The Trayhurns were well known in Thornbury as being a family of butchers in the 20th Century. The surname is found in Thornbury parish records as far back as the late sixteenth century, although the spelling varied greatly.
In the late 18th and 19th Centuries, the Trayhurns in Thornbury were primarily tailors. During that period the surname had become, Trayhern, Trayherne, Trayhurn or Trayhurne. We have simplified our summary of the family history by using the name of Trayhurn.
This page of the website covers the family of Thomas Trayhurn, born on 30th May 1765 and baptised on 24th July 1771. He was the son of William Trayhurn and his wife Hester (nee Burrows).
Thomas married Susannah Pitt in Thornbury on 7th August 1791. They had at least seven children: Joseph born on 9th March 1792 and baptised on 20th May 1792, Esther born on 7th June 1793 and baptised on 21st July 1793, Anne born on 6th February 1796 and baptised on 20th March 1796, Susanna born on 26th January 1797 and baptised on 16th April 1797, Thomas born on 3rd May 1799 and baptised on 19th June 1799, William born on 9th October 1801 and baptised on 11th November 1801 and Richard born on 14th July 1804 and baptised on 29th August 1804.
The Feoffees Accounts show that Thomas was paying rent on a property now known as 19 High Street from 1798 onwards. He may have been there earlier but there is long gap in the account records we have seen. The rent on the property was £3 per annum.
Thomas’s wife, Susanna died aged 38 and was buried on 22nd November 1805. Thomas married again. He married Ann Welsh on 28th December 1807. They had a son, Edward, born on 18th December 1809 and baptised on 5th February 1809, a daughter, Mary, born on 12th October 1810 and baptised on 2nd December 1810, another son, William, baptised on 18th August 1816 and Jane baptised on 13th August 1820. Ann died aged 48 and was buried on 22nd April 1817. The baptism records show that Thomas was a tailor, like his father.
Thomas continued to live at 19 High Street until his death. He is listed as one of the occupants of the property in the 1840 Tithe Survey. This shows the property was shared by Thomas and Sarah Barnett. The 1841 census shows that Thomas was the parish clerk. He was living there with his son, Joseph who was a tailor aged 45 daughter Susanna aged about 40 and his widowed daughter Ann Britt, a seamstress aged 45. Thomas Trayhurn died on 5th May 1847 aged 82. The monumental inscription on his grave mentions he was ‘clerk of this Church’.
Of Thomas’s children:
Joseph – born on 9th March 1792 and baptised on 20th May 1792. Joseph became a tailor and never married. He was living with his father at 19 High Street at the time of the 1841 census. Following the death of his father in 1847, Joseph moved to live at 12 Pullins Green with his sister, Ann (Britt) and her daughter, Hester and her husband John Thatcher. Joseph was buried on 7th January 1857 aged 65.
Esther (or Hester) – born on 7th June 1793 and baptised on 21st July 1793. On 3rd November 1832 Hester married William Hurd in Thornbury. Her married sister Ann Britt was one of the witnesses at the wedding. William Hurd was the son of James Hurd a carpenter from Slimbridge and his wife Susannah, a seamstress. He was born on 9th September 1810 in North Nibley.
William and Hester’s first child Jane was baptised on the same day that the couple married. Their address then was Grovesend, near Thornbury. On July 5th 1854 their daughter Jane died and was buried at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury. At various times the tailor William and Hester Hurd lived in many different houses in Thornbury both in Castle Street and in the High Street. Hester died May 5th 1866 aged 72. In 1867 William married again and from about 1869 through to his death in 1880 William lived in the house at 24 Castle Street which was owned by Hester’s sister, Jane, who had married Francis Driscoll. Read more about William and Hester
Anne – born on 6th February 1796 and baptised on 20th March 1796. Although we have not yet traced the marriage we believe Ann married William Britt. They had a daughter Hester Britt baptised on 6th June 1824 when it was noted that William was a labourer and they were living at Grovesend. We assume that they may have had another child, as there is the burial on 15th June 1824 of a William Britt aged 1 year 6 months who was living in Grovesend.
In the 1841 census Anne was living with her father and two other siblings at 19 High Street. We assume that William had died earlier. Following the death of her father in 1847, Ann moved with her brother Joseph, to live at 12 Pullins Green with her married daughter, Hester. Hester had married John Thatcher in St Augustines Church, Bristol on 13th October 1845. John was a cordwainer from Minehead. In the 1851 census Ann was described as a pauper (formerly a tailoress) so it seems that even she took up the Trayhurn tradition of tailoring. Ann was still living in the same house with her daughter and her family in the 1861 census. She died aged 69 and was buried on 7th February 1864.
Susannah – born on 26th January 1797 and baptised on 16th April 1797. Susannah never married. The 1841 census shows that she was living with her father and two of her siblings in 19 High Street. Her father died in 1847 and this may have prompted her to find a suitable position and place to live. At the time of the 1851 census she was working as a housekeeper at 14 Castle Street, then known as the ‘Savings Bank’. She continued in that capacity at the Savings Bank until she died in 1872 aged 81. Mysteriously her age reported in the census never quite been accurate; she was noted as being 40 in 1851, 64 in 1861 and 80 in 1871. She was buried on 24th March 1872.
Richard – born on 14th July 1804 and baptised on 29th August 1804. Service records held in the National Archives show a Richard Trayhurn who was born in Thornbury and served in the 96th Foot Regiment. He appeared to serve between 1824 and 1848 and was discharged aged 41. This might be Thomas’s son as we can find no other reference to him.
Edward – born on 18th December 1809 and baptised on 5th February 1809. On 22nd June 1835 Edward married Eliza Birt in Thornbury. Eliza was born on 27th August 1808. She was the daughter of Joseph Birt and his wife.
Edward became a tailor. He and Eliza had several children: Elizabeth Mary baptised on 6th August 1837, Mary Anne baptised on 24th November 1839 and she died aged 5 months and was buried on 10th March 1840, William baptised on 2nd January 1842 and died aged 1 year 6 months and was buried on 17th May 1843, Mary Anne baptised on 11th August 1844, Thomas baptised on 23rd April 1848 and he died aged 13 and was buried on 30th June 1861 and Susanna baptised on 15th September 1850 and she died aged 6 months and was buried on 26th January 1851.
Edward and his family lived in several houses in Thornbury: in the 1841 census they were with their daughter, Elizabeth aged 4, at 28 Castle Street and in the 1851 census they were living in one of the three houses in Crispin Lane. According to the 1859 Rate Book Edward was living in one of the two small cottages at the bottom of Gillingstool Hill. By the time of the 1861 census he and Eliza were living in St Mary Street with children: Mary Ann, a dressmaker aged 16 and Thomas aged 13. Edward was still a tailor and Eliza was a tailoress. We are not sure which house they were living in, but they were possibly sharing 13 St Mary Street with James Gough and his family. Eliza died aged 54 and was buried on 20th February 1863.
Edward married again on 15th May 1864. His second wife was Mary Ann Niblett. She was born in 1817, the daughter of John Niblett a glazier and his wife, Mary (nee Stinchcombe). We are not sure what happened to Mary Ann. FreeBMDs has a burial of someone of the right name and age in 1868, but that burial was registered in Kensington, London.
The 1871 census shows Edward as a widower living in the house next door to The Plough in St Mary Street. Edward died aged 72 and was buried on 24th June 1880. Click here to read more
Mary – born on 12th October 1810 and baptised on 2nd December 1810. We don’t know much about Mary. In the 1851 she was listed as an unmarried servant (out of place) aged 35 visiting Mary’s sister, Hester, and her husband William Hurd and their daughter Jane at 47 High Street.
William – baptised on 18th August 1816. William married Ann Hurd on 22nd November 1840. Ann was the daughter of James Hurd a carpenter. It would appear therefore that Ann was the sister of William Hurd who had married William’s sister, Hester Trayurn, in 1832 (see above).
The 1841 Census shows that William and Ann Trayhurn were living at 36 Castle Street and that both were aged about 20. William was a tailor. William and Ann’s son Thomas Trayhurn was baptised 28th November 1841 at Thornbury. We have no further definite record of any of these three people.
Jane – baptised in Thornbury on 13th August 1820. We don’t know anything about Jane’s earlier life. We think she might be listed in the 1861 census as ‘Jane Treherne’ who was born in Thornbury in 1820. This Jane was an unmarried nurse aged 41 , one of a large group of servants working for a banker, William Harford, in Lawrence Weston.
We believe that Jane was the same person listed as Jane “Trayherne” who married Francis Driscoll in Athlone, Ireland in 1866. We can’t explain what Jane was doing in Ireland. Francis was born about 1827 in Kilrush in County Clare and was a soldier. The details shown on his marriage certificate show that he was the son of James Driscoll, a labourer and Francis had previously served as a private in 5th Fusiliers. By the time of the 1869 Rate Book, Jane and Francis settled to live in 26 Castle Street, Thornbury.
The 1871 census shows Francis and Jane Driscoll were still living there. Francis was described as a pensioner aged 43 and Jane was aged 50. The 1876 Rate Book shows that Francis Driscoll owned the two houses, 24 and 26 Castle Street. He may have acquired the houses earlier. Although Francis’s name is listed in the rate books it seems likely that it was Jane who was the legal owner as her name is mentioned in the abstract of title for the two properties which was written following her death on 13th February 1881 aged 62. We do not know how Jane came to acquire the house. She took out a mortgage of £100 from Francis Gayner and another loan of £120.
Jane Driscoll made her will on 24th November 1880. She and Francis had no children so she left her property to Francis Sturge of Bristol “in trust to pay the rents and incomes to her husband, Francis Driscoll, during his life and from after his decease in trust for Mary Thatcher. Mary was the daughter of John and Hester Thatcher and grand-daughter of Jane’s sister, Anne (see above). The 1881 census shows that Mary Thatcher lived in St John Street.
Francis married again – his second wife was a widow, Elizabeth Harris – they moved to live at 7 St John Street – click here to read about them
George – we have found no birth or baptism record for George which is a little worrying. We had initially assumed that George was the son of John Trayhurn and his wife, Hester (nee Rice) as their George was baptised in Thornbury in 1819. However when George died in Australia in 1875 aged 56, the burial record notes his father was Thomas Trayhurn. George got into trouble when, along with Joseph Birt, also of Thornbury, he was convicted of stealing sheep at the Gloucester Assizes of 5th August 1835. He was sent from Gloucester on 1st September 1835 to Woolwich. He was imprisoned in the prison hulk Justitia on the Thames. He sailed with 269 other convicts on 11th February 1836 aboard the Strathsfieldsaye to New South Wales (presumably Botany Bay). He arrived there on 11th October.
The Australian descendents of George doubt the accuracy of the father’s name shown on the death certificate (which was provided by George’s second wife), and they favour the idea that he was the son of John and Hester. Click here to read about George’s interesting life in Australia