Thomas = Hannah (Whitehead)
b 1829 b 1827-8
1871 census 1871 census
Ran Brind's tobacconists in Abingdon
See photo
d. 1876
Margaret Jane Sarah Robert Whitehead James Bridgman Kate Hannah? Thomas William Harry
b Harwich 1853 b Abingdon 1855 b Abingdon 1857 b Abingdon 1859 b 1861? b 1865 b 1866
= Stephen Thomas Bowey (1855-1880) =1879 = Jane Tarrant (1858-1936) =1889 = Sarah Habgood =1887 = Eliza Kate B Day (1867-1956 (89)) =1894 = Annie Elizabeth Palmer =1892
1871 census 1871 census 1871 census
1901 census
1871 census
1901 census
1871 census 1871 census 1871 census
1901 census
See possible link to Brind Gillingham and Co
d. 7/Dec/1912 (55)
See information from inquest

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1861 Census for St Helens, Abingdon
Name Age Link Job Place of birth
Thomas Brind



Stationer & Fancy Bazaar

E Garston, Berks

Hannah Brind





Margaret J Brind





Sarah Brind




Steventon, Berks

Robert W Brind




Abingdon, Berks

James Brind




Abingdon, Berks

Emily Brind




East Garston

Elisabeth Edney





Wife Hannah was born at Warwick in 1827/1828. From the birth of daughter Margaret J at Leamington it would seem likely that Thomas and Hannah were married in this area and later moved south. Robert is shown as having the initial W but family tradition records that his second name was Hedley. On the other hand there is some evidence that his second name was really Whitehead, his mother's maiden name.

Thomas's occupation of stationer and fancy bazaar is unusual and was probably an early version of W H Smith.

Family tradition recalls that Thomas and Hannah died in a plague in Oxford in the 1870s.

There is a Thomas Brind tobacconist of Oxford who went bankrupt in 1870.

Thomas's sister Emily was living with him at the time of the census (April 1861) but this was probably only a short stay as visitors were usually included thus. Hannah Whitehead, wife of Thomas Brind, born at Warwick, has the following parentage:--

Hannah daughter of Robert and Margaret Whitehead, bapt. 23 Nov, 1826, at Warwick Brook Street Chapel (formerly Cow Lane Independent Chapel).

The family being of the Methodist persuasion may make tracing more difficult as non-conformist records are not as complete as those of the Church of England. For the present, the following appear to be of the same family:--

Thomas Whitehead bapt. 30th Sept, 1824 at Warwick Brook St.

Eleanor Whitehead bapt. 14th Aug, 1812, at Birmingham St. Martin

James Bridgman Brind married Sarah Elizabeth Habgood at Inkpen, Berkshire, in 1885 and their early family were born in this area. The premature death of their eldest daughter is attested in the church yard at Inkpen. The following is to the east of the church:--

In loving memory of
Who died 14th November 1883
aged 75 years
"He giveth his beloved sleep"
also of
JANE his beloved wife
who died May 2nd 1886
Ida May Brind
their grandchild
who died October 31st, 1888
aged 5 months
"Be still and know that I am God"

James and Elizabeth later moved north to Boston, Lincolnshire, and their subsequent family were brought up there. Robert and the remainder of his generation stayed in the Abingdon area and it was William, the son of Harry, who began the Brind-Gillingham company which has, alas, now disappeared. The descendants of this branch remain in the area to this day.

The above is from a family history by the husband of one of the nieces of Peter Brind.

Brind's Tobacconists in my home town of Abingdon. Taken in early 1860s, as the Queen's Hotel was demolished in 1864. Costa now stands on the Queen's Hotel site with M&Co clothes where my relative Thomas Brind's (1829-76) shop stood. Posted by Alyson Slade on Facebook in July 2014. She added: I came across this photo by chance a few days ago whilst browsing through books of old photographs in a local bookshop. I was delighted to find it. I didn't think it would be possible to find out where Thomas's shop was, but to my surprise I've been in it many times!

I did a bit more digging into whether Robert Whitehead Brind is the one who co-owned Brind and Gillingham in Abingdon. It appears that he is and must be the Mr Brind in the photo I sent you recently. It's possible it was taken not very long before he died.

I ordered Robert's death certificate. He died on 7 December 1912 aged 55 at Challow Station, Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire near Wantage) having been hit by a train. I found that there are coroner's papers held at Berkshire Records Office on Robert so I ordered copies which I got today. I had to sign a copyright form to say I would not supply a copy to anyone else, otherwise I would send you copies for the Brind archives. However, anyone who would like to can order them from Berkshire RO, reference number COR/WT/1/38/20. Their email address is

The papers made for sad reading. The evidence of Robert's brother Harry (who identified his body) to the inquest held at Challow Station two days later confirmed that Robert was the director of Brind & Gillingham ironmongers. The death was recorded as a misadventure, as there wasn't any definitive evidence that Robert intended to take his own life, no witnesses to his death and there were no suspicious circumstances. On the basis of the witness evidence from Harry, others who saw Robert shortly before, and from railway workers, it does seem likely that Robert committed suicide, right underneath the railway bridge. Robert's only child, Geraldine, had died 18 months before at the family home. I got her death certificate as well. She died on 12 March 1911 at the age of 21 from pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumothorax and exhaustion. It's all so very sad.

Challow Station is half way between Wantage and Faringdon, and only a few miles from where I grew up, so I know it well. The railway line and the bridge are both still there but the station itself and its buildings are all long gone.

As I live in Abingdon very close to Robert's address, I'm aware that there is a large cemetery in the next road to his so I thought it's quite possible he's there. I want to look at Abingdon burial records soon to look for a number of relatives who are likely to be there, so I'll see if I can find any record of his burial.

Kind regards, Alyson Slade
May 5, 2016.