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The Organ Family of Winterbourne Parish

Enoch Organ (1818-1901) came from an Anglican family at North Nibley, Gloucestershire, and was the son of John and Sarah Organ. He was mentioned in the 1841 census returns that he resided at Mulgrove Farm, Hambrook, in the parish of Winterbourne, as an agricultural labourer for Redford Matthews. Enoch married a Unitarian girl Elizabeth Williams of Frenchay in that parish at Temple Parish Church in the city of Bristol in 1843. They lived in Frenchay, Bromley Heath, and then Mulgrove Farm in Hambrook. They had twelve children born from 1843 to 1864, who were baptised at Frenchay Unitarian chapel. Four of them died in infancy and were buried there. The surviving children were Henry (later of The Stream, Hambrook), Isabella, Elizabeth, Isaac, Kate, Edward, Annie (later Maggs of Mulgrove Farm, Hambrook) and John.

Sometime after the 1851 census, Enoch’s father, John Organ’s flax business in North Nibley, found its fortunes waning, because at that time Indian cotton began to come into the country, as it was more economical. Around this time, Enoch earned his living by “hiring himself out” with his scythe to farmers travelling around the farms in the area. He therefore had enough savings to purchase a horse and cart from his father’s business, and he then commenced his own business as local carrier. Enoch was a successful self-employed haulier from the early 1850s. In 1877 he extended his business to farming, when he rented Mulgrove Farm in Hambrook. When he was about 69, he transferred his affections to farming only, handing his haulage business over to his son Isaac Williams Organ, who later moved his business to the city of Bristol carrying on the hauling in Organ’s Timber Yard in Bedminster run by Enoch’s cousin, Edwin Organ of Olveston. Isaac specialised in log haulage for the timber trade. In 1900, Isaac moved his haulage business to Redcliffe in the city of Bristol. The business was extended to delivery of feeding stuffs for farm animals by his second wife, who then opened a retail shop in 1907. It eventually became a pet shop called “Pets Paradise” in 1934, which was said then to be the first and only pet shop in Bristol. The Organ business had celebrated its centenary in the 1955. A grandson of Enoch, Maurice Williams Organ ran the Crown Inn public house, in Hambrook.

This article is a tiny version of Andrew Plaster’s first book “The Unitarian Organ Family and their descendants”. The 90-page book was launched at a gathering of Enoch Organ’s descendants. About 60 descendants attended the gathering that Andrew organised, was held at Frenchay Unitarian Chapel on 8th September 2001 to commemorate a centenary following the life of Enoch Organ.

Andrew can be contacted by email for further enquiries.

Photographs of some members of the Organ family have been received. To view, follow this link...