Sunday, February 17, 2013

James and Lydia Whybrew

JamesWhybrew 1819
This is a photo of James Whybrew, who was born in 1819 in Essex. It comes from the family history website of Rodney Jones, and it’s used with his permission. I’m fairly well convinced that James was the older half brother of David Whybrew through his father’s first marriage to Mary Webber.

LydiaStevens The James who appears in the photo was a brick layer who married Lydia Stevens in St John’s church, Lambeth, Surrey in 1845. His father’s name was also James Whybrew according to the marriage certificate. Lydia was the daughter of James Stevens and Rebecca and was born in 1822. That much is certain.

On the census records James Whybrew’s place of birth is given variously as Hornsey, Essex (1851), Great Horsley, Essex (1861), Bures, Essex (1871), Wallingford, Essex (1881) and Bermondsey in Surrey (1891). If we discount the 1891 entry (the family lived in Bermondsey) it’s clear that he was born in Essex.

Bures is on the Suffolk-Essex border and is the place where David Whybrew’s father James and Mary Webber married and had their son James baptised. There is a tiny hamlet named Horsely Cross in Essex, but it’s quite a way from Bures. I can’t find anywhere in Essex named Great Horsley or Wallingford. However there is a Great Horkesley not far from Bures, and Wormingford is also close by. I suspect that these place names have been mis-spelled on the census returns.

Map picture

The James of the photo became a master bricklayer. He and Lydia lived in Bermondsey, Southwark in Surrey until the 1860’s then moved to Croyden in Surrey. They had ten children:

David Whybrew, 29 January 1846 (died 19 February 1846)
George Whybrew, 24 January 1847
Rachel Whybrew, 9 December 1848
Joseph Silas Whybrew (twin), 5 October 1850
Mary Elizabeth Whybrew (twin), 5 October 1850 (died 26 May 1852)
Samuel Whybrew, 23/28 February 1852
Hephsibah ("Epsey") Whybrew, 25 September 1854
William Whybrew, 1 February 1856
Ellen Whybrew, 16 November 1858
Annie Whybrew, 7 January 1861
(The links will take you to Rodney Jones’ site where you can see more photographs of the family.)

James died in 1898 and Lydia in 1908.


  1. My 2 x great grandmother Louisa (Eliza) Whybrew b.1800 m. James Bailey.b 1800 in Colchester. I believe Louisa's brother John Whybrew was James Whybrew's father

  2. Thanks for your comment Susan, that's very interesting. It seems likely that they were related. James Whybrew senior lived in Bures St Mary, which is where I see Eliza Whybrew and James Bailey were married. Is there a story behind Eliza being known as Louisa?