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Printable Version The Deans’ in Gisburn

Dean and Deane seem to have been relatively interchangeable spellings in early years but with the passing of Ref Joh Horrocks (1686-1723) from the Gisburn scene and the advent of Rev Richard Scott (1723-1747) the Deane rendition of the name virtually disappears and all Christian names are Anglicised.

In Doug's version of the 'Deans of Gisburn' the Deane rendition of the name has been ignored as irrelevant, although most Christian names have been retained in their original Baptismal form.

Given that sundry governments throughout the years levied taxes on Church Registrations, it is quite possible that some entries which may have been of interest to us might be missing but the rendition which has been chosen represents a very good 'Line of best fit' and is almost certainly correct.

Indications are that all of the Deans in Gisburn are descended from a common Ancestor.  Certainly at no time over the period of 300 years encompassed in the Parish Registers was there any intermarriage between persons bearing the name of Dean, in the Gisburn area.

One item of speculative interest involves Stephanus Dean born 1612, since there is no marriage recorded with respect to the four children born to a parent of that name between 1656 and 1666.  It is possible that the record of any marriage may have been lost or have gone unrecorded during the darkest days of the Civil War (1642-1650) or that, alternatively, Stephanus may have gone into service on the side of either King or Parliament (probably the latter) and have brought home a wife from elsewhere in England,  Numbers of Cromwells men married Scots lassies during his invasion of Scotland in 1652 so Stephanus may have been amongst them.

It is also possible that a complete generation may have gone missing from our annals.  This is not considered probable though.

Doug seems to think that the Dean name is generally considered to be of Welsh origin (the Forest of Dean is in North Wales) and defines a valley dweller, although in some cases, particularly in other parts of England, it may well have Ecclesiastical connotations.

I do know that the name Dean is also a Scottish Sept of Clan Davidson.

Undoubtedly much could be discovered of the trade and location of our early ancestors arising from a detailed examination of the Gisburn Parish Registers but time and opportunity have been lacking.  Access to the Death Registers, which have not been summarised by the Mormons, would assist in completing a picture but in most Parishes these particular records are quite rudimentary, providing virtually no detail.

Still the basic Bones of the research are here and can be fleshed out at will.  Families with which the early Deans were involved by marriage included Brearley, Beezley, Dodgson, Hartley, Isherwood, Coor and Wignall as wives; Parkinson, Tattersall, Wilkinson, Nutter and Towers as husbands; with Lawson, Bank and Nightingale as both.

Richi Dean and Thome (Thomas) Dean are the first two Deans to produce families, following 1560, in Gisburn and their separate lines can be traced with relative ease.  It is most probable that they were brothers and that the family had been resident in the area for some considerable time prior to this.

Richus Dean (c1584) is the sole recorded child of Richi, and his marriage to Jeneta Dewhirst in 1606 yielded six children only one of whom, Stephanus mentioned above, has any recorded progeny.  Of Stephanus' four children only Stephen (c1659) has his marriage recorded, being that to Agneta Brearley in 1681.  Their four children were baptised in Barnoldswick and their third child Henry married Alicia Brearley (presumably a cousin of Agneta) at Gisburn in 1722.  Their brood of eight were baptised, variously in Gisburn (our direct ancestor William (Gulielmi) in 1722).  Barnoldswick (three) and Bracewell (four).  As first born it is probable that William was baptised from his mother's original home.  William married Sarah Hartley in 1741, leading the family to the watershed of the Industrial Revolution.


The advent of the Industrial Revolution circa the 1750's saw a very significant increase in the size of individual English families and, of course, in the population of England.  The Agricultural Revolution, of which little is written, had preceded these years, so that better land use, farming methods, and crop rotation had made production of additional food possible, whilst improving roads and canals assisted in its distribtution.

Had these developments not occurred together there could have been on Industrial Revolution.  More food made larger families possible and more work made larger populations necessary.  These people had to be prepared to move to the places where work existed, once the Cottage industry phase of the Revolution had passed.  The day of the Industrial City had dawned and small townships started to fade.

The population of the area reached its peak around 1821 (690 in Gisburn Town and approx 2,500 in the Parish) but by 1870 population had halved.

John Dean (c26.7.1756) was the only son of William Dean (1722-?) and Sarah Hartley though their two daughters married and raised families.  He and Martha Cook (c.15.1.1757) were married in Gisburn on 16 Apr, 1780 and their eleven children set a new bench mark for the Dean family ensuring that the name would survive for many generations.

The marriages of nine of them appear in the Gisburn Register and some of their descendants have been traced but it is quite certain that many of them would have migrated to the large towns over the next few years rendering further tracing impracticable.

Their births were spread from Thomas (1782) to Alice (1800) with our direct ancestor John Cook Dean being baptised on 18 Sept 1791.  Quite obviously they had a good solid set of genes which have stood our family in good stead in the subsequent years.

Civil registration of Births etc was instituted in 1836 and in consequence of this Parish Registers fell into comparitive disuse.   All of the Civil records are now held at St Catherine's House in London and have not been available to the Latter Day Saints for the extension of their International Genealogical Index.  A pity, since their work has been thoroughly invaluable in this exercise.  The old Bishops Transcripts are now held at the County Records Office in Wakefield although the Parish records are still held at the Church in Gisburn.  It is understood that some of the Gisburn records are available at the Melbourne Library resumably in fiche or film form and some investigation may be fruitful.

Our ancestor John Cook Dean was the first to bear the double barrelled Christian name, presumably to distinguish him from his cousins John Nightingale and John Walton Dean.

Undoubtedly increasing populations caused the Vicars to record the names of both parents of the child in these times, rather than that of father only as was the habit in earlier years. 

It is probably notable that John and Martha's eldest son, Thomas, is recorded as being a Farmer, resident at Stopper Lane when two of his sons, John (aged 5) and Thomas (aged 3) were baptised in 1818.

Our ancestor Jabez was baptised at the same time (name spelt Jabesh - presumably courtesy of a broad Yorkshire accent) and since the other two Jabez Deans in the Index were far removed from Gisburn, it can be fairly assumed that the name was not familiar to the Vicar.  John Cook Dean is recorded here as a Grocer, residing at Stopper Lane, so it is probably fair to assume that he was staying on the family farm which Thomas, as eldest son, had inherited from their Parents.

Stopper Lane is, these days, a tiny Hamlet about 3k south of Gisburn, probably little diffrerent to 1800.  John Cook Dean's trade of Grocer would have had much wider connotations than it's modern definition.  It can be assumed taht he was a Travelling man and by this means he found and married Margaret Charlotte Dodgson (c 19.6.1791) at Long Preston some 9k north of Gisburn on 24 Jan, 1816.  Margaret's mother's name had been Mary Smith but on discovering that there were more than 6,000 Mary Smith's in the Yorkshire I.G.I. no further search of this part of our heritage was attempted.

By contrast Thomas Dean had married a Mary Glenwood, who is the sole Glenwood in the Yorks I.G.I.  Since she obviously came from outside the Shire, it seems probable that Thomas must have served in the Napoleonic Wars, in the Yorkshire West Riding Cavalry, which had been raised by 'Thomas Lister in the area in 1794 and was to serve throughout the war.  Lister was created Lord Ribblesdale as his reward for this act.  So Thomas brought Mary back and married her in Gisburn in 1811.

A listing of the tombstones from the Gisburn Churchyard has recently become available at the G.S.V. library in Melbourne and although somewhat difficult to read, shows that Thomas Dean of Stoops Farm, Rimington, died aged 73 years on 11 July, 1855.  On the same stone is recorded the burial of Ann, late wife of James Dean of the same address, aged 27 years on 10/7/1851.  James was the fourth son of Thomas and Mary Dean.  Rimington and Stopper Lane are contiguous.  It is probable that further investigation of these records would provide additional information.

Following the birth of Jabez, John and Margaret (she is recorded as Charlotte at the Baptisms) Dean moved on to seek a hopefully, more rewarding life in the 'Big Smoke'.  Halifax was the chosen town and John took up the trade of 'confectioner' - not simply a purveyor of lollies as in this day and age but one who manufactured and sold a full range of items involving fruit and sugar and remained at the trade of the balance of his days. 

At least three more children were born in Halifax (Samuel 1820, Margaret (sic) Charlotte 1821 and John Cook in 1823).  These latter children were all baptised at the South Parade Wesleyan Chapel in Halifax, making the first recorded break of the family from the C. of E.  John Wesley had preached through Yorkshire in the late 1700's and local tradition has it that he visited Gisburn, but his Journal mentions only his visit to Skipton, which lay a few miles to the east.  A Congregational Chapel existed at Horton, just east of Gisburn, from the early 1600's but there is no known family association therewith.

We can imagine Jabez growing up in the mean and dirty streets of Halifax - a relatively major city of those times - gaining some reasonable education (since he was thoroughly literate) and being apprenticed in the trades to which he laid claim - as a Plumber and Glazier for his selection for emigration to New Zealand and as a Painter in which trade he eventually worked in Wellington.

Undoubtedly he learned the trade of Grocer at his Father's knee, since this was the work he undertook, presumably when he had acquired some small capital, in Maldon in much later years.  It is apparent that he worked in Halifax and other adjacent towns and cities until he was out of his time and ready to settle down.

Ann Swift was baptised on 10th June, 1821 and the sole recorded parent was Elizabeth Swift, spinster of Halifax.  The Swift parentage can be traced back to 1735 at Halifax.  Elizabeth was baptised on 19th Sep, 1802, daughter of Abraham Swift, who had married Mary Hartley on 14th April, 1800.  Abraham was born 27th May, 1770, son of Jonathan Swift b. 7th Jan 1738, who had married Sara Green on 14th May 1764.  His father Jeremiah Swift had married Susan Whittaker at Halifax on 29th Feb 1735.  Jeremiah was new to the area and it is not impossible that he may have been related to the famous Satirist, Jonathan Swift (1667-1743) who was then resident in Ireland, to which his family had migrated in earlier days.  

On 20th May, 1824 Elizabeth Swift married James King, a schoolmaster of Halifax.  Kings parents, James King and Ann Tenant, had been married in the South Parade Wesleyan Chapel on 31st July, 1794 and James Jrn was born in Feb 1794.  Following the marriage, our Ann was to carry the surname of King but her refusal, in later years, to use that name indicates that King was certainly not her natural father.  Three other children were born to James and Elizabeth King, viz James (1826), Sarah (1831) and Francis (1833) and the use of two of those names in the Dean descendants indicates that Ann enjoyed their companionship.  Still it is apparent that Ann acquired a fair education from her step-father and it is reasonable to assume that James King may also have taught the young Jabez Dean and also that Jabez and Ann must have been resident in the same area of Halifax since it was rare in those days for people to marry anyone who lived more than two or three blocks away from their own home.  The name of King was common in Gisburn but no attempt has been made to define an association.  Jabez Dean and Ann Swit King were married on 11th Nov, 1838 in the "Old Parish Church of Manchester" in the County of Lancaster, at which time both were listed as residents of Daniel St., Salford, which is an industrial town a few k's west of Manchester.  Witnesses to the marriage were Uncle, Thomas Dean and Ann Crombleholme.  Thomas Dean was literate.  Jabez and Ann's first child, John Thomas Dean, was baptised in Halifax in Feb of 1839, so the wedding had been fairly urgent, as seems to have been almost the rule in those days.

Although married as Ann King, the only other recorded use of the King name was at the birth of Francis Samuel Dean in 1855 following the family move to Victoria.  Ann wore the Swift name proudly, to the extent that she was ultimately buried as "Ann Swift Dean".  She was obviously a strong, able, and intelligent person and certainly a most worthy progenitor of our family, since the characteristics which she displayed are evident in our family to this day.

Times were particularly tough in England's Industrial North during the depression of 1838-1839 and we can be certain that Jabez and Ann saw the need to look for a future beyond England.

Jabez was involved with the original settlement of Wellington in NZ.  If one looks at original land documentation his name is mentioned.  The family later migrated to Maldon in Victoria, Australia.  My branch of the Dean family came to Sydney.

This is part of the family history written by Douglas Dean of Maldon, Victoria, Australia who has since passed away.  He is survived by his nine children and their families + the other branches of the Dean family, one of them being my own.




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 Added on:  25/07/2006
 Author/Source:  sue catterall/douglas dean
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 Posted by:  catterallsue
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  By: lwrpotter on 04/12/2007
The Mary Smith who was the mother of Margaret Charlotte Dodgson was the daughter of Christopher Smith of Kirkby Malham and was baptised there on 19 September 1757.

Mary's brother was Leny Smith who moved to London where he ran one of the largest crape mills in Britain at the turn of the 18th/19th century. Margaret Charlotte Dodgson's middle name probably came from Leny's wife, Charlotte Bowen, whom he had married eight days before Margaret's baptism.

Margaret's brother Robert Dodgson also moved to London where and was working for Smith by 1808 before branching out into his own partnership in the crape trade by the 1820s.

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