Tag Archives: Dagnall


George Tearle 1818, Dagnall, UK

Grandfather of the Watford Tearles

This is another story of the family of Fanny Tearle 1780. We have elsewhere discussed the origins of Fanny, and John L Tearle (Tearle, a Bedfordshire Surname) tells her story at some length. George 1818 is the founding father of the Watford Tearles and what I intend to do is to show the development of the Watford Tearles and the highlights of their 150 years in Watford. Let’s start with George’s father.

Fanny Tearle had one son, Abel, born 1797 in Edelsborough. He married Hannah Frost of Tilsworth on 16 Oct 1817 in Edelsborough. We can catch up with them in 1841. Here they are in Dagnall, working oln the farm of Thomas (?) Mead. Dagnall, Edelsborough and Northaw are so close together they are almost one village, strung along a country road. You can see that George has already left home.

1841 = Abel 1795 Bucks Ann 35 John 15 William 4 Joseph 6 Jabez 5 in Dagnall.

He is down the road a bit, in Slapton. He is working for Mary Gurney, who calls herself a Victualler, and is probably a pub-keeper. George learns his craft here. He will go on to be a brewer. Now, the choice of Slapton is interesting because John 1824 Dagnall, George’s younger brother also goes to Slapton and he, too, works for Mary Gurney and you can see him in the 1851 census in Slapton. This time she is calling herself a Maltster and Victualler, while John is a Malt Maker. John’s story is an interesting one – or more correctly, the story of his wife, Sarah nee Bishop. Look up this story under John 1824 of Dagnall.

1841 = George 1821 Bucks MS for Mary Gurney in Slapton

1851 = George 1818 Dagnall Ann 31 Jabez 6 Catharine 2 Sarah Ann 1m in Elstree

As a point of interest, George’s sister, Susanna 1827 Dagnall, is featured on one of the headstones in the Dunstable public cemetery.


Thomas Tearle, 1830, Dagnall, UK, and Jane nee Draper

This is the headstone of Jane nee Draper, wife of Thomas born 30 Sept 1830 in Dagnall.


Edlesborough and Dagnall are very close together. After Jane died, Thomas married Bethia Smith and moved to Dunstable, where he died in 1909. Thomas is on the branch of Thomas 1737

This is another story of the grandchildren of Fanny Tearle. Her son, Abel 1797 of Edlesborough, married Hannah Frost of Tilsworth, near (very near) Stanbridge. Hannah died in 1839 and you can see Abel with his second wife, Ann Jones, living in Dagnall in the 1841 census. Abel and Hannah’s son Thomas b1830 in Dagnall, is not living with Abel and Ann because he is staying and working (Man Servant) at the house of Benjamin and Charlotte Johnson, farmer at Church End, Totternhoe.

1841 = Thomas 1830 (not born Beds) in the house of Benjamin Johnson in Totternhoe. This Benjamin Johnson (b1816) is Fanny’s son by her second husband, William Johnson of Northall. Benjamin went on to become a Morman and his family moved to Utah after his death.

In 1848 Thomas married Jane Draper and this is how I first became interested in this family. Elaine and I went to Edlesborough to have a look at St Mary’s, Edlesborough. We found the headstone (above) for Jane, the beloved wife of Thomas Tearle of Dagnall, who died in 1886, at 59 years. We wondered who they were. Thomas must have been pretty successful, because a headstone was expensive, and one this size even more so. We were entranced by the deep love expressed by the memorial and the erudition of its sentiment.

I found the story of Abel, Hannah and Ann, as well as Thomas and Jane, in the censuses from 1841 to 1901, and from them the connection of Thomas and Jane to the rest of the Tearle family. Thomas followed in Abel’s footsteps as a maltster; he was the head brewer for James Batchelar in Dagnall and must have been good at it. Calling himself Thomas Tearle of Dagnall is in itself a statement of self-confidence. The 1861 census is the best picture of this family and you can see that the names of the first three children – Susannah, Abel and Fanny – do help to add substance to the story that Fanny 1770 was a child of Thomas 1737 and Susannah nee Attwell. It would certainly suggest that this family was close to Thomas and Susannah.

1861 = Thomas 1830 Dagnall p1 Jane 34 Susan 12 Able 10 Fanny 7 Joseph 5 in Dagnall.

1861 = Thomas 1830 Dagnall p2 Elizabeth 3 John 1 in Dagnall

The 1871 census shows that Jane’s father, who is living with them at the time, was Abraham Draper of Little Gadsden, Herts. She was a lady of great heart, because her father spent his last years as an “Imbicile with age.”

Thomas married Bethia Smith from Pitstone (near Ivinghoe) in 1888 after Jane died. Thomas is buried with Bethia in Dunstable; I think the one at Priory Church, but possibly the Dunstable public – I haven’t found the memorial yet. I think that Thomas intended to be buried with Jane, hence the room left on the memorial, but events did not work out that way, it seems. It is also worth noting that Thomas is the brother of Susanna Tearle 1827.

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall headstone in Dunstable Cemetery.

Susanna Tearle, 1827, Dagnall, UK

This is the memorial to Susanna, born 28 May 1827, in Dagnall, Bucks, not far from Edlesborough. Her parents were Abel 1797 Edlesborough and Hannah nee Frost. Abel was the son of the famous Fanny Tearle who is the ancestor of several families in Australia. Fanny is very likely to be the daughter of Thomas 1737 Stanbridge and Susannah nee Attwell. Thus Susanna, then, is of the branch Thomas 1737.

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall

Susanna Tearle, 1827 Dagnall, headstone in Dunstable Cemetery.

Here are the 19th Century census returns I have found for her: I’m afraid I can’t find her before 1861. The story of her brother Jabez is extensively told in John L Tearle’s groundbreaking book Tearle, A Bedfordshire Surname

1861 = Jabez 1837 Dagnall Susannah 30 housekeeper in Dunst

1871 = Susanna 1830 Dagnall serv for Benjamin Bennett in Dunst

1881 = Susanna 1827 Dagnall housekeeper in Dunst

I do wonder who erected this beautiful memorial to her.

I am still looking for the memorial to Thomas and Bethia. I have heard that their memorial is in the public cemetery, but I have not been able to find it