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Not Brentford

Brentford Families - Ashfield

My name is Deirdre Richards (nee Ashfield) and I am the great granddaughter of William Ashfield and Sarah Thornby. In the census of 1851 William was a bootmaker at 238 High Street Brentford.

William Ashfield’s Ancestors:

George Ashfield & Jane Lonnon – my Paternal Great Great Grandparents
William’s Father was George Ashfield, a bootmaker, who married Jane Lonnon/London on 10 August 1817 in All Saints Church, Fulham. George & Jane had 10 children but only 5 survived to adulthood. In the 1841 & 1851 census they lived at 25 St Peters Place, Hammersmith. Also at the address was Charles Wood listed as an insane patient, ward in chancery, Elizabeth Aldridge/Eldridge/Otridge 71 a lodger and fundholder, and a servant Elizabeth Wheeler. George died in 1853 and Jane in 1872.

William Ashfield & Sarah Thornby - my Paternal Great Grandparents
William Ashfield born in 1826 married Sarah Thornby born in 1828 on 7 May 1848 in All Saints Church, Fulham. William & Sarah had 13 children although 5 died in infancy. In the 1851 census William & Sarah had a daughter Elizabeth (who also died in infancy). Sarah’s sister Elizabeth was also living with them in Brentford as well as Jonathan Short and George White, both bootmakers. By the time of the 1861 census William & Sarah had 5 children – Jane 8, William 6, May Ann 4, James 2 and John 4 months.

By 1871 William had become a Relieving Officer. The family now lived in Back Lane, just behind Brentford High Street. In 1881 they had moved to 3 Oxford Villas and in 1891 they were at 1 Newlyn Villas, Windmill Road. Sarah died in January 1893, aged 65.

William, now a widower, married Fanny Lippiatt, a widow, in 1894. Fanny had lived with her husband Thomas at 47 Enfield Road, The Post Office/Grocers Shop. William & Fanny moved to 27 Eastbourne Road with her children Ada, Thirza and Charles. Fanny also had a son Thomas. William Ashfield died in January 1900 aged 73, Fanny died in May 1930 aged 86.

William Ashfield’s Descendants:

James Ashfield & Lizzie Fenn – my Paternal Grandparents
Newspaper piece 'Ninety-Seven To-morrow' including photo of James AshfieldJames Ashfield, son of William & Sarah was born in June 1858 in New Brentford. James married Lizzie Jane Fenn, born in June 1875 on 28 December 1896 in Brentford. Lizzie was the daughter of Alfred Jason Fenn & Margaret Ann Hopcroft. In the census of 1881 and 1891 Lizzie is listed as living with her father, a widower, at 11 Enfield Road, Brentford.

In the 1901 census James, Lizzie and sons Charles and William were living at 7 Eastbourne Road. Living next door at 8 Eastbourne Road was James brother George, his wife Henriette and their daughter Eugene Simion and a servant Fanny Catherine James.

By the 1911 census James and Lizzie had four sons Charles 12, William 11, Harold 9 and Cyril 3. James was now a school master in London.

By 1921 James, Lizzie, Harold and Cyril had moved to The Point, 54 Selwyn Avenue, Richmond. In 1937 James, Lizzie and Harold moved to 70 Gladstone Avenue, Whitton.
Lizzie died in February 1950 aged 75. James died in February1956 aged 97.

James trained as a teacher in 1879 at Borough Road College at London Bridge before the College moved to Isleworth. He began his teaching career at Kensal Rise School, then moved to Beethoven Street School in Queens Park and ultimately became a Headteacher at Swan Street School, Goodman’s Yard, Minories, Aldgate until he retired in 1922 aged 63.
In 1932 James was presented with a bible from the Marchioness of Shaftesbury at the 88th Annual Festival at the Queens Hall, London. The inscription inside the bible states “40 years recognition of Christian service for poor children”. James worked for the Brentford Town Mission.

James and his four sons were supporters of Brentford Football Club and James was especially keen on cricket.
James & Lizzie Ashfield, as well as William & Sarah Ashfield (James’s parents) and Fanny Ashfield (William’s second wife), are buried in South Ealing Cemetery.


Children of James & Lizzie Ashfield:

Charles James Ashfield
Charles James was born in 1899 and died in 1986, aged 87. Charles married Marjorie Camp in 1928 and they lived in Ridgeway Road, Isleworth. They moved to Burgess Hill when Charles retired. Charles signed up for WW1 on 23 September 1916 when he was 17 years 7 months. His regiment number was 96556 (Tank Corps) and he spent some time in France.

William Fenn Ashfield
William Fenn was born in 1900 and died in 1980, aged 80. William married Eva Long, known as Babs, and they lived in Ryecroft Avenue, Whitton. When William retired from Westminster Bank they moved to Barton-on-Sea, New Milton, Hampshire. Towards the end of WW1 in 1918 William trained as a pilot. On gaining his “wings” he celebrated with a flight. He crashed from 3,000ft in a mass of flames. He broke many bones. William’s family were called to hospital as he was not expected to live but against all odds he survived.

Harold Thornby Ashfield
Harold Thornby was born in 1901 and died in 1982, aged 80. Harold served in India during WW2 even though he was 42 years old. Harold, a bachelor, lived in Richmond. When he retired from the National Health Service he moved to Bournemouth.

Cyril Geoffrey Ashfield – my Father
Cyril born on 20 January 1908 and died 23 April 1977, aged 69. He attended Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith. He married Elsie Celia Craven on 12 June 1937 at St. Stephen’s Church, East Twickenham. They lived at 5 Marble Hill Gardens, Twickenham all their married life.

Celia Elsie Craven, born on 15 November 1910, was the daughter of William Craven and Emily Hannah Foster. Celia was a keen gardener and a lover of antiques, especially Pratt Ware.
Celia died on 11 July 1983 aged 72.

During World War II Cyril was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force (no. 108650) and served abroad for three years from December 1941 until January 1945. Cyril was a banker all his working life. He worked for the National Bank of Egypt until the Suez Canal crisis in 1956 when he moved to Barclays Bank DCO (Dominions, Colonies and Overseas) in the City of London.

Children of Cyril & Elsie Ashfield:

Marilyn June
Born in September 1938, married John Russell in 1962. They live in Staines, Middlesex.

Born in September 1941, died 6 days later on 21 September 1941 and is buried in Twickenham Cemetery in an unmarked grave with 9 other infants.

Graham David
Born in December 1945, married Carolyn Walker in 1984. They live in Kiarma, near Sydney, Australia.

Robert Geoffrey
Born in April 1947, married Jane Moodie in 1991. They live in Crows Nest, Sydney, Australia

Deirdre Jane
Born in February 1949, married William Richards in 1969. They live in Hughenden Valley, Buckinghamshire.

Julia Mary
Born in March 1954 and lives in Isleworth, Middlesex.


Ancestors of Lizzie Fenn:

Alfred Jason Fenn & Margaret Ann Hopcroft – my Maternal Great Grandparents
Alfred Jason Fenn (often called Jason) was born in 1830 in Redbourn, Hertfordshire, the son of farmers James Fenn & Mary Ann Joyner.
In the 1861 census, Alfred (29) a farmer in Rivel End, Redbourn, was living with his sisters Elizabeth, Francis Jane and Louisa, and his brother Charles. Also living there was an Uncle, Ernest Ashley as well as a Thomas Hart and Edward Gregg.

Alfred married Margaret Ann Hopcroft (Hoperoft) on 29 June 1862 at St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney. Margaret Ann Hopcroft was born in 1833 in Ringshall, Nr St Albans, Hertfordshire, the daughter of publicans John & Mary Hopcroft.

Alfred and Margaret had 5 children. By the birth of Louisa in 1864 Alfred and Margaret were living in Brentford. In the 1871 census Alfred 37 (and now a gardener), Margaret 35, Louisa 7, William 5 and Alfred 3 were living at 1 Smiths Cottages, near The Jolly Gardener pub in Windmill Lane, Brentford.

Margaret died in 1878, aged 46.

In the 1881 census Alfred 50, a widow, is still listed as a gardener. Alfred was living with children; William 15 a milk carrier, Alfred 13, George 9, Lizzie 6 and Jason’s sister Francis Fenn 46. They are now living at Grove Cottage.

By the 1891 census Alfred 58 and son Jason 22 were both gardeners, George 19 a milkman, Lizzie 16, and sister Francis 54 was now the housekeeper. They were living at 11 Grove Road, Brentford, round the corner from Fanny Lippiatt a widow, and her family. (See William Ashfield).

Francis died in 1892 aged 55, and Alfred died in 1899, aged 69.

(Deirdre Richards 2015)


Page initially published November 2012; revised December 2015