Occupations – Granddad was a Fishmonger

Joseph Taylor Dinnis

Joseph Taylor Dinnis

Joseph Taylor Dinnis was a fishmonger, you can see him in the photograph above, the signs proudly displaying his name. He did the writing himself, and this was the only photo I had of my grandfather when I began my family research. I never met him, although I was born in 1958 and he died in 1965. I don’t know where the photograph was taken, but it was after he returned from WW2.

b4 - Copy (2)

Dinnis & Curran Fishmongers

Joseph began his career before the 1911 England Census, because he is listed there as being a Fishmonger’s Assistant. He is aged 19 and is living with his older brother and his wife, George and Helen, along with his younger brother, John. Their father, George Dinnis had died in 1906. I don’t know what made him start in the Fishmonger trade, but he certainly stuck with it and made a good living from it.

On trying to track Joseph after 1911, the next definite information comes from a letter written by an employer in 1914.


letter of reference page one

letter of reference page one

page two

page two










“Sirs, I have always found J. Dinnis Honest, clean and obliging. Smart in appearance and very courteous, and in my absence he has taken charge of one of the Branch Shops. Both of which I supervise and he has managed it in a very satisfactory manner.”

Messrs Verran & Sims, Fleet Road and Reading Road, Fleet.

Now although it is wonderful to know my grandfather was so well thought of by his employer the thing that struck a chord was the address of the fishmongers – Fleet Road and Reading Road.

I know that at that time my grandmother, Annie Cleeve was working as a parlour maid in Heatherside, Reading Road.

Heatherside, Church Crookham

Heatherside, Church Crookham

So, I am leaping to the assumption that if Annie worked here, and Joseph worked in the fishmongers’ in the same road at the same time, that is probably how they met. In my imagination Annie would call into the Fishmongers shop, where she would get talking to Joe. They married in the following year, December 1915. The photographs below were taken in 1916.

Joseph Taylor Dinnis and Annie Dinnis (Cleeve)

Joseph Taylor Dinnis and Annie Dinnis (Cleeve)

Joseph Taylor Dinnis and Annie Dinnis (Cleeve) 28 June 1916

Joseph Taylor Dinnis and Annie Dinnis (Cleeve) 28 June 1916










There are a number of letters of reference from Joseph’s employers, showing that he was well-respected and also that he moved about a lot! I shall be looking at these in more detail over the next few months.

I was recently delighted to find some cousins in Australia, descended from the Dinnis side of the family. Here is a link to their website http://www.joto.com.au/ and how nice to see the Fishmonger side of the family is still going strong. Granddad Joe would have been proud!

About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
This entry was posted in Annie Cleeve, Dummer, Joseph Taylor Dinnis, Occupations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Occupations – Granddad was a Fishmonger

  1. Becky B says:

    How wonderful to have letters from his employers, and to have a photograph of him at work. One of my grandfather’s was a fishmonger but unfortunately we know little about his working life – so very envious of your finds! Enjoy learning more over the forthcoming weeks and months.

    • I have my cousin to thank for all the letters, thank goodness someone in the family kept everything and didn’t throw stuff away! Maybe you have someone in your family that kept things? I never expected to find so much when I began searching.

      • Becky B says:

        Unfortunately everything came to my mother and by the time it all came anything such as letters has long gone.
        On the paternal side though have had far more success and found lots in the last couple of years, so so interesting.

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