The Lathwood and Dunn Connection

Whilst speaking about her childhood, my grandmother has told me several times about having a family connection with Dunn & Co. I had not heard of them before, but apparently they had many stores dotted all over the country until their demise in the 1990s. Dunn & Co was originally a hatters which was founded in the late 19th century by a quaker named George Arthur Dunn. Their clothes remained very traditional and conservative, whilst all their competitors modernised into more trendy clothing stores.

Up until very recently, my research on this side of the family was unsuccessful and I had not been able to trace any further than my grandmother’s grandparents. I knew they were called Mary Ann and Alfred Jackman and they were from Greenwich, but that was about it. My grandmother told me that Mary Ann Jackman’s maiden name was something like ‘Laughwood’ or ‘Loughwood’, but a quick search received no results. It was not until I was fiddling around with the FreeBMD search function that I finally found the correct maiden surname which was in fact ‘Lathwood’.

Once I found her rather unusual maiden name, it was possible to find her parents in a census, Samuel Lathwood and her mother, also named Mary Ann. Again, a quick search on FreeBMD (probably the best free genealogy tool) showed the marriage between Samuel Lathwood and Mary Ann Dunn taking place in Bristol on May 31, 1846. The connection to the Dunn family, proved to be closer than I expected.

Mary Ann Dunn was born in Bristol and Samuel Lathwood was born in Preston, Lancashire. They had children born in Southampton and later in Greenwich, London. My next step is to research the Dunn family to find out whether or not there is a connection.

If you have any information on the Dunn family or know anything about Dunn & Co (even if it’s just a memory of shopping there) – please comment below, I’d be glad to hear from you.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rob Jefferies
    Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:49:08

    Interesting web site. Ex Dunn & Co, employee from the 60s and 70s.
    Family history buff as well.


    • David Skelham
      Feb 14, 2012 @ 19:18:04

      Hi Rob,

      I worked in the Kettering branch of Dunn and co from 1970-1991 but also did lots of relief work in London. How long did you work for the company and where?


      • Rob Jefferies
        Mar 18, 2012 @ 22:03:03

        Hello David
        I was employed by Dunn & Co from 1963 until 1974, at Swindon. They did move us around a lot. I worked also at Newport, Reading, Bath, Bristol, Watford as well.
        In fact I did visit Kettering branch, in I think about the early 70s. This was not to work, but to locate Colin Stanley, who had worked at Kettering branch.

  2. Abigail Navarre
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 06:12:02

    Hi, my mother’s maiden name was Dunn and her family were related to those of Dunn The Hatters. My mother was raised in Walthamstow, London by her mother and her mother’s grandparents. I have just discovered this morning, another relative who lives in Bahrain….where I currently live. I decided to do a little internet research and came across this site.


  3. David Skelham
    Sep 15, 2011 @ 16:23:05

    My name is David Skelham and I worked for Dunn and Co at their Kettering branch from 1970 through to closure in 1991. I now work in the health service.


  4. Claire Little
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 19:03:57

    I found your website totally by accident. I too was doing some family research as I was told that my great grandmother who was a Dunn started up Dunn and Co. so I was a confused when I saw that your family did! Unless we are related somewhere down the line.


  5. David Skelham
    May 08, 2012 @ 18:13:48

    Hello once again Rob. Colin Stanley was my manager from 1970 to 1971. He later went on to manage Bedford branch before leaving the company.
    Regards, David


  6. Abby
    May 09, 2012 @ 04:02:05

    Hi Claire, what was your great grandmother’s name? It seems the Dunn family tree has many branches due to the number of offspring down the line. You can send me an email me if you prefer…


  7. Steve Wood
    May 06, 2013 @ 18:30:55

    My grandfather was a foreman on a fruit and vegetable farm – Foster’s Farm – at Redbourn in Hertfordshire which owned by the Dunn family. My grandparents lived in a tied house called ‘Woodside’ on Hempstead Lane where my Dad was born in 1915.
    The Dunns lived in a house called the Aubreys (named after nearby ancient eathworks) which is now the Aubrey Park Hotel. I think the original building still stands.
    George Arthur Dunn was a local benefactor and sponsored a football team and a jazz band (he helped form the British Legion Concert Party). The Dunns appear to have been at Redbourn from around 1911 to at least 1930.
    I have a few pictures of Mr Dunn, the house and some other family members (found online).
    Best regards,


    • Ruth Hall
      Jan 25, 2016 @ 11:10:45

      HI Steve,

      My name is Ruth and I am the Marketing Executive for Aubrey Park Hotel. I would love to chat with you about your grandfather and his time here in the Aubries 🙂

      If you could pop me an email to;

      Look forward to hearing from you!


  8. Susan Dunn
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 23:42:51

    My husband is great grandson of George Arthur. As far as I know George had 8 children so the family will be spread far and wide. We live in Australia as my husbands grandfather, son of George emigrated here in the 50’s, with his two sons. One moved back to England, so my husband being the only son of the remaining son in Aus. is possibly the only ‘Dunn’ of this line in Aus.
    Susan (Dunn)


    • Susan Smith-Evans
      Mar 08, 2015 @ 23:40:10

      What is your husbands name & the name of the son who went back to England?Are you in contact with him? Please read about my connection to the Dunn family…..


  9. Susan Smith-Evans
    Mar 08, 2015 @ 23:30:07

    I am the grand daughter of Yolande Dunn a sister to George.I live in Ontario Canada,& have 3 chidren,Andrew ,Mark & Stephanie.My sister Elaine with 2 children,Emma & Stephen, lives in Ponsanooth ,Cornwall UK.My mother Heather lives in Truro,Cornwall & her brother Bryan Barrett ,no children,lives in New Zealand.There were 2 other siblings Alan & Joy who are both deceased,both had 2 children each.I recently found some info under George Dunn-Ancestry found Family photos & documents re Dunn & Co .


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