Caroline Dawson of Derby (and the Hot Dog King)

Caroline Dawson was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother, the mother of Annie Morris (whose story is told in this post). Yesterday we visited Dale Road in Derby, where she lived, and found this Sikh gurdwara.

The house is still there, but is now a little shop, Oceans Travel:

Caroline was born in 1844 in Duffield, Derbyshire. In 1851 she can be seen in the census, aged six, living at Upper Green. Her father, Henry Dawson, was a silk glove maker and framework knitter, and her older brother William was a silk winder. Her grandparents (Henry’s parents, Francis and Martha) were also living with them at the time of the census.

The local newspapers at this time were full of articles discussing the depressed state of the hosiery industry. This is from the Derby Mercury on 24 September 1851:

By the time that she was sixteen, Caroline was working as a silk glove seamer. In 1864 Caroline’s father died, and on 28 December 1868 she married William Morris, a foundry labourer, at the Register Office in Derby. The 1871 census shows Caroline living with William in the house of his parents, no. 69 Russell Street, Litchurch.

This is the street where Harry M. Stevens, inventor of the hot dog, once lived. He also worked at a local foundry before emigrating to the US. Other ideas of his included improved baseball scorecards for spectators, and selling soda with a straw so you could drink without missing the game.

Derby Daily Telegraph 12 October 1940


Litchurch is described on Wikipedia as “originally an obscure locality on the edge of Derby” but “rapid urbanisation and population growth in the 19th century led to it briefly existing as a separately governed local authority between 1860 and 1888, prior to once again being absorbed by its neighbour”.

By 1881 Caroline and William were living at 6 Harrington Street in Derby (the house isn’t there any more). Caroline had now had a son, John Henry, who was born in 1869 but sadly died at the age of twelve, and three daughters: Elizabeth Ann (Lizzie) in 1873; Charlotte Ellen (Nellie) in 1875 and Annie in 1880.

In 1891 they are at the same address. Elizabeth and Charlotte are both working (as assistant dressmaker and assistant milliner), and Caroline’s fifteen-year-old nephew, William Frank Dawson, is living with them too.

By 1901 they have moved to 38 Nelson Road, Normanton. Caroline is now fifty-six. No occupation is given for her. William is now working as a gas fitter, and daughters Charlotte and Annie are both milliners.

The 1911 census shows Caroline at 100 Dale Road, Derby, listed as “House Wife”. She died on 21 December 1914.

Derby Daily Telegraph 21 December 1915


I have not found out where she is buried, and she did not leave a will.

Ari, this is how you are related to Caroline:

#silkindustry #Morris #Derbyshire #hosiery #hotdogs #Derby #Dawson #Litchurch #Duffield

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I started my blog when my grandson Ari was born in Feb 2017. His birth gave me an opportunity to focus on part of what has become an unmanageably large family tree, looking again at all the records I

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