Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - D is for .....

D is for...... .Dawson & Dubbo

Sometime ago, the wife of a relative asked me to look " into the family, they (children and grandchildren) might want to know when I have gone"  Over the next almost 20 years I did little bits of research as the data and opportunity presented itself. The individual in question allowed me to borrow a book about part of her family that had been published and gave me a few notes. 

Then in 2000 that individual came to England. During that visit we talked about what she knew, what she had heard and formed a vague tree from those limited details. 

After the individual returned to Australia I did little bits of research, but in recent months, in preparation for my visit, I have pulled out the data once again. After all, I plan to spend some time researching my own lines, and in my experience,opportunities and research can present themselves at the strangest time and locations. Leave no stone unturned!

I actually know very little of the Dawson's. The individual believed that Robert Dawson was a convict from Ireland. I think the timing is a little off, and we need to go a generation back if that is the case. That said, I located by email a descendant of the family who has shared their research with me. I am in the process of transcribing it in to a tree so that I can retrace steps and data and I plan to share whatever I find as I explore this further.

Now I am sure the non genealogical readers will be wondering why bother with someone's family who is not mine. The lady in question was married to my Mother's first cousin. When I arrived in Australia having trampled around Canada, Honolulu and Fiji I was immediately accepted and welcomed. I was the first member of her husband's family to make contact since the Second World War. That acceptance and love I can not explain, except to say this little story. I had been away from their home in New South Wales and this lady was eager to take me into town to show me something. We waited for the bus and a lady who knew my relative said, "I thought I had met all your children", the response was "ah, this is my plus one" 

Dubbo is a town in New South Wales, who initially belonged to the Tubbagah People of the Wiradjuri Nation. It was recorded as a Village in 1849, a Town in 1872 and a City in 1966. It has an interesting history and on my visit to Australia in 1996 I visited Dubbo with my husband and my Cousin and her husband. We stayed over at a local Motel and one of the places we visited was the Gaol.
A photograph of the entrance to the Old Dubbo Gaol on Macquarie Street.  Dubbo Gaol was opened initially as a courthouse lock up in 1847. It became an official Gaol in 1859 and remained so until 1966 when it was closed and due for demolition. It was though saved and is now preserved as a museum. At the time I visited, I was completely unaware of a convict connection, but even so, life inside this Gaol would have been hard for its occupants, I do not believe it would have compared to life as a transported convict. 

That said, we had a lovely day there, took lots of photos and created some happy memories. The day we visited it was hot - it was 40 degrees centigrade and it was a pleasure to explore the insides of the Gaol. 

The link for the A-Z Challenge 2011 post is HERE


  1. Learning one's family history can be an adventure. And, your posts reminds me I have some research I promised my aunt last summer!

  2. Genealogy is pretty cool. I started to build our family tree but grew dissatisfied when running up on a plethora of sites that wanted money to research what amounted to dead ends. That left me frustrated and thus I have backed off for now. I am still very interested, however, I believe I will do a lot more legwork of my own before 'buying' someone else stuff.

    1. Try ancestry this weekend free to celebrate the 1940 census release in the US. Of course, it is the people you meet along the way, who share info & expertise that make it a great obsession.

  3. on eof the great pleasures of familynhistroy isnthe kindness you receive from near-strangers. far from home I'm sure you love d being made so welcome. And of course the genies among us understood entirely helping with someone else's research ;-)

  4. Good to see you on A-Z. I've recently been tracing my family - so far back to the early 1800s and have been amazed at the size of the families and the number of relatives who kept pubs!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Bob. Are you doing it this year? I am trying desperately to get round all the blogs, but am getting sidetracked reading lots of blogs!

  5. It's interesting what kind of family history you can dig up! Reading this post reminded me a bit of the PBS show Finding Your Roots. :)

    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, we have Who Do You Think You Are here and can not, sadly, get the US version!


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