The Aburn family in Bethnal Green (originally from Towcester, Northamptonshire)

My 3x great grandmother, Frances Aburn, was born  on 6th January 1814 and baptised on 26th June 1814 at St Matthew’s Bethnal Green. Her older sister, Martha, was also baptised that day although she had been born in Towcester, Northamptonshire in 1812 and baptised there on September 4th 1812.

Their parents were William and Ann Aburn (nee Downing) and at the time of the 1814 baptisms the family were living in Turk Street, Bethnal Green.  William’s occupation is given as “cooper” so it’s possible that he worked at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, just a few hundred yards from Turk Street.

Map showing the location of Turk Street

William and Ann had married in Towcester on 21st July 1812.  One of the witnesses to the marriage was an Elizabeth Aburn, most probably William’s sister who was baptised in Towcester in January 1787.  William was baptised in the same church on November 2nd 1788.

Marriage entry for William Aburn and Ann Downing

Having moved to London sometime between 1812 and 1814, William and Ann settled in the Bethnal Green area to raise their growing family.  They were living in Busby Street at the time of the births of the next three children:  Elizabeth (born 1815), James (born 1816) and Mary Ann (born 1819) but by the arrival of their next child, William, in 1822, they had moved to Brick Lane.


William  died in November 1823 aged just 34 and was buried at Christ Church, Spitalfields.  William and Ann’s last child, Eliza, was baptised at the same church in May 1824, the abode being given as Wilkes Street.  Eliza may have died the same year, as there is a burial record  in the 1824 Christ Church records for an “Elisabeth Auburn” of Wilkes Street, aged 1 year.

Christ Church Spitalfields where William was buried

My 4x great grandmother Ann was now, at the age of 37, left with a young family.   No records have been found for her until the 1841 census when she was living in Queen Street Spitalfields with her sons James (a scrivener) and William (a cooper).   Ann is listed as a laundress.

By 1851 Ann was living at number 5 in the Brewers Almshouses, Mile End Old Town Upper.  This census provides the link back to her origins in Towcester – she is described as a widow aged 63, formerly a laundress, born in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

Ann Aburn in 1851 – her surname is transcribed on as “Abwin”

Ann died in July 1859 and was buried in the City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery.


The next instalment of the Aburn story will go back to Towcester to discover the Aburns  in the 18th Century.

About familyhistoryfootsteps

I have been researching my family history for several years. I'm particularly interested in social history and enjoy learning about, and trying to understand the context of our ancestors' lives. From the mid 1800s onwards most of my direct ancestors lived and worked in London.
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