Dowding

George and Maria (Guppy) Dowding were married in 1817 in Christchurch Blackfriars Road, Southwark, County Surrey, ENGLAND. A record of their marriage exists in Pallot’s Marriage Index which I found on Ancestry.com. See my map of London to see where Christchurch was.

Regarding the spelling of Maria’s maiden name, the record on Ancestry.com is a photograph of the handwritten index card. It is easy to see how the letters in question could be either f’s or p’s. They stick way up like f’s, but loop like p’s. My personal opinion is that they are p’s…based on the fact that the f in the word Blackfriars looks different. She will be known on this site as Maria Guppy for that reason.

I also found London baptism records for two of the Dowding children. Both records were found in Pallot’s Index on Ancestry.com. They are as follows:

In1820, Mary Ann St. Paul Covent Garden, Middlesex
In 1829, Susanna St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Middlesex

See my map of London to see where St. Paul and St. Martin-in-the-Fields are located.

For more about the context in which the Dowdings left London see my post relating to 19th century London.

The Dowding family is listed on the Ship Cambria (New York 1820-1850 Passenger & Immigration Lists) as follows:

Port of Departure: London.
Arrived in New York: 1 Mar 1832.
Dowdings on board: George, age 35; Maria, Sarah, Susannah

The family most likely traveled in crowded conditions in steerage on board the ship.  (See the Ship Cambria above). But if conditions were difficult for the Dowdings onboard the Ship Cambria, they certainly did not improve much once they arrived in New York City.

The Dowdings in New York

There was a Cholera outbreak in the summer of 1832 (the Dowdings arrived in March of that year). Many people were immigrating, mostly poor, and in the 1840 census the Dowdings are listed in the 7th ward, Lower East Side of Manhattan, an area primarily made up of these impoverished new arrivals. Cholera broke out again in 1849. In 1850 George and Maria are still on the Lower East Side, in the 10th ward, which by 1900 was “the most densely populated place on earth.” [quote from tenant.net]. In 1860 they are in the 14th ward, Division 1, also on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. George Dowding is working as a tailor in New York City from as early as 1835 through the 1860 census. In 1870 he appears in Ohio living with Bredbeck relatives. He probably left NYC after his wife died.

Maria Susanna Dowding married John Dietrich Bredbeck in New York City, March 16th, 1844 according to family records. I have not found any official record of this marriage.  The city did not keep records at that time so we would need to know the church.  The couple went to Ohio a few years later.

I did look up the other Dowding children, but was only successful in finding William Little and Mary Ann Dowding. They are living in NYC in 1850. In 1860, Mary Ann Litttle is then living in the same apartment building as her parents, in the household of her oldest daughter with her younger children as well. Mary Ann Little’s occupation is listed as “tailoress.” Perhaps she worked with her father? In 1870 they are harder to find. There is a William Little with wife Mary A. in Clinton Co., NY. The children and ages almost match. There is also a Sarah Little (the same age as one of their daughters) still in NYC living in the House of the Good Shephard with other young women. And there is a Mary Ann Little living in a boarding house in Philadelphia and working as a seamstress.

Bibliography for “The Dowdings in New York”:

Cholera in 1832 – Details the arrival of Cholera in North America.

EH.net Encyclopedia – Article regarding Immigration

Map of NYC wards

New York City, 7th Ward – description of poll book

Old Immigration – html version of a pdf document

Tenant.net – description of the 10th ward.

US Census Records for New York and Ohio – 1840-1870 – viewed on Ancestry.com and at the Schomburg Center (NYPL) in New York City.