The Wives of the Reverend Thomas Dixon-Spain

With the help of David Secker I have been piecing together the marital arrangements on the Reverend Thomas. It seems he married Elizabeth Showler first, and with her had two children, Lizzie and Thomas. The latter, according to family legend, was the black sheep of the family and went away to Ohio having dallied with a chamber maid. Thomas W.’s descendents apparently visited Eldernell in the 50s. Lizzie is recorded as being at Thomas’s funeral in 1925, along with Ted.

There is a measure of doubt over Elizabeth Showler’s parentage of Lizzie and Thomas, as the former was born only three years before Fanny Georgiana, but the division of siblings along these lines was suggested in what has so far been an authoritative obit. of Thomas from the paper in Woodhall Spa. Perhaps, and here we lean on supposition only, Elizabeth died in childbirth? It would certainly explain why a man of the cloth would marry twice – particularly if his second wife could be mother to the motherless children.

Fanny Millgate Plumtree became Thomas’s second wife and bore him five children, who happen to be the forming inspiration for this site, including Fanny Georgiana (who we had mistaken as his wife before David’s good offices showed that she was the daughter). We are not yet sure which of the Fannys was the author of romantic fiction, but we do have reference to the elder being a school mistress – although whether that is indicative I am not sure.

Fanny Millgate had several siblings, and was the eldest of the brood, born only 3 months after her parents married. What has been lovely is to see how the name Georgiana was of Millgate origin rather than Plumtree or Dixon-Spain, as it is Fanny’s mother who originally bore the name (Millgate being her maiden name).

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  1. Debbie
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I have just been reading through this website, and I believe I have found a family connection, Fanny Millgate Plumtree i think was my gt gt gt grandfathers daughter, her mother Georgiana Plumtree is buried in St Helens Church, North Thoresby, a picture of this stone can be found on the church website and also Fanny’s brother who died on 9th December 1884 at the age of 19 years. It would be great if you could give me any futher info on Fanny Millgate, I know she was a school Mistress at North Thoresby School c. 1875.

    Kind Regards
    Debbie (nee Plumtree)

  2. Charles
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Debbie,
    Great to hear from you!
    That all sounds right doesn’t it? Fanny was a romantic novellist and she supported her husband in his good works financially by writing her novels — comes from one of the obits. on the Reverend Thomas. She is also Great great grandmother!
    We’re still digging, but these things take time eh? Thanks for the info, I’ll add it to the page.

    Best regards,


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