Ethel Sarah Dewsbury

Ethel Sarah Dewsbury (later Ethel Sarah Howard) was the fifth of the eleven children of publican and miller Henry James Dewsbury and his wife Mahala Randall who ran the chain ferry across the River Ouse at Barway, Cambridgeshire, England.

Ethel Sarah Howard (née Dewsbury) in 1925.
Above: Ethel Sarah Howard (née Dewsbury) in 1925. Photo: John Kent/Julie Claydon.

By the time of the 1901 census, Ethel is working as a servant at the house of Tom and Martha Whittingham, of Freirn Barnet, Middlesex, England. It's not known how long she worked there, but she had returned to Cambridgeshire in 1905 when she married William Howard, a platelayer from nearby Grunty Fen, Cambridgeshire, England, who was 13 years her senior.

Within months of their marriage, William and Ethel had a son, and the appear to have followed this with three further children a few years later, but sadly one son died when he was just 2 months old.

Ethel and William appear on the 1939 Register, living with their teenage son in Ely. William is noted as 'incapacitated', and he survived until the summer of 1951, when he pre-deceased Ethel by 7 years.

Life Events


  • 5th May 1883 at Barway, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 24th September 1905, with son William, and sister Laura Dewsbury, aged 22 years at St. George's Church, Little Thetford, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • William Howard (1866-1951) on 12th April 1905 at St. George's Church, Little Thetford, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • William Henry Howard (1905-1992) married Henrietta Elizabeth Bolton (1908-1985)
  • Alfred Charles Howard (1917-1918)
  • Phyllis A Howard (1919-?)
  • Ernest A Howard (1923-?)

Census and Residence

  • 1891: 7yrs, Thetford Mill, Soham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1901: 17yrs, Lessington, Friern Barnet, Greater London, England.
  • 1911: 27yrs, 6 Waterloo Place, West Fen Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1939: 15 Willow Walk, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 1901: General Servant to Tom Whittingham (Stationer's Traveller)


  • During August 1958 at 4 Debden Green, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, aged 75yrs.


  • 12th August 1958, with her husband in grave CB2.761 at Ely City Cemetery, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.



  • Robert Dewsbury (1812-1881)
  • Lydia Low (1808-1886)
  • Not yet known
  • Not yet known

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