The Dove Ancestors

The Doves

This page tells the story of the Dove line of the family. If you want to see a detailed diagram of the Dove ancestors, then click Dove Tree. This will open in a new tab so that you can flip between this page and the diagram.

These are the ancestors on the maternal line of Grandma Mary Wilson. The surname Dove derives from when dove was a nickname for a mild and gentle person or it may have been the occupational name for a keeper of doves. The name is geographically widespread through England, so it probably didn’t have a single source.

The Doves in our family lived most of the time in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. The earliest reference I have found to the Dove ancestors was in 1730, so the story starts from there.

Richard and Ann Dove

The earliest reference was when Richard and Ann Dove had their son Thomas christened in Sutton-in-Ashfield in 1730. I have not been able to trace their marriage.

I found this photograph on the internet which is the combined grave of Richard and his wife Anne, his son Thomas and his wife Anne. The gravestone says Richard was 78 when he died in 1772, this meant his birth was around 1694. It also says Anne was 73 when she died in 1771, this means her birth was around 1698.

The Doves continued to live in Sutton-in-Ashfield. This branch of my family is the longest to live in Sutton.

Dove grave

Thomas Dove and Ann Berry

Thomas was a son of Richard and Anne and was christened in 1730 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. He then married Ann Berry on 27 Feb 1753. Ann was christened in 1731 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. They had 5 children. Thomas died in 1811 and Ann died in 1806.

John Dove and Elizabeth Bridget

John was a son of Thomas and Ann and was christened in 1755 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. He then married Elizabeth Bridget on 27 Sep 1774. They had 3 children. I have not been able to trace Elizabeth’s christening.

John Dove and Allnite Betts

John was a son of John and Elizabeth and was christened in 1775 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. He then married Allnight Betts on 28 Dec 1793 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Allnite Betts was christened in 1775 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. They had 11 children.

I had trouble tracing the christening of John’s wife. The first information I found about her was their marriage which recorded John marrying a lady called Holmwright Betts. This seemed an unusual name and I wondered what the origin was. Things became more curious as I found in the records of their children’s christenings, her name was spelt Holewright, Holwright and Holdwright. Then when I found the record of her burial in 1846, her name was spelt Olight. With so many variations, it made it difficult to find her christening to see what her original Christian name was. I eventually found it and discovered that she was christened Allnite. I can only assume that the idea for this name resulted from a very long night in labour.

John was the first Dove to appear in a census where it shows he was a framework knitter. It is quite likely that the Doves had been framework knitters before this. There is more information about framework knitting on the Framework Knitting page.

Daniel Dove and Hannah Trueman

Daniel was a son of John and Allnite and was christened in 1806 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. He then married Hannah Trueman on 10 Mar 1827. They had 9 children. Hannah was christened in 1809 in Greasley, Nottinghamshire. Her family lived around that area in the villages of Greasley, Nuthall and Awsworth on the north-west side of Nottingham. Her father Michael was a coal miner.

Daniel was also a framework knitter. I think he struggled financially like many framework knitters of that time because there was the following incident in the local newspaper in 1841.
Complaint is made to us that one of the constables of Mansfield, named Hardstaff, last week took an alehouse fancy into his head and there seized and hand-cuffed a poorman of Sutton-in-Ashfield, named Daniel Dove, and marched him to the lock-up. A magistrate happening to be on the spot, had all parties before him, ordered Dove to be set at liberty and advised the officious constable to keep himself out of public houses.

Being called ‘poorman’ says it all. He died in 1859 at the age of 53 and Hannah died in 1863.

Daniel Dove and Mary Wharmby

Daniel was a son of Daniel and Hannah and was christened in 1833 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. He then married Mary Wharmby on 29 Aug 1859. Mary was christened in 1837 in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. They had 8 children.

He was a framework knitter and Mary also came from a family of framework knitters who lived in Kirkby.

Daniel was involved in an unfortunate incident that happened in 1857. The newspaper report was quite long, so I will summarise it.

Daniel was engaged to a girl called Martha Warmsby. They were having problems in their relationship due to ‘some jealousies arising between them’ and had passed in the street without speaking to each other. Martha became depressed and went to two druggist shops and bought a bottle of laudanum at each shop. She consumed the whole amount and went home.

Her mother could see she was not right, but didn’t know why and called the doctor. He thought she had had an apoplectic fit and assumed she would recover of her own accord. Martha slowly got worse and then her mother discovered the empty laudanum bottles and called the doctor again. By this time, it was too late and she died. The inquest jury recorded a verdict of death from taking a large quantity of laudanum being at that time in an unsound state of mind.

There is a twist to this sad story because two years later Daniel married Martha’s sister Mary. The question is, did Daniel’s relationship with Mary start before or after Martha’s suicide or was that the cause of the reported jealousies. Alas, we will never know. The full newspaper report can be read here.

Daniel died in 1876 at the young age of 43 and Mary died in 1903.

Henry Dove and Mary Ann Barnes

Henry was a son of Daniel and Mary and was christened in 1863 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. He then married Mary Ann Barnes in Oct 1882. Mary was christened in 1867 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. They had 11 children. Henry did not continue in the family tradition of being a framework knitter but became a coal miner instead. Henry died in 1924 and Mary died in 1935. There was also a coal mining connection in Ann’s family as her great grandfather George Barnes was an engineer at Mellors Colliery, which was the original colliery in Huthwaite (later called the Old Hucknall Colliery).

One of Henry and Mary’s daughters had a tragic accident in 1892. She was Annie Mary Dove and was just two years and nine months old. She went out to play with her nine-year-old brother, William. They joined some other children in Swan Street in Sutton. There was a large block of wood propped up against a wall. Some workmen had left it there while they went to get a cart to take it away. While playing, two boys knocked the block of wood over and it fell on top of Annie. Someone managed to move the piece of wood and carried Annie home, but it was too late, Annie was dead. An inquest was held and a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

There was yet another tragedy for Henry and Mary. They had a son Henry who went to fight in the First World War. He was serving in the 2nd Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. On the 1st April 1917, they were involved in the capture of the town of Savy in the North of France. The weather was atrocious with snow and sleet falling all day. The following day in equally bad weather, they secured the nearby Bois d’Holnon. On the 3rd April, they moved on to Francilly-Selency where they started digging a support line trench.

At 4.30pm, they were attacked by an enemy aircraft which dropped three bombs, killing seventeen men and wounding another thirty. Unfortunately, Henry was one of the seventeen killed.

He was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal, these were the two medals that were awarded to all those who served in the First World War.

Henry is buried in the Savy British Cemetery in France. So far, he is the only family member that I have found who was killed in this brutal war.

Savy Cemetery
Savy Cemetery

Below is an extract from the Register of Soldiers Effects. Following his death, the register shows they sent to his father £2 13s 7d in back pay and later in 1919 another £3 war gratuity. £5 13s 7d is equivalent to about £330 in 2021. Not a lot for a young life.

Henry Dove's effects record

Sarah Jane Dove and Frederick Shacklock

Sarah was a daughter of Henry and Mary and was christened in 1885 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. She then married Frederick Shacklock. I have covered their marriage on the Shacklock page. They are the parents of grandma Mary Wilson so I have come to the end of the Dove ancestors.


The Doves lived in Sutton-in-Ashfield Nottinghamshire. Sutton-in-Ashfield was first settled in the Saxon times and the Saxon suffix ‘ton’ means ‘an enclosure or fenced in clearing’. The town appeared in the Domesday Book in as ‘Sutone’. In the 1832 Pigott’s Directory, Sutton is described as a populous, irregularly built village. The main employment was the manufacture of stockings and bobbin-net, which ties in with the Dove’s being framework knitters. A mill had been built in Sutton around 1775 by Samuel Unwin based on Richard Arkwright’s system. It produced high quality nankeen (a buff coloured cotton) and gingham (checked cotton). Hosiery continued to be one of the main industries in Sutton, with Pretty Polly starting in 1919. Several of the Dove women worked as cotton seamers. Although Sutton was in the middle of a mining area, there were no coal mines in Sutton. The nearest one which was called Sutton Colliery, was actually in Stanton Hill.

I found a history of Sutton-in-Ashfield which was written in 1907 which is available here.

The following website has some old photographs of Sutton.