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Brentford Families - Ballin

Augueste Bellin, Artist

Janet McNamara drew my attention to another Brentford-based artist Auguste Ballin, in 2012. Gillian Clegg's 'Brentford Past' includes his 1880 sketch of the eastern end of the High Street, including St Lawrence's Church, a detailed picture beautifully executed. If you Google you will find several other Ballin works.

Gill Clegg's book notes he lived in Boston Road from 1877 until his death in 1909. My interest piqued, I spent an hour or two seeing what I could find out about him.

Ancestry website provided electoral register entries, a baptism to him and an arrival date in the UK of a possible relative: an Auguste Bellin, travelling with a French passport, signed a Certificate of Arrival at Folkestone on July 10 1848, a 'Commissioner Delegate of the Provisional Government'.

There are no definite sightings of Auguste Bellin the artist in England until 1871, when his son Alfred was baptised at Holy Trinity, Hampstead on December 10. The baptism records the father's name as Auguste Charles Alfred Ballin, the mother as Frances, father's occupation 'artist' and residence 'Finchley'.

The Ballin family appear at a Long Lane, Finchley address earlier in 1871, living with widowed Emily Courtenay, Auguste's mother-in-law. She was 55 and her occupation 'Interest of money' suggests the family were well-to-do. She was born in 'London, Middlesex', her daughter Frances (age 24) in Ockley, Surrey. Auguste, age 29, was an 'Artist Painting & Etching' and born in Boulogne, France, and the couple had two children, Emelia L (3) and Francis A (1), both born in 'Havre, France', suggesting the family had only recently settled in England. The surname was recorded as 'Ballia'.

Electoral registers include Auguste Bellin (sometimes Bellen) with a Brentford link in 1878, when he was an Occupying Tenant of Park Road, Brentford. Around the same time he, or a person with the same name, was recorded at 1 The Grange, Park Road, Hampstead.

Auguste later appears at the Boston Park Road address where his house was 'Ste Addresse'. In 1881 the family at Boston Road comprise, Auguste (Artist Painter), Frances, Emelia and Alfred with Marie Legrand, 20, a servant born in Boulogne. Their son Francis Auguste died at the age of 6, his death was registered in Pancras, October- December 1875.

The 1891 census shows the mother Frances was a 'Musician' and both children were 'Musical Students'. Emily Courtenay, age 75, was living with the family. Charles H Croxford at 77 Boston Road was a neighbour.

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Auguste's children

In 1901 Emelia was not living at home. Her brother was at home, he was 29 and a violinist. Their neighbours included John Meyers at 73 Boston Road and the Croxford family at 77 Boston Road.

Son Alfred Ballin married Jessie Margaret Stiles in 1906, the marriage was registered at Fulham. Auguste lived long enough to see two grandchildren born, dying in Brentford in 1909 at the age of 67.

Alfred Ballin and his wife settled in Harrow-on-the-Hill and by 1911 had two children: George Alfred (4) and Jessie Emelie (2). Alfred's occupation: 'Musical Profession'.

Auguste's widow, Frances, remained at 75 Boston Road in 1911, a teacher of music. Her daughter 'Emelia Leonie' was back home, age 43, unmarried, a teacher of singing. The 1918 electoral register for Harrow-on-the-Hill includes a Frances Bellin at 13 Grove Hill Road with Alfred and Jessie Margaret Bellin. Frances remained at this address in 1924 and in 1926 her death was registered, age 79, in Hendon Registration District.

Auguste's daughter, Emelie, moved to Sussex after 1911: probate records show Emelie Leonie Ballin lived at 19 Havelock Road Hastings and she died at St Leonards on Sea in 1918. Probate was granted to Alan John Hone, a jeweller; her estate exceeded 2200.

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Auguste's wife's origins

Frances Courtenay was baptised at Ockley, Surrey, on 6 September 1846, daughter of Charles and Emily Courtenay. There is a marriage in Dorking Registration District (which includes the parish of Ockley) the previous year of Charles Courtenay and Emily Stockdale. There are no further baptisms to Charles and Emily Courtenay recorded on the FamilySearch website.

I was unable to find Charles and Emily in the 1851 census, but a death registration of Charles Courtenay in Dorking Reg Dist in 18848 might explain this. The 1841 census includes Charles Courtenay, a priest, age 45, in Abinger, Surrey (within Dorking Reg Dist): but no sign of a wife.

Fortunately ancestry website includes Cambridge University Alumni records 1261-1900, which provide brief biographical details for Charles Courtenay which support the supposition he is the father of Frances Courtenay: he entered St John's College at Michaelmas, 1813, 'B.A. 1818; M.A. 1821. In Holy Orders. Of Oakwood, Surrey, in 1841; in Clergy List, without cure. Married Emily, dau. of William Stockdale, Esq., Aug. 26, 1845, at Capel, Surrey. Died Mar. 24, 1848, aged 55, at Van, Ockley, Surrey. (Scott, MSS.; G. Mag., 1848, 1. 671.)'.

The 1841 census also includes a 20 year old Charles Courtenay, living in Billingshurst, Sussex, with an Emily Courtenay (15) and Henry Courtenay (also 15). All are 'Independent', they are included in the Beath household, headed by Henry, a Clerk, age 35. Could they be related? I will leave others to investigate further.

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Page published February 2012