Brown Whyman ….. This is Your Life

So in my earlier blog post, I found that my 7x Great Grandfather was Brown Whyman. He has a pretty unusual name which makes him a little easier to find in the records than, say, a John Smith!


His baptism took place on the 1st January 1703 at All Saint’s church in Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire. Brown’s parents Henry and Rebekah Brown were married a couple of months later at St Mary’s church in Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire. Weston and Aston are neighbouring villages and it crossed my mind that they may have married in Weston so they didn’t have to admit they had had an illegitimate child in Shardlow where it appears the couple lived.
Henry and Rebekah baptised five more children following Brown; Sarah, twins Philip and John and Thomas and Elizabeth. Sadly, John died at the age of one month, and Elizabeth at the age of three.

from Google Maps

Back to Brown – in 1718 at the age of fifteen he entered into an apprenticeship with William Browne, a framework knitter in Wilne, Derbyshire. William is very possibly a relative of Brown’s mother, Rebekah.
Following the end of his apprenticeship, Brown married Mary Frisby of Shardlow on the 23rd June 1726 at All Saint’s church.

From the baptism records of Aston church, it appears that Brown and Mary had six children together; Thomas (?-1731), Mary (1726-1727), Mary (1728), Ann (1732), Thomas (1734-1766) and Sarah (1737).

On 26th January 1731, Henry Whyman was buried in All Saint’s churchyard and the following year, Brown was granted administration on his father’s estate. The document is quite difficult to read, but it appears that at the time Brown worked as a waterman, a person who operates boats on the river, rather than a framework knitter which his apprenticeship would have led to.

Brown Whyman’s signature, or X on the grant of adminstration

A hint on Ancestry then led me to the Poll Book of 1734; a kind of early electoral register. Brown Wimon of Shardlow owned a freehold property in Draycott, which entitled him to vote. He voted for Sir Nathaniel Curzon, a Tory candidate and Henry Harpur Esq, later the 5th Baronet of Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. I’m a little surprised to find that Brown was a property owner as neither framework knitters or watermen were wealthy people back then. A search on the Derbyshire Record Office catalogue revealed that there was a John Whyman also of Aston who was a gentleman and a land surveyor and named in many documents. Unfortunately, the record office is closed at the moment due to Covid-19 so looking at those records will have to wait!

Of Brown & Mary’s children:
Mary (1728) has a couple of marriage possibilities; Thomas Thacker of Ticknall in 1748 or John Harvey of Stanton by Bridge in 1755.
Ann (1733) possibly married either Roger Statham of Wilne in 1782 or Robert Lacey of Aston in 1781
Sarah (1737) married George Radwood in Aston in 1776, but I haven’t found any children as yet.
Thomas (1734-1776) my direct ancestor married Anne Eden in 1756 and had four daughters; Hannah (1757-1826), Anne (1758), Sarah (1764) and Mary (1766). All baptised in Aston.

The last appearance of Brown in the records for Aston-on-Trent is his burial on the 12th February 1768 in the churchyard of All Saint’s, Aston.

All Saint’s, Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire
My own photo

  • Baptism, Marriage & Death information; Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812. Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England
  • Apprenticeship information; UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures, 1710-1811. Ancestry.com
  • Henry Whyman’s Probate Adminstration; Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield And Coventry Wills And Probate 1521-1860. Find My Past

© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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