This very old and rare medieval English surname is almost certainly locational and derives from a now "lost" medieval village called "Bridgemont". This place was near the village of Disley in Cheshire and is believed to be one of the estimated seven thousand hamlets that have disappeared since the 14th Century through plague, war and agricultural clearance. A hamlet called Bridgemont also existed near Dunmanway, Co. Cork, Ireland, which may have been in some way connected with the former Cheshire village. It is also possible that the name is a variant, although very early, form of "Bridgeman" - a person who guarded the bridge or collected the tolls.

The name is also found in Holland as "Bregmen", and as such has been recorded both in England and Australia before being "anglicized" to Bridgeman. It is almost certain that most Brigmonts, Bridgemonts, Bridgens, Brigments and Bridgements suffered a similar fate.

The Coat of Arms shows a man crossing a stone bridge, above water. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Brigement, which was dated September 3rd 1596, a christening witness at the church of St Mary Aldermary in London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558-1603.

Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to develop often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Our Bridgens Family including Webb

Small numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg EDWARD 2 BRIDGENS see 2



1. ~ ~ ~ GEORGE THOMAS BRIDGENS was born in 1811 in Woolwich, London, England and was a Mariner. George married FRANCES WEBB who was baptized on 3 April 1811 and was the daughter of EDWARD WEBB and ELIZABETH NAILOR.

Children of GEORGE BRIDGENS and FRANCES WEBB included:

*              FRANCES MARIA BRIDGENS, baptized 19 July 1837 at Bermodsey St John, Horsley Down, London.

*              RUTH ELIZABETH BRIDGENS, baptized 19 July 1837 at Bermodsey St John, Horsley Down, London.

*              EMMA SUSAN BRIDGENS, born July to September 1840.

*              ELLEN ELIZABETH BRIDGENS, born January to March 1842.

*              GEORGE BRIDGENS, born 1845.

*              EDWARD 2 BRIDGENS born in 1846 at Blackwell, Poplar, London.

*              ALICE BRIDGENS, born early 1847 at Blackwell, Poplar, London.

George died around May 1849. Frances is recorded on the 1851 Census as a Widow on Parish Relief and was living at 23 Powis Street in Woolwich, Kent with the younger children.


2.~ ~ ~ EDWARD BRIDGENS (GEORGE) was born on 26 May 1846 in Blackwall, Middlesex, England and was the second son of GEORGE BRIDGENS and FRANCES WEBB. Edward married MARTHA ELIZABETH WEBB at the Parish Church of East Wickham in Kent on 24 March 1872. Martha was the daughter of EDWARD WEBB and JANE DUKE and was born in Woolwich, London around 1849.

Edward and Martha arrived in New Zealand on 15 October 1874 onboard the Zealandia with their 2 year old son, Frederick.


*              FREDERICK HENRY 3 BRIDGENS, born 9 September 1872 in Marylebone, London, England.

*              ELLEN ELIZABETH BRIDGENS, born 8 November 1874 in Auckland, NZ. Ellen did not marry. She died on 31 July 1968 and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland.

*              EDWARD WALTER 4 BRIDGENS, born 14 April 1876 in Auckland, NZ.

*              GEORGE HERBERT BRIDGENS, born 1877 and died 1878 in Auckland, NZ.

*              MARTHA LOUISA 5 BRIDGENS, born 9 August 1879 in Auckland, NZ.

*              ROSINA EDITH (ROSE) BRIDGENS, born 1881 and died 1882 in Auckland, NZ.

*              ALICE MAUD BRIDGENS, born 1883 in Auckland; died 18 March 1970. Alice was buried at Waikumete Cemetery.

*              GEORGE ERNEST BRIDGENS, born 1887 in Auckland; died 22 March 1920. George was buried at Waikumete Cemetery.

Grateful thanks to the late Mrs Kathleen Craig (second wife of Edward George Bridgens) for the following information:

Edward and Martha Elizabeth with 22 month old son Frederick Henry were listed amount 219 steerage passengers aboard Shaw Saville & Co ship Zealandia leaving England 18 July 1874 and arriving Auckland Thursday 15 October 1874.

In various records they were living at Summer St 1883, Ponsonby 1890, Grey Street 1891, and in Karangahape Rd in 1893 which is probably where Edward set up his shoe business at this time.

The Auckland Institute & Museum has a picture of Rendell's shop (which is still in the same place) with Bridgens shop right next door (This was in horse and buggy days of course) and remained there until Edward, their second son, or the family were no longer able to carry on the business because of age or infirmity.

This is the family that started Bridgens Shoe Factory when Ted, my husband, came home after the First World War the government had retained a percentage of soliders pay which made a small nest egg when they returned home. My father-in-law had worked for his father in the Karangahape Rd shop for most if not all his life at this time. But saw an opportunity to start their own business with his knowledge and Ted's money so they leased some machinery and started a back yard enterprise, which flourished eventually.

The second brother, Albert, won a draw in the building society and joined his father and brother. This enabled them to purchase some property and with a Bank loan and eventual profits to expand into the largest shoe factory roundabout.

Percy became a dentist and never worked in the factory.

Ernest became a school teacher in the north, but as the shoe factory grew, he and his wife and children came to Auckland. Ernest joined the rest of his brothers (except Percy) in making shoes.

As time went on in due course the next generation took over, but, last year (1996) when the cousins were reaching retirement age, they decided to call it a day, as they considered it unlikely that the business would be profitable any longer. The lower standard of living in other countries caused a flow of imports which could be sold much more cheaply than New Zealand could manage to match, without having connections in some of these places.

Edward died on 21 February 1922 in Auckland, and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery. Martha died on 5 December 1938 aged 89 years and was also buried at Waikumete Cemetery.


From the "Central Leader" 5 12.1997

In 1875 Edward began boot-making in Pitt Street, Auckland. In 1893 he moved to Karangahape Rd where he rented a three-level building. The top level was residential, the street level a boot and shoe retail shop and the large basement a stockroom, shoe making and repair workshop.
No one is sure how long the store was open but it is thought to have been still operating in the 1940s.In 1923 he started making shoes on the family property at 54 Prospect Terrace, Mt Eden. It gradually expanded over the years into a large factory. In 1931 a new company bought the goodwill of the first company and a freehold property on New North Road in Kingsland was bought. On 19 December 1997 the factory closes


3. ~ ~ ~ FREDERICK HENRY BRIDGENS (GEORGE > EDWARD) was born on 09 September 1872 in London, England and arrived in New Zealand on the Zealandia on 15 October 1874 with his parents EDWARD BRIDGENS and MARTHA WEBB. Frederick married BARBARA ELLEN BROWN on 15 December 1894 in Auckland. Barbara was born on 22 February 1878 in Auckland.


*              EDWARD GEORGE BRIDGENS, born 22 May 1895 Auckland; died 1 September 1944 in Rotorua and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland. Edward married (1) MURIEL BONETTA SHULTZ and (2) KATHLEEN CRAIG (nee BRIDGE) on 1 June 1932 in Mangere, Auckland.

*              FREDERICK ALBERT BRIDGENS, born 1897 Auckland; died 15 June 1973. Frederick married DELIA HILDA MAY DALE-TAYLOR (nee Whitehead). Delia died on 30 October 1983 in Auckland.

*              ALICE LOUISA ADA BRIDGENS, born 22 March 1899 Auckland; died 19 July 1982 Auckland. Alice married NORMAN HUGH DANIELS on 18 October 1930 and they had a son and a daughter. Norman was born 24 November 1897 in Auckland, and died 04 September 1987. Alice and Norman were both buried at Waikumete Cemetery.

*              PERCIVAL RUPERT BRIDGENS, born 16 March 1901 Auckland; died 06 December 1967 in Auckland. Percy married RAY INNEZ YORK on 16 March 1926 and they had a daughter Joan and a son Rupert who died as an infant. Ray was born on 13 October 1899 and died 18 October 1974. Percy became a dentist and never worked in the shoe factory.

*              HENRY ERNEST BRIDGENES, born 2 September 1904 Auckland; died October 1965. Henry married IRENE ALICE RAMSAY in 1926 and they had three children. Irene was born 18 January 1902 and died in 1987. Henry became a School Teacher in the north but as the factory grew, he and his wife and children came to Auckland and he joined the rest of his brothers (except Percy) making shoes.

*              HAZEL MAY BRIDGENS, born 07 May 1907 Auckland; died 3 October 1986. Hazel married DOUGLAS FREDERICK STEVEN on 16 October 1928 and they had three children. Douglas was born 28 April 1899; died 31 October 1984.

*              LESLIE ARNOLD BRIDGENS, born 20 May 1909 Auckland; died 15 March 1974. Leslie married RUTH HORNER in September 1930 and they had a son and a daughter. Ruth was born 5 August 1908 and died 31 July 1980.

*              CHARLES BRYAN BRIDGENS, born 08 February 1908; died 2 December 1981. Charles married NELLIE MILDRED McMAHON. Nellie was born in 1909.

*              ROY DOUGLAS BRIDGENS, born 22 February 1917 Auckland; died 22 September 1991 Auckland. Roy married AMELIA ADA FARNDON and they had a daughter and a son. Amelia was born 13 June 1917 and died 29 December 1984.

Frederick died on 31 August 1938 in Auckland and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery. Barbara died on 21 December 1959 aged 82 years and was also buried at Waikumete Cemetery.

4.~ ~ ~ EDWARD WALTER BRIDGENS (GEORGE > EDWARD) was born on 14 April 1876 in Auckland and was the second son of EDWARD BRIDGENS and MARTHA WEBB. Edward married LILLIAN MAY EDWARD in 1908.


*              EDNA MAY BRIDGENS, born 1909. Edna married CYRIL ELSMERE DOWDEN in 1930. Cyril was born in 1905.

*              GEORGE EDWARD BRIDGENS, born 1915.

*              FRANK WALTER BRIDGENS, born 5 October 1919 in Auckland; died 2 March 1988. Frank married ZELDA CORBETT and they had two sons.

Edward died on 14 January 1945.

5. ~ ~ ~ MARTHA LOUISA BRIDGENS (GEORGE > EDWARD), was born on 9 August 1879 in Eden Terrace, Auckland and was the second daughter of EDWARD BRIDGENS and MARTHA WEBB. Martha married HENRY NORMAN WEBB on 23 March 1904 in Auckland. Henry was the son of THOMAS WEBB and MARTHA SIMPSON and was born 8 March 1879 also in Auckland. Henry was a Painter.

Henry died on 20 September 1952 in Eden Terrace, Auckland. Martha died on 19 June 1930 in Auckland and was buried at Waikumete Cemetery.

> Refer to the WEBB family for more information about Henry and his family and children of Martha & Henry.

Please note that in keeping with genealogy protocol I have not included information about later generations which may include living persons.
If you have a family connection please contact me for further information

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