DIXON, St Peters, St Albans, circa 1800
Richard John Dixon (richardjdixon
@t ntlworld.com) of
Stevenage Old Town writes: My 3 x Great Grandfather
William Dixon lived in St Albans
certainly from his marriage in St Peters Church St
Albans in 1809 to Sophia
Axtell till his death in Feb 1844. aged 61 which puts his birth
around 1783 in the 1841 census ref HO 107/447/ 8 he is shown as a brewers man
aged 55 years living in Chequer Street.
I can not find any clue to his birth when and where he was born. I have been to HALs in Hertford also St Peters Church but his grave is no longer visible. There is no information on the parish marriage records or on his death cert.
First let me deal with your last point. When they were buried, the poorer end of the social scale would not have been able to afford a stone. Some could not even afford an oak grave board (see burials) and would have been buried in an unmarked grave. It was later in the Victorian period that "permanent" tombstones became more common, at least among the middle classes.
The most important web site for tracking down births/baptisms before 1837 (when civil registrations started) is familysearch - which provides free searching of the IGI (International Genealogical Index).
When looking for a "missing" baptism the starting point is the Christian names of the children - see The Inheritance of Single Christian Names. As you forgot to provide this important background information in your question I used familysearch to provide a list of William and Sophia's children baptised at St Peters:
|MARY DICKSON||26 SEP 1813|
|SAMUEL DIXON||07 MAY 1815|
|WILLIAM DIXON||13 OCT 1816|
|JOHN DICKSON||05 APR 1818|
|JOSEPH DIXON||12 SEP 1819|
|JANE DIXON||13 JAN 1822|
|JOSEPH DIXON||26 JAN 1823|
|SARAH DIXON||09 JAN 1825|
|FRANCIS DIXON||21 OCT 1827|
|THOMAS DIXON||09 MAR 1836|
As it was common (although not universal) to name the first son after the father or paternal grandfather there is a good chance that your 4 x Great Grandfather name was named Samuel Dixon.
So back to familysearch to look for a William Dixon (with variant spellings) who was baptised within 5 years of 1783, possibly somewhere near St Albans, and hopefully. with a father called Samuel.
There were over 200 William Dixon (including variants) baptised in England in the 10 year period, and 10 of these were in Hertfordshire. One appears to be an excellent fit for your 3 x great grandfather:
Wm. Dickson, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Dickson, was baptised on 11th May 1783 at St Peters, St Albans
The Name is right, the date is right, the place fits and the father's name fits!
Richard John Dixon followed the above advice and reports It turns out that St Peters Church in St Albans has been Christening, Marrying and Burying my Dixon line from 1600 till 1870 when they moved away to Bethnel Green East London.
Always nice to hear of a success story.
Page updated March 2008