Maria Brabyn

Brabyn Family Page

Maria Eliza BRABYN was born in 1849 in Cardiff. She was the daughter of John BRABYN and Nancy HORNABROOK who were born and married in Padstow, Cornwall. Maria married James William DEANS in Cardiff in 1867.

William Brabyn (Padstow)           Top of the page

William BRABYN was born about 1779. for many years I believed him to be the son of William BRABYN and Elizabeth DUNGAY from Mawgan in Pyder but he could also have been the son born to Henry and Rebecca BRABYN from Egloshayle. 

DNA analysis has since shown that I am descended from the marriage of Henry BRABYN to Rebecca PARNELL and their son William. After Henry died Rebecca then married William GREGORY (various spellings) and had three more children; Henry, Thomas and Ann. My DNA matched that of James TRIPP (5th cousin) who descended from Henry Gregory's marriage to Jane BRENTON. The line descends through GREGORY and BENNETT to TRIPP and on to Canada. Recently I have discovered more descendants of Rebecca Parnell connected through her son Henry GREGOR and showing as DNA matches. Many of these descendants made their homes in the USA.

From this we can trace the line back a few more generations to Thome BRABYN who married Agnis SAMBEL at St Breock, Cornwall on 29 April 1651. Agnis was baptised at St Germans, Cornwall on 7 February 1629 and was the daughter of Robert SAMBEL and his wife Agnes.

William married Elizabeth BROWNon 12th July 1803 in Padstow and the baptisms of six children are recorded in the Parish Records for Padstow: Henry (1804), William (1806), John (1809), Jenny Brown (Tenny Brown) (1812), James (1820) and Joseph Brown (1822). Nothing more is known of either Henry, Jenny or James so it is likely that they died in infancy. William died in 1840, aged 61 years, the newspaper announcement of his death states that he was a harness maker by trade.

In 1841 Elizabeth is living alone in Lanadwell Alley, Padstow. Her son, William is living in Middle Street, Padstow with his wife and family.  William's occupation is also given as harness maker. John is not found on the 1841 census. John married Nancy Hornabrook, in 1940, shortly before his father died and 1841 Nancy is living in Lewis Street, Cardiff with her daughter Annie and John's younger brother, Joseph.    In 1851 Elizabeth is lodging with Betsey HORSEWELL in Church Street, Padstow and is described as a Saddler's widow. In 1861 Elizabeth is now over 80 years old and is a pauper, living in Almshouses in Lime Kiln Lane, Padstow.  The census states that she was formerly a saddler's wife. Elizabeth died in 1862 aged 84 years.

John Brabyn (Cardiff)           Top of the page

John was born in Padstow in 1808, the son of William BRABYN, harness maker and Elizabeth BROWN. He was baptised in Padstow on 7th March 1809. A mariner by trade. he joined the Merchant Navy on or before 1836, entries can be found in Lloyd's Merchant Ships Index and other shipping and crew lists from this date. There are also numerous newspaper accounts of shipping leaving and entering ports which were Captained by John. These include Marie Eliza, New Parliament and Resolution. He regularly took cargo between Cardiff and Cornish ports such as Falmouth. Master's Certificates were issued in Cardiff in 1851 and Liverpool in 1852. Later in life John joined the Dock Police in Bute Dock, Cardiff.

John married Nancy HORNABROOK in Padstow on 24th March 1840, an announcement of the marriage appeared in the local newspaper. John took Nancy to Cardiff to live and his younger brother Joseph joined them there. Their first child, Annie was born in Cardiff in 1840.In 1841 Nancy is living at Lewis Street along with Annie and Joseph. John does not appear on the census so is presumably "at Sea". Two more children were born to John and Nancy: John born 1843 and Marie Eliza in 1847. Again, in 1851 , John was "at sea" at the time of the census and Nancy is living at 12 Tredegar Street, Cardiff, with Annie, John and Maria, also living with her is her cousin Amelia HORNABROOK.  Amelia is in fact Nancy's sister, born 1813 in Padstow to Philip HORNABROOK and Jenepher COWL.(see HORNABROOK Family Page)

In 1852 John's renewed Master's Certificate shows that he had been employed for 16 years as Mate and Master in the Coastal and Foreign Trade. Early in 1852 Joh's plans to build 3 houses on Sophia Street were approved

John appears with Nancy on the 1861 census, his occupation is given as Master Mariner.  They are living 33 Sophia Street with their three children and Amelia Hornabrook is still living with them - this time she is described as a visitor. In 1863 John and Nancy's son, John, died aged just 20 years.  John, himself died in Cardiff on 3rd July 1866. probate was granted to Nancy.

Nancy continued to live at 33 Sophia Street after John's death.  Maria married James William DEANS (see DEANS Family Page) in 1867 and later, in 1869, Annie married William Henry GOODMAN.  In the 1871 census they are all living together at 33 Sophia Street, William Goodman is entered as being Head of the household. Also entered onto the census is James and Maria's daughter Elizabeth.  Living at 26 Sophia Street is George SQUIRES and his wife Jane (HORNABROOK). Jane is Nancy's niece - the daughter of William HORNABROOK and Susannah EPPLETTS.  Amelia Hornabrook is no longer living with Nancy. Amelia married George DAVIES in 1865 and is living in Sandown Place, Cardiff.

It seems that John had bought three properties: 31, 32 and 33 Sophia Street, Cardiff, however they were subject to a yearly ground rent.  John had made a will in 1857 in which he left these properties to his wife.  He had also taken out a Life Insurance policy to cover the mortagage and pay off any debts or expenses upon his death. The will stated that if Nancy remarried then the properties should pass equally between his children or their heirs but if Maria died without remarrying then the rents accrued from the properties should be divided equally amongst his children or their heirs. He stated that none of the properties owned by him should be sold or mortgaged after his death and in the event of the death of all of his children and their issue the rent for the  properties should pass to his surviving brothers or sisters. In the event of them dying without issue the properties should pass to Amelia DAVIES (HORNABROOK), Jane SQUIRES(HORNABROOK) and Ellen Withelm (Withell) PARSONS (nee BRABYN). Amelia was Nancy's sister, Jane was Nancy's niece and Ellen was John's niece.

When John died in 1866 probate passed to Nancy who was executor of his will along with a man called Noah JONES who had since died.  Nancy paid off the mortgage, funeral costs and other expenses after John died presumably covered by the insurance policy on John's life. However, it would seem that Nancy forgot (or declined to pay) the ground rent on the properties which, over the years, had accrued to £62.7s.2d and , moreover the houses had fallen into state of disrepair.  Therefore the persons name as beneficeries (or possible beneficeries) needed to either sell the properties or to raise a mortgage in order to pay off the rent arrears and to carry out improvements. Nancy was issued with a summons on 5th January 1875 to force her to mortgage or sell the houses and to ensure future payment of of the ground rent and carry out repairs to the houses.

DEANS v BRABYN Bill of Complaint. Between JAMES WILLIAM DEANS and MARIE ELIZA, his wife, WILLIAM HENRY GOODMAN and ANN, his wife, EDWARD SQUIRE and JANE, his wife, Plaintiffs and NANCY BRABYN, Defendant.  Ellen WITHELL (PARSONS) had been approached and requested to concur with defendants and Plaintiff but had refused to do so, she had in the meantime remarried to George CAPELL.

I do not know the outcome of the summons but Nancy died on 18th January less than a fortnight after it was issued so it is likely that the case never reached the courts. I think that Nancy may have been ill, possibly a form of dementia, and the family had to go to court as the only way to legally get the problem of the houses and debts cleared. It doesn't seem as if the family had a personal quarrel with Nancy as she died at home with her daughter and son-in-law,  James and Maria Deans.

William Brabyn (Padstow) born 1806           Top of the page

William Brabyn, born in Padstow, and baptised there on 8th August 1806. He was the son of William BRABYN and Elizabeth BROWN.  He married Maria BRINTON in Padstow on 19th July 1829. William and Maria had 5 children: Henry, Jane, Ellen, William Henry and James. Henry died in Infancy in 1833.  William and Maria are living in Middle Street, Padstow in 1841 with Jane and Ellen and also William Hornabrook (who is probably the brother of Nancy Hornabrook, married to John Brabyn). William's occupation is given as a harness maker.

William Henry was born in 1841 and his brother James in 1846. In 1847 William met with a most unfortunate end. The barque "Clio" was anchored off Padstow under sailing orders to take emmigrants to Quebec in Canada. Some of the passengers had come ashore into Padstow to get provisions and William and another tradesman, named RAWLINGS, were rowing them back to the Clio. The boat overturned in rough sea. William, Rawlings and 5 passengers were drowned. 

Maria can be found in the 1851 census living in Lanadwell Street, Padstow with the four children, she is described as a pauper. 1861 census shows that Maria has moved to Quay Street, Padstow, she is now described as "formerly bonnet maker".  Living with her are her son William, a shipwright, and her daughter Ellen, a tailoress.  In the 10 years between the two census her daughter Jane had married John STEER in 1854 and now had a family of her own and is living in Broad Street, Padstow. James his now an Able-bodied seaman and is listed on a vessel called the "Collina" docked at Runcorn in Cheshire. In 1862 James married Mary Ann McKEOWN and raised his own family in Padstow.

Ellen is listed on the 1861 census as Ellen WITHILL on the 1861 census but in fact married Thomas Withell PARSONS in Padstow on 11 September 1855. By 1856 Ellen was a widow. This may be a reason why John Brabyn included her as a beneficiary of his will should he have no children or their heirs. When the Bill of Complaint was lodged against Nancy Brabyn in 1875 is stated that Ellen had been requested to concur with the Plaintiffs but had refused to do so.  Ellen remarried in 1864 to George CAPELL and went on to having a family of her own.  In 1871 Maria is living with Ellen and George at Strand Street, Padstow and is described as former straw worker.  Maria died in Padstow in 1879.

William married Elizabeth Ann BATE at St Minver on 5th November 1862.  William and Eliza moved about a bit over the next few years.  Their first child, William John Brabyn was born in Cardiff in 1863, as was Rosalia in 1865 but their third child, James was born at Hayle, Phillack, Cornwall in 1867 and Eliza is living there with the three children and her brother Matthew in 1871, Eliza is described as a ship's carpenter's wife.  William is lodging in Whitstable, Kent with Edward KEMP, shipwright and his family.  William's occupation is given as shipwright but his status is listed as single.  In 1881 the family is living at Trenant, Egloshayle and includes Eliza Ann, born at Hayle in 1871, Mary Jane born at Illogen in 1873, Bertha M. born at Padstow in 1875, Helena born at Padstow in 1878 and Lilian born at Egloshayle in 1880. William Henry's occupation is given as ship and boat builder and his son William is a shipwright apprentice.

1891 sees the family still living in Egloshayle but now at Chapel Cottages. William, Rosalia and James no longer live at home but another son has been born to William and Eliza, Stephen Bate Brabyn was born at Egloshayle in 1883.  By 1901 the family had moved to Egloshayle Road, Wadebridge.  Stephen Bate is now 18 years old and is also listed as a shipwright and boat builder. 1911 sees William and Eliza still living in Wadebridge, William's occupation is still shipwright and boat builder.  Living with them is their daughter Lilian (HAWKINS) and their granddaughter Marjorie Lilian HAWKINS aged 2.  Elizabeth passed away in 1926 and William in 1931 at the grand age of 90.

William Henry started the shipbuilding business at Brabyn's Yard, Trevilling Quay, Padstow with his youngest son Stephen Bate Brabyn.  One of the apprentices working for them was William Henry Lindsey, grandson, son of  Stephen's sister Mary Jane. Access to the yard is now cut off by a private housing complex but I was able to view some of it from the coastal path above the yard.

Brabyns in the Royal Navy           Top of the page

James Henry Brabyn (1867-1919) joined the Royal Navy 1902-1912 and served on several ships including HMS Sappho, HMS Hawke, HMS Pioneer, HMS Canopus and HMS St. George. He was a ship's carpenter. Obituary - Find A Grave

Harry Brabyn (1891-1972) served in the Royal Navy from 1909-1927. Rejoined 1929-1940. He served on several different ships during his Naval career but spent most of WW1 serving on HMS Dominion. He became a member of the Gillingham Branch of The Freemasons in 1913. In 1917 he married Winifred WHITE. They had six children: Joan, Cynthia, Allan, Beryl, Donald and Wendy. Harry and Wendy did some travelling after his retirement in 1957 they returned from Montreal on SS Cairndhu disembarking at Leith, Edinburgh.

Vernon Arthur Brabyn (1896-1978) Vernon was born in Devonport on 8 March 1896. In 1901 he is living at Gillingham in Kent with his mother and brothers and then attends The Royal Hospital School in Greenwich along with his brother Frederick.  He served in the Royal Navy from 1912-1926.  During WW1 he was drafted to HMS Inflexible and must have seen plenty of action. In 1914 the Inflexible sailed to the Falkland Islands and took part in the Battle of the Falklands.  She then saw action in The Dardenelles in 1915 bombarding the fortresses but suffered mine damage and was towed to Malta for repairs.  In 1916 she took part in the Battle of Jutland. In 1918 she suffered further damage when she collided with a submarine during the Battle of May Island.  She was present at the German surrender in 1918. In 1920 at Strood in Kent Vernon married May BROOKS and they had six children: Kenneth, Doris Gordon, Geoffrey, John and Michael.  Vernon rejoined the Royal Navy in 1929 and served until 1936. In 1935 he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal. After retirement from the Royal Navy he served as a Lieutenant with The Sea Cadets. The family were hit by tradegy in 1941 when his eldest son Kenneth was killed in action whilst serving aboard HMS Neptune. Vernon died at Slough, Buckinhamshire on 14 January 1978, he left estate of £17238.

Kenneth Arnold Brabyn born 1921 was the son of Vernon BRABYN and May BROOKS. He was an engine room artificer. He died on 19th December 1941 when HMS Neptune was sunk after hitting mines in the Mediterranean Sea. His body was never recovered, his name is inscribed on the Chatham Naval memorial.

Military and Sea Going Brabyns           Top of the page

William Henry Brabyn was baptised at Padstow on 1 September 1841. He was the son of William BRABYN and Maria BRENTON. On 5 November 1862 he married Elizabeth Ann BATE at St Minver. Their two oldest children William and Rosalie were born in Cardiff, South Wales, where he joined the "Barracouta" on 26 January 1866 as ship's carpenter. On 18th November 1866 he is registered on "Barracouta" in Liverpool. According to the Particulars of the Crew William was aged 25 from Padstow and had previously crewed on "Hope" leaving that ship at Gloucester in 1864. In 1871 William is lodging with Edward and Martha KEMP at22 Sydenham Street, Whitstable, Kent. William is recorded as being a shipwright as is Edward Kemp. Eliza is living at Church Town Phillack with three children; William, Rosalie and James, her brother, Matthew M BATE is also with her. I am supposing that William was working as a shipwright in one of the many shipbuilding yards along the River Thames. In 1881 William and his family are living at Trenant in Egloshayle and his occupation is given as ship and boat builder. He must have established a boat building yard at Wadebridge in this time as in 1883 he indentures his son James as a shipwright and boat builder's apprentice at the yard in Wadebridge. In 1891 the family have moved into Chapel Cottages, Egloshayle. William also established a shipbuilding yard in Padstow known as the Lower Yard or Brabyn's Yard and which was overseen by his youngest son Stephen Bate Brabyn. William Henry died on 19 January 1931 and is buried at Egloshayle.

James Brabyn (1845-1923) was the son of William BRABYN and Maria BRENTON. He was born in Padsow and baptised there 10 February 1845. His father died tradically by drowning the following year off the Doom Bar, Padstow. Despite this James joined the Merchant Navy and in 1961 he is recorded as an Able Bodied Seaman on board the "Collina" at Runcorn Basin in Lancashire. In 1862 he married Mary Ann McOwen at Padstow. By 1871 he has become a Mate on board "Mary Stephens" and is in Exeter. in 1923.

James Brabyn (1860 - 1888) James was the son of Joseph Brown Brabyn and Jane Riley. James joined the Merchant Navy. He was a fireman on board the SS Restormel when he died of typhus fever in Odessa,Ukraine, aged 28. He was buried at Odessa on 27 January 1888.

Sidney James Brabyn (1888- ) was the son of Joseph BRABYN and his second wife Amelia VOWLES (SEABORN). During WWI Sidney served with the Welsh Guards and his Medal Records state that he received wounds but does not say what these wounds were or on what date they occured. On recovery from his wounds he served with The Royal Engineers for the remainder of the war. After demobilisation Sidney travelled a lot with his work which was variously stated as engine driver, machine man, driver, engineer.  In 1919 he was a passenger on Thongwa bound for Singapore and Yokohama from London. In 1921 he is listed as a passenger on "Burma" from Rangoon to London his address in the UK is 99 Tudor Road, Cardiff but his last permanent address was Straits Settlement. In 1922 he travels 2nd class on "Neuralia" bound from London to Kilindini Kenya he was still residing at 99 Tudor Road, Cardiff. Sidney is back in Cardiff in 1926 when he marries Frances Alice WALPOLE, who gives her address as Fox and Hounds, Beccles (Suffolk). He is back off on his travels in 1927 this time on the "Clan MacIndoe" from London to Lobito Barf in Portuguese West Africa his UK address is given as Ravensmeer Beccles Suffolk.He returns to the UK in 1928 on "Tanganjika" sailing from Beira Mozambique to Southampton he is listed as Mr James Brabyn and his address is given as the same one in Beccles that he used when he departed. In 1930 Sidney and Frances had a daughter, Glenneth, born to the at Wangford, Suffolk. On the 1939 Register Alice F. Brabyn is recorded as a widow living with her daughter and Walpole family at Fox and Hounds Ravensmeer Beccles. She died in 1981 at Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich and is buried at Great Yarmouth. Glynneth never married, she died at the James Paget Hospital Gorleston on 5 January 2003 and was cremated at Great Yarmouth on 15 January 2003.It is not known where or when Sidney died.

William Frederick Brabyn (1896 -1950) was the son of William Joseph BRABYN and Jesse BURGESS of 6 Cecil Crescent, Cardiff. During WWI he served as a Rifleman in The City of London Regiment. He was wounded in action on 7 October 1916. An account in The Western Mail dated 18 October 1916 states that he was in hospital in Birmingham recovering from his wounds. It goes on to describe the events under the headlines "Cardiff Soldiers Ordeal - Thrilling Moments in a Deadly Charge" " The order was given in the afternoon to take some enemy trenches. The company went over to be met with so terrible a hail of rifle bullets that they were compelled to drop down within 30 yards of the enemy's first line. The platoon Sergeant, lying next to rifleman Brabyn was hit. Whilst trying to dress the sergeant's wounds Brabyn was struck by a bullet which enetered his leg just above the ankle and came out below the calf. Another penetrated his thigh, emerged near the groin and completed its career in his purse where it badly bent some frames. He managed to crawl back a dozen yards to a shell hole into which he dropped and lay hidden until darkness fell and then somehow managed to reach his own line. This event would have taken place during the Battle of the Somme and as far as I can make out it would have been the attack on Snag Trench in front of Butte de Warlencourt. The Service Medal and Award Rolls would suggest that William was repatriated to the UK and Birmingham on 13 October and returned to the Regiment in March 1918 a few days later he joined the 1/18th where he remained until 6 September. The last of the Service numbers allocated to him was 608694 and he had attained the rank of Lance Corporal. William married Irene Mary COOPER in Rugby in 1924 and he died there in 1950.

Frederick James Brabyn 1897 Service No. 641 and 317241 Served 1914-1920 Gunner - Royal Garrison Artillery during World War One and saw service in France. Commissioned in the Royal Army Chaplains Department (Church of England). TARO 15.6.1939. Embodied 24/8/1939. Posted 70th Infantry Brigade, attached 10th Bn DLI 1/9/1939. Served Iceland. Left Battalion and Brigade by March 1942. TARO Chaplain to the Forces from 1943 (Emergency Commission). Commissioned for five years in Royal Army Chaplains Department 1946.Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Married 2/10/1920 at St Nicholas, Strood, Kent to Sarah Blanche CARLOW (1898 - 1979). Attended Bishop's College, Cheshunt 1929. Appointed Deacon 1929. Posted to Chelmsford Church of St John, Stratford 1929 - 1932. Ordained priest 1930. Posted to Chaplain to Missions to Seamen for North West District and Diocese of Manchester 1932 - 1935. Appointed Vicar of St Thomas', Bury, Lancashire 1935 - 1943. Chaplain to the Forces from 1939. See 70th Brigade Frederick and Blanche had eight children: Kathleen, Jeanne, Howard, Derek, Keith, Ann, Frederick and Anthony.

William John Brabyn born Medway, Kent 31 March 1899. Corporal in West Kent Regiment WWI. L/13478 L/Sgt Brabyn Wm John 7/RWK.G/26550. Cpl Royal West Kent Regiment British War and Victory Medals. William married Nellie G. Crabb at Gillingham, Kent in 1942. They had one daughter Joyce N. Brabyn born 1924, In 1939 William is living alone at 82 Barnook Road Gillinham and working as a cashier for the Gas Company. William John Brabyn died at 24 Mitten Road Bexhill Sussex on 8 June 1971 Probate Brighton 16 August £1322.

William H Brabyn, boat builder and crewman of Padstow Lifeboat. A poem he wrote about one dramatic rescue : The Adventures of the Padstow Lifeboat


Gallery          Top of the page

MariaBrabyn Maria (Brabyn) Deans (1847-1908) WilliamHenryBrabyn William Henry Brabyn (1885-1956)
photo: Karen Brabyn Mallen
WilliamJohnBrabyn William John Brabyn holding William Henry Brabyn photo:
Karen Brabyn Mallen
williamHenryBoat William Henry Brabyn and one of the boats that he built RosaliaBrabyn Rosalie (Brabyn) Hedworth (1865-1939) with her daughter Rose BrabynGig The gig "Brabyn" under wraps at Padstow
StephenBates Stephen Bates Brabyn and his wife Elizabeth
photo: Linda Hornabrook
StephenPlaque Plaque from Alan House, Wadebridge
photo: Linda Hornabrook
HenryWadebridge William Henry Brabyn at Wadebridge photo: Linda Hornabrook
brabynsYard Brabyn's Yard, Padstow BrabynsYard2 Brabyn's Yard, Padstow Brabyn's Yard, Padstow

(c) 2020 Pamela Deans