MAYHEWS’s of Bromham, Bedfordshire

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Can researching the Bromham, Bedfordshire parish records for any mention of the surname MAYHEW help confirm the identity of my 5th great-grandfather’s parents?

Through traditional research, I have traced back to my 5th great-grandfather John MAYHEW and his wife Kazey GREY. John died in 1804 shortly after marriage but his age was not recorded on the burial record. If he were the same age as Kazey he would have been born around 1763. John lived, married and died in Bromham, Bedfordshire as did his son (my 4th great-grandfather John MAYHEW), his grandchildren and one branch of his great-grandchildren. Before 1800 there didn’t seem to be many Mayhews in Bromham, so was John born there?

I have six confirmed DNA matches leading back to my 4th great-grandfather and his first wife Sarah Harrison (my 5GGP) and also his second wife Sarah TAYLOR, via two of his children other than my 3GGF (who is another John, b.1824). There are several more DNA matches who don’t have trees and are as yet unplaced. John and Kazey only had two children before he died and as only my 4GGP survived into adulthood the only DNA link to my 5GGP as a shared ancestor are via my 4GGP John.

I was therefore very interested to find four DNA matches with trees going back to a Mary Mayhew b.1771 from Bromham, Bedfordshire, England (two of these matches are brother and sister). Could my 5GGP John be a brother to this Mary? They could be of a similar age, and also have the Bromham link. Mary and husband Matthew Tebbutt were living in Bromham in the 1841 census. They married in 1797 in Bromham and had thirteen children there. Only two of their children are confirmed to have made it to adulthood, a third I’m not sure about. Of the two children I known who lived, both went on to marry and have children of their own, with one of the son’s being the line my DNA matches come down from.

These are my four DNA matches via Mary Mayhew, of which WJS & JR are on both Ancestry and My Heritage so can see our shared DNA segment is on Chromosome 7. There are two more in the shared circle on Ancestry but without trees, and four matches with small triangulated DNA on My Heritage whom I can’t place either (one has a Danish tree, one a Czechoslovakian tree, one a very small US tree and one no tree).

  • W.J.S – 6th Cousin 1x removed – 31cM/1 (much larger than expected for this distance cousin)
  • J.R & D.R – 6th Cousin 1x removed – 14.5cM/1 & 13.4cM/1
  • E.P – 7th Cousin 1x removed – 11cM/1

Assuming that Mary Mayhew was born in Bromham around 1771, there are three baptism records which fit her in 1769, 1770 & 1771. All have parents John & Elizabeth , and a suitable marriage record in 1766 for John Mayhew and Elizabeth Bettle. There is also a baptism in 1773 for an Elizabeth. Could these be the parents of my 5GGP John Mayhew, and if so why is there no baptism for him?

These are all the Mayhew parish records found in the parish transcriptions for St Owen’s Church in Bromham, which I have as  PDF file from the Bedfordshire Family History Society. Most of these are online but don’t include all the details the original entries do, like where from when married if outside the village, and son/daughter/wife of on burials. Extra information in brackets is from the records [with my notes in square brackets].

Mayhew in Bromham Parish Records (1570-1812, 1813-1837/1851)


Children of John & Elizabeth Mayhew (nee Bettle)

As John and Elizabeth were married in 1766, my 5GGP John could have been their first child. They had three daughters in a row named Mary, the first of which must have been born early 1769 as another Mary was baptised just three months later, and must have died before Mar 1770 when the next Mary was baptised (no burial found). Perhaps she was baptised in December because she was likely to die, like the the second Mary who was buried just two days after being baptised. The third Mary is whom I believe to be the wife of Matthew Tebbutt and my DNA link. John married twice again after Elizabeth died but no other births are recorded. It’s possible my 5GGP John could have been an only child from one of the next two marriages, but more likely he is from this one because of the size of the DNA matches I have via Mary.

  • 17 Dec 1769 – Mary d. of John & Elizabeth Mayhew [must have died before Mar 1770]
  • 18 Mar 1770 – Mary d. John & Elizabeth Mayhew [buried 20th Mar 1770]
  • 31 Mar 1771 – Mary d. John & Elizabeth Mayhew [married Matthew Tebbutt?]
  • 15 Aug 1773 – Elizabeth d. of John & Elizabeth Mayhew [buried 12 May 1774]

Children of Thomas & Mary Mow (nee Smith)

  • 26 May 1771 – Sarah d. of Thomas & Mary Mow
  • 26 Jun 1774 – William s. of Thomas & Mary Mow
  • 15 Aug 1779 – Hannah d. of Thomas & Mary Mow
  • 26 May 1781 – Thomas s. of Thomas & Mary Mow

Children of Thomas & Elizabeth Mow (nee Whitten)

  • 16 Oct 1791 – John s. of Thomas & Mary Mow
  • 07 Jul 1793 – Edward s. of Thomas & Mary Mow
  • 25 May 1797 – Sarah d. of Thomas & Mary Mow

Children of John & Kazey Mayhew (nee Grey, my 5GGP):

  • 02 Aug 1801 – John s. of John & Cazey Mahew
  • 11 Mar 1804 – James s. of John & Kazey Mayhew

Children of John & Ann Mayhew (nee Smith):

  • 07 Jun 1812 – Maria d. of John & Ann Mayhow, born May 2nd 1812
  • 05 Sep 1813 – Joseph s. of John & Ann Mayhew, gardener

Children of John & Sarah Mayhew (nee Harrison, my 4GGP):

  • 26 Mar 1822 – Charles s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 13/03/1822)
  • 17 Oct 1824 – John s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer
  • 08 Jan 1826 – Keziah d. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 08/01/1826)
  • 01 Jun 1828 – Ann d. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer
  • 05 Dec 1830 – Emma d. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer

Children of John & Sarah Mayhew (nee Taylor, my 4GGF 2nd marriage):

  • 25 Jan 1835 – Samuel s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 11/09/1834)
  • 08 May 1836 – David s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 21/02/1836)
  • 06 Jun 1838 – David s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 29/04/1838)
  • 13 Jun 1841 – Louisa d. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 06/05/1841)
  • 25 Jun 1848 – Josiah s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 01/05/1848)
  • 13 Apr 1851 – Matthew s. John & Sarah Mayhew – labourer (b. 12/03/1851)
  • 18 Sep 1853 – William s. John & Sarah Mayhew (b. 25/07/1853)
  • 26 Aug 1855 – Sarah Ann d. John & Sarah Mayhew


  • 10 Oct 1766 – John Mayhew & Elizabeth Bettle
  • 16 Oct 1769 – Thomas Mehu & Mary Smith
  • 24 Jun 1774 – John Mayhew & Mary Birt (of Stagsdon)
  • 03 Dec 1775-1778 [BT of Banns, year not given] – John Mayhew & Mary Allen (of Sharnbrook)
  • 14 May 1790 – Thomas Mow & Elizabeth Whitten
  • 08 May 1797 – Mary Mayhew & Matthew Tebbott
  • 10 Oct 1800 – John Mayhew & Casey Grey [my 5GGP]
  • 24 Dec 1806 – Kasey Mayhew & Samuel Stratton [5GGP Kazey’s 2nd marriage]
  • 1811 – John Mayhew/Meyhew of Bromham, age under 21 occupation gent & Ann Smith, age under 21 of St Peter Bedford – married in St Peter, Bedford
  • 20 Oct 1817 – Sarah Mayhew & Thomas King – Consent of parents, witnesses Elizabeth Wallinger, Henery Islip
  • 07 Nov 1833 – John Mahew & Sarah Taylor [4GGP John’s 2nd marriage] – Widower & Spinster; Witnesses: James Millard, Hannah Taylor, Mary Mortimore [Hannah is Sarah’s mother, Mary (nee Millard) was their neighbour in 1841 and James possibly her brother or uncle).


  • 20 Mar 1770 – Mary d. of John & Elizabeth Mayhew
  • 19 Aug 1771 – Sarah d. of Thomas & Mary Mow [assume nee Smith]
  • 18 Feb 1774 – Elizabeth w. of John Mayhew [assume nee Bettle]
  • 12 May 1774 – Elizabeth d. of John Mayhew
  • 07 Feb 1775 – Mary w. of John Mayhew [assume nee Birt]
  • 03 Jul 1789 – Mary w. of Thomas Mow [assume nee Smith]
  • 15 Mar 1799 – Mary Mahew, widow [assume nee Allen]
  • 30 Apr 1804 – James s. of John & Kazey Mayhew [brother of 4GGF]
  • 31 Aug 1804 – John Mayhew [5GGP – an age would have been REALLY useful here!]
  • 22 Jun 1825 – Elizabeth Mayhew – age 70 [b.1755 – assume second wife of Thomas, nee Whitten]
  • 27 Dec 1826 – Thomas Mayhew – age 81 [b.1745]
  • 25 Jun 1833 – Sarah Mayhew – age 33 [b.1800 – 5GGM, assume nee Harrison]
  • 06 Aug 1833 – Elizabeth Mayhew – infant [no mention of parents, but possibly John and Sarah, nee Harrison although no baptism found]
  • 14 Dec 1839 – David Mayhew – age 9 months [b.1836, assume son of John and Sarah, nee Taylor]
  • 04 Jun 1841 – Samuel Mayhew – age 7 [b.1834, assume son of John and Sarah, nee Taylor]
  • 20 Aug 1842 – Emma Mayhew – age 12 [b.1830, assume daughter of John and Sarah, nee Taylor]

I’ve not found a burial for John Mayhew, my possible 6GGP, but must have died between 1775 when he married Mary Allen, and 1799 when she died a widow. An age at death for my 5GGP John Mayhew would have been really helpful with placing his birth within a family.


  • 1789 – In memory of Mary wife of Thomas Mayhew who departed this life July 1st 1789 aged 40 years.
  • 1825 – In memory of Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Mayhew who departed this life 20th June 1825 aged 70 years.
  • 1826 – In memory of Thomas Mayhew who departed this life on 24th December 1826 aged 81 years.

Census Records

In 1841 the only Mayhew family living in Bromham is my 4GGP John with his second wife and seven children (covering both marriages). As no birth places were included, I can’t search the country for any other Mayhew’s born in Bromham but living elsewhere.

In 1851 there were two families now living in Bromham; my 4GGP John with his second with and four children, and his eldest son Charles with a wife and two children. When looking at Mayhew’s who are recorded as being born in Bromham, along with my 3GGP John Mayhew b.1827 (who had moved to Kempston, Beds) are two more families:

  • John Mayhew age 59 (c.1792) born in Bromham, Beds (with wife Elizabeth and daughter Elizabeth) living in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
  • Edward Mayhew age 57 (c.1794) born Bromham, Beds (with wife Edith) living in Bristol, Gloucestershire.

Research showed these two men were the children of Thomas Mayhew & Elizabeth Whitten (2nd marriage). Their sister Sarah was married by this time (to Thomas King). From Thomas’s first marriage to Mary Smith, their first child died, but I don’t know what happened to the other three (William, Hannah and Thomas).


At the moment there is no conclusive evidence of the birthplace or date of my 5GGP John Mayhew and there are no baptisms records for a John Mayhew c.1760’s/1770’s in Bromham. A DNA link going back to a possible sister in Mary Mayhew of Bromham is a good start, but again, there is only circumstantial evidence that she was born in Bromham in 1771 and the daughter of John Mayhew & Elizabeth Bettle.

The earliest date for the surname Mayhew (aka Mahew, Mahu, Mow) recorded in Bromham is 1766. I suspect that John and Thomas, who were both most likely born in the 1740’s, were brothers and moved to Bromham but were not born there. As the circle of Mayhew’s from Bromham is very small, it is more than likely than my 5GGP is the son of John Mayhew & Elizabeth Bettle (or even his second or third wife if he were younger than his own wife Kazey Grey), and Mary Tebbutt nee Mayhew his sister. As there are at least two parish records for this family missing (John’s burial between 1775-99 and their first daughter’s burial in 1770), being unable to find my 5GGP’s baptism is therefor not unprecedented (although highly annoying)!


I’m going to trace the children of Thomas Mayhew and his two wives to see where that leads, and continue to search my DNA results for any further links to the surnames Mayhew and Bettle within Bromham itself and Bedfordshire on the whole.


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