In the process of reviewing what’s known about the family of my ancestor John Blanch (1802 – 1869), I’ve come across new information relating to his younger brother David (1810 – 1866).

On 19 October 1835, David Blanch married Sarah Dickson at St. Anne, Soho (the church where his parents, James Blanch and Sophia Atkins, were married forty-three years earlier). Later census records give Sarah’s place of birth as the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn and her date of birth variously as 1816 or 1814. The latter date, which occurs in the 1851 and 1861 census records, is probably the more reliable.

When I searched for a record of Sarah’s birth, the most likely candidate seemed to be the Sarah Dickson baptised on 5 September 1813 at St. Andrew’s. She was the daughter of baker John Dickson and his wife Sarah of Gravel Street. They seem to have had a number of other children, though the only one I can find definite records for is Adam, who was also born in Gravel Street, in 1808. Their proximity to the addresses in Holborn associated with the Blanch family might explain how Sarah came to meet David.

My search for a marriage record for John and Sarah Dickson turned up another interesting connection with the Blanch family. On 8 November 1805 a John Dickson, of the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, was married at the church of St. Andrew, Little Stanmore. His bride’s name was Sarah Rodbard. Six years later, John Rodbard from Little Stanmore would marry Maria Blanch, half-sister of David Blanch.

Stanmore church, Middlesex

I’ve yet to establish a definite connection between Sarah and John Rodbard, but given their origins, their shared link to the Blanch family, and the rarity of their surname, it seems likely they were related – possibly siblings?

Sarah Dickson nee Rodbard died at Gravel Street and was buried at St Andrew’s Holborn on 10 April 1825. She was 50 years old, which means she was born in  about 1775. I’ve yet to find a record for the death of her husband John.