Memories of the Dent and Stanley Families of Bottesford
A family history
By Barb Hafslund and Neil Fortey (editor)
Mrs Myra Bryce and her daughter Mrs Barb Hafslund first contacted us from Australia, back in 2008, to enquire about their forebears in Bottesford. This page is a belated attempt to answer some of their enquiries, and to ask for more information about the Stanley family and their home in Bottesford (please add comments at the bottom of this page).
Memories and enquiries
Barb Hafslund told us:
“My mother is Myra E Stanley – born 1924, Bottesford – daughter to Maria Dent and Walter Alexander Stanley Stanley (W.A.S. Stanley). My name is Barbara (Barb) Hafslund, and I am daughter to Myra E Stanley (now Bryce). My cousin, Michael Mackley still lives within the village, I believe.
I’ve been trying to track my grandfather’s birthplace down for nearly 20 years now. He was a Walter Stanley and married Maria “Cissy” Dent. The Dents have been long time residents in Bottesford and we seem to be related to most if not all of the whole village!
My mother is now 86 years old, and very frail. Sadly, her identical twin sister, Marjory Rose, died here in Australia last June after a series of massive strokes. Mum is now the only remaining child of Maria Dent and Walter A S Stanley.
My mother’s family was in the village from the early 1500s. The first Dent I can find in the village is a Joseph Dent, who married Alice Wood in 1767. However, our line goes back to just prior to the beginning of the parish records in 1537 through the Painter line – including the Lambs, Buggs, Woods, Calcrafts and many other names. In fact, I think I have traced them into the 1400s with the Painter line.
One of the Dents married a Skillington, and we have a Joseph Dent married a Anne Rawdon (Rawdin – ed) who died shortly after giving birth to her 2nd child. The Rawdons (or Rawdins – ed) who married my Dent were from Nottinghamshire.
The Stanley line is actually not from the village. My grandmother met Walter A S Stanley during the First World War, whilst she was working as a ladies maid to someone called Lady Wombwell. Apparently, this Lady was visiting a convalescent home in Brighton, we think, and Maria Dent met her future husband there. Walter Stanley was supposedly born in the London area.
My grandfather became quite well known within the village. My great Aunt Sara (sister to Maria), who married Harry Phillips, the baker who owned the local bakery, lent money to him to set up a fish and chip shop. I have to laugh, because, apparently, Walter set the shop up and was doing quite well, but one particular morning he opened the shop and started the huge fat pans heating up and then suddenly remembered he had forgotten he had left something back at his home. He raced back home to pick up what he had forgotten – got sidetracked when my grandmother asked him to do something – and the fish & chip shop went up in flames! I’m surprised that no one has ever mentioned this.
By the way, Mum remembers that her twin, Marjory, was very close friends with a Marcia Christmas. Marcia’s father had a garage (Christmas and Chorlton) just up the road from where they lived. Mum married on July 10th, 1943, in the village, to Ernest Howard Jarvis.
I expect that someone from my mother’s generation in Bottesford will remember the twins, Myra and Marjory Stanley. They were utterly identical in looks and loved to play tricks on one and all. I am pretty proud of my family there, and whilst they were of the labouring kind, each of those ancestors has made our family what we are now.“
Walter Stanley died on the 1st August, 1944, at Belvoir Road, Bottesford. We emigrated to Australia in July, 1964, and very quickly relocated from Nambour, Queensland to Mount Isa, Far North Queensland, where my father made a living as a miner underground. My eldest brother, Dennis, (he was born in Bottesford too, by the way) emigrated here too when he married his Irish wife, Patricia Green. Sadly, Dennis was killed only a few months after arriving here, after starting immediately to work underground in Mount Isa Mines. There was a pretty terrible explosion underground and Den was killed and the other miner with him, Bill Steen, was injured very badly. We then rapidly moved to Brisbane. My mother was unable to deal with living where her son was killed.
Some Background Records
Kellys Directory – Our project records provide information about the Dent family, and also a little about the Stanleys though it is open to doubt whether this refers to Mrs Hafslund’s grandfather. Editions of Kellys Directory published between 1928 and 1941 record W. Stanley, chimneysweep, in Bottesford, but Mrs Bryce and Mrs Hafslund doubt strongly if this is Barb’s grandfather. Barb writes “This chimney sweep business regarding my grandfather is a real mystery. My Mother can never remember him even knowing how to clean a chimney never mind being a chimneysweep. Apparently, as long as Mum can remember, her family always hired someone to clean their chimney, and she seriously doubts that her Mother would have let Walter loose with any kind of implement in their house! Also, the time period of the Kelly’s Directory doesn’t ring true with my Mother, as she says her Father was working at the munitions factory with herself and her twin sister, Marjory, during the war.
There were only two W. Stanleys that I know of in that time period, my grandfather and his son, also named Walter Stanley (he was apprenticed as a wheel wright upon leaving school). Mum has said that her father would have been more inclined to be an agricultural labourer more than anything, as he was happiest pottering around their garden and glasshouse, growing grapes and making home-made wine.”
At a house on High Street, Bottesford lived:
Joseph Dent agricultural labourer 30,
wife Jane Dent 35,
daughter Bethiah Dent 12,
son John Dent 10.
At a house on Main Street, Easthorpe lived:
Thomas Dent 44, agricultural labourer from Bottesford; wife Ann Dent (nee Perkins) 45, from Lincolnshire; daughters Sarah Dent 14, Ann Dent 12, Frances Dent 7 and Mary Dent 2; also Alice Dent 71 (presumably Thomas’ mother).
Mrs Halfsund tells us that Thomas DENT was the son of Joseph DENT and Alice WOOD. Joseph DENT was the first DENT in Bottesford with his marriage in 1767. Mrs Hafslund also tells us that Thomas Dent married Ann Perkins from Lincolnshire.
William Dent, 18, an agricultural labourer, appears to be renting a room in a multi-occupied cottage at The Nook, Bottesford.
At a house on High Street lived:
Joseph Dent agricultural labourer 46, born in Bottesford; wife Jane Dent 50 from Stainby, Lincs, a charwoman; Chelsea Pensioner John Rudkin (Jane’s brother – see below) aged 43, from Stainby, Lincs.
At a house on Poplar Street, Easthorpe, lived:
Ann Dent 56, widow (of Thomas Dent), lace runner, head of household, born at Walcott, Leicestershire; George Dent son 20, agricultural labourer, born Bottesford; Frances Dent 17, daughter, born Bottesford
Mary Dent 12, daughter, born Bottesford; Alice Dent 81, widow, grandmother, born Bottesford (died 1854).
Also resident at this same house were the Huckerby and Johnson families: William Huckerby 42 born Bottesford agricultural labourer; Catherine Huckerby wife 42, born Ropsley; John Huckerby 15 son, born Bottesford; Millicent Huckerby daughter 11, born Bottesford; Henry Johnson son 22 born, Newark, shoemaker; Ann Johnson daughter 22, born Bottesford, landed proprietor; William Johnson son 2, born Easthorpe
In a cottage at Easthorpe lived:
Ann Asher 66 head labourer’s widow born at Lincoln; George Dent son 29 brickyard labourer born at Easthorpe; Mary Dent daughter 22 charwoman born at Easthorpe; Thomas Dent 2 grandson
Parish records confirm that widow Ann Dent (nee Longlands) married widower John Asher on 28th March, 1853. Unfortunately, he died about five years later when he “was killed by the kick of a horse”.
At a house on Back Street (Albert Street) Bottesford lived:
Joseph Dent 54, agricultural labourer, born in Bottesford; wife Jane Dent 59, from Stainby, Lincs.
Barb Hafslund adds that “Jane Dent was Jane Rudkin originally. She had a brother John who was a Chelsea Pensioner. No records exist for him apparently. After talking to the Rudkin one name society, they, too, were unable to track him down”.
Joseph Dent evidently died very soon after this census, and parish records show that Jane Dent re-married on the 2nd April 1864 to widower Thomas Key, aged 54. George Dent married Mary Ricketts, a gamekeeper’s daughter from Normanton, on the 10th October, 1864.
In a cottage in Easthorpe lived:
Ann Asher 77 head, born in Walcot, Leicestershire; Mary Dent 32 daughter (Ann’s daughter) general servant; Thomas Dent 12 grandson (Mary’s son, Ann’s grandson) agricultural servant; John Huckeby 36 boarder bricklayer’s labourer.
Mary Dent married Alfred Lee, a tailor, on the 12th February, 1872.
On Bottesford High Street lived:
Thomas Dent 22 a railway platelayer; his wife Susannah Dent (nee Cree) 21 who came from South Muskham, Nottinghamshire; daughter Mary J Dent, 1 year old.
Mrs Hafslund tells us that Thomas Dent married Sarah Cree.
At Wright’s Yard (off Chapel Street) lived:
George Dent 49 general labourer born in Bottesford; wife Fanny Dent 52 born at Welby Lincs
At Grantham Road lived:
Thomas Dent 33, railway platelayer; wife Susannah Dent 32, from Muskham; daughters Sarah Dent 7, Ellen Dent 5, Maria Dent 3.
At Chapel Street lived:
George Dent 60, general labourer born in Bottesford; wife Frances Dent 62, from Welby, Lincs. Frances died and on the 9th June, 1897, and then George on the 19th March, 1898.
At Grantham Road lived:
Thomas Dent 43, railway labourer, born in Bottesford; wife Susannah Dent 42, born in South Muskham; daughter Sarah F Dent 17, born in Bottesford dressmaker; son William Dent 8 born in Bottesford
Ellen Dent 15 was a visitor at the butcher’s of Arthur and Louisa Taylor on Bottesford High Street.
Maria Dent was Mrs Hafslund’s grandmother, and Sarah her great-aunt. On the date of the 1901 census, Maria was not at home, but her elder sister was there and her younger sister Ellen was also in Bottesford that night.
This information has been assembled from Bottesford burial records for 1730-1900 compiled and published on the internet by Guys of Bottesford – go to http://freespace.virgin.net/guy.etchells/Botprindex.htm
Date of Burial
headstone in Bottesford churchyard
Mary Jane Dent
child of Thomas Dent
an unbaptised male child of Thomas and Susannah Dent, Service according to §13 of Burials Act 1881
died in the Grantham Union Workhouse