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Brentford Families - Ryan

Paul Smith wrote about his family lines who settled in Brentford in the late 1800s from Ireland, including Ryan, Manning and Callow.

In October 2017 Tess added her family memories of 'Con Ryan'.


My great grandfather Cornelius RYAN born around 1862, son of Daniel Ryan and Mary Sullivan, in Ballydesmond in Kerry. Cornelius RYAN lodged here at 376 High Street for a brief period before marrying Kate AHERNE who lodged with friends/relatives ? in Distillery road.

Cornelius RyanKate Ryan (nee Aherne)
Informal photo of Cornelius Ryan, age around 50-60Informal photo of Kate Ryan, age around 50-60

Kate was the daughter of John and possibly Anastasia. She came from just outside Cork.

Cornelius and Kate married at St Johns RC church Brentford in 1892 and moved to 7 Baileys Row where they had 6 children of whom 4 survived, Mary Ellen (1893), Ellen (1898), Margaret (1900) and Daniel (1902).

Paul found three local newspaper articles which provide more information about Cornelius. The Middlesex Chronicle of June 12th 1915 has a Police Court Report:

Cornelius Ryan (62), labourer, of Bailey's road, Walnut Tree-road, Brentford, was charged with being drunk at High-street, Brentford. PC Lemon 287 T stated that as 11.15 on Friday night he was on duty at Brentford Police Station and heard a man shouting outside. On going out he saw Ryan lying on the footpath helplessly drunk. His face was covered with congealed blood, and Dr Bott was called to attend to his wound. Ryan pleaded guilty and was fined 5s plus the doctor's fees.

Cornelius lived another 27 years.

The Middlesex Chronicle of January 10th 1942 reported his death:
Man's Death from Burns

A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned by the West Middlesex Coroner (Mr HG Broadbridge) at the inquest at Brentford, on Tuesday, on Cornelius Ryan, a retired Metropolitan Water Board stoker, who lived alone at 47, High Street, Brentford.
Mrs Ellen Callow, of 22, Challis Road, Brentford, said her father was about 80 years of age as far as she knew. He lived alone and did for himself. She last saw him alive about three months ago. He was not tottery on his legs nor subject to fainting or attacks of giddiness.
Dr Walkley, of the West Middlesex Hospital, said Ryan was admitted on Christmas Eve with body burns, which became septic, and he died on January 1st.
Dr R D Teare, pathologist, said deceased was extensively burned on the legs and lower part of the body, neck and wrist. Death was from hypostatic pneumonia, following the brns. he should say he must have been liable to attacks of fainting or giddiness.
PC Dear said Ryan came to the Brentford Police Station on Christmas Eve and made a confused statement about having been burnt. Apparently he had been sitting by the fire and had fallen on to it.
PC George Shepherd said he went to Ryan's room about 5pm of December 24th. It appeared that Ryan slept in an armchair in the back room of the ground floor. The chair was immediately in front of the fireplace and there was no guard. He found no signs of burnt clothing or damage to the room.
Charles Humphries of 45, High Street, Brentford, said he knew Ryan well. The place where he lived had been bombed and he had left the room in a disordered condition since. He was a very sensible man, but would not let people do anything for him.

The final article describes Cornelius's funeral:Middlesex Independent & West London Star of January 17 1942
Waterword's Employee's Funeral
The funeral took place last week, of Mr Cornelius Ryan. He was an Irishman and came to Brentford 60 years ago. He was employed by the Brentford Water Works for 40 years. Funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs Barratt of High-street Brentford.

A photo of Cornelius Ryan appeared in a newspaper (or magazine): can you help identify possible title / date?

Footnote from Tess about Con Ryan

I believe that as a child my mother knew Paul Smith's great grandfather CORNELIUS RYAN. She was born Florence "Floss" Gregge in 1920 and in her early years lived with her parents Fred and Liz Gregge and her younger sister Dorothy in a place she called The Barracks - small poor standard housing behind what is now a block of flats on Ealing Road near Albany Road. She remembered it as a poor but happy time especially Saturday evenings, when the neighbours would gather in one of the houses and sing songs and play musical instruments. She always remembered who she described as "a little old Irishman called Con Ryan" who played his violin for them. Later in her childhood they moved to a council house in Lionel Road and then to Chestnut Avenue. She always wondered who Con Ryan was and where he came from. She died in 2006 but to the end of her life she remembered those happy Saturday nights and always mentioned Con Ryan playing his violin.

The children of Cornelius and Kate Ryan

Albert Callow in WW1 uniformEllen Callow nee RyanEllen RYAN (1898-1983) married Albert Edward CALLOW from 39 Walnut Tree Rd in 1918.

He served in the Royal Artillery Corps (the photo shows him in his uniform) in WW1 and survived.

They had four children: Ilene (1919), Julia (1921), Albert (1925) and Patricia (1937).

Mary Ellen Ryan (standing) with female work colleague in front of ornate leaded windowThe photo shows Mary Ellen before marriage (no ring) possibly in a studio setting (the view through the window appears to be painted) but there is no photographer name, suggesting this may be a private photo.

Does the sitting lady's fob watch give a clue to her occupation?

Both girls wear similar skirts with buttons, suggesting a uniform.

William Manning in WW1 uniformStudio portrait of Mary Manning nee Ryan Mary Ellen RYAN (1893-1963) married Albert's friend William MANNING who lodged at 39 Walnut Tree at the time, 1919: Albert and Ellen CALLOW, Mary Ellen's brother-in-law and sister, witnessed the marriage.

The photo shows William Manning in WW1 uniform.

William and Mary Ellen MANNING had two children, John and Kathleen. William MANNING later died and in 1936 Mary Ellen married Edwin J JONES (son of Rowland E JONES and Alice, born 1897) from 20 Walnut Tree. There were no children from Mary Ellen's second marriage.

William Wheeler in WW1 uniformMargaret Wheeler nee RyanMargaret RYAN (1900-?) of Baileys Row married William WHEELER in 1926, the photo shows him in his WW1 uniform.

No record of Margaret after 1926.

Her husband married Rose WILSON in 1958.

Painting of 'The Bull' and street life

[The painting by Paul Ryan's great uncle William WHEELER shows 'The Bull'. Paul adds 'Great uncle Bill lived in Hanwell before he married my great aunt from Baileys Row so it may be a Bull up there'. If you can identify the location please get in touch. Paul notes that Baileys Row was near the Brentford 'Bull'. The painting may have been from memory? ]

Daniel RYAN (1902-1978) married Louisa Lucy SLATER (1903-1964, daughter of Albert SLATER and Charlotte nee SOLEY) in 1926. They had three children: Terry, Rosaleen C (1926) and Daniel J (1933).

The question is the list of names at 376 which was a coal yard by the look of the 1881 census were all Irish lodgers AND they were all gardeners of some kind. I wonder if they all worked at the same place and could it be Kew as it's a walk away. [The 1881 census describes the lodgers as 'labourers'; in 1891 as 'agricultural labourers': a labourer could have worked on new buildings; an agricultural labourer may have worked at a local market garden].

Cornelius RYAN (great grandfather) who died 1/1/1942 at West Middlesex Hospital has his address at the time at 47 High Street Brentford. Also his occupation was a retired stoker at the Met Water Board. His wife Kate RYAN died in 1950.


William MANNING (grandfather) who died 27/12/1926 at WMH has an occupation of stoker at Gas works.

It's worth mentioning that the death certificate states 30 Twickenham road rather than the hospital (common practice for a while)

The big mystery for for me is grandad William MANNING. apart from his marriage in 1919 to Mary Ellen RYAN he was in the Middlesex Regiment g/6361 but there is nothing else apart from the "manning" photo. It looks like his father on the right and his grandfather on the left with brothers and uncle perhaps. The photo maybe 1910 ish, and it looks like the grandfather is irish. Anyway feel free to add anything you like to your site and I hope someone out there can help in the gardeners question.



Albert CALLOW b1870 married Ellen HESTER b 1873 on 14th Dec 1895, at St Paul, Old Brentford. They gave their address at the time as 268 High street and Albert's occupation was 'carman' or 'carrier' (unclear). One of the witnesses was a Harriet HOWLAND who is mentioned on the web site. Albert gave his father's name as Henry CALLOW, occupation: carpenter. William CALLOW was the other witness.

Albert and Ellen CALLOW had 6 children and according to various documents didn't seem to stay in the same place for more than five minutes [at the time most people rented property]:

  • son Albert Edward born 21/10/1896 address at baptism 39 Walnut Tree road
  • son Arthur William born 16/12/1897 address at baptism 24 Starnage road (hard to read)
  • daughter Ellen born 27/10/1899 address at baptism 11 Old Spring Gardens
  • daughter Alice Maud born 11/3/1901 address at baptism 268 High Street
  • two more sons Percy b1903 and Harry b1906 (still searching on these two)

1901 census address is 3 Distillery road

1911 census address is 39 Walnut tree road.


Page published August 2010; last updated October 2017