Elizabeth Dyson

1841 – 1905

Sad Beginnings

Elizabeth Dyson was my Gt Gt Grandmother. At the age of 3, she was left motherless, and her father proved elusive. These look like very sad beginnings, but Elizabeth was taken in by an aunt, and appears to have been an integral member of this family.

We had to work backwards in researching Elizabeth, but this story is presented chronologically.

She was mentioned in the baptism records of her children and in census entries, the mother of my ancestor Vincent Sanderson.

She married Albert Sanderson 1st April 1866, they appear to have lived long and happy lives, and although rather poor, produced a large family.

From her marriage record to Albert Sanderson, in Stannington Christ Church, her father is given as George Dyson a mason. Trying to establish which George Dyson this was, has proved to be another story!

Albert Sanderson and Elizabeth Dyson marriage 1866
Elizabeth Dyson birth certificate

Using parish records and census entries, before applying for certificates, we discovered that Elizabeth was born on 2nd October 1841 at Stannington, and baptised December 26th at Bradfield Church. Her mother was Amelia Furness.

George Dyson and Amelia Furness Marriage 1841

Her parents, George Dyson and Amelia Furness were married 11th January 1841 in Rotherham.

George and Amelia (entered as Milicent), were living at Town Green, Stannington according to the 1841 census, but at this time, Elizabeth had not been born. At the same address lived Elizabeth Furness, and her 5 year old son Charles.

Elizabeth was Amelia’s sister (their parents George Furness, a cutler and Elizabeth. George had died in 1840). Elizabeth’s son was illegitimate, and she worked as a washerwoman. Perhaps Amelia cared for Charles whilst Elizabeth worked.

1841 Census entry

By 1851, things had changed somewhat!

Elizabeth Furness had married Thomas Smith a milk carrier and they lived at Greenside Stannington. With them were Charles aged 16, stepson and brickmaker, probably in the J&J Dyson brickworks, Stannington. Elizabeth Dyson neice, aged 10 was living with them, and two children of Thomas and Elizabeth, George aged 5 and Anne 8. They could also afford to employ 14 year old Anne Bradley as a general servant.

At this point, we were asking, why wasn’t Elizabeth living with her parents, George and Amelia Dyson.

1851 Census entry

By 1861, things were pretty much the same. They were living at 2 Back Lane, which was very close to Greenside in the census entry, so perhaps it was the same property, with new houses built around it since 1851. This is probably where Elizabeth and Albert Sanderson met. Albert was an apprentice file cutter at Greenside, Stannington at this time.

Thomas and Elizabeth Smith, their three children, George, Anne and William and Elizabeth Dyson, now described as a servant, were living there. At first it appears, rather harsh to employ Elizabeth as a servant, but, requiring a job, it meant she could continue to live in her home, and get paid for it.

1861 Census entry

So, why wasn’t she living with her birth parents?

By searching the burial records, we discovered that Amelia Dyson had been buried 23rd April 1845 at Stannington Christ Church, aged 25. Her death certificate detailed that she had died at Crookes Moorside from consumption (known as tuberculosis these days). Nether Hallam Workhouse was located at Crookes Moorside, so she spent her last days there. Present at the death, was Peggy Ward, presumably a member of staff.

Amelia Dyson Death Certificate

Tracing George Dyson, proved much more difficult. Partly because there were a number of Dyson families in the area, having sons named George and with several of the George’s born around the year 1810.

From Stannington burial records, we came to the conclusion that ‘our’ George died 1869, and was buried in Stannington Christ Church.

He died in Ecclesfield Workhouse 2nd August 1869, aged 57 years, he had been a stone mason. Cause of death; disease of the stomach and liver. This is often associated with heavy drinking, and perhaps, understandable as we discovered more of his life history.

George Dyson Death

Where was he, between the death of Amelia in 1845 and his death 1869?

After many years of searching the records, and with several leads regarding his life, we eventually found him in the 1851 and 1861 censuses, living as a lodger with Mary Pawson at Nether Hallam.

To find more about George Dyson, follow this link. In relation to his daughter, he was not living so far away. I would like to think, that he was involved in her life, seeing her from time to time and perhaps providing for her care financially, although unable to care for her physically.

Elizabeth named her second son George, perhaps after her father.

Albert married Elizabeth Dyson at Christ Church, Stannington 1st April 1866. Elizabeth was four years older than Albert.

1871 Census entry Albert Sanderson

By 1871 Albert was no longer a Razor Grinder, and had become a clay miner. Although the work was dangerous, and unfamiliar, with a growing family, there was probably more money in mining than in Razor Grinding.

Children of Albert & Elizabeth baptised at Stannington Christ Church

Christ Church Stannington

Charles Thomas, bapt. 26 August 1866 (less than nine months from parents marriage). At this time, Albert and Elizabeth were living at Clough Hall, and Albert was a ‘grinder’. Clough Hall is an area of Bradfield where previous generations of Elizabeth’s Dyson ancestors had operated as cutlers. It seems likely, that the first son, was named ‘Charles’ after Elizabeth’s cousin (Charles Furness) and ‘Thomas’ after her ‘step father/ uncle’ (Thomas Smith), with whom she grew up. (Charles Thomas married Elizabeth Gillott 1887)

Elizabeth Ann, bapt. 23 February 1868. Likely named Elizabeth after Her mother, grandmother and aunt who bought her up. Ann after Elizabeth’s cousin, Ann Smith, who was also a witness at Elizabeth and Alberts marriage. Albert and Elizabeth were living at Stannington, and Albert was a labourer. (Elizabeth Ann had two illegitimate children, 1885 – George Henry – bought up in the family home and in 1886, a child – died at 24 hrs).

George bapt. 17 April 1870 (probably named after Elizabeth’s father George Dyson who had died in 1869). By this time Albert and Elizabeth were living at Oughtibridge and Albert was a miner. (George married Sarah Ann Wood 1891).

Walter baptised 8 July 1872, Albert and Elizabeth were back in Stannington, Albert still mining. (Walter married Joanne Pennock in 1913).

Albert, bapt. 16 October 1873, married Rhoda Ibbotson 1895.

Joel born 18th October 1875, died 14th February 1876 from Broncho-pneumonia, buried 17th February.

Clara, bapt.15 April 1877, married Edwin Barnes and Thomas Goodison.

Ernest bapt. 6 July 1879,

Vincent 1881 (my Great Grandfather).

Vincent Sanderson 1881-1933

Dyson born 10th September 1883, and died 10th November 1884 from Scarlet Fever, buried 11th November at Stannington Christ Church.

Alfred born c1885, married Harriet Holland, but sadly died in WW1.

Two children were buried, who seem likely to belong to this family, Joel Sanderson (named after Albert’s father?) buried 17 February 1876 aged 4 months and Dyson Sanderson (named after Elizabeth’s maiden name) buried 11th November 1884 aged 14 months, from Knowle Top, where the family lived.

1881 Census entry for Albert and Elizabeth Sanderson

By 1891, Albert had given up mining, and gone back to Razor Grinding, some of his sons continued to work in the mining industry.

1891 Census Entry for Albert and Elizabeth Sanderson
1901 Census entry for Albert and Elizabeth Sanderson
House at Knowle Top (Walter and Joanne) perhaps the Sanderson family home.

Elizabeth Sanderson died (obstruction of the bowel), 18th November 1905 and was buried at Stannington Christ Church aged 64 on 22nd November 1905.

Angela Weatherill 2024