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Brentford Dynasties - Ronalds

The following information was provided in 2007 by Carolyn from Australia, who also has an interest in the Montgomrey family of Brentford.

In 2017 Dr Beverley Ronalds wrote:
'I have started a small website on my Ronalds family, including a page on Hugh Ronalds and his nursery in Brentford. It might be of some interest to your readers as it includes some additional information sources. I will be adding more references in the coming period. There are also several interactive family trees on the site to help show how everyone is interrelated.'

'I plan to upload pages on other members of the Brentford clan in the coming months, including one on the Montgomrey family of timber merchants and another on Elizabeth Ronalds, who illustrated her father's book on apples in 1831.'

Beverley's website is well-illustrated and the page link above includes a link to a Royal Horticultural Society article (2010) on Hugh Ronalds' book which includes examples of Elizabeth Ronalds' illustrations (pages 46 onwards). It includes a list of apple varieties, a joy to read: Irish Peach, Kentish Fillbasket, Cornish Gilliflower, Nonsuch and many more.

Hugh Ronalds, nurseryman & seedsman

Hugh Ronalds the elder (d. 1788) occurred in rate-books c. 1754, lived at the Butts by 1760, and was a nurseryman and seedsman in 1786. By 1774 he occupied a house adjoining the Vicarage called Lamberts, probably Noy's House, with 2 acres between the church, the Ham, and the Brent, which was the firm's chief nursery in 1841. Ronalds occupied Butts closes of 9 a. between the Butts and Boston Manor Road in 1774, and his firm in 1839 also occupied Isleworth nursery.

Hugh Ronalds the younger (d. 1833) was noted for fruit trees, growing 300 varieties of apple in 1829, and commemorated in his Pyrus Malus Brentfordiensis (1831). He supplied many plants to Kew Gardens from 1801 to 1816 and his firm provided 14,000 shrubs for Kensal Green cemetery. Robert Ronalds (d. 1880) still occupied the nursery by St. Lawrence's church in 1863. (From: 'Ealing and Brentford: Economic history', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7: Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden (1982), pp. 131-44. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22579.)

Ronalds family tree

The family tree has been compiled through five main sources:
  • A History of the County of Middlesex (see above)
  • the PCC wills of three Ronalds
  • census returns and other records available through ancestry.co.uk
  • 'Some Brentford nursery gardeners' by Val Bott, 2008 Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society journal
  • Brian Rayner's tree on GenesReunited

The tree is speculative and if you are a Ronalds descendant it would be advisable to check the details using primary resources such as certificates!

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Hugh Ronalds (1726 - 1788): born Moidart, Inverness-shire, Scotland; settled in Brentford by 1754; possible marriage to Mary Clark (ca 1722 - 1799) in 1753 (Marriage Licence Allegations - Faculty Office) at Christ Church, Oxford; he had seven children, who were baptised at the Congregational Chapel, Brentford; I have included three here, Brian Rayner's tree has the complete picture; Val Bott advises that Hugh left a will, which mentions land in New Brentford & Isleworth and that he provided for his widow and four surviving sons; after her husband's death Mary Ronalds moved to Coventry with her son Henry:

  • Henry Clarke Ronalds (1757 - 1804): moved to Coventry after his father's death (Val Bott's article)
  • Hugh Ronalds (1759 - 1833): married Elizabeth Clark at New Brentford in 1784; took over the running of the family nursery business when his father died in 1788; he left a will; his children included (see Brian Rayner's tree for additional children that I have not uncovered in my research):
    • Hugh Clarke Ronalds (1785 - 1828): a Hugh Clarke Ronalds married Elizabeth Barclay (ca 1790 - ) (Marriage Licence Allegations - Faculty Office) in 1815 at Kensington St Mary Abotts; no known children
    • Mary Ronalds (ca 1787 - 1862): a spinster who lived in Brentford; her baptism is on the IGI; in 1861 she was staying in Hastings a 'gentlewoman'; her death was registered in Brentford in 1862
    • Elizabeth Ronalds (ca 1788 - 1854): a spinster who lived in Brentford; she left a will which was proved in 1854
    • Henry Ronalds (ca 1791 - 1847): married Elizabeth Lucy Robinson (ca 1790/1800? - 1892) in 1820; he was recorded in the 1833 London Royal Blue Book as 'Henry Ronalds MD, 4 Upper Gore Kensington & Regency Square, Brighton'; in 1841 he and his family were living in Edinburgh Scotland; by 1851 he had died and his widow Elizabeth Lucy Ronalds was a patient in Norwood; she was 'of unsound mind' in 1855 (A2A reference);in 1881 she was boarding at Wood End House, Hayes, a 'lunatic'; she was born in Scotland (1841) or Canada (1851); she died in 1892 aged 93 (her death was registered in Uxbridge, adjacent registration district to Brentford and which includes Hayes & Norwood; their children (all born in England) included:
      • Lucy Ronalds (1822 - ): married Francis Byass, a surgeon, 1851 (Brentford RD)
      • William Ronalds (1826/7 - alive 1841)
      • Francis Ronalds (1827/8 - alive 1841 )
      • John Ronalds (1831 - 1871): born Kensington; in 1861 staying in Hastings, Sussex with wife Emily; in 1871 with wife Caroline in Great Yarmouth (marriage in Brentford RD in 1867 to Caroline Kent); his will (effects under 100) indicates he was a gentleman of Brentford; Archibald Sim Montgomrey of High Street Brentford was one of the executors
      • Malcolm Ronalds (1835 - 1865): born Kensington, a lieutenant in the 2nd Warwick Militia; he was visiting Thomas Byass, a surgeon in Cuckfield, Sussex in 1861 and had 'no profession or occupation'; he died in 1865, leaving a will (effects under 3000) for which James Montgomrey of Brentford was the sole executor
      • Mary Ronalds
    • John Ronalds (1792 - 1850): a seedsman living in the family home in 1841; he left a will
    • George Nairne Ronalds (1797 - 1859): mentioned in his sister Elizabeth's will
    • Robert Ronalds (1799 - 1880): did not marry; took over the running of the family nursery and continued living in the family home near St Lawrence's church into the 1870s
  • Francis Ronalds (deceased by 1841) married Jane Field at New Brentford in 1785; Jane was a minor and her father William concented to the marriage (ca 1767 - 1851+); Jane was a widow living in Turnham Green (1841); in 1851 she was living at Pond House, Chiswick; children include:
    • Jane Ronalds (1786 - ): her baptism is on the IGI
    • Francis Ronalds (ca 1788 - 1873): born 'London, Middlesex'; son of a 'London merchant' who died when Francis was 17 (http://archives.iee.org); in 1851 he was unmarried and 'assistant director of the Royal Observatory Kew'and living in Chiswick with his mother; in 1871 he was living at Battle, Sussex with his unmarried niece Julia ROnalds; Francis's occupation was 'Knight author of electricity': he developed an electric telegraph in 1816; there is a portrait of him in the National Portrait Gallery (1870) which can be viewed online; he was living at St Mary's Villas, Battle when he died and the executors of his will (effects under 3000) were Samuel Carter of Quarry Hill, Battle Esquire and his nephew Edmund Ronalds, Doctor of Philosophy, Bonnington near Edinburgh
    • Edmund Ronalds (ca 1791 - 1874): married Eliza (Anderson?); Edmund was a cheese dealer of Thames Street London, in 1833 and was trading from this address in 1846; he lived in Hornsey (1861) and Islington; he died in 1874 at 3 Ashburton Cottages, Highgate; his will (effects under 8000) was proved by his son Edmund, who was one of the executors; his children included:
      • Edmund Ronalds (1819 - 1889): born Canonbury, baptism is on the IGI; married Barbara (-) and settled in Leith near Edinburgh; Doctor of Philosophy & manufacturing chemist; when he proved his father's will in 1874 he was of 'Bonnington House, Leith, North Britain'; his will indicates he had two sons:
        • Tennent Ronalds: of Bonnington House, Edinburgh in 1889
        • Frank Ronalds: of 85 Gracechurch Street, London in 1889
        • Charlotte Ronalds (1824 - ): baptism is on the IGI
        • Marian Ronalds (ca 1830 - )
        • Janet Ronalds (1831 - ): a governess in 1861; her baptism is on the IGI
        • Francis Ronalds (1832 - ): baptism is on the IGI
        • Hugh Ronalds (1833 - ): occupation 'none' in 1861; baptism is on the IGI; married Bertha Greg in 1867 and lived in Scotland during the 1870s; living in Bollington, Cheshire in 1881 with his wife and mother in law, Mary Greg; living in Edgecombe in 1889 when his brother Edmund's will was proved; he remained in Herefordshire in 1901
        • James A Ronalds (ca 1835 - )
        • Ellen Ronalds (ca 1837 - )
        • Eliza Ronalds (ca 1840 - )
      • Mary Anne Ronalds (1794 - ): her baptism is on the IGI
      • Emily Ronalds (ca 1796 - 1889): born Canonbury, Islington and an annuitant living with her mother in 1851; fundholder living in Reigate Foreign in 1861 & 1871; boarding in Brighton in 1881; she may be the mother of
        • Julia Ronalds (ca 1829 - 1901+): born Kensington; in 1861 she was living with her widowed uncle Edmund Ronalds in Islington; in 1871 she was 'deriving income from dividends' and living with her uncle Francis Ronalds in Battle; in 1881 she was living in Bedford; in 1891 visiting in Bedford; in 1901 visiting Sarah Flower in Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
      • Charlotte Ronalds (1797 - ): her baptism is on the IGI
      • Maria Ronalds (1804 - ): her baptism is on the IGI; possible marriage to Samuel Carter at Chiswick in 1833

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    Published 2007; updated August 2017