The Brabazon History Project

Ann Shevill (nee Brabazon) lives in Brisbane, Australia and in May 2010 on the eve of her 83rd Birthday wrote these words about her involvement in The Brabazon History Project.

The Evolution of an Inspiration

The Brabazon History Project which has taken up so much of my time and effort over more than half of my life, was inspired by my Grandmother Ruby Brabazon when I was a teenager.

I now realize that I have an interesting tale to relate, these notes aim to share the story with Brabazon Family members, and others who have an interest in Family History, being about how my favourite hobby, the History of the Brabazon Family, has evolved, having in mind circumstance, necessity and the advance of technology particularly in regard to electronic communication.

During World War 11 Grannie Brabazon was chatting with me and a couple of my cousins about the man with our name who was then often in world news - Lord Brabazon (of Tara) who was a Minister in the British War Cabinet of Winston Churchill. Grannie reminded us that we must always be proud of our birth name, to which was attached such interesting history, since Jacques le Brabancon, the Great Warrior, from the village of Barbencon in Normandy, France, came in 1066 to England, leading the army of William the Conqueror.

After the war, my Aunt Ruby Rudd, when her son Bob Rudd (my cousin) was in England with the Royal Australian Air Force, posted a letter addressed to "Lord Brabazon, care of Winston Churchill, No 10 Downing Street, London". There was a prompt response from Lord B. (such a modest lovable man who had many interests and was a pioneer of the aircraft industry in UK) and his wife Lady Hilda; they were very kind to Bob Rudd and our cousin Peter Brett, another RAAF Officer, who had been shot down over Germany and had been released as a prisoner of war and returned to England.

Grandfather Charles J A Brabazon knew the Meaths who lived at Killruddery, the stately home of the Brabazons, located in County Wicklow south of Dublin. Grannie told us as girls that, after the Battle of Hastings was won by William of Normandy, he built a castle south-east of London for Jacques le Brabancon; the family later moved to northern estates.

In the sixteenth century, two Brabazons moved to Ireland and established their families in the County Mayo/Ballinasloe areas in the north-west, as well as on the east coast at Killruddery - Titles of Baron Ardee and Earl of Meath were bestowed upon Sir William Brabazon.

Having been so inspired by my Grannie, I began to keep diaries and the serious collection of family memorabilia - a hobby which still is of special interest and which has brought me into contact with Brabazons all around the world. Some I have enjoyed getting to know well, having shared travel and Family Reunion experiences, in Ireland, Canada, USA and New Zealand.

By 1995, the exciting new computer program 'Windows' came to my notice, so when personal computers became more affordable, I acquired word processing skills. Soon after that, family members moved to USA so usage of emailing became essential for regular and inexpensive communication.

Soon after a Family Reunion in Ireland in 2003, a Brabazon Archive Website was set up in London. It is the advent of the Website, together with the popularity of emailing correspondence, and researching genealogical material, which has revolutionized the Family History hobby.

The Website resource is visited by many people who 'google' the word Brabazon.



If you have any information you would like to add to The Brabazon History Project or would like to make enquiries about your possible connection with the Brabazon Family, you can email Ann Shevill at shevilla@bigpond.net.au


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