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Old 30-07-22, 22:50
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Default Parents of Elizabeth and Charles Bray

These would be my MMMMM and MMMMF.

Charles Bray (31 January 1811 – 5 October 1884) is well documented as a ribbon manufacturer, social radical and friend of George Eliot, (when she was still Mary Ann or Marian Evans). His Wikipedia page says his father died in 1835, leaving him and each of his 6 siblings a 'substantial inheritance'.

One of those, his older sister Elizabeth, (my MMMM) was also a close friend of Mary Ann Evans, (and introduced Charles to her.) Elizabeth married Abijah Hill Pears on 28 May 1834. In the 1851 census she gave her age as 48, so was probably born in 1807 or 1808.

The father of Charles and Elizabeth (and also of James, Emily, Mary, Ann and Helen) was named Jonathan Bray and his Will naming those children (with a codicil naming Abijah) was proved on 2 Jul 1835 (PROB 11/1849/24).

However, there is confusion about his marriage (or marriages). Several trees on Ancestry.com list a marriage between Jonathan Bray and Elizabeth Harvey, in April 1815, with Jonathan's occupation listed as 'ribbon manufacturer'.

The most plausible of those trees gives the birth or baptism dates for all the children, and a marriage to Elizabeth Harvey on 23 Apr 1815. She was the mother of the youngest, Helen, who was born in 1819, but not of the older ones. That tree gives his date of birth as 1775 and his baptism date as 27 Oct 1791, in Stoke, Warwickshire - see
https://www.ancestrylibrary.com/fami...98038171/facts

But I am slightly skeptical about the baptism record, at the Anglican parish church at Stoke, with parents William and Mary. If it were a nonconformist chapel I might find it easier to believe that this was a 13 or 16-year old. There is another equally implausible baptism record for a Jonathan Bray, with parents Joseph and Ann, at St. Michaels, Coventry, on 31 Oct 1792.

There is a burial record from Stoke, Warwickshire, dated 27 Apr 1835, for a Jonathan Bray, aged 57. That would mean he was born in 1778. The same page has a record of the burial two weeks earlier of a Mary Bray, aged 25.

His first wife was my MMMMM, but I have so far drawn a blank on identifying her.

One more point: there was another child, named Henry, baptised on 12 May 1815, at St. Michael Coventry, listing parents as Jonathan and Elizabeth (a month after their marriage). This Henry was buried at Stoke on 9 Jul 1829. Either Elizabeth was very pregnant when they married, or Henry was a child of the first wife, who then probably died soon after his birth.

Last edited by tpb; 31-07-22 at 00:25. Reason: Additional information
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Old 31-07-22, 08:32
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Quote:
In the 1851 census she gave her age as 48, so was probably born in 1807 or 1808.
I agree that her entry in 1851 says 48 b Coventry, but that would suggest a birth date of 1802/3. EDIT: however, see post #6

Nothing to do with what you are looking for now, but do you know why the burial record for Jonathan says "Copied out and sent to the register office May 20th 1855 James Bray"? Just me being curious!

I'm surprised that the 1815 marriage gives Jonathan's condition as bachelor.

I looked at the marriage allegation on FMP and that does state Jonathan to be a ribbon manufacturer but also a bachelor. Why would that be? You mention a Jonathan Bray bap 1792 in Coventry. Isn't it more likely this is his marriage? (or the chap from Stoke bap 1791?) Have you already examined what happened to these other Jonathans, in the assumption neither is your man? Might either of them describe themselves as ribbon manufacturers? I'm not saying this 1815 marriage isn't for your man, but the bachelor ref does throw up these question.

So his children are Elizabeth, Charles, James, Emily, Mary, Ann and Helen? Have you tracked the latter four children to establish approx year of birth and place of birth from census records? EDIT Not Mary, obviously, as she died in 1835, or Helen who I presume is the 1838 burial (no registration?).



Quote:
The same page has a record of the burial two weeks earlier of a Mary Bray, aged 25.
The Leamington Spa Courier 18 April 1835 describes her as 'Mary Bray dau of Jonathan Bray Esq of Coventry' and Jonathan's fourth daughter.

I've not read Jonathan's will other than looking at the dates, but I'm assuming all the children mentioned above are beneficiaries?

Re the baby, Henry I wonder if he is the child of the couple JB and Eliz Harvey who perhaps married in haste, but maybe that isn't your couple.

Having asked a lot of questions, I don't have much time to look at anything now, but will have a look later if someone else doesn't beat me to it!
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Old 31-07-22, 09:06
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Names in JBs will signed 9 Jul 1833 proved 2 Jul 1835 (I've added their approx dobs where poss):

Mrs Baker, widow
son, James Bray
Abraham Herbert of Stoke silkman
John Summers of Coventry ironmonger
Cleophas Ratliff Coventry silkman
Henry Power Atherstone gentleman
son Charles Bray (b 1811)
tenant, Thomas Brown
dau Ann Bray
dau Emily Bray
dau Elizabeth Bray (b 1802/3)
dau Mary Bray (b 1809/10 - described as fourth daughter, and given the order here I imagine Ann and Emily were older than Elizabeth and Mary)
dau Helen Bray (under 21)
in codicil, Abijah Hill Pears

I think that's it, I had to speed up as I read through as I was running out of time again!
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Old 31-07-22, 09:23
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https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...ca&pId=9976593

Do you know who Caroline Bray is here? (bottom left)
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Old 31-07-22, 09:34
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Oh, Charles' wife, perhaps?

EDIT - Oh, Charles and Caroline didn't marry until the following year!!
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Old 31-07-22, 10:10
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Hmmm, Emily (Jackling) is aged 45 in 1851, putting her a bit younger than Elizabeth.

Maybe this 1871 census is more accurate?:

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/discovery...ew/896503:7619

The two sisters together, Emily 65 and Elizabeth 63 which fits the order on JB's will and makes Elizabeth born in 1808ish as you originally stated in the opening post.
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Old 31-07-22, 11:27
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Here's the will of Ann Bray, sgned 7 May 1835 and proved 23 Dec 1845.

It mentions sisters Helen, Elizabeth (Pears) and Emily.

I don't know if this is her?

Bur 29 Jan 1837 at Coventry, St Michael aged 43

If it is and if the age is correct then she was born fairly significantly before the other children.

From the 1851 census James Bray was born about 1807, so Ann was the only one before the turn on the century.

Of course we only have the burial record for Jonathan's age, so equally frustrating!
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Old 31-07-22, 11:44
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I know it's presumed JB was born in the late 1770s (burial record), but I just have to mention there's a Jonathan Bray marrying a Hannah Bradshaw in Manchester (he is of Salford) and the marriage allegation says he is a silk manufacturer. All this was in 1790, so in theory too early to be your JB. Of course if he really had a daughter (Ann) in 1793/4 (if!), then it would be doubtful that he was born in 1778!!


If his age at burial is incorrect it's conceivable he could have had a son who was married in 1815, though that son would probably need to die before his father's will was written.

I'm just thinking I might need a lie down! lol

I'm surprised there doesn't seem to be a newspaper death notice for JB.
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Old 31-07-22, 12:05
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Could this Jonathan and Elizabeth (bottom left) be the couple who married in 1815?

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/discovery...=successSource

They could be the parents of Henry who died and also of George who you didn't mention (born and died 1816/7). The father for those two is silkman whereas the father for Helen is ribbon manufacturer. I realise these occupations are interchangable, but just thought I'd note it.
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Old 31-07-22, 12:21
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If we look at marriages that are apparently too early, there's also the one to Ann Wright in Cov in 1791. I can't find an image for this and it doesn't way which church on the transcript. Of course then the first dau is named Ann!

The area seems thick with Jonathan Brays!!
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