The Gravatt Family

See the Gravatt Census Transcripts                                              See also the related Tann family History page and Tree

See the Gravatt Family Tree                                                             See the Gravatt Family Photos

Further Research Notes re the Gravatts of Billingshurst.

DNA Matches



The research into the Gravatt family began many years ago with the help of a family tree that had been made out by Neil Gravatt for his aunt Doreen Howard (nee Curtis).  This family tree had been passed onto Antony Streatfield, (my dad and Doreen’s nephew) after her death.
Our Gravatt line terminates in
London, but it may progress into Sussex where there is a huge number of Gravatts or even Henley of Thames where a line goes back well into the 1500s. Time will tell.  I have seen many family trees from ancestry that attribute our John b abt 1764, who left a will and/or his son John, to a family of Sussex Gravatts from Billingshurst.  I have researched these and have tried to address this issue here as I believe this not to be the case at this moment in time. 

At the top of our tree presently is John Gravatt born abt 1764.

Gravatt burial St. Lukes

Gravatt family Grave stone at St. Luke’s Finsbury

We learned a lot about John Gravatt senior from his Will dated 11th January, 1834 (made the day before he died)1.  [Thanks to Marion Woolgar for this will and other documents sent to me during 2004-2005]. In the will, he states that he is a Gentleman. He leaves money to his sister, Nanny Horne (likely Ann),  two nieces, Sophia and Hannah Horne, a niece Mrs Battice (then a widow) of Doncaster Place Old Kent Road, his daughter-in-law Hannah Gravatt, widow, of Windmill Street (this confirmed the link between this John and his son John, below) and his Gravatt grandchildren.  He also mentions in the will another daughter-in-law Sarah Barnes of Pentonville.  I have managed to find details of his sister Ann Horne, her husband [a marriage has been found between Ann Gravat and Thomas Horne on 22nd June 1788 at St. Bennett, London]  and their daughters [they had five daughters that included Sophia, born 1796 and Hannah, born 1794].  I am unable, however,  to confirm which niece is Mrs Battice or who exactly was Sarah Barnes.  However, there are possible parents for John Gravatt born about 1764: John Gravatt and Ann Ryall who married in 1763 at Westminster (John born 24.10.1765) or John Gravatt, tanner and Ann (John born 10.4.1764).  However, these possible parents do not account for a sister Ann.     

As there is no mention of a wife in the will, it was assumed that she had died before him and by luck I was sent this grave inscription (thanks Joan!). It is highly probably then, that the Mary Gravatt mentioned on the headstone (right) was John’s wife;  Mary Wright who married a John Gravate on 1st August, 1786 at St Dunstan, Stepney, London 2.  



Whether or not the parents are John Gravatt and Ann Ryall [married 28th August, 1763 St. James, Westminster 12] we do know that John Gravatt senior newsman b abt 1764 had a sister Ann (Nanny) who according to her age at death was born abt 1757. If John and Ann above are his parents then he also had a brother Richard Gravatt 12.

Ann Gravatt b about 1757 of St Benets Pauls’ Wharf                                                                                                                                                                               m 22.6.1788 St Benets Pauls’ Wharf to Thomas Horn (widower)                                                                                                                             d 1839, bur 29.9.1839 St Benets Pauls’ Wharf, London                                                                                                             John Gravatt (Newsman) b abt 1764 [poss b 24.10.1765, bp 14.11.1765, St James, Piccadilly, Westminster]                                                                                                    m 1.8.1786 St Dunstan & All Saints Stepney to Mary Wright                                                                                                                             d 12.1.1834, bur 20.1.1834 St. Luke’s age 70 [will dated 11.1.1834]                                                                        ?Richard Gravatt? b 6.3.1767, bp 22.3.1767 St James, Piccadilly, Westminster   


Ann Gravatt was born about 1757. I cannot confirm her baptism or parents at this stage.  On 22nd June, 1788 she married a widower Thomas Horne (son of Richard Horne and Martha), a bricklayer at St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London. They were both of this parish  They had five daughters 12;

Rebecca Horne b 20.8.1790, bp St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London                                                                                                                                     m 14.5.1826 Christchurch, Southwark to James Robson
Harriett Horne  b 9.6.1792, bp 1.7.1792 St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London                                                                                                                                                m 24.3.1824 Christchurch, Southwark to Robert Whenlock                                                                                                  Hannah Horne  b 25.6.1794, bp 31.8.1794  St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London
Sophie Horne b 26.12.1796, bp 15.1.1797 St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London                                                                                                                                           m 24.3.1839 St Giles Cripplegate to Thomas Clark
Rachel Martha Horne b 27.1.1799, bp 13.3.1799 St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London                                                                                                                                           bur 12.1.1800 St. Benett Pauls’ Wharf, London

Thomas died in 1838 and was buried at St Benett on 18th April, 1838. At the time he was living at Helmet Court. His widow Ann was also buried at St. Benett on 29th September 1839 aged 82. She was living at Alms Houses, St. Peter’s Hill.  Rebecca Horne and her fiancee James were witnesses at her sister Harriet’s wedding in 1823 and Sophia Horne was a witness at her sister Rebecca’s wedding in 1826.  It appears as though Hannah did not marry – she was aged 50 and unmarried in the 1851 census at Helmet Street, being on parochial relief and deaf.  So it is unlikely that any of these Horne sisters became John’s niece Mrs Battice.  She could be a daughter of either a brother (Richard??) or a daughter of his wife’s brother or sister? 



John Gravatt, a Newsman/Gentleman was born about 1764 and married Mary Wright [possibly the daughter of John Wright, Ropemaker and Sarah] on 1st August, 1786 at St Dunstan, Stepney, London.  They were both stated as “of this parish and the hamlet of MEOT” [Mile End Old Town]. They had one son John Gravatt born about 1787 and probably another son who would have been married to Sarah who became Sarah Barnes of Pentonville as mentioned in the will of John senior [it must be remembered that the term ‘daughter-in-law’ was not always used in the way we use it now – it has been used to mean step-daughter for example].  I have found only one John Gravatt spelt Graveat; son of John and Mary born at the right time; bp 19 Aug, 1787 at West Ham, All Saints. If this is the correct John, then there may be relatives, perhaps a cousin;  Sarah Mira Gravatt also baptised All Saints to a Thomas and Sarah Groveat. 

John’s wife Mary died on 6th January 1830 and was buried on 14th January also at St. Lukes 3John died on 12th January, 1834 and was buried at St. Lukes on 20th January  He left a will dated 11th Jan 1834. 



John Gravatt born abt 1787 was also a Newsman/stationer at 8 Windmill Street, Finsbury. He marrried Hannah Steedman in 1812 at Barking.  They had nine children, all baptised at St. Luke’s church, Finsbury 3:

Mary  Gravatt bp 6.10.1812 Finsbury d by 1815
John Gravatt bp 16.1.1814 Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                                             d 10.8.1827 Finsbury bur 13.8.1827 St Lukes 3
Hannah Gravatt bp 7.5.1815  Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 27.9.1836  Finsbury to James Tann (b 1814)                                                                                                                                                            d 28.12.1854, bur Hightgate cemetery 10
Mary Gravatt bp 7.5.1815 Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                                                bur 10.7.1862 Highgate Cemetery
Thomas Gravatt (Law Stationer) b 15.6.1816 bp 22.9.1816 Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                      m 25.4.1839 Finsbury to Eleanor Tann (b 1818)                                                                                                                                                          d 17.5.1899 Leyton, bur 21.7.1899 Waltham Forest
Robert Gravatt (Law Stationer) b 11.9.1817 bp 26.12.1817 Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                     m1 1841 Finsbury to Clarissa Harriet Tann (b 1819)                                                                                                                                                 m2 1881? London to Mary Ann Lamber                                                                                                                                                                  d 1.4.1902 East Hendred, Berks
Mira Sarah Gravatt bp 21.4.1819 Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                                            d 26.8.1865 Islington (spinster)
James Gravatt bp 8.7.1821 Finsbury,
William Gravatt b 31.3.1821 bp 8.7.1821 Finsbury                                                                                                                                                                                         d 2.7.1822 Finsbury bur 7.7.1822 St Lukes 3

In the 1846 London Directory, Hannah was listed as  Hannah Gravatt & Son (stationer), 8 Windmill Street, Finsbury Square, the son being Robert, but I have been unable to locate her in the 1841 census. Her two youngest surviving children James (a Grocer) and Mira were living at Hyde Place, Tower Hamlets, Shoreditch. In the 1851 census Hannah was living at Green Lanes, Tottenham with daughters Mary, Mira and a grandson Robert.  Hannah was living at 14 Albion Street in 1861 with her two youngest daughters Mary and Myra.  She died at the same address on 5th February, 1862 aged 71 4. Her son Robert was present at death.  She was buried on 14th February, 1862 at Highgate Cemetery.


It appears that Hannah was a victim of crime on two separate occasions. Firstly, a theft on 2nd February, 1825 when Francis Gosling was indicted for stealing a pocket book (value 2s) and twelve ornaments (value 3d).  He was found Not Guilty at the Old Bailey on 17th February, 1825. 

The second occasion was on 13th September, 1827 when a number of items were stolen from the stationer’s shop in Windmill Street, belonging to both Hannah and her daughter Mary.  Transcripts available from the Old Bailey.  7



Thomas Gravatt, born on 15th June 1816 was the son of John Gravatt and Hannah Steedman. He was a law stationer and he married Eleanor Tann, daughter of Edward Tann, safe maker and Ann, on 25th April 1839. His brother-in-law James Tann was a partner, having spent their apprenticeships together. They had set up home and business at 17 Serle’s Place, Lincolns Inn, at least up until 1846 6.  But soon after this they dissolved their company. Thomas and Eleanor stayed at Serles Place and James Tann moved his office to 4 Cocks’ Court, Carey Street 11. Thomas and Eleanor had twelve children, all baptised at St. Clement Dane’s, Westminster 5:

Thomas Gravatt (Banker’s Clerk) b 28.2.1840, bp 15.4.1840 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                            m 12.4.1866 Norwich to Susanna Cannel Long
Edward Gravatt (Law Clerk) b 16.5.1841,  bp 9.6.1841 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                                m 1865? Hackney to Eliza P K
Ellen Ann Gravatt
b 1842  bp 12.10.1842 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                                                   m 1871 Hackney to Robert Tann (Safe Maker)
Annie Gravatt b 31.1.1844, bp 26.2.1844 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                               d 1924 Blean, Kent
John  Gravatt (Railway Clerk) b 25.9.1845, bp 22.10.1845 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                           m 14.9.1887 Walthamstow to Alexandria Elizabeth Tann (daughter of James Tann & Hannah Gravatt)                                           d 1885? Tonbridge                                                                      
Robert Gravatt (Solicitor‘s Clerk)  b 15.6.1847, bp 13.7.1847  Westminster,                                                                                                                                                                             m1 28.11.1872  Islington to Elizabeth Jessie James                                                                                                                                             m2 21.1.1901 Islington to Alice Mary Farrin (nee Law)                                                                                                                                                   d  17.8.1902 Highbury, bur 21.8.1902 Highgate cemetery
Clara Gravatt b 17.3.1849, bp 11.4.1849 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                                m 1872 Hackney to Henry Joseph Turner
Alfred James Gravatt b 7.7.1851, bp 3.8.1851 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                                   d 1856 Westminster
Louisa Mary Gravatt b 2.9.1852,  bp 17.1.1854 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                                d 1856 Westminster
Alice Gravatt b 14.12.1855, bp 23.1.1856 Westminster
Alfred Gravatt (store Keeper) b 7.3.1858 Westminster                                                                                                                                                                                                         m 29.5.1886 St. Mary’s Walthamstow to Fanny Scholfield
Ada Gravatt b 1.4.1861, bp 26.4.1861 Westminster

Between 1865 and 1883, Thomas was in business at eight addresses around the Inns of Court.  They lived, however, at 17 Serle’s Place, Carey Street, St Clement Danes from at least 1841 until after 1861. In 1871 Thomas and Eleanor were living at 17 Banksleys Walk, Hackney and in 1881 at Grosvenor Park Road, Walthamstow.  In 1891 a 75 year old Thomas was living with Eleanor and both youngest daughters (Alice 35, and Ada 30) at 8 Clarendon Road, Walthamstow.  It is thought that Eleanor died in 1895.
Thomas died aged 85 on 17th July, 1899 3 Malta Road, Leyton from senile decay 4.   His daughter Alice was present at death.  No will has been found at present. The Death notice was extracted from “The Times” 20 Jul 1899 :-

“GRAVATT – On the 17th July, at Leyton, Thomas Gravett, late of Serle’s Place, Carey-street, in his 85th year.”



 Robert Gravatt, born 1817 was also a law Stationer. He married Clarissa Harriet Tann, another daughter of Edward Tann, in 1841 and they had the following children:

Clara Gravatt bp 2.11.1842 St Luke’s  
Emily Gravatt bp 6.4.1845 St Luke’s
Ellen Gravatt bp 6.5.1845 St Luke’s
Myra Louise Gravatt bp 17.9.1847 St Luke’s
Robert Edward Gravatt bp 1.4.1849 St Luke’s                                                                                                                                                                                                               d 15.2.1867 Cheapside
Harry James Gravatt bp 17.8.1851 St Luke’s                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 24.2.1886 Sutton Maddock, Shropshire to Emma Sarah Greenhaigh
William Gravatt (Sugar Broker) b 13.3.1853 St Luke’s

[Thanks to Stephen Thompson, also researching this family for doing a great job of noting all the instances of the name Gravatt in the Times Archives between 1785 and 1985. This has been a great clue as to the whereabouts of the Gravatt’s stationers. We know that they were at 8 Windmill Street before and during 1851 (bot not during the 1841 census) but the Times articles tell us that the premises were in existence from at least 1817.]

After John died, son Robert took over at this address until at least the time of the 1851 census, but later Robert’s premises had moved to 11 King’s Street, Cheapside 8.      Clarissa died on 27th November, 1859 at Cheapside. Clarissa’s Letter of Administration shows that by this time they were living at 7 Bonner Road, Bethnal Green; the shop’s premises being elsewhere.  It appears that Robert remarried in about 1881 to Mary Ann Lambert. Mary died on 9th February, 1902 and Robert died on 1st April 1902 at East Hendred.



Letter from Robert Gravatt to his parents 1859

Letter from Robert Gravatt to his parents 1859

Robert Gravatt was born on 15th June, 1847 at 17 Serles Place, Lincoln’s Inn, Westminster 4.  He was not at home at Serle’s Place at the time of the 1851 census.  He was with his grandmother Hannah Gravatt at Green Lanes, Tottenham 9. He went to school in in Hackney.  We have a letter written by him to his father in 1859 advising them of his Christmas vacation – a very formal and almost grovelling letter.

On 28th November, 1872 he married Elizabeth Jessie James, daughter of Walter James at St. Mary’s Church, Islington.  At the time of his marriage he and his bride lived in Barnbury Street, Islington and Robert was an Attorney’s clerk.
Robert and Elizabeth had nine children:

Jessie Eleanor Gravatt  b 29.9.1873                                                                                                                                                           m 22.4.1905 Islington to George Samuel Fisher
Robert Walter Gravatt b 17.11.1874 Homerton                                                                                                                                         d 29.4.1931
Claira Alice Gravatt b 28.4.1876                                                                                                                                                             m 27.9.1902 Christchurch, Highbury to Charles Cambridge Grigson
George Gravatt (clerk) b 12.7.1877 Leyton                                                                                                                                                m 4.8.1909 to Amy Fulker                                                                                                                              d 9.8.1955
Alfred Gravatt b 8.5.1879 Homerton                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 31.1.1904 Pancras to Rosa Alice Eliza Riley                                                                                                                                                             d 1904?
Katherine Gravatt (nurse) b 20.2.1881 Leyton                                                                                                                                                     d 3.8.1980 Ranfurly, New Zealand
Rebecca Gravatt b 9.3.1883 Leyton                                                                                                                                                                                                                    m 17.8.1907 Edmonton to Edgar Charles Sparks                                                                                                                                                     d 27.7.1932                                                                         
Ernest Gravatt (clerk) b 31.1.1885 Leyton                                                                                                                                                                                                                   m 2.12.1906 Edmonton to Annie Gladys Sparham                                                                                                                                            d 1.12.1966 Tottenham
Louisa Gravatt (my great grandmother) b 9.3.1887 Islington,                                                                                                                                                                                                               m 26.6.1909 West Ham to Augustus Thomas George Curtis,                                                                                                                              d 1973 Bridport

Up until 1876 they lived at Holly Cottage, Homerton.  In 1877 they moved to 6 Stanley Road, Leyton, where they lived until 1885 when they lived at 2 Rock Villas, Maynard Road, Walthamstow.
By 1881 Robert had become a solicitor and in 1887, when my great gran Louisa was born, they lived at 23 Stavordale Road, where they lived until Robert’s death in 1902.
Elizabeth died in December 1899 and in March 1901 Robert married Alice Mary Farrin (nee Law) who had been his wife’s nurse.   Alice had two children of her own that were living with the family in 1901; Walter and Dorothy Farrin.   Robert died on 17th August 1902 at home in 23 Stavordale Road 4. He was buried on 21st August at Highgate cemetry.   When he died, his brother John Gravatt, railway clerk of 35 Buxton Road, Chingford was an executor of his will.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Leslie Gravatt Fisher 1906 - 1988

Leslie Gravatt Fisher 1906 – 1988

Jessie Gravatt married George Samuel Fisher in 1905. They had a son Leslie Gravatt Fisher born in 1906. He was Ordained as Deacon in 1933 and as Priest in 1934. He performed the marriage ceremony of his cousin (my nan) Edna Curtis (daughter of Louisa Gravatt) in 1934.  He was Rector of St. Mary’s Bermondsey from 1939 – 1947 and resident as Canon of Chester Cathedral from 1965 to 1975 when he retired.  His last known address was 14 Lamb Park, Chagford, Newton Abbot, Devon.  He was buried in Chagford Parish church.

Katherine Gravatt was known as Renie, and was born on 20th February, 1881. It appears from the HHARP (Historic Hospital Admission Records Project) that she may have suffered from Lupus as a child and was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital when she was 11 years old, in January 1891 (although this is a year out as far as her age would be concerned and the address of residence does not match that of Stavordale Road, where they lived in March 1891 9). But as no other Katherine Gravatt appears on the census for 1881/1891 in London for this age, I must assume it is her. [Thanks to Richard Bardner for this information] I have not been able to find her in the 1911 census.

 Katherine became a nurse and moved to New Zealand in around 1920. (She was found to be leaving Southampton for Auckland on 25th February, 1925 on the Tainui, so this may have been a return visit or the initial emigration).   She never married. Her Obituary appeared in the Otago Times in 1980.  This included a brief outline of her life in New Zealand.


Katherine Gravatt 1881 - 1980

Katherine Gravatt 1881 – 1980


                     OTAGO DAILY TIMES                                     19.08.1980

                    OBITUARY                                                     MISS K. GRAVATT

 (Ranfurly Special) – The death has occurred of Maniatoto’s oldest resident, Miss  Katherine Gravatt, aged 99.  She would have been 100 on February 21.

Miss Gravatt was born in England and came to New Zealand in 1920 after nursing in England.  She was matron at Campbell House at Otago Boys High School for 15 years.  She then worked at the Waipiata Sanatorium as seamstress for nine years, retiring to Ranfurly when she reached the age of 65.  She was a patient in the Maniato hospital for the past nine years and a half.

Miss Gravatt was interested in the St. Clair Surf Life-Saving Club and gave various pieces of equipment to them.  She also made donations to the Waipata Youth Centre and gave cardiac beds, tea sets, flowers and shrubs to the Maniatoto hospital.


Rebecca Gravatt & Edgar Sparks & children c 1914

Rebecca Gravatt & Edgar Sparks & children c 1914




  Rebecca Gravatt born in 1883 married Edgar Sparks in 1907 and they had three children:

Harold Sparks b 1908
Stephen Sparks b 1910
Peggy Sparks b 1916

In the 1911 census they were living at 21 Evesham Road, New Southgate, Edmonton 9

Opposite photo of Rebecca, Harold, Edgar & Stephen c 1914 sent to me by grandchild of Harold; Eddy Towers




Ernest Gravatt born 1885 was a clerk. He married Annie Gladys Sparham in 1906. I remember Annie as Auntie Gladys and I used to pop round for a cup of tea with my mum when we lived in Tottenham in the 1960’s.  They had one son:  

Frederick Ernest Gravatt born 15.4.1907 Leytonstone, m 1939 to Florence Violet Young

They in turn had two sons Roger and Neil (the author of the original family tree).



Louisa Gravatt (Curtis) c 1965

Louisa Gravatt (Curtis) c 1965







Louisa Gravatt was my great grandmother. She was born on 9th March, 1887 at 34 Stavordale Road, Islington 4.  She married my great grandfather Augustus Thomas George Curtis in 1909. Please the the Curtis family history for more. 



DNA Matches

I have a DNA match with a descendant of Clara Gravatt b 1849, sister of my 2 X great grandfather Robert. 


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1 Will of John Gravatt senior dated 11 January, 1834


3 St. Luke’s Finsbury  registers

4 birth, marriage, death certificates

5 St. Clement Dane’s, Westminster registers

6 1846 London Directory

7 Old Bailey Online

8 The Times Archive

9 Census returns

10 Highgate cemetery headstone photo sent by Peter Tann

11 letter from James Tann’s daughter-in-law Jane Tann to her son 1907.

12 baptisms, marriages and burials from

3 Responses to “Gravatt”

  • Ellie:

    Hi Angela, it was great to find your website and the Gravatt family connection. Rosa Mary Gravatt born 1870 or 1871 was from the census, the youngest daughter of Edward Gravatt and Eliza P K. Rosa Mary Gravatt married Edward George London who was born in Hackney in 1866 and a leather case maker. They had one son, Arthur Howard who was born in 1899 in Hackney. They lived at 43 Lavers Road Stoke Newington. Rosa Mary Gravatt is living with them (widowed) when she is 73, and Arthur Howard was 11 years old in the 1911 census. Arthur was my grandfather, and Rosa Mary my great grand mother so Edward Gravatt and Eliza P K Gravatt my great great grandparents!!!

    This is amended version!!

    Best wishes

  • Hello, Juliet. It appears that you and I have a connection in our family tree: Alfred Gravatt, b. 1879 in Homerton and d. 1904. He married my great-aunt Rosa Alice Eliza RILEY, b.1883, d.1966. They had two children: Evelyn Rosa Mary GRAVATT, 1905-1983, and Eric Alfred GRAVATT, 1909-1981. They lived in London. I started our family tree in 2012.

    Best regards, Angela

    • Hi Angela.
      Thanks for getting in touch. I will add the details of Eric and Evelyn onto the family tree. I don’t suppose you have any photos do you? Always worth asking as we are a bit thin on the ground with Gravatt photos!
      All the best Juliet

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