Research Questions

A genealogist's research is never-ending, it seems, as long as there are unknown ancestors to locate. The Ansons and their related families have no shortage of gaps in their lineage. However, there is a tremendous amount of genealogical information available on the web, not only from dedicated genealogy websites but also from the growing number of people who are hooking up on the 'Net. In order to take advantage of these resources, especially fellow genealogists and other members of the widespread Anson family, I've decided to dedicate this page to my research efforts. I'm hoping that by posting the many questions and "brick walls" I've come across, perhaps someone visiting this page can help out. Any information would be greatly appreciated, and I can, in turn, give access to information I have received from different branches of the Anson family.

Right now, I'm in the middle of ordering copies of birth certificates for George and Margaret's children Joseph and Eliza Catherine. These are George and Margaret's only children born in England who do not have christening records (or at least, none that I have found). I'm hoping that the more complete information given in these Civil Registration records may shed some light on the Anson family in England.

We know that George's parents were William Anson and Jane Carrier, based on marriage and christening records from St. Peter's Church in Wolverhampton (the same church where George and Margaret were married and where six of their children were baptised). Our search of St. Peter's baptismal records from 1750 to 1850 show only one William Anson and one Jane Carrier who would be the right ages to be our George Anson's parents. While this is not conclusive, it is promising. It is also interesting to note that many of the Ansons we believe to be William's brothers share the same occupation -- that of metalworkers. George's father is listed in George's baptismal record as a cabinet locksmith, and George himself worked as a tinsmith, steel toy maker, and gunsmith. Could this have been a family trade?

We're also trying to track down information about Margaret's side of the family -- the Dinnings, Granvilles, and Thoringtons. On George and Margaret's marriage record, one of the witnesses is a "Joseph Dinning." Since George and Margaret's second son was also named Joseph, and as Dinning was an uncommon name in the town of Wolverhampton, I believe this Joseph Dinning may have been Margaret's father, or at least another close relative. Margaret may also have had a sister who was married in the same church as George and Margaret were. I am planning to search church records for her and see if that gives us another lead.

The information we have on Margaret's uncles, Jack Thorington and William Granville is very sketchy. The Thorington family came from County Armagh in the early 1800s (according to their family history), and William Granville came from Plymouth, England, probably before 1840. So far, we have no leads on where these families connect with the Dinnings. We're not even sure where the Dinnings came from. One contemporary history says they were from Bristol, and family stories say the Dinnings were Welsh. However, the name Dinning seems to have Scottish history behind it.

The easiest problem we have to deal with is gathering information about George and Margaret's descendants. They had eight children who lived to adulthood, out of the fifteen children we know about. These children are:

  1. William George Anson
  2. Joseph Anson
  3. Henry Anson
  4. George Anson, Jr. (b. 1845)
  5. Eliza Catherine Anson (married William Osborn)
  6. John Thornton Anson
  7. Edward Anson
  8. Walter Anson (died unmarried at age twenty)

We have mostly complete information about Joseph Anson's line, as he is our direct ancestor. Thanks to other researchers (namely Jeff Hand, Eva Witham, and Wilbur Anson), we have information on many of these other lines as well, but would be interested in getting more, especially on the lines of John Thornton Anson and George Anson, Jr. (b. 1845, d. 1923 in Baker, OR).

We would also like to get information on the other seven children. Here is the information we have on them:

  1. George Anson, Jr. (b. 1839, d. before 1845). His baptismal record dated September 29, 1839 is the only record we have of him. One family story says that one of George and Margaret's children, a boy, fell overboard during their voyage to America. We haven't proven this yet, but since another son born in 1845 was named George Anson, we assume the first George Anson Jr. died before then.
  2. Catherine Anson (b. 1841, d. 1842). Catherine's baptism and burial are recorded in the records of St. Peter's Church, Wolverhampton.
  3. Emma Jane Anson (b. 1848). Emma Jane's baptism is recorded in the records of St. Peter's Church, Wolverhampton. By 1850, the Ansons had immigrated to America. Emma Jane does not show up in any other records, and she is listed as one of George and Margaret's deceased children in a contemporary Buchanan County, Iowa, history.
  4. Samuel Anson (b. 1850). Samuel may have been George and Margaret's first child born in America. He is listed in the 1850 Medina County, Ohio, census as 6/12 years old. Samuel shows up in the 1860 Quasqeston, Iowa census as 10 years old (and born in Ohio), but the 1870 Quasqueton census shows Samuel as 12 years old and born in Iowa. Given the occasional inaccuracy of the U. S. Census, we wonder if this Samuel married or left home between 1870 and 1880 (no Samuel shows up in the 1880 census), or if this Samuel died, and George and Margaret had another son later whom they named Samuel. George and Margaret have done this at least twice (with George, Jr. and Granville).
  5. Granville Anson (b. between 1850 and 1852, d. 1852). This first Granville does not show up in the 1850 Medina, Ohio census. The only clue to his existence is a grave marker in a Medina County cemetery with the date of death and a listing of his parents. He is buried a few rows away from his great-uncle (and namesake) William Granville.
  6. Granville Anson (b. about 1854). The second Granville first appears in the 1860 census for Quasqueton, Iowa. We've based his year of birth on his listed age in the 1860 and 1870 censuses. We have no other information. He does not show up in the 1880 census, so he may have left home.
  7. James Anson (b. about 1859). James shows up in the 1860 Quasqueton, Iowa census as 1 year of age. He does not show up on any later census.

Cemetery records for Quasqueton do not list any of the "missing children." We may never know where they are.

Finally, I'll be trying to locate George Anson's "Letter of Intent" for his U. S. Naturalization. According to some sources, immigrants were able to file a letter of intent to become a citizen three years after their arrival in America. These letters of intent could sometimes give information about where the immigrant came from and the ship and approximate date the immigrant came to America. Since I've been unable to track down which ship George took to America (he's not listed in any immigration source I've looked at so far), I'm hoping that his letter of intent will yield that information. That is assuming that he filed a letter of intent and that the same court that issued his Naturalization papers also has that letter of intent. Wish me luck.

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