The Life and Times of Emily Dodd Butterworth

So we have reached the final instalment of my series of blogs telling the stories of my eight Great-Grandparents. My final story tells the life of my Great-Grandmother, Emily Dodd Butterworth.

Emily was born 22nd July 1870 at 51, Oxford Street, Whitechapel, London and she was born out of wedlock. Her Mother was Emily Butterworth and she was only 18 at the time Emily Dodd Butterworth was born. On Emily Dodd Butterworth’s Birth Certificate, no Father’s name is mentioned, although its never safe to assume with Family History, given that Emily has the middle name of Dodd and her Mother later Married a Henry James Dodd, the assumption was that Henry James Dodd was Emily Dodd Butterworth’s Father.


(Emily Dodd’s Birth Certificate)

In the 1871 Census young Emily Dodd Butterworth is living with her Grandparents, Charles and Elizabeth, plus her own Mother Emily and her three siblings, still at 51, Oxford Street, Whitechapel. Emily’s Grandfather Charles is listed as a Tailor and there are three other tailors listed living at the Household, including Emily Dodd’s own Mother Emily Butterworth, Tailoring being a very popular Trade in this area at this particular time. Further information regarding the Tailoring industry can be found Here

1871 Census

Emily Dodd Butterworth Census Return 1871

(Class: RG10; Piece: 520; Folio: 71; Page: 25)

By the time of the 1881 Census, young Emily Dodd was living with her Great Aunt, Mary Blow who was her Maternal Grandmother and Elizabeth’s younger Sister. They are living at 83, Tarling Street, St. Georges in the East, London.

1881 Census

Emily Dodd Butterworth Census Return 1881

(Class: RG11; Piece: 455; Folio: 31; Page: 1)

There is a suspicion that young Emily Dodd could have actually been brought up by her Great Aunt, Mary Blow, as she was also listed again living with her in the 1891 Census, still living in Tarling Street, St. Georges in the East, London. Emily Dodd was listed as a Machinist on the Census.

Emily Dodd’s Great Aunt Mary cared for various members of the Family and it was maybe this caring nature that made it easier for her to care for Emily Dodd. At this time Emily Dodd’s Mother, Emily Butterworth moved around a lot, so this might have also been part of the reason.

1891 Census

Emily Dodd Butterworth Census Return 1891

(Class: RG12; Piece: 285; Folio: 154; Page: 24)

Emily Dodd Butterworth met and Married William Tom Wootton on 5th August 1899, she was 29 and he was 36 years old at the time. William Tom Wootton had previously been Married to Elizabeth Ellen Compton and they had Seven children together; so young Emily inherited Six step-children, young Harold had died the previous year. The Marriage took place at The Register Office, St.Pancras, London and interestingly on the Marriage Certificate, Henry James Dodd is listed as her Father. She is living at 1, Thomas Street, Stepney at the time of her Marriage.

WTW Marriage Eliz Compton

(Emily Dodd’s Marriage Certificate)

By the time of the 1901 Census, Emily was living at 20, Roseberry Gardens, Tottenham, London with her Husband, William Tom, plus four of his children, Thomas, Mary, William and Frederick and by this time Emily and William Tom had a child of their own, Doris who was 6 month’s old at the time.

1901 Census

Emily Dodd Butterworth Census Return 1901

(Class: RG13; Piece: 1255; Folio: 13; Page: 17)

Emily and William Tom went on to have a total of 9 children of their own, Doris born 1900, Winifred born 1901, Emily 1902, Margaret 1904, Ronald 1906, Ena 1908, Phyllis 1909, Edward 1911 (My Grandfather) and Constance 1916.

By 1911 the Family home had moved again and the Family were living at 6, Bentley Terrace, Poplar, London. All seven of the children that had been born by 1911 were living at home with Emily and William Tom at Bentley Terrace which was a dead-end street with three or four little cottages. These cottages were two bedroomed and the house was shared by eleven people. The two older boys had built their own bunk beds by the fireplace and would chase the girls off to bed so they could get some sleep. The seven girls shared one bedroom together with mattresses on the floor.

1911 Census

Emily Dodd Butterworth Census Return 1911

(Class: RG14; Piece: 1701)

The family remain living at Bentley Terrace until 1936, which is confirmed by The Tower Hamlets Electoral Registers.

Electoral Register

Electoral Register

(London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965)

Granny Wootton was a very gentle loving and caring person who was said was always smiling, which given her tough start in life was pretty remarkable. She was also known to be an independent person, but was also known to be a “worrier”. Her appearance was short and stocky and according to cousin Edwina she used to balance bread on her bosom to cut!! Emily worked as a Mantle-Maker in her later years.

By 1939 Emily and her Family had moved again to 15, Tetley Street, Poplar, by this time the children had all moved out and it was just Emily and William Tom living at home. Emily is listed as having the occupation of “unpaid domestic duties”, basically the old fashioned term for “Housewife”.

1939 Register

Emily Dodd Butterworth Census Return 1939

(The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/448G)

Some time between 1939 and the year that she died (1953), Emily and William Tom moved in with their Daughter Phyllis Copeland and her Husband Albert at 3, Grays Hall Cottages, Dell Road Grays, Essex. Their Son Edward Tom Wootton was living next door to them at the time, at 2, Grays Hall Cottages, Dell Road, Grays, Essex.

51 Dell Road

The house on the right in the above picture is 3, Grays Hall Cottages, Grays, Essex and the house in the middle was Number 2.

After the Death of her Husband Emily was paid a small pension, see below.

Emily Dodd Butterworth Pension

(Supplied by Cousin Eleanor)

Emily Wootton sadly passed away on 24th September 1953 at the grand age of 83. She died of Senile Myocarditis Arterio Sclerosis and died at home at 3, Grays Hall Cottages, Dell Road Grays, Essex. The informant on the Death Certificate was her Son Edward Tom Wootton who was living next door at the time.


Emily Wootton Death Cert









(Emily Wootton’s Death Certificate)

Emily was buried on 29th September 1953 at North Stifford, Church, North Stifford, Essex in Plot Number 119.

North Stifford Church

(North Stifford Church from my Photo collection)

The Funeral details for Emily can be seen here.


Funeral Note Emily Dodd Butterworth

Special thanks to Cousins Carol and Eleanor for providing a lot of the anecdotes about the life of Emily.

Please see my regular Blog for Family Tree Magazine  Here

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