After finding the name of William Dickinson, the father of my 3rd great-grandfather, John Dickinson, I located the family on the 1841 and 1851 censuses of Yorkshire, England. In 1841, when John was a boy of 10 years old, the family was living at Woodstock Bower in Kimberworth, a suburb of Rotherham, Yorkshire, England. This was shared in a previous blog you can find here.
Ten years later, in 1851, the family was living five miles southwest of Kimberworth, in Wadsley Bridge, a suburb of Sheffield, closer to William's hometown of Walkley. Wadsley dates back to the Anglo-Saxon estate of Wadesleah, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wadesleia". [Wikipedia]
In the early 17th century, the district called Wadsley Bridge was known as "the hamlet near the bridge at Wadsley", near Owlerton. The bridge, called "High Bridge", allowed passage over the River Don, between Ecclesfield and Wadsley.
John's brother, Joe, a Steel Forger , age 24 wasn't living in the home in 1851. He had been in the household in 1841, but in 1851 he was apprenticing under John Allcroft, as shown in the census entry above. He was following his father's trade - Tilter.
William was identified in many records by his occupation, Tilter. This involved operating a giant tilt-hammer in a steel mill and was most likely the reason the family moved to Wadsley Bridge. Local history recalls the following: "John Hoult had a paper mill which was later converted into a steel tilt and run by the Sanderson Bros firm. The suburb was changed by the opening of the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway in 1845; Wadsley Bridge railway station was opened to serve the community and the railway bridge was constructed over the rough trail which went north to Ecclesfield which was later to become the A61." [Wikipedia]
Owlerton was a small rural village, bordering Wadsley. It was documented as a farmstead as early as the 9th century, but became a small manor after the Norman invasion. Later, as the City of Sheffield expanded, Owlerton became one of it's suburbs, just as Wadsley and other surrounding villages did. The area "suffered badly during the great flood of 1864." [Wikipedia]
The Dickinsons were recorded as living in Owlerton, when their daughter, Martha, was born in 1828. It is less than two miles from Walkley, where William was born in 1790 or 1791.
At the time of John's marriage to Elizabeth Reynolds, in 1856, he lived on George Street in Sheffield and when the census was taken in 1861, their new family was living at Brightside Bierlow. So where were his parents in 1861?
See my next blog for details as we continue tracing the Dickinson's journey!
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