Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
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.
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 first rackets 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.
Aubrey Cox, Sydney, Australia.
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