Thomas William Dones (or Done as the name sometimes appears), known as William, was born at Badsey in 1863, the son of Ann Dones (née Knight), widow. He was baptised in St James’ Church, Badsey, on 5th July 1863. He grew up at a cottage on Brewers Lane with his mother, younger brother and maternal grandparents, where he was living at the time of the 1871 and 1881 census.
On 28th July 1888, William Dones married Alice Sophia Hall at Badsey. Alice had moved with her family from Wickhamford a year or two earlier to a cottage on Brewers Lane, close to the Dones and Knight family. Alice already had a two-year-old daughter, Amy. A son, John Thomas (1889-1970), was born at Badsey in February 1889.
Later in 1889, William, following in the wake of many other families, went to try out a new life in America. The following year, Alice and her two children joined him. On 30th April 1890, Alice set sail from Liverpool bound for New York with three-year-old Amy and John who was simply described as an infant.
They seem to have gone firstly to Auburn, Geauga County, Ohio, where a number of Badsey families were already living. In America, two more children were born: Clayton George (1891-1971) and Margaret A (1893-1968). According to Clayton’s Draft Registration card in 1942, he was born at Auburn. By 1900 they were living at Troy, Geauga County, Ohio. In 1910, William and Alice’s youngest two children, Clayton and Margaret, were still at home in Troy. By 1920, they had their eldest two, Amy and John, back home and in 1930, just John.
Alice died at Troy in 1931. By 1940, William was living with his married daughter, Margaret Dines, and family at Chillicote Road, Russell, Geauga County. William died at Burton, Ohio, on 1st March 1947. He was buried at Shadyside Cemetery, Auburn Township, alongside his wife.