Thursday, April 1, 2010

Unknown DAWES Women Resolved

Back in the early days of this blog, I mentioned three daughters of Thomas DAWS (1769-1843) and Elizabeth WHITEBREAD (1785-1849) whom I was not able to trace. You can view that post here.

Since I have been rushing to fill in the gaps in my research before the price of GRO certificates goes up on April 6th I have made a breakthrough on all three of the daughters.

My thanks goes to Mary DAWES for visiting each of her sisters on different census nights, Susannah in 1861 and Harriett in 1871 otherwise I never would have made the connection.

One of the great features of is the ability to search on a females given name with a birth year and location. This generally turns up a bunch of potential marriages which can then be investigated further. I was looking for Harriett's born in Uckfield about 1829 when in the 1871 census I find Harriett and John TAYLOR living in Glynde, Sussex with five children and Harriett's sister, Mary DAWES, born in Peckham, Kent about 1819.

What a find! What a preponderance of evidence!

Harriett's age is within a year of her christening date which is all we have and Mary's is bang on. Plus, Harriet is born in Uckfield, Sussex and Mary in Peckham, Kent. For those of you who look it up I have made an adjustment here since on the1871 return Harriet is shown as born in Glynde and her husband is born in Uckfield but in the 1861, 1881 and 1891 returns it is the other way around.

Harriett and John had quite a large family which I am continuing to follow into current generations so we may turn up some more living cousins.

There are three middle daughters that I haven't been able to find after 1881 yet. Eliza TAYLOR b. 1860, Mary A TAYLOR b. 1862 and Harriett TAYLOR b. 1864. Imagine, another Mary and Harriett go missing.

The good news is that we can put Harriett to bed with her vital statistic dates of (1829-1893). Husband John shows up in 1901 living with their youngest daughter, Ellen SHERLOCK, as a widower. The only death registration that makes any sense is one from the March Quarter of 1893 for Lewes but shows Harriett's age as 58 which would have her born in 1835 as opposed to 1829. BUT, since she never got her age right on any of the censuses this must be her.

Following my given name search theory, I also had a look for Susannah born 1807 Hadlow, Kent. Only one turns up who is married to Leonard PAGE also of Glynde but her birth location is shown as Uckfield in 1851, Great Peckham, Kent in 1861, 1871 and finally in 1881 it is East Peckham, Kent. Susannah and Leonard also appear in the 1841 census so they must have been married before then, however, there are no registrations.

I fired up the Sussex FHG marriage index CD and EUREKA. There is a marriage between Leonard PAGE and Susannah DAVIES in Glynde dated 10 Sept 1836. Since this CD is a transcript therefore, DAWES and DAVIES are interchangeable as common mistake.

The icing on the cake is the 1861 census when Susannah and Leonard PAGE have Mary Dawes, her sister, born in Great Peckham, Kent staying with them.

Unfortunately, Leonard and Susannah never have any children recorded with them until 1871 when they have Mary Martin PAGE as an adopted daughter age 15 and born in Lewes.

Susannah DAWES' vital statistic dates are (1807-1885). She turns up in 1871 as a widow so Leonard died before then as you can see in the chart.

Finally, we can close the book with Mary who died in Uckfield 1875 so her vital statistics are (1819-1975) and if it wasn't for her staying in touch with her sisters I would never have cracked this puzzle. Now we have vitals for all the children of Thomas and Elizabeth plus some new branches to explore.


  1. Hi Bob
    Thanks so much for your posting. Ellen Louisa Sherlock (Taylor) is my great grandmother. I hadn't been able so far to track down her mother Harriet's maiden name so you have filled in a whole load of gaps in my family tree for me. I have info on Ellen Louisa's descendants if you're interested.
    Best regards
    Graham Sherlock

  2. Hello

    Leonard Page was the brother of my 4xgt. grandmother Dinah Page. I was at Glynde a few weeks ago and there is a large gravestone to Leonard and Susannah, leaning against the wall of Glynde House itself. It says:

    to the memory of


    NOV 18TH 1879


    also of



    JULY 2ND 1885

    Hope this of use to you.

    All the best

    Michele Ranger