The faces of history – Marion Brown

Marion Brown at 21 in 1903
Marion Brown at 21 in 1903

My grandmother Marion Brown was born on 9 August 1882 at Cannock in Staffordshire. She was the third child of Henry Ambrose Brown and Alice Plucknett Brown (neé Sternberg). She married Percy Winchurch in 1911.

Marion (or Marie, with the stress on the first syllable rather than the French pronunciation) had an elder sister Norah (b1879), brother Harry (b1881)


and a younger sister Millicent (Millie) (b1891).


Marie was perhaps the most introverted of the four. There was an underlying sense of humour within the family, which delighted me as a small boy. Life with the Browns was fun !

I am lucky to have known and loved all of them in their different ways as my childhood years overlapped with the later years of their respective lives.

Norah and Marie
Norah and Marie

It was a conversation between Norah and Marie 1n 1963 that was an early inspiration to look into family history more.

Norah talks about ‘mother’s father’s father’ being a ‘wonderful musician’ and ‘coming over with a German band’

Listen here to forty seconds of history

She was almost right, Francis George Sternberg was actually a generation further back and was a trumpeter with the Royals and Blues Regiment. He settled in Northampton, married Frances Furnivall and established himself and his family in a music retail and education business.

At the time of this recording in 1963, it was two hundred years since Francis’s birth. It is an interesting example of how family information can be passed down the generations.

If I count my granddaughter, we have nine generations here.

When Marion died in 1982, she was just four months short of her hundredth birthday.

As far as I know, she is the longest living ancestor that I have. That is quite a thought if you project back into prehistory.


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