The Daughter of Amos Brammer, Wadsley Bridge, Sheffield

One of the benefits of researching an article is that there is on occasion a paper trail that substantiates other secondary sources. Take Amos Brammer who appears in the 1871 Census  living with his parents William and Ann Elizabeth Brammer at 317 St Philips Road Sheffield. His father was an Insurance Agent


Ten years later the 1881 Census finds Amos at an address in Woodland Street which used to be off Langsett Road in Sheffield

First name(s) Amos
Last name Brammer
Relationship Visitor
Marital status Single Gender Male 
Age 21 Birth year 1860
Occupation Forgeman Steel
Birth town Sheffield Birth county Yorkshire Birth place England
House number 105 Street Woodland Street - Parish Nether Hallam County Yorkshire, Yorkshire (West Riding) Country England
Registration district Ecclesall Bierlow Archive reference RG11 Piece number 4625 Folio 10 Page 12

Three years later Amos married an Emily Whitham at Owlerton Parish Church. This was the address where Amos was living in 1881 - it turns out to be his future in-laws

First name (s) Amos Last name Brammer
Age 25 Birth year 1859
Marriage year 1884 Marriage date 25 Aug 1884
Marriage place Owlerton
Residence 105 Woodland Street
Father's first name (s) William Father's last name Brammer
Spouse's first name (s) Emily Spouse's last name Whitham
Spouse's age 27
Spouse's residence 105 Woodland Street 
Spouse's father's first name(s) John Spouse's father's last name Whitham
County Yorkshire (West Riding) Country England Archive Sheffield Archives & Local Studies Archive reference PR 90 15 Page 75
Record set Yorkshire Marriages Category Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records

Amos and Emily Brammer nee Whitham 


By 1891 Amos and Emily were living at Church Terrace Wadsley Bridge Sheffield with their two young sons Clement (5) and Laurence Frederick (3). Amos was still employed as a Forgeman. I can find no trace of the family in the 1901 Census but ten years later this is their entry in the 1911 Census

They were still living in Wadsley Bridge at 17 Halifax Road. From the information supplied it looks as though their eldest son Clement Basil had died - in fact Clement was only seven years old when he died in March 1893 

but their was a daughter Dora who was born in 1895 and was employed as a dressmakers apprentice.

Dora Brammer's entry in the School attendance book - Wadsley Bridge Council School Sheffield 1906

His second son Laurence Frederick also died at an early age. There is a probate record for Laurence which states that he died on 26th December 1914 at 21 Halifax Road

Amos continued living at Halifax Road right up until his death in February 1929. This is his burial record from Wadsley Church

and his probate record. Probate was granted to his unmarried daughter Dora who would have been 34 years old at the time of his death. His "effects" amounted to about 20,000 in today's money, a tidy amount for a Sheffield steel-worker 

His widow Emily lived for another 22 years before dying in 1951 at St Albans Hertfordshire at the age of 94. The interesting point to note is that her death certificate uses an Alias MARY FORBES. This is unusual but given the circumstances surrounding her daughter Dora not unexpected. 


Her daughter Dora was to have a life that no-one in Wadsley Bridge could ever have imagined in their wildest dreams. These are newspaper cuttings from 1990 that detail the whole incredible story


Reading all these cuttings brought a wry smile to my face. Dora may have re-invented herself and gone to extra-ordinary lengths to hide her past in the 1920's but she was still Dora Brammer in 1929 as the Probate record amply demonstrates. To the world she was supposed to be the wife of Captain Robert Eric Allen but no-one has ever been able to find a record of the marriage. In fact it has been established that Captain Allen was already married when he met Dora but his first wife refused to divorce him even when she had full knowledge of his relationship with Dora.

The other point to make is that according to the Daily Mail the Spencers factory was set up with money her father left her has a result of his property deals. Amos left only 341.7s.6d in his will and was still living at 21 Halifax Road when he died in 1929. In fact he had lived in the Wadsley Bridge area for most of his adult life and there is nothing I have found which supports the assertion that Amos was a local property magnate.

The next two cuttings show that the company was well established prior to 1927. It was then sold to US business interests. Dora is known Dorathea Allen in the formal company documents

The Banbury Guardian dated 10th February 1927

The Banbury Advertiser dated 17th February 1927

The next four articles are from the Daily Telegraph dated 25th August 1990, 5th September 1990, 8th September 1990 and 31st July 1991

Daily Telegraph dated 25th August 1990

Daily Telegraph dated 5th September 1990

Daily Telegraph dated 8th September 1990

Daily Telegraph dated 31st July 1991




UK Census

National Probate Office

Sheffield Archives

Sheffield Indexers

Sheffield History Forum

Daily Mail dated 1st September 1990

Daily Mail dated 1st January 1996 (2)

Daily Express dated 29th January 1996

Daily Express 5th September 1990

Sunday Express dated 11th and 18th February 1990

The Banbury Guardian dated 10th February 1927

The Banbury Advertiser dated 17th February 1927

Daily Telegraph dated 25th August 1990

Daily Telegraph dated 5th September 1990

Daily Telegraph dated 8th September 1990

Daily Telegraph dated 31st July 1991

A big thanks to the Corsetiere Website who collated the newspaper articles from the Daily Express and Mail

This page was last updated on 14/11/18 09:29

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