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Family History Brown family from Eaton Bray

April 9, 2005 by Liz in forum Genealogy / History

#15 Liz, 9 April 2005, 15:30


My great grandfather was Albert Brown born 1879, Eaton Bray, and son of John Brown, born 1841, Eaton Bray, a blacksmith who was married to Harriet Maria Rollings.

I know that his father was a William Brown born 1804 in Eaton Bray, married to Hannah Circuit and also a blacksmith.

In turn I think his father was a Samual Brown married to Ann Reeves. And his father was a John Brown married to Elizabeth.

Just wondering if anyone has any further information about the Browns, Rollings, Circuits and Reeves?

I have done my research on the mormon website, but I am especially interested in what happened to Albert Brown, and also any more details about the families other than names and dates (though any names and dates that can help me trace back any further would be extremely useful). It is a shame but I am in Australia so cannot visit Eaton Bray, though I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Luton.


Liz :-D

#16 Martin Rollings, 11 April 2005, 18:49

Hi Liz,
I have just sent you and email in response to your entry on the guest book page not realising that you had left this message on the notice board. I will take a look at the info I have on the Rollings line in Eaton Bray to see if any of it ties up with yours. If I can find anything of interest I will let you know.
Martin Rollings :-D

#17 Martin Rollings, 12 April 2005, 22:54

Hi Liz,
I have a listing of William Rollings born 1816 who married Maria Abraham in 1836. They had the following children. Sabina 1836 died young, Mathew 1838, Naomi 1839, Harriet Maria 1841, William 1842, George 1844, Alfred 1846 and Frederick 1849
Harriet Maria (your line) had a son called George 1862 who was illegitimate and died young.
William Rollings 1816 was the son of John Rollings born 1789 John Rollings 1789 was married to Ann Thorn in 1809. John Rolings 1789 was the brother of my great, great, great, great grandfather Samuel Rollings born 1799. Their parents were John Rollings 1759 and mother Mary Hopton who married in 1786. John Rollings 1759 was the son of James Rollings (Rawlings) born 1734 who was married to Elizabeth Fowler.
After a bit of working out It would appear that your Gr, Gr, Gr, Gr grandfather John of 1789 and my Gr, Gr, Gr, Gr grandfather Samuel of 1799 were brothers. Therefore we are both 4 generations removed.
I have a lot more names of the siblings of our families. I will try and scan a couple of sheets that I have and then email them to you. I hope this is of interest to you.

#18 Mandy, 13 April 2005, 14:48

I am following the Clark/e family from Eaton Bray and have discovered a Frederick Rollings b1850c who married a Hannah Clarke in 1872. who if my calculations are correct was my gr gr grandfathers sister


#19 Liz, 21 April 2005, 06:20

Hi Mandy,

Frederick Rollings, born 1849 and married to Hannah Clark on 16th Nov 1872 is my great great grandmother, Harriet Maria Rolling's, brother. They had 3 sons Frederick, born 1871, Mark, born 1873 and Arthur, born 1875. Frederick must have died after that because in the 1881 census Hannah is remarried to a David Snoxel and is living with him in Bilington with the 3 sons plus another 2 children of David's.

Kind Regards

Liz :-D

#20 Liz, 12 May 2006, 06:43

My greatx7 grandfather was George Brown, a yeoman/wheelwright born around 1680 from Eaton Bray. He lived at Chiltern View Farm. I would be grateful if anyone has any more info about the Farm; its history, occupants etc.

Also, my great x 4 grandfather, Sam Brown, was proprietor of the Five Bells pub. Does anyone have any info on the history and occupants of the pub?

Sam was a blacksmith and his descendents were also blacksmiths in the village. Anymore info appreciated.

Kind Regards


#21 paul eyre, 14 August 2006, 23:40

hi liz,my grandma was Agnes Rollings 1899-1973 before she married Edward Clarke 1899-1957.Her parents were George and Jane(Horne).brothers were Lewis Sidney Charles Fred and Mark and sister Florrie.

#331 Derek Gray, 21 April 2010, 18:52

Brown family of Eaton Bray
George Brown 1776-1832(blacksmith)married Sophia Gray 1779-1845,their son George Brown 1816-1898(agricultural implement maker) moved to Leighton Buzzard and founded the Victorian Iron Works, Lake st. He married Maria Turney1815-1842. Their son William Gray Brown 1838-1926 married Sarah E Hawkins-
George Brown and Son designed new farm machinery
The family is now trading in Leith Edinburgh and Glasgow as shipwrights and heavy engineering contractors
Can be found on Google
Sophia was my 2/great aunt from Edlesborough
Derek Gray

#416 Liz, 6 July 2010, 13:28

Just a big thankyou to everyone who has helped with the Brown family history.

I have traced the Brown family back to around 1650 to Eaton Bray now and I think they may even have been there in Tudor times.

I even have a will from George Brown born around 1680 who lived in Chiltern View Farm in Edlesborough. The house still exists though not as a farm (it is on the A4146) If anyone has any information on the history of the farm that would be fabulous.

George was a wheelwright and his son Richard, born 1717 was a blacksmith. The Browns were blacksmiths in Eaton Bray from then until the final generation, my great great uncle, George, born 1866. He was a blacksmith in 1911 in Eaton Bray and worked at the old forgery there with his brother, Edwin William and his son, George. If anyone has any information about the old forgery or the blacksmiths who worked there?

Finally, my great x 4 grandfather, Sam Brown born 1780 a blacksmith but he also ran the Five Bells pub in the 1840s and 1850s. His son John took over the running of the pub in the 1860s. Does the Five Bells have any information on the victuallers who ran the pubs in Victorian times?

Sam married 3 times and outlived 2 of his wives. He died aged 81 on 31 August 1861 of injuries accidentally received. His wife died a few days later also from injuries accidentally received. I know there was an inquest held. I wondered if there were any newspaper reports or records of the inquest?

I did find out what happened to my great grandfather Albert. He left his wife, my great grandmother, and his 2 young kids in Luton and went to live in Amersham with another woman who he claimed to be married to though he never divorced my great grandmother. He had another 2 sons.

Thanks again for all your help


#422 Bernie, 8 July 2010, 06:41

Hi Liz...Will try to find Sams accident in the local paper at the library next week....I will have a look on census later for 5 Bells landlords...5 Bells is now closed and a planning application is on it...

#423 Bernie, 8 July 2010, 06:45

Googled "Leighton Buzzard Observer 1861" and found this ...
This index is being compiled by Barbara Quick ([email protected]), and is an on-going project. The index, so far, covers the first Leighton Buzzard Observer, published 1st January 1861, and then the subsequent publications from the 10th March 1863 to the 14th July 1863 (unfortunately copies of the newspaper between 1/1/1861 and 10/3/1863 do not seem to have survived)...Will try Dunstable Gazzette.

#434 Bernie, 12 July 2010, 17:59

Have contacted Beds records office about newspaper for inquest.If there is still any for 1861 they will have them...Saw Sam in 1851 census at The 5 Bells but I think in 1841 because of where he is on census that he maybe landlord at The Labour In Vain pub which was on the Totternhoe Road.

#444 Bernie, 13 July 2010, 12:24

Liz...Have spoken to a local historian who thinks he may have seen a report on Sams accident.He thinks it may have been a carriage turning over.

#461 Liz, 18 July 2010, 14:55

Hi Bernie,

Thanks so much for that. I had a funny feeling it may have been a carriage accident, seeing as his wife died a few days later of injuries from an accident.

If you do get hold of the report I would love to see it. (I'm secretly hoping there might be a picture of Sam!)

I think Sam may have owned some property in Totternhoe judging from some references on but I think he was also the landlord of the Five Bells for sometime. It is a shame the Five Bells is now closed, another piece of history being lost.

Anyway, thanks again for all the info it all helps to build a bigger picture and bring back people who would have been forgotten about.

I made the donation to the charity about a week ago, so thanks again

#799 john thomos, 15 February 2011, 15:49

George Brown  1776 --1832 Born Eaton Bray  Does anyone know address at where he died,and where he actually worked?

#800 Tom n Harry, 18 February 2011, 20:20

Hi John.....The Brown family owned land around The Comp and Market Square area and the forge was in Market Square opposite the 5 Bells.

#803 john thomos, 26 February 2011, 16:13

Re George Brown (18th Feb) Sorry Tom Harry)The George Brown you refer to is Not THE George Brown I referred to,the one I am trying to trace details is the one who was Born 1776 and who died  1832,although he was also aEDGE TOOLMAKER.Any help would be appreciated.

#915 Liz, 25 May 2011, 13:47

George Brown 1776-1832(blacksmith)married Sophia Gray 1779-1845,their son George Brown 1816-1898(agricultural implement maker) moved to Leighton Buzzard and founded the Victorian Iron Works, Lake st. He married Maria Turney1815-1842. Their son William Gray Brown 1838-1926 married Sarah E Hawkins-
George Brown and Son designed new farm machinery
The family is now trading in Leith Edinburgh and Glasgow as shipwrights and heavy engineering contractors
He was buried on 24 May 1832 at St Mary's Eaton Bray

#928 john thomas, 18 June 2011, 13:36

Re Brown Family-see above.Just to clarify things,the family firm is still in Leighton buxxard and HAS NO CONNECTION with the firm in Leith Edingburgh and and Glasgow who are shipwrights!
I hope this clears up some inaccurate information.

#1135 Jeff , 26 January 2012, 20:00

My grandmother was Barbara Brown of the Brown family of Leighton Buzzard. She moved to Winfield, KS USA, after WWII with her husband Irl Fife, who wed her during the war. With her passing in 1982, when I was 6, I have never been over there (although I hope to in next couple of years), and do not know extensive information on my Brown side of the family. I know they are in with Brown Farm Equipment. Any help, or any updates on some of my relatives names would be helpful. Or, if you are one of my relatives (fingers crossed), feel free to get in touch with me!!

#2329 john thomos, 9 July 2015, 17:28

George Brown who died in 1898 was buried in Eaton Bray--BUT--does anyone knowat what address he died in in Leighton Buzzard

#3514 Jeff Fife, 24 January 2018, 16:42

Barbara (Brown) Fife was my grandmother. Im from Winfield, KS USA. Would love to get in touch with you.

#3515 Liz Oluwi, 20 February 2018, 09:34

Sam Brown

I eventually managed to get hold of the newspaper article about Sam and Sophia's death. It was a fire. Sophia had lit a candle and the match dropped on the floor and set fire to the bedding. Sam was burnt alive. Sophia suffered burns and survived for a few days. There is mention of Sam's sons turned up at the house whilst Sophia was still alive and took items of furniture and their father's clothing despite Sophia asking them to let them be.

#3692 Stephen ROLLINGS, 6 August 2022, 06:17

Greetings from Australia. I am seeking information about my family and DNA matches have lead me to this area. My Great Grand Father was William George ROLLINGS, born around 1820. On his death certificate. It states  he is from England, possibly Essex, and his parents are supposedly Thomas ROLLINGS and Maria KENSALL. However after years of fruitless searches, I have been unsuccessful in locating them.

A DNA hit came up with a connection to a distant cousin, who supplied  the following information:

Her 3rd Grandmother was Zilpha Rollins 1804 - 1841, Eaton Bray Bedfordshire England Her parents were John Rollins 1759-1838 and Mary Hopton/Upton 1764 -1828. Her grandparents were James Rollins 1733-1767, Born Eaton Bray Bedfordshire England and Elizabeth (Betty) Fowler Born 1735 Buckingham.

As we are related and this as the only link, I'm seeking information on this family. I noticed quite a few years ago Martin ROLLINGS was quite helpful and I hope he maybe able to assist me.

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