Peter Turner

The Great War Project

This year (2014) is obviously 100 years since the start of what some people call World War One (WW1) but is officially termed “The Great War”. It was called the Great War because  this type and scale of utter and total devastation had never been seen before and indeed not since.

It changed the way we fought wars, lived our peace, and thought about each other. When the war started people said “It would all be over before Christmas” and joined up, as in previous wars, in groups of friends, brothers, father and sons, workers from the same estate and even football teams.  Just as they fought side by side, unfortunately they also died side by side, Mown down by the new terror weapons, machine guns.

Men (and women) from our village did what happened in every village throughout the land they joined up in ignorance of what was to come. Most families lost sons or relatives.

It is my personal aim is to record all those who went to war from Brown Edge and to tell their story.  We have two starting points for this research, the record of those who didn’t come back (the war memorials) and the photograph given to me by Dennis Mosedale which is now widely copied around the village.

Brown Edge Great War Injured

Clicking on this picture will take you to a page that will enable you to look closely at the picture and add any information that you know about anyone you recognise.

Brown Edge Soldiers who served to the end of the War

Clicking on this picture will take you to a page that will enable you to look closely at the picture and add any information that you know about anyone you recognise.

Great War Brown Edge Memorial

Clicking on this picture will take you to a page that will enable you to look closely at the picture and add any information that you know about anyone you recognise.

I simply cannot do this research on my own and will require assistance from the older members of our community.

Firstname Surname Link
Edward Adams Link
George Bailey
Edgar Basnett
John Booth
Arthur Bourne
William Bowyer
Isiah Ford
James Frost Link
Joseph Goodwin
Fred Gunn Link
Samuel Hall
Thomas Hall
Samuel Hancock
Joseph Hancock





Nixons of Brown Edge and beyond

The Nixon Family

During my exploration of Brown Edge families and how we all seem to be related, I came across an interesting article about one of the Quaker founders of America who are directly related to the Nixons of Brown Edge.

This discovery came about when I was tracing the Nixon family. Most of you will remember Clarence Nixon the joiner from the Rocks, who I remember well, making and fitting the large wooden doors at the front of Turners Bus Garage. Incidentally they are still there and now must be 50 years old.

My interest in the Nixons was due to the fact that Clarence was married to Lucy Turner, Great Granddaughter of James Turner (my Great Great Grandfather).

Anyway tracing the Nixons back was relatively easy, as they were all local. Clarence’s (and Maurice his brother from whom Philip and Brian descend) Father was Robert born in Biddulph in 1889.

Roberts father was Luke Nixon who married into the Biddulph family, back another couple of generations untill you get to a Thomas marrying an Olive Bailey born 1793 who passed away aged 89 and was buried in Horton.  We can’t go any further back with the Nixons but I went another generation with Olive and noticed her mother was a Farnsworth who died in Pensylvania. Which I thought was worth a bit of digging around.

Her father was a Adonijah Farnsworth born in 1743 New Jersey and go back 2 more generations and you get to a Thomas Farnsworth who lived at Chesterfield, New Jersey.  I searched for him and the following fascinating record was available.


The first record in America of Thomas Farnsworth is that of his arrival in Philadelphia on the ship Kent in 1677. The passengers came up the river to Burlington in boats. There Thomas acquired land by deed on 2 Apr 1681 at the site of what is now known as Bordentown but then known as Farnsworth’s Landing, his holdings eventually extending to over 800 acres. The history of Thomas and his family of those days is best described in the “History of Burlington and Mercer Counties,” by E.M. Woodward and J.F. Hageman, published 1883 as follows:

“All we know of him prior to his leaving England is the statement in Bessee’s “Sufferings and Persecutions of the Quakers” that he was sent to prison on the 3d day of the 7th month, 1665 for attending a meeting of the Quakers at Tupton, near North Wingfield, Derbyshire. It is also stated that his brother, Richard Farnsworth of TickhilI, Yorkshire, was tried and imprisoned for not taking off his hat to a justice.

Thomas’wife, Susanna came over in Dec of the next year in the ship “Shield,” the first vessel that came up the Delaware to Burlington. She brought with her their children and two servants. Her coming was well known among the settlers, and looked for with some interest as she was a Quaker preacher in the old country of note.

The servants she brought were hardly to wait on her and perform menial service but more probably men who had contracted to work a certain length of time in consideration of their passage being paid and food found From the fact of his being this expense his purchase of five hundred acres of ground within a few years of his landing and his not disposing of his house and lot in Burlington until the 19th of May, 1685, when he conveyed it by deed to Anthony Morris, it is to be presumed he was possessed of considerable means for one in those early days and in a new country….

Farnsworth House

Farsnworth House rebuilt on site of original

As tradesmen in all new countries are scarce and in demand, and as the population is scattered, and as we find his children different localities, the probabilities are that he “whipped the cat” at his trade of shoemaking for several years before he located on his tract where Bordentown now stands. Where he built his cabin there is not known but he certainly did not reside there permanently prior to 1682-83. Careful investigation proves that Farnsworth’s cabin, (the first house built in Bordentown), was situated on the bluff near the northwest corner of Park Avenue and Prince Street, very near and perhaps on the spot upon which the frame house now stands (1883).

Thomas Farnsworth served as constable of Chesterfield (named after Chesterfield, Derbyshire by Farnsworth) township in 1689. His name never again appears on the township records and sometime between that year and 1693 he died, leaving his widow, Susannah, sons Thomas, John, Samuel, Daniel, and Nathaniel. By his will, dated 8th of the 11th month, January (O.S.), 1889 he left all his real and personal property to his wife, to rent or sell as she might deem best. But in case of her marrying again, his real estate was to be held in trust for his children and she was to have in lieu thereof twenty pounds. She was sole executrix. The will was witnessed by William Quicksall and Elizabeth Foulks Davenport (blimey those Davenports got everywhere!) and proved in 1693. The will of Susanna Farnsworth was proved 23 Jan 1713/4.

The Farnsworths proved to be very significant in the history of America.


Figure 2   The Farnsworth Charge at Gettysburg

So Mr Ivor Nixon of the Rocks, Brown Edge, your eighth great grandfather was Thomas Farnsworth,  a Quaker from Yorkshire who left for a new life and became one of the founding few.

Dialect Words

Over the years I have collected many dialect words but others keep popping up from time to time.  Most of these words (around here) seem have Saxon meanings and are classed as Old English.

If you can think of any words please take the time to record them by clicking on this article and adding comments at the end.

Local Sayings

We all probably use them but local sayings contain a wealth of history. For example “She has more faces than Bucks clock”  You need to know that this relates to Bucks Jewlers (now closed) and that it had a clock on the ourside of the building with two faces.  I am told that inside the shop there was a glass timepiece with four faces.

Another local saying is “Leos for meddlers and crutches for lame ducks” (sometimes said as crusses for laying ducks)  I havent got a clue where that comes from.

My dad always said something was “Spon new”.    I heard this again the other day and it caused me to look up its meaning.  Somebody said that a car was “spon new”. I am sure most of you are familiar with that but the origin is fascinating.  A spon is a sliver of wood cut by an axe or blade. It is Saxon in origin, that is to say about 1500 years old. spánnýr or spánn = ‘chip’   If you think about it a freshly cut sliver of wood is clean and new and indeed looks and smells fresh.   Most people use the word spon without recognising its ancient origins when they say something is “spic and span and shipshape”  A spic is again Saxon for what’s left when the spans have been taken away! Ie a spike or a spoke!

If you have any local sayings then please add them in the comments section below.  I am sure other readers will find them fascinating.


History Articles

Below are articles I have written in the parish news mostly taken from this archive.

artricles april 2010 articles september 2010 articles november 2010 articles May articles june articles july 2010 articles december – Copy 2010


articles sept 2011 articles october (2) articles november 2011 articles May 2011 articles June 2011 articles January 2011 articles aug 2011 articles april 2011



Family Tree

So are you in the Brown Edge Tree? I was once talking to Harvey Durber when he accosted someone walking past and said  “Ahdoo,  oo at,  at a strug?”  Once the unidentified person had worked out what he meant, she said  that she was a newcomer on to the village.  A sharp intake of breath from Harvey followed by  “Thee tad better watch ite who they speykst to up ayare the knowst. Dunner towk ill abite anywun. Thee tarow inbreds!

Well my research has confirmed this!  Odds are that  if either your grandfather or your grandmother was born here then you will be as well!  There are over 25,000 records in the family history file and it is by no means complete. Simcocks, Tomkinsons, Hargreaves,Knights, Mountfords, Holdcrofts, Sherratts Turners, Sheldons, Halls, Proctors, Fosters, Davenports and many more interbred and gave their children the same Christian names making it very difficult to distinguish one family from the next.  I am sure I have many errors in the tree so please feel free to take a look and pass any helpful comment on.
to take a look go to Brown Edge Family
If you can see any errors or you would like to be added to the Brown Edge tree then please let me know. 

Photograph Archive

This is where you can add your photographs to the Community Archive. Almost every photograph is valuable even if you don’t remember who the people are or what the event is.

We are particularly seeking and collecting two types of photographs, people and village views.  Village views can be modern shots that you like.

After moderation we automatically store the photos in the archive and with your permission we publish them online so that others can appreciate them. We are able to place your collection in your own section with credits etc.



If you have photographs that need copying we can do that for you as w

Village Hall Restoration Pictures