Elizabeth Harley

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Born: ~1838 Died: 1906 Married: Robert Dunn Mother: Dorothy Ward Father: John Harley Descendant: Mary A. S. Dunn
Census 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921

Elizabeth Harley was the mother of Mary Ann Stewart Dunn. According to her marriage certificate, her father was John Harley, a teacher... According the the 1871 & 1881 census, she would have been born around 1837-1838 in South Shields, Durham, but the 1851 census instead says Lamesley (which is south of Gateshead).


Elizabeth Ann Harley was Christened in the parish of Lamesley, Durham on May 30th, 1841. Her parents were John Harley (an Agent) and Dorothy Harley (née Ward) of Willington Quay, Durham.

On the same day her sister Dorothy Anne Jane Harley was also christened, so it is very likely that Elizabeth was born a year or more earlier than this date (unless they were twins, which is less likely). Later census returns suggest that Elizabeth was born closer to 1838.

On the night of 6 June 1841 Elizabeth was not listed with her family, despite having been christened a week earlier. She should have been around 3, but no-one of that name was listed with the family. Her sister Dorothy Anne was listed as being 1 year old. Perhaps they just forgot to add her.

By the night of 30 March 1851 she was 13 and listed with her family, but now there is no sign of her sister Dorothy - she is staying with her older brother John Harley at 107 Wapping Street in South Shields. A directory for 1850 stated that John Harley was a butcher at 113 Wapping Street, resident at Thrift Street.

On the night of 7 April 1861 she is not with her parents again, but this time Dorothy is back again (aged 20).

First Marriage

Elizabeth Harley married Robert Dunn on the 3rd July 1865 at the parish church of St Hilda, South Shields, Durham.

They were both of full age, of this parish, and unmarried. He was listed as a mariner, and his father was John Dunn, a gardener. Her father was John Harley, a teacher.

The witnesses were Thomas Stewart (the husband of her sister Mary Ann) and Dorothy Coulson (her sister, as Dorothy Ann Jane Harley married a Robert William Coulson on the 18th Jan 1865 in Westoe).

From the Shields Daily News, 04 July 1865:

DUNN - HARLEY.- At St. Hilda's Church, South 
Shields, yesterday, Mr Robert Dunn to Miss 
Elizabeth Harley.

Second Marriage

By 1871 Elizabeth was widowed, so Robert would have died between 1868 and 1871.

Interestingly in 1881, when Robert was dead, there was living in the same house as his family two widows, Mary Ann Stuart, and a Dorothy Harley.

She remarried to a Walter W. Buck, and was living with him at 107 Palmerston St, Westoe.


They had at least two children:

  • Mary Ann Stewart Dunn (1st May 1866)
  • Margaret Harley Dunn (~1868)

This is probably our Margaret Dunn as she was born in ~1869: BMD:M: Margaret Harley Dunn, Jul-Aug-Sep, 1897, South Shields, Vol: 10a, Page 1089 Adam Herdman (but the other marriage on the page is John Harley Coulson!)

This is not our Margaret Harley Dunn, as she was born in 1891: BMD:M: Margaret Harley Dunn, Oct-Nov-Dec, 1909, Newcastle upon Tyne, Vol: 10b, Page 251 (Frederick Armstrong or Thomas Wakenshaw).

J. H. Coulson (John Harley Coulson) was the son (1870) of:

Robert William Coulson m. Dorothy Ann Jane Harley 18 Jan 1865, Westoe, Durham

So two (probable) cousins married (probably) on the same day and are on the same page in the register.

Dorothy Harley was allegedly born in June 1841 in Warrington Quay, Northumberland


The death of Elizabeth Buck was registered in Q4, 1906, at South Shields (Durham), at the age of 69. Vol 10a, Page 477.

Other References

BMD:B: Margaret Harley Dunn, Jul-Aug-Sep, 1868, South Shields, 10a, 597



Other References

There was a brig called the Jane and Elizabeth, Dunn. No idea if that was related, it was sailing around in 1856, so probably not.