Sunday, October 28, 2018


I found my earliest ancestor in Kent, Hadlow to be exact.  Here, in 1809, I find the family of Thomas Daws (my 3G-GF) and wife Elizabeth Whitebread with three children, William aged 5, Jane Ann aged 3 and Susan aged 2.  The reason I was able to find them was they were ordered back to Uckfield in Sussex by a removal order dated 9 August 1809.  Thomas was an agricultural labourer and I have labelled him as ‘Thomas the Labourer’ because I descend from a whole line of Thomas’.  I also have Thomas the Bricklayer (my 2G-GF) and Thomas the Builder (my G-GF).

Thomas, the Labourer, married Elizabeth in Tudeley and Capel on 8 March 1804.  The Whitebread’s are an old Kent family and they have been in Hadlow a while, at least, since 1700 according to my research.  Henry Whitebread, who would be my sixth great-grandfather, was buried there on the 13th of May 1752.  I’m assuming that this would be in the St. Mary’s churchyard although I have no proof of this.

Why did Thomas and Elizabeth marry in Tudeley and Capel although the twin parishes are adjacent to Hadlow?  Maybe the church was closer to where they were working.  I’m assuming that Elizabeth was pregnant when they married as their first child, William, was baptized in Hadlow on 12 April 1804 just a little over a month after their marriage.

The Daws’ family weren’t very obedient.  They managed to have my second great-grandfather, Thomas the Bricklayer, baptised in Hadlow on 12 November 1809 a full three months after the order.  But wait, they also had Sarah baptised on 3 November 1811 more than two years later and still in Hadlow.  Did Thomas find work which would have negated the need for them to remove to Uckfield?  Elizabeth was from Hadlow so why were the poor law overseers so keen to have them gone, not that they rushed to leave.

Next they appear in East Peckham, not Uckfield as you might expect.  Frances, a daughter, is baptised there on 6 December 1814, then Elizabeth is baptised on 1 December 1816 still in East Peckham then Mary on 27 June 1819 and finally George on the 6 January 1822.  George is the last of the East Peckham children so their dalliance on the way to Uckfield added another four children to the family.  As you’ll see later, William, their oldest even gets married in East Peckham before they leave.

Finally, in 1829, a daughter, Harriet, is baptised in Holy Cross Church, Uckfield on the first of March.  Elizabeth would have been forty-four so it’s not unreasonable to assume that this is her child but they also had three daughters over eighteen so Harriet may have been a granddaughter.  Harriet does list Thomas the Labourer as her father on her marriage registration in 1856 so there’s not proof either way.

The family is last found in East Peckham in 1822 and then in Uckfield in 1829 leaving a seven year span during which they could have moved or removed.  The 1831 census for Uckfield, which was published by PBN Publications in 1988, shows two Daws families living together at Grants Hill with a total of eight females and eight males.  This matches my tally for Thomas living with his older son, William, and their combined spouses and children.

William has been a real pain!  He married an Elizabeth in East Packham around about 1826 so that may make the Daws departure later than I thought.  I have never found a marriage or Banns for William and Elizabeth.  Elizabeth dutifully reports East Peckham as her birth place on every census from 1841 to 1861.  Her death in 1867 doesn’t record any family other than her deceased husband and a neighbour who was the informant.  I have tried to reverse engineer her surname from all the available Elizabeth’s of which there are ten born between 1803 and 1805 in East Peckham which corresponds to her census reported age.

The Daws’ did not follow any naming convention with their children as is found with many English and Scottish families in the 18th and 19th centuries.  This means that I can’t predict her parents forenames from the names William and she gave to their children.  I find it irritating that I have the family so well documented from about 1873 with this one missing bit that I can’t fill in.  It also makes me feel that I haven’t properly recognized Elizabeth even though she’s only related to me tangentially.  As I work on my family history, I like to believe that I am remembering each ancestor I record and acknowledging their contribution to the family fabric.  I hope a future descendant of mine feels the same way when they discover me.  Maybe through this article?

William and Elizabeth’s first child, Elizabeth, was baptised in East Peckham in 1828 while their second child, Henry, was baptised in Uckfield in 1831 which narrows the move date even further to sometime between 1828 and 1831.  I don’t know if his parents moved first , vice versa or all together.  The only thing I am reasonably sure of is they are living together in Uckfield by 1831.

While daughter Elizabeth was born in East Peckham and moved to Uckfield she is the only child of the whole family group to return to Kent.  She married George Gurr, a native of Isfield, Sussex in 1850 in Uckfield but returned to Penshurst between 1871 and 1881 where they both died.

From this point on the family are stationed in Uckfield, Sussex eventually migrating to Brighton where Thomas the Builder became a prominent house builder with over one hundred houses to his credit.  In fact, if anyone is familiar with the Cutress’s or Round Hill Mill which was purchased by Thomas who used the 50,000 bricks for building fourteen houses on Belton Road.  The lumber was used for the window sashes and the metal was sold for scrap.  My grandfather Tom (not Thomas) inherited two of these houses but sadly they were sold shortly after his death in 1933.  The rest of the story is in Sussex.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


My cousin Derek agreed to have his DNA tested and we are a match.  Specifically, we share 18.6 centimorgan's on chromosomes 15 and 16 so this must be the DAWES heritage.

Family Tree DNA estimates that we are 4th cousins while GEDmatch puts it at 4.8 generations to a Most Recent Common Ancestor.  From our paper records, I believe that our common ancestor is Thomas DAWS b. 1773 in Westham, Sussex, therefore, we are 3rd cousins once removed.

As you can see from the above chart, we have one extra generation between us hence the "once removed."  According to the relationship charts available at we could have anywhere from 0 to 332.26 cM so that fits our 18.6 result.

The next step will be to try and find others on GEDmatch who match us in the same area. Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

UPDATE - Gladys Kathleen (DAWES) HOWARTH

In my first post about Gladys (view here) I was confused by the name HOWARTH on her death certificate and the fact that no Maiden name was shown.  She was listed as Gladys Kathleen HOWARTH "otherwise" Gladys Kathleen DAWES.  So what was it, was she married or not?

I recently checked the 1939 Register for her and she is found married to Fred HOWARTH and living at 77 Stanley Avenue, Portslade, the same address found on her death certificate 40 years later.

Both she and Fred are shown as married and we know it's the right Kathleen because her mother is living with her.  Mary Jane (WRIGHT) DAWES was estranged from her husband Ernest and I always wondered what happened to her so now we know.  Ernest is found on the 1939 Register living at 60 Amherst Crescent, Hove with Sarah GASPER a widow aged 76.  Who is she and what role does she play in this puzzle?

77 Stanley Avenue is not the house Gladys inherited from her Grandfather Thomas, in 1925, which was 92 Chester Terrace, Brighton.

I have not been able to find a marriage between Fred and Gladys but I will keep looking.  There is obviously more to this story.

Friday, December 11, 2015


My Y-DNA results are in and prove both disappointing and exciting at the same time.  I had joined the DOSS/DAWES Study Group and I don't match anyone in the group.  My haplogroup is G-M201 and is very rare and unique which I'll try to explain and that's why it's exciting.  From a general DNA match point of view, my closest match is from Bahrain making things more confusing until you unpack the history.

In a nutshell the G-M201 family originated in the Caucasus on the north-eastern shores of the Black Sea around the city of Tuapse in Russia.  If you watched the Sochi Winter Olympics, this is the area of your Dawes ancestors.  They were hunter-gatherers who followed the animal herds as they migrated north and west at the end of the last ice age.

Map Source;

The above map show the source and migration paths out of the Black Sea area.

All Neolithic skeletal remains contain the G haplogroup and the origins of Neolothic culture are considered to be in the Levant or Jericho on the West Bank which makes my match to someone from Bahrain make sense.  The Black Sea area was also the scene of heavy fighting with major British involvement throughout both world wars and more so it is also possible that a DAWES soldier traveled there in the early 20th century.

How the DAWES family ended up in Sussex is still a mystery but I now believe that it happened much earlier than I originally anticipated.  In other words, they didn't come through modern Germany and pick up the DOSS name along the way.  It had to have happened before surnames came into common use.

As more and more males have their Y-DNA tested this story will continue to unfold and I will post updates as that happens.

Here are some interesting articles on the G-M201 haplogroup.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New DAWES Developments

Two Things:

1st - I am having my Y-DNA tested by Family Tree DNA to see if the DAWES family came from Germany.  Apparently, the name started as DOSS and was anglicized to DAWES.  There is a DOSS/DAWES project on FTDNA so I should be able to see which migration pattern our family followed.  Now, I just watch the mail for my kit to arrive so stay tuned.

2nd - I am writing a book on Saturation Analysis for Genealogy.  This is where you identify all possible sources of records for surnames in a geographic location.  I am using DAWES and all its permutations in Sussex, England for my test study.  I am creating as many husband and wife groups as I can from the Parish Registers, General Register Office indexes, census returns, poor law records and many more.  Each family group is given a unique number and entered into a spreadsheet.  When I have finished recording all families that I can find I am going to enter them into a genealogy program and start linking the families together.  I am hoping that when I have finished I will have a detailed map of where the DAWES' lived in Sussex and then I'll follow the migration patterns into the adjacent counties.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Shift in Direction

I haven't posted anything for a long time, particularly because I was doing research on family lines other than my DAWES ancestors.  Originally, I had intended to create individual blogs for each of my grandparents so would have ones for RAYNER, LAMB and GARDNER in addition to my DAWESROOTS.  However, I have since decided that keeping four blogs current is a lot more work that combining all of my ancestors under one roof, DAWESROOTS.  Therefore, I will be adding my research material and speculation about the above surnames to this blog.  I will still update DAWES material as new or corrected information turns up and I will rework the labels to reflect which family a post is assigned to.

I will start with an overview chart of each of the new families.


Friday, May 24, 2013

The Dawes Dynasty - From humble labourers to a prominent Brighton builder

I wrote this story for entry in the Sussex FHS "Write your Family History" Competition and thought it would also be of use in this blog.

My DAWES ancestors were humble folk, mostly labourers from Sussex, except for one who broke the mold.  This is his story.

And, they were all named Thomas.

As early as I can ascertain, the first Thomas DAWS was born in Uckfield about 1769 based on his age of 75 at his death in 1843.  He died of atrophy which was registered by his neighbour, Mary Darby.  Fortunately for me, he just made it into the 1841 census.  Thomas was a labourer on all the records that track his life.

Now I am going to leave the story for a moment and engage in a little genealogical speculation.  I believe that his father was Thomas DAW born about 1746 in Lewes who married Mary Hilton in 1768 Willingdon.  I also believe that his grandparents were Joseph DAW born about 1710 in Lewes and Ann EARL born about 1714 also in Lewes and married in Framfield.  His great-grandparents might have been James DAW born about 1684 in Warbleton but died in Lewes and Mary CHANNEL who also died in Lewes.  These three generations could be all fluff and are my current challenge to prove.

So back to Thomas the Labourer.  Both he and Elizabeth are also found on the 1831 census for Uckfield as transcribed by PJN Publications in 1988.

Elizabeth was born as Elizabeth Whitebread in 1785 Hadlow, Kent.  Thomas married her in Tudley & Capel in 1804 and they settled in Hadlow for a while where they had five children there between 1805 and 1811.  A Poor Law Removal Order was issued 9 Aug. 1809 ordering them back to Uckfield correctly naming three of the five children and their ages.  Two more children, Thomas (b. 1809) and Sarah (b. 1810) were born in Hadlow before they actually moved but then only a short distance to East Peckham where they had four more children. They stayed in East Peckham until 1821 as George was baptised there in that year.  Their last child was Harriet who was baptised in Uckfield in 1829.  However, I wonder if Harriet might be a grand-daughter as there were eight years between her and George with Elizabeth being 44 at the time of her birth although Harriet's marriage certificate does show her father as Thomas DAWES (Labourer).

By a long and circuitous route, Thomas-the-Labourer has finally returned to his birth place of Uckfield where we pick up the story of the next Thomas who was born in 1809, just about the time of the removal order, and became a bricklayer in Uckfield.  In 1834, Thomas-the-Bricklayer married Ann LANGRIDGE in Lewes.  She is descended from the Horsted Keynes Langridge's.  They had five children between 1835 and 1846 with only Joseph, the first, escaping vital registration.  They were all born and baptised in Uckfield with the final Thomas of this tale being the middle child born in 1840.

Thomas-the-Bricklayer died of cancer at age 42 in 1851.  It is also noted on his death certificate that he had a hernia which is not surpizing considering his occupation.  His wife, Ann, was now widowed with five children between five and sixteen.  Because Thomas died in a census year it is hard to determine how Ann managed over the next ten years although there were many Dawes relatives living in Uckfield so she was probably taken in by one of them.  Her own Langridge siblings also lived in Uckfield so hopefully she would have had lots of support.
Ann remarries, in 1856, to James Gallop in Uckfield.  I suspect that they had to get married because shortly afterward they registered the birth of a daughter, Caroline.  By 1861, she and James are living in Brighton with Caroline and her son, Thomas, who is a wheelwright.  Thomas was probably there first because of this snippet from a letter written by one of his grandchildren, Reg Barnes, to another cousin.
At the age of 14 he walked to Brighton in a pair of his father's old boots to seek employment, and by sheer grit and perserverance became in course of time one of Brighton's leading builders.
This would mean that Thomas-the-Builder traveled to Brighton in 1854.

Through the course of the census records between 1861 and 1911, Thomas-the-Builder is a wheelwright, painter, and builder.  It is estimated that he built well over 100 houses in Brighton and played a major role in the building of the Florence Road Baptist Church.  This again is taken from the memoires of Reg Barnes which I have transcribed and placed in the SFHG library.

His mother, Ann, died in 1874 at age 62 from heart disease and asthma, an affliction which I have inherited.  Two years later, in 1876, Thomas-the-Builder marries Sarah BOXALL who was born in Brighton in 1841.  Thomas and Sarah proceeded to have nine children of which one died young in 1870 and a spinster daughter died at age 32.  The remaining seven all married but only produced eleven grandchildren with half of the their lines dying out in the next generation.  Not a very prolific family!

Sarah, his wife, died in 1890 from leukemia.  Thomas-the-Builder remarried in 1894 to Sarah Roust and had one more child with her.  Finally, another Thomas.  Of his nine children with Sarah BOXALL, none of the boys were named Thomas although one was christened Tom, my grandfather.  He completely broke the traditional naming convention which the family had used in all previous generations by using Walter, Ernest, Tom and Albert.  His last son, I will call Thomas-the-Organist, because he carried the letters A.R.C.O., F.R.C.O and F.T.C.L. after his name and was sought after to play many church recitals and as a church organist.  He was also the "cousin" who kept in touch with his relatives and managed the affairs for several.  Unfortunately, he and his wife, Grace WOODING, had no offspring.

Thomas-the-Builder ran his building business, Dawes & Son, from 54 Springfield Road.  He is famous for tearing down the Cutress & Son windmill at the top of Roundhill Road and using the the materials to build the terrace houses on Belton Road.  When he died, in 1925, he left 22 houses to his children and grandchildren of which my grandfather inherited three specifically, 40 & 48 Belton Road and 94 Chester Terrace.  
Unfortunately, my widowed grandmother had to sell these off before WWII, otherwise, I would be living in Brighton today!

That's my rags to riches story of how a humble family of labourers became one of Brighton's prominent families.  Within this family history are a hundred more little stories that have revealed themselves as I have rooted through the family's past and been carried off on tangents.  My grandfather, Tom Dawes, became a carpenter and emigrated to Canada in 1906.  Family lore has it that he wanted to be a teacher rather than follow his father in to the building business and that's why he left.  My grandmother, Caroline GARDNER, followed him a year later and they married the day after she arrived in Montreal.  It's a shame that they never went back nor did any of their family ever visit them.  I have inherited his original tool chest which is like a 100 year old time capsule of the Brighton building trades.