The Dolman family of Salisbury, Wiltshire

The Name

There is much conjecture as to the origin of the name "Dolman".  The name is fairly common on the continent but there are also many records of the name predating the 16th Century in England.

This current research has shown rather an abundance of the name in the country, especially in the north midlands.  Burton on Trent, Stafford and Arlewras consistently crop up in the GRO indexes for the 19th century.

Some reference books on surname meanings refer to the similarity between "dull" and the "dol" of Dolman but fail to reach consensus. Spelling variations include Dollman, Doleman or even Dolan.   The descendants of one branch of the family in Maiden Bradley even change from Dolman to Doman and back again during successive generations and the literary standards of the times must be borne in mind when undertaking research.

The dictionary definition "a hussar's jacket" and "dolmen sleeves" may indicate a tailoring background but nothing of this nature has been discovered apart from the Dolmans of Newbury referred to later. Again, no connection here has yet been discovered.

Two major namesakes have been found recorded. One is the Reverend Dolman and his family from Pocklington Yorkshire. An extensive history may be found in genealogical biographies. No connection has been established.

          The Dolman family of Newbury has been researched by others and the story begins in the 16th century. A prominent businessman, John Slammed bequeathed £10 to William Dolman who invested it in his own cloth weaving business, which on his death he left to his son Thomas. By 1557 Thomas had purchased a considerable amount of land and property including several manor houses. His eldest son John received a degree at Oxford in 1557 and became a barrister of the Inner Temple in 1571. Thomas died in 1575 and his will reveals considerable wealth.  His second son Thomas kept the business going and in 1581 completed the building of Shaw House near Newbury. A coat of Arms was granted in 1587, and in 1588 he achieved the office of Sheriff of Berkshire and that of Justice of the Peace in 1598. Although a link here to the Dolmans of Wiltshire is far more likely, nobody has yet established it. Shaw House featured in the Civil War  as a base for the Royalists and today is a private school


 Contrary to earlier thinking, it now seems that the Dolman family existed in the Salisbury area as far back as at least 1640.  A direct line has now been established to John Dolman of St Thomas’ parish, and there are earlier names in the area that have yet to be more fully investigated.  Earlier links with the name in Maiden Bradley now appear to have been incorrect and have now been erased from this book.  The following information is still sketchy and will hopefully be expanded as and when County Records and other resources can be examined.


John Dolman (1640) and Ann Fowler


In 1670 the Parish records of St Thomas in Salisbury record the birth of John Dolman as the son of John Dolman and Ann Fowler. John, the father is recorded as being born in 1640.


John Dolman (1670) and ??


In 1701 there is a recorded birth of Edward Dolman who had a son Edward in 1724.


Edward (1724) and Jane


Edward (1724) married Jane Moody on the 21st August 1744 at St Thomas’ church and they had six children.

  • Mary, 1747
  • Edward, 1749
  • John, 1753
  • Jenny, 1755
  • Thomas, 1759 and
  • James, 1761. Note that this now becomes the first record of what many now regard as the family name.

Edward (1749) and Elizabeth

Edward, christened on the 17th October 1749, married Elizabeth about 1775 and son James born in 1779 was christened on December the 27th. At St Thomas’ 


James and Elizabeth Coombes

In 1800 James married Elizabeth Coombes in the parish church of Fisherton Anger Salisbury. For information regarding St Clements, click here.  Further records are to be found here or in The Salisbury parishes of St Thomas, St Edmunds and St Martins or in the Primitive Methodist Church records. The marriage certificate states that they were both “of this parish” and although Elizabeth could only make her mark, James' signature is just about legible in the register.  In 1803 James’ occupation was given as “labourer” and in that year the first of their seven children was born:

  • James, the firstborn in 1803 of whom more later.
  • Thomas, (1806). No trace has yet been found of Thomas who was not recorded in the 1841 Census
  • Edward the third son, (b. 10/4/1810) married Sarah in about 1830, and their son Edward, married in 1874 in the Alderbury (Salisbury) District.
  • Elizabeth (b1808) married Charles Compton in 1832.

John (b.1812), it seems led quite a full life.  According to research carried out by a descendant in Australia he was deported to Tasmania after conviction at Exeter Quarter Sessions in 1841. After recieving his ticket of release in 1847 he travelled to Melbourne where he met and married Margaret Preston, an emigrant from Dundee.  In Australia, he built a hotel (making his own bricks in the process) in Whipstick and prospered.  The Hotel has since been converted to a private dwelling and portraits of John and Margaret still hang in the dining room. A large current family of Dolmans and others are his direct descendants.   Exchanges of research data have been of considerable interest to both parties.

  • Charlotte, (1816) gave birth to a "spurious" daughter, Elizabeth. in 1841.  Charlotte then married John Wood, a policeman from Gloucester, in 1844.  They had six children, Alfred, 1844, Charlotte 1846, Harriett 1848, George 1850, Julia 1853 and Amy 1856.  It is the great great granddaughter of Charlotte (1848) that I am indebted to for the information regarding Charlotte’s (1814) descendants.
    • In 1861 Elizabeth was living with her Aunt, Sarah (Bennett). In the same year, she married John Mitchell and they had a daughter, Alice in 1862. John died in 1867 and in 1872; Elizabeth married Frederick Hopkins, a widower with two daughters living in Salisbury.  He was a bricklayer and they had four children, Frederick, Amy, Edith, and Lilian before Elizabeth died in 1888. Only Frederick and Lilian survived childhood.


George, born in 1819, and living in Salisbury in 1841, has not been traceable after that.

Sometime between 1819 and 1841 James (1779) died. His wife Elizabeth (Coombes) died in 1843, and by 1851 the only Salisbury resident Dolmans were James (1803) and his second wife Sarah Bennett, and his son James (1826 by his first wife Elizabeth Bennett), and their families.

Between 1869 and 1881 James, (1826), his wife Charlotte Futcher and their family had moved to Battersea in London.  Later still they were to move again to the Shrewsbury-Stafford-Coventry area 

James and Elizabeth Bennett and Sarah Bennett

 James grew up in Salisbury and by 1826 was described as a bricklayer.    In 1825 he married Elizabeth Bennett and they had two children, James 1826 and George 1828. In the 1841 Census they are shown as living in Back Lane Fisherton Salisbury. The whereabouts of Back Lane or the nearby Laurence’s Court has not yet been established. It may be that Back Lane became Water Lane, which runs from Fisherton Street to Crane Street.  Elizabeth died on the fifth of October 1843, after a bout of chronic hepatitis, her burial records have not yet been found but she would have been buried either at St Thomas’ or at the since demolished Fisherton Anger church.  James remarried on 24th December 1843 at the Fisherton Anger Primitive Methodist Chapel and was witnessed by John Wood and James’ sister Charlotte. The 1851 census shows that James and Sarah were living in the High St. Salisbury and he was a Master Bricklayer, employing seven men.

That Sarah's surname was also Bennett appears to be completely co-incidental and it has not yet been possible to show any connection between the two girls. Sarah was in fact the daughter of Henry, a hairdresser, and Sarah Bennett of Catherine Street Salisbury and was born in 1822.

James and Sarah had five children:

  • Sarah, 1845 -1885, married lodger Albert Tuck in 1772 and had three children. 
  • George, 1847-1892. It was George who later ran the business from premises in what is now The Old George Mall behind the High Street Salisbury. (Click here for a painting of the Mall by Sir H Dryden.ᅠ Note the sign!)  George married Kate Edginton in 1867.
  • Harriett 1849.  There is no trace yet of Harriett after 1861
  • Edward 1852-1891.  Edward married Ellen Lever and moved to London.
  • Bessy 1853, married Arthur Palmer and moved to Barnstaple, and
  • Henry, 1856-1904, married Clara Plowman in 1886 and became publicans of the Fox and Goose South Newton.
    Henry died in 1904 and according to the Probate Index:-
    • DOLMAN Henry James of the "Swan" Inn, Stoford, South Newton, Wiltshire, Innkeeper, Died 23 August 1904, Administration Salisbury 8 September to Clara Dolman, Widow, Effects 89 Pound 9 shillings.
    • Clara stayed in the Inn keeping trade until she died in 1930, a widow.
    • Probate Index:      DOLMAN - Clara of the Kings Arms Inn, Fisherton- Street, Salisbury. Widow died 15 February 1930. Administration Winchester 7 March to Emily Turner Widow, Effects 1216 pounds 10 shillings 6 pence.

The 1851 Census reveals that James, the first son of James and Elizabeth Bennett was living just around the corner from the High Street in Crane St. having married Charlotte Futcher. His occupation was recorded as “Bricklayer”.  Charlotte’s ancestors have been traced back as far as Thomas Futcher who was buried in 1729 and whose son, also Thomas was born in East Grimstead.  James and Charlotte moved away from the area, first to Battersea in London and then to Walsall

James and Charlotte's children were

  • Elizabeth (Lydia) 1848. In 1881 she was a serving girl in Marylebone London.
  • Thomas, 1850, married Maggie Wilkes in 1880 and had 8 children in the Shrewsbury area. A granddaughter lived in Swindon.
  • Alma 1855 married Charles Roberts and moved to Bournemouth.
  • James 1858,married Louisa Jones-Green and raised a family of 13 in the Shrewsbury area
  • Esther, 1853 was in service in London before marrying Frederick Baron and moving to Leeds.
  • Charlotte 1860 married Joseph Grover in 1880 in Penge, London. I am indebted to their Great Granddaughter Sandra Reynolds for information regarding the early Salisbury records.
  • William, 1862. No trace after 1871.
  • Sarah, 1865  was in service in Battersea, but no trace after 1891 and
  • Herbert, 1868. No trace after 1881


James and Louisa Jones-Green

    James married Louisa on December 24th 1876 in Atcham Shrewsbury. Louisa had been born in 1859 in church Stretton Shropshire.

    Their 13 children, all born in Atcham, were:-

    • Charlotte Eliza Hester bn 1877
    • Richard Willam 1879, married Elizabeth Walton and had a daughter Mary 1900
    • Florence 1880
    • Edith Annie1881
    • James Heatherbell 1883
    • Herbert Frank 1885
    • Albert Victor 1887 who died during WW1 in France
    • Daisy Louisa1889 married Riou Massie
    • Norman Frederick 1892
    • Alma Dorothy 1894
    • Lillian Rose 1896 married Sidney Fretwell and had a son James
    • Gertrude Jane 1900
    • George Hubert 1898 who married Ester Rees in 1926
    • George and Ester had three children:
      • Mary who married Randall Carruthers and had Ian and Janet
      • Edith who married William Stevenson
      • Joan who had three children by her first marriage to Ken Welch and later married Kenneth Goody-Orris


 George and Kate Edginton

George married Kate in 1867 and produced a family of thirteen. Kate was the fourth child of John and Catherine Gillingham. John was a Brass founder from London and Catherine was born in Finsbury.  John and Catherine lived first in Penny Farthing Street (1848), and later, in 1851, in Brown Street employing two servants.

George and Kate lived with the family at 66 Salt Lane Salisbury.   After George died aged 45 in 1892, Kate moved to 66 Winchester Street.

  • Kate, 1868-1913, married Edwin Uphill a blacksmith from Nunton in Wiltshire. They married in St George’s, Hanover Square Westminster London in 1892 and set up home and business in Battersea.  They ten children, Edwin 1893, Collis 1894, Ursula 1897 -98, Leslie 1902, Gwendoline 1904, Horace 1906, Leonard 1908-2002, Ursula 1909-2002, Eric 1911-1984, and Olive b private.
  • James (1870-1956), the firstborn son, developed the Bricklaying business into the building firm and the business flourished in and around Salisbury.  More details below.  See 'James and Amy Bedford'
  • George Dolman (1872-1964) married Gertrude Newman (from Salisbury) in 1894 and moved to Bournemouth.
  • Annie, (1874) married George Fricker in 1898.  They married in Brighton yet lived in Paulton, near Bristol.  They had a daughter, Edith Ivy, in 1900.
  • Henry Frank (Harry) Dolman (1875) moved to Southampton and married a French girl Blanche Nicolas. His descendants have been traced down to Ingram, Reed and Jones families currently living in and around Southampton.
  • Alfred (1876), after his first wife (Cassie Maud Sturgess) died in childbirth, married Annie Sanger.  See “Alfred and Annie” below.
  • Sidney (1877-1922) married Fanny Stidworthy in August 1908.  See “Sidney and Fanny” below.
  • Alice, born December 25 1878, married John Grant in 1903 in Wandsworth where they were both living and working at that time. After retirement, they moved to Corfe Mullen in Dorset where the celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Alice died in Poole in 1971
  • Walter (1881) also moved to the Bournemouth area where he and George carried on in the building trade.  Walter married Annie Anstey in Christchurch (1903). They had a daughter Hilda Winifred who married Rupert Holden in 1942 and emigrated to New Zealand.   In 1916 Walter enlisted into the Army as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and served about 8 months in France. He was demobbed in 1919 after a brief hospitalisation for Myalgia. Walter followed Hilda to New Zealand after Annie died.
  • Bessie (1882) married Alfred Ashbridge in Clutton, Somerset (1901) and later lived at Whitchurch Edgware.     
  • Frederick Dolman (1887) moved away from Salisbury and in 1912  we find that he is living at 27 Yukon Road Streatham London and is a Aeroplane Joiner.  A marriage Certificate shows that he married Daisy Skutt who he must have known from earlier days as she also was born in Salisbury, one of three daughters of Charles Skutt and Emma Fry.
  • They had two sons, William born 1914 in Kingston and George born one year later in Hendon. As yet there has been no further information regarding either of these men.
  • The diary of Harry Dolman about 1910 gives an address for Frederick as living in Cardiff. and there is a death recorded for one Frederick A  Dolman in March 1943 in Cardiff. It would seem that he moved to London and back again in later life.  One of the witnesses at the wedding was sister Bessies husband, Alfred Asbridge. 

    Click here for a family picture


Sidney and Fanny

Sidney (1877) married Fanny Stidworthy in August 1908 in Salisbury. Sidney died at 45 years of age falling from a ladder whilst painting The Albion Public House in St Ann’s Street Salisbury.   Fanny is the name she was given at registration but on the 1901 Census she is listed as Alice.

Fanny’s parents both came from Devon. Mary Williams (1847-1901), was born in Kingsbridge, and William, (1847-aft 1901), in South Pool.  Of William and Marys nine children, Adelaide, Mary and Emma were born in Devon, William and Florence were born in Lewes, Sussex and Fanny, Winifred, Margaret and Kate in Salisbury.  In 1901 the younger girls are all dressmakers and William Jr., a cabinetmaker.  

William’s parents were Richard, born 1813 in Chilveston Devon, and Fanny Atwell. 

John Stidworthy (b 1787) and Mary Tucker (b 1784) were Richards’s parents and John and Mary Cuming, his grandparents.  Birth dates have not been established but they came from Devon. 

There were five children:

  • Edward Sidney Roger, (1909-1989) married Eileen Gulliver in 1943.  They lived in Redlynch and had one son, Stephen, 1948-2004. 
  • Margaret, (1911-1946) married Archibald Campbell in 1938. She died childless in Southampton. 
  • Freda, 1913-1974, married George Gulliver in Salisbury in 1939.   They had four children, Helen Andrew, Richard and Geoffrey, seven Grandchildren, James and Clair Biddlecombe, and Victoria, Emma, Lucy, Frances and Joanna Gulliver.  Freda died in 1974.  Clair’s marriage to Glyn Chapman resulted in three children, Freya, Haig and Lowri.
  • Barbara (Jean) as school teacher for many years still lives in Redlynch
  • Winifred, the youngest, born in 1920 married Eric Webb in 1961 and had a son, John.

Alfred and Annie

After Alfred’s first wife, Cassie Sturgess died less than two months after they were married in 1901, Alfred married Annie Sanger, in 1906

Annie was the only daughter of James Sanger who was born in Salisbury in 1814.  The 1881 Census gives his address as 14 Church Street and his occupation as a Poulterer.  In 1891 he and Sophia, his wife were living at No 6 London Road. Sophia, was also born in Salisbury in 1814

Annie Sanger (Maria Mary) was born in 1867.  On the 1881 Census she was listed as a teacher, aged 13!!   By 1891, she was a dressmaker.

Alfred and Annie were married in the second quarter of 1906 and over the next seven years had three children.  They lived in Ivy Lane, The Greencroft Salisbury.

  • Irene Kathleen was born 23.9.1907 actually outlived her siblings, dying only recently in 1997.
  • Laura Eva, born 3.3.1910 died in 1988.  Neither Irene nor Laura married.
  • Reginald Arthur George Sanger Dolman was born 27.5.1913 and became a carpenter.  During war service in the latter part of the Second World War, he was stationed in Yorkshire and it was here, at a dance that he met, and later married Edna Marshall.  They set up home here in the North until He died at the early age of just forty in 1953.  They had one daughter Gillian


The Bedford Connection

George Bedford, born in Stratford-sub-Castle in 1815 became a Nurseryman. In about 1835 he married Ann Futcher, from Andover. They lived, in 1871 at 11 Castle St in Salisbury

Alfred George Bedford was born in 1849 and married Elizabeth Smith from Wilton in 1871. They lived in the St Thomas’ ward and raised their family of five daughters, Amy, Kate, Amelia, Carry (sic) and Annie. Alfred, also a nurseryman, had a small greengrocery shop in Butcher Row which is featured in one of a set of watercolour pictures of Salisbury. It is probable that this is where Amy worked as a greengrocer’s assistant. Kate was, in 1891 a Florist’s assistant and Amelia, an under nurse.


James, and Amy Bedford

James, born in 1870 married Amy Bedford in 1893. They lived at first at 59 Brown St. Salisbury and then at 26 St Ann's Street (1901) and later, at The Chalet, a bungalow in Britford Lane where they raised their five surviving children. Amy died early in 1946 and James later retired to live in Parkestone Dorset. He died in March 1956 and both are buried in East Harnham Churchyard

  • James Alfred George, their first child was born on the 25th of July 1895 but died in the same year and was buried in the London Road Cemetery.
  • Elsie (1896) died in 1919 aged twenty-three after marrying Canadian Thomas Hacche. This was of course the time of the Great War and it is probable that Thomas came to this country with the Commonwealth Forces.  Elsie and Thomas lived in Norfolk although she was buried in the London Road Cemetery Salisbury.          
  • Gladys Amy, born in 1898, married Ralph Young in 1922 and lived close to the family home in Britford Lane.   Ralph, a watchmaker by trade and amateur engineer died in 1975.  During WW1 Ralph served in the RFC before it became the RAF and served abroad in the Far East. Gladys died on Boxing Day 1994.
  • Marguerite, born in 1903 and known as Daisy, never married, lived at home worked as the firm’s secretary and latterly looked after her father. When her father died in 1956, Daisy then moved back to Salisbury and lived at St Clair Road with Gladys. Daisy died in 1998.
  • William (1904) and Frederick James (1906) the two youngest of the family were both born and raised in Britford. Bill married Vera Weeks, who came from Southampton and they lived in Portland Avenue, Salisbury. 
  •  Frederick James was born in 1906 and married Ethel Rhoda Witt in 1929

See 'Frederick and Ethel' below for the continuation of their family line.




The Witt family originated around the Breamore / Fordingbridge area where, in the mid 19th century the name was quite common. A generic line from Stephen and Rachel Witt born before 1700 comes down through four generations to the marriage of third cousins Charles Witt and Rhoda Witt in 1845.

Charles and Rhoda

Charles was born in Breamore in March 1803 and married 3rd cousin Rhoda, born S. Charford, Breamore. She was the daughter of Hannah Witt (1795). At present her father is unknown.  They had at least one child; a son also named Charles also born in Breamore in 1846.

Charles Witt and Dinah

In 1869, Charles married Dinah Snell who was born in Southampton in 1840.  They moved to Kingston on Thames where daughters Edith Rhoda and Emily Florence were born in 1871 and 1872.  Sadly Dinah died only two years later in 1874.  Charles’s occupation is given as ‘Travelling Porter’ and ‘Railway Guard’.  They lived in Elm Grove, Kingston.


Charles and Martha King

Charles was remarried to Martha in 1875 and at the 1881 Census Charles, described as a farm bailiff was living with his in-laws at Glebe Farm (90+ acres) in Landford. As George and Ann King were 72 and 69 years old respectively, it would be reasonable to assume that they were retired and that Charles was running the farm. At this time Martha was living at Collins Farm Basildon Berkshire with children Edith Rhoda, Charles, George and Mary.  Emily Florence was living with grandparents Charles and Rhoda. Their son William Albert was born  February 23rd1883

 George King’s parents were William King (1767) born in Landford and Mary Andrews also from Landford (c 1773) who he married on October 2nd 1794.

George married Ann Moody December 17th 1832 in Salisbury although Ann was born in Nomansland in 1812, the daughter of John Moody and Sarah King who were married on December 29th 1791.


William and Ethel

In 1904 William Albert married Ethel Clara Hale.  Their Marriage Certificate shows that Ethel’s father was Henry Hale, a valet, and that Ethel was born in 1884.  They were married in Warlingham parish church Surrey. William had become a stable man in the employ of Thomas and Helen Sherwood at The Downs, Roseberry Road Epsom, not a million miles from where Ethel was working at the Rose and Crown Coulsden (1901)

Ethel Clara’s history has been difficult to trace. The marriage certificate 1904, states that her father was Henry, a valet. Her age was given as 20. In 1881, a Henry Hale born in Fulham in 1856 was a Valet in service in Teddington as was a Caroline Yatts, bn in Dalston (Hackney) in 1864.  In 1881, Henry Hale married Caroline Gotts in Hackney. It is my belief that Caroline Gotts and Caroline Yatts are the same person.  In Dec 1883 an Ethel Hale was born in Edmonton. On the 1891 Census, a match was found for Ethel Clara age 6 and born in S Kensington living in Coulsden as a 'nurse child' with Philip and Prudence Honeywell.  In 1901 Ethel Hale age 16, bn in Stoke Newington (Edmonton) was a servant at The Rose and Crown Godstone Rd in Coulsden.  William at this time was working in stables on Epsom Downs not far away. (Research is ongoing)

In the following year, their daughter Ethel Rhoda was born.  Their address given on the birth certificate of their first child, Ethel Rhoda was 5 Alexandra Avenue Warlingham. 

William and Ethel had two other children; Dorothy was born in 1908, and in 1910, George who died in about 1930.

Frederick James Dolman and Ethel

Being in service presented some difficulties for parents William and Ethel and Ethel Rhoda was brought up by her grandparents, Charles and Martha, who had moved to Hampreston in Dorset. In time, Ethel moved from Hampreston and entered service at a house in the Cathedral Close in Salisbury. It was here that she met and in 1929 married Frederick in the charming village church Saint Peters Britford which is tucked away from the main road between Salisbury and Downton. Situated almost on the banks of the River Avon it is of Saxon origin.

The family of five was raised in Hamilton Road and Fred worked with father James until WWII intervened.  When Fred was called up for service in the Royal Engineers in the Far East, the firm was closed down until after the war when Fred built it up again from scratch.  Today, grandson Paul runs the business keeping up a two hundred year old family trade.

Fred and Ethel had five children:

  • Frederick James
  • George Alfred
  • Joan Eileen
  • Robert John
  • Roger William



Last update January 2011

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