Alan March’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)

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DOYLEY SCOTT DENNIS. From the census returns we know that Doyley Scott Dennis was born in Beeston Regis on the north Norfolk coast around 1788. We have not found his baptism, but there is general agreement among family historians that he is the son of John Dennis and Frances Scott, who were having children baptised in Beeston Regis around that time. Doyley Scott was the name of Frances’s father.

He was their eighth and youngest child.

Most men in Beeston Regis were either fishermen or worked on the land. Doyley’s father was a shepherd.

Doyley seems to have begun his working life as a fisherman, but later changed to his father’s occupation of shepherd.


ELIZABETH GRIMES. In two censuses, Elizabeth is said to have been born in Beeston Regis. No baptism has been found for her there, It is only in the 1871 census that we learn her true birthplace is Aylmerton, 3 miles SE of Beeston. The answers to the two previous censuses were probably given by Doyley, while Elizabeth herself would have responded in 1871.

Baptism. Aylmerton.
1789 born Oct 16, bapt Oct 18  Elizabeth  Daughter of John and Mary Grimes.

His mother was Mary Scott. Neither of her parents could sign their name.

Elizabeth was born 3 days after their wedding. This raises the question of whether John Grimes really was her father. It was not unusual for a bride to be pregnant, but in this case we wonder why they did not marry sooner. Sometimes, the Overseers of the Poor would pay a man to marry a pregnant woman, so that she and her child would not become a burden on the Poor Rate.

She had a younger brother and sister.


Marriage. Beeston Regis.
1809 Apr 11  Doyley Dennis of this parish single man and Elizabeth Grimes of this parish single woman.

Both sign with their mark +. The witnesses were Ann Grimes and Webb Salmon.


The baptism of their first child follows something of the pattern of Elizabeth’s baptism, though it is not such an extreme case.

Baptisms. Beeston Regis.
1809 Hannah  Born Aug 14  bapt Aug 20

This was only four months after the wedding.

Other children followed.

1810 Mary  Born Sep 17  bapt Sep 23
1816  Ann  Born Mar 6  bapt Mar 10.  Beeston.  Fisherman.
Before the next baptism, Doyley has had a significant change of occupation.
1817 Sarah  Born Jan 2  bapt Jan 7.  Beeston.  Shepherd.
1824 Doyley  Born May 20  bapt May 30.
1826 Elizabeth  Born Dec 18  bapt Dec 24.  Beeston. Shepherd.
A son Robert was born in 1830-1, but we have not found his baptism.

Anne Dennis was buried on 1 Jun 1836 aged 20.

All Saints, Beeston Regis, where the children were baptised, stands somewhat isolated from the village on the cliff top.

All Saints, Beeston Regis


1841 Census. Beeston, Beeston Regis, Erpingham.
Doily Dennis
  50        Shepherd         Y
Elizabeth Dennis       50                    Y
Doily Dennis  15        Fisherman       Y
Elizabeth Dennis       15                    Y
James Dennis  13                    Y
Robert Dennis 10                    Y
John Dennis    5                     Y

James was the son of their unmarried daughter Mary and John of their daughter Hannah, who was also unmarried.

In the next ten years, Doyley took a step upwards, becoming a farmer, with just a few acres of land.


1851 Census. Beeston Regis.
Doyle Dennis               Head           Mar   63     Farmer 4 acres              Beeston Regis
Employing no Lab
Elizabeth Dennis         Wife           Mar   61                                           Beeston Regis
Hannah Dennis             Daur           U       41                                           Beeston Regis
James Dennis                Grandson   U       22     Shepherd                       Beeston Regis
John Dennis                  Grandson   U       15     Ag lab                           Beeston Regis
Charles Dennis             Grandson   U       6      Scholar                         London

Their daughter Hannah, still unmarried at 41, is now living with them, together with her son John. We have been unable to find Charles’s parents.

By the next census, the grandchildren have moved away.

1861 Census. Common, Beeston Regis.
Doiley Dennis              Head           Mar   73     Farmer of 5 acres         Beeston Regis
Elizabeth Dennis         Wife           Mar   71                                           Beeston Regis

Doyley died before the next census.

Burial. Beeston Regis.
1865 Jun 2  Doyley Scott Dennis.  Beeston.

The widowed Elizabeth went to live with her daughter Elizabeth junior, now married to an agricultural labourer.

1871 Census. Beeston Common, Beeston, Erpingham.
Joseph T Blyth      Head                  Mar   55     Ag. lab.      Beeston Regis
Elizabeth Blyth    Wife                  Mar   45                        Beeston Regis
Joseph Blyth          Son                    Unm 15     Ag. lab.      Beeston Regis
Elizabeth Blyth      Daur                           13     Scholar       Beeston Regis
Jeremiah Blyth      Son                             2                         Beeston Regis
Elizabeth Dennis  Mother in law             82     P R             Aylmerton

She died five years later.

Burials. Beeston Regis.
1876 Mar 29  Elizabeth Dennis. Beeston Regis. 87 yrs.





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