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.