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Brentford Families - Taverner

A quick link to the family tree below.

David Taverner wrote

I am 99% sure that I am the great great grandson of Thomas Henry Taverner who occupied the site of 131 & 132 during the 1870ís. We are still piecing some information together but I think that his son Henry (who lived and worked around the coke, gas and oil company there) married a barmaid from the Express Tavern / Inn near Kew Bridge and my family line descended from there.

Ray Taverner, David's father, added 'My grandfather (Henry Taverner) died the year before I was born (ie in 1936) due to the fact that he was gassed in WW1 whilst with the Middlesex Regiment. This left him with severe breathing and bronchial problems.

Around the same time...

Catherine Taverner wrote

I have just been looking at your very interesting website on Brentford. One of our ancestors, one Thomas Taverner, was a Pawnbroker living with his wife Susannah and children at 131-132 High Street, then New Brentford.

Do you know if there are any photographs of his shop or other information held on him? We know he was there from 1871 until his death in 1890. His wife Susannah, then moved to 133 High Street where she was a Greengrocer, until we think 1899. Again would there be any photographs of information on her?


Celia Cotton replied

The 1881 census shows Thomas Taverner was born in Westminster, his wife Susannah in Cranford. Did you spot the 2002 photo on the property page for nos. 131/2 - you cannot see much of 131 but at least it is still standing!

The Patrick Loobey book 'Britain in Old Photographs' has a photo from 1905 which shows a stretch of properties out of which 131 - 134 are reasonably clear.

Searches of censuses and trade directories gave a few more details:

  • 1871 census: Thomas H Taverner, clothier aged 29 living at no. 131
  • 1874 Post Office directory: Thomas Henry Taverner, clothier (no. 131)
  • 1881 census: Thomas Taverner, clothier & pawnbroker heading a household of 9 including himself and a female servant (131 & 132)
  • 1890 Kelly's directory: Thomas Henry Taverner, pawn broker & clothier (131 & 132)
  • 1891 census: Mrs Susannah Taverner, pawnbroker, 5 in household incl 1 visitor (131); Miss Bertha Taverner, daughter & apprentice, 5 incl 1 serv (132)

I think the family lived at nos. 131/2 throughout.


There are a few earlier references to Taverner in the Brentford Registration District, suggesting that Thomas Henry Taverner (1842 - 1890) may not have been the first member of the family to settle here: there is a death registration of a Thomas Taverner in 1866, aged 52, ie born ca 1814.

At the time of the 1861 census THT was about 19. Searches showed three people of the right age, one who was born and living in Devon whom I disqualified.

Of the two left, one was apprenticed to chemist Henry Brown Watson, living with the Watson family in Petty Cury, Cambridge. This Thomas gave his birthplace as Cambridge. A Louisa Watson was living in Thomas's household in Brentford in 1871: she was 18 and born in Kingston Surrey. She did not appear in the 1861 Cambridge census as an 8 year old so is probably just a coincidence

The second Thomas was also living away from home: a 20 year old shopman working for and living in the household of Walter Newstead, a clother & jeweller in Holborn, London. He gave his birthplace as St Brides, City (of London).


As either fit reasonably well, I hoped the 1851 census would shed some light. A search for a Thomas Taverner (on the Ancestry web site it is possible to search for Tav*r in order to pick up Tavener as well as Taverner) showed 4 TTs: two in Devon, a Thomas G Taverner in Northamptonshire and a TT in 'The Liberty of the Rolls, Middlesex': this was part of Westminster.

This TT was 9 and born in London City but had an elder sister, Jane, aged 12 who was born in Cambridge. His parents were Henry (33, a printer pressman, born Cambridge) and Mary (27, born Tower Hill London). To prove this line it will be necessary to buy either TT's birth certificate or marriage certificate - both will give his father's name. David bought both certificates and the family tree below is now more certain.

The 1841 census shows: Henry Taverner, printer, was living at 3 Little New Street, St Bride with his wife Elizabeth and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. So Elizabeth died between 1841 and 1851 and HT remarried Mary (-).

There is a marriage recorded on the FamilySearch web site of a Henry Thomas Taverner to Elizabeth Bowden, 16 December 1837 in St Andrew The Less Barnwell, Cambridge. The IGI also includes his father's name: Thomas Taverner. The entry was submitted by a member of the LDS.


There is a marriage of a Henry Thomas Taverner in Lambeth Registration District in 1849 and a Mary Shipman is the only Mary with the same volume and page reference. She may have also been a widow, in which case it is possible Thomas Henry was her child from an earlier marriage. However the naming 'Thomas Henry' suggests he is a child of Henry and Elizabeth nee Bowden. (David Taverner subsequently wrote to say he had purchased the birth certificate of Thomas Henry in 1842 and it confirmed he was the son of Henry Taverner & Elizabeth nee Bowden).

Taverner Family Tree

Thomas Taverner (1760/90 - ) lived in Cambridge and had at least one son:
  • Henry Taverner (ca 1817/8 - after 1851): printer pressman in 1851, living at 10 Birchs Place, Liberty of The Rolls, married (1) Elizabeth Bowden (1837) and then (2) Mary (possibly Shipman) children included:
    • Mary Taverner (1837): not listed in the 1841 census with her parents, presumably died in infancy
    • Jane Taverner (1839 - ) born in Cambridge and at home in 1851
    • Thomas Henry Taverner (1842 - 1890): born at 3 Little New Street, City of London (near to Fleet Street), son of Henry Taverner, a printer, and Elizabeth (nee Bowden); married Susannah Benn in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1869 in Shoreditch registration district; he was a clothier in 1871, clothier & pawnbroker in 1881, in both cases living at 131 High Street with his wife, who was recorded as Sarah in 1871, Susannah in 1881; Thomas gave birthplace as Cambridge in 1871, then Westminster Middlesex in 1881; (Julie Jakeway added in January 2015 that Susannah Taverner owned 1 Enfield Road East, now Enfield Walk, by 1901; the next owners were Julie's grandparents); their children included:
      • Louisa S Taverner (1870 - 1871): the birth and death registration were for 'Lily Susannah Taverner'
      • Bertha Taverner (1872 - )
      • Thomas Edwin Taverner (1873 - )
      • Susannah Taverner (1875 - )
      • Jessie Elizabeth Taverner (1877 - )
      • Henry Thomas Taverner (15th April 1878 - 1936): his birth certificate shows he was born at 131 High Street, Brentford, son of Thomas Taverner & Susannah (nee Benn); he is the great grandfather to David Taverner, grandfather to Ray Taverner; he lived and worked around the coke, gas and oil company, Brentford
      • Charles Holloway Taverner (ca 1880 - 1881)
    • Elizabeth Taverner (ca 1846/7 - ) born London City and at home in 1851

Published October 2010; last updated January 2015