Saturday, May 26, 2012

B is for Breen, Brown, Bright, Best, Bond and Bowler - Family History Through the Alphabet - Week 2

Image from Gould Genealogy & History blog
This is my contribution to Week 2 of Gould Genealogy's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge. The letter this time is B.

B is for...Breen
Breen is the surname my O'Brien ancestors were known by in Ireland. For more information see my previous post

B is for...Brown
Brown is the maiden name of my 3 x Great Grandmother, Mary Ann Randall (formerly Bailey, nee Brown) (1816-1886). Mary Ann Brown was baptised on 1 September 1816 at South Weald, Essex, England. She was the daughter of Adam Brown and Ann (nee Peacock), who were married on 4 December 1810 at Chipping Ongar, Essex. Adam Brown was baptised in 1786 at Abbess Roding, Essex, the son of Samuel Brown and Ann (Stockdill?). It is believed that the Brown family tree reaches back several more generations in Abbess Roding, Essex. 

Mary Ann Brown, my 3 x Great Grandmother, first married George Bailey on 9 March 1835 at Rettendon, Essex, England. Mary Ann and George had a least five children: Mary Ann, William, Joseph, John and George. George Bailey senior died in 1845. Mary Ann next married Edward Randall, a widower, on 18 May 1846 at Chelmsford, Essex. Mary Ann and Edward had six children: Rachel (1847-1937), Edward (1849-1926), Rebecca (1852-1946), Ann (1855-1855), Margaret (1855-1917, my Great Great Grandmother) and Annie (1859-1863). 

B is for...Bright
Bright is the maiden surname of my 6 x Great Grandmother, Sarah Pettit (nee Bright). Sarah married Francis Pettit at Abbess Roding, Essex, England on 28 December 1756. Francis, a parish clerk, and Sarah, had at least seven children: Sarah, Ann (my 5 x Great Grandmother), Henry, John, Mary, James and William. Sarah was died in December 1801 and was buried on Christmas Day, 25 December, in the Churchyard of St Edmund's Anglican Church, Abbess Roding. Sarah's husband Francis died earlier that same month and was buried on 4 December 1801 at St Edmund's.

B is for...Best
Best is the maiden surname of my 6 x Great Grandmother, Mary Preston (nee Best). Mary married Joseph Preston, a cooper, on 29 April 1756 in the St Mary Magdalen's Church, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. Their son, my 5 x Great Grandfather, James Preston, was baptised in St Martin's Parish, Oxford on 4 October 1762.

B is for...Bond
Bond is the maiden surname of my 4 x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Pickis (nee Bond). Elizabeth married Robert Paul Pickis, a carpenter, in 1822 in the parish of All Hallows Barking, London, England. I only discovered Elizabeth maiden surname earlier this year through an index available at FindMyPast UK. The Bond family came from Tynemouth, Northumberland. Elizabeth had a sister, Dorothy Bond, who married sea pilot James Purvis and lived at South Shields, Durham. Their niece, my 3 x Great Grandmother, Catherine Helen Pickis (later Atkinson) was living with James and Dorothy Purvis when the Census was taken in 1851. I still have lots of research to complete regarding the Bond family.

B is for...Bowler
Bowler is the maiden surname of my 3 x Great Grandmother, Mary Mannix (nee Bowler). Mary married Michael Mannix on 16 February 1832 in Tralee Catholic Parish, County Kerry, Ireland (follow this link to see the transcript of this marriage record on Mary and Michael were the parents of my 2 x Great Grandmother, Catherine McCarthy (nee Mannix). Catherine was baptised on 22 May 1842 at Milltown Catholic Parish, County Kerry, Ireland.

(Sources available on request)
Creative Commons License Australian Genealogy Journeys by Aillin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at


  1. This is a wonderful way to highlight your families. Well done.

    1. Thanks, I'm finding this challenge a great motivation to blog about ancestors I haven't blogged about before.

  2. Love the photo of your 3X Great Grandmother, Great post for the Letter "B"!

    1. Thanks Tray. There is a funny story that goes with that photograph of Mary Ann: when I was in primary school (about grade 2 I think) I had to bring something from 'the olden days' to school. Mum made a copy of that photograph for me but I told her I didn't want to take it because I thought Mary Ann looked too grumpy!! Makes me laugh now :)


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