Brimlow/Bromilow & Chaddock & Turner

Reaching Back

We always hope that a marriage in a specific church will lead to the baptism records of those individuals in the church. If William Bromilow and Ann Chaddock married in All Saints than it made sense to look for their records there. I used the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project (did I mention how much I love this site) and found two Ann Chaddocks – one born/christened in All Saints in 1801, the daughter of Matthew and Peggy (Chisnall) Chaddock of Hindley,1 and the other christened in St Aidan in 1799 the illegitimate daughter of Betty Chaddock of Billinge.2 Both records lead to more questions than answers.
Ann 1801 With one of William and Ann’s daughters named Margaret, I could easily have just accepted Matthew and Peggy, since Peggy is a pet name for Margaret. However, William and Ann have 3 sons after this and none of them are named Matthew, nor is there a grandchild named Matthew or Margaret. The other problem is that the few records we have for Ann show her as being older than William with ages that equate to a birth year of 1797 or 98. The Ann in All Saints is born and baptized in 1801. While age variant isn’t unusual, this one seems a little big. I’m not saying it isn’t them, I’m just saying it doesn’t feel right.
Ann 1799 As for the Ann born in Billinge, we get no help with a birth date so the child could be anywhere from 1 week to 3 years. I find I’m much more comfortable with the age of this Ann baptized in 1799 over the Ann born/baptized in 1801. Also, the fact that Ann’s daughters Margaret and Jane are born in Billinge could lend meaning to this location/relationship – perhaps they had moved closer to Ann’s family for the birth of their second/third child. There are many Elizabeths in the tree below this level, but it’s such a common name and Ann’s son George married an Elizabeth that we can’t take any specific meaning from the name. As much as I’d like to accept this record, I can’t.

There simply isn’t enough evidence at this time to declare a parent for Ann Chaddock. The most we can say comfortably (based on the available records) is that she was from Wigan Parish in Lancashire. I’m not done researching, but I am setting her aside for now.

There was much better luck in locating a matching record for William. I was fairly certain that William was born in January or February of 1800 based on the multitude of records, including his New York death record, so I began with that date in mind and quickly located the following:3
1800 William Baptism While I was excited to find William’s birth and baptism, I was ecstatic to see the additional information with the name of his mother’s parents. There was a whole bunch of genealogical happy dancing going on when I found this. These names were confirmed through several more records. Once again the Bishop’s Transcripts found on Ancestry were not as good, since they erroneously state William’s mother’s name is Mary and said nothing about Jenny’s parents.

After a few days of digging through the parish records, this is the family as I now know it:
William Bromilow and Jenny/Jane Turner had the following children:
1. George Bromilow/Brimalow born 3 May 1791, Shevington, baptized 21 May 1791 All Saints Wigan, 1st son. He died Jun 1857 Orrell and was buried 11 Jun 1857 at St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland. George married Mary Knowles (2 Apr 1784 – Aug 1851), daughter of Thomas and Margaret Knowles on 4 Feb 1808 in All Saints. They had 9 known children together. They lived their life in Orrell and all the children were baptized in All Saints. They along with many of their children are buried in St Thomas the Martyr in Upholland near Orrell.
2. Unknown 1st daughter – I have not yet found any baptism or burial records, but daughter Betty is listed as the 2nd daughter. It is probable daughter #1 died shortly after birth and prior to being baptized.
3. Betty Bromilow born 3 Mar 1797, Wigan, baptized 18 Mar 1797 All Saints Wigan 2nd dau., died May 1804 Orrell, buried 6 May 1804 St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland.
4. William Bromilow/Brimlow, born 16 Jan 1800 Wigan, baptized 8 Feb 1800 All Saints Wigan, 2nd son. Married Ann Chaddock 5 Sep 1819 All Saints Wigan.
I have found no other records of children for William and Jenny/Jane, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there. Nor have I found a birth/baptism record for William Bromilow born between 1850-1875.
*Note – All sources are up in the BurgraffScott tree on Ancestry and also in FamilySearch.

However I did locate the 18 Jun 1758 baptism record for Jenny Turner thanks to having the name of her parents from her children’s baptism records.4
Jenny Turner 1758 - Copy
I’ll post more on William and Eleanor Turner later. But, yeah… I was doing a lot of happy dancing. **Note – Jenny/Jinny are pet names for Jane.

I have not yet found a marriage record for William and Jenny. What I can prove is that they are NOT the William Brimilow and Jane Turner who married in Saint Helens on 6 Sep 1790 for the following reasons:
1. The St Helens Jane Turner was a widow so her maiden name would not be Turner. Our Jenny/Jane Turner’s parents were named as William and Eleanor Turner in Jenny’s children’s baptismal records.
2. Our William and Jenny/Jane had a son George Bromilow born 3 May 1791 and baptized 21 May 1791 in Wigan. That William and Jane Brimilow had a son named John Brimelow born 26 Dec 1791 and baptized on 13 Jan 1792. Seven months is possible, but they continue to have children at the same time our William and Jenny/Jane are having children.
3. Our Jenny/Jane was born in Shevington (as was her first son George) and she was baptized in St Wilfrid, Standish. Her children were all baptized in Wigan, which is only 4 miles away while Saint Helens is almost 20 miles from her known home. It is southwest of Billinge in the map below – it’s in the Parish of Precot.
Lancashire Parish map



1. All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, Baptismal Registers 1799-1812, p.51, Ann Chaddock, born 8 Mar, bap 29 Mar 1801, parents Matthew and Peggy [Chisnall] Chaddock, Hindley, Weaver, wife parents William & Betty Chisnall, Original registers.
2. Christening records (accessed 28 Nov 2015), St Aidan Billinge, Lancashire, Baptismal Register 1787-1812, p24, Ann Chaddock, bap 2 Jun 1799, illigitimate daughter of Betty Chaddock, abode Billinge.
3. Christening records (accessed 27 Nov 2015), Wigan All Saints, Lancashire, Register of Baptisms 1799-1812, Page 20. Baptism 8 Feb 1800, Born 16 Jan, William Bromilow 2nd son of William Bromilow & Jinney Turner (dau of Wm & Elnor Turner).
4. Christening records (accessed 3 Dec 2015), St Wilfrid, Standish, Lancashire, Baptismal Registers 1733-1771 p107, Jenny Turner, 18 Jun 1758, William & Eleanor Turner, Shevington, FHL Film 1526140.

Working Backwards on the Brimlows

William Brimlow (1800-1873)

For as long as I can remember, I have known about Henrietta (Brimlow) Frith (1847-1884) and her sad death at the age of 37. My mother told me the tale her grandmother Nettie Frith (1875-1963) had told her about her mother Henrietta dying and seeing her in the casket with her stillborn child in her arms. It was not difficult to trace Henrietta to her parents, George Brimlow and Elizabeth Weeks. It was also not difficult to work out George’s parents and siblings thanks to the early research provided by my distant cousin Chris Beale. Chris had done quite a bit of the legwork prior to the explosion of records online. It was Chris who outlined the basic family, located the family plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery, and located the passenger list. With Chris’s excellent research as a starting point, I went through thirty years of New York City and Brooklyn directories, combed the NY State Census records, and drove myself insane looking at New York and Brooklyn birth, death, and marriage records to fill in the gaps and add some flesh to the bones.

Here’s what we currently know about the family in New York along with the evidence:

William and Ann Broomelaw arrived in New York, along with their 5 children, aboard the Ajax on 29 Nov 1832.1
Ajax pass list 1832
William Broomelaw, 32 (1800), Miner, England
Ann, 35 (1837)
Jane, 9 (1823)
George, 12 (1820)
William, 7 (1825)
Henry, 6 (1826)
John, 3 (1829)

Let’s address the two concerns with this record – the name and the occupation. As stated in the previous post, a genealogist has to be flexible with the name. The family is English and if they are from Northwesterern England, Shropshire/Cheshire/Lancashire, which all border on Wales, the pronunciation of the name will sound more like Broom or Brom than it does Brim. As for the occupation… occupations are usually the job people last held and not necessarily what they may have done earlier in life or will be doing in the future. As proven in the previous post about William Brown, he listed himself as a farmer, but he was actually a butcher. And William Brimlow’s oldest son George named himself as a coffee roaster on the census and a clerk in the directory of the same year before changing his occupation to engineer only one year later. This is America—you can be whatever you choose.

William Brimlow makes his first appearance in the New York City directory in 1836 and remained at this particular address through 1846:2
“Brimlow William, coffee & spices 59 Cherry”

The family can be accounted for on the 1840 Federal Census in New York Ward 4 under the name Wm Brimlow:3
Males 10-14 – 1 (John 11),
15-19 – 2 (Henry14, Wm15),
20-29 – 1 (Geo 20),
40-49 – 1 (Wm 40),
Females 15-19 – 1 (Jane 17),
40-49 – 1( Ann 43)

The Brimlows are well established in New York’s Lower East Side. On 7 Nov 1842, William is naturalized.4 In 1846, the business address changes to 16 James Slip, where it will remain for at least the next 10 years. William and Ann appear with youngest son John on the 1850 Federal Census in New York Ward 4.5 The family has moved to 59 Monroe Street and middle son William appears in the city directory at that address with his father and brother George as a clerk for the first time in 1851.

Ann died 10 Mar 1851 in New York City, and William purchased the large family plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery, Sec 2, Lot 168 on 11 Mar 1851. Ann was the first interment in the plot on 13 Mar 1851.6

About 1852, William married Deborah (Gedney) Woodhall (1817-16 Nov 1895),7 17 years his junior, she was the widow of Thomas Woodhall (1818-1850). She had three children from her previous marriage: Mary Elizabeth (Woodhall) Wines Jones; Josephine (Woodhall) Johnson, and Leander Byron Woodhall. Some of these children were enumerated as Brimlow at times. William and Deborah had three children together: Arthur W., Frederick Austin, and Ella Helen.

By 1855, the entire family had moved across the river to Brooklyn. The New York City directories reflected the business address at James Slip with a home listing of Brooklyn. At the age of 65, William still listed himself as employed in N.Y.8

William died on 6 February 1873 at his home, 75 Taylor Street, Brooklyn.9 He was laid to rest with Ann in Cypress Hills Cemetery on 8 Feb 1873.10 Deborah died 16 Nov 1895 in Brooklyn and was buried in Eleazor Gedney Burial Ground, Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York.11
Wm dc 1873

The next post will be about William and Ann in England, and the evidence related to Ann’s maiden name in the Wood versus Chaddock debate.



1. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry,” online images(accessed 20 May 2014), manifest, Ajax, 29 Nov 1832, William Broomelaw and family. Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
2. 1836 – (City Directories – New York – p.114, Fold3.com
3. 1840 U.S. census, New York Ward 4, New York, New York, p. 219, line 20, Wm Brimlow; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 30 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 300. Cit. Date: 30 Nov 2015.
4. Rec# 33, 7 Nov 1842, William Brimlow, English, Marine Court of New York City; digital images(accessed 20 May 2014). Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
5. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, New York, New York, p. 278A, dwelling 461, family 1694, William Brimlee; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 14 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 536. Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
6. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery interment #1254 – Ann Brimlow, 13 Mar 1851, Sec 2, Lot 168.
7. New York death certificate #19974, Deborah Brimlow, died 16 Nov 1895, 249 Broadway, 2nd floor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, age 70 (or 76)y 6 mo., apoplexy, buried 19 Nov 1895. Cit. Date: 15 May 2014.
8. 1865 NewYork State Census, Brooklyn Ward 13, Kings, New York, p. 21, dwelling 88, family 152, line 29, Wm Brimlow 65, Deborah Brimlow 49, Leander W. Brimlow 18, Mary Wines 25, Arthur Brimlow 12, Fredk Brimlow 10, Ella Brimlow 8; digital images(accessed 30 Nov 2015). Cit. Date: 30 Nov 2015.
9. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 27 Nov 2015), Certificate #1069, William Brimlow died 6 Feb 1873, age 73, Brooklyn, Kings, buried 8 Feb 1873 Cypress Hills Cemetery.
10. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, William Brimlow was interred 8 Feb 1873, in Sec 2, Lot 168.
11. New York death certificate #19974, Deborah Brimlow, died 16 Nov 1895, 249 Broadway, 2nd floor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, age 70 (or 76)y 6 mo., apoplexy, buried 19 Nov 1895. Cit. Date: 15 May 2014.

A Brimlow by Any Other Name

Brimlow/Brimalow/Broomelaw/Bromilow

Making the leap across the pond requires an understanding and acceptance of pronunciation and spelling. While the people who recorded the information were required to be able to read and write, they were not required to know how to spell. Spelling has been optional since the beginning of written records. Our names were really only hammered into some semblance of a final form when the federal government got involved. Many people believe that occurred with the advent of standardized birth records in the early 1900s and then solidified when Social Security came along. Once the government had your name spelled a certain way, then that’s the way it would always be unless you legally changed it.

But the spelling issue came much earlier for some people. Men who served in the military kept the name they enlisted under for government records – Henry and Robert Pickel both served in the Civil War under the name Pickel but after the war reverted to the original form of the name Bickel. They were not the first with the problem. The family story is that their great grandfather Tobias Bickel had served in the Revolutionary War but when he enlisted, his accent made the “B” sound like a “P” to company clerk, so he became Tobias Pickel on the records. Most of the Bickel/Pickel men used both spellings throughout their lives and I have found marriage records for one man under both names. I have seen brothers who each used a different spelling. John Pickel used Pickel throughout his life, while his brothers Henry and Robert started as Pickel but switched to Bickel after the war except when applying for their pensions and then they used Pickel again.

While it appears our ancestor’s name solidified to Brimlow (with just the usual spelling issues Bremlow/Bramlow/Brenlow/Brimbow) by about 1840 in New York, prior to that, it’s totally up for grabs and you have to be flexible in the investigation. According to the all-knowing website, The Internet Surname Database, the name Brimlow/Brimelow “…derive from the place called Bromlow in Shropshire: The place name has generated a number of variant surnames, as the bearers of the name moved to other areas and dialectal differences produced varying phonetic spellings, among them Bromilow, Brumloe, Brimelow and Bromblow. The original place name is recorded as “Bromlawe” in the 1255 Shropshire Hundred Rolls, and means “the broom-covered hill”, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century “brom”, broom, with “hlaw, hlaew”, low hill, mound. …The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Bromlowe, which was dated May 28th 1534, marriage to Helenora Marsh, at Church Pulverbath, Shropshire…”

The reason to bring up the name discussion here is as a forewarning of what is to come. You can expect to see a wide variety of records when we make that leap across the pond and the discussion of “what should his name really be” is always fun to have. Do you go with the name he used as an adult, or list him with the name that appears in the baptism register? An evolving name is the bane of every genealogist because the names may change several times within a generation. You also can’t trust his signature. As stated, names evolve.

For all of the above reasons, I’m going to break the posts on William Bromilow/Brimalow/Broomelaw/Brimlow into several pieces. I’ll begin with William and Ann Brimlow from the arrival of the family in New York through death, because you can’t make the leap across the pond without all the little bits and pieces you know about the family to begin with. Knowing who the children are is key to locating the family in England. The next post will be about locating them in England and pinning down the family. Somewhere along the way we have to talk about the towns and villages and the occupations. It’ll be a complete disaster as far as the order of things, but in the end, you’ll know everything I know and hopefully understand why I came to the conclusions I did. And if you think I’m wrong, send me your chart with sources, and I’ll give it a serious look. Lord knows, I’ve barked up a few wrong trees before.