Joseph Green family Birmingham DBHome Family History Green Family

See also the ancenstral tree posted on exetersystems by Jeff Green

Joseph Rudolph Green was the paternal grandfather of my late wife Joan Mavis Green. He was the son of Joseph Green and his wife Mary Ann Newton, born 8 September 1867 at the back of 15 Brewery Street, Duddeston, Aston, Warwickshire, just a little to the north of the city centre of present day Birmingham. They emigrated to Victoria in 1880 and lived mainly in Richmond where the home of his son Joseph Rudolph Green and his wife Johanna Barry was well known to descendants up to the post war period when their daughter Jean still lived there. The older couple Joseph and Mary Ann lived from the early 1900s to the 1920s in the old bush house now owned by the family trust at Britannia Creek, Wesburn, Victoria; that was after some initial years in the Richmond area of Melbourne during part of which Joseph was a publican although he had also worked in his original trade of glass blower. They are buried in the Box Hill Cemetery: Joseph's cemetery record gives the life span of 1845-1928 and Mary Ann's 1847-1926.

As starting points for tracing the family in Birmingham we had some years ago obtained the birth certificate of Joseph Rudolph Green giving the information above with his father's occupation of glass blower. We also had the marriage certificate of Joseph and Mary Ann who were married at St Peter and St Paul, Aston, 21 April 1867. Joseph was described in it as a glass blower and his father was named as Joseph Green, carpenter. Mary Ann's father was John Newton, glass cutter. The witnesses were John Newton (his X mark) and Maria Newton. Doing some research in the Birmingham Central Library recently gave me the opportunity to use census records and old parish registers which are not available elsewhere. Although more can still be done from widely available sources in the British central system of registering births deaths and marriages which begin in 1837, now at the Family Record Centre, Myddleton St., Finsbury, London, with fiche copies of the indexes are available at many places, we needed some local information to make good use of those more readily available sources. The difficulty has been that Joseph Green is a very common name, especially in metropolitan Birmingham, and even Joseph son of Joseph occurs too often to provide useful clues from an index such as the IGI until it can be combined with more specific information. As far as the IGI is concerned, it covers all of the parishes in the old central city of Birmingham but not all of Aston and neighbouring suburbs which developed large populations in the nineteenth century.

First I sought the baptism of Joseph Rudolph in the parish where his parents were married. There were children of Joseph and Lousia Green named Charles, b 11 Oct 1867, Louisa, b. 26 Nov 1868, and Ann, b. 23 Feb 1871, but I did not find our Joseph Rudolph son of Joseph and Mary Ann, so we probably need to look in another parish. Looking back to the period in which Joseph the father might have been born within the bounds of the same parish between 1840 and 1847 I found nine other Green baptisms but not Joseph son of Joseph, although there were two Josephs, sons of Thomas and Elizabeth, and Thomas and Ann Green. Brewery Street however was listed in the 1871 census as being in the ecclesiastical parish of St Lawrence and in 1861 and 1851 in the parish of St Matthew, Duddeston, so I decided to try the censuses to see if I could find a list of family members beginning with 1871, because we had an address for 1867, and I wondered if the young couple might still be living at 15 Brewery St and their parents might be nearby. They were no longer there: the back of the house was occupied by William and Eliza Field, and the front by Henry Aston and his family. (I note these other names in case they might be useful later in having some association with the family.) Nor were there any Greens living elsewhere in Brewery Street, although I can see now that I should have searched a little wider in other streets. The next step was to the 1861 census in the hope of finding Joseph as a young person in the home of his father, who was Joseph the carpenter according to the marriage certificate. In the listing of households in the census of 1861, Brewery Street was sometimes associated with Heneage Street, for reasons I don't fully understand, and I was lucky enough to notice in Court 30 No.2 after 240 Heneage Street, Aston, the household of Sarah Green as follows:-

Sarah Green, Head, Widow, aged 47, Flint Glass Rougher, born Warwickshire, Aston Parish.
John Green, Son, Unmarried, 19, Engineer, b. Warwickshire, Aston Parish.
Joseph Green, Son, Unmarried, 15, Glass Blower, b. Warwickshire, Aston Parish.
Thomas Green, Son, , 10, Scholar, b. Warwickshire, Aston Parish.
Sarah Green, Daughter, , 8, Scholar, b. Warwickshire, Aston Parish.
This appears to be the family without Joseph the carpenter, but including Joseph the glass blower at the right age of 15 to fit with the information we had already about his age. Sarah, it seemed to me at first, must have been the widow of Joseph the carpenter, and she might well have been, but these things are often not as simple as they appear. It was good also to see the names of some siblings we did not know about before. When I went back 10 years to the 1851 census I did find most of the same people, this time including Joseph the carpenter, but not in the marriage that I had expected. At 8 Heneage Street, Aston, I was surprised to find the following household:-

Sarah Brabson, Head, Wid., 39, Glass Rougher, b. Warwickshire, Birmingham.
John Brabson, Son, U, 10, At home, b. War., Birmingham.
Joseph Brabson, Son, U, 6, Scholar, b. War., Birmingham.
George Brabson, Son, U, 3, At home, b. War., Birmingham.
Thomas Brabson, Son, U, 7 months, At home, b. War., Birmingham.
Joseph Green, Lodger, U, 40, Carpenter, born in Warwickshire at Leamington.

So they were not yet married, if ever. Was our Joseph the glass blower not as claimed the natural son of Joseph the carpenter but of an unknown Mr. Brabson? Do we look for his birth under the name Brabson? Did the lodger and landlady marry later and then call the children by his surname. Were they already sleeping together, and if they were how long ago did that relationship begin? Which, if any, of the children might be his. How could we know? First, a diversion regarding the places of birth: Aston parish was separate from the original parish of Birmingham in medieval times and counted as a different town when these parishes were divided into several parishes each, but Aston came later to be spoken of as part of Birmingham even if they are strictly speaking different administrative units within the Shire of Warwick. The places of birth given above in the 1861 and 1851 censuses are the same. But now we have something new in the place of birth for Joseph the carpenter which takes us out of the Birmingham metropolitan area to a town over 20 miles to the south east, just beyond the county town of Warwick. So although there were many Joseph Greens in Birmingham, including Aston, for some generations back, it seems that our line comes from elsewhere, but only if Joseph Green, the carpenter, was more than a lodger in the household of Sarah Brabson. That he was indeed is seen in the baptismal register of St Matthew's, Duddeston, where find:

Joseph son of Joseph and Sarah Green, Heneage St., father's occupation carpenter, baptized 19 October 1846. [No. 338, page 43]

At this point Sarah, otherwise known as Sarah Brabson, was happy to be known as Sarah Green, and both Sarah and Joseph must have acknowledged that young Joseph was their son. The date is a little later than expected, but the birth could still have been in 1845. Delayed baptism appeared for later children of the same couple:-

George son of Joseph and Sarah Green, born 5 Oct, 1845 (? perhaps 1848), baptized 12 January 1851, parents abode 167 Gt Francis St, occupation Carpenter
Sarah daughter of Joseph and Sarah Green, born 3 Oct 1842, baptized 12 January 1851, parents abode 167 Gt Francis St, occupation Carpenter [Nos 783 & 784, p. 97]

In both of these cases, only a few months before 1851 census Sarah was named Sarah Green. She must have had a reason shortly afterwards for giving herself and the children the name of Brabson in the census. That reason if we could know it should make sense also of her taking the name Green again in 1861. There is one point of consistency: in both of the censuses of 1851 and 1861 Sarah was listed as head of household, and that could have been important to her for economic reasons. She would not have been so listed if she had identified herself as the wife of Joseph, and if she was not legally his wife she might have been constrained in making that identification in any case, whereas at the church it might have been more important to record correctly the parents of the children. Even when people were not married the names of both parents with different surnames are sometimes found in the old church registers and it seems that at least some ministers recorded this information if it was available to them. For purposes of genealogy the names of the natural parents is the fact of greatest value, but there are questions remaining about the parentage of the some of the children and about Sarah's marriage history and family of origin.

The latter child Sarah is a bit of a mystery, as is the fact the above two baptism in January 1851 appear to have been after the birth of another child Thomas who was 7 months old at the time of the 1851 census, which I think was in April of that year. (And we should note also that we have a different address at this time from those before and after.) The birth date for this Sarah puts her between the older brother John and our Joseph in spacing that is quite believable as there would otherwise have been a four year gap, but why should she have been baptized at this late time, when about 8 years of age? Perhaps they feared that she was dying: and perhaps she did die, for a younger Sarah seems from the census 10 years later to have been born in 1852 or 53. I did not have time to check the burial register. I found no other baptisms for children of Sarah between beginning of the register in November 1840 and the end of 1854, so John was baptized elsewhere or not at all, and the younger children, Thomas and the second Sarah, either elsewhere or later, if at all. Perhaps John was from the Brabson marriage of Sarah the mother. The first Sarah child could be from either relationship, and it is a fair inference that the relationship of Sarah Brabson with Joseph Green the carpenter lasted from some time before Joseph was born at least until after the second Sarah was conceived. My guess is that Joseph was the first child of the relationship between Joseph Green the carpenter and Sarah Brabson who was a widow at least by 1851 and perhaps sooner. The traditional family name Joseph conferred from the father on the son is likely to be given to a man's first born son. It is true nevertheless that care seemed to be taken in other cases I have know at around that time to baptize boys while girls might be overlooked for a time and so the first Sarah might have been affected in that way. Whether the parents married after 1851 and whether Joseph the carpenter died before the 1861 census or they separated at some point in that decade are questions for further investigation. Sarah was listed as a widow in both censuses but we don't know whether she was once or twice widowed. Much more could be learned from the official registrations of births, marriages and deaths from 1837, for which copies of the quarterly indexes are available in Melbourne and other major cities, while certificates can be ordered from abroad, now that we know where to look with more precision than previously.

I should report also that in the same parish as the above I found the baptism of Mary Ann Newton the future wife of Joseph Green the glass blower.

Mary Ann daughter of John and Mary Ann Newton of 93 Coleman St., father a glass cutter, born 21 March 1847, baptized 19 Feb 1849 [No. 502, page 63]

At home I think I have her birth certificate agreeing with this record and also the marriage certificate of the parents, John Titus Newton who married Mary Ann Wright on 25 July 1842 at St Philips, Birmingham.

So where are we and where do we go from here? First there are details to fill in and check from the official registrations which could answer some of the remaining questions, but the identification of Joseph the carpenter from Leamington (known on present day maps as Leamington Spa) and Sarah Brabson the widow as the parents of Joseph the glass blower should be quite secure, and it should be possible now to move back one more generation in the history of the family who came to Melbourne. On the distaff side, it would be good to discover Sarah's maiden name and family of origin as well as when her Brabson marriage began and ended. It may be that Joseph her son was registered as Joseph Brabson because she was not married to his father and that may be why we have not found his birth before this. There is much to investigate surrounding the findings of my recent research, but perhaps the more interesting question for people with the Green surname is to trace the paternal line back from the birth of Joseph the carpenter at Leamington Spa, and I have some suggestions in that regard. The relevant records for Leamington, being before 1837, would be the old parish registers at the Warwickshire County Record Office at Warwick, and I think others from several other parishes outside of Birmingham might also be searched with profit, for reasons which follow from combining the Leamington birth with another pointer to the Green family background.

We have one other piece of documentary evidence on the background of the family which emigrated. A bible has been handed down which is inscribed,"June 7th, 1880 [?year in date damaged].Presented to Joseph Green by his Uncle Henry Manton on the occasion of his leaving England for Australia with the strong hope that he will read, study and benefit everlastingly from the blessed truths to be found herein". [Although the year of the inscription is uncertain, shipping records show the arrival of Joseph senior in Victoria on the Lusitania in July 1879 and his wife Mary Ann and child Joseph on the Potosi in July 1880. The month July could be the month when the passenger lists were made up, which could have been at the beginning of the voyage. DB 29/11/06]. We can assume that the bible was given to young Joseph Rudolph, then aged 12 years, rather than Joseph his father. This information could be valuable in providing us with another way of telling one Joseph Green from another, by seeing a relationship to a Henry Manton which makes sense of the inscription. I have searched quite extensively before this for a marriage which might identify an uncle Henry who married perhaps a sister of either Joseph Green or Mary Ann Newton or perhaps an earlier generation older cousin who could have been called uncle as first cousins of parents, for example, often are. I did not find any which appeared likely to be in the immediate family of either Joseph or Mary Ann, but until I found the census records recently I did not actually know the names of their sisters. It is just possible that Joseph's sister Sarah listed above could have a married man of that name, and Mary Ann had a sister named Emma Jane as I found in the following census record, and she might have had such a marriage with a husband young Joseph would have called Uncle Henry, although one might wonder whether a man of an older generation than his parents might have been more likely to adopt the paternalistic tone of Henry Manton's inscription. In any case it is interesting to see the family from which Mary Ann came and to reflect on the fact that although they had only the one child, Joseph Rudolph, both she and Joseph had come from larger families which must have given them quite a wide family circle with whom they could have kept in touch, but I don't know of any contact which was still maintained within the lifetime of the current generation. The Newton household was listed as follows in the 1851 census:

Coleman Street, Duddeston, parish of St Matthew, after number 94, 12 Court 2 House,
John Newton, Head, Mar, 30, Glass cutter, b. War., Birmingham
Mary Ann Newton, Wife, Mar, 27, , b. War., Birmingham
John Newton, Son, 8, Scholar, b. War., Birmingham
Emma Jane Newton, Dau., 6, Scholar, b. War., Birmingham
Mary Ann Newton, Dau., 4, - , b. War., Birmingham
Thomas Newton, Son, 1, - , b. War., Birmingham

The only Green-Manton marriage I have found so far is rather remote, but not an impossible source of a courtesy title of "Uncle" in relation to young Joseph. Now that we know that his grandfather Joseph the carpenter was born at Leamington Spa the remote source becomes more likely because it fits with a picture of the Green ancestors moving west from Northampton into the south-eastern region of Warwickshire and then further north-west to the growing industrial centre of Birmingham. These places were all within a few days walk in the way people then traveled.

The marriage in question is in the IGI as:-

Henry Manton married Mary Green, 5 November 1799, at Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

This and all of the following have to be checked out in the original records and there are several gaps to fill, but the common point of origin seems to be the marriage of Mary Green's likely parents at Northampton in 1779:

Joseph Green married Mary Griggs, 18 July 1779, at Great Houghton, Northampton,

and Mary's likely birth is indicated in the baptism of,

Mary Green, 17 September 1779, at Northampton, Father: Joseph Green, Mother: Mary Griggs.

We need to find a son of the same Joseph and Mary, who would be Mary's brother, and the likely father of Joseph the carpenter, and we need to find a son or grandson of Mary named Henry Manton. The best candidate is for the brother born within a few years of the marriage of 1779, who could have been the father of Joseph the carpenter born about 1810, is the following,

Joseph Green son of Joseph and Mary, baptized 14 June 1784, at Harbury, Warwickshire.

Harbury is a village about 4 miles SE of Leamington Spa, and Kenilworth where Henry Manton and Mary Green were married is about the same distance north of that town. So Joseph the carpenter was born within an hour or two's walking distance from the likely locations of his father's birth and his aunt's later marriage. We have to assume, if they came from Northampton, that the parents of this brother and sister moved about 20 miles east of Northampton after their daughter Mary was born and before the son Joseph arrived.

I have not found the birth of Mary's son Henry Manton, but there is a marriage that could be his at Kenilworth in 1840:

Henry Manton married Hannah Gaydon 5 April 1840 at Kenilworth and they had a son Henry baptized there 14 February 1847. (Henry Mantons are nearly as common as Joseph Greens, so there are other possibilities.) The father of this child would have been about the same age as Joseph the carpenter would surely have known him well if they were first cousins living in the same area, and the son would have been close to the age of Joseph the glass blower. It would be helpful to know whether these Henry Mantons moved to Birmingham shortly after Joseph the carpenter. None of this is established; all we know definitely is that Joseph the carpenter was born at Leamington Spa and that the IGI contains some possible references to events which might make sense of Henry Manton's inscription in the bible he gave to young Joseph when they left Birmingham. If the theory is confirmed it points to Northampton as the place of origin of the Green family in the mid 1700s and probably for some generations earlier.

DB 21 August 2004 with a minor addition 29 November 2006.

DBHome Family History Green Family

See also the ancenstral tree posted on exetersystems by Jeff Green