Elijah Dawson, long lost cousin.

My father would always tell me about how his father came to South Australia from the UK in the early 20th century.  He had married into an old line of settlers in SA so he was mockingly proud of his recent UK ancestry but also felt like the new kid on the block.

All my life I knew of this recent immigration, and knew just how many families in Australia carried the Dawson surname and would be related to me, and it was not many – it could be counted on one hand.  So if anyone came up with the name and suggested, ‘maybe you are related,’ I would know straight away if they were or not, and usually they were not.

But all that was to change just a couple of years ago, via internet connections.  I found that there had been an earlier branch of the Dawson clan that had arrived in Western Australia way back in deep colonial days, in 1830.  That is at the very beginning of that colony.  I was stunned, and very excited.  So, my Dawson family is not alone in Australia.

The Dawson who came to WA in 1830 was ELIJAH Dawson (great name, eh?  He was a son of Richard Dawson (IV) and Anne Hughes , younger brother to Richard (V).  That makes him John Hughes (II) Dawson’s uncle.  That is, he is uncle to MY John Hughes, of course Elijah had a brother called John Hughes too.  Whew, this constant repetition of names can be confusing – however, it can also be useful in research, as the repeated name means a family link.  Which makes me wonder why they came up with the name ‘Elijah’?  Maybe they were running out of names, as Elijah was, I believe, the eighth son of Richard and Anne.

Elijah had been in the Napoleonic wars.  (Maybe he fought along side the Prussian Kaiser Alexander Grenadier regiment, with my other ancestor, Carl Schaeche.)

There are a number of researchers into this much larger branch of the Dawson clan in Australia.  I have added some of their information to my website, you can go to this page to find that info and links to the researchers involved.

So, this just shows the benefit of family history research in re-connecting disparate family branches.  I am very happy to get to know my many distant cousins in WA.


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7 Responses to Elijah Dawson, long lost cousin.

  1. glenis giblett says:

    Irene thought you might be interested in this. it is a small write up on Elijah love Glenis

    Elijah was just over 17 years of age when he enlisted in the army and fought
    with the 95th Foot or Rifle Brigade, under Captain Molloy and fought with him at Waterloo. He also served 2 years in Ireland during the troubles there. Five of his brothers who had joined up prior to Elijah also fought at Waterloo.
    Elijah decided to follow Captain Molloy to Western Australia, Molloy married 2 months prior to leaving England, and Elijah 5 months before.
    Elijah and Anne came to Australia on the “Worrior” arriving at Swan River
    12 March 1830 and on the “Emily Taylor” arriving Augusta 2 May 1830.
    Corporal – veteran of Waterloo. Indentured as a servant to J. Molloy for five
    years. In 1833 he owned Augusta lot #1 and was later given lot #2. Freed from indentures in 1834, moved to Vasse with the Bussells in 1834 was employed by him for six months. Was appointed Police Constable at Augusta on 1st April 1835.Purchased Vasse town lot 7, for three pounds in October 1836, and was subsequently appointed constable there, at a salary of 20 pounds p.a. During 1841-1845 lived at “Wonnerup”.

    Elijah was known to have given many hours of labour in work towards building St Marys Church. after its completion he kept the minutes of the services. He was in the land party from Augusta that joined Bussell after his sea landing, with the five Bussell brothers, the three Chapman brothers, George Layman and two soldiers Elijah help with the cutting of a track (now the main street) to the river.

    Elijah moved to Dunsborough in 1846 where he established his farm “Westbrook”.
    A nine roomed cottage of white washed wattle and daub with a thatched roof was built. Later a larger brich house was erected and the old home used as a storeroom, but not for long as it burnt to the ground.
    The brick homestead of Westbrook is still inhabited today, though no longer by Dawsons. Old grapevines and apple trees called Grafensteins still bear fruit.
    Under the old fig tree are parts of an old grist mill, a cauldron for boiling
    waler blubber and wine barrells that Westbrook used to sell to the American
    Records show that education in the area started as early as 1845. Private
    tuition was given by Special Constable Elijah Dawson at his Westbrook property,
    though his police duties often called him away. Various teachers, including
    members of the Dawson family, continued teaching in the Dawson dining room until a stone school was built on the present site in 1884.

    Burial records at St. Mary’s Busselton, soldier of Waterloo, age 88yr 8mnths, cause decay of nature

    • eirenehogan says:

      Hi Glenis, one of my new found cousins from WA.
      Thanks for all of this. Great info. I will transfer some of it the web pages.
      How’s everything going with you?


    • peta meredith says:

      Hello Glenis. You have a good deal of information about Elijah. I too am a descendant of his. His daughter Mary Ann married Frederick William Scott and they are my great great grandparents. I struggle with information about Frederick who was known as William. Some say he had called himself William Dawson as Elijah had taken him in maybe at the battle of waterloo. Some have him as a son of John and Helen Scott first settlers in Bunbury.
      If you know anything concrete about him I would love to know.

      Thank you.

      Peta Meredith

  2. Ashley Neil Dawson says:

    Nice to see some more about Elijah is put on the web. I’m a great great grandson and know their is more in the cupboard.
    Ashley Neil Dawson

  3. Pamela Griffiths says:

    I am also a direct descendant of Elijah Dawson, Elijah was my great great great grandfather .. On June 18 th in Perth there is special Dinner for the 200 th Anniversary of The Battle of Waterloo and descendants of First Settlers who caught in the battle were invited to attend. I am looking forward to hopefully meeting some new found relations.

  4. eirenehogan says:

    Hello to all the WA cousins. Sorry I have not answered you all at the time, but very glad to make the contact.

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