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The Family of William Gillett of Brailes, Warwickshire, England, UK

Some genealogical information

William Gillett of Brailes

The Gilletts were a Quaker family from Upper Brailes, Warwickshire, originally sheep farmers who went into manufacturing (of Plush at Tusbrook Farm, Gillett's Lane) and banking.

Memories of Brailes by Alfred Woodward (1988) gives an account of the Gillett family:

'It is almost a century since the last Gillett lived at Brailes, but the Hill and Lane named after them ensures the Gillett's name will remain fresh in the minds of generations to come.'

Gilletts Hill is not, as commonly thought, the hill behind Tusbrook Farmhouse but part of Brailes Hill Farm. The current Gillett's Lane [older names are Leather Lane or Holly Walk] was named after William Gillett who worked in the first cottage as a woolcomber in about 1800 before moving to Tusbrook Farm in 1809. The original Gillett's Lane 'runs through the Poor Lands and on to the top of Brailes Hill, passing the field named Gillett's Hill on its left' (Woodward, 2006). In 1809 William Gillett was producing shag, hair shag, yarn, worsted, jersey, grey coating, and a rough coarse velvet. The plush weaving industry was booming. In 1790 there was fierce competition for oak timbers being removed from St Mary's Church, Banbury for conversion into home looms. By 1809 there were about 1000 weavers working in the Banbury area (Taylor, 1964).

William Gillett (1767-1849) and Hannah Ashby (1768-1828) from Sezincote, Oxfordshire were married in Stow-On-The-Wold on May 8 1792. Hannah was the daughter of Joseph Ashby (1734-1795) and Margaret Fardon (1732-1816) (See The Ashby's of Tysoe by Steve Milton).

Upper Brailes

Ancestry of William Gillett

  • William was the son of William Gillett (1737-1796) from Stourton and Mary Gibbs (1734-1808)
  • His father was Edward Gillett born 1701 of Kingham, Oxfordshire and Minehill, Brailes, Warwickshire, and Mary Tredwell (1700-1789), daughter of Alexander Tredwell, who married in 1727 at Sibford Gower
  • He was the son of Edward Gillett of Kingham and Sarah (dates unknown).
  • He was the son of Arthur Gillett (1632-1702/3)
  • His father was Edward Gillett (1593-1644) and Isabel Hawkins
  • He was the son of Arthur Gylett (1563-1615) and Agnes Lord
  • He was the son of Nicholas Gyllat of Kingham and Elizabeth - Nicholas' will is dated 1567

This information comes from a number of sources, including Burke's Landed Gentry.

William and Mary Gillett had a number of other children at Brailes including: John (b.1762), Samuel (b.1764), Elizabeth (b.1765), Ann (b.1772), and Thomas (b.1774).

Samuel (a shag weaver) married Ann and had Sarah (b.1795), William (b.1797), Francis (b.1797), Thomas (b.1800), Richard (1803-1838), and Edmund (1805-1877).

Samuel's son, Thomas (a hosier) married Elizabeth and had children including: George (b.1838) and Catherine (b.1841). Samuel's son, Richard married Lydia Smith (1806-1857) in Reading in 1831 and had children including: Ann (b.1834) and Sarah (b.1836). Lydia was born in Witney to Thomas (a hatter) and Hannah Smith and was Thackwell Smith's aunt ( see below). Samuel's son, Edmund married Hannah Henshaw in Headington in 1842 and had a son John Henshaw Gillett in 1844. Edmund was a grocer/butcher and they lived in Sheep Street, Shipston-on-Stour.

William Gillett's Descendants

William and Hannah had nine children, including:

  • A. Mary Gillett (1793-1833 )
  • B. Joseph Ashby Gillett (1795-1853)
  • C. William Gillett (1797-1851)
  • D. Sophia Gillett (1800-1800) - lived 8 days
  • E. John Gillett (1801-1868)
  • F. Edward Gillett (1803- )
  • G. Sophia Gillett (1803-1843), Edward's twin sister
  • H. Charles Gillett (1806-1824)
  • I. Jonathan Gillett (1808-1892)

A. William Gillett's daughter Mary (1793-1833) married James Sessions (1792-1860) in 1822. James lived at Charlbury and was a brewer and maltster. He was also an early customer of Gilletts Bank (Taylor, 1964 and see below). They had children including: Charles Ashby Sessions (1823-1891), William Henry Sessions (1824-1832), Maria Sessions (1827-1848), Joseph James Sessions (1828-1858), Robert Weston Sessions (1831-1890), and Edward Sessions (1832-1900). Mary's burial was conducted by John Gilkes (commonly mistaken for Gillett). Joseph James married Charlotte Fox {probably Charlotte Elizabeth Fox (b.1832) daughter of George Fox, banker and Rachel Collier? or much less likely a non-Quaker Elizabeth Coventry} in Croydon, Surrey in 1856 and possibly had children including: William Henry (b.1857) and Joseph James (b.1859) in Guildford. Robert Weston married Anne Price (1830-1917) in Axbridge in 1859 and had Maria Ann Sessions (1865-1934), Clara Lyttleton Sessions (1866-1942) {married Arthur Cooksley Richard Baker (1864-1939) and had children including Olive Clara Baker (b.1899, married David William Lloyd in 1930 and had sons) and Edith Marjorie Baker (b.1903, married Wynne Morgan in 1952)} and Robert Ashby Sessions (1870-1937).

B. Joseph Ashby Gillett (1795-1853).

C. William Gillett's son William (1797-1851) was living in Friday Street, London as early as 1820, helping to run his father's London textile business.

D. Sophia Gillett (1800-1800) - lived 8 days.

E. John Gillett (1801-1868)

F. William Gillett's son Edward (b.1803) married Ann Agnes Richardson (1808-1834) in Brentford, Middlesex in 1833 (although the registration county is given as Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire). Edward was described as a plush manufacturer, his abode as Christ Church, Surrey and his father as a Yeoman. Ann was the daughter of Thomas Richardson (a tinplate worker) and his wife Hannah. Ann died on 8th June 1834 and was buried in Long Lane. Her address was given as Nelson Square, Christ Church (Southwark).

G. William Gillett's daughter Sophia (1804-1843) married Joseph Fardon (1800-1877) in 1829 in Shipston-on-Stour (6 children, all died in infancy). Joseph was born in Reading and Sophia died there. Joseph then married Caroline Scuse (1796-1880) in September 1846. She was sister-in-law of John Gillett and maternal aunt of Eliza Walter and Marianna Smith. In 1871 Joseph and Caroline lived at 4, Columbia Place, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (now 112-122 Winchcombe Street). Joseph was described as a retired Druggist. Staying with them was Mary Fardon (1808-1890) his sister-in-law who died in Reading. When Caroline died her trustees were Marianna's husband Thackwell Smith and Charles Gillett, her husband's nephew by his first wife.

I. William Gillett's son Jonathan (1808-1892) married Ann Rutter Padbury and had children including John Padbury Gillett (1853-1921) {probably married Mary Catherine Gillett, daughter of Charles and Gertrude in 1887} Jonathan Ashby Gillett (1854-1895) and Anna Sophia Gillett (1855-1899) {married Joseph Bevan Braithwaite (1855-1934) son of Joseph and Martha in Banbury in 1881}.

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