Ilkley, Yorkshire


Southern Wharfedale

"God's own Country". Yorkshire, often referred to as "God's own country" was until the nineteen seventies the largest county in England. The county is divided into 3 administrative areas, North-, East- and West Riding. These areas are divided into Districts, which are divided into Parishes such as the Ilkley Parish which is the area that the local Church serves. Such a Parish may serve a town, a village, or several villages including local farmlands.

Ilkley is situated in the Wharfedale district of West Riding, between the towns Bradford, Leeds and Harrogate. It is an ancient town, known to antiquaries as the Olicana of the Romans; it was built in Severus's time, by Virius Lupus, Legate, and Propraetor of Britain.The parish of Ilkley has two churches, the All Saints Church and the Christ Church. Ilkley was, by the way, a haunt of Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882) and he stayed here during the first publication of his book - Origin of the Species, in 1859

Four generations or more of Browns lived in Ilkley, from William Brown (I) to Matthew Brown (who at the age of 34 emigrated to South Africa). Many Browns lived in this area but most have not (yet?) been linked to "our" Brown line. Herewith a list of births and marriages of Browns from the records of Churches in and near Ilkley (Source: Listings of Nic Wilson)

The Origins of the Brown Name are many. One origin is the Anglo-Saxon god Woden. One of the characteristics of this god was apparently a burning or "browning" for the fight - a passion for inspiring men to war. Secondly, as surnames were necessary in England for identification, distribution of land, and status, many people who had 'no blood relation' took the name Brown, most of these because they were cultivators of land, and so being, became tanned or brown. Others adopted the name as a reminder of their occupations as copper or brownsmiths (Source: Article "Brushing up on the Browns" contributed by Pamela Brown Courtney and published by the BFGS (Brown Family Geological Society)).


"The Ilkley Pages"

More about Yorkshire

Definitions of terms used to describe land areas

Yorkshire History

The Administrative Areas of Yorhshire


Christ Church, Ilkley






Last update: October 2000