Family History

One Hundred Years of one Addingham family: the Brears’   by Anne Knight

This is the detailed story of a generation of the author’s family – the Brear’s are best known for their involvement with the Addingham Sawmill (‘William Brear & Sons’) but this page includes details of all members of the family between 1840 and 1940. 

For more information about the Sawmill and the Brear family see ‘Cotton to Wood’ – a new book by Don Barrett (go to the Books page).


To find out about other Addinghamers past and present:

We suggest you refer to the books about the village or try the following sources:-

1. The ‘Ilkley Pages’ People Page, for Wharfedale contacts, reminiscences, family information.

2. Genfair – ‘One stop shop for family & local historians’.

3. Wharfegen – A Genealogical Study of Wharfedale & Craven by Nic Wilson

4. ‘GENUKI’ – The Parish of Addingham, 1822,……… Historical & Geog. Information for the year 1834

5. My Heritage – Host and search your family tree website.


5. Requests for information:-

Both of my grandparents on my father’s side were born during WW1 in England, as Belgian refugees. As my grandfather Georges Versonnen passed away in the 50s, I only know his date and place of birth. But my grandmother has left us some postcards and pictures and a small booklet that belonged to my great-grandfather Norbertus Alphonsus Vannerum while he was in the army in WW1. Thanks to this, I know she (Elisabeth Rosalia Vannerum) was born in Addingham on Dec 26th 1915. She lived in Union Yard 2, with her mother Maria Billiard, grandmother Rosalia Vantongelen and several other family members. Her elder brother Franciscus Henricus, born in Belgium, passed away in Addingham, as well as a younger brother Josephus, who was also born in Addingham.
This part of my ancestry has always intrigued me, and I am hoping to find any information, pictures, stories about their lives as refugees. I would love to find enough information to visit relevant places in Addingham in the near future.
Is there a chance you can help me in this quest?
Kind regards,
Anke Versonnen’

“Am wondering if anyone might be able to provide information about Fred and Elsie Jennings who had the shop at 148 Main Street in the 1930-50s. I am descended from them and am looking for information or people who may have had some form of contact.
Any help or suggestions appreciated
Many thanks, regards,

Margaret Holms nee Ashton,         

Subject Evaccuee lived wth your family – Roger and Roy Londoners

Curious to see if you are still living in Addinham


If you can help – please use the Contact form.