The Bramley Link

It didn’t take long to discover that Robert Bramley CRAWFORD and Mary Jane BRAMLEY are first cousins once removed. Their common ancestors are George Bramley and Charlotte HAMPTON. It took several hours to find Charlotte’s birth family though, partly because George’s “marriage horizon” was wider than that of most Yorkshire tradesmen. He traveled 200 miles from Bubwith to find his wife in Cowley, Middlesex. One source has them marrying in 1804 at St Benet’s, Paul’s Wharf, and another appears to give St Martin in the Fields as the venue. Five years pass before a birth record rewarded my search. Elizabeth in 1809 was followed by Charles (1814), Henry (1816) and John (1822).

Charles is Robert Bramley Crawford’s maternal grandfather and Charles’ younger brother John is Mary Jane Bramley’s father. The “removed” generation is illustrated in the FamilySearch screenshot below.

I have some more merges to do and a bunch of sources to add. Several headstones along the west wall of St Oswald’s churchyard remember descendants of people in the screenshot. I hope to get them uploaded to the Shared Tree in the next week or two.

Water 33 · Autumn

Fallen leaves on the cascade “steps” in Martin’s Ravine


Mary Jane CRAWFORD was born to Wesleyan Minister John BRAMLEY and Margaret HART in the spring of 1864. That she would marry a fellow with the middle name “Bramley” is intriguing. Her father John was born in Bubwith, near Howden. After much wandering on the Wesleyan circuit he had returned to his heartland. The births of his last two children, Mary Jane and Fanny, were registered in Howden.

The marriage of Robert Bramley Crawford’s parents was registered in Howden in the same quarter as Mary Jane’s birth. The bride, Elizabeth BRAMLEY, had been born 22 years earlier – in Bubwith. And yet the two families Bramley joined by matrimony were, Roots Magic tells me, not connected by blood.

The chances of Mary Jane Bramley and Robert Bramley Crawford being totally devoid of common ancestors seems impossible to me. I will search for the “missing link”.

John Bramley was a Minister for almost forty years but seems to have been a shy and retiring type. I searched for long enough online and found him officiating at just one marriage. He has seven children with Margaret on the FamilySearch Shared Tree but I have found registrations for two more. Firstborn Emily died aged five in Oldbury in 1858 and there is a James the First whose death record has yet to be found. I can suggest that John was distinguished in a small way. The registration places of his children helpfully track his progress round the country in service of the Lord.

Emily, Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire

Charlotte Elizabeth, Sevenoaks, Kent

James Hart and John, Carlisle, Cumberland

Margaret, Oldbury, Worcestershire,

Hannah Louisa and James (the Second), Kidsgrove, Staffordshire

Mary Jane and Fanny, Howden, Yorkshire

I have the marriage of John junior to add to the Shared Tree ­­but in 1911, after 27 years together, the couple had not brought any children into the world. John settled for teaching the children of others. At the 1901 census they had eight boarders in Stonehouse, Stroud – including maybe a relative in the oddly named Myles Goyen HART. The boy’s birth registration has the same spelling as the census transcription. He appears to have been illegitimate, as the mother’s maiden surname is not given in the GRO Index.

Tree 48 · Charles Laughton’s Sycamore

See Evron Centresecond photo and info beneath third photo.