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Samuel & Ann DAWSON, from Ireland to Australia

Journal by oconnorpr

The Dawsons Journey to Australia.

The DAWSON lineage has been traced to Henry Dawson who married Mary Beattie, their location of birth and marriage has not been traced at this time but is believed to be somewhere in England, Scotland or Ireland.

Henry and Mary had at least one child, Samuel Dawson. Samuel was born in 1836 in Fermanagh, Ireland, his occupation is listed as a Sacking Weaver.

Addresses for Samuel are as follows;

1859 was Upper Pleasance, Dundee
1861 census was Pleasance, Dundee.

He married Sarah Walker on the 25 Aug 1857 in Dundee, born 1835, (daughter of John Walker and Elizabeth Riddell), who died 23 Aug 1858 ( three days after the birth of her daughter) in 2 Rosebank Street, Dundee. The cause of death was Retained Placenta with bleeding 3 days after delivery, buried in Dundee Western Cemetery. The daughter that was born was Mary Dawson, born 20 Aug 1858 in 2 Rosebank Street, Dundee, who died on the 6th Sep 1858 in Upper Pleasance, Dundee, cause of death Debility, buried in Western Burying Ground, Dundee

Sarahs recorded address in 1857 was Bonnet Hill, Dundee.

After Sarahs death Samuel married Ann Wighton, (also known as Wightman) on the 11 Aug 1859 in Mary Magdalenes Episcopal Church, Dundee. Ann was born 1838 in Arbroath, (daughter of Alexander Wighton and Jessie Davidson). Her address in 1859 was Scouringburn, Dundee.

When Ann married in 1959 she signed the register "Ann Wightman" but when Samuel registered the birth of Henry in 1860 he gave her name as "Ann Wighton."

They went on to have Henry Dawson, born 28 Oct 1860 in 19 Upper Pleasance, Dundee. There is no record of Henrys death, but to all appearances, he died before or during their voyage to Australia.

Samuel & Ann departed from the port of Plymouth, England at 6.00pm on the 23rd of July, 1862 aboard the vessel the Utopia (949 tons) with 320 passengers on board. There were five births and one child death during the voyage, so she arrived in Rockhampton with 324 passengers.

Family stories have the birth of Olinda Stewart Dawson (daughter of Samuel & Ann Dawson, born on the 29.8.1862) on board the Utopia with her name being derived from the location of her birth (Olinda) and the captains surname (Stewart). This would appear to be confirmed in that she must have been off Nova Olinda, a location described as follows;


Nova Olinda is located 540 km south of Fortaleza, in Vale do Cariri, desert Cear. Sua populao um pouco maior que 11 mil habitantes. Its population is slightly more than 11,000 inhabitants. A cidade foi desmembrada do municpio de Santana do Cariri em 14/03/1957, e recebeu este nome em homenagem cidade pernambucana de Olinda. The city was carved from the council of Santana's Cariri on March 14, 1957, and received this name in tribute to the city of Olinda Pernambuco. This island is off the west coast of Africa


In addition to this, the Captain of the Utopia was definitely named Stewart, so it would appear that the story handed down through the generations is true.

Articles from the Rockhampton Bulletin (November, 1862) indicate that the voyage was more than eventful. The first point of interest is that this was the first direct voyage from England to Rockhampton. On the 27th August, 1862 the Captain notes that they observed a comet, bearing about north, altitude 50 degrees. They passed the Cape of Good Hope on the 26th September (64 days out from Plymouth). On the 27th October, in Lat. 41.4 & Long 149.47E fifteen of the crew knocked off duty, in consequence of some private quarrel among their watch below and they remained refractory to the end of the voyage, when they were handcuffed and conveyed to the lock-up at Rockhampton. In consequence of this insubordination the officers & four seaman were left to work the ship in this dilemma a number of the passengers volunteered their assistance and Captain Stewart desires to return them his kindest thanks for their services which were of greatest value to him, so that he found no difficulty in managing the ship under any circumstances. Those sailors refusing duty were sentenced to 3 months hard labor with a forfeiture of 6 days pay for every days refusal of duty

The vessel ran aground twice during the voyage, suffering no damage, the first grounding (prior to the pilot boarding her) was just short off Kepple Bay, the second was while she was at anchor in the bay.

At this time the movement of Samuel & Ann from Rockhampton has not been discovered, however they must have moved south as the births of the following children is recorded

Alexander Wightman b. Abt 1864 Northmead, Sydney
Samuel b. 1866 Newcastle, NSW
John H b. 1868 d. 1.12.1869 Newcastle, NSW
John Hannah b. 20.11.1869 d. 9.4.1894 Wallsend, NSW
Jessie A b. 1871 Newcastle, NSW
William Henry b. 1874 Newcastle, NSW
Joseph Filmer b. 1876 Lambton, NSW
Matthew Teasdale b. 17.3.1878 North Lambton, NSW
Onor Florence Maud b. 1882, Wallsend, NSW

Samuel was employed as a miner until his death on the 2nd September, 1900. He was buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Wallsend on the 3rd September, 1900 His death certificate states "Injuries accidentally received in the Newcastle Coal Company's "A" pit from a fall of coal. Inquest held at Newcastle 3 November 1900

The following death notices for Samuel were found in Newcastle papers at the time. It would appear that Samuel was committed to organizations that were supporting financially assisting other migrants wishing to come to Australia


Death notices, 25/8/1900 entered by D. Lloyd undertaker, as follows
DAWSON, Friends of the late Samuel DAWSON are invited to attend his funeral. To move from the residence son, Alexander DAWSON, Rose st, Merewether THIS AFTERNOON at 3.15 o'clock, to meet tram at Union Street to Wallsend Cemetery
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DAWSON, - Friends of ONOR, ALEXANDER, SAMUEL, WM, HENRY, JOSEPH and MATTHEW DAWSON, Mr. & Mrs. John SEE and Mr. & Mrs. BREMCHER (?) are invited to attend the funeral of their father and father-in-law respectively. To move from the residence of his son, Alexander Dawson, Rose St, Merewether, Rose St, Merewether THIS AFTERNOON at 3.15 o'clock to meet tram at Union Street for Wallsend Cemetery
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A.O.U.
LOYAL ROSE OF AUSTRALIA LODGE, Lambton* - The members of the above lodge are invited to attend the funeral of the late Brother, SAMUEL DAWSON. The remains will be conveyed to Wallsend TODAY, by the 3 o'clock tram from Newcastle.
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R.M.P.
The members of No. 374, R.B.P., Lambton, are invited to attend the funeral of our late brother, Sir Knight SAMUEL DAWSON. The remains will be conveyed to Wallsend by the 3 tram TODAY The Knights of other Friendly Societies are cordially invited. By Order J. ????????
Edward Price, Registrar
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L.O.L.
The members of the Lodge Star of the Evening No. 10 are hereby invited to attend the funeral of our late brother, SAMUEL DAWSON. Members of sister lodges cordially invited. The remains will be conveyed to Wallsend TODAY by 3 o'clock tram. By Order
JOSEPH PALMER, W.M.
RALPH SNOWBALL, Sec
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*These lodges were DRUID lodges and apparently Newcastle was the 1st town that was approved by England to open this type of lodge. They still exist as Friendly Societies

After Samuels death in 1900, Ann married William Teasdale at the St Johns Church of England, Newcastle on the 3 January, 1903. What is interesting here is that William must have been a close friend of the family prior to the death of Samuel because the 2nd last child of Samuel & Ann is Matthew Teasdale Dawson. Ann lived for another 15 months and died on the 26th April, 1904 in Newcastle. William lived for another 10 years and died in 1914 at Merewether, Newcastle.
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At this no record can be found for the birth of either Samuel or Ann in Ireland or Scotland. If anyone who can assist with information I would be more than grateful to hear from you.

Surnames: DAWSON WHITEMAN WIGHTMAN
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by oconnorpr Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2007-11-01 01:37:07

oconnorpr , from Newcastle, NSW, Australia, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jun 2007. is researching the following names: DARCY, CONNOR, CURTIS and 4 other(s).

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