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Dinah BRADBEER married Frederick OATEN 11th March 1832 at St. Giles Church, Thurloxton, near Bridgwater (Dinah was the great-great-granddaughter of the infamous Sarah Bradbeare of 1664). Between 1832 and 1855 they produced thirteen children, all born within a ten-mile radius of Taunton. However, the need to provide for such a large family meant that Frederick had to look further afield in order to improve his chances as a coach spring maker. At some point after the birth of their last child in 1855 and before the 1861 census, Frederick and Dinah took their large family and joined the many country people who were hoping to make a better life for themselves in the West Country capital of Bristol.
This was just the beginning of the OATEN migration for although some of Frederick and Dinah’s children remained in Bristol, others moved to other parts of the country and even other parts of the world.
Dinah's husband, Frederick OATEN died of Bronchitis on 22nd January 1888, at 27 Gladstone Street, Bristol, aged 74. His son Fred, who lived a short distance away at Lawrence Hill, was the informant. Less than four months later Dinah OATEN died in 13th May 1888 at the home of her daughter, Theresa JOINT, at 6 Brandon Street, St. George’s Road, Bristol. Dinah was 77 years old. A romantic might say that this was the result of a broken heart, after losing her partner after a marriage lasting 56 years, and they may be correct. However, the physical conditions that brought about her death were Bronchitis and a weak heart.
During their time together, Frederick and Dinah had achieved the near impossible for those times. They had produced a family of thirteen and with one exception, all had reached adulthood, had married and had families of their own. When Frederick and Dinah decided to uproot themselves and move their family from the relative tranquillity of Somerset, to the grime and squalor of the industrialised city of Bristol, they could little have realised the consequences of their action. The move was instrumental in providing a springboard for the future of the OATENS. Some remained in Bristol and prospered, whilst others chose to seek opportunities in the New World. The journey from Taunton may have been one small step for a man, but was one giant step for the future generations of OATENS.