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Brentford Families - Longinotto

Starting point

James Earnshaw wrote in August 2010: I have recently traced my maternal grandmother's side of the family, the Longinottos back to the John Longinotto, umbrella maker listed on your site. He is my great great great grandfather and was from Italy. I just wondered if you had any other information about them.

John's son (also confusingly John) moved to Rochdale between 1871 and 1874. He married twice and had a son called John who is my late grand mother's father.

The search has been hampered by the 14 different spellings I have come across on Find My Past and Ancestry:

  • Longinotto
  • Longinnotto
  • Longenotto
  • Longennotto
  • Lungernot
  • Langernot
  • Longinoto
  • Longinotte
  • Longinnetie
  • Longenott
  • Longinott
  • Longimott
  • Longencter
  • Longinolto


Longinotto from 1846 onwards

It has been possible to trace the family line back to John Longinotto, born in Italy.

The first record found:
Parish church of St. Paul Deptford
Residence 'of this parish' (for both)
John Longinoto Full Batchelor Hawker Father John Longinoto Farmer
Martha Belcher Minor Spinster Isaac Belcher Gardener
August 16th 1846

I found an 1851 Census Entry for:
Back Lane, Kingston on Thames

John Longinoto Head 24 years Optician Born Rome Italy
Eliza Longinoto Wife 22 Born Cheltenham
John Longinoto Son 10 months Born Surrey, Kingston includes the baptism of John son of John and Eliza Longinotto in Kingston, Surrey, 1850, the father John is described as a hawker. James adds: John born in 1850 and his son John (1884) were both slaters and in various forms of construction. John 1850's place of birth in listed as Italy on one census and another as 'London'.

Birth of Catherine registered: her mother is Eliza PAYNE - who later (1862) marries John the optician.

John & Eliza were recorded in 1861 at the High Street address, Eliza was recorded first (31) and as 'wife' followed by John, the 'head' (37). Children: John 10 (born Kingston Surrey), Amelia 7 (born Deptford Kent) and Kate 3 (born Old Brentford).

Daughter Amelia died in 1867.

Eliza Longinotto died in 1868 and her death was registered in Brentford Reg Dist. The age at death suggests her birth was around 1829 - which is consistent with her age in the 1861 census.

In the 1871 census John is recorded as a widower, age 42 - this age may have been an error in copying '47'.

Daughter Kate died in 1873.

John remarried in Brentford Reg Dist in 1875: Elizabeth Seymour:

19th Jan 1875 Catholic Church Old Brentford
John Longinotto 40 years Widower OPTICIAN Old Brentford (Father John, a Market Gardener)
Elizabeth SEYMOUR 37 years spinster ----- Old Brentford No father listed

His age at second marriage was very wrong; perhaps he did not want to give his real age as his wife was considerably younger (assuming, of course, she really was 37 at the time).

John died in 1879 age 55 suggesting a birth year of around 1824 in Italy - consistent with his age in 1861.

His death certificate shows a sad end I'm sure you'll agree:

John Longinotto, Umbrella Maker
When and where died: Fourteenth October 1879 in High Street Brentford Ealing
Inquest held 16th October 1879

Cause of death: Violent, Crushed by a waggon accidentally

In 1881 Elizabeth Longinotto age 38 widow heads the household: John's second wife. She gave her birthplace as Hertfordshire (his first wife Eliza was born in Cheltenham).

I have found a record for Elizabeth Longinotto living in Brentford Union Work House in 1901. She was 62 and died the year later.


A man of many talents

Just out of interest I wrote down John's ages from what we know. There is definitely some misdirection as no one could be so forgetful or unsure:

Date Age Occupation Estimated birth year
1851 24 Hawker 1827
1861 37 Umbrella Maker 1824
1862 40 Optician 1822
1871 42 Umbrella Maker 1829
1875 40 Optician 1835
1879 55 Umbrella Maker 1824

On the optician/umbrella maker problem I put the two into Google together and found the following: Census returns of 1851 to reveal some fascinating details about Derbyshire folk and the lives they were leading more than 150 years ago ... 'Clearly a keen businessman, he is listed as jeweller, optician and, perhaps mindful of the unexpected "rainy day", he is also described as an umbrella manufacturer'.

Bagshaw's 1846 Trade Directory:
Hoult Wm. optician & umbrella manufacturer 6.5 St. Peter's St

I think these clear up the issue about the switch between optician and umbrella maker. I did notice that John in 1874 makes a mark to sign the register - interesting that he can't write. We think of opticians now as medical men, but they clearly weren't then. It also seems to refer to telescope repairs.


The Longinotto home in Brentford

The Longinotto family were recorded in censuses and trade directories at 245 High Street from 1861 to 1882, the latest entry being for Miss Mary Ann Longinnotto, umbrella maker (Kelly's 1882 trade directory, Middlesex).

Previously Samuel Goddard, also an umbrella maker, lived at what appears to be the same property (this was in 1851, before the High Street was numbered) and it seems likely that John took over the business.

There are 1960s photos on the site showing the four apparently identical shops, numbers 242 to 245. The Valuation Records from 1909/10 describe no. 242 to 245 as having been sold in 1901 and noted 'no capital expenditure as yet as property had just been rebuilt when purchased': so it would seem that Samuel Goddard and then the Longinotto family lived in an older property that was subsequently redeveloped: see the property notes for more details.

Page published October 2010; updated September 2017