Bransford Worcestershire Family History Guide

Bransford Church.
Photo of Bransford Church. Next to Bransford Manor otherwise in the middle of nowhere. by Bob Embleton, some rights reserved.


Bransford is a chapelry of Leigh Parish in Worcestershire.

The parish also includes: Bransford Bridge

The church is dedicated to St. John The Baptist.

The origins of the name 'Bransford' are uncertain, but it is believed to mean 'hill-top ford' or 'ford at Bragen'. This is dervied from 'braegen', old English for crown of the head or topographically a hill and then 'ford'. In the Doomsday Book, Bransford was called Bradnesforde and included information about Urso from the Pershore Church and mill. Bransford was home to Wulstan de Bransford, the Bishop of Worcester from 1338–49. Following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 the parish ceased to be responsible for maintaining the poor in its parish, a responsibility transferred to Martley Poor Law Union.

Table of Contents

Parishes adjacent to Bransford

  • Newland
  • Malvern Link
  • Leigh
  • Powick
  • Cotheridge
  • Worcester St Johns in Bedwardine

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer 1870

Bransford, a chapelry in Leigh parish, Worcestershire; on the river Teme, adjacent to the Malvern railway, 4½ miles SW by W of Worcester. It has a station, of the name of Bransford-Road, on the railway; and its Post Town is Powick, under Worcester. Acres, 1,190. Real property, £2,118. Pop., 270. Houses, 59. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester; impropriate in Earl Somers. The church is good.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer 1870

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

Bransford, a chapelry, in the parish of Leigh, union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Pershore, Worcester and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3¾ miles (W. S. W.) from Worcester; containing 277 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1034 acres of rich land, whereof two-thirds are arable, and the remainder pasture. It is situated on the south of the river Teme, in the eastern part of the parish, and is crossed from north to south by the road from Worcester to Hereford. The chapel, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is an ancient structure, containing about 100 sittings.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Bransford – a hamlet and chapelry, in the parish of Leigh, hundred of Pershore, lower division, 4 miles W.S.W. from Worcester, and 115 from London; containing 49 inhabited houses: it has a good bridge over the river Teme. Population, 1801, 237 – 1811, 215 – 1821, 264.

Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.

Occupations

1881 occupational structure of Bransford, Worcestershire, as reported by 1881 census
1881 occupational structure of Bransford, Worcestershire, as reported by 1881 census by TaylorB95 CC BY-SA 4.0

It was in 1894 that Bransford was separated from Leigh as an ecclesiastical parish and made into a civil parish of its own right. Bransford was once devoted to pasture and had 2,366 acres of arable land as well as a further 1,062 separate acres of land. There was once a clothing factory by the Teme, explaining why 7 women worked in dress in 1881. There was also a snuff-mill, which then became a corn-mill. When the clothing factory and snuff-mill disappeared, people became involved heavily in agriculture, which explains why in 1881 at least 46 people were engaged in agriculture as their occupation. It was at this time that men were involved in agriculture, whilst women were working in occupations such as domestic services (12 women) and dress services (4 women). Ninety women that lived in Bransford had an unspecified occupation, which was representative of the time. Today, there are 186 residents in employment. 8 people now work in agriculture, compared to 46 in 1881. Wholesale and retail trade now has the highest level of works in Bransford, with 35 people (18.8% of employment) working in this field. Human health and social work has the second highest level of employment in Bransford with jobs in education being third highest. This shows a huge change from 1881 where the majority of jobs were in agriculture, mining and domestic services.

Population and Age

Total Population of Bransford Civil Parish, Worcestershire, as reported by the Census of Population from 1881 to 2011
Total Population of Bransford Civil Parish, Worcestershire, as reported by the Census of Population from 1881 to 2011 by TaylorB95. CC BY-SA 4.

The population has steadily increased since 1881. There was a slight decrease in 1891 but then it continued to increase until 1911. In 1911, the population was at 263 but this then steeply dropped to 198 in 1921. This was most likely due to World War 1 leading to a vast decrease in population. Since 1961, there has been a sharper increase in population, going from 267 to 389 today. It is important to note that there was no census information between 1961 and 2001, so there may have been changes here that were not recorded. Today, the population may be increasing due to a growing population, as well as the growing number of businesses in Bransford. In 1881 there were 129 males and 128 females living in Bransford. This has changed quite drastically today, as there are 187 males and 202 females. Due to this rise in population there was an increase in housing, going from 62 houses in 1881 compared with the 171 households there are in Bransford today.

The mean age in Bransford is 49.4 and the median age is 53. The largest age bracket is 45–59 years old, as 23.9% of people in Bransford are of this age.

Source: Wikipedia

Parish Records

FamilySearch

The following records are available free from FamilySearch.

Birth, Marriage, & Death

England and Wales Census Records

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

Directories

Bransford Littleburys Worcester Directory 1905

Distances – Bransford Bridge, over the river Teme, is about 3 miles, and the Chapel 4 ½ miles, S. W. of Worcester.
Population – In 1901, 248. Acreage, 1020.
Postal Information – Post Office, Bransford Bridge; Charles Banks, Sub-postmaster. Letters and Parcels arrive by mail-cart from Worcester at 5.15 a.m.; the delivery commences at 6 a.m.; letters are despatched by mail-cart at 7.45 p.m. on week-days and Sundays. St. John’s is the nearest money order and telegraph office. Post town, Worcester. The Letterbox in the Rectory wall at Leigh Hurst is cleared at 7. 38 p.m. on week-days and Sundays.
Chapel of Ease (St. John The Baptist) – Rev. A. M. Manley, M.A., Rector; John Newman, Churchwarden. (The Registers date from 1767.)
Bransford Road Station – Great Western Railway (in Powick parish) – William Curnock, Station Master.

Residents

Banks Charles, baker and sub-postmaster, Post office, Branford Bridge
Bartley J. C., Elmgrove
Busk Henry & Walter, practical machinists, blacksmiths, &c.
Busk Walter, Suckley road
Cazalet Edward J., farmer, Bransford court
Curnock Wm., station master, Railway statn.
Davis Thomas, station master at Leigh Court, Rose cottage
Essex Wm., farmer & hop grower, Gilberts
Grainger George, Bear & Ragged Staff Inn
Hardman George, farmer, Hole farm
Hooper John, boot & shoe maker
Mann Henry, assistant overseer for Leigh and Bransford
Mann William, relieving officer & registrar for Leigh district
Marshall George, coal agent (for J. & N. Nadin & Co.), Suckley road
Newman Jno., farmer & hop grwr., New ho.
Onley-Prattenton Edwd. John, Bank house
Stephens Mrs, Vine cottage
Stone Richard, Fox Inn
Weaver Samuel, farmer, Braces Leigh
White Thomas, miller, Bransford mills

Source: Littlebury’s Directory of Worcester & District. Tenth Edition. Printed and Published by Littlebury & Company, The Worcester Press, Worcester. 1905.

Bransford Littleburys Worcester Directory 1879

Bransford, although a chapelry of Leigh, is a separate parish. It supports its own poor, pays its own rates, and has an area of 1,020 acres, of which about half, viz., Brace’s Leigh and the New House farms, belong to Earl Beauchamp, Gilberts and the Hall house to T. H. Little, Esq., a small estate to E. J. Onley, Esq., and the Worfield charity land rented by Mr. H. Mann from the corporation of Worcester. Leigh and Bransford are both privileged to the Worfield exhibitions for the sons of poor persons at the universities. The ancient family of Brace, or De Bracey, gave their name to the manor above mentioned, where is still an interesting old manor-house. Bransford bridge, over the Teme, is about 3 miles and the chapel 4 ½ miles S.W. of Worcester. The parish is in the western division of the county, hundred of Lower Pershore, union and highway district of Martley, petty sessional division of Worcester, county court district of Great Malvern, polling district of Malvern Link, rural deanery of Powick, dioceses and archdeaconry of Worcester. It is assessed to the county rate at £2,648. The population in 1861 was 270; in 1871, 299, with 60 inhabited houses and 75 families or separate occupiers. Earl Beauchamp is lord of the manor. There is fine feeding land in the Temeside meadows; and grain, roots, green crops, hops, apples, and pears are grown. Formerly there was a snuff mill and cloth factory by the Teme, but now there is only a flour mill there. The chapel is a little ancient stone building in a very secluded spot. The register begins at 1767. The Rev. Bernard Henry Sheppard, M.A., rector of Leigh, or his curate, officiates. The national school is under Government inspection; average attendance about 100. The Bransford Road station on the West Midland section of the Great Western railway is in Powick parish.
Postal Regulations. – Letters are received through Worcester. The letter-box (near the school) is cleared at 5.25 p.m. on week-days, and 10.55 a.m. on Sundays. Malvern Link is the nearest money-order and telegraph office. Post town, Worcester.
Chapel-of-Ease. – Rev. Bernard Henry Sheppard, M.A., Rector; Rev. J. W. Chesshire, Curate; Mr. John Newman, Churchwarden.
National School (boys and girls). – Mr. William Joseph Vaudin, Master.
Bransford Road Station (Great Western Railway). – Mr. William Harvey, Station Master.
Steward of the Manor of Bransford. – Francis Parker, Esq., 3 Foregate street, Worcester.

PRIVATE RESIDENTS.

Cazalet Major G. Henry, Bransford court
Chesshire Rev. J. W. (curate of Leigh and Bransford), Suckley road
Onley Edward John, Esq., Bank House
Prattenton Rev. George Deakin Onley, Bank House
Ryder Thomas Bromfield, Vine cottage
Sheppard Rev. Bernard Hy., M.A. (rector of Leigh with Bransford), The Rectory

AGRICULTURAL & COMMERCIAL.

Busk William, blacksmith, The Hole
Crump John, farmer, Suckley road
Essex William, fmr. & hop grw., Gilberts
Harvey Wm., station master, Railway sta.
Hooper John, boot and shoe maker
Horton William, coal merchant, Railway station; res., Cart house
Madge James, tailor, Suckley road
Mann Henry, farmer, Hole farm
Mann William, parish clerk of Leigh
Mann William, jun., relieving officer and registrar for Leigh district
Morgan John, builder, &c.
Morgan William, builder, &c.
Newman John, fmr. & hop grw., New ho.
Onley Edward John, farmer, hop grower, and landowner, Bank house
Pitt Thomas, Bear and Ragged Staff Inn, near Railway station
Potter Alfred, miller, Bransford mills
Simms Mrs. Charlotte, Fox Inn
Stokes Frederick Scott, farmer and hop grower, Brace’s Leigh
Vaudin Wm., J., master of National schl.
Venmore Mrs. Sarah, shopkpr., Suckley rd.
Williams Charles, farmer, The Hall ho.

Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879

Administration

  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Martley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Powyke
  • Poor Law Union: Martley
  • Hundred: Pershore
  • Province: Canterbury
  • Petty Sessional division: Worcester
  • County Court district: Great Malvern
  • Polling District: Malvern Link