Mark's Family Tree Pages

The Brewin Family


The Brewins are my father's mother's side of the family. 







This is my father - John Dowding

He did his national service in the Royal Navy





This is his mother - my Grandmother - Marjorie Patricia Brewin

Born 17th March 1906

Died 18th February 1987 

Married Ernest Walter Dowding on 26th June 1930

at The Parish Church, Knowle, Bristol


Ernest getting showered with confetti

You can never get it all out of your clothes though!




Marjorie's father was

Frederick William deSpurre Brewin


Born 6th April 1872

Died 1961


Her mother was

Amy Laura Owen


Born 6th May 1867

Died 1957

There were four children:




Sidney George Brewin

Born 24th December 1895

Died - Date unknown

Unfortunately I don't have a photograph of Sidney Brewin

Cecil John Brewin

Born 22nd May 1898

Died 3rd February 1942



Marjorie Patricia Brewin

Born 17th March 1906

Died 18th February 1987



Doris Freda Brewin

Born 16th October 1908

Died 4th December  2000



Before her marriage to Frederick Brewin, Amy Laura Owen was married to Samuel Moore. They had three children and Amy was carrying a fourth child when her husband died. Amy never talked about her husband's death afterwards and for many years, the family was under the impression that he had had an accident on a boat on the River Avon and had fallen overboard and drowned.

It was not until Doris' daughter Carole delved further into this mystery in 1995 that the truth came out.

The following article was published in Family Tree Magazine - October 1995


Sad mystery solved

by Carole Murnane

 Readers might like to know that I have now solved the mystery surrounding the death of the husband of Amy Laura Moore (Family Heirloom on page 12, August issue).

Not having found any likely death in the indexes at St Catherine’s House, I once again asked my mother (the only surviving child and the youngest of grandmother’s second marriage) what she could remember being told by the rest of the family. She said that all she remembered was hearing that there bad been a boating accident on the River Avon, near Bristol.

I then wrote to the Coroner’s office in Bristol, but apparently records for the period had been destroyed. Next I contacted Amos Vale cemetery in Bristol, who were unable to find any record of Samuel James Moore’s burial.

However - I met a cousin who was the son of Arthur Wilmott Moore (on the left in the photograph). He told me that he bad always been under the impression that his grandfather Moore bad been a mariner and had died at sea. Perhaps I should cast my net wider!

Having discovered, on another visit to St Catherine’s House, that there was a miscellaneous section which bad indexes for the births, mar­riages and deaths of those abroad in the army, I wondered whether there might be some for naval personnel. So back I went, and found a Samuel Moore who had died at sea on a Merchant Navy vessel. Could this be grandfather Moore? On the same visit I decided to check the death indexes in the main section. On previous occasions some of the books were being repaired or relocated temporarily, so there was just a chance I had missed something. Sure enough, there was an entry for a Samuel James Moore, aged 28, but in Swansea.

Having sent for both of these certificates, I disregarded the first one as being highly unlikely for all kinds of reasons, but discovered that the second one was a suicide by a young man of 28, a dentist’s clerk who had jumped into the sea from Swansea pier. I bad a hunch that this might be grandfather Moore - but how to prove it?

The Glamorgan Record Office in Cardiff informed me that the coro­ner’s records for the period around 1893 bad been destroyed, but they did give me the name of the local newspaper of the time, The Cambrian which they said was held on microfilm in Swansea library.

The Newspaper Library at Colindale Avenue, London NW9 SHE was easier to visit, so I dragged my long--suffering husband along to help

and we searched The Cambrian and The Bristol Evening News, and found what we were looking for.

At this point we were very excited and should have felt rather pleased with ourselves but, on reading the circumstances surrounding Samuel’s death, our spirits were greatly dampened.

The report revealed that he had, indeed, been the husband of Amy Laura Moore. He was 28 at the time and she was 24. Both her parents were dead, as was Samuel’s father. Her sister, Rose, and brother, George, had identified the body. A witness reported that Samuel, who had been sitting on the pier nearly all that day, put down his umbrella then jumped into the sea and, refusing to take hold of a rope thrown to him, subsequently drowned. It would seem that he had recently lost his job and this, together with the fact that he bad a young wife, three children to support and another child on the way, must have all been too much. One can hardly guess at his state of mind. It surely must have been terrible to prompt him to end his life. The newspaper account of his death made very sad reading, as did a letter found in his pocket addressed to his “Dear Darling Wife”.

When I look at my grandmother staring out from that photograph, I realise that, although she eventually married my grandfather, Frederick William De’Spurr Brewin and went on to have four more children, she had much to contend with. She lived through the Depression and two World Wars. She saw her sons’ obvious suffering and distress on coming home from France in the 19 14-18 war - my mother recalls seeing her brothers being comforted by my grand­mother as they fought to hold back the tears at the certain knowledge that soon they would have to return to the Front. In spite of all this, and trying to make ends meet, she went on to live until she was 89. Although her second marriage was a happy one and my grandfather adored her, whenever mention was made of Samuel she would say she did not wish to talk about him - the hurt, presumably, had been too great. My mother and aunts intimated that they felt he had been the real love of her life. I’m not sure how I would have coped. Would I have been as resilient or resolute faced with the same events? Perhaps they were made of sterner stuff in those days.



Amy Laura Owen with her four children after the death of her first husband Samuel Moore

The children are from l-r:

Arthur Wilmott Moore born 1891

Violet Amy Moore

Leonard Aubrey Moore born 1890

Lewis Tagford Moore born 1892


Arthur, Lewis and Leonard Moore


The same three gentlemen a few years later on


Amy Laura Owen, Leonard Aubrey Moore and Violet Amy Moore at the wedding in London of Leonard's daughter Noreen


Stepsisters Violet Amy Moore and Marjorie Patricia Brewin enjoying a bottle of something!


Dowding     Kirkbride     Brown