|About Brownlea Familea
This website is the result of many years of research into my ancestors, every minute of which I have enjoyed immensely. Although I
have lived in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean on and off for a number of years, I have lived for most of my life in
Australia, but I was born and spent my childhood in England, and my known ancestors all originate in England or Wales.
Many of my cousins and other relations also live in Australia these days, having migrated at different times and for different reasons,
so there are many Aussie born relations amongst the younger generations in my tree.
My ancestry is almost entirely Anglo Saxon on my paternal side, and almost purely Celtic on my mother's side, originating mainly from
Cornwall and one major branch from Wales. This being my Evans gggrandfather and his family I recently (2017) had my DNA
done by Ancestry and according to it, I am 56% Western European (the Anglo Saxon part I guess, with maybe a dash of Norman and
maybe even the odd Roman or two); 25% British, which supposedly includes Celtic; 11% Scandinavian (those ferocious Vikings that
arrived in Britain and no doubt had their way with my fair Saxon maiden ancestor ladies; 5% Irish....don't know where they come in as
I now have almost 5200 people in my tree, and am yet to find any Irish amongst them, and 1% undecided!
My Lea ancestors came originally from the market town of Sandbach in Cheshire, and these married into another long standing
Cheshire family, the Pickfords of Macclesfield and surrounding villages My great grandfather James Pickford died at a relatively
young age, and his widow and two sons moved from Macclesfield to Manchester where they lived for some years, my great
grandfather Pickford becoming a baker and moving to Stoke on Trent. My great grandfather Lea moved from Sandbach to moving to
Silverdale just outside of Newcastle under Lyme, where he was an Ironstone Miner. Benjamin Pickford...the baker, started his own
bakery on London Road, and this still operated until quite recent times. I believe it continued to run with two of his sons right through
until the 1960's.
I have been able to trace both my Lea and Pickford lines back to the late 17th century and have photographs of the Parish Registers
for most baptisms and marriages of both families.
On my mother's side, my ancestors came most recently from the East End of London, particularly around West Ham, rural Essex,
Southwark in Surrey and Greenwich/Woolwich in Kent. Some lines though have been traced much further afield, to rural Kent,
Cambridgeshire, Devon & Cornwall. It has pleased me greatly to find that I have ancestry in these latter two Counties, as I spent my
childhood living in the South West, and it was without doubt an idyllic childhood which
has left me with many great memories which I treasure through to this day.
With my immediate family (mother, father and brother Tony) I migrated to Canberra in Australia in 1959. We travelled on the P & O
liner SS Orontes, departing Tilbury Docks on 4th March and arriving in Sydney on 9th April, 1959.
I expect that from time to time there will be people looking at this website who do not know me personally, and they may wonder
about some of the strange surnames that appear in my alphabetical surnames list! No, these are not spelling mistakes on my behalf,
but belong mostly to the family of my wonderful daughter in law, who hails from the Kingdom of Tonga, a group of
beautiful islands in the South Pacific Ocean where I lived for over 10 years in the 1980's and 1990's. As a family we are very proud of
our connections with these people as they are, without a doubt, some of the loveliest
people in the world.