The Dunn Family from Northumberland


See the Dunn Census transcsripts

See the Chollerton Parish Register Transcripts

See the Dunn Family Tree

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.

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 came from Northumberland. Exactly where in Northumberland has been causing some problems.  Most of the census data tells us George was from Swinburn or Chollerton.  Swinburn appears to be in the Chollerton parish catchment, so the discrepancy does not seem important. However, confirming his parentage seems a little tricky. I have been unable to find a definite baptism for him, although I have done for who we believe is his sister. On this basis, his parents appear to be another George Dunn and Elizabeth. I thought it was Elizabeth Robson, (who according to the IGI were married at Longburton in 1802 although this marriage is not present in the Longburton PRs) 1 but now I am not so sure, as this couple are listed as the paresnt of a let Isabella Dunn and he is a mariner!

There will be some speculation at this point as one of the children “of George and Elizabeth Dunn” was baptized at the Anglican Chollerton church and some at the Presbyterian churches such as Branton and  Alnwick.  I’m not sure if you would have done both, so I am thinking there may be two families that I have got mixed up with.  The only real clue to George is Swinburn and Chollerton, but the George and Elizabeth I have come across so far appear to be living in all the areas including Whittingham, Alnwick, Branton and Swinton; all to the east of Northumberland National Park.


If I am dealing with a Presbyterian family I may have problems find thing 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, 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!


What we do know:

George Dunn, born abt 1757, gardener and wife Elizabeth lived at Swinburn and had a child:

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

and we believe a son George Dunn born about 1805 in Swinburn or Chollerton (according to the 1861 and 1871 censuses3). 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 brothers Thomas and William also born at Presbyterian churches in the area by the same parents.

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. Her son Joseph was born at Colwell in 1839, the son of John Evans. When George married in 1831, Isabella and Joseph Dunn were witnesses (although this was clearly not her son as he was yet to be born).  This is all circumstantial evidence at present, but is very likely that this Joseph Dunn was a relation of sorts and we now know that he was the father of Isabella’s two further sons that were living with her at the time of the 1851 Census 3:

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.  So who was this Joseph? Was he a cousin. He had been a witness with Isabella 8 years even before the birth of her fist son.  This remains a mystery, but by identifying him , it may help shed more light on the parentage of George.  In 1851 Isabella’s eldest son Joseph Dunn was living at Colwell, aged 11 at Wood House 3.

George senior died in Swinburn and was buried at Chollerton on 8th March, 1835 2.  His wife, Elizabeth died at Wood House in Colwell, Swinburn and was buried at Chollerton on 20th May, 1847 2,4.  Mary Dunn who had been living with Elizabeth in 1841, was 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.


George Dunn born abt 1805 was most probably Isabella’s brother.  He was also 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 Newcastle
Ann Dunn b 1834 Knowsley Lancs, d 23.3.1897, bur 27.3.1897 Rufford, St. Mary
George Dunn (Gardener/Carter) b 25.4.1840 Knowsley, m1 9.3.1863 Halsall to Ann Lunt (b 1841 Lydiate), m2 1895 Liverpool to Mary Ann Winterbottom
d 1910 ? aged 71
John Dunn b 1844 Knowsley, d 25.9.1870 Rufford, bur 29.9.1870 Rufford,St. Mary

At the time of the 1841 census, the family were living at Jacks Brown Lane, Knowsley. 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 and photographed the cottage where George and his family lived.

Groundsman's cottage, Rufford Hall

Groundsman’s cottage, Rufford Hall

They were still there in 1861 but by this time George was widowed. Jane had died on 18th June,1857 and was buried at Rufford. Their son John died on 25th September 1870, George died on 19th May, 1872 at Rufford aged 68 and their daughter Annie
died on 23rd March, 1897 although she had been living at Burnley.

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 Liverpool, d 1891? (age 26)
Launcelot Joseph Dunn (Carter) b 1868 Kirkham, m 1898 Kirkdale St. Athanansius to Mary Unsworth, d 1922 age 54
Lilian Jane Dunn born in 1870 at Skelmsdale, m 14.10.1901 St Cuthbert, Everton to Thomas Howard 7
Annie Elizabeth Dunn b 1876 Liverpool, m 25.12.1901 Bootle to William George Bibbyd 1936
William Dunn (Carter) b 7.1.1879 Liverpool, m 6.8.1899 Liverpool to Elizabeth Sefton
George Dunn (Carter) b1882 Liverpool

Annie Elizabeth Dunn (1876 - 1936)

Annie Elizabeth Dunn (1876 – 1936) 

The family were living at 10 Victoria Terrace, Liverpool at the time of the 1881 Census and George was a Carter 3.  In 1891 it appears that Alfred had died. At this time he family were living at 29 Chancel Steet, Kirkdale, Liverpool. It also appears that 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 Launcelot’s wife. 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.  This lead to me finding a marriage between George Dunn and Mary Ann Winterbottom in 1895.

Lilian married Thomas Howard, a bricklayer, on 14th October, 1901 at St Cuthbert, Everton. At the time, she was living at 19 Gorst Street, Everton. The groom’s father, John Howard was a carter like George Dunn and they may well have worked together.

The only conclusion is that George remarried and lied about his age in the 1901 census, for whatever reason. George died on 17th January, 1910 aged 71 4.

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.  See the Bibby family history for more on their family.

Launcelot Dunn, born in 1868 at Kirkham was also a Carter. He married Mary Unsworth in 1898. 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. We have no idea if or how Thomas is related.  Launcelot 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 1930 Everton to Elizabeth Broughton, d 1956 5
Thomas Cecil Dunn b 1909 Liverpool

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 Longbenton Prs, Northumberland at familysearch.org/

2 Chollerton parish registers

3 Census returns from ancestry.com

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

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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