Tracing the Dawson family who emigrated from Lancashire UK to NSW Australia in the early 1900's :: Genealogy
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Tracing the Dawson family who emigrated from Lancashire UK to NSW Australia in the early 1900's

Query by dottydawson

I am hoping someone may be able to help trace my long lost Dawson relatives whom emigrated from Bolton, Lancashire, in the early 1900's. There was Leah Dawson who emigrated in 1909 with her young son Harry, another son then followed in 1910 called Harold who also brought his two younger sisters Ethel and Mabel. My great grandfather Albert Robert then followed in 1912 bringing his wife Annie and 2 young children, he died only a couple of years later in the Gallapoli war so his wife Annie returned home thus this is how our side of the Dawson family carried on in the UK. I am now sadly the last Dawson and really do want to trace my long lost relatives. Any help would be tremendous :)

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by dottydawson Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-09-21 14:01:37

dottydawson , from Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Sep 2012.

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by dottydawson on 2012-09-22 02:36:47

Its seems they all resided in New South Wales Australia, my great great gran Leah being buried in Radwick Methodist Cemetery. Leah is certainly the mysterious side of our family and has been a real difficult one to trace. She was born Mary Ellen Walsh, married Robert Dawson, he died so she changed her name to Leah and emigrated to Australia in 1909 bringing only one of her children Harry who was around 12 years old at the time. Harold who was 18 then followed in 1910 bringing Leah's younger daughters Ethel (15) and Mabel (10. There are two more sons whom I know she had but I cannot find them anywhere..tried the UK census, births deaths marriages etc. Leah had only been in Australia 4 months and she married a chap called John Denis Coakley, I think he died young and may have left her with quite a good inheritance as I know when she died she had a fairly big estate. I need to get hold of any burial records etc that can lead me in the direction of finding out who the two missing boys are as it is driving me crazy. I have all this family in Australia and know nothing about them.

by asheppard on 2012-09-23 02:07:47

i found this for Leah, states married, occupation let apartments

1901 England Census about Leah Dawson
Name: Leah Dawson
Age: 31
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1870
Relation: Wife
Gender: Female
Where born: Staleybridge, Lancashire, England

Civil parish: Bolton
Ecclesiastical parish: Bolton le Moors Holy Trinity
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England

Street Address: 126 Westbrook Street

Occupation: Let Apartments

Condition as to marriage: married

Registration district: Bolton
Sub-registration district: Great Bolton
ED, institution, or vessel: 3
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 30
Piece: 3624
Folio: 38
Page Number: 5

Household Members:
Name Age
Leah Dawson 31
Albert R Dawson 11
Harold Dawson 9
Mable F Dawson 1

Harry Cowper 18 Boarder
Henry Wm Methall 32 Boarder
William Sharp 33 Boarder
David C Sharp 31 Boarder
Thomas Hoyle 25 Boarder

States all children born Staleybridge Lancashire

Possibly Ethel in 1901

1901 England Census about Ethel M Dawson
Name: Ethel M Dawson
Age: 7
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1894
Relation: Scholar
Gender: Female
Where born: Bolton, Lancashire, England

Civil parish: Bolton
Ecclesiastical parish: Lever Bridge St Stephen and All Martyrs
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England

Street Address: The Orphanage

Occupation: Attending School

Registration district: Bolton
Sub-registration district: Great Bolton
ED, institution, or vessel: 40
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 50
Piece: 3629
Folio: 94
Page Number: 10
Household Members:
Name Age
Alice H Anderson 51 Matron of Institution
Rachel E Alcock 35 School Mistress
Eliza A Lomax 31 Assistant Matrom

Ethel M Dawson 7 Attending School

There are quite a few girls in ranging ages from 19 to 7 some are attending school and some are training for service - Ethel is attending school.

Her marriage to John Denis Coakley in Queensland

Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950 about Leah Dawson
Name: Leah Dawson
Spouse Name: John Denis Coakley
Marriage Date: 26 Nov 1909
Marriage Place: Queensland
Registration Place: Queensland
Registration Year: 1909
Registration Number: B008241
Page Number: 6283

Is this Leah Dawson death you refer to

Australia Cemetery Index, 1808-2007 about Leah Dawson
Name: Leah Dawson
Death Age: 61
Birth Date: abt 1875
Death Date: 16 Apr 1936
Death Location: Prince Henry Hospital Little Bay
Cemetery: Randwick Methodist
Section: Section E Grave 119
Cemetery Location: New South Wales

Did she revert to her previous married name after John Denis Coakley died??

by janilye on 2012-09-23 04:18:24

Unfortunately NSW Births deaths and marriages online are not available till tomorrow but here's a little bit about Albert Robert to kick it off;
When Albert Robert Dawson first joined the 3rd Battalion AIF on the 17 August 1914 he was 24 years and 10 months. He gave his occupation as 'safe maker' and stated that he had been apprenticed to the Chatswood Safe Co., and had worked with them for 7 years. his next of kin was his wife Mrs. Annie Dawson of Woodburn Rd., Lidcombe, Sydney.
Then after he was killed on 14-8-1915 she moved back to Bolton and according to records with the Army at Base Records she recieved her pension paid to her firstly at Woodburn Rd., Lidcombe, Sydney on the 4-10-1915 then on the 31 March 1916 she was drawing it at 113 Locke St., Bolton, Lancashire. In August 1920 she was living at 18 Locke Street.
Now on June 5th 1967 a letter was received at base records from Albert Dawson the son of the deceased requesting, (under the War Service Estates Act) the badge the Australian Govt. was issuing to all soldiers who served at Gallipoli. He gave his address as 103 Old Farm Rd., Stechford, Birmingham, England. (there was also a daughter named Ivy)
His wife Annie was Annie ROYLANCE and they were married at Bolton on the 16 April 1910. Annie died on the 29 June 1931 at Bolton.
Daughter Ivy was born 28 July 1910
Son Albert was born on the 5 November 1911
Another son Robert was born on the 26 June 1914 and died on the 29 December 1915
Albert Robert died in Shrapnell Valley and was buried where he fell by Dean Talbot whom I believe was the coy. Chaplain.
Now on the 16 September 1937 the Public Trustee in Sydney who were representing the estate of Leah Dawson wrote to the officer in charge of base records requesting a certificate of death for Albert Robert and information of Albert's wife and children. It was Base Records reply to this letter which gave me the above information on Annie and the children.

by janilye on 2012-09-23 05:02:03

Leah did revert to Dawson.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 16 April 1937


-In loving memory of our dear mother, Leah Dawson,
who passed away April 16. 1936.
In silence we remember.
Inserted by her loving daughter, Ethel, son-in-law John.

Her Death Certificate should have all her children's names on it.
Probate for the will of Leah Dawson was twice before the Supreme Court
in November 1937 but I have not found when it was granted If you could get a copy of that you would get all the names.
When opens again tomorrow have a look and see who it was Ethel married. You might be able to trace her.

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 05:36:25

Wow...thank you so much for your much appreciated help. I have found quite a lot out about Leah but there are things that you have mentioned I did not know, very very impressed. Leah did revert to her Dawson name after John Denis Coakley passed ( I am presuming he died). The mystery is why she changed her name from Mary Ellen to Leah before emigrating to Australia and also the children. The two boys which were mentioned in a letter that Harold wrote whilst in the 1st world war asking for compassionate leave as his mother (Leah) was in a bad mental state. Up until then I thought there was only Albert Robert (my great grandad), Harold, Harry, Ethel and Mabel but he stated that she had lost 2 sons in the war ( 1 was Albert Robert) so I dont have a clue who the other one was, he also said she had 5 sons all together and 2 daughters...this threw us big style. We have been on the Church records, census, you name it but can only find the births of Albert Robert, Harold and Harry as these are the only ones with the mothers Maiden name on them, also in those days everyone had the same names...nightmare. We have also checked the ships records but cannot seem to find these mysterious boys. Again I cannot thank you both enough for your help, it is very much appreciated. My mum was the only child of Albert Dawson and he really did not speak about his family much, I suppose he didnt really remember his father and his mother Annie died at the age of 42 after returning to the UK... its been an emotional journey up to now and im sure I will shed a few more tears on the way xxx

by janilye on 2012-09-23 06:07:57

Albert Robert kept a diary which was his only personal effect with him in Gallipoli. I assume it was sent to Annie but cannot find a receipt or record. I would have thought if she did receive it that it would have been passed on down

Better get ready for a few more tears here's a photo of him and a story Bugler Albert Robert Dawson

I'll have a look for the other 2 boys.

by janilye on 2012-09-23 06:11:14

Here's a better image Albert Robert Dawson

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 06:25:03

Hi, oh yes I did find this photo and the emotions were rolling, I now have a copy of it which I am going to was the first time my mother had ever seen a photo of her grandfather and she is now looking into flights to Turkey to visit his war grave, we have also ordered a copy of the baby Roberts death certificate as he died in Australia so would be nice to find his grave...we didnt know about him as my grandad never mentioned, he was a very deep person bless.
We also presumed the diary went to Annie and his medals although my partner has wrote to the Australian army to find out more, we are waiting for a reply. I am so impatient though, I am having many a sleepless night trying to find out more about where my grandad came from on the computer till silly hours. It is very interesting and enjoyable though. Again thank you so much for your help x

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 06:26:23

p.s I have just opened the link and had not seen the one where it said he died for King and country...tears are here xxx

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 06:36:54

Tears are still going..I have sent the link to my mum, I had only found the photo of my great grandad online and notes of when he died etc from the war memorial, I had never found the details about his being killed in action...I really cannot thank you enough :) x

by janilye on 2012-09-23 06:47:12

Okay there was Harry Victor Dawson he was 18 1/2 and worked for the railways when he joined up at Holsworthy, NSW. on the 23 August 1915. Service No. 4169.
His Mother Leah was at the time living in Notting Hill Rd.,Lakemba but later moved to 283 Liverpool St., Sydney.
Harry Victor went overseas on 22 October 1916, was wounded in France on the 9 April 1917, severe gunshot wound face and left ear. Went to hospital in Birmingham. Returned to Australia on the 25 August 1917. Discharged 2 February 1918.
In 1936 he was living at New Lines Rd., West Pennant Hills, Sydney
Then at 393A Bourke St., Darlinghurst
In 1938 he was living at 52 Willis St, Kingsgrove, Sydney I found this address on a stat dec. when he had applied for a position with The Commonwealth Public Service and he had lost his discharge papers. He had been on a military pension and stated it was not enough to manage on.
He certainly moved around a lot and it took them 2 years to replace his discharge papers.

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 07:15:24

He certainly did move around a lot, by the looks of it Leah did also, mind you when she died she had a fair amount of properties which may have came from her husband. I think she may have went to Australia to marry also as they were wed 4 months after her arrival, very strange why she did not keep his name though. I wonder if Harold make the story up about the other brothers or if it was close friends whom he classed as brothers?

by janilye on 2012-09-23 07:45:36

I found a letter from Harold requesting urgent leave to return to Australia from Egypt- In it he says he had 2 brothers killed and 1 other serving with him there in Egypt. Have you seen it?

Harold Dawson was 21 years and 11 months old when he joined up at Randwick on the 1st September 1914 - the month after Albert joined up.
Harold gave his occupation as Coachbuilder and his nok at his mother Leah who was at the time living at 253 Liverpool St., Sydney His Service No. 166.
He was in the Gallipoli Landing 25 April 1915.
How uncanny he received a gunshot wound to the right side of face on the 11 May 1915, not serious rejoined his Batt. 10 days later, then went out with a hernia on the 24 January 1916.
He made Seargent
On the 12 April 1967 his address was 24 Raglan St., Malabar, Sydney I noticed Leah was living in Maroubra (next door) in 1933
Leah was in Melbourne as well, a couple of times

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 08:17:18

My partner and myself said the same it was so uncanny both brothers received the similar wounds but also Harry is a shortened name for Harold, although they are both certified so both separate boys. I did see that letter and that is what threw me as both Harold and Harry survived so who is the other? and in the same letter he said he had 4 brothers which made 5 sons. Oh yes and both brothers had hernias, mind you I did giggle a little at little Harry, he was only 5ft 4 and by his file was a little live wire, went aw-all for a few days. I have a lovely photo of Harold...or maybe Harry which my auntie Ivys daughter sent to me, Ivy being my grandad Alberts sister, the two small children of Albert Robert. I have started my tree on, I shall see if I can put a link on and can show you how far I have got x

by janilye on 2012-09-23 16:40:29

Ethel May DAWSON b: 1895 Bolton married John DUNN at Newtown in 1927 died in 1974
Mabel Florence DAWSON b: 1900 Bolton died 1944 Redfern, Sydney married Leslie G SOUTER in Sydney in 1920
Harold DAWSON b:1891 in Bolton, Lancashire died in 1969 in Newtown
Harry Victor DAWSON b: 1897 in Bolton married Dorothy B Lee at Randwick in 1931.


by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 17:13:10

Can I ask how you managed to find the deaths as I have been at it all day, my eyes are meeting my nose at the moment :)

by dottydawson on 2012-09-23 18:33:17

Do you also know how I can find out if they had finding that bit really difficult x

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