Tag Archive | Romany

The Dean or Deane family of Bedford or Wolverhampton


Since I was updating the blog anyway I though now would be an excellent time to put a plea out there for any information that anyone may have about the Dean or Deane family of Bedford and possibly of Wolverhampton also.

Followers of this blog will probably know that one of the most important motivations for me in tracing my family tree is the hope that by doing so I may learn more about my family on my Father’s side.

The Dean’s or Deane’s of Bedford – What we do know.

The birth of my Father David Thomas Deane was registered in Bedford in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1925 after his being born on December 6th 1924.

His mother was one Georgine Lightfoot born 1885 in Haslington, Bedford and his father one Jubilee Albert E Dean born June 7th 1887 also in Bedford. Jubilee was in fact the second eldest of 8 children who included..

Sigvery Joseph Dean (also known as Joseph Dean) – born 1885 in Bedford
Jubilee Albert E Dean – born 1887 in Bedford
David Henry Dean – born 1889 in Bedford
Violet Beatrice Dean – born 1891 in Bedford
Alice Isabella Dean – born 1893 in Bedford
Dorothy Edelweiss Dean – born 1896 in Bedford
Ivy Dean – born 1897 in Bedford
Lawrence James Dean – born 1900 in Bedford

This much I know and details of their births etc have already been traced. But it is her that the trail of available information seems to begin to end.

Their mother, we know (from one or two of their wedding certificates and from Census records) was one Caroline Fensom (or Fensome) Born in Bedford in 1862 the wife of one David Dean whom she married in Bedford at Holy Trinity Parish Church Bedford in 1883.

The only records that we can find and definitely attribute to David Dean (my great grandfather) apart from one or two entries on his children’s wedding certificate and which give only his name and occupation, are two Census record entries – those of 1891 and 1901.

Possible Wolverhampton connection

Both of these give his birth year (calculated from his age at time of the census) as being about 1853 or 1854 and his place of birth as being Wolverhampton.

I have also obtained a copy of David and Caroline’s Wedding Certificate from 1883 on which his age is recorded as being 30 and his occupation given as “labourer”. So this would seem to confirm the birth year of 1853.

It also give his father’s name as being George Dean who was also a labourer.

Sadly however, there seems to be no record of a David Dean being born in Wolverhampton in or around 1853 and additionally I have no way of knowing his father George’s age or date or place of birth.

So unfortunately I cannot progress my research into this side of my family any further and I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating this is!

Help Needed

So if anyone out there reading this is familiar with this family and has any further information concerning them I really would appreciate it and cannot begin to describe how much it would mean to me.

In the course of my research I have been able to link up with two cousins from two separate strands of my father’s side f the family and we are all stuck at the same point.

One last piece of information that may help.

In discussions with the cousins that I mentioned we all have confirmed that each of us have independently throughout our childhood heard stories of our family having Romany roots. For me personally this is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of my family tree (as you can probably guess from the title of this site/blog) and so if you could help in any way I really would appreciate it.

Kind Regards

Kevin – The Unsettled Settler

Parents – The First Two Branches

So having established strong roots (by way of the information I knew about my immediate siblings) for the tree that I am building, the next task was to establish my first two branches.  These being my Father’s side of the family and my Mother’s side of the family.  And here already thing got a little more complicated.

As your tree branches out try to understand and touch the life behind it

In respect of my parents, my mother is my only surviving biological parent and thankfully still had all her faculties about her and would be a good source of information.  But when it came to my father’s side of the family a) he had passed on and b) he seldom talked about his side of the family.

On discussing things with my mother my expectations of a difficult time in respect of my father’s side of the family were certainly confirmed.  It appears that he had a falling out with his father and so seldom even spoke about him, let alone about any siblings, uncles, aunts, grand parents and the like.   Additionally, whilst I was certainly mindful that one or two relatives whom I believed to be from my Father’s side of the family that had visited our family home when I was a child I have to admit that I never really paid very much attention to who they were or where they fitted in.

Additionally, it is worth remembering that I grew up in an age where respecting one’s elders was very much expected of you.  So certainly a part of that seemed to be that any close adult friend of my parents was (at least for some stage of my life) to be addressed as “Aunt” or “Uncle”.  Which whilst being all fine and dandy in the “respecting your elders” arena does tend to play havoc with your understanding of “actual kin”.

And it is at this point perhaps worth mentioning again that as I said before, what you think you knew may not actually turn out to be true, so it is always worth keeping an open mind concerning the information that you think you already have.

So there I was, preparing for my first two branches – those of each of my parents.  One branch, my mother’s side, – the Graseman branch, would, I was fairly confident, be more easier than the other branch, my father’s side – The Deane branch.

And you know that was something of an attraction to me as my relationship with my father had not been without its difficulties and this plus the mystery (or at very least lack of information) concerning his family really intrigued me.

But there was another great intrigue there also.  The suggestion of a Romany connection in my father’s  past.

How it all began and what happened from there.

It all began with the visit of my mother.

A few years back now, my mother came to visit my son and I in our home here in Ireland.  We had moved over here from the UK some three of four years before and I think my mother wanted to come visit whilst she was still able.

During her time with us Mum asked if I would trace our family tree?  If I am totally honest I think her motives were twofold.  Yes I am sure that Mum wanted to know more about the family tree but just as importantly to her, or so I believe, Mum felt that by my tracing our family tree I would somehow become closer to the family.  In truth Mum never voiced such reasoning and I have never asked her, but trust me I know my mother.

I of course hesitated and was completely reluctant.  I was not (as you might have guessed from the information I have shared on the “About the Unsettled Settler” page) that close to my family and wasn’t sure I really wanted to get into all that.

But times and personalities and attitudes change and so a few months back I decided that I would indeed start tracing my family tree and so the journey began.

Since that time I have learned so much about my family and indeed have also ended up with just as many new questions as the ones I started with.  I have also become extremely intrigued by the possible “Romany” side of my family.

Over the next few days/weeks I hope to plot the journey that has happened so far and then once we are up to date, so to speak I shall be updating this site as and when I learn anything new or meet a new obstacle or question.

It is my fervent hope that somewhere along this journey I will be able to share information and advice that will be helpful to others taking similar journeys into their past and that others already taking their own similar journeys will be able to assist me in mine.  And hey who knows we might even find that somewhere in the past our journeys have already been entwined.

The Unsettled Settler – November 13th 2011.