William Richmond Dickens and Family

I found this lovely Wedding photo recently, and tucked inside was a local Christchurch newspaper clipping about the marriage..What luck !59Have found the marriage in the records… 1) William R Dickens to Margaret N E Morgan in December 1955 at Christchurch Priory, a beautiful place to get married….We used to live fairly close by and have been inside.60Unfortunately no clipping with it of page 4, with all the rest of the details. After having an initial search for this couple, apart from finding the marriage I was stuck, as there were too many possibilities of births to trace the couple. So I posted these photos on my Facebook page asking for help…Simon from  Charnwood Genealogy   very kindly found that William’s middle name was Richmond !! A huge help for me..

I shall number the Dickens men, as it will get confusing !       I have now found 1) William’s parents 2) George Leonard Richmond Dickens and his mother Doris M Smith (b 2 Mar 1907) they married in Warwick in late 1927, and as a result of that I was able to find 1) William’s birth record, also in Warwick in June 1928, Vol 6d, Page 1335. Later in my research when I was looking for more children of 2) William Leonard Richmond I came across another child, a daughter called Jill Dickens, same surnames of parents and with the same reference numbers as 1) William…so I’m thinking Twins is a big possibility !..I have tried to trace Jill, but have found nothing at all…very frustrating.               I also found before his marriage 1) William living with his Mum in Greenwich in 1949/50/51 on the electoral register.

 2) George Leonard Richmond Dickens was born in 28 August 1906 in Leamington, Warwickshire, he died in September 1994 in Maidstone, Kent. I have found him (2) with his parents on the 1911 census, and fortunately Mother in Law is visiting there..Surname Browne, very handy for a lead !rg14_18747_0137_033) George Richmond Dickens b 14 Jan 1875 Peterborough, and married Emily Mary Browne (b 25 Oct 1874) in 1904 Warwick.Vol 6d.Page 1122. They lived in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and had two children 2) George Leonard Richmond on census above, and a girl Mollie Christine Dickens b Jan 1908. I have found a possible marriage for Mollie in 1934 to a John B or E Wildsmith in Warwick. I also found these two on the 1939 register on Find My Past, with birth dates for Mollie 7th Jan 1908, which fits, and John E birth date 22 Sept 1900, he is a pastry cook/pie maker. So it seems correct. Mollie Christine Wildsmith died in South Dorset in the year 2000, aged 92………..                                                                                    I also found 2) George Leonard Richmond and wife Doris M on the 1939 Register, living in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire (As his parents were in 1939)..he was Works and Progress manager at a Building Contractors (His father’s company) A small note at the end of the register says ‘Dept Senior ARP‘  ………well worth looking at the original for that.

ARP Wardens WW2……….The main purpose of ARP Wardens was to patrol the streets during blackout and to ensure that no light was visible, they also reported the extent of bomb damage and assess the local need for help from the emergency and rescue services.They were responsible for the handing out of gas masks and pre fabricated Air Raid shelters (such as Anderson shelters, as well as Morrison shelters), and they organised and staffed public air raid shelters. They used their knowledge of their local areas to help find and reunite family members who had been separated in the rush to find shelter from the bombs. There were nearly one and a half million ARP wardens in Britain WW2, most of who were part time volunteers who had full time day jobs…They did a wonderful job in awful times…

4) George Richmond Dickens b 1838, was 3) George Richmond Dickens father and married to Zillah Pooley (b1846/47) They had twelve children in total, according to this 1911 census below, but I have only found 11 for certain Maud Mary b 1869-d 1956, Never married. Grace b 1870-d 1873 aged just three. Herbert W b 1871, he married Bertha in 1900, and had had six children before the 1911 census, one had died. Ernest Edward b 1873, I found there was a matching Ernest Edward on the 1911 census for Canada, single and working as a clerk, born England. (3) George Richmond b 1875, Arthur Samuel b 1877 in 1911 census he is married to Eleanor with a son Arthur Richmond. Edith b 1881, she married Sam Dodson in 1908 and has two children by the 1911 census. Sidney Charles b 1883, was also married in 1908 on the 1911 census, to Nellie, they had a baby girl less than a month old, but they’re eldest child had died. Twins Leonard b July 1885 (d 1949 )and Naomi Gertrude b July 1885 (Naomi d 1904) Ada b 1887, no more conclusive information without certs. I am unable to find Mum Zillah in the 1901 census, but Dad 4) George Richmond is with seven of the children at home, his occupation was Foreman of the Railway Wagon Works, they all lived in Peterborough, Northants.1838 Dickens.jpg I searched every possible link for Zillah Dickens in the 1911 census and finally found her in the list of inmates of the Sleaford Union Workhouse/Asylum..She is number 19 down the list Z.Dickens…Age 59…b Crowland, Lincs……Formerly Housewife 😦                  I have found her death in 1927, Sleaford, Lincolnshire four years after her husband, who died in 1923 in Huntingdonshire, in his will he left his £74 to eldest daughter and spinster Maud Mary…I think there is a very sad story to tell here about Zillah, but obviously needs lots more research by her descendants, if there are any still about…..I wonder how many years she was in the Workhouse/Asylum and why…….rg14_19648_0037_27.jpg

rg14_19648_0023_31There is more information concerning admissions etc to be found at the Lincolnshire Archives, there is some here about Sleaford Union Workhouse from Peter Higginbotham website for workhouses………. Sleaford Workhouse/Asylum
5) Samuel Dickens b 1804 and Elizabeth (Sergeant) b 1808 were married in 1831 in Castor, Northamptonshire. See photo below of St Kyneburgha, Castor…

SamuelEliz 1830

30346356and were the parents of three sons Sergeant b 1834, Christopher W b 1836 and 4) George Richmond b 1842. Here they all are in the 1851 census, father 5) Samuel is a Publican/Innkeeper.

1851 samDickens

That’s as far as I go with the Dickens I think, there are lots more leads to follow, but that’s for family to do…otherwise I could be some time ! One thing I haven’t found is why the name  ‘Richmond‘ … it obviously goes back in the family further, would love to have know which wife had the surname to start it all off.                                                                                       Here’s an amusing report I found below in the newspaper archives on Find My Past from 1937 related to 2) George Leonard Richmond Dickens being fined 10s for ‘Failing to Halt’


The Bride in the picture I think is the Margaret N E Morgan who was born in 1931, Hendon, Middlesex. But I’m not sure without certificates. Along with that is her possible parents Douglas B Morgan who married Hilda B Pipe in 1922, Hackney, London..but all maybe ! As is any children of the Wedding couple..there are possible matches but nothing conclusive. I know from Simon’s research that they were both still alive in 2013 on the electoral roll. 

Do you know anything about this couple at all ? are you descendants of them ? Its such a lovely old photo and really should be with family….

Till next time then…………….


  1. The couple in the wedding photo are Bill and Nancy Dickens of Gillingham, Kent, very good friends of my parents. Sadly, Nancy passed away recently, but Bill is still well. Bill and his sister Jill originally moved from Leamington at age 16, which is when my dad first met Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness! Thank you so very much for getting in touch, I really appreciate that.
    Also for sharing your information with me. I will update the blog tomorrow.
    It is a super photo & obviously a lovely couple. Kind Regards Lynn x


  3. Hi Lynn. Jeremy Corney is my brother and has just let his siblings know about your amazing feat of research into the Dickens family. Bill and Nancy were old friends of our parents and my godparents. They had five children: John, Elizabeth, James, Penny and Rachel. We have lost touch a bit but I was at Nancy’s funeral a few years ago. I’ll let them know about your research as I know they’ll be fascinated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Pauline, how lovely for you to be in touch as well as your brother. Thank you so much. Please tell them I would be thrilled for them to have the photo and clipping!
      Please contact me back on my email address with any more news from them lynnswaffles@gmail.com and pass this to the family. Kind Regards Lynn x


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