Family History: UK Surname Interests

(Devon, Bucks, Beds, London area, Norfolk, N. Ireland)

by James Brannan

See below for the following names:

Found, Folly, Heal, Martin, White, Sharland, Ayears, Mitchell, Blackaller, Southard, Howard, Giles, Willey, Comer, Short, Harrison, Boyn, Squire, Whimple, Cole, Pickard, Backway, Rice, Britton, Roberts, Robinson, Read, Stringer, Tripp, Child, Clisby, Shorter, Huntley, Hemmings, English, Campbell, Pentland

Wedding of my maternal grandparents Arthur Tripp and Mary Huntley 1925




Mary Ann FOUND married Mark BRANNAN in London in 1846. Mary Ann was born in Bradworthy in 1821, daughter of William FOUND, farmer, and Mary HEAL(E). They got married in Hartland and lived mainly in West Woolfardisworthy (Woolsery). They appear to have been followers of the Bible Christian movement (two of their children's births were recorded in the B.C. register).

I have traced Mary Ann's ancestors only back to her great grandfather Richard FOUND (senior) who married Mary WOOD (of Bradworthy) at West Woolfardisworthy in 1750. Earlier registers for that parish are unavailable but it seems likely that this Richard was a foundling. There was another FOUND family, descendants of a different Richard FOUND who was definitely a foundling (found at Woolley in the parish of Morwenstow in Cornwall).

At least one branch of the family emigrated to Ontario, Canada - two sons of Zachariah FOUND (who married a BRAUND), brother of William. I am in contact with their descendants.


Joanna FOLLY, bapt. Hartland 1762, was the mother of William FOUND (above). She married Richard FOUND (junior) of Woolsery. She died in West Putford at the ripe old age of 96 in 1858! The family came from Week St Mary in North Cornwall.


Mary HEAL was the wife of William FOUND (above). She was born in Parkham 1792, daughter of Robert and Ann HEAL. Robert HEAL is believed to have come from Wear Giffard. Descendants of the family (marriage to SHEPHERD of Tavistock) settled in Ontario and I am in contact with one of them.

The name is derived from the Old English for "nook" and is quite common in the Westcountry as a name given to villages or farms.


Edward MARTIN married Grace SHERLAND (or SHARLAND) in Buckland Brewer in 1771. He was given as being "of Northam" but no baptism has been found. He was a maltster and church organist in Bideford. The wills of Edward and Grace are among a bundle of deeds in the NDRO for property owned by their grandson Edward Martin WHITE. Their daughter Mary MARTIN married Thomas BRANNAN in Bideford in 1807.


Edward Martin WHITE was born at Bideford in 1803, son of Andrew WHITE, a soldier from Boston in Lincolnshire and Jane MARTIN. He became a prolific builder and even rebuilt the bridge and the parish church. He married twice: Elizabeth TAYLOR and Fanny CRANG. He died in 1880 without issue. His table-top tomb can be seen in Bideford churchyard.


See MARTIN (above).


Ann AYEARS married Nicholas BRANNAN at St Sidwell's, Exeter in 1773. She had a father and/or brother called Mark AYEARS. Her baptism has not been traced. She died in Bideford in 1839 at the age of 86.


Elizabeth MITCHELL married James BRANNAN at Exeter St Sidwell's in 1727. Her origins are unknown.


Family from Exeter St Sidwell's, possibly weavers. Grace BRANNAN married George SOUTHARD in 1756. William BRANNAN (Grace's brother) married Mary SOUTHEARD in 1776.


Family from Exeter St Sidwell's. John BRANNAN married Agnes BLACKALLER in 1764. Some of their descendants are believed to have settled in Brixham, adopting the BRINHAM spelling.


Elizabeth HOWARD married Abraham BRANNAN at St Sidwell's Exeter in 1770. They later moved to Bideford.


Elizabeth GILES married Edward BRANNAN at St Sidwell's Exeter in 1770.


Thomas WILLEY married Elizabeth BRANNAN at Exeter St Sidwell's in 1760.


Jane COMER married James BRANNAN at Exeter St Sidwell's in 1754.


Thomas SHORT, a shoemaker from Ashreigney (or Ring Ash), Devon, married Mary Ann BRANNAN at Bideford in 1814. A son and a grandson are buried in the East-the-Water cemetery in Bideford.


William HARRISON married Jane BRANNAN at Bideford in 1813.


Robert BOYN married Elizabeth Mitchell BRANNAN at Bideford in 1809. Elizabeth died in 1813 in childbirth (tombstone in Bideford churchyard) and Robert married Ann NANCEKIVELL. I am in contact with several descendants of Robert and Ann.


Arthur SQUIRE married Margaret BRANNAN at Hartland in 1795. Their children include a daughter Ann who was apprenticed to her grandmother Ann BRANNAN in Bideford. I have recently made contact with descendants of their son Arthur.


Catherine WHIMPLE married Nicholas BRANNAN at Barnstaple in 1799. Nicholas, like his father, was a sergeant major in the North Devon Militia. Their son Nicholas also joined the militia and married Elizabeth ROW at Barnstaple in 1823.


William COLE married Elizabeth BRANNAN at Bideford in 1794. Their gravestone can be seen in Bideford churchyard.


Mary PICKARD married William BRANNAN at Bideford in 1805.


Bideford family - some of whom were potters and I'd appreciate any confirmation of this. Mary bapt. 1776 daughter of Thomas and Elisabeth BACKWAY. Mary married Abraham BRANNAN and their son Thomas Backway BRANNAM started a well-known pottery business in Barnstaple (see Brannam's Pottery). The trade could thus have been passed down from the BACKWAY side of the family.


Elisabeth daughter of James RICE (potter) married James BRANNAM in Barnstaple in 1829. James BRANNAM, brother of Thomas Backway BRANNAM, also became a potter in Barnstaple (see Brannam's Pottery).


William BRITTON married Mary Jane BRANNAM, daughter of Thomas Backway BRANNAM, abt. 1860. William was a Barnstaple photographer and accepted his brother-in-law Charles Hubert BRANNAM as an apprentice (see Brannam's Pottery).



Wilhelmina Louisa ROBERTS married Thomas BRANNAN at Ampthill, Bedfordshire in 1878. They were my great grandparents. Wilhelmina's father William Robinson ROBERTS (1820-1856) was from Olney, Buckinghamshire. William's father was John James ROBERTS (1786-1822) and grandfather was Samuel ROBERTS (1754-1832), factotum to the poet William COWPER and mentioned in many of the poet's letters. Sam lived for most of his life and is buried in Weston Underwood, Buckinghamshire.

Wilhelmina's sister Eliza Victoria married Edward WRIGHT and descendants of that family emigrated to Canada (Saskatchewan). Her sister Emma Mary married William THACKWAY.

Other Bucks families related by marriage are: ROBINSON (see below), CLIFTON, CHURCH, WHEELER, SCRIGGINGTON, BELFORD, MILLS.


John James ROBERTS (see above) married Elizabeth ROBINSON. This family were Baptists from Olney (Bucks) and Elizabeth's brother was a missionary to India, William ROBINSON (1784-1853), a contemporary of William Carey.


Family from Maulden, Bedfordshire. Mary READ married William Robinson ROBERTS in 1841. Mary's father John READ was a prosperous market gardener. I have traced this family back to the seventeenth century.

Families related by marriage: STRINGER (see below), BARRETT, BURDING, RADLEY.


John READ (see above) married Mary STRINGER at Maulden, Beds in 1805. Mary had a brother called Cornelius who was sent to a prison hulk for stealing pigeons! The STRINGER family can be traced back to the late 1500s in Shillington and Meppershall, on the Beds-Herts border.

Shillington family related by marriage: BROOKS.


The TRIPPs came from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, and before the 1840s from the nearby village of Chalfont St Peter - they were mostly blacksmiths. John and Sarah TRIPP were married about 1795 and they appear to have been Baptists around 1813. In each generation up to my great grandfather the name "Lowing" was given to one of the sons. The IGI shows some earlier Lowing TRIPPs in the eighteenth century but I have yet to establish a connection. Buckinghamshire families related by marriage: CLISBY and CHILD (see below)


My great great grandfather John Tripp (born Chalfont St Peter) married Eliza Child in Beaconsfield in 1864. The information I have on Eliza from the marriage certificate - she was living in Beaconsfield, aged 23, and that her father was Thomas Child, deceased, a Carrier. Her mother was Rebecca née Weston.


This family was from Chalfont St Giles (Bucks) - William CLISBY, a brickmaker, was born there in 1798, son of Hugh. His daughter Rebecca CLISBY married William TRIPP at Rickmansworth (Herts) in 1840.



I've traced this line back to James SHORTER, born in 1797 in Bromley, Kent (according to census - baptism not yet found). It's curious that I too was born and brought up in Bromley! The family seem to have been gardners and ventured as far as Lewisham and Sydenham. Some of the descendants settled in Australia and I'm in contact with one of them (families related by marriage: MEWITH, PAGE, MASON, WARREN, LENCH, CROKER...).


This was the maiden name of my maternal grandmother. Her father Joseph HUNTLEY (1876-1928) was an insurance broker in Sydenham and grandfather William Caleb HUNTLEY (born Hackney 1832) was a labourer in a tea warehouse in Hackney, having previously been an iron founder. William's father was James HUNTLEY, also an iron founder.


William HEMMINGS was born in Lambeth in 1848. His parents were William and Charlotte née HOWES from the area of Burford, Oxfordshire. A daughter Charlotte Sarah Anne Hemmings married my great grandfather Lowing TRIPP in Lewisham in 1899.



This family came from the area of Great Yarmouth (+ Caistor, Hemsby), Norfolk. Robert ENGLISH, son of Charles ENGLISH and Charlotte JOHNSON, was a fish curer and dairyman who moved to Clapham with his family, including daughter Sarah Anne ENGLISH who married William HEMMINGS in Lambeth in 1872. Robert's wife Sarah BROCK was known to be from a Scottish family - I have found her father John BROCK in the 1851 Census and it gives his birthplace as Scotland, County of Caithness.



My great grandmother Harriet CAMPBELL was born in 1852 when her father Joseph was stationed at the Woolwich barracks. Her father, according to family tradition, came from Ulster. His army (Royal Artillery) record sure enough shows that he was born at Drumcree, Co. Armagh.


Joseph CAMPBELL (see above) married Mary PENTLAND according to their daughter's birth certificate, but I haven't found their marriage in Northern Ireland.