On May 3rd 2008 my mother Mary Kathleen Bidwell sadly passed away, she had been married to my father Alfred William Bidwell for over 65 years. As a result of her death, dad lost the will to live and passed peacefully away on 22nd July 2008. I should like to now dedicate this site to them. May they both Rest in Peace.

My family research, which I have been working on since 1984, centred around my great grandfather Charles Bidwell. He was the son of John Bidwell (1793-1877) who originally came from Thorverton in the county of Devon.

Charles was born in Bristol,England on 21st February 1860 and died as the result of a street brawl on 18th February 1899. He was married on 21st March 1879 to Susan Fowler and they had 12 children. Five children died in infancy, and seven survived The Bidwell's who lived in Bristol are quite certain to have originated in Devon.

I have relations living in Canada and Australia. I have contacts in the USA through the Bidwell Family Association and also Frank Bidwell of California who I am sorry to say passed away on the 14th October 2011 aged 82. Frank completed his book entitled 'Bidwell Genealogies Vol 1'in 2005 a copy of which he has kindly provided me with. He had been carrying out research on this project since I first met him in 1984 and has been a great source of information. May he Rest in Peace.


My grateful thanks must also go to my cousin Dincke's husband, Michael F Williams for the endless hours of research he has done on the Brierley family. Our grandfather Thomas Henry Egerton, as he was known, was very well known amongst the Travelling Showmen in the West of England, in the 1920's and 30's the family travelled with several of the large fairs such as Anderton & Rowlands and Charles Heal & Sons. Thomas at that time was their Business Manager.

Following the recent death of my mother in law, Maude Elizabeth Brindle, our research has been extended into my wife Pat's family. Whilst dealing with Maude's affairs it became very apparent that we knew very little about the Brindle - Burchall line. We know that the Brindle's originally came from Clevely,Lancashire and their line is fairly well documented.

Pat's maternal great grandfather was James (aka Jimmy) Burchall. He was born on the 9th January 1830. As a Travelling Showman from Rochdale,Lancashire, he first came to the South of England with a pig(whom he apparently called 'slut'). He travelled with the Fairs in the Salisbury area in the early 1880's with a Shooting Gallery. Well known amongst many of the older Showmen, he died at Shaftsbury on the 19th June 1913 aged 83. Claiming to be the "oldest working Showman in the South of England, he was still working until about 12 months before his death, exhibiting his mechanical Shadowgraph. . An invention of his was the "Flying Pigeons and Running Rabbits" shooting saloon.

The original projector he used is still in the family, in the safe care of his grandson Peter Burchall.

Recent contacts made with Anne-Marie Blissett regarding research into the Cosser family, Janet White, the Alexander family and also Dorothy Chadwick, for the Dornom and Burchall families. This information has proved invaluable to our research.

I am also researching the names of Fowler, Alexander, Sadler, Dagger, Denman, Cosser, Gates, German, Dornom, Haynes, Sedgwick, Warwick and Dawkins as they also form part of our family.

And finally I retired on 5th January 2009 so hopefully I can start working again on our family research.

Any information would be appreciated and I am quite happy to share any information I have.


The Mike & Pat Bidwell of Bristol, England Home Page
Updated May 10, 2012


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