William Henry Dorman was born in 1803 at Chelmsford Essex. He came to Stafford in 1830, when he was appointed Minister at the Zion Congregational Church in Martin Street. He married one of the Congregation in 1832. Selina Augusta Robinson was the daughter of William Robinson, a prominent civil engineer. The following year, the first son was born, and took the same Christian names as his father. William’s sister Joanna Dorman moved to Stafford to live with the family. She eventually married Edwin Bostock, who was involved with the development of Stafford’s Shoe industry.
In 1835, the family moved to Islington, where Rev’d William Dorman took up a more important position. However, he eventually transferred to the Plymouth Brethren. By 1840 the Dorman family were living at Tostock Old Hall (Nr Stowmarket Suffolk). William and Selina went on to have four more children. In 1845, he became Minister of the local Brethren Congregation in Reading. William Jnr began his engineering career as apprentice to the Royal Mail Steamship Co. in Southampton. This was followed by a spell as Draughtsman at a Thameside Marine engine manufacturer. He eventually became an Engineering Consultant, based in Westminster. His knowledge of metallurgy and heat treatment of metals became important in his future career. Around 1862, William Jnr married Eliza Littlewood, and moved to Sweden. Here he worked equipping a silver mine for Mr Bostock. The couple start a family there, with George E and John Ehrenfried born in 1865 & 6. A daughter, Katherine Selina, was born in Sweden before the family return to Staffordshire. William Snr died at Stafford in September 1876, followed 3 years later by Emma, his second wife.