THE DOBSON'S FAMILY TREE
This website is for the Dobson Family Tree. I have gone back to the 1447. If any of the family would like to contribute to this website you can contact me by email: email@example.com
I start my story in Grimsby, as this was where I found my first ancestor. His name was Steven Dobb, he was born in Grimsby in the year 1447. It was a time of the "Hundred Year War", and Scottish uprising with the "Border" Wars.
Grimsby was first founded by the Danes in the 9th. century. By the time of the Domesday Book was written (1086) Grimsby had a population of about 200. At the time this was a large village. The King at the time was King Henry VI. Although Grimsby was going into decline as the River Haven was silting up, preventing ships from docking.
Steven's trade was a Stonemason and could have contributed to a few of the churches and buildings of that time. He had a wife called Jane De Lincoln who in turn bore him three children, Robert (1465), Edmund (1467) and Eleanor (1468). Steven went to war for the Lancastrians and was killed at the Battle of Barnet in the War of the Roses.
Robert, the eldest followed in his fathers footsteps and became a Stonemason. Robert married Margaret Fleece and produced two sons, Duncan (1488) and Robert (1490). Duncan again followed his fathers footsteps and became a stonemason. Duncan finally married Ruth De Webber (1487) and in turn produced three children. Mary (1506) was a sickly child and died a few months after her birth. Steven (1509) also died in the same year of his birth, but this time it was cholera. The only child to survive was Benedict (1507), who once again became a stonemason.
Benedict married Margaret York and produced five offspring, David (1529), Jane (1530), Rose (1532), Edith (1533), and Arthur (1536). David & Arthur decided to become pig farmers and bought a small holding just North of Pontefract, called Monk Fryston in Yorkshire.
This was the time King Henry VIII and the Reformation, which if you was a Protestant, you quite easily would have been burnt at the stake as a Heritic. It was the time of Richard Edwards, one of the famous poets of the time who was born on this date, also born was John Dudley, the Earl of Warwick.
David was married to Agatha Penwright who together had four children. Albert (1553), Graham (1554), Carol (1555), and the youngest was David (1557). By this time their name had changed from Dobb to Dobbson. Albert, Graham and David all became farmers, they were all living around Pontifract and the surrounding area. Pontifract has been a market town since the middle ages. Pontifract Castle was built there around about 1070.
Albert married Jane De Hammond (1552) and had three sons Thomas (1588), Douglas (1589), and Arthur (1590). Thomas took over the farm as soon as he was able to and married Ruth Robertson (1593) and had three boys and one girl, Jane (1608), Alfred (1610), John (1612), and Rupert (1614). Jane died with smallpox in 1610, fortunately Alfred survived to take over the farm. By this time the Dobson's were well known in the agricultural circles and made a profitable business.
Alfred married Victoria Church and had Alfred (1631), Sidney (1633), Ruth (1634) and Sarah (1637).
this was the time of King Charles I. The first monarch to ever rule Scotland and England at the same time.
This is where Dobson's future changed as Alfred could not be contented from working on a farm, he wanted something more to life, so by the time he was 14 he went to sea, leaving Sidney to take over the farm. Alfred worked on a trading vessel that importing spices, linen and most important of all, slaves. This was a very profitable market and by the time Alfred was 22 he was a Master of his own ship and by the time he was of the age of 26, he had 3 slave ships.
Alfred married in 1650 to Emily Gray (1625) and produced four children. Stewart(1651), Elizabeth (1653), Mark (1654), and Sophie (1657). Although the Dobson family was well off at this time and had comfortable premises in Pontifract, it did not stop the plague from killing off Emily, Elizabeth, Mark and Sophie, just leaving the father and the eldest son to survive.
Stewart took over one of the ships once he became Master and later took over the business. The main imports was sugar and slaves.
Stewart married Catherine De Miles and moved to Hull, where Catherine produced only one child, his name was Alfred (1674). Hull is situated on the Humber Estuary and links the rivers of Yorkshire and the Midlands with the North Sea. Hull developed as a port through which wool, lead, grain, and later whaling and fishing.
Alfred took over the family business at the age of 21, by this time the Dobson Family was very wealthy. Alfred married Elizabeth Scott and had three children. Thomas (1698), Stewart (1699) and Emma (1701).
Thomas carried on with the business and married Margaret Cowham another Yorkshire lady born in 1700. They bought a second house in Whitby. She bore Thomas three sons, Isaac (1732), David (1735) and Rupert (1737).
At the time Thomas was born
Isaac turned against his father and became Abolitionist and finally when his father died Isaac decided never to transport or sell any slave. David his younger brother became a fish merchant.
Isaac was married to Jane Hodgson and produced four children. Thomas (1754), John (1755), Mary Jane (1756) and Margaret (1758).
this was the time of the British Empire and also the time of George II. Britain in general was making great strides in the world of medicine including smallpox vaccine, also increasing the Empire like the capture of Calcutta by Lord Robert Clive
It seemed that the fortunes of the Dobson's went down hill because of Isaac's Christian thinking and his abolition ideas, he made a lot of enemies, so by the time Thomas was 21yrs of age, the Dobson's only owned to shops, a coach Inn, and a haberdashery.
Thomas and John was in charge of the Coach Inn, while Mary Jane and Margaret was in charge of the other shop.
Thomas eventually married Maria Bryan also from Whitby and they had four children. Isaac (1776), William (1778), Thomas (1779) and Alice (1781).
Isaac became a publican for the Coach Inn until one day at the age of 27yrs. he was press ganged into the Royal Navy on H.M.S.Victory. it seemed that Isaac stayed in the Navy and saw active service at the battle of Trafalgar, before changing to H.M.S.Ocean as a Caucers Mate, Isaac seemed to have a charmed life and went through the Napoleonic Wars without a scratch and being discharged on the 16th. September 1814. Isaac married Ann Maltman.
By this time the Dobson's fortune were all gone and they all needed to move closer to the Leeds area for better chance of employment, so they moved to Shelf. Shelf is a small village situated between Halifax and Bradford. They had five children, Mary Ann (1824), Martha (1826), Joseph (1832), Isaac (1834) and Julie (1836).
Everybody in the family settled down to be weavers, except for Joseph who decided to become a coal miner. Joseph married a domestic servant called Charlotte Lightowers. they stayed in the village of Shelf and had six children, Thomas (1850), Walter (1854), Albert (1856), Arthur (1863), John Henry (1865) and Fred (1868). Thomas became a machine fitter before joining the Army as a sergeant in the Royal Engineers. He later married Fanny Wright and had two children, Florence and Frank. Albert was a coal miner before he joined the Army as a trooper in the 1st. Dragoon Guards. He never married and died in South Africa in 1881.
Arthur stayed in England and became a weaver.
John Henry also stayed in England as a bookeeper and got married to Edith and had one child themselves, Kevin.
Fred stayed in Shelf and became a farmer married Louise and had one child, Frederick William who won the Victoria Cross in the Great War.
And of course the eldest, Walter stayed in Shelf for awhile before moving to Rotherham as a coal miner. He got married to Rose Paine, a skivvie from Appledore in Kent. They had four children, Arthur (1881), Walter (1882), John Robert (1883) and Albert (1885). Arthur grew up to join the Army as a trooper in the Mounted Rifles in the Boer War, he survived to settle down to own a tobacconist and got married to Susan Denby and two children, Linda & Muriel. John Robert Joined the Grenadier Guards and married Edna Armitage and had one son, Joseph. In later years Joseph and his mother died in a car crash and is bured at Otley parish Church.
Albert was a coal miner but also decided to join the Grenadier Guards. He married Hilda Richmond but did not have any children. Walter, the eldest became a grinder at a local engineering firm and got married to a domestic servant from Leeds called Rhoda Foster. They had nine children, Arnold, Maud, Walter, Joseph, Stanley, Mary, Harold, David, and Sam the eldest. Sam was born on the 10th. December 1908 in Leeds. Sam grew up to own a number of fish & chip shops around Leeds. He married Nora Proctor and produced two children Samuel (22 November 1931) and Carole Pearl (27 August 1942).Carole grew up and became a hairdresser before getting married to a South African called David Jubb, they have two children, Conrad (December 1964) and Andrew Morgan (January 1971) Samuel grew up not really knowing what he wanted to do. He started working on the North Sea fishing trawlers and then on tankers where he jumped ship in Australia, he was later caught in the Northern Territories and deported back to England where he helped his father for awhile in the shop before joining the Coldstream Guards where he served in Malta. He married Rita Elizabeth Anne Smith and had two children David Samuel (17 March 1955) and Jonathan Michael (25 September 1957). This is where it gets a bit complicated.
Rita got divorced from Samuel Dobson on the 31st. October 1961 and remarried Mr. Michael James Norfolk and he adopted David and Jonathan on the 1st. August 1963.
Jonathan grew up to be a National Sales Manager for an agricultural company and is living in New Zealand with his wife Linda Louise Bryce Norman (24th. Sep 1962) and his two children, Matthew Jonathan (23rd. Sep 1988) and Melissa Louise (25th. Sep 1992).
David on the other hand was like his father and didn't know what to do with himself, so following in his fathers footsteps decided to join the British Army as a Trooper in the 9th./12th. Royal Lancers and later transferring to the 2 Battalion of the Special Air Service, where he saw active service in a number of conflicts.
David emigrated to New Zealand in 1977 and was married to Rosanna Louise Dunkley who produced 4 children, Jessica Ann (24th. Jan 1979), Benjamin Allan (10 May 1982), Jennifer Elizabeth (01 Feb 1986) and Samantha Jane (22 July 1987).
Jessica is now living in London and working as a travel advisor. Benjamin is a chef, he started in that industry when he was just 15 as he wasn't the type to go to school. Jennifer and Samantha are both work at the local cinema.
David divorced Rosanna in 2004 and returned to England where he is now living in Yorkshire as a Financial Manager with his fiance Carole-Ann Cowie. David changed his name back to Dobson in February 2006.
The next generation is about to unfold.