives, Shrewsbury and from the Bishop's Transcripts for Hyssington, available on microfilm at Powys Archives, Llandrindod Wells and also at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Printed and handwritten transcriptions of most of the early Parish Registers of Shropshire, available at Shropshire Archives, Shrewsbury.
Indices of Civil Registrations of BMD, available on Ancestry.
Quarter Session Records for Shropshire, available on FMP and mainly related to jury service.
Documents related to wills, bonds, assignments and conveyancing, preserved over the centuries and now available online from The National Archives, UK.
BMD certificates, Victoria.I would welcome any enquiries or information from Brazenor/Brazener family members. I have received assistance and been able to assist with enquiries from Brazenor/Brazener/Brazenall families and descendants of families associated with Brazenors through marriage, including members of the Allen, Dolby, Preece, Wellford and Williams families.
The photograph at the start of this summary is of John Brazenor, in front of his shop in Camberwell Road, London, taken in the 1890's. He died in 1896, but his business was continued by his wife Hannah, nee Avis. Additional information on Brazenor (B) individuals may be found at my blogsite - brazenor.wordpress.com - it includes ancestor charts for Albert Edward B, Albert Ernest B, Edward Lewis B, George Brazener, William Coogan B, William Allen Brazener, William Herbert B, William James B and William Keene Brazner. There are also profiles for Edward Lewis B 1839 - 1904, Randolph Brasner 1630 -1704, Reginald B 1908 - 1980, Richard B 1755 - 1840, Richard B 1795 - 1870, Robert Wilding B, 1818 - 1901, Robert Goode B 1877 - ? , Thomas B 1831 - 1910, William B 1789 - 1859, William B 1824 - 1848, William B 1833 - 1916, William Herbert B 1879 - 1926. There are also photographs of some individuals including Robert Wilding B in about 1895, William B 1833 - 1916, in 1888, William James B and possibly Robert Goode B in 1921 and 1929, Walter B in 1921 and Agnes B in 1929.
Aubrey Cox, Sydney, Australia.
My Brazenor Blog: http://brazenor.wordpress.com
Or contact me by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: