How can I find out more about father and son David and James Brent?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - Q&A - John Fowler

QMy great great grand­fa­ther Jesse James Brent was, I be­lieve, born in 1804. I can­not find a record of his birth, but I do have the cer­tifi­cate of his mar­riage to Su­san­nah Jane Whee­ley on 30 July 1843 at St John The Evan­ge­list, West­min­ster, Mid­dle­sex, which lists him as James Brent, a butcher “of full age”. He was liv­ing at Char­ter or Ch­ester Mews, Grosvenor Place. His father is given as David Brent, a ship­wright.

I be­lieve that David’s wife was Re­becca (née Bran­don). There was a fa­mous ship­yard in Rother­hithe at that time called the Ran­dall & Brent Ship­yard and I was won­der­ing whether David was re­lated to them in any way.

How can I find out more about David and James?

Su­san Daniel (née Brent)

AThe census of 1851 shows James af­ter his mar­riage liv­ing at 26 Henry Street, South­wark, with four chil­dren and his wife Su­san­nah who was 10 years his ju­nior and aged 37.

By the time of the 1861 census James has seven chil­dren and is liv­ing in Ber­mond­sey. Both of th­ese cen­suses give James’ birth year as 1804 and his birth­place as New­ing­ton, Sur­rey.

At this time, New­ing­ton was served by one Angli­can parish church – St Mary, the divi­sion of the an­cient parish into three did not oc­cur un­til 1825.

The St Mary, New­ing­ton, parish reg­is­ters can be viewed on mi­cro­film at the Lon­don Metropoli­tan Ar­chives and are also ac­ces­si­ble on ances­try.co.uk.

If you are un­able to find James in the St Mary reg­is­ters you should con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity that the Brent fam­ily were non­con­formists at­tend­ing a chapel in the area such as the In­de­pen­dent Locks Fields Chapel with birth reg­is­ters be­gin­ning in 1804. Th­ese reg­is­ters were re­quired to be de­posited with the GRO in 1837 and can be viewed among the RG4 and RG5

se­ries reg­is­ters on bm­dreg­is­ters. co.uk, the­ge­neal­o­gist.co.uk and ances­try.co.uk.

James’ mar­riage cer­tifi­cate shows his father as David Brent, ship­wright. The Ran­dall & Brent ship­yards of Rother­hithe were owned by a part­ner­ship of John Ran­dall and John Brent.

Brent’s only two sur­viv­ing adult sons Sa­muel and Daniel took over their father’s in­ter­est upon his re­tire­ment in 1797 and the pair bought out the Ran­dall in­ter­est upon the death of John Ran­dall in 1803. The two sons traded as S & D Brent un­til 1811 and then Brent & Co un­til 1819.

This in­di­cates that David Brent had no ma­jor in­ter­est in this ship­yard. How­ever, David was a ship­wright for which he may have served an ap­pren­tice­ship. It’s also fea­si­ble he could have been granted the free­dom of the city, but his name does not seem to ap­pear among the Lon­don Metropoli­tan Ar­chives records on Ances­try.

TheTh 1851 census (t (top) )h shows JamesJ BrentB ti in South­wark.S th k ByB theth 1861 census (above),(b ) he’s in Ber­mond­sey

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