Good to hear from you! I thought I recognised your name and couldn’t think where from until I got to your web link and realised. I had refered to your brush-makers site some years ago when I was first researching my family history – really excellent, well done. I must take another look!
I haven’t been very active on the family history front for some time so I am a bit rusty on who’s who but having checked my records I think we have the following.
We start with John Olley, born March 1778 in Norwich. He then turns up in London where he marries Comfort Harriss 27th September 1803 in Lewisham. I don’t know much about her, although she doesn’t appear to be living with him in 1841, so maybe she has died by then. John died 26th May 1851 at Deptford bridge, brush-maker.
They had 10 children, of whom the following may be relevant so far as the brush-making links are concerned:
1. John William Olley, born about 1805 in Greenwich. He was the eldest son and is shown as a brush-maker in 1841, 1851 and 1861 (in 1861 as “Master Brush-maker employing 6 men and 1 boy” – sounds as though this might have been the Olley your grt-grt-gf worked for?). Residence (and work-shop?) shown as 5 Deptford Bridge in 1841, 6 Deptford Bridge in 1861.
He married Rebecca Cant in Deptford on 29.12.1830 and had another 10 children as far as I can see. Again just picking those with brush-making connections …
1.1 Rebecca Charlotte Olley, b. about 1832 in Greenwich. It looks to me as though she married a George Adcock, who is shown as a brush warehouseman in Deptford Bridge in 1881. 1.2 John Herod Olley, b. 5.10 1833, Greenwich, christened 27th October 1833, died 2.6.1865 at Deptford Bridge, probate 16th Oct.1865 (which I haven’t obtained). 1841 at 5 Deptford Bridge; 1851, shown as brush-maker; 1861, shown as clerk brush-makers but now residing at 3, Leonard’s Terrace Streatham with his sister, Rebecca Charlotte.
2. Charles Frederick Olley, b. about 1813 Greenwich (christened 26th Sept 1813 at St. Alphage, Greenwich – most of the children were) – my grt-grt-grt-grandfather. I have a feeling he also started life as a brush-maker before moving to Notting Hill to become a china dealer but I can’t find any reference to that in my records at the moment so may be wrong.
3. Thomas Olley, b. 8.1.1821 Greenwich. I think he may have died 1874 Greenwich. I have him down as a brush-maker in 1851 and 1871.In 1847 and 1851, living at Friendly Street Deptford. I am not sure where that was.
I thought there were more brush-makers in the family at that time but I can’t seem to find any at the moment! But it looks to me as though John's eldest son john william "took over the family business" so to speak. Let me know whether any of this chimes with your research – all very interesting. I can send more detailed reports to your e-mail address if you need any more info.
I was also interested to see the reference to family members working for the railway. It looks to me as though one of John Olley’s children, Mary Harris Olley, married William Samuel Cant, who is shown as an engine-smith and then blacksmith in 1851 and 1861. Ditto his son Charles (1871 thro to 1901, Southwark and Lambeth up to Bedford), and Charles’ son William was an engine pattern-maker in 1891 (apprentice) and 1901.
Anyway I hope this helpsand if you can let me know any more at your end that may be relevant to my research please let me know. Any other information on the Harriss side?