Tales of Toil & Tribulation
It is believed, that all Dysons descend from one person, namely, the ‘son of Dyonisia’, from Linthwaite in the Colne Valley, near Huddersfield, who was alive in the 1300’s.
A local researcher, Michael Dyson, (a distant relative, discovered in the course of our family history researches, has spent many hours looking into the descent of the Dyson’s in the Bradfield/ Stannington areas, and his research has eventually helped me link the known Dyson ancestors in my family to the wider Dyson family in the area.
Please read his publications for more detailed information on both the family, and their occupations. There seems to be something of a common theme of tribulation in these branches of the Dyson family.
He has also recently published ‘The Dyson Family of Cutlers’ available from Amazon.
Dyson Family of Cutlers of Worrall and Bingley House Farm, Rivelin, Stannington.
A Tragic Drowning Accident at Crosspool, Sheffield 1869
The Sad Case of Esther Dyson 1808-1869
My Dyson Ancestors
George Dyson 1810 -1869 married Amelia Furness
John Dyson 1777-1833 married Sarah Wilde
Mark Dyson 1752 – 1834 married Ann Hemsworth
Abraham Dyson 1716 – 1773 married Martha Taylor
Tracking Down, ancestor George Dyson
George Dyson, a mason, was the father of Elizabeth Dyson as stated on her marriage certificate to Albert Sanderson in 1866. Trying to establish precisely who George Dyson might have been, has taken many years!
Elizabeth was born on 2nd October 1841 at Stannington, and baptised December 26th at Bradfield Church. Her parents were George Dyson a Labourer, and Amelia Furness.
George Dyson and Amelia Furness were married 11th January 1841 in Rotherham. They both lived at Masbro’ at the time, although it is unclear why. George gave his father as John, a cutler. Both his marriage certificate and Elizabeth’s birth certificate, show that he was unable to write.
There were a number of Dyson families in the area. I did some online searching, and soon managed to find a suitable family in Stannington, with a George Dyson, son of John. The family was well researched and belonged to J&J Dyson, Fire brick manufacturers. Unfortunately, when I tried to place my ancestor ‘Elizabeth Dyson’ into the family, she just didn’t fit. So it was back to the drawing board. There were a number of George Dysons, born within a few years of 1810 in the locality, and it seemed most of them had a father ‘John’. So then it was down to searching sideways to see what information was available.
Gradually over the years, we established many facts about George, it was just how to tie all these facts together to prove a link with a family.
Working Backwards George and Amelia (entered as Milicent), were living at Town End, Stannington according to the 1841 census, but at this time, Elizabeth had not been born. George was aged 25 (due to the 1841 census ageing system, he could have been born between 1811 and 1816). At the same address lived Elizabeth Furness, with her 5 year old illegitimate son, Charles. Elizabeth it was later discovered, was Amelia’s sister
By 1851 and 1861, Elizabeth Dyson, was living with her aunt Elizabeth (Furness), who had married Thomas Smith, and their family.
Why wasn’t she living with her birth parents?
By searching the burial records, we discovered that Amelia Dyson had died, 19th April at Town End Stannington, and was buried 23rd April 1845 at Stannington Christ Church, aged 25. Her death certificate detailed that she had died from consumption (known as tuberculosis these days). Present at the death, was Peggy (Margaret) Ward, a laundress from Crookes Moorside. As yet, there seems to be no connection with Peggy, although in 1871, a William Furness was lodging with her and her grand daughter. Her husband had been Thomas, and maiden name possibly Gillott.
NB Page update 20.12.2021
According to the family tree of a researcher on ancestry.co.uk also with connections to this family, Peggy Ward was Amelia’s older sister, and so her maiden name was not Gillott. This interesting information appears to have linked Amelia into her paternal family, and can now be researched further.
From Stannington burial records, we came to the conclusion that ‘our’ George Dyson died 1869, aged 57, and was buried in Stannington Christ Church. His death certificate stated that he died in Ecclesfield Workhouse 2nd August 1869, and 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.
Approximate year of birth – 1812 (death certificate).
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. At Stephen Hill, Upper Hallam, he was living as a lodger with Mary Pawson a widow, and her son Thomas. In 1851, lodger, William Fletcher also lived with them, and in 1861 lodger, John Leitch. For some reason the 1851 census stated that George, was born in Lancashire, but this is probably an enumerator error. This had prevented the entry showing in search engines. In 1861, place of birth given as Upper Hallam.
According to the 1831 census of Nether Hallam, which still survives, Thomas Pawson (husband of Mary), lived close to John Dyson (George’s father), but had died by 1851, so perhaps, George and Thomas had been friends.
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 while she was a child, providing for her care financially, although unable to care for her physically. Elizabeth named her second son George, born in 1870. As her father died in 1869, perhaps after him.
Bradfield Parish Pauper Indenture Records, showed the following Dyson children, who were very poor, and were given help by the parish to become apprentices. Five children with the same parents John and Sarah, over the course of twenty years. By 1834 the parents are described as ‘dead’, we now had parents names, John and Sarah to work with.
Ref: 36/70 Date 28 8 1821 DYSON ANN aged 13 Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH of STANNINGTON to HIVES WILLIAM Ref 56/399 28 8 1821 DYSON ANN 13 HIVES WILLIAM
Ref 36/58 Date 31 10 1820 DYSON GEORGE aged 10Y 6M Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH STANNINGTON to BARROTT EDWARD Ref 56/386 31 10 1820 DYSON GEORGE 10 1/2 BARRATT EDWARD
Ref 36/61 Date 14 11 1820 DYSON JOHN aged 9 Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH of STANNINGTON NOT SIGNED BY MASTER HOBSON JOSEPH Ref 56/388 14 11 1820 DYSON JOHN 9 HOBSON JOSEPH
Ref 36/141 Date 14 10 1834 DYSON JOSEPH aged 10, Parents DEAD to WRAGG JOSEPH Ref 56/470 14 10 1834 DYSON JOSEPH 10 WRAGG JOSEPH
Ref 36/162 Date 21 12 1841 DYSON STEPHEN aged 9Y Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH BOTH DEAD to CROOKES CHARLES Ref 56/489 21 12 1841 DYSON STEPHEN 9 CROOKES CHARLES
The following, are the admission and discharge records for Dysons in Bradfield Workhouse. These Dysons, are I believe brothers and sisters to George Dyson, and seem to refer to some of the children above.
However, Joseph, Emma and James were admitted 2nd January 1833, under the instructions that their parents were dead. Their mother was buried 13th May 1832 , but father although probably ill, did not die until May. These records make very sad reading.
2 JAN 1833 JOSEPH DYSON (9) FROM HALLAM
2 JAN 1833 EMMA DYSON (7) SISTER
2 JAN 1833 JAMES DYSON (5) BROTHER, PARENTS DEAD
13 JAN 1833 JOSEPH DYSON (9) GONE AS APPRENTICE TO MR RONKSLEY, RIVLINSIDE
5 OCT 1834 JOSEPH DYSON (9) FROM JOSEPH WRAGG
7 OCT 1834 JOSEPH DYSON (9) RETURNED TO JOSEPH WRAGG
1 SEPT 1838 STEPHEN DYSON (7) FROM HALLAM PARENTS DEAD
13 NOV 1839 JAMES DYSON (10) WILLIAM HUTCHINSON TAKEN HIM
28 NOV 1839 JAMES DYSON (10) RETURNED FROM WILLIAM HUTCHINSON
2 DEC 1838 JAMES DYSON (10) RETURNED TO WILLIAM HUTCHINSON
23 JAN 1840 JAMES DYSON (10) RAN AWAY FROM WILLIAM HUTCHINSON
7 FEB 1840 JAMES DYSON (10) TAKEN BY JOSEPH WRAGG
12 FEB 1840 JAMES DYSON (10(3/4)) BROUGHT TO HOUSE VERY ILL & DIED OF INFLAMMATION OF THE LUNGS
30 APRIL 1840 EMMA DYSON (13) DIED SCROFULUS COMPLAINT
5 OCT 1840 ANN DYSON (25) BY ORDER OF RELIEVING OFFICER ADMITTED
5 OCT 1840 HARRIET DYSON (2(3/4) A BASTARD
10 OCT 1840 ANN DYSON LEFT WITH HARRIET
8 NOV 1841 STEPHEN DYSON (10) CHAS CROOKES TAKEN HIM
A search for children born to John and Sarah Dyson, brings up the following 13 children baptised at Sheffield Cathedral.
Ann – born 17 November 1808 – bapt 11 December 1808 Sheffield Cathedral – (married Francis Drabble. (alive 1861)).
George 1810 – My ancestor
John – born 12 October 1811 – bapt 17 November 1811 – (married Mary Wildgoose 1850 – (1851 living on Stephen Hill)).
Samuel 1814 – living with sister Ann & family (Cloughfields) 1841 – married Mary before 1851 & (living at Stephen Hill 1851 & 1861).
William – baptised 6 August1815 Sheffield Cathedral
Annis – baptised 9 February1817 Sheffield Cathedral – could this be the ‘Ann’ Dyson with daughter Harriet in Bradfield Workhouse 1840?
Matthew – baptised 29 November1818 Sheffield Cathedral – married Emma Wragg – living with Benjamin Etchell 1841- (Nether Hallam -1851 -1861- 1871- 1881). Son tragically drowned 1869.
Sarah – 1820
Mark – baptised 21 April 1822 Sheffield Cathedral – buried 6 March 1825 Ecclesall Church
Joseph – born 8 September1824 – App Mr Ronksley – App. Joseph Wragg – 1841 Joseph Wragg – 1851 & 1861 Jane Wragg sr.
Emma – c1826 – 2 January 1833 – admitted to Bradfield workhouse. Died 30 April 1840 – Bradfield workhouse – scrofulous complaint
James – born 3 January 1829 – 2 January 1833 – admitted to Bradfield workhouse. 13 NOV 1839 App. to WILLIAM HUTCHINSON – 28 NOV 1839 RETURNED FROM WILLIAM HUTCHINSON – 2 DEC 1838 RETURNED TO WILLIAM HUTCHINSON -23 JAN 1840 RAN AWAY FROM WILLIAM HUTCHINSON – 7 FEB 1840 TAKEN BY JOSEPH WRAGG -12 FEB 1840 BROUGHT TO HOUSE VERY ILL & DIED OF INFLAMMATION OF THE LUNGS
Stephen born 18 April -1831- 1 September 1838 Admitted to Bradfield workhouse from Hallam – Refs 36/162 and 56/489 date 21 12 1841 aged 9, taken by Charles Crookes (Dungworth – Miner). – 1851/1861 with Charles Elliot Stannington (could this be Charles Crookes) – 1867 married Sarah Wragg – 1871 Dungworth. Died 1876
Whilst Elizabeth Dyson (my ancestor born 1841), and her family lived in Stannington, the Bradfield Workhouse records also mentioned Hallam. In 1851 and 1861 census, George is living at Upper Hallam, and later census records for the other children, show some of them are living at Hallam, and that they were born at Hallam. John and Sarah’s children were baptised at Sheffield Cathedral, so searches needed to be expanded further than Bradfield and Stannington.
Widening the search, revealed a Sarah Dyson buried at All Saints, Church, Ecclesall, (the Parish church for Hallam), on ’13th May 1832 from Hallam aged 42′. This would make her birth date c1790. John Dyson was buried on 13 May 1833 from Nether Hallam aged 56, (birth date c1777). Making a further connection, Mark Dyson was buried on 6 March 1825 from Hallam aged 3, son of John & Sarah (cutler).
A marriage was located for John Dyson to Sarah Wilde on 21 March 1808 at Sheffield Cathedral. Although this hasn’t been completely qualified, this marriage seems most likely.
Although the 1841 census is usually quoted as the first useful census, they had been carried out since 1801. In Hallam, the 1831 census survives, as a useful source of information. It shows, John Dyson, living at Cloughfield, one family, of eight males and four females.
1831 Census Nether Hallam (available from Sheffield & District FHS)
SEQ. 562 PAGE 21 NAME John SURNAME Dyson PLACE Cloughfield FAMILIES 1 MALES 8 FEMALES 4
For several years, no further progress was made, but then, on a Facebook page relating to the area, another researcher had posted about his research into the Dyson family in the area, particularly in respect to the local cutlery industry.
I contacted him, and he sent me information which joined the dots of my research, to confirm that our two Dyson families were connected. He also detailed, the cutlery industry in the area, in which many other branches of my family were involved.
Below, with useful information, from him, has helped to connect George and his father John Dyson, to the wider Dyson family.
John was obviously suffering poverty as early as 1819, when he was out of work, due to the ‘boom and bust’ nature of the cutlery trade. Below are the second to sixth of John and Sarah’s thirteen children, baptised at Sheffield Cathedral, oldest child Ann is not mentioned in this list of children.
In 1819 John Dyson approached Bradfield Poor Law Trustees for relief. Children – George 9, John 8, Samuel 6.5, William 4, Annis 2, and Matthew 6mths
In 1820 and 1821, Ann, George and John, were apprenticed by the parish.
Then in 1830, things were looking bad again, John’s family had grown, and Ann, the oldest daughter was approaching Bradfield Poor Law Trustees for support for the family. Parents, John, Sarah, and brothers John and Samuel, were suffering from ‘Bilious Fever’ (sickness and diarrhoea, a disease of poverty, possibly typhus fever, transmitted by lice), and had been for 3 weeks.
1830; Dependent children of John – Ann 21, John 18, Samuel 15, Annis 12, Matthew 10, Sarah 8, Joseph 6, Emma 4, James 1. George is not mentioned.
By 1833, Ann had married Francis Drabble, and was again asking Bradfield Poor Law Trustees, for assistance for her family. Her father John had died 10 May 1833, and her mother had died the previous year. Presumably both from a reoccurrence of ‘Bilious Fever’. George is mentioned as ‘very ill’, perhaps this illness had a long lasting effect on his body, accounting for his eventual death from disease of the stomach and liver, although heavy drinking would probably be more likely.
George 24 (very ill), John 21, Samuel 18, Matthew 16, Sarah 13, Joseph born Sept 18th 1824, Emma born April (11th?) 1826, James born January 3rd 1829, Stephen born April 18th 1831.
As seen above, in 1833, Joseph, Emma and James were admitted to Bradfield Workhouse 1833. Stephen admitted 1838.
Sadly, but usefully for family historians, it is their poverty and illness, that has helped identify this family.
The life story of George Dyson
George was born 22nd March 1810, and baptised at Sheffield Cathedral on 22nd April 1810. He was the second child of thirteen, born to John Dyson, a cutler, (born 1777) and Sarah Wilde (born c1790). His sister Ann, was two years older than him. By 1819, he had five younger siblings.
The family were generally poor, perhaps having some good years. But in 1819, father John, had to request assistance from Bradfield poor law trustees, for his family, by now consisting of Ann aged 11, (but not part of the request). George 9, John 8, Samuel 6.5, William 4, Annis 2, and Matthew 6mths.
At this time the family were living in Stannington.
The Parish trustees must have paid up at the time, but decided that when the three oldest children were old enough, they should serve apprenticeships on the parish
And so, on 31st October 1820, George aged 10 years 6 months, began his apprenticeship with Edward Barrott
Ref 36/58 Date 31 10 1820 DYSON GEORGE aged 10Y 6M Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH of STANNINGTON to BARROTT EDWARD
Followed by brother John to Joseph Hobson, on 14th November, he was only nine.
Ref 36/61 Date 14 11 1820 DYSON JOHN aged 9 Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH of STANNINGTON NOT SIGNED BY MASTER HOBSON JOSEPH
Less than a year later on 28th August 1821, Ann was ‘apprenticed’ to William Hives, a farmer, probably as a domestic servant.
Ref: 36/70 Date 28 8 1821 DYSON ANN aged 13 Parents DYSON JOHN & SARAH of STANNINGTON to HIVES WILLIAM
At some point before 1825, the family moved to Cloughfields in Hallam.
In 1830, George was not with the family, probably still serving his apprenticeship with Edward Barrott, but his parents and two brothers were seriously ill, with Bilious Fever, (likely to be Typhus Fever). Being out of the home probably saved him from catching it.
It seems the family responsibilities fell onto Ann, the oldest daughter, as it was her who had to ask Bradfield trustees for assistance. Her first child was born around 1831, and she must have married Francis Drabble about this time, probably also having to care for her sick parents and brothers, and younger siblings whilst her parents were incapacitated.
In 1831 they were still living at Cloughfields (1831 census), where John was trying to make a living as a cutler with his wife and ten children.
Sadly on 13th May 1832, mother Sarah was buried at Ecclesall Church, we don’t know from what, but disease seems the most likely cause of death. Having had 13 children in succession, since the age of eighteen, caring for them, running a home, and with recurring bouts of serious illness in the family, she had done well to survive her 42 years. Her youngest child was one year old.
By January 1833 the Dyson family were at crisis point, and three younger children, Joseph aged 9, Emma 7 and James 5, were admitted to Bradfield workhouse on 2nd January. Although the workhouse records say the parents were dead, John was alive, but died later in the year in May 1833.
Ann was married with her own growing family, but looks to have taken in at least Samuel, who was living with her family in 1841. Stephen was sent to Bradfield workhouse in 1838 from Hallam (perhaps he too, had been living with Ann). As yet I have been unable to further locate William, Annis, or Sarah. James was apprenticed in 1838, and was obviously unhappy in his placement, as he ran away twice, eventually placed with Joseph Wragg on 7th February 1840, and dying of (pneumonia?) 5 days later, having been returned to the workhouse. Two months later, sister Emma died in the workhouse.
I imagine the Dyson family of John and Sarah, to have been a rather unruly lot, living in poverty, with hunger and disease a constant threat. However, they seem to have been very closeknit. The older children remaining at home into adulthood. Ann the oldest taking on family responsibilities.
When their parents died, the family was broken apart. Three of the younger children died before the age of ten. The older children left as apprentices, in households that they perhaps felt they didn’t belong.
Ten years later, George married Amelia Furness, and became father to Elizabeth. Perhaps he was hoping for better things in life, sadly it was not to be, as Amelia died from consumption after four years of marriage. Consumption as a general rule, gradually killing its victims over a period of two years, and would have been an unpleasant disease to watch take a loved one.
Their only daughter Elizabeth, lived with Amelia’s sister Elizabeth, as one of the family, and probably had been for some time as Amelia’s illness progressed. It would probably have been most unusual in those days for a man like George to be able to care for a three year old daughter. At first we thought he had abandoned her, but it was more likely she was in the best place.
If he had ever had the opportunity of being a cutler like his father, by the time he was an adult, the countryside cutlery trade was in decline. He spent his working years as agricultural labourer, mason, stone mason and waller, presumably, cutting and moving rock to build dry stone walls on the local hills and moorland. Heavy, repetitive and low paid work.
His last days were spent in Ecclesfield workhouse, so no familiar surroundings or family to care for him. Cause of death was disease of the stomach and liver, perhaps caused by heavy drinking – understandable in the circumstances, but it could also have been as a result of stomach cancer. In 1869, a painful and unpleasant death, at the age of 57. Not particularly old by today’s standards, but not bad for the times.
Perhaps he spent his years lodging with Mary Pawson as a supportive friend or maybe even partner.
Certainly a life of ‘toil and tribulation‘.
NB; There was another George Dyson (born c1810) living in Stannington, married to Sarah, I have wondered if this could be the George from the John Dyson family, and that I have muddled the two. As they are both alive in the 1841, 1851, and 1861, censuses there must be two George Dysons born c1810 alive at this time and living in or near Stannington.
However the other George seems to live all his life in Stannington, whilst ‘my’ George spends most of his life in Hallam, at various times living very close to other members of his family. This I believe is the main reason, that I have the correct George Dyson in my family tree.
Another George Dyson reference with contradictory/circumstantial facts.
George Dyson, father of Sarah Wraggs child, and who he later married. I believe this is the same George as above.
BRADFIELD George Dyson 1830/11/23 Scale Presser of Stannington. Bastardy order for Sarah Wraggs female child born 26 Oct. 1830. cost 2 guineas for lying in and 10S 6d for making the order he pays 2S per week and she pays 6d.
But The brothers of my George (Joseph and James) were apprenticed to Joseph Wragg.
This George described as a scale presser, ‘my’ George as a labourer/ mason/waller.
And Living next door to George and Sarah Dyson in 1841 was a Joseph Wild (the mother of my George was I believe, Sarah Wild).