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.

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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)

Name Age Occupation Where Born
Henry Dyer 65 Agricultural Labourer Yes
Elisheba Dyer 50   Yes
Caroline Dyer 20   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 October 1843 and although there is no death recorded in the Bridgwater registration district for an Elisheba Dyer in the October-December quarter of 1843, there is a record of an ANN Dyer aged 56 who I suspect is Elisheba.)

1851 Census (31st March) Otterhampton HO107/1924 Folio 85 Book 1 Page 3

10 Captains, Otterhampton.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
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 Dyer, Henry’s 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

Wellington Village.

Name Age Occupation Where Born
Samuel Dyer 25 Woolen / Weaver Yes
Sarah Dyer 23   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

Wellington Village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
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 Buller’s children - See Appendix C)

1861 Census (8th April) Wellington RG9/1611 Folio 18 Book 7 Page 30

Wellington Village

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
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

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
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 father’s 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

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
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. Herbert’s 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

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Samuel Dyer Head 66 Painter Otterhampton, Somerset
Sarah Dyer Wife 63   Jersey
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
Maria Chester Visitor 11   London

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

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
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 Wife’s 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 Kelson’s had moved from Chepstow Road / Pages Place to Glebe Street sometime between April 1891 and Sept 1893.