Chapter 8.1
Mary Ellen Bramhill
By Pat King

My first documentation of our Bramhill Family goes back to the marriage of Thomas Bramhill and Mary Bairstow in Rotherham, Yorkshire, on the 26th October 1862. The marriage certificate states that Thomas' age is 22 years at this time. It seems that both Thomas and Mary were born about 1840. Thomas, a Cabinet Maker, was the son of John Bramhill. Thomas’ wife, Mary, a Straw Bonnet Maker, was the daughter of Matthew and Ann Bairstow.

Thomas and Mary produced four children:

1. Mary Ellen Bramhill, born 20 October 1865, in Rotherham
2. Adah Bramhill, born 1867 in Rotherham
3. Emma Bramhill, born 15 October 1871 in Rotherham
4. Richard Thomas Bramhill, born 1874, in Rotherham.
1. Mary Ellen Bramhill (first child of Thomas and Mary Bramhill)

Mary Ellen was my great grandmother. On the 14th June 1886 she married John Thomas Hutchinson (JTH) in Rotherham. At the time of their marriage, JTH was living in Rawmarsh. He was the eldest child of Thomas and Mary Hutchinson and was born in Rawmarsh. It seems that the family originally came from the Timberland area of Lincolnshire and, after living in Rawmarsh for a few years, moved back to Timberland, where most of their other children were born. John Thomas, it seems, returned to the area, probably to work in the coalmines.

JTH was a coal miner, as was his father, Thomas. Family story explains that after JTH suffered an accident in the mine, his father suggested that they all pack up and leave for Canada. It should also be noted that Thomas and Mary had lost four of their seven children, possibly to typhoid, and felt that life might be better for them elsewhere.

So, less than a year after their marriage, John Thomas and Mary Ellen, along with his parents Thomas and Mary, and his siblings, Francis and Susannah Hutchinson, the family left Liverpool on 17 March 1887. They sailed on the SS Parisian and arrived in Halifax on 23 April 1887 - a 37-day voyage.

The family then traveled by rail across Canada to Brandon, Manitoba. Mary Ellen was pregnant at this time and within about two days of their arrival at their destination of Brandon, Mary Ellen gave birth to their first child, Mary Ellen ‘Nellie’, on 30 April 1887. JTH and Mary Ellen first moved to Little Souris south of Brandon before settling in a small farming community called Hayfield, which was not too far from Little Souris. I believe that most of their children were born in Hayfield, although it seems that some of the younger family members were born in Brandon, in the years before their move west to British Columbia.

I believe it was in the latter part of 1910 that John Thomas and Mary Ellen packed up their family and moved to Pritchard, BC, a small community east of Kamloops, British Columbia. It was here that their tenth child was born.

Family of John Thomas and Mary Ellen (Bramhill) Hutchinson

            Mary Ellen ‘Nellie’             Born 30 April 1887                 Brandon, Man
                                                      Died 13 November 1953,        Kamloops, BC

            Adah Sushannah                 Born 22 February 1889           Hayfield, Man
                                                      Died 25 February 1973,           Vancouver, BC

            Edith                                  Born 19 Sept. 1891                 Hayfield, Man
                                                      Died 15 Apr 1967,                  Vernon, BC

            Ruth                                   Born 30 June 1892                  Hayfield, Man
                                                      Died 28 Jan. 1967,                  Vancouver, BC

            Jessie                                 Born 27 June 1894                   Hayfield, Man
                                                      Died 13 Sept. 1993,                 Clearbrook, BC

            John Thomas                      Born 6 Nov. 1895                    Hayfield, Man
                                                      Died 13 May 1986,                  Vancouver, BC

            Dorothy                              Born 27 Mar 1900                   Hayfield, Man
                                                      Died 16 June 1995,                   Burnaby, BC

            Hugh                                   Born 26 Feb. 1902                   Brandon, Man.
                                                       Died 14 Sep. 1959,                  Vancouver

            Leonard                              Born 22 Aug. 1906,                  Brandon, Man
                                                       Died 5 Sep. 1987,                     Kamloops, BC

            Gertrude Ethel                     Born 18 Mar. 1911                    Pritchard, BC
                                                       Died 24 Aug. 1996,                    Burnaby, BC

John Thomas & Mary Ellen Hutchinson and Family – About 1902
Back Row Standing (L to R): Mary Ellen "Nellie" & Adah Sushannah
Middle Row: John Thomas Jr., John Thomas, Edith, Dorothy, Hugh, Mary Ellen (Bramhill)
Front Row Sitting: Ruth and Jessie

John Thomas and Mary Ellen purchased land on the South Thompson River and in the spring of 1911, opened a general store within their home, selling groceries and dry goods. Unfortunately, John Thomas died at the early age of 48 years, about two years after their arrival, and Mary Ellen was left with the store to run. Nellie, who would have been about 25 years of age by this time, helped her mother, Mary Ellen, and together they ran the store for several years. In later years, Nellie and her husband, Bert Boyde, would take over the responsibilities of the store and post office. Sometime later Mary Ellen moved to Vancouver as several of her children were living there by that time. Although she was still living in Vancouver, Mary Ellen was on an extended visit with her daughter Nellie in Pritchard, when she passed away 20 May 1937. She is buried in Vancouver.

2. Adah Bramhill (second child of Thomas and Mary Bramhill)
Adah married in 1888, in Rotherham, to Fred Carr.

3. Emma Bramhill (third child of Thomas and Mary Bramhill)
Emma married in 1890 in Rotherham, Yorkshire, to Edmund Carr, brother to her sister’s husband, Fred. Emma and Edmund immigrated to BC about 1912, settled and farmed in the Pritchard area. It is most likely that they chose this place to settle, as it was where her sister, Mary Ellen and her family had moved to about two years previously. Emma died 31 Mar 1929 in Pritchard. Edmund died on 21 December 1930.

4. Richard Thomas Bramhill (fourth child of Thomas and Mary Bramhill)

Richard is the great grandfather of Jack Bramhill of Burnaby. My grandmother, Adah Sushannah Hutchinson, was the second child of JTH and Mary Ellen. She came with her family from Manitoba and married my grandfather, Rowland Joshua Denney, on January 31, 1911. Rowley had known the Hutchinson family in Brandon before he purchased property at Pritchard. It is likely that the Hutchinsons chose Pritchard for their move as they had known Rowley previously and he was probably engaged to be married to their daughter Adah by that time. Rowley and Adah farmed in the area for a few years as well as raising turkeys.

My father, Joshua Rowland Denney was born in Pritchard 13 August 1913. The family of three then moved to Sooke, BC where Rowley worked on the fish traps. They then moved to Victoria where their second son John Henry Tomlin Denney was born in 1919. Soon after, the family moved back to Pritchard for about five years and, during this time, was very involved in the affairs of the community. They then moved to the Vancouver area where they raised their two sons farmed and raised chickens and had an egg route.

Rowland Joshua, Adah Sushannah (Hutchinson) Denney with Joshua Rowland
taken 1913

They spent the rest of their lives in Vancouver with my grandfather, Rowley, passing away in 1958 and my grandmother, Adah, passing away in 1973. My father, Joshua Rowland Denney, married Eileen M. Walls on the 29 June 1938 and they had two children, a son, Raymond R. Denney and myself Patricia M Denney. My father lived in Vancouver until he passed away in 1996 and my mother has since moved to Kamloops.

Standing: Rowland Joshua Denney
(Left to Right): Joshua Rowland, John Henry, Adah Sushannah (Hutchinson) Denney
Taken 1923


Bob & Pat King
Taken 1988

My husband, Robert V. King and I married in September 1961 and have three children, Catherine, Douglas and Steven. Cathy has two children, Cheryl and Trevor. Bob and I were both born and raised in Vancouver and moved to Kamloops in 1979 when the company that Bob worked for as an accountant moved their head office to the interior of BC.

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