Joseph Herbert Bratton

Left click to enlarge
Joseph Herbert on the right, his elder brother Robert on the left

This is General John Bratton of the American Civil War..a striking likeness, I think, particularly the heavy lidded eyes

This is Joseph Herbert, Isabel and grandson John Dixon outside their home 9 St Thomas Street, Low Fell about 1947

Joseph Herbert left his mother Jane's home when he met and married Isabella Steel.This is them attending a wedding...many years later

Isabella was born in the Felling in 1883 to parents John Steel and Margaret (nee Graham) and her older siblings were Edmund, Thomas, Elizabeth and Elsie and her younger ones Frances, John and Jane.

At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 17 St. James' Road, East Gateshead (off Sunderland Road)

By 1901 they had moved to nearby 45/47 Moore Street. It must have been relatively recently built because that street is an open field in the OS map of 1894. One of the unmarried girls had a son John Thomas b 1899

The Steels and the Grahams came from Rockcliffe (Churchtown) in Cumberland

"ROCKCLIFF, a parish in the ward and county of Cumberland, 4½ miles N.W. of Carlisle, its post town.

St Mary's Church, Rockcliff

It is a station on the Carlisle section of the Caledonian railway. The parish includes the townships of Churchtown and Rockcliffe Castle, and the small village of Rockcliffe, situated to the E. of Port Carlisle. It is bounded on the N. by the river Esk, on the N.W. by the Solway Frith, and on the S.W. by the navigable river Eden." [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

Isabella's paternal grandparents living in Rockcliffe were Thomas Steel b 1828 (yes indeed Tommy Steel) & Elspy b 1830 and her uncles were George and Thomas and aunts Jane and Catherine

Joseph H was a loco cleaner at 19, according to the census, but was a baker when he wed Isabella, who worked at the Laundry Shop in Blaydon belonging to the Provincial Laundries, Engine Lane, Low Fell, Gateshead. Shortly thereafter Joseph, no doubt, thro' unashamed nepotism, went to work at the Laundry in Engine Lane and remained there for the rest of his working life
They lived in North Tyne Street near to Isabella's folks...

..and they also at one point lived in Rosebery Ave over on the other side of Mount Pleasant

They lived in Holly Street, just off Felling High Street, when the kids were young.

According to Joseph Herbert's Driving Licence they lived at 1, Wigham Street, Felling in 1932

By 1939 they had moved to 9 St. Thomas Street, Low Fell, Gateshead where they remained for the rest of their lives. The 1946/47 Licence, which Jon has, is the last as Joseph Herbert retired in 1947 aged 65 years

Joseph Herbert with his van in the 1920's

As to children, Jane (known as Jenny..named after her paternal Grandmother and/or her mothers Aunt ) was the first born (1912) followed by Joseph ( named obviously after his Dad ) then Edith ( named after her Dad's sister) then John Steel in 1917 (named after his Mother's father and brother..John Steel... who was in charge of a shipping company's laundry, was posh and lived in London, according to our Mother..then twins Nellie (after her mother's sister Nellie Webster (nee Steel) and Edmund who died at birth or shortly thereafter.

All siblings, without exception, worked at Provincial Laundries. This is Joe, resplendent in his Plus- Fours, which, allegedly he wore off duty, as well

Let's do the offspring one at a time

Jane (Jenny) ...

..married Hughie Devine

and it is believed that after living in London for a spell, they settled in Low Fell, Gateshead at 49 Dean Str. just around the corner from their Ma/Ma-in-law's house. They had no children
In her sixties, after Hughie had died. Jenny developed Alzheimer's Disease which progressed to her not knowing anyone. She died in Bensham Hospital

Joe married Jean Brown

...this was taken on their wedding day...

They were blessed with this little bundle of joy. Sylvia Bratton.
She is also seen below with her mother and as a young adult

Sylvia married



and they have one daughter

Lesley, married to Iain Fenton. They have a son and daughter, Stuart and Kate. For recent photos of the six of them, see below

Jean died when Sylvia was about 21 years old and eventually Joe married Ethel, who had 2 children from her first marriage Evelyn and Pamela

Edie, b May 1915, married Matty Dixon, b March 1915, and had one child John Dixon b 29/4/1945, who you have already met with his Grandad and Grandma.

John has remained single.

For 20 odd years he worked at Provincial Laundries and for the next 20 odd years he has been a Bus Driver

This is John, July 2005, taken in Sutherland's where Rob and Jon have recently met up with John and his drinking buddy, over a Sunday morning pint

John Steel and Eva are dealt with in detail in the Jack & Eva section

Baby Linda

Nellie met Arthur Patterson who was from Barnsley but at the time was a soldier billeted in Mr Kells former house on Kells Lane, Low Fell (there's a picture of the house in the Gateshead history section) They married, returned to Barnsley and had one daughter Linda. Linda has not married

This is Nellie and Arthur's wedding..

After Arthur died Nellie developed Alzheimer's Disease and Linda cared for her mother for the rest of her mother's life. Linda is still closely associated with the Alzheimer's group in Barnsley

Mother and Daughters taken at Kenmir Str, Felling, the Dixons home for many years

This is Sylvia, about the time she met Don, with her Uncle John Steel(Jack) in the back garden of St Thomas Str

As described elsewhere John Steel, the third out of five siblings, also developed severe Alzheimer's

And here's Isabella in the famous 'Smartie' dress

So Jenny was childless, Joe had a girl who had a girl, Edie had a boy who never married, and Nellie had a girl who never married so this line of the Bratton name would have died but for the stalwart efforts of John Steel and Eva who churned out Alan, Jon, Robert and Jim who have produced 6 boys between them. None of these boys have married, (in fairness two are still too young) nor as yet have any of them shown any sign of producing children. Indeed Jack and Eva were 50 and 43 respectively when they became grandparents whereas Alan 59, Jon 57, Rob 52 and Jim 47 are still waiting. Fortunately the gene pool, tho' not the name, is continuing through Sylvia & Don's family

L to R back

Sylvia & Don Ivison, Joe Bratton

L to R front

Lesley Fenton (nee Ivison) Ethel (Joe's second wife) Edie Dixon and Pamela (Ethel's daughter)

L to R

Rob, Eva, Sylvia, Don taken during a nostalgiac trip to Outer Dunston / Whickham in March 2005. Jon was there too (the photographer)

These get-togethers happen very infrequently because of geographical separation... after all this visit took a car journey lasting....11 minutes. Fortunately the brief get-together lasted 3.5 hours

Iain & Lesley Fenton. A handsome couple. They live in Northamptonshire and both are in the travel profession.

Update: Lesley married Keith Millward July 2012

And Lesley and Iain's offspring....

Stuart and Kate, or rather their photograph, enjoying a bright but chilly early March airing in Granny and Gran'pa's splendid back garden in Dunston, which to these "Southern Softies" must feel like it borders Iceland. You may be Fentons and you, Kate will likely carry another name, but never forget your maternal roots...You owe it to Great Grandad Joe, who was fiercely proud of being a Bratton, and deserves to be remembered with pride

Stuart you need a bigger billing because you...

and you, Kate, are presently the generational pioneers, the sole gene-carriers, way out in front.