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Dolman family - moving from Staffordshire to North Wales

The 1911 census revealed Florence Dolman's parents were born in Bradley, Staffordshire. Information from a relative on the family says Florence's brother Samuel worked at John Summers Steelworks in Shotton.

Their father Samuel's birth certificate shows his own father, Frederick, was as Iron worker in 1880.

The BBC website has a section on Shotton Steelworks, it explains that houses were built in Shotton to house the workers. The family moved to Shotton sometime between 1903 and 1906 - their first child Samuel was born in Staffordshire in 1903, while their second Sarah was born in Flintshire, North Wales in late 1905 or early 1906.

Oldmaps.co.uk features maps covering Shotton as far back as 1870. The maps help to give an idea how Shotton grew between the late 1800's and 1910, by which time there were 3,000 workers employed at the steelworks.

Shotton Steelworks and Garden City


"Before brothers Harry and James Summers decided to site the family's new business at Deeside, Shotton - just across the Dee - was little more than a hamlet. But as the business steadily grew from 1896, terraces were built to house their workers and the Summers family provided 30 acres of land for the building of Garden City!

It was in 1895 that Harry and James had put it to their four brothers to buy just 40 acres of Dee marshland to start production of galvanised steel sheeting. They already had a successful works at Stalybridge, Manchester, which they had inherited from their father, John, who had died in 1867.

In the end, the brothers decided to buy 10,000 acres, purchased at 5 shillings an acre, and the first sheets of steel were produced by 250 workers in September 1896 using steam-driven mills. By the 1900s, 40,000 tonnes was being produced annually. It was in 1902 when the plant began making its own steel in nine open-hearth furnaces. And six years later the imposing red brick general office was built - which is still a striking landmark.

By 1910 there were 3,000 employed at the steelworks. According to the history books it was at this time that the Summers brothers allowed two breweries to be built on site making non alcoholic drinks - because they had learned that two men were being paid 30 shillings a week to bring beer into the works for men working in the hot mills."

History of Shotton - Chapter 14


"Due to the rapid expansion of the Steelworks in its early years, many people moved to Shotton, especially from Stalybridge, Staffordshire and South Wales, the traditional steel making areas. In 1903 a start was made on building houses in Shotton, for the workers. The first were built in terraces, at right angles to, and between, Shotton?s main road and the Chester to Holyhead railway line. Most of these houses were in Alexandra Street, King Edward Street and Salisbury Street. In order that people could buy property in the area, the "Summers Permanent Benefit Building Society" was established in 1901. The Society loaned money to employees, and repayments were deducted from their wages. In response to this policy, one worker scribed on one of the arches of Hawarden Bridge, "The wages of sin is death, but the wages of Summers is starvation.""

Linked toAmelia Baugh; Leah Baugh; Mercy Baugh; Florence Dolman; Samuel Dolman; Samuel Dolman; Sarah Dolman; Sarah Ann Thomas

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