Friday, April 6, 2012

John Dickins 1772-1851

Having caught up today with about six months of comments, I decided it was time to update my blog with details of the families I am researching.  Always top of the list, as he has been for about 20 years, is Captain John Dickins, of the 90th Regiment of Foot, of Colchester, Birmingham, Trysull and Forton.  I have learned a great deal about him and his family in the last couple of years.

The History of Church Preen (I have typed up the relevant excerpts elsewhere on this blog) stated that John Dickins was married twice with a great many children, but I didn't know where or to whom he was married until relatively recently.

So... I still have no idea where John Dickins was born in around 1773. According to Sparrow's History, he was the son of John Dickins born 1737 in Church Preen, and he was the son of Richard Dickins died 1764, the last Dickins to live at Church Preen Manor.  His timeline goes like this....

1798: appointed cornet in the first fencible cavalry on 23 January 1798.  This information about his army career was given to me by the army archivist, who traced him from his appointment to the 90th Regiment of Foot as given in his children's baptismal records.  (There is a contemporary Frederick J. Dickins or Dickens who is also in the army at the same time...he served in the first Light Dragoons and the 12th Dragoons around 1800-1809, but is not the same man as they have concurrent appointments to different regiments.) No information about birthplace can be found on file.  I have searched the records at the national archives but there is a gap where he should be in the pensions records.

DICKINS, John bach & BLYTH Ann sp, married 16 Apr 1799 by licence, St Peter's, Colchester

I don't know that this is the right Ann Blythe, but there is one born 27 March, 1778
baptised 24 April, 1778 St Leonard, Colchester, Essex Father: Daniel Blythe Mother: Ann Oathwaite

1799: John Charles Dickins born 27 Dec 1799.  I can find very little about this John Dickins too.

1800: became cornet in the 15th Light Dragoons 6 May 1800.

1800: Baptism:  St Peter's
DICKINS, John Charles bap 8 Jun 1800 son of John & Ann

1801: became a lieutenant on 15 June 1801 and then was placed on half pay on reduction of the army in 1802.

1801: Thomas Dickins born 19 December 1801 in Colchester.

1802: DICKINS, Thomas bap 3 Mar 1802 son of John & Ann (child born 19 Dec 1801 father Lieut 15th Reg't Horse)

1803: again appointed lieutenant in the 15th Light Dragoons 17th September 1803.

Holy Trinity
DICKENS, Louisa-Jane bap 2 Sep 1804 dau of John & Anne (child born 6 Aug)

1806: appointed captain in the 7th garrison battalion 3 December 1806 and then Captain in the 90th foot in February 1808.

1807: Henry Fowler Dickins privately baptised October 1807 in Colchester.

Before 1810, presume Ann Dickins nee Blyth died.

1811: Married Ann Campbell in Castle Church Stafford, 12 October, 1811.  Both his son Francis Campbell Dickins and his Father-in-law Archibald Campbell were involved in a Chancery case.  John Dickins was serving with another Captain who was a Patrick Campbell.  John is shown as from St Martin's, Birmingham in Pallot's marriage index.  Archibald Campbell, the bride's father is from Stafford.

1812: son Francis Campbell Dickins baptised St John's Deritend, Birmingham.  He married and is shown on the census returns living in Chelsea in London.  His children are shown as wards in chancery. He married Mary Matilda McAlpine.

1813: son Robert Archibald Dickins baptised St John's Deritend, Birmingham, 23 Nov 1813.  Robert continued to live at Woodford Grange after John Dickins moved to Forton, sometime after 1841.  He married Marianne Sanneman, and had one son, Bramah, who predeceased him.  He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Staffordshire Militia and there is a memorial to him in Trysull parish church. I have an original copy of his will, and the galley proof of his obituary from the local paper.  Robert Archibald Dickins Hon. Lieut. Col. Queen’s Own Royal Staffs. Yeomanry d1893 at Woodford Grange.

1815: son Henry Fowler Dickins baptised St John's Deritend, Birmingham, 23 Mar, 1815 for reasons which make no sense.  This IS the same Henry Fowler Dickins who was originally baptised in Colchester... allegedly.  There is a declaration in the records to say that he was baptised in 1807.

1816: daughter Sarah Dickins baptised St John's Deritend Birmingham, 18 Feb 1816

1818: on reduction of the army, placed on half pay.

1818: son Charles John Dickins is baptised 11 May 1818 in Trysull. He emigrates to Australia with a squatter called Griffin, marries and has many descendants in Australia.  I have letters sent by his children back to the UK.

1820: daughter Frances Dickins baptised Trysull, Staffordshire, 14 May 1820.  She may have had an illegitimate child.  She moved to Forton with her mother and father, and helped her sister Sarah run a school for young ladies.

1822: daughter Harriet Dickins baptised Trysull, Staffordshire, 13 Jan 1822

1824: son George Dickins baptised Trysull, Staffordshire, 11 May 1824.  He was the baby of the family and my great great great grandfather.  He seems to have parted company with his brother Robert on bad terms. 

1827: retired from the army.

1836: John Dickins is Land Tax Commissioner for Staffordshire.

1841: the family are at Woodford Grange, Trysull, Staffordshire for the census. Remembering that the dates are rounded for this census:
John Dickins 65 Farmer not born in Staffordshire
Ann Dickins 60 born in Staffs
Robert Dickins 25 not born in Staffs
Sarah Dickins 20 not born in Staffs
Frances Dickins 20 born in Staffs
Harriet Dickins 15 born in Staffs
Elizabeth Dukes 20 farm servant born in staffs
Mary George 20 farm servant born in Staffs
James Cope 10 agricultural labourer born in Staffs

1851: died at Meertown, Forton, Staffordshire 24 March, 1851, buried a few days later on 29 March.  Leaves wife and daughters in Meertown, son Robert Archibald is still at Woodford Grange. I have his death certificate and the notice which appeared in the London Gazette.

All Saints Church, Forton.  Picture by Gordon Cragg, CC attribution licence

He does not appear on the census as he has died by then, but the census return for the family at Meertown, Forton, Staffordshire shows:
Anne Dickins 72 farmer 120 acres employing 4 lab Staffs Stafford
Sarah Dickins 35 Warwickshire Birmingham
Fanny Dickins 30 Staffordshire Woodford
Harriet Dickins 29 Staffordshire Woodford
Christianna M Dickins granddaughter 5 Surrey Lambeth
William Barrett servant 35 ag lab Staffordshire Meer
Jane Magg servant 20 ag lab Staffordshire Forton
Sarah Bibb servant widow 27 house servant Staffordshire Brereton
Jane Earp servant 19 house servant Staffordshire Forton

I am beginning to think that the only way to track him down is to list  and identify every John Dickins in the 18th century.

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