The Burnell family of Somerset, London and Cambridgeshire

Since my research began in 1996, the Burnell family had proved to be an elusive bunch. However, with thanks from the internet, advances in 2003 finally saw me down in London and standing outside the very house that my Gt. Gt. Grandparents, George Burnell and Mary Ann Barker, lived and worked in at the time of their marriage.

Tracing Mary Ann, George's wife, had taken up most of my effort but it wasn't until a breakthrough whilst using the internet that I could finally track down the marriage certificate number of George and Mary Ann in Marylebone in 1880. Marylebone, at that time, was part of Middlesex but it is now part of North West London today. Using this certificate reference and being prompted by fellow Burnell researcher - Nikki Burnell, I requested a copy of the certificate online from www.statistics.gov.uk.

46 Abbey Road, St. John's Wood, London

The certificate arrived to reveal the date and place of their marriage and the place where George and Mary Ann were living at the time of their marriage. Both were servants at 46 Abbey Road, London (a certain 1960's pop band made this road one of the most famous known roads in the world). George's father is noted as "Samuel Burnell (deceased)" whereas Mary Ann's father is noted (as expected) as "William Barker (carpenter)". The church that the couple were married in was "All Saint's Church" in St. John's Wood, Marylebone.

In August 2003, I made my way down to St. John's Wood to investigate and pay a visit to Abbey Road. I was able to find the front door of 46 Abbey Road, where George and Mary Ann lived and worked.

The birth certificate for my Great Grandmother, Daisy Burnell, revealed that she was born around the corner from Abbey Road in the Stables of Albercorn Lodge in Albercorn Place. I hope to track down some information about the history of this 'lodge'.

I had been led to Middlesex by the 1901 Census entries for Mary Ann and her Burnell family (although, by this time she had married James Smith of Littleport, Cambridgeshire). The census entries gave me the place of birth for each child so it then became clear that the family had travelled. It also shows that my Gt. Grandmother and her older sister were working for the major employer "Hope Brothers" a shirt factory that eventually became owned by the Burbery company. The last Burnell child born was Florence Ellen Burnell in 1891 but she was born AFTER her father's death in 1891. By the time of her baptism, Mary Ann had taken the family to Littleport (where Florence was baptised, along with older sibling William). William's entry on the 1901 census showed that he had been born in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. So it is here that my next line of research took me. Nikki Burnell came up trumps again with information on the certificate number for George's untimely end at the age of 40 and so a quick click on the website www.col.statistics.gov.uk will provide me with the certificate.

The Burnell family continues to expand with information that my Gt. Gt. Grandfather - George Burnell and his family were living as publicans of The Royal Oak Inn, Dunstable, Bedfordshire during 1891, up until George's death in the June quarter. A fellow researcher provided this information along with the news that Kilburn, London, was the birthplace of my Gt. Grandmother and her siblings. This all fits in well (supported by information found on www.freebmd.org.uk), with St. John's Wood not far away (where her parents married). George and family then appear in Dunstable for the 1891 census and it is here that it shows the children's birthplace, it confirms Mary's birthplace as Barkway, Hertfordshire (which i knew already) and reveals that George was born in Somerset. The information also gives another daughter to the Burnell family - Beatrice Annie Burnell - born in 1880/1881. Quite what happens to Beatrice after this date, i really dont know as there doesnt appear to be any further reference to her. By 1901, she has departed the family, although admittedly she might have married.

In 2004 a combination of luck and internet scoops via Rootschat.com's Somerset boards allowed me to dip into the records of Somerset researchers and provided me with important information regarding George - his parents and his siblings, alive and well (okay, dead and well documented!) in Coombe Florey, Somerset. Kind researchers provided me with information without my asking and it wasnt long before i was able to order George's birth certificate, reveal the identity of his mother (Mary Babbidge), his place and date of birth... and then link it into the 1851 census for the village.

Continuing further in 2005, more internet information courtesy of Rootschat.com's boards led me to information on George Burnell's grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. Further information on this branch can be found below in the downloadable .pdf file.

Further Information