Thomas Dean (1788 – 1872)

As best we can determine, my Dean line originated in the region just a couple of kilometres south of Cambridge– Great & Little Shelford and Stapleford.

Thomas Dean, my great, great, great grandfather was born in Great Shelford in 1788, the son of John Dean (1753-1832) and Esther Turner (1760-1817).

In 1810, he married Sarah Butler, born in 1789, the daughter of Philip Butler and Mary Hills, in All Saints, Little Shelford.

Sometime just after his marriage, they moved a kilometre east to Stapleford where most of their ten children were born including my great, great grandfather, Peter Dean Sr.

Much later, after Sarah died in 1831 at age 42[1], Thomas married a widow, Lydia (George) Ansell in 1842. Being in their fifties, they had no children.

In the 1841 UK Census for Stapleford, Thomas is listed as an agricultural labourer. By 1851 his occupation is “publican” on High Street – presumably, he owns and operates a pub!

By the 1861 Census, we have more detail – the pub is called the Horse Shoe at28 High Street, and his brother James, 70, and his granddaughter Naomi Beeby, 25, are living there.

By 1871, a year before his death, he was living with his daughter, Mahala (Dean) Ransom, who with her husband Robert, operated the now (Three) Horse Shoes. {See: Dean Pubs in Stapleford]

Dean, Thomas & Lydia - Headstone

Thomas died 3 Jan 1872 and is buried in the Stapleford churchyard with Lydia. Their son Peter died five weeks later and is buried in the same plot.  




Sarah Butler (1789-1831) was Thomas’ first wife. She died at age 49 after having 10 children with Thomas.

TheButlers and the Deans were connected as well when Sarah’s brother James Butler (1788-1859) married Thomas’ sister Constance Dean (1786-1863) in Great Shelford in 1807.

James and Constance’s son, James Butler (1815-1906), started a Butlerline in Australia, as did his brother David.

The son (Charles Butler, 1819-1881) of another of Sarah’s brothers, Samuel, started the Butler line in New Zealand.

[1] Possibly in childbirth with an eleventh child that did not survive.


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