The Dunn Family from Northumberland


See the Dunn Family Tree

See the Dunn Census Transcripts

See the Chollerton Parish Register Transcripts

See the Dunn Family Photos


 I must thank Adam Dunn, descendant of William Dunn, carter, and Dorothy Lightly descendant of Isabella Dunn for their help with this family plus Pauline Marks (daughter of Doris Bibby) who kindly sent me photos of Annie Elizabeth Dunn and William George Bibby.


Some Background and Confusion (probably best read in conjunction with the family tree)


In this branch of the family, I have been tracing the family back from Annie Elizabeth Dunn, who married William George Bibby in 1901.  Annie was the daughter of George Dunn and Ann Lunt.  George has been traced back to Knowsley where he was born in 1840 and before that, his father George Dunn who came from Northumberland. Exactly where in Northumberland has been causing some problems.  From census returns, George appears to be from Swinburn or Chollerton.  Swinburn is in the Chollerton parish catchment, so the discrepancy does not seem important. However, finding the right baptism and confirming his parentage is proving more than a little tricky. I have been unable to find a definite baptism for him, although I have found one for who we believe is his sister Isabella – and who was a witness at his wedding. Her parents were George, a gardener and Elizabeth. 

However, there is controversy over whether or not George was the son of Thomas Dunn, a tailor and Ann Welton from Gunnerton who had all their  children baptised at Chollerton (including a daughter Isabella!).  The reason for this stems from an entry in the Chollerton baptism register that states “-– Dunn baptised 25th December, 1805” which would fit nicely with Georges’ age.  It has been assumed that this entry is for a male Dunn, but I looked at this register some time ago and noted that it did not state male or female. 

             child of Thomas Dunn bap 25 Dec 1804 Chollerton (Parish register image originally shared by Adam Dunn)

The Chollerton registers for Thomas’ children are otherwise quite specific; Mary, born 1798 is 1st daughter, then Jane born 1801 is 2nd daughter, then in 1807, Susannah is 4th daughter, so is this entry an error, an unnamed boy ie George or is the entry for a girl; ie the 3rd daughter??  I, personally think this is either the missing 3rd daughter or the child that was to be named Thomas. We do know from the censuses that Thomas and Ann  had a son Thomas that would have been born around the time of the 1805 entry, so that would make sense.  Next, considering the sister Isabella at George’s wedding; Isabella was born in 1825 which would have made her only 6 years old when George married in 1831. I am not sure that a 6 year old would be a witness?  On this basis, I do not believe that Georges’ parents are Thomas and Ann, but rather George Dunn and Elizabeth; the same as the parents of Izabella baptised at Chollerton in 1814; George clearly stated as a Gardener 2. In the census Isabella states that se is born at Swinton and does  George 3

I initially thought George’s wife was Elizabeth Robson, (who according to the IGI married a George Dunn at Long Burton in 1802 although this marriage is not present in the Long Burton registers) 1 but I now think there may be two George and Elizabeths, although I cannot find any other marriage between a George Dunn and an Elizabeth in this time period.  George and Elizabeth Robson are listed as the parents of yet another Isabella Dunn born in 1820, baptised at Pottergate Chapel at Alnwick on 31st January, 1821 but George is listed as a mariner and her grandfather James Robson listed as sponsor 1.  

[Just to recap we have three Isabella Dunns; daughter of George, gardener and Elizabeth b 1814; daughter of George, mariner and Elizabeth Robson b 1820 and daughter of Thomas b 1825 – surely the only one likely to be witness at a 1831 wedding would be the one born in 1814?]

Out of the other children of “George and Elizabeth Dunn”, one was baptized at the Anglican Chollerton church; this is Isabella in 1814. Her father is clearly stated as being a gardener.  The others were baptised at the Presbyterian churches of  Branton and Alnwick 1,6.  These children were born between 1802 and 1808.   I have only seen the original entry for William born 1806 at Pottergate, Alnwick; the same chapel as Isabella b 1820, but it does not give Elizabeth’s surname nor an occupation for George.  So is William and the other children baptised at Branton (whose original entries I have not seen) part the same family as Isabella born in 1820 and if  so why the gap between 1808 and 1820?  Or is Isabella born 1820 the only children of George, mariner Elizabeth Robson and the other children including Isabella born 1814 of a different George, gardener and Elizabeth?  The only real clue to our George is that he was born at Swinburn/Chollerton and so was Isabella.  It does suggest that they at least are brother and sister. And following that logic, if Isabella’s father was George, a gardener then the others would have the same father. 

In the next section, I have tried put all this into context and deal with discrepancy with George seniors’ age – it appears he may have been much older than Elizabeth, which also makes me wonder if her had an earlier wife?  Please refer to the family tree;  I have added all the options as this is confusing! 

At this point I have to mention the only other baptism I can find for a George Dunn at this time; the son of William Dunn and Mary

George Dunn b 2.6.1805 Whitingham, bp10.6.1805 Branton Presbyterian and siblings amongst others: 1,8

Mary Dunn b 27.1.1804, bp 19.2.1804 Ingram                                                                                                                                                              William Dunn b 2.7.1808 Boomer, bp 21.8.1808 Branton Presbyterian                                                                                                      Thomas Dunn b 18.3.1810, bp 16.4.1818 Branton  


I have found that the other children’s baptism records refer to the mother as Mary Bickerton and I think that I can now discount this George as it appears this family are accounted for by a number of researchers with ancestry public member trees 13



If this family were a Presbyterian family I may have problems finding the marriages as, with the exception of Jews and Quakers, it was illegal to marry in a non-conformist church prior to 1837. Some may have married in local churches, but many Presbyterians would choose not to marry instead, or marry in Scotland in either the Church of Scotland or in a “cross border marriage centre”,  such as  Gretna Green.  However, it appears that there is also a chance that children were baptised alternating between Chollerton C of E and Presbyterians chapels.; it as been known  – perhaps more to do with location that denomination.  I have looked at ~Scotland for marriages for George and Elizabeth but found nothing. I am also having problems finding burials for Presbyterians. 



What we do know:

George Dunn, born abt 1757, [going by the fact that he was 78 when he died in 1835] was a gardener. His wife was Elizabeth (no marriage found) and they lived at Swinburn at least in 1814. There, they had one child:

Isabella Dunn b 1814, Swinburn, bp 18.5.1814 Chollerton 2                                                                                                                                                                     d 1860 Hexham Workhouse, bur 22.6.1860 Hexham cemetery


and this is where we have to speculate: we believe that Isabella had a brother;  George Dunn born about 1805 in Swinburn or Chollerton (according to the 1861 and 1871 censuses 3 ). One possibility is that he was baptised at Branton Presbyterian chapel on 31st July 1805, son of George Dunn and Elizabeth (born at Great Agle in the parish of Whittingham: 1 July) 6 .  If this is the case, there are possible siblings: 


Hannah Dunn b 27.9.1802 Mile Whittingham, bp 8.10.1802 Branton Presbyterian Chapel (this entry gives father as George and                                      mother as Isobel but concusses is that it is a mistake??)                                                                                          Thomas Dunn b 1.1.1804 Mile, Whittingham, bp 19.1.1804 Branton Presbyterian Chapel                                                                                George Dunn b 1.7.1805 Great Agle, bp 31.7.1805 Branton Presbyterian Chapel                                                                                            William Dunn b 6.12.1806 Boomer, Longhoughton, bp 15.12.1806 Pottergate Chapel, Alnwick                                                                      Janet Dunn b 10.2.1808 Warenford Presbyterian (this entry just names the father as George)


Isabella was living with her mother at Chollerton in 1841 as Isabella Evans (although there is no record of a marriage) and a Mary Dunn aged 50 3 . Her son Joseph was born at Colwell in 1839, the son of John Evans, a shopkeeper 10. When George married in 1831, Isabella and Joseph Dunn were witnesses We have no idea who Joseph Dunn was, but he is stated as being the father of Isabella’s two further sons that were living with her at the time of the 1851 Census 3,  – however importantly NOT on their birth certificates but their marriage certificates!  

George Dunn bp 6.6.1847 Cambo, Whyham
Richard Dunn bp 22.2.1851 Hexham                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 1873 Newcastle to Alice Scott 

In this census, Richard was incorrectly named as Robert, but in the 1861 census, after Isabella had died, they are both living at the Hexham Workhouse. Thanks to Dorothy Lightly, who is descended from Richard, I now know that when both sons married, the father was named as Joseph Dunn,  Coachman.  But he was really their father – he was not on their birth certificates 10.  Joseph had been a witness to George’s wedding with Isabella 8 years before the birth of her fist son.  He remains a mystery, but by identifying him, it may help shed more light on the family of George.  

George senior had died in Swinburn and was buried at Chollerton on 8th March, 1835 aged 78 2.  His wife, Elizabeth died at Wood House in Colwell, Swinburn and was buried at Chollerton on 20th May, 1847 aged 77, widow of George Dunn, gardener 2,4.  Mary Dunn who had been living with Elizabeth in 1841, was still living in Swinburn in 1851, a sick nurse, born at Bill Quay (which is near Gateshead). She was visiting a William Glenderning and family.  We are still unable to identify her relationship to George and Elizabeth.

Looking at their ages, George would have been born in around 1757 and Elizabeth in around 1771. 



George Dunn born abt 1805 was most probably Isabella’s brother and maybe the son of George, a gardener and Elizabeth.  He was a gardener and he married Jane Lambert, daughter of Joseph Lambert and Mary Dawson on 19th December, 1831 at Chollerton 2.

They had the following children:

Thomas Dunn (Joiner) b 27.6.1832, bp 2.7.1832 Newcastle 8
Anna Dunn b 14.3.1834, bp 29.3.1834 St. Swithin, Gilmoss, Liverpool 7                                                                                                                                           d 23.3.1897, bur 27.3.1897 Rufford, St. Mary
Elizabeth Dunn b 14.112.1835, bp 20.12.1835 St. Swithin, Gilmoss, Liverpool 7                                                                                     George Dunn b 1.1.1838, bp 7.1.1838 St. Swithin, Gilmoss, Liverpool 7                                                                                                                                               d 1839                                                                                                                                                                                                George Dunn (Gardener/Carter) b 25.4.1840 Knowsley 4                                                                                                                                                                                                         m1 9.3.1863 Halsall to Ann Lunt (b 1841 Lydiate)                                                                                                                                                        m2 31.12.1895 Reg Office, Liverpool to Mary Ann Winterbottom (nee Twist)
                                                                d 17.2.1910 Everton aged 71
John Dunn b 1844 Knowsley                                                                                                                                                                                                                      d 25.9.1870 Rufford, bur 29.9.1870 Rufford,St. Mary


George definitely moved around a lot, but one would expect a gardener to do just that.  What caused George to move the long journey from Newcastle to Liverpool, though is unclear.   Interestingly the St Swithin, Gilmoss (near Knowsley)  registers name the godparents of the children baptised.  We see three different sets of Godparents; in 1834 at Anna’s baptism they were Isobel and Joseph Dunn.  This is probably the same pair that were witnesses at the wedding. In 1835 they were John and Eleanor Dunne and in 1838 they were Thomas and Mary Dunn.  Thomas could be George’s elder brother, but I have no idea who John was.

 Possible photo of George Dunn, groundsman of               Rufford Hall (1805 – 1872)


At the time of the 1841 census, the family were living at Jacks Brown Lane, Knowsley 3.  However, neither George or Jane could be found in the area for 1851 or later. I had though that they had possibly died by 1851. But then thanks to Adam Dunn who contacted me in December 2004, the mystery was solved. The family were living at Rufford where George was working as Groundsman at Rufford Hall.  I visited Rufford Hall and photographed the cottage where George and his family lived. Thy also had a photograph on the wall of what they believed may have been the groundsman.  He definitely has a family resemblance but it is impossible to be 100% sure that this is George. 

Groundsman's cottage, Rufford Hall

                  Groundsman’s cottage, Rufford Hall


They were still there in 1861 but by this time George was widowed 3. Jane had died on 18th June, 1857 and was buried at Rufford. Their son John died on 25th September 1870 4 and was buried at Rufford on 28th September.  At the time of the 1871 census, George was still living at Rufford with his daughter Annie 3. George died on 10th May, 1872 at Rufford aged 68 and was buried on 12th May also at Rufford.

Their daughter Annie was an Industrial Trainer at the Ormskirk Union Workhouse at the time of the 1881 census 3..  She remained at the workhouse through until 1891 as a nursery attendant. She died on 23rd March, 1897 at 128 Hollingreave Road, Burnley 4.  She was also buried at Rufford on 27th March.  Her personal estate was granted to her brother George (born 1840) who was at the time living at 27 Chancel Street, Kirkdale 11

Headstone from Rufford St. Mary.

           Headstone from Rufford St. Mary.




This headstone was found at the churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin parish church at Rufford, and shows all four members of the family.












George Dunn was born on 25th April, 1840; the son of George Dunn and Jane Lambert 4. We do not know where he was baptised. In 1861 George was a gardener at Rufford Hall, as was his father. He married Ann Lunt, the daughter of John Lunt, Flourman of Aughton, on 9th March, 1863 at St. Thomas’ church, Lydiate in the parish of Halsall 4.  At the time of his marriage both groom and his father were gardeners.  It appeared that they moved around quite a bit, as can be seen from the birth places for their children:

Alfred Dunn (Carter) b 1864 Everton, bp 2.9.1864 Everton St, Chrysostos                                                                                                                                                       m 25.12.1890 St Mary, Kirkdale to Annie Parr                                                                                                                                                       d Mill Road Hospital, bur 21.1.1891 Kirkdale Cemetery
Lancelot Joseph Dunn (Carter) b 29.3.1868 Kirkham                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 1898 Kirkdale St. Athanansius to Mary Unsworth                                                                                                                                               bur 23.9.1922 Anfield Cemetery
Lilian Jane Dunn b 1870, bp 24.7.1870  Skelmersdale                                                                                                                                                                                    m 14.10.1901 St Cuthbert, Everton to Thomas Howard 7
Annie Elizabeth Dunn b 24.8.1878 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                                              m 25.12.1901 Bootle to William George Bibby                                                                                                                                                    d after 1939? Liverpool
William Dunn (Carter) b 7.1.1879 Mount View, Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                       m 6.8.1899 Liverpool to Elizabeth Sefton                                                                                                                                                                 d 20.3.1943 Everton
George Dunn (Carter) b 1883 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                                                       m 13.8.1906 Liverpool to Edith Annie Baybutt

Annie Elizabeth Dunn (1876 - 1936)

Annie Elizabeth Dunn (1876 – 1939?) 

When Alfred was born in 1864 they were living at 38 Severs Street, Everton 8 .  They them moved to Kirkham by 1878 and then Skelmersdale by 1870 where George was now a market gardener; they were at Knowl Brow in Skelmersdale the time of the 1871 census 3.  The family were living at 10 Victoria Terrace, Liverpool at the time of the 1881 Census and George was a Carter 3.  It appears that Alfred married Annie Parr at St.Mary, Kirkdale on 25th December, 1890 8. At the time of the 1891 census, the rest of the family were living at 29 Chancel Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool. 

Ann, George’s wife, died in later in 1891 aged 51. When Annie Elizabeth married William George Bibby in December 1901, George was still alive and one of the witnesses was a Mary Dunn, who could have been Lancelot’s wife or his step-mother.  In trying to locate George on the 1901 census, however, the only George Dunn, Carter, alive and born in Knowsley was 42 years old (when he should be 60).  He was married to Mary Ann with a stepdaughter; Mary Ann Winterbottom and they were living at 31 Nith Street, Kirkdale 3.  This lead to me finding a marriage between George Dunn and Mary Ann Winterbottom, a widow that took place on 21st December, 1895 at Liverpool Register Office. Her maiden name was Twist and was the daughter of Joseph Twist an engineer 4 .

George’s age was a bit out when he remarried and he must have lied about his age in the 1901 census, for whatever reason. George died on 17th January, 1910 aged 71 4.  He was buried at Kirkdale Cemetery on 21st February, 1910 8.



Alfred Dunn, born in 1864, was a carter and he married Annie Parr on 25th December 1890 at St. Mary Kirkdale 8.  Sadly Alfred died at Mill Road Hospital in the following January and was buried at Kirkdale Cemetery on 21st January 1891 8


Lancelot Joseph Dunn, born in 1868 at Kirkham was also a Carter. He married Mary Unsworth in 1898 at Kirkdale St. Athanasius 8.  At the time of the 1901 census, they were living at Everton together with his younger brother George Dunn, also a Carter and a Thomas Dunn, a bricklayer and lodger born at Maghull 3.  I am now 100% certain that this should read Thomas Howard, he perfectly fits the description of Lancelot’s sister Lilian’s future husband (see below).   Lancelot and Mary had the following children, taken from the 1911 census 3:

Lancelot George Dunn b 8.10.1902, bp 2.11.1902 Everton St. Cuthbert                                                                                                                                                              m 3.8.1930 Everton to Elizabeth Broughton, d 1956 5
Thomas Cecil Dunn b 5.6.1908 Liverpool 3

At the time of the 1911 census Lancelot was living at 81 Orwell Road, Liverpool with is wife and two sons 3. He died here in 1922 and was buried on 23rd September at Anfield Cemetery 8.  His son Lancelot George was living with his wife Elizabeth and a daughter at the time of the 1939 register at 83 Bardsay Road, Liverpool 3.



Lilian Dunn  married Thomas Howard, a bricklayer, on 14th October, 1901 at St Cuthbert, Everton. At the time, she was living at 19 Gorse Street, Everton. The groom’s father, John Howard was a carter like George Dunn and they may well have worked together.  They lived at 20 Norwood Street Everton when their first son was born in 1902 8.  At the time of the 1911 census  they are living at Jubilee Hall, Formby 3 and had three children;

Thomas Osbert Howard b 20.7.1902, bp 24.8.1902 Everton St. Cuthbert                                                                                              Walter Howard b 1904 Jubilee Hall, Formby, bp 1.1904 Holy Trinity, Formby                                                                                                  Lilian Howard b 1907 34 Cable Street, Formby, bp 17.3.1907 Holy Trinity, Formby 



Annie Elizabeth Dunn, (right) was my mother-in-law’s grandmother. She married William George Bibby on 25th December, 1901 at St. Matthew’s church, Bootle.  She was living with William at the time of the 1939 Register but I have been unable to find any record of her death.  See the Bibby family history for more on their family. 



William Dunn was born on 7th January, 1879 at 2 Court, Mount View,  Liverpool 4, 9.   Thanks to Adam Dunn who alerted me to this photo of William’s birth place.  This was situated at Rathbone Street, Liverpool and was as a large ten-house court (demolished by the Corporation in 1913) 12 

    2 Court Mount View Liverpool (taken circa 1890)


William was a general carter and married Elizabeth Sefton, daughter of John Sefton and Elizabeth on 6th August, 1899 at Liverpool St. Peter 4, 9.   


The had a 9 children, beginning with twins 9:   


John Dunn b 2.12.1899, bp 31.12.1899 St. Aiden, Kirkdale                                                                           bur 20.3.1900 Liverpool                                                                              James Dunn b 2.12.1899, bp 31.12.1899 St. Aiden, Kirkdale                                                                           d 1985                                                                                                          William Dunn b 19.10.1902, bp 18.11.1902 Liverpool                                                                                           d 1970  Liverpool                                                                                                Lilian Dunn b 25.2.1905, bp 18.3.1905 St. Aiden, Kirkdale                                                                               

                          bur 6.5.1905 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                         Arthur Dunn b 26.4.1906, bp 10.6.1906 St. Aiden. Kirkdale                                                                                                                                                                  d 7.5.1975 Whiston                                                                                                                                                                         John Dunn b 9.10.1910 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                     Ada Dunn b 2.7.1916 West Derby                                                                                                                                                                                                            d 1918                                                                                                                                                                                                     Annie Dunn b 5.8.1917 Kirkdale                                                                                                                                                                                     Sydney Dunn  b 4.8.1921 Liverpool


At the time of the 1911 census, William and Elizabeth were living at 44 Smith Street, Liverpool with their children James, William, Arthur (transcribed on the census as Methvin) and John 3 .  At the time of the 1939 Register, William, Elizabeth and son John were living at 86 Dalrymple Street, Liverpool 3. William died on 20th March, 1943 at 131 Everton Terrace, Liverpool aged 64 4.   


George Dunn, the youngest son of George and Ann Lunt was born in 1883 .  He was a forwarding agent’s carter and was found living with his brother Lancelot at the time of the 1901 census at 7 Norgate Street, Everton 3.  George married Annie Edith Baybutt, daughter of James Baybutt, on 13th August, 1906 at Liverpool 8.  The had the following children (based on census returns and concensus amongst ancestry public member trees) 3, 13

Herbert Dunn b 1908 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                  Hlda Dunn b 1911 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                                            Edna Edith Dunn b 1913 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                  William Dunn b 12.7.1917 Liverpool                                                                                                                                                                    Lilian Dunn b 1923 Liverpool


At the time of the 1911 census they were living with their first two children at 42 Carmel Street, Liverpool 3 .  The time of the 1939 census, Edith was a widow and still living at the same address with a son William; a boot and shoe repairer 3.   George had died in 1926 at 42 Carmel Street and was buried at Anfield cemetery on 26th March 1926 8.







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 Longbenton, Alwnick and Branton PRS,  Northumberland at familysearch.org/

2 Chollerton parish registers

3 Census returns incl 1939 regsiter from ancestry.co.uk

4 Birth, marriage or death certificate

5 FreeBMD

6 Branton baptism record courtesy of  Berwick-upon-Tweed record office

7 Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project

8 baptisms, marriages and burials at ancestry.co.uk

9 emails from Adam Dunn 2005-214

10 emails from Dorothy Lightly, 2006 

11 Letter of Administration of Annie Dunn died 23 March 1897

12 The Court and Cellar Dwelling: The Eighteenth Century Origin of the Liverpool slum By I. C. Taylor, M.A 

13 Ancestry.co.uk public member trees



2 Responses to “Dunn”

  • Adam Dunn:

    Hi Juliet,

    Just found that Lilian Jane Dunn married Thomas Howard on 14th October 1901 at St. Cuthbert, Everton

    Lilian address is 19 Gorst Street.

    Details at Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks web site.



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