This page is an attempt to outline what I know about my Dyer ancestry in as "readable" format as possible. Please note whereas I try to ensure that what I publish is correct, and to differentiate between what is supported by documentation etc, and what is, in my opinion, a reasonable assumption, everything should be treated with caution. IF you have come across information that you believe is relevant to your own research please either verify it independently or drop me a line to confirm its validity. Equally if believe something is incorrect, or if you wish to add any details or discuss please get in touch using the Contact Form.
If you have come to this page via a browser, I hope you will find something of interest here or elsewhere in our other Hendry Family History Pages.
The furthest back I can trace my Dyer ancestry is to my great-great-great-grandfather a Henry Dyer who was probably baptised on 28th February 1773 in Stogursey Parish, the son of Henry Dyer and Betsy Jenkins. Henry Dyer and Betsy Jenkins were married on 4th April 1768 also in Stogursey Parish.
Henry Dyer married an Elisheba Winter on 13 October 1814 in Otterhampton parish. Elisheba was probably baptised on 15th March 1788, in Wellington, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Winter, (There is information on the web which suggests that her mother's maiden name was Perry.)
Henry and Elisheba had at least five children Samuel baptised on 27th August 1815 (great-great-grandfather), Harriet baptised 10th August 1817, Betty Winter 27th June 1819, Caroline Elizabeth baptised 22nd August 1821, and Mary baptised 4th August 1823. All their baptisms were recorded in the parish register of Otterhampton. (For additional possible details of Henry Dyer - See Appendix A.)
Henry Dyer and Elisheba Winter were recorded in the census of 7th June 1841 resident in Otterhampton, at what seems to be Merhampton, next door to the Parsonage, with their daughter named Caroline living with them.
1841 Census (7th. June) Otterhampton, Bridgewater ( ) Book 7 Page 1
Merhampton, Otterhampton. (next door to parsonage)
|Henry Dyer||65||Agricultural Labourer||Yes|
Henry Dyer was recorded for the census of 31st March 1851 as living at 10 Captains, Otterhampton. As well as two lodgers, Henry had his younger sister Elizabeth, born in Stogursey circa 1779, staying with him. As she is recorded with the surname "Tucker" and with the status of "widow", one can assume she was married to a Mr. Tucker, who had died pre April 1851. As Henry himself is also recorded as a widow one can assume that Elisheba Dyer, nee Winter died sometime between the 1841 census and the 1851. (There is information on the web which gives her date of death as 2 Oct 1843.)
1851 Census (31st March) Otterhampton HO107/1924 Folio 85 Book 1 Page 3
10 Captains, Otterhampton.
|Henry Dyer||Head (Widow)||77||Agricultural Labourer||Stogursey, Somerset|
|Elizabeth Tucker||Sister (Widow)||73||Stogursey, Somerset|
|James Blackmore||Lodger||37||N. Petherton, Somerset|
|Ellen Thorne||Lodger||33||Bridgewater, Somerset|
|M. Thorne||Daughter||5||Wellington, Somerset|
|H. Thorne||Son||11 mths||Wellington, Somerset|
Henry Dyer died on 28th February 1853, aged 83, in Otterhampton.
Samuel, Henrys son (my great-great-grandfather) married a Sarah Buller on 21st. February 1841 in Lowton, Pitminster parish. Sarah was born in Guernsey, the daughter of James Buller, who was serving as a soldier with the 13th (1st Somersetshire) regiment of Foot at the time, and Henrietta Lewis. Her birth, on 5th October 1817, and baptism, on 25th March 1818, were both recorded in the records of the Town Church, St Peter Port, Guernsey, and in the regimental register. (For additional details of James Buller and Henrietta Lewis - See Appendix B.)
Immediately after their wedding Samuel and Sarah settled in Wellington, which is where we find the newly-weds for the census of 7th. June 1841, although Samuel is recorded as a "woollen weaver".
1841 Census (7th. June) Wellington ( ) Book 3 Page 5
|Samuel Dyer||25||Woolen / Weaver||Yes|
The family were still in Wellington for the census of 1851, but Samuel seems to have reverted at least in part to being a carpenter, being recorded as a "joiner/grocer". By this time Samuel and Sarah had produced at least four children, Frederick, born in 1841, Elishba Ann, born in 1843, Maria born on 30th March 1846 (my great-grandmother), Henry born 1850, Samuel, born in 1851, Amelia Jane, born in 1854, and Mary, born in 1859.
1851 Census (31st March) Wellington Book 1. Page 1
|Samuel Dyer||Head||34||Joiner/Grocer||Otterhampton, Somerset|
|Sarah Dyer||Wife||33||Guernsey, Channel Isles|
|Frederick Dyer||Son||9||Wellington, Somerset|
|E.A. Dyer||Daughter||7||Wellington, Somerset|
|M. Dyer||Daughter||5||Wellington, Somerset|
|H. Dyer||Son||11 mths||Wellington, Somerset|
For the census of 1861 the family were still living in Wellington. Samuel seems to have dropped being a grocer and was sticking to carpentry being recorded simply as a "joiner". The family had grown again with the addition of Samuel, born in 1851, Amelia Jane, born in 1854, and Mary, born in 1859. (For further details of Samuel Dyer and Sarah Bullers children - See Appendix C)
1861 Census (8th April) Wellington RG9/1611 Folio 18 Book 7 Page 30
|Samuel Dyer||Head||45||Joiner||Otterhampton, Somerset|
|Sarah Dyer||Wife||43||Jersey, Channel Isles|
|Henry Dyer||Son||10||Scholar||Wellington, Somerset|
|Samuel Dyer||Son||9||Scholar||Wellington, Somerset|
|Amelia Dyer||Daughter||7||Wellington, Somerset|
|Mary Dyer||Daughter||1||Wellington, Somerset|
Maria, my great-grandmother, was working in South Street, Wellington for the Fox family as a nursemaid. The Ann Dyer working as a housemaid I would imagine is her older sister Elisheba Ann.
1861 Census (8th April) Wellington RG9/1610 Folio 48 Book 4 Page 8
25 South Street, Wellington Village
|Thomas Fox Jnr.||Head||33||Banker & Woollens Manufacturer||Wellington, Somerset|
|Sarah M. Fox||Wife||28||Tottenham, Middlesex|
|Thomas Fox||Son||3||Wellington, Somerset|
|Margaret Fox||Daughter||2||Wellington, Somerset|
|Elenor Fox||Daughter||5 months||Wellington, Somerset|
|Ruth Riches||Servant||35||Nursemaid||Themelthorpe, Norfolk|
|Mary Townsend||Servant||24||Cook||Ross, Herefordshire|
|Ann Dyer||Servant||17||Housemaid||Wellington, Somerset|
|Maria Dyer||Servant||16||Nursemaid||Wellington, Somerset|
For the census of 1871 the family had moved to Newport. Samuel is now working as an "Engine Driver" and in this census is a Maud Dyer granddaughter. Maud was the daughter of Maria Dyer and was born on 8th October 1869 in Jones Street, Newport. The certificate gives no fathers name and as there is no record of a marriage one must assume Maud was a "natural" daughter. (For further details of Maud Dyer - See Appendix I) The Maria Chester, aged 6 months and identified as "nurse child" is actually the daughter of Elisheba Ann (Ann in this census) and T. Morris Chester, an American Attorney, journalist and civil rights activist of some standing. The baby was born in 1870 in Shooters Hill, London.
1871 Census (3rd April) Newport RG10/5348 Folio 41 Book 25 Page 31
48 Jones Street, St Wollos, Newport
|Samuel Dyer||Head||55||Joiner||Otterhampton, Somerset|
|Sarah Dyer||Wife||53||Jersey, Channel Isles|
|Ann Dyer||Daughter||27||Nurse||Wellington, Somerset|
|Maria Dyer||Daughter||26||Domestic Servant||Wellington, Somerset|
|Henry Dyer||Son||20||Tin Plate Worker||Wellington, Somerset|
|Samuel Dyer||Son||18||Joiner||Wellington, Somerset|
|Maud Dyer||Granddaughter||1||Newport, Monmouthshire|
|Maria Chester||Nurse Child||6 months||Plumstead, Kent|
Sometime between 1871 and 1877 Maria Dyer entered into a relationship with Daniel Madge Dart (my great grandfather). (SEE ONLINE DART-MADGE FAMILY HISTORY). I have been unable to find any record of their marriage, but they are recorded as the parents on the birth certificate of my grandfather, Herbert Dart, who was born on 2nd July 1877 at 28 Palmer Street, Weston-super-Mare. Herberts father, Daniel Madge Dart had definitely married a Myra Sibley, a seventeen year old spinster, the daughter of Samuel Sibley, deceased, back in Newport on 29th May 1872. However the fact that he was having a child with Maria four years later, and with no record of either the death of Myra or his marriage to Maria makes me suspect that he had deserted Myra Sibley and "run off" with Maria sometime in the previous four years. Maria seems to have also left her daughter Maud back in Wales as for the subsequent censuses of 1881 and 1891 Maud was recorded in the household of her Aunt Elisheba and her husband Fitzroy Silverthorn,
For the census of 1881 Samuel and Sarah were living in Chepstow Road, Newport. Their daughters Amelia and Mary are also recorded in the household. Mary had married an Albert Thomas Kelson on 1st September 1875 in Newport and although he is not included in this census their two children, Alfred J., born 1876/77, and Thomas born 1879/80, both born in Christchurch, Newport, are. Maria Chester, daughter of their daughter Elisheba Ann is again included in the household. She is identified as "visitor" rather than the more accurate "granddaughter".
1881 Census (4th April) Newport RG11/5258 Folio 112 Book 6 Page 54
Chepstow Road, Newport, Monmouthshire
|Samuel Dyer||Head||66||Painter||Otterhampton, Somerset|
|Amelia Dyer||Daughter||27||Cook||Wellington, Somerset|
|Mary Kelson||Daughter||22||Wellington, Somerset|
|Alfred J. Kelson||Grandson||4||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Thomas Kelson||Grandson||1||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
Samuel Dyer died aged 70, 0n 24th March 1886. At the time of his death he was recorded as a milkman, and the death itself was recorded as having occurred at 7 Pages Place, Maindee, Christchurch, Newport, although this was actually the same as the Chepstow Road location.. Sarah lived on and was recorded as living with her married daughter Mary Kelson at 60 Chepstow Road, Newport, Monmouthshire, (also known as 7 Pages Place), for the census of April 1891.
1891 Census (6th April) Newport RG12/4368 Folio 10 Book 7 Page 11
60 Chepstow Road (Pages Place), Newport, Monmouthshire
|Albert T. Kelson||Head||35||Bakers Porter||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Mary Kelson||Wife||32||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Thomas Kelson||Son||14||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Alfred J. Kelson||Son||11||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|William A.G. Kelson||Son||9||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Joseph A. Kelson||Son||7||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Mary Kelson||Daughter||5||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Henrietta Kelson||Daughter||3||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Albert Kelson||Son||1||Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Sarah Dyer||Wifes Mother||73||Guernsey|
Sarah Dyer, nee Buller, died on 17th Sept 1893, aged 75. The death itself was recorded as having occurred at 37 Glebe Street, Christchurch, Newport, and as the person who registered the death and was "in attendance" at the time was Mary Kelson, I would suspect that the Kelsons had moved from Chepstow Road / Pages Place to Glebe Street sometime between April 1891 and Sept 1893.