The Life and Times of Henry James Dodd

This is the seventh in my series of blogs telling the Life stories of my 16  2 x Great Grandparents and next up is Henry James Dodd.

Henry james Dodd was the third child of seven born to William Dodd and Susanna Taylor and he was born on 29th January 1850 at 1, Wades Place, All Saints, Poplar, London. At the time of his Birth, Henry’s Father William was a Custom’s Officer with H.M. Customs. His Father’s connections with seafaring trades, had a great influence on Henry James and his three Brother as they all went onto become boiler-makers at some point in their lives.

Henry James Dodd Birth

(Henry James Dodd Birth Certificate)

1851 Census

Henry James Dodd Census Returns 1851

(Class: HO107; Piece: 1556; Folio: 678; Page: 35)

A year later, the family are still living at the same address in the 1851 Census, also living at home with Henry James Dodd are his parents and his Brother William John Dodd aged 5 and Sister Mary Ann Dodd aged 3. His Father William’s occupation is listed as a Tidewaiter which is a Customs officer who boards ships and watches the landing of goods.

Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 00.20.25

(Wades Place and Poplar High Street)

1861 Census

Henry James Dodd Census Returns 1861

(Class: RG 9; Piece: 291; Folio: 11; Page: 19)

By 1861 the family had moved to the appropriately named Henry Street in Stepney, London. There were 12 people in the house at the time of the census! The co-habitants consisted of 6 siblings, two parents, a boarder and two travellers, quite a houseful! By this time Henry James Dodd had managed to secure his first job, at the age of 15, as a Clerk. Possibly working with his Father at the Customs House.

Henry James Dodd was missing from the 1871 census and was aboard the Vessel Ganges sailing to Quebec as an Engineer, arrival date in Canada 13th July 1870.

See Passenger list Here and details Here

Henry James Dodd 1870 Canada 3

(Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Series: RG 76-C; Roll: C-4525)

Also around this time, Henry James Dodd first child was born. Emily Dodd Butterworth was born out of wedlock on 22nd July 1870 at 51, Oxford Street, Whitechapel, Mile End, London. Although no Father’s name is given on Emily Dodd Butterworth’s Birth Certificate, we can be as certain as we can be, that given she had Dodd as her middle name and that Henry James Dodd later married Emily Dodd Butterworth’s Mother, Emily Butterworth, that Henry was in fact Emily’s Father.

Strangely it took another five years before Henry James Dodd and Emily Butterworth were to marry and they were aged 25 and 23 at the time. They were married on 17th October 1875 at St. Thomas Parish Church, Stepney, London.

Henry James Dodd Marriage

(London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p93/tms/030)

Henry Dodd Emily Butterworth Marr Cert

(Henry James Dodd Marriage Certificate)

Henry was living at 86, Rutland Street, Stepney, London at the time and his occupation Engineer. His Bride to be, Emily Butterworth was living at, 81, Sydney Street, Stepney, London.

1881 Census

Henry James Dodd Census Returns 1881

(Class: RG11; Piece: 454; Folio: 126; Page: 8)

In 1881 the family have moved again, all within a close proximity of the East End of London, the family can be found at 41 Martha Street, St George in the East, London. Henry and his Wife Emily are at home with their children, Julia aged 5, Alice aged 3 and Henry Junior aged just 10 months. A noticeable absentee is their child born out of wedlock, Emily Dodd Butterworth. In 1881 Emily Dodd Butterworth is living with her Great Aunt, Mary Blow (her Maternal Grandmother, Elizabeth’s younger Sister). She is also absent from the 1891 family census as well and this leads me to suspect that she was in fact, brought up by her Great Aunt. At the time of the Census, Henry James Dodd is listed as an Engine Fitter, presumably Marine based.

1891 Census

Henry James Dodd Census Returns 1891

(Class: RG11; Piece: 454; Folio: 126; Page: 8)

Another move for the family by the time of the 1891 Census, again all around the East End of London and the Docklands, which is a prime location for Henry, given his Marine based work. The Family home is 5, Richardson Street, Mile End London and Henry’s occupation is listed as Ex- Customs Officer. At home alongside Henry and his Wife Emily are their children Julia aged 15, Alice aged 13 and Godfrey aged 2. Sadly for the Family, Henry Dodd Junior had died between the Census years, on 29th September 1886.

The funeral card reads:-

Henry Dodd died 29th Sept 1886, aged 6 years. He was interred in East London Cemetery on 5th October 1886;

This lovely bud so young and fair

Called hence from early doom

Came but to show how sweet a flower

In Paradise will bloom

One can only try to imagine the grief that the loss of such a young life brings to a Family.

1901 Census

Henry James Dodd Census Returns 1901

(Class: RG13; Piece: 312; Folio: 41; Page: 12)

The Family have moved again by the time of the 1901 Census, again within the few miles of the East End of London, this time they are counted at 21, Anthony Street, St. Georges in the East, London. Henry’s occupation is listed as a Dock Labourer, maybe a sign of the times, that Henry’s occupation has fallen from Customs Officer and Engineer, to a lowly Labourer, was work hard to come by for our 51 year old Henry? Living at home are his Wife Emily and youngest Son, Godfrey, aged 12.

1911 Census

Henry James Dodd Census Returns 1911

(Class: RG14; Piece: 1719)

By this time Henry and his Family have moved back to Poplar and are living at 33, Kerbey Street, Poplar, London and Henry is counted living at home with his Wife Emily. Our 61 year old Henry is listed as a Ship’s Weigher Overside at the Port Of London Authority, an organisation I know only too well myself, as my first job after school was working for a Marine Engineering Company. A Weighman is someone who weighs the cargo of a ship or it could have been weighing the vessel – perhaps by water displacement. The term overside could mean that the ship was still afloat, in the docks, whilst the cargo was weighed.

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(Cawdor Street and Kerbey Street, Poplar)

Between 1918-1920, Henry and Emily can be found in the Electoral Registers for Poplar at the following address: 33, Kerbey Street

1918 Electoral Register

1919 Electoral Register

1920 Electoral Register

(London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Electoral Registers)

Sadly the next record for Henry James Dodd is his Death on 8th September 1933 at the age of 83 years at 86, High Street, Poplar. At the time Henry was living at 7 Cawdor Street, Poplar and he died from Morbus Cordis, basically heart disease and Senile Decay.

Informant at Henry James Dodd’s death was his Daughter Emily Wootton of 6, Bentley Terrace, Poplar, London.

Henry James Dodd Death

(Henry James Dodd Death Certificate)

Henry was buried at Tower Hamlets Cemetery on 13th September 1933.

Henry James Dodd Burial

(London, England, City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers, 1841-1966)

Henry James Dodd Funeral Card reads:

Henry Dodd died Sept. 8th 1933, aged 83, he was interred at the Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Bow;

How happy, how supremely blest

The soul that’s entered into rest

Leaving a world of sin and strife

To be with Christ, our Light, our Life.

All My Blogs For Family Tree Magazine in one Handy Place

7 thoughts on “The Life and Times of Henry James Dodd

  1. Thanks for sharing the story. In my experience it is actually not that common to find the father of an illegitimate baby marrying the mother after the birth. It is especially rare for it to happen so long afterwards. Perhaps the parents had an on/off sort of relationship.


    1. I have a family of 10 children born between 1804 and 1824 but the parents only married in 1829! She seems to be from a Merchant background originating in Bristol before coming North to Liverpool. For a while I believed the father to ‘already had a wife’ in Wales and the couple waited till he was free, but she didn’t die until 1854!

      Liked by 1 person

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