The Craxford Family Magazine Red Pages

{$text['mgr_red1']} W Midlands

Page 5. The West Midlands Connection

A family moves west

Arthur Craxford outside the factory

The Craxford Plastics Factory


The time has come to group together the articles relating to the branch of the Craxford family that claims its roots in the West Midlands. It is as fascinating to family historians to plot the migrations of ancestors as it is to ornithologists to watch the flight path of birds. This page is dedicated to one such expedition.

For this move we have to thank John Craxford, who was born in September 1838, the second son of William Craxford and Elizabeth Hull in the village of Gretton, Northamptonshire. William’s was a large family (we know of seven children) and had traditionally worked the land. Indeed John grew up in the village, marrying Maria Smith in the parish church in 1861. They went on to have ten recorded children, the first three born in Gretton.

By the time John Craxford’s oldest son and fourth child, also named John, was born in 1868 the family had moved to the village of King’s Newnham in Warwickshire. We know little more of his life in the area but his second son, William (b. 1872) was to move further west to the Aston district of Birmingham. William and his wife Elizabeth Preedy had nine children and was Maureen’s grandfather.

Added: February 14th 2006
Last Update: September 4th 2011

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Meet the editors

Maureen Bird

Maureen Bird (nee Craxford) Associate Editor

I’d often wondered about my surname, it’s so unusual. I always thought that anyone with the same surname as me would have to be a relative, somehow. People would ask my name and I’d tell them and I’d see a strange look cross their face – what did you say, they’d ask. Craxford, I’d say – C.r.a.x….f.o.r.d. Almost always I would need to spell it out. However, I enjoyed having an unusual name.

It was in the late 1980’s before I came across anyone else who had the same name as me, who wasn’t immediately related. This man was a dentist living in the next town to where I live. I had come across his advertisement in the local telephone directory. At various times I had wondered, was this man a distant relative? At this moment in time I still don’t know, but having come across another “Craxford”, it had made me curious.

In 1997 I unexpectedly received a letter from a lady named Brenda Eldridge (nee Craxford). She was doing some research work towards compiling a “Craxford family tree” and could I help. I was amazed to be told that she had just one brother and his name was Alan. I too have just one brother whose name is Alan! So, there were two Alan Craxford’s in the country. I set about getting some family details together and exchanged Christmas cards with Brenda. In reality though, we didn’t make a great deal of headway until I was speaking with her on the telephone a few years later and mentioned that my brother, who is a jeweller, had now got his own website. She thought that her brother would be interested to know this and said she would let him know. Contact was made, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The first time I met with Alan was at my brother’s home, early last year. It was strange. I was curious to meet someone with the same unusual family name. Even more so knowing that he had the same name as my brother. Two Alan Craxfords in the same room! We were later to find out that our Great Great Great Grandfather’s were brothers. The two Alan’s are the same age. The similarity is that they both require a very high level of manual dexterity and skill to do their very different work, and both would probably list an enjoyment of music, cooking and travel, amongst their interests/hobbies.

Just before last Christmas we were all able to meet together again. Alan and Judith were visiting London, together with Alan’s sister Brenda (whom I was able to meet for the first time) and her husband. Over an excellent lunch and for some time after that we chatted, each eagerly trying to catch up with the others’ family history. This meeting, I believe, confirmed to Alan (Newfloridian) the idea of putting together this excellent website.

I hope we can meet together another time, and perhaps some more Craxford family members could join us. We would be delighted to hear from anyone out there who has the Craxford family name, or anyone who could help us fill in some of the empty spaces on our family tree. If you can help, do please get in touch.

Maureen Bird (nee Craxford)

Local heroes

Charles Henry Phillips: Access his story GRANDFATHER: CHARLES HENRY PHILLIPS
This caused a rift within his family, as they looked down upon people working "on the stage".

Arthur Craxford: access his story THE GUV'NOR
He was finally able to realise his ambition ... to start a small plastic injection moulding company – Craxfords Ltd.

Alan Craxford brooch: read the story of this jeweller ALAN CRAXFORD, JEWELLER
"It is the conception, the way in which they are slowly amalgamated into a work of art that is so distinctive"

Bath Blitz Memorial: Access the article WARTIME IN BATH, SOME PERSONAL MEMORIES
"That night his boss appeared on the doorstep wearing a suit and tie pulled over his striped pyjamas ..."

A gem of a web site

Alan Craxford's Black Tulip pendant

"Black Tulip" pendant

I have already told you of my namesake and how this discovery sparked my interest in the family tree and the development of this web site. A cursory internet search on the name Craxford with Google will soon show that we both have our own sites dedicated to our professional activities. Always ready to share a thing of real beauty and exquisite craftsmanship I am please to be able to provide a glimpse into the world of hand crafted, bespoke jewellery. The book entitled Alan Craxford, Jeweller has been added to these pages.

His web site can be found at Alan Craxford, Jeweller..

Just tell Alan Alan sent you.

Please contact us

emailIf you have any questions or comments about the information on this site, please contact us at Alan. We look forward to hearing from you.

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