WELCOME TO THE BAYLISS LINE. This blog has been created for my family. By "my family" I mean all those who are related to the Bayliss family either by blood, marriage or even relationship. There are, of course, other Bayliss families not related to us but this blog has at its heart a very specific family who had their origins in Gloucestershire. I am connected to that family because my mother was a Bayliss and it was her curiosity that started my research back in the early 1990's. So, what are you likely to see on this blog? Well, as it is a blog, I want it to be as entertaining as possible rather that a dry listing of facts (that is for Ancestry.com). I will, hopefully, be posting entries on our ancestors and relatives, on the places where they lived, and the historical times they lived through. I have an extensive collection of photographs of people and places which I will, of course, be sharing.

I'd like to ask anybody who reads this blog to give me some feedback. I'd really like this to be a two way thing. It sometimes unearths new information and, to be honest, it gives me encouragement. There will be two ways of providing feedback - either through the comment button (you will need a Google account for this) or via the e-mail address which appears on this page - alternatively, ring me. Now scroll down to read the latest entries.....and, of course, via Facebook.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Henry Whitmarsh Brown was born in Colchester in 1842, probably at North Street. He appears at that address in the 1851 census where he is listed as a scholar which was the usual term used for a child of school age. It is interesting that Henry is presumably getting an education as it wasn't until 1870 that children between the ages of seven and thirteen were legally bound to attend school (you can read about a typical Victorian school by clicking the highlighted link).

Victorian school children.
Ten years later he is still living at home but the census lists no occupation for any of the family; however we can be sure that he was following his father's profession as on subsequent census forms he was described either as a joiner or cabinet-maker.

Henry was married in 1865 to his cousin Belisaint Eliza Brown, the daughter of John Alexander Brown. The marriage is a bit of a mystery. A relative who has also been researching the family states on Ancestry.co that the marriage took place in Braintree Essex (where Belisaint was born) and several researchers seem to have followed this as fact as I initially did. Unfortunately no clue seems to be given as to where the information came from. When I looked for a registration of the marriage in Braintree I found none. I searched the whole of Essex for confirmation of the union under variations of the name without success. Henry rarely used his middle name and likewise his wife doesn't seem to have been enamored of the inherited name "Belisaint" and preferred to be known as Eliza.  With this in mind I widened by search to include the whole country. The fact that Eliza and Henry were cousins with the same surname enabled me to narrow the search. I found that a Henry Brown married an Eliza Brown in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire in 1865. If this is our Henry and Eliza (and I feel comfortable that it is) one has to wonder why they were married in a neighbouring county.

Six years later Henry and Eliza are living at 10 Essex Hall Road, Lexden. I am uncertain of the location but it seems likely that this is the present day lane simply known as Hall Road.  The couple have three children, Ada, Francis and Alexander.  In 1881 we find the family, surprisingly, in Bow, East London.
I read the street name on the census form as Monkieth or Montieth Road but no such street seems to ever have existed in the area - the nearest I can find in Monier Road. Checking adjacent streets on the census I can can say that it was in the area of Wansbeck Road, a short distance from what is now the 2012 Olympic Park and Stadium.  The stay in London was not very long as in 1891 we find Henry and Eliza living at West Stockwell Road with Henry's parents.

It was back to London by 1901 when we find the couple living in Islington, London - at 19 Halliford Street. I have so far found no record of Henry between 1901 and his death in Lexden in 1929. Perhaps he moved back to Lexden after the death of his wife in 1909. We do, however, know a bit about Henry and Eliza's children.
Upholsterers at work.

Ada Brown was born in the third quarter of 1866 and never married. She was an upholsterer by trade and lived in three rooms at 18 Maldon Road, not far from Colchester Zoo. Ada died in 1926 aged fifty-nine, preceding her father by three years.

St.Mary Steps which stood on Maldon Road Colchester
near to the home of Ada Brown.

In the next part of the Brown family Saga we will meet Ada's two brothers both of whom are well documented.  There will also be some wonderful photographs, some courtesy of Alva and Alvin and others that I have unearthed from other sources.

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