Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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John DOWLEN (1802-1875)

and Elizabeth MANSBRIDGE (1808-1879)


Bolney Church, photo from: Dowlen and Elizabeth Mansbridge were my 3x Great Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married by banns on Sunday 26 March 1826 at the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene in Bolney, Sussex.  They were both then of Bolney.  The witnesses to their marriage were Henry Mansbridge and Mary Ann Dowlen.  All bar Elizabeth signed their names.  (Henry was most probably Elizabeth's brother and Mary Ann, Charles's sister.)

John Dowlen was baptised on Sunday 4 April 1802 at the parish church of St. Peter's in Cowfold, Sussex.  He was the youngest son and child of Charles Dowlen (1754-1822) and Ann West (1760-1825).  He died aged 73 years on Friday 12 March 1875 at Cranmers, Henfield.  His cause of death was Chronic Bronchitis.  His death was registered by his son-in-law, Frederick Coles, who was present at the death and was also of Cranmers.  John was buried on Tuesday 16 March 1875 in Henfield and his name was then recorded in burial register as John Dowling.  He was a farm labourer.

Elizabeth Mansbridge was born on Sunday 27 November 1808 and baptised on Sunday 18 February 1810 in Bolney.  She was the youngest of 10 children and the second daughter of James Mansbridge (1759-1830) and Mary Finch (1768-1837).  She died aged 68 years and her death was registered in the name of Elizabeth Bray.  Elizabeth died on 31 March 1879 at Mill Hall in Aylesford, Kent.  Her cause of death was bronchitis and her husband, W. Bray registered her death on 1 April 1879.  He was then a platelayer and had been present at her death.  She left her husband, John Dowlen, and children in about 1850 and went to live with William Mansell, with whom she remained until her death.  He also went by the name of William Bray and he died after Elizabeth.

When the 1841 census was recorded the couple and 5 children were living at Blundens, Henfield.  John was a 35 year old agricultural labourer and Elizabeth was 30.  The next property on the census enumerators route was at West End and occupied by the family of Samuel Woolgar.

By the time of the 1851 census John and Elizabeth had parted.  John was then living at Cannons in Henfield and he was a 50 year old agricultural labourer.  Four of his children were with him on census night (Mark, Ann, Emily and Esther).  Elizabeth was then living with her new partner, William Bray who was a 30 year old railway labourer and said he was born in Henfield.  She was then said to have been 34 years old.  With them was her 3 year old son David and 3 month old daughter Lucy.  They were living in Crowhurst, Sussex.

In 1861, 59 year old John was said to have been a widower and he was living at West End, Henfield along with his sons David and Mark, and Mark's wife and children.  Elizabeth was living in Lower Halling, Kent with William and their children Lucy and Julia.  She then gave her age as 49 years and he was a 38 year old railway platelayer.

The 1871 census recorded that 70 year old widower John was living at Cannons, Henfield with his son David.  Elizabeth and William were living in Lower Halling, Kent and she was 60 years old.  William was then a 50 year old railway platelayer.  With them on census night was their 20 year old daughter Lucy and 6 month old grandson John H. Walse Bray.

William was baptised as William Mansell on 15 June 1823 in Henfield.  He was the son of William Mansell and Lucy Bray (1795-1828).


John Dowlen and Elizabeth Mansbridge had 8 known children:

  1. Charles Dowlen, my 2x Great Grandfather, was born on 23 January 1827 and baptised on 4 March 1827 in Slaugham, Sussex.  He married Susan Hoadley in 1856.  (They have their own page.)  He was 14 years old in 1841.

  2. Mark Dowlen was born on 6 April 1829 and baptised on 7 June 1829 in Slaugham.  He married Ann May in 1853.  (They have their own page.)  He was 12 years old in 1841.

  3. Clarissa Dowlen was born on 7 June 1832 and baptised on 1 July 1832 in Henfield (Independent) and buried there on 20 December 1843, aged 11 years, by the name of Clara Dowlen.  When the 1841 census was recorded she was 9 years old.

  4. Ann West Dowlen (1836-1915) - Many thanks to Karen Robb for this photographAnn West Dowlen was born on 23 December 1836 and baptised on 5 March 1837 in Henfield (Independent).  She died aged 78 years on 9 March 1915 at Prospect Place, Horsham.  The cause of death was Cerebral Haemorrhage and Bronchus Pneumonia.  Her death was registered by her daughter E. Still who was of 9 Henfield Cottages, Newdigate.  (E. Still was probably Esther Coles.)  When the 1841 census was recorded she was 4 years old.

    Ann married twice.  First to Isaac Adams on 5 April 1857 in Henfield.  They were both of full age, of Henfield and made their X marks.  Isaac was a labourer and a bachelor and Ann a spinster.  The witnesses to their marriage were Charles Dowlin and Susan Dowlin.

    Isaac was baptised on 26 February 1825 in Shipley, the son of Henry Adams and Mary Potter.  Isaac died aged 37 years on 9 July 1862 at Hoads, Hurstpierpoint and was buried on 13 July 1862 in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex.  His cause of death was heart disease and his death was registered by Ann Bowles of Shalford, Hurstpierpoint.

    Isaac and Ann had 2 known children:

    1. Janetta Kate Adams was baptised on 3 April 1859 in Hurstpierpoint.  She died aged 16 weeks and was buried on 29 May 1859 in Hurstpierpoint.

    2. Harry Adams was baptised on 3 March 1861 in Hurstpierpoint.  At the time his father was a labourer of Hurstpierpoint.  The baptism register also records that his Godparents were Edward Stedman, William Sayers and Emily Dowlen.

    Ann then married Frederick Coles on 10 April 1864 in Clayton, Sussex.  (They have their own page.)

  5. Emily Dowlen was born on 12 May 1839 in Henfield.  She was 2 years old when the 1841 census was recorded.

    Emily may have had an illegitimate daughter:

    1. Kate Dowling was baptised on 29 March 1863 in Lower Beeding, Sussex, at which time it was noted in the baptism register that her mother was from Slaugham.

    Emily married Alfred Childs on 12 February 1866 at St. Nicholas, Brighton, Sussex.  At the time of their marriage Alfred was aged 25, a bachelor and a grocer of 18 Bedford Buildings. Emily was aged 26 and a spinster of 30 Clifton Hill.  The witnesses to their marriage were Charles Dowlen and Esther Dowlen.

    Alfred was baptised on 15 November 1840 at St. Peters, Brighton and was the son of Henry Childs and Ann, (Henry was a gardener).  In 1881 the family were living at 19 Upper North Street, Brighton and Alfred was a bootmaker.

    Alfred and Emily had 3 known children: 

    1. Ann Childs was born on 15 June 1867 at 30 Crown Street, Brighton and baptised on 4 August 1867 in Brighton.  She died on 24 January 1947.

      Ann married George William Hole in 1886.

      George was baptised on 14 March 1862 in Henfield and was the son of Anthony Hole (1816-1886) and Frances Stillaway (1833-1917).  George died in 1927 in Patcham, Sussex.

      George and Ann had 5 known children:

      1. Anthony Hole was born in 1887 in Brighton and died in 1914.  He married Violet Long.

      2. Albert Hole was born in 1888 in Patcham and died in 1956.  He married May Peacock.

      3. Clara Frances Hole was born on 7 July 1892 in Patcham.  She married Albert George Wingfield.  He was born in 1894 and was the son of Mark Wingfield (1859-1930) and Caroline Jupp (1861-1934).

      Many thanks to Harry Hutchinson for the above photograph.  Harry's Grandmother was Clara Frances Wingfield, nee Hole.

      Left to RightAlbert George Wingfield (1894-1964), Minnie Shoulders, nee Childs (1869-?), Clara Frances Wingfield, nee Hole (1892-1989), Daisy Laura Wingfield (1896-?), Ann Hole, nee Childs (1867-1947), Frank Cecil G Hole (1900-?), Violet Hole, nee Long (1890-1973), Annie Eliza Hole (1894-1985) and Albert Hole (1888-1956). 

      1. Annie Eliza Hole was born in 1894 in Patcham and died in 1985 in Henfield.  She married Albert Haffenden.

      2. Frank Cecil G. Hole was born in 1900 in Patcham.  He married Nellie Dival.

    2. Minnie Childs was born about 1869 in Brighton.  She married Albert Shoulders in 1890.  He was baptised on 9 July 1871 in Henfield and was the son of William Shoulders (1837-?) and Agnes Blann (1840-?).

      Albert and Minnie had 3 known children:

      1. Alfred Shoulders was born about 1892 in Brighton.  He was a shoe repairer and cobbler.

      2. Sydney Frank Shoulders was born about 1895 in Brighton.

      3. Ernest Shoulders was born about 1896 in Brighton.

    3. Ernest Childs was born about 1877 in Brighton.

  6. Edwin Dowlen was born on 5 May 1843 and baptised on 3 April 1844 in Henfield and buried there on 17 May 1850, aged 7 years.

  7. Esther Dowlen was born on 6 August 1845 in Henfield.  She married Henry Stringer in 1870.  (They have their own page.)

  8. David Dowlen was born on 10 April 1848 and baptised on 11 June 1848 in Henfield.  He married Matilda Woolgar in 1875.  (They have their own page.)


William Bray and Elizabeth Mansbridge had 2 known daughters:

  1. Lucy Bray was born in the first quarter of 1851 in Crowhurst, Sussex.  She had an illegitimate son:

    1. John Henry Walse Bray was born about 1870 in Halling, Kent.  At the time of the 1871 census he was 6 months old.  He was 10 year old Henry Bray when the 1881 census was recorded and living with his mother and step father.  The 1891 census recorded that John H. Caller was a 20 year old cement burner.

    Lucy married Solomon Caller on 25 December 1872 in Halling, Kent.

    When the 1881 census was recorded the couple and their 3 children (Henry, Herbert and Emily) were living at No. 3 Square in Wouldham, Kent.  The were both 30 years old and Solomon was a labourer in the cement works.  He gave his place of birth as Meopham, Kent and she as Chrowhurst, Sussex.

    In 1891 the couple and 4 children (John H., Herbert W., Emily C. and Alice L.) were living at 9 Castle Street, Wouldham.  Solomon was a 39 year old cement labourer and Lucy was 40.  He again gave his place of birth as Meopham, but Lucy said she was born in Battle Sussex.

    The couple and daughter Alice were still at 9 Castle Street in 1901.  He was a 49 year old cement works labourer and she was 50.  Their places of birth were given as Meopham and Battle.

    The 1911 census recorded the couple were living at 9 Castle Street.  They were both said to be 60 years old and had been married for 38 years.  They said they had had 11 children, 3 of whom were living and 8 had died.  Solomon was still a cement labourer and their places of birth were Meopham and Battle.

    Solomon and Lucy had the following children:

    1. Herbert William Caller was baptised on 4 May 1873 in Wouldham.  He was an 8 year old scholar in 1881.  In 1891 he was an 18 year old cement labourer.

    2. Emily C. Caller was born about 1879 in Wouldham.  She was 2 years old when the 1881 census was recorded.  In 1891 she was a 12 year old scholar.

    3. Alice Louisa Caller was born in the first quarter of 1882 in Wouldham.  She was a 9 year old scholar in 1891.  In 1901 she was 19 years old.

  2. Julia Bray was born in the third quarter of 1856 in Strood, Kent.

    Julia married James Bolton in the fourth quarter of 1877 in the North Aylesford registration district.

    When the 1881 census was recorded the couple and their 2 young children were living in 3 Railway Cottage in Aylesford.  James was then a 31 year old general labourer.

    They had the following children:

    1. Clara E. Bolton was born about 1879 in Mill Hall, Aylesford.  She was 2 years old in 1881.

    2. Arthur E. Bolton was born in 1880 in Mill Hall, Aylesford.  He was 11 months old when the 1881 census was recorded.


1841 Census, Blundens, Henfield, Sussex (HO107/1098/9)

John Dowlen, 35, Ag. Lab, born Sussex

Elizabeth Dowlen, 30, born Sussex

Charles Dowlen, 14, born Sussex

Mark Dowlen, 12, born Sussex

Clarisa Dowlen, 9, born Sussex

Anne Dowlen, 4, born Sussex

Emily Dowlen, 2, born Sussex


1851 Census, Cannons, Henfield, Sussex (HO107/1647, folio 517, page 3)

John Dowlen, Head, Mar, 50, Ag. Lab, born Sussex, Cowfold

Mark Dowlen, Son, U, 21, Ag. Lab, born Sussex, Slaugham

Anne W. Dowlen, Daur, 14, Housekeeper, born Sussex, Cowfold

Emily Dowlen, Daur, 11, Scholar, born Sussex, Henfield

Ester Dowlen, Daur, 5, Scholar, born Sussex, Henfield


1851 Census, ? Street, Crowhurst, Sussex (HO107/1636, folio 135, page 15)

William Bray, Head, Mar, 30, Railway Labourer, born Henfield

Elizabeth Bray, Wife, Mar, 34, born Boney

David Bray, Son, 3, born Henfield

Lewcy Bray, 3mo, born Crowhurst, Sussex


1861 Census, West End, Henfield, Sussex (RG9/606, folio 134, page 4)

John Dowlen, Head, Widr, 59, Ag Lab, born Cowfold, Sussex

David Dowlen, Son, 12, Scholar, born Henfield, Sussex

Mark Dowlen, Head, Mar, 32, Ag Lab, born Slaugham, Sussex

Ann Dowlen, Wife, Mar, 27, born Chailey, Sussex

Clarissa Dowlen, Daur, 7, Scholar, bron Brighton, Sussex

Ann Dowlen, Daur, 5, born Cowfold, Sussex

Mark Dowlen, Son, 2, born Henfield, Sussex


1861 Census, Lower Halling, Halling, Kent (RG9/474, folio 112, page 3)

William Bray, Head, Mar, 38, Railway Platelayer, born Sussex, Henfield

Elizabeth Bray, Wife, Mar, 49, born Sussex, Bolney

Lucy Bray, Daur, 10, born Sussex, Battle

Julia Bray, Daur, 4, born Kent, Strood


1871 Census, Cannons, Henfield, Sussex (RG10/1095, folio 60, page 10)

John Dowlen, Head, Widr, 70, Ag Lab, born Cowfold, Sussex

David Dowlen, Son, Unm, 23, Ag Lab, born Henfield, Sussex

on the previous page, Cannons, Henfield (RG10/1095, folio 60, page 9)

Stephen Woolgar, Head, Mar, 50, Ag Lab, born Henfield, Sussex

Harriet Woolgar, Wife, Mar, 44, born Shipley, Sussex

Matilda Woolgar, Daur, 11, Scholar, born Henfield, Sussex


1871 Census, Lower Halling, Halling, Kent (RG10/898, folio 93, page 26)

William Bray, Head, Mar, 50, Railway Platelayer, born Sussex, Henfield

Elizabeth Bray, Wife, Mar, 60, born Sussex, Bolney

Lucy Bray, Daur, Unm, 20, General Serv. out of employ, born Sussex, Crowhurst

John H. Walse Bray, Grandson, 6mo, born Kent, Halling


Many thanks to the following for additions to this page:

Les Dowlen          Harry Hutchinson


This page was updated on 23 July 2012