Link to Brentford High Street Project

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Hunt for where grandma lived, 237 High Street

My paternal grandparents were born in Brentford and when I traced their parents I found I had several families who lived in Brentford from around 1840, most of whom lived on the High Street at some point.

I hoped to find photos of where they lived but this proved to be tricky. Yes, there are lots of photos of Brentford High Street in local history books, but it is not always possible to tell which house numbers are shown. Yes, I could find my families living on the High Street in various censuses, but it wasn't easy to work out where they actually lived, particularly in the earlier censuses when the High Street had not been numbered.

I've always liked a puzzle and here was the ideal one: to try and piece together a picture of the whole High Street from around 1841 (first census) up to 1940 (the date of the latest street index I copied at Chiswick Library). The dates covered 100 years, which seemed a reasonable target. And so the Brentford High Street Project was born in 2003.



I live in Leicester, about 100 miles from Brentford, so this has increased the challenge. This is a good point to thank Janet McNamara for her 'on the ground' assistance and providing heaps of material, also Carolyn Hammond from Chiswick Library Local Studies Section, who helped with my queries by email and sorted out photos etc when I made a rare local visit.

Thanks also go to all the people who kindly responded to my requests in Family Tree and the West Middlesex Family History Society journal for any snippets about Brentford High Street/families. Most of the material people have kindly contributed has been included as at June 2008.

Family interests

My Brentford High Street families are
  • Taylor (who ran a bakery business from no. 237); a biography of George is accessible through the Dynasties section
  • Foord (who were plumbers and decorators at nos.62 and 63)
  • Parsons (shoe makers, confectioners nos.281, 282 & 105)
My grandfather, Henry Adolphus Dunn, was a Brentford man too, although I don't think his family ever lived on the High Street. Earlier generations of the Dunn family lived in Hammersmith, Marylebone and Windsor: many were carpenters or builders.

My second and third cousins, descended from the Taylor family, are interested in

  • Platt (grocers at nos. 234 and 221)
  • Bloomer (builders who also ran a coffee shop, nos. 185 & 233)

My fourth cousins, related through the Anthony family which originated in Norfolk (branches settled in Brentford), are interested in

  • Anthony
  • Snelling
  • McCarthy

Celia Cotton, 2008