charles dickens family tree

Charles Dickens Family Tree

Exploring Charles Dickens's family tree has been a personal journey for me, one that intertwines my experience as a genealogist with my passion for literature.

I find myself marveling at the parallels between his vivid characters and his own kin. In my expertise, I believe the key to Dickens's narrative genius lies within these ancestral ties.

Delving into the lives of his parents, John and Elizabeth, and reflecting on his ten children, I've come to appreciate how his advocacy and storytelling were undoubtedly shaped by his family's stories, revealing a deeper understanding of the man behind the celebrated works.

Key Takeaways

  • Charles Dickens came from a modest background, with his father working as a clerk in the Naval Pay Office.
  • The Dickens family moved frequently during Charles' early years, which may have influenced his later writings about social mobility and change.
  • Charles had a large immediate family, with seven siblings, and several notable descendants, including Monica Dickens, Lucinda Hawksley, and Harry Lloyd.
  • Charles Dickens' works and his portrayal of the Victorian era have had a significant cultural impact, with adaptations of his stories in literature, film, and theater, and the establishment of the Dickens Fellowship to continue his legacy.

Early Ancestry and Origins

Tracing the roots of the Dickens family, we find John Dickens, Charles' father, who was employed as a clerk in the Naval Pay Office, setting the stage for the early years that would shape the future literary giant's life and works.

Born at Landport in Portsea, Charles Dickens was the son of John and Elizabeth Barrow. The Dickens family moved frequently during Charles' early years, from Norfolk Street in Bloomsbury to Chatham, each location leaving its imprint on the young boy's psyche. His idyllic childhood and zest for outdoor activities are reflected in his later writings.

However, as the Dickens family grappled with financial difficulties and relocated to Camden Town, Charles' education was abruptly curtailed, an event that would later fuel his literary endeavors.

Dickens' Immediate Family

While Charles Dickens' formative years were marked by the restless journey of his family, it was within his immediate household that the most significant influences on his life and future writings were found. His parents, John and Elizabeth, were central figures in his life and appeared in various guises in his novels. You'll find that the Dickens family tree is quite extensive, with Charles being one of eight children.

Here's a glimpse into the Dickens' immediate family:

FatherJohn DickensClerk in the Royal Navy
MotherElizabeth BarrowHomemaker
DescendantMonica DickensNovelist
DescendantLucinda HawksleyWriter
DescendantHarry LloydActor

These relationships don't just represent names in a family tree—they're threads woven into the fabric of Charles' 30 novels and numerous stories.

The Dickens Children

Charles Dickens, the second of eight siblings, shared his early life with a diverse array of brothers and sisters who each carved their own paths, influencing his literary work in subtle ways.

Your ancestor, the eldest son of John and Elizabeth Dickens, witnessed his sister Letitia marry Henry Austin, an architect and artist. Tragically, his sister Harriet passed away at a young age, never having the opportunity to marry.

Frederick, Charles's brother, found love with Anna Weller. Another brother, Alfred Lamert Dickens, became a railway engineer and married Helen Dobson.

The legacy of the Dickens family continued through their descendants, with individuals like Dickens Hawksley and Monica Dickens carrying the literary torch ignited by their illustrious forebear.

Notable Descendants

Throughout the generations, the Dickens family has produced a number of notable figures, including Monica Dickens, an accomplished novelist renowned for her book 'One Pair of Feet', and Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, who's made her mark as a writer. You'll find their legacies intertwined with the storied history of the Dickens name.

  • Monica Dickens
  • Not just an author, she's also the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens.
  • Married to Roy Stratford and later, to Commander Henry J. K. Davis.
  • Founded the Samaritans charity in the United States.
  • Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
  • Related to Charles as his great-great-great-granddaughter.
  • Authored books on the Dickens family and is a member of the Dickens Fellowship.
  • Married to Bertha Phillips, contributing to the family lineage.

Remember these descendants who've carried the Dickens legacy into modern times.

Legacy and Cultural Impact

Beyond the bounds of his own era, Dickens' storytelling genius has permeated our culture, with characters and tales that continue to captivate and challenge audiences across the globe.

Born in Landport in Portsea, where his father worked in the Navy Pay Office, Dickens (b. 1812) crafted narratives that still resonate deeply today. His works, such as the timeless 'A Christmas Carol,' have been adapted repeatedly for literature, film, and theater, showcasing the enduring appeal of his social commentary and vivid characters.

Historian Peter Ackroyd notes how Dickens' portrayal of the Victorian era and his critiques of social injustice have shaped public perceptions of that time. The global reach of the Dickens Fellowship further cements his impact, affirming that the son of a naval clerk-turned-railway engineer transcended his origins to leave an indelible cultural legacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Living Relatives of Charles Dickens?

Yes, you've got living relatives of Charles Dickens, like Monica Dickens, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, and Harry Lloyd, who've continued his legacy in literature and acting, carving their paths in the arts.

Who Is the Genealogy of Charles Dickens?

You're asking about the genealogy of Charles Dickens. He's the son of John Dickens and Elizabeth Barrow, with descendants like Monica Dickens and Lucinda Hawksley, who've continued his literary legacy.

Did Charles Dickens Have Any Children?

Yes, you'll find that Charles Dickens had ten children with his wife Catherine Hogarth. Their names were Charles, Mary, Kate, Walter, Francis, Alfred, Sydney, Henry, Dora, and Edward.

Did Charles Dickens Have Any Siblings?

Yes, you're right to ask; Charles Dickens had six siblings, with four surviving into adulthood—Fanny, Letitia, Frederick, and Augustus. Their lives varied from music to engineering, influencing Dickens' own diverse character creations.


As you've explored, Charles Dickens' lineage is as intricate as his novels. His family, from humble beginnings to literary heirs, shaped his world and, through his vivid storytelling, ours.

His ten children, some achieving their own fame, continued the Dickens legacy. Today, descendants uphold this heritage, influencing arts and culture.

Your journey through the Dickens family tree reveals the personal imprints on his timeless works, a testament to the enduring Dickensian influence on literature and beyond.