The Dance families of Gloucestershire







The Dance Family of Clearwell


Hannah Berrow (nee Dance) born 1837







Joseph Dance & Clearwell

John Dance 1827

William Dance 1837-71






eBay Image Hosting at

Clearwell today



Compiled with a lot of help from Judith Leadbeater and Bronwen Woods and encouragement from Colin Dance.




Joseph's daughter Hannah Louise Dance (baptised and registered as Anna Louisa) who was born at Stonehouse, Devon in December 1837 was not baptised until May 1841 at Clearwell. She married Llandogo born stone-mason Richard Berrow (1831) at Clearwell in November 1856.

They had at least nine children. On the 1861 census their home was at Clearwell and Hannah's widowed mother Ann Dance was staying with them. Around 1875 the family had moved a few miles north to Cinderford where their youngest three children were born.


Richard Berrow (1831) was born to St. Brievals stone mason William Berrow (1797-1857) and his Welsh wife Mary Ann Williams at Llandogo, a village a couple of miles over the Welsh border near Tintern. William and Mary Ann had six children, two born at Llandogo and four at St Briavels. By the 1851 census their family were settled back in the Forest area.


Richard and Hannah's children were - 


Charles Berrow 1857  baptized  Clearwell - died 1900 George Berrow 1869 baptised  Clearwell - died February 1905
William Dance  Berrow 1860 baptized  Clearwell Emily Berrow 1875 baptised  Clearwell - residence Ruspidge.
Elizabeth Mary Berrow 1862 baptized  Clearwell Llewellyn Berrow 1876 baptised  Clearwell - residence Ruspidge
Richard Berrow 1864 baptized  Clearwell Alice Annie Berrow 1880 Born Ruspidge - died November 1901
Hannah Louisa Berrow 1867 baptized  Clearwell



eBay Image Hosting at

eBay Image Hosting at

Miners' houses at Ruspidge

Ruspidge around 1900



Joseph Dance, son of William Henry Dance 1837 & Ann Harding, who was employed as a postman married Elizabeth Wright (1837)  from Wellington in Hertfordshire, at Cirencester in 1885. They had at least 6 children and the family lived at 114 Gloucester Street, Cirencester.
Elizabeth died in 1896 and Joseph remarried. She was his cousin Hannah Louisa Berrow, born 1867, daughter of Richard Berrow & Hannah Dance, (see Berrow family below) at Cirencester in 1897.
Joseph & Hannah continued to live at 114 Gloucester Street. They had 2 children William Henry 1898 & Clarice 1899.  You can see on Clarice's birth certificate that Joseph had died before she was born. Joseph died in 1898 and left Hannah with a number of step children from his first marriage to Elizabeth (who were also her cousins!) and their own 2 children.

Joseph died in 1898. In 1902 the widowed Hannah returned to the Forest of Dean and remarried. He was 43 year old bachelor Frederick Leadbeater from Littledean Hill, Cinderford. They had two children, Frederick George Leadbeater (1902) and Emily Leadbeater (1904) both christened at St. Stephen's Church, Cinderford.

Hannah Louise Leadbeater died in 1939 age around 71. The transcript from the FOD history site gives her address as Dockham Road, Cinderford when she died.
Frederick Leadbeater died Jan/Feb 1925 aged 65. They are both buried at  St Johns Church, Cinderford.



Hannah Louisa Dance was also the Great great Grandmother of my husband. He is a Leadbeater and comes from Hannah Dance & Richard Berrows' daughter Hannah Berrow's second marriage to Frederick Leadbeater in 1902. She had previously married Joseph Dance who died in 1898. Joseph also had been married previously to Elizabeth Wright so Hannah was left with 'step' children when he died. 

I don't know the full story but I think they went to live with relatives. Hannah & Joseph had 2 children, William & Clarice. Hannah & Fred had 2 children Frederick George Leadbeater & Emily Leadbeater.

Hannah's brother George Joseph Berrow lived in Cinderford (Littledean Hill) and on the 1901 census it shows Joseph & Elizabeth's child Annie living with him and his family. Next door to him lived Frederick Leadbeater (1859)  and this was Hannah's second husband. I can only assume that she met him when visiting George?

They married on 19th March 1902 at Cinderford St Stephens Church. Fred & Hannah lived at Littledean Hill and had 2 children Frederick George Leadbeater born 5th Oct 1902  at Littledean Hill & Emily Leadbeater born 23rd April 1904. As far as I know only William, Clarice, Fred & Emily lived with Fred & Hannah and the other children were taken into care. I don't know what that meant - whether they were in a children's home or whether they lived with other family members. Anyway it wasn't until years later that Vic (Archibald Victor) & Reg (Reginald Joseph) found out that they had half siblings. I don't know what happened to the other siblings. Unfortunately my in laws are both deceased so I only have the bits of info which they were told passed onto me. Perhaps if I'd been more interested in researching family history before they died I might have been able to tell you more - never mind!!             Judith Leadbeater



eBay Image Hosting at

eBay Image Hosting at

Views from The Royal Foresters at Littledean Hill



eBay Image Hosting at

Cinderford RFC 1896-7

Outright winners of the Bathurst Cup. Victors for three consecutive years.

Llewellyn Berrow - top - 2nd from left and his brother George Berrow, third from left . George Barton  bottom right.




Have just looked at the website and am particularly interested in where the rugby photo came from. I think there is a similar one up in Cinderford Rugby
Sitting in the front row is my Great Grandfather George Barton. We used to have his 'cap' at home but dad gave it to Cinderford Rugby Club and it now hangs on the wall there. He also played for Cinderford and obviously at the same time as George & Llewellyn Berrow. 


eBay Image Hosting at

eBay Image Hosting at

Forest Mercury February 1905

George Berrow 1869-1905


The Royal Oak, Littledean Hill Road

The Royal Oak is believed to have been demolished as part of a road widening scheme in the 1940s. A housing estate in Littledean Hill Road was built on what was known as Oak Field. 

George Berrows, the inn-keeper at the Royal Oak, died young. He was only 34 when he caught influenza, developing into double pneumonia, and  passed away on the 18th of February 1905.

He had married Monmouth born Florence Davies (1871) in 1897. They had three daughters, Dorothy Florence Berrow (1899-1921), Elizabeth Alice Berrow (1901), and Eveline Mary Berrow (1902).


eBay Image Hosting at

Llewellyn Berrow  was baptised at Clearwell in 1876. Like his brother George, he was a Cinderford RFC forward who was a member of the very successful 1890s team. They were also part of the first Forest of Dean XV, made up from local teams, who took on and defeated the mighty Gloucester side at Kingsholm in 1896.

He married Annie Heaven (1879) at St. Stephen's, Cinderford in 1899. She was the daughter of local stonemason George Heaven.




I was just about to look to see if I could find any information on George Berrow as a Rugby Player on the web and thought that I would have another quick look at your web site and there was a photo of George and Llewellyn! This is great!

Llewellyn Berrow and his older brother Richard, according to my father, walked from The Forest of Dean, somewhere between about 1902 and the end of 1903 to find work in the Rose Heyworth Mine in Abertillery. They did so as the colliery was offering housing to miners and their families; they were able to secure work and brought their respective families to Abertillery. 

Judging from births, marriages and death registers they were the first Berrows in Abertillery!! They had cottages in what is now known as Blaenau Gwent Rows. Rugby has continued to be the family sport, with my great uncle Frederick Berrow playing for Blaenau Gwent and winning a silver medal in 1907. 

Fred Berrow was born in the Forest of Dean, the first child of Richard Berrow b 1864 Wyegate and Florence Louisa Head b 1870, in Cinderford.


eBay Image Hosting at

Fred Berrow



I have attached photos which were sent to me by a second cousin, Lesley Nash who got in touch with me when I first started out on my family history a year ago!

Fred Berrow went on to enlist in the Monmouthshire Regiment in 1914 and had the rank of Sgt, having served almost four years to the day when he was discharged in 1918.    Bronwen




eBay Image Hosting at








Richard Berrow was baptised at Clearwell in 1864. He married Florence Louisa Head (1870) at Cinderford in 1888. He worked as a collier and in the earlier years of their married life lived at Ruspidge near Cinderford. Their first eight children were born in the Cinderford area.

Around 1903 the family moved to Abertillery in the South Wales coal-field and lived at Blaenau Gwent. Three more of their surviving  children were born there. Bronwen has mentioned that according to BMD records there were possibly another four children born between 1904 and 1910 who died in infancy.



We believe Richard & Florence's surviving children were:


Frederick Berrow

1890 born Cinderford

William George Berrow

1901 born Ruspidge

Florence Berrow

1891 born Cinderford

Harry Royston Ivor Berrow

1902 born Ruspidge

Richard Charles Berrow

1893 born Cinderford

Eva May Berrow

1907 born Abertillery

Emily Ida Berrow

1895 born Blakeney

Leonard Jack Berrow

1910 born Abertillery

Charles Stanley Berrow

1896 born Ruspidge

Kenneth Alvin Berrow

1912 born Abertillery

Llewellyn Maurice Berrow

1899 born Ruspidge


Richard Berrow and his family -  probably  at Ruspidge near Cinderford around 1898

eBay Image Hosting at


I have this very treasured photo of Richard Berrow who married Florence Louisa Head on 14 Sept 1888 which was given to me by my aunt who told me that it was taken in the Forest of Dean. Richard & Florence are obvious as parents. Standing to the right shoulder of Richard is Frederick John Henry Berrow b 7 May1889 in Cinderford, the little fellow in front of Fred is Richard Charles Berrow b. 3 Sep 1892 in Cinderford, the taller girl on the left of her mother is my grandmother Florence Louisa Berrow b. 27 Oct 1890 in Cinderford, the little girl between her parents is Emily Ida b. 1895 in Blakeney, the child on his mothers lap is Charles Stanley b.29 Dec 1896 in Ruspidge. (Guessing Charlie’s age may give some indication of when the photo was taken!!)   Bronwen


From Diane Banner - August 2011


I was most interested to read the Clearwell Dance Family History, and thought you may wish to see the results of some of my research, as I note you do not have information about my paternal grandmother's family.

I am the daughter of Kenneth Alvin Berrow, youngest son of Richard and Florence Louisa Berrow (nee Head).  My dear grandmother had sixteen children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood.

My grandmother had six sisters and two brothers:

Martha Head (b.1863), Rosina (b. 1865), Sarah-Ann (b.1866), Bertha (b. 1869), Florence (b.1870), Myra (b. 1876),  Rachel (b.1880).  There were two brothers -  Fred (b.1873), and Sydney (b.1877)

Their parents were: Henry Head (born 1843 Thorndon, Wilts) and Sabina Jones (Born 1844 Cinderford) who married in 1863.

Henry was the son of Jonah Head (b. 1810 Wiltshire) ) and Martha (b. 1811, Berkshire)

Other siblings were William (b. 1844) John (b.1847) Sara (b. 1848) Elizabeth (b.1851)  Mary (b.1854) 

Sabina was the daughter of James Jones (b. 1816) and Ann (b. 1816)

Other siblings were: Elizabeth (b.1840) Frederick (b. 1842) Emma (b. 1846.

The photo above shows Emily Berrow (1895) on the left with her sister Florence (1891).  

I was interested to read that one of my grandfather's brothers had gone to Canada as a young man, because my grandfather also went there at around the same time. It is possible that they went together.  Whilst there my grandfather suffered with ague and was apparently advised to return home because he was unlikely to survive the cold temperature in Nova Scotia.



The Head sisters


Florence Berrow (3rd from left back row) with her six sisters, which I think may have been taken in the Forest of Dean in 1933 - Diane


My father Kenneth and his brother Jack Berrow - Diane



Taken in the garden at Blaenau Gwent Rows - Left to right: my father Kenneth, his nephew John and my grandfather Richard Berrow who died in 1943.



Ivor Berrow born Ruspidge (1902-1969)  (right) - Diane




eBay Image Hosting at

eBay Image Hosting at

Forest of Dean 'Mercury'   25th of November 1901







Joseph Dance's granddaughter Elizabeth Mary Berrow (1862) married Whitecroft miner James W Hopkins (1860-1920) at Drybrook in June 1885. James had already worked away from the Forest of Dean area. On the 1881 census he was listed with his brother George as a coal-miner up in Rotherham, Yorkshire. His urge to find work elsewhere seems to have taken him and Elizabeth briefly to Canada where their first child Emily Alice (1888-1950) was born. 

By 1891 he was back in the Forest living at Minty Row, Ruspidge when their first son George was baptised in 1891. Elizabeth's sister, 15 year old Emily Berrow, was lodging with them.

Around 1900 the family had moved to Yorkshire where James was born..

Their children were -

Emily Alice Hopkins 1888 – 1950 Born Canada
George L Hopkins 1891  Born Ruspidge, Forest of Dean
Beatrice Hopkins 1894  Born Ruspidge, Forest of Dean
Eliza H L Hopkins 1896 Born Ruspidge, Forest of Dean
James W Hopkins 1900  Born Monk Bretton, Yorkshire



A really big coincidence now. I have been in contact with Bronwen Woods ( nee Prewett ) who has been tracing her Family name . Her Great great grandmother was Hannah Louisa Dance ( William Dance the iron miner's  sister ) she married a Berrow who were  a family of masons in the Clearwell area .

Their son Richard Berrow married Florence Louisa Head and their daughter Florence Louisa Berrow married George Prewett.
Bronwen Woods ( nee Prewitt) found my post on the Forest-of-Dean forum and was interested in information on Joseph Dance. She offered me a copy of Hannah Louises birth certificate......I gave her my address  and surprise surprise ..She lives in the next village to me in Essex and her son has been through school with my son ..they know each other !!! We met today for a coffee and figure we are fourth cousins if that is the correct term.    Colin Dance




eBay Image Hosting at

Edwardian Cinderford



My sincere thanks to Colin Dance, a descendant of Joseph's grandson John George Dance 1860, for kick-starting these pages, to Judith Leadbeater, whose husband is a descendant of Joseph's daughter Hannah Louise Dance 1837, for her valuable information and assistance. A more recent contact - Bronwen Woods, from Richard Berrow's family, has supplied more information about the move from the Forest to Abertillery, a valuable family photograph, and access to her own family research. She has asked me to point out that a large amount of the information came from Lesley Nash whose grand-mother was Richard & Florence Berrow's daughter Eva (1907).