Moses Brain (c1811-1887) (General)

by rodders @, Monday, June 17, 2019, 23:39 (354 days ago)

I am trying to establish if the Cornelius Brain (c1804-1869) of Trafalgar Colliery fame is related to my Great Grandfather (x4) Moses Brain (c1811-1887). Both men were baptised at Ruardean Congregational Church, and the Brain family seem to have close ties with this church, but to date I cannot find any documented evidence that there is a family connection (or not) and was hoping someone could assist me.

Moses Brain was the son of John Brain and Elizabeth Brain (nee Knight), he was baptised at Ruardean Congregational Church on 28 November 1811. Moses parents John Brain and Elizabeth Knight married on 5 December 1810 at Ruardean. Moses known siblings, also baptised at Ruardean Congregational Church were Ann 1814, James 1816 and John 1818. Moses died at the age of 75 and was buried at Ruardean Congregational Church on 8 May 1887. Mary Ann Brain, the wife of Moses died at the age of 75 on 22 August 1885, and is also buried at the Congregational Church.

Moses son James Brain (c1841-1924) married Eliza Hale (1844-1924), and the couple ran the Bush Inn (aka Mason’s Arms) at Hawsley, Joys Green. James’ obituary records that for many years he was an official at Trafalgar Colliery. Did he hold this position because of nepotism, ability or both?

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Moses Brain (c1811-1887)

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 11:22 (353 days ago) @ rodders

There's a fairly extensive tree on Ancestry that includes Cornelius but no sign of your Moses. But there are branches that have not been completed so doesn't exclude a connection. If you have Ancestry access the tree is at

What's the connection between Cornelius and Trafalgar?


Moses Brain (c1811-1887)

by MPGriffiths @, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 14:04 (353 days ago) @ probinson

There are previous threads re: Cornelius/Enos BRAIN etc and whether the BRAINS' of Ruardean are related


Gloucestershire County Council....

19th century Tramway known as Brain's tramway, from Trafalgar Coliery to Bilson and Drybrook.

Brain's tramway, running from Trafalgar Colliery to Drybrook via Steam Mills and Nailbridge.

Trafalagar Colliery was linked to the tramroad network in 1860 and was served by a tramway, built by Cornelius BRAIN c1862 leading to the Bilston sidings. etc etc.

Moses Brain (c1811-1887)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 19:41 (353 days ago) @ probinson

off top of my head I don't know which Cornelius Brain (there were a few in the Ruardean area at this time), but around 1840 one of them was owner/manager of the Trafalgar pit and also a few others nearby such as Royal Forester (Speech House) and Rose In Hand which became part of Trafalgar.
History of all these can be found here;

Moses Brain (c1811-1887)

by rodders @, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 20:28 (353 days ago) @ probinson

Thank you to all those who have replied so far, here are some more facts:

The parish records available on this site indicate that Cornelius married Sophia Bennett on 22 September 1831 at Hempstead, Gloucester. They are the parents of Thomas Bennett Brain, who was baptised on 20 October 1833 at Ruardean Congregational Church. Thomas Bennett was the owner of the Euroclydon and also Trafalgar Colliery.

Trafalgar colliery near Cinderford, which was in production in 1860, was developed by the Brain family and was the only large mine in the coalfield run by free miners in the later 19th century. The colliery, which in 1882 became the first in England to have electric pumps, took over the workings of Strip And At It colliery to the north, and a short tramroad through a tunnel connected the pitheads. See

The Ross Gazette, dated Thursday 2 December 1869 records the following:
THE LATE CORNELIUS BRAIN, Esq. - Our obituary records the death of one of our esteemed coal proprietors, Cornelius Brain, Esq., a gentleman deservedly respected and beloved in the Forest of Dean, and by all who had the privilege of his acquaintance. For the last two or three years his declining health and extreme bodily affliction has been borne by him with Christian firmness and resignation to the divine will. He had on the 24th ultimo attained the age of 65, and on the following morning expired at the Quabbs, Drybrook. His absence will be deeply felt. It may be truly said of him that he was a kind master, a firm friend, and a genuine Christian. His remains were interred in the burial ground of the Independent chapel, Mitcheldean, on Tuesday, the 30th November, and on Sunday morning next, the Rev. J. Lander intends his discourse to have special reference to the solemn event.

Details of the Will:
Surname Forename Role Relationship Year
ADAMS Francis Hamp Beneficiary Friend 1870
BRAIN Cornelius John Beneficiary Grandson 1870
BRAIN Thomas Bennett Executor Son 1870
BRAIN William Blanch Executor Son 1870
BRAIN Sophia Beneficiary Wife 1870
WILCOX William Witness 1870
ROOTES William Rudge Witness 1870
BRAIN Alfred James Probate Extract 1870
ADAMS Sarah Elizabeth Hamp Beneficiary 1870

Moses Brain (c1811-1887)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 19:15 (353 days ago) @ rodders

Hi Rodders,
your mention of James & Eliza Brain at the Bush Inn Hawsley reminds me of this great photo which I hope you've seen. As well as their grandson young Frank Brain, the photo includes my Gran's older brother Evan Taylor who was aged 49 when this was taken.

On the general subject of the Brain families around Ruardean, Jim Ashton has posted many times about them on the forum, hopefully he will see your thread and can maybe clarify things. eg
Failing that you may like to send him a P.M.

RSS Feed of thread
powered by my little forum