George Anson was born 13 March 1813 (1) in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England. He was the third child of William and Jane Anson (2). Parish records for St. Peter's Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton show he was baptised on 15 March 1813 (3).
Little is known of George Anson's life before his marriage to Margaret Dinning on 30 June 1833 (4). Between 1835 and 1848, George Anson worked as a locksmith and a steel toy finisher (5). Metalworking was probably a family occupation, as George's father William Anson was a cabinet locksmith (6). An 1827 Wolverhampton Directory of Trades lists William as a cabinet locksmith living on Salop Street; this information matches the entry for George Anson's baptismal record.
George and Margaret moved several times while living in Wolverhampton. On the birth record of their second son, Joseph, their address is listed as 88 Park Street (7). Baptismal records from 1841 to 1845 list their residence as Stafford Street. In the 1841 British census for Wolverhampton (8), George and Margaret are listed as living on Cannock Street (a side street off of Stafford Street). By 1848, they had moved to Salop Street, possibly to be near George's brother William and his family.
There has been conflicting information about when George Anson and his family immigrated to America. Because his last child in England was born in 1848 and his first child in America was born around April, 1850, we believe that he came to America in 1848 (9) with his eldest child William George. Margaret and the other children may also have accompanied him on this trip, or they may have come later. In either case, by early 1849 the entire family had most likely settled in Mount Savage, Maryland (10), where George had found work as a blacksmith and machinist at the Mount Savage Iron Works owned by a Mr. Graham.
By April, 1850, the Ansons had moved from Maryland to Medina, Medina County, Ohio (11), where George worked as a gunsmith. The family stayed in Medina for six years. Letters from Margaret Anson's uncle, Jack Thorington, indicate that the gunsmithing business wasn't going well, and that George Anson's health was suffering. In February 1855, the family had decided to move to Ohio, and by the middle of June 1855, they had settled in Cono Township, Buchanan County, Iowa (12). In 1858, George was elected one of the first trustees of Cono Township (13). By 1881, they had a 125 acre farm surrounded by an orchard; a contemporary history of Buchanan County, Ohio, states that George Anson was "one of our most worthy citizens (14)."
George Anson died 30 October 1889 (15) and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Quasqueton. The list of heirs in George's probate record for late 1889 includes Margaret, William George, Joseph, Henry, George, John, and Eliza. Missing are children Granville (II), James, and Samuel. A reasonable assumption is that they died before 1889. Margaret Dinning Anson died 15 April 1896 (15). George and Margaret left behind five adult children and more than a few unanswered questions about the Anson genealogy.
Note: All of the information contained in this bibliography has been taken from official records, family letters, and contemporary histories. A click on the highlighted and numbered text will take you to the corresponding endnote (also numbered), which detail where we have verified each piece of information. A complete listing of our sources can be found on our Sources page.
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