Descendants of Thomas DIX of Norfolk, England - The Mustard Connection


Descendants of Thomas DIX of Norfolk, England


The Mustard Connection


When I first began my DIX family research in 1983, I remembered that my great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Jane Dinah "Polly" HALLER nee DIX, had always told the family we were related to "Keen's Curry" (an Australian company, a subsidiary of Reckitt & Colman).

So I began by writing to Reckitt & Colman in Sydney, and was sent a book "Out of the Blue - A History of Reckitt & Colman in Australia - by Jack Edwards" 1982 - ISBN 0 95935011X.

It was Mr. Alex DIX, an ex-member of the Board of Directors of "Keen's Curry" who informed me that several generations of DIXes were involved with the Mustard Mill at Carrow in Norwich, Norfolk, England.

However, it then took 15 years to find the connection. With the release of the 1851 Norfolk Census Index and the help of a newfound cousin, Paul DURRANT, in Norwich we were able to prove that the earliest DIX at Colman's was the youngest brother of Polly's great-grandfather DIX ..........

William DIX Senior
William DIX
1801 - 1871
William DIX, son of Thomas & Mary DIX, was born at Southrepps on 29 April 1801. He was the first regular carpenter employed by J. & J. Colman. Later he was foreman of the Starch Department and later still he left this position to take charge of the first steam engine possessed by the firm, which in those days was a position of considerable importance. He served 40 years with Colman's.
William's son Charles DIX, was in charge of the various steam engines at the Works, but in November 1861 he was called upon to undertake the management of the Mustard Mill. He remained in that position until his death in 1897 after 60 years service. Charles DIX Senior
Charles DIX
1827 - 1897
William DIX Junior
William DIX
Following on from his father, Charles' son William began his career under his father in April 1876. He also rose to be Manager of the Mustard Mill. He had a genious for invention - including automatic seed dryers. He was a Bible Class leader for over 70 years. William retired from Colman's after 55 years service.
William's son, Charles William DIX commenced service with the firm in October 1905. Upon his father's retirement in 1932, he became Manager of the Mustard Department. He was also elected a member of the Local Board in 1943. He retired from Colman's after 45 years service. Charles William DIX
Charles William DIX
1887 - 1970

At one point, the original William DIX and his 22 kinsmen had an unbroken service of 612 years with J. & J. Colman Ltd. There were so many DIXes employed by the Colman Company that they had their own cricket team.


A brief history of Colman's of Carrow, Norwich

Jeremiah COLMAN, the founder of the Colman business, was a Miller. In 1814 he leased Stoke Mill just out of Norwich, after 10 years working as a Miller. The previous owner had milled flour & mustard - Jeremiah decided to stay with mustard. He had no children, but the line continued by his adopting his brother's eldest son James. Two other brothers of James later joined the business.

When Colmans moved into the City of Norwich (from Stoke Holy Cross) in 1854 they started on what became a very large factory complex at Carrow, with the first Colman owned Mustard Mill. Colman-owned houses for employees were on Carrow Hill, (immediately opposite the factories and offices) and other roads around the Lakenham cricket ground area of Norwich.

The family partnership became a limited company in 1896 with capital of 1,350,000. Another Jeremiah COLMAN held the post of Chairman for 42 years (later becoming the first Baronet).

In 1903 J. & J. Colman Ltd acquired the business of Keen Robinson & Company for the benefit of their mustard & spice trade. Thus they found they became one of the important manufacturers of baby food in the country. In 1912 they took over Farrows of Peterborough.


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