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THE BRAIN FAMILY
OF STRETTON & GLASCOTE
(some notes by P John Partington)
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the name was generally spelt ‘Brayne’ and ‘Braine’ respectively, only taking its present form in the early decades of the nineteenth century.
THOMAS BRAIN (c. 1655 - aft. 1683) AND HIS FOREBEARS
The first Brain whom we can reliably identify as an ancestor of ours is Thomas, who lived in Stretton-on-Fosse on the southern border of Warwickshire. He is clearly a member of the extended Brain family to be found at that time and in the preceding centuries in a number of villages in north Gloucestershire and south Warwickshire, but precise links are hard to make. (There seems to have been a couple of other clusters of Brain families in the country, with one notably in the Forest of Dean, but there is no reason to suppose any link between them and ours.) Thomas was the father of Robert, born in 1685; no other children are known (though a Frances Brain married John Simonds at Stretton on 13 December 1716, and could be a daughter of Thomas).
THE CHILDREN OF THOMAS (c. 1655 - aft. 1683)
Thomas’ son Robert was born in 1685 and baptized in Stretton on Fosse on 22 December of that year. He married Hannah Long on 17 October 1708 at Stretton. They had four children: Camelia born in about 1709, Mary in about 1714, Anthony in about 1718 and Richard in about 1720. Robert died in 1728 and Hannah in 1762.
THE CHILDREN OF ROBERT (1685 - 1728)
Robert’s first child, Camelia, was baptized at Stretton on Fosse on 23 October 1709; nothing further is known at present.
Robert’s second child, Mary, was baptized at Stretton on 5 September 1714. She married Thomas Young in the village on 14 June 1744. Nothing else is known at present.
Robert’s third child, Anthony, was baptized in Stretton on 22 February 1717/8. He married Mary Long, a girl about thirteen years younger than himself, on 31 October 1757. The couple had six children: John born in about 1757, Hannah in about 1761, Elizabeth in about 1763, William in about 1765, Richard in about 1766 and Camilla in about 1769 (details below). Anthony died in 1798, being buried on 25 June. Mary died in 1804, aged 73, and was buried on 29 September.
Robert’s fourth child, Richard, was born in about 1720, and baptized in Stretton on 16 October of that year. It is possible that he married Eleanor Heydon at Shipston.
THE CHILDREN OF ANTHONY (c. 1718 - 98)
Anthony’s first child, John, was baptized at Stretton on Fosse in 17 January 1758, and died in his late teens, being buried at Stretton in 1787.
Anthony’s second child, Hannah, was baptized on 14 February 1762. In 1793 she married William Stanley at Stratford.
Anthony’s third child, Elizabeth, was baptized on 18 December 1763, and died in September 1781.
Anthony’s fourth child, William, was baptized on 21 July 1765.
Anthony’s fifth child, Richard, was baptized on 23 February 1766 at Stretton on Fosse. He was married twice: first, to Elizabeth Baker, with whom he had three children – William, born in about 1784, and twins Susanna & Catherine in about 1790. After Elizabeth’s death, he married Mary Clark* on 18 May 1812 at Todenham in Gloucestershire, and they had three children: John born in 1813, Richard in 1815 and George in about 1817 (details below). Richard, recorded during his life as a “farm labourer”, died aged 72 on 27 December 1838, of “paralysis”, and was buried at Stretton on 2 January 1839. In 1841 & 1851 the census records Mary as living in Stretton with her son Richard; she died in 1853, aged seventy-seven, and was buried on 21 February.
Anthony’s sixth child, Camilla, was baptized on 10 December 1769, and died in 1782, being buried on 27 March.
* the 1841 census records Mary as 60, born outside the county, while the 1851 census has her as 74, born in Stretton.
THE CHILDREN OF RICHARD (c. 1766 - 1838)
By his first marriage, Richard had three children: first, William, who was baptized at Stretton on Fosse on 11 October 1785 and died in 1791, then twins Susanna and Catherine baptized on 1 January 1791.
Richard’s first child by his second marriage, John, was baptized at Stretton on 14 May 1813. On 28 June 1835 he married Mary White at Stretton. They had eleven children: Richard born in 1835, Sarah in about 1838, John in 1840, George in 1841, Ann in 1843, Anthony in 1845, Richard in 1846, William in 1848, Robert in 1850, Mary in 1852 and Jesse in about 1855 (details below). The 1841 census finds the family in Stretton on Fosse: John is described as an “agricultural labourer”. In about 1849 the family moved to the Tamworth area: the 1851 census records them as living at Quarry Hill. John is still an “agricultural labourer”. By 1861 the census describes John as an “earth sewerage pipe maker”. In 1871 he is a “contractor”, living at Glascote Heath; Robert is the only child still at home, but grandchildren Henrietta and John (children of the late John Brain, junior), are living there. In 1881 he is a “Manager at pipe-works”: Henrietta & John are still there, as is his ‘niece’ (in reality granddaughter) ten-year old Mary J. It seems likely that at this time the family, or more particularly Mary, were also running a bakery in Quarry Hill, which continued trading under the name “Whites” until it closed in the 1970s. Mary died in 1883, and John on 4 September 1887: he was buried in Wilnecote Congregational Chapel Cemetery.
Richard’s second child by his second marriage, Richard, was baptized at Stretton on 7 April 1815. He worked as a shoemaker, and is recorded as such in the 1841 & 1851 censuses. On 3 April 1854 he married Mary Anne Hathaway at St Thomas, Dudley. They had two daughters – Mary born in 1855 and Sarah Anne in 1857. Mary died in 1870, and the 1881 census shows widowed Richard still living in the village. He died in 1890, being buried on 28 February.
Richard’s third child by his second marriage, George, was baptized on 25 December 1817. He married Sarah Smith – with whom he had a daughter, Sarah Anne, born in 1847/8.
THE CHILDREN OF JOHN (1813 - 87)
John’s first child, Richard, was born in 1835 and baptized at Stretton on Fosse on 21 November. The 1841 census records him living there with his family, but he died that summer, being buried on 8 July.
John’s second child, Sarah, was born in about 1838 and baptized in Stretton on 10 March 1839. The 1841 & 1851 censuses record her at home with her family. She married Thomas Twamley, and died sometime before 1878, leaving several children.
John’s third child, John, was born in 1840 and baptized in Stretton on 24 May. The 1841 & 1851 censuses record him at home with his family. He married Jane Arblaster on 26 December 1859 at Tamworth parish church. They had two children, Henrietta born in 1860 and John in 1862 (details below). John died in 1863, whereupon Jane married his younger brother George.
John’s fourth child, George, was born in 1841 and baptized in Stretton on Fosse on 20 February 1842. He moved with the family to Glascote, where the census records him in 1851 & 1861. He married his elder brother John’s widow Jane on 27 December 1864 at the Aldergate Chapel in Tamworth. They had eight children: George born in 1865, Lily in 1867, Rose in about 1870, Mary Jane in 1871/2, Lucy in 1875, Violet in 1876, James Albert in 1879 and another Lucy (the first having died) in 1885 (details below). The 1871 census finds the family living in New Street, Glascote, with George described as a “pipe maker”. In 1881 the family is in Glascote Heath: George is a “sanitary pipe-maker”, while his oldest son George, then fifteen, is also employed at the pipe-works. In 1891 George & Jane were in Glascote Road, with eighteen year old Mary Jane and six year old Lucy. Ten years later they were at ‘Birchills’ in Glascote, with Lucy.
John’s fifth child, Ann, was born in Stretton in 1843. She moved with the family to Glascote, where the census records her in 1851 & 1861. She married William Twamley, brother of her elder sister Sarah’s husband. They had seven children: Jesse, Emmanuel born in about 1864, Arthur J in about 1867, Ann E in about 1868, George H in 1870, W J and Thomas. In 1871 the census records the family as living at 5 Brain’s Row, with William described as a “Pipe & Terra Cotta Maker”. Ann died on 20 January 1900, and was buried in Wilnecote Congregational Chapel Cemetery.
John’s sixth child, Anthony, was born on 22 June 1845. He evidently died before the 1851 census. Nothing else is known at present.
John’s seventh child, Richard, was born in 1846. He moved with the family to Glascote, where the census records him in 1851 & 1861, and married Mary Ann Smith. They had eight children: Mary Ann born in 1870, Alice Lydia in 1871, Elsie in 1880, Harry in 1883, Edith Annie, Florrie, John and Sarah (details below). The 1871 census records Richard and Mary Ann as living with their first child at 6 Brain’s Row: Richard is a “TerraCotta Maker”. Ten years later they are living in the “Grocer’s Shop”, Alrewas, Staffs: Richard is a baker.
John’s eighth child, William, was born in 1848 at Kettlebrook, and is recorded with his family by the census in 1851 & 1861. He married Hannah (surname unknown), a woman eight years younger than himself. They had three children: Arthur George born in 1867, William in 1869, and Mary Jane in 1871 (details below), and in that year the census records the family as living at 3 Brain’s Row. William died in mid 1872 and Hannah a few months later.
John’s ninth child, Robert, was born on 21 September 1850 in Quarry Hill, Polesworth, and is recorded there with the rest of the family in the following year’s census. Ten years later he is a ‘scholar’, living with the family in Glascote, while ten years after that, in 1871, he is still at home with his parents, in Glascote Heath, and working as a carpenter. On 22 August of that year he married Frances Helena Moore (born 3 March 1850 in Wilnecote to John and Sarah née Geary) at St Thomas’ Birmingham. They kept a shop, a “grocers & drapers”, on Watling Street in Wilnecote, and had two children, Frances Helena in 1872, and Emily Gertrude in 1873. His wife Frances died, however, on 19 January 1876. On 4 July of that year he married Mary Elizabeth Kimberlin, who had been working as a housekeeper for the family during Frances’ illness, at the Aldergate Street Chapel, Tamworth. Robert and Mary had eleven children: Robert Ernest born in 1877, Beatrice Winnie in 1878, Charles Kimberlin in 1881, Millicent Mary in 1883, twins Leslie Joseph & Leonard John in 1885, Emmeline May in 1887, Leslie John in 1890, Dorothy Gwendoline in 1892, Reginald Thomas in 1894 and Kenneth Roy in 1898 (details below). The 1881 census finds the family living in Watling Street, Wilnecote: Robert is described as a “Grocer & Draper”. He has the same address and occupation on Emily’s marriage certificate in 1897, but by 1911 he is described as “foreman at terra-cotta works”.
John’s tenth child, Mary, known as ‘Polly’, was born on 25 August 1852 at Glascote, and is recorded living there with her family by the 1861 census. She married William Bealey, and they had eight children: John born in 1871, William in 1872, Mary Jane in 1875, John Ernest in 1877, Florrie in 1879, Thomas Edward in 1882, Ethel and Percy in 1889. The 1871 census records William and Mary as living at 7 Brain’s Row: William is a “Laborer in Pipe Yard”. The 1881 census likewise records the family still in the village.
John’s eleventh child, Jesse, was born in about 1855 and died in 1860.
THE CHILDREN OF JOHN (1840 - 63)
John’s first child Henrietta was born in 1860. In 1871-81, after her father’s death, she and her younger brother John were living with their grandparents John & Mary Brain in Glascote Heath. She married Thomas Shipley, and they had five children – Ada, Millicent, Maud, Vera and Eva.
John’s second child John was born in 1862. In 1871 he and his older sister Henrietta were living with their grandparents John & Mary Brain in Glascote Heath. They were still there in 1881, with John recorded as a “weighman at clay pits”. He is believed to have emigrated to the USA.
THE CHILDREN OF GEORGE (1841 - aft. 1903)
George’s first child, George, was born in Glascote in 1865, and is recorded living in New Street with his family by the 1871 census. In 1881 he was living with his family in Glascote Heath, and working at the “pipe works” – Gibbs & Canning. He married Rhoda Stonehouse, and they had six children: George born in 1889, Oliver John in about 1891, Reginald in about 1893, John (known as ‘Jack’) in 1895, Percy in about 1897 and May in 1903. The 1891 census shows George & Rhoda and their two eldest children living in Glascote Heath: George was a “pipe maker”.
George’s second child, Lily, was born in 1867 and is recorded living in New Street with her family by the 1871 census. In 1881 she was living with her family in Glascote Heath. She married William Cooper, and they had seven children: Charlotte, John, Ginny, Caroline, William, Vera and Arthur.
George’s third child, Rose, was apparently born in 1870, and is recorded living in New Street with her family by the 1871 census. In 1881 she was living with her family in Glascote Heath, recorded as ‘Rosa’. She married William Archer, and they had three children: Herbert born in 1891, William in 1896 and Winifred in 1901.
George’s fourth child, Mary Jane, was born on 22 November 1872 in New Street, Glascote. In 1881 and 1891 she was living with her parents in Glascote Heath, in the latter census being described as a “domestic at home”. She married James Cooper, and they had eight children: Wesley born in 1892, Henrietta (‘Hetty’) in 1894, Violet in 1898, Elsie in 1900, Doris in 1903, Olive in 1905, Maud in 1909 and Ethel in 1913.
George’s fifth child, Lucy, was born towards the end of 1875, and died a couple of years later.
George’s sixth child, Violet, was born in 1876. In 1881 she was living with her family in Glascote Heath. She married Arthur Morrall and they had three children: Arthur born in 1901, Margaret in 1903 and Amy in 1910. In 1901 they were living at 260 Main Road, Glascote.
George’s seventh child, James Albert, was born in Glascote in 1879, and two years later was living with his family in Glascote Heath. He died towards the end of 1881.
George’s eighth child, Lucy, was born in 1885, and is recorded with her parents in the census of 1891 & 1901. She married her cousin Harry Brain, by whom she had eight children.
THE CHILDREN OF RICHARD (1846 - aft. 1881)
Richard’s first and second children, Mary Ann & Alice Lydia, were born in Glascote in 1870 & 1871 respectively. In 1881 they were living with the rest of the family at the Grocer’s Shop in Alrewas, Staffs.
Richard’s third child, Elsie, was born in Alrewas on 25 January 1880. The following year, and in 1891, she was living with her family at the Grocer’s Shop there. In 1901 she was recorded as a visitor with the Turner family in the village. Later that year she married Ernest Byrne at Lichfield Registry Office; the couple had nine children – Annie born in 1901, Clara in 1902, Harold in 1903, Frederick in 1905, Elsie in 1907, Horace in 1909, Eric in 1911, and a further son and daughter after the war.
Richard’s fourth child, Harry, was born in 1883. He married his cousin Lucy Brain, with whom he had eight children.
Richard’s other children were Sarah Ann, Florrie, John and Edith Annie.
THE CHILDREN OF WILLIAM (1848 - aft. 1871)
William’s first child, Arthur George, was born in 1868. In 1871 the census records him living with his family at 3 Brain’s Row in Glascote Heath. Family memory states that he lived at Alrewas and later at Elford, where he was a mill labourer, living at Mill Cottage.
William’s second child, William, was born in 1869. In 1871 the census records him living with his family at 3 Brain’s Row in Glascote Heath. In the 1881 census he is recorded as living with his uncle and aunt Richard & Mary Ann Brain at the Grocer’s Shop, Alrewas, Staffordshire. William fought in the Boer War before marrying Emily Penn. They had four children: William Horace born in 1904, Clarence Irvine in 1908, Dorothy Lilian in 1911 and Ruby in 1913.
William’s third child, Mary Jane, was born in 1871. That year the census records her living with her family at 3 Brain’s Row in Glascote Heath. In the 1881 census she is recorded as staying, or living, with her grandparents John & Mary. Family memory has her marrying a Mr Glover, and having five daughters: Gladys, Maud, Rene, Dot & Elsie.
THE CHILDREN OF ROBERT (1850 - aft. 1903)
Robert had two children by his first marriage. The first was Frances Helena, born in Wilnecote in 1872. The 1881 census finds her staying, or living, with her step-grandparents (Joseph & Emily Black) in Nether Whitacre. In due course Frances became matron of the choir school in Winchester. After her sister’s early bereavement Frances moved with her to Llandudno.
Robert’s second child by his first marriage was Emily Gertrude, born in 1872/3. She moved to live near her sister in Winchester, and on 5 October 1897 married the local telegraphist, Alfred George Hiscock. They had four children: Alfred Robert Carl born in 1899, Hector Roy in 1900, Millicent Gertrude in 1904 and Alan Gordon in 1907.
Robert had eleven children by his second marriage. The first was Robert Ernest, born in 1877. Four years later the census records him staying with his mother’s sister Emily, who was working as a domestic servant for the Aston family in Edgbaston.
Robert’s second child by his second marriage was Beatrice Winnie, born on 26 December 1878. She trained as a nurse at the London Hospital, becoming sister in charge of Victor ward.
Robert’s third child by his second marriage was Charles Kimberlin, born on 7 February 1881. A pupil at the local “Castle” grammar school, he continued there for a while as a teacher – and was also apparently apprenticed for a while to a cabinet-maker. After gaining a teaching diploma, he went to South Africa in 1905.
Robert’s fourth child by his second marriage, Millicent Mary, was born on 25 April 1883. She married Charles James Hincks, and they had five children: Mary born in 1909, William Robert in 1910, Kenneth Charles in 1912 (the survivor of twins) and Nancy Millicent in 1916.
In 1885 twins Leslie Joseph & Leonard John were born. Neither survived infancy, Leonard dying in early 1886 and Leslie a year later.
Robert’s seventh child by his second marriage, Emmeline May, known as ‘Dot’, was born on 27 April 1887. On 14 June 1913 she married Arthur Eli Pavey, by whom she had five children.
Robert’s eighth child by his second marriage, Leslie John, was born on 19 February 1890. During the war he served in the RAMC, holding the rank of staff sergeant and being awarded the Military Medal.
Robert’s ninth child by his second marriage, Dorothy Gwendoline, was born on 3 July 1892. She trained as a midwife, and went to work in the nursing home run by her sister Winnie.
Robert’s tenth child by his second marriage, Reginald Thomas, was born on 6 June 1894. He signed up early in the Great War and saw service as a sergeant in the RAMC at various field stations before being posted to 25 Stationary Hospital in Rouen, where he qualified as a laboratory technician.
Robert’s eleventh child by his second marriage was Kenneth Roy, born on 22 June 1898. After war-service as a subaltern he took a degree at St John’s College, Cambridge; subsequently he gained an MSc at London University.
THE CHILDREN OF RICHARD (1815 - 1890)
Richard’s first child, Mary, was born in 1855, and baptized in Stretton on Fosse on 29 November. In 1871 she was living at home with her father and sister (her mother had died the previous year), and in 1877 she had an illegitimate daughter, Isabella, born in Stretton on 22 April and baptized there on 7 October. In 1879 Mary married Ralph Turner: they had seven children – George born in 1880, Kate Catherine in about 1883, Ralph in about 1885, Alfred Victor in about 1890, William in about 1893, Charles in about 1895 and Francis Henry in about 1899. In 1881 the census records the family in Stretton: Mary’s sister Sarah Ann is living with them. [Isabella later took the surname ‘Turner’, and went into service on the Isle of Wight, where she married twice and had five children.]
Richard’s second child, Sarah Anne, was baptized in Stretton on 19 July 1857. In 1871 she was living at home with her father and sister (her mother had died the previous year). In 1873 she had, and lost, an illegitimate daughter, Jessica, baptized on 30 September and buried on 13 October. In the 1881 census she is recorded as a ‘visitor’ in her sister’s home. In the 1891 census she was recorded in Shipston-on-Stour workhouse, described as a “field woman”.
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