Dawson Family History

(Header: Bickham House in Kenn, Devon, © Derek Harper.
Owned by the Short family.
John Hughes Dawson (II) worked there as a butler)

In my family we always believed the Dawsons were relative latecomers to Australia.* The first member of my Dawson family came to Australia in 1905.  He was my great-grandfather, Edward Dawson, who brought his wife and children.  One of his sons, Cyril, my grandfather, was aged 13.  That means that my father was a first generation British-Australian

Cyril spent his youth in the Adelaide district, but as an adult took up land in the Eyre Peninsula area, above Port Lincoln.  It was Crown Land, which meant the previous owners were Aborigines before the white folk forced them off.

While the land was new, the area had actually been settled in the early 1830s, the same time as Adelaide.  Scattered around the peninsula were old families who had been there since that date.  My grandfather’s family felt they were newcomers to an old established area.

My gandfather, however, married into an old family of Adelaide that dates back to the very beginnings of that city.  That family was the Hamiltons. There was also an earlier branch of the Dawson family which settled in Western Australia in 1830, started by Elijah Dawson, son of Richard Dawson (IV) & Ann Hughes, at the very beginning of that colony.

So it turns out that the Dawsons have old links to this country.

The family names involved in the extended family tree of the Dawsons in Eyre Peninsula, South Australia



Where did they come from in England?
Although my grandfather lived as a child in Hampshire, the Dawsons originally came from the Isle of Thanet, a rural region in the far eastern end of Kent, and they were there for several generations, back to the 1500s.

But no, they weren’t landed gentry, they were small farmers and agricultural labourers.

I have outlined various details of my family history in the pages of this website.  Please browse the links in the navigation bar on top of the page or the sidebar to find more.

For other branches of my family tree.

I have included a basic list of direct linage.  Please click here to see it by clicking the link above. The full family tree is enormous and too complicated for this site.  I have them placed on separate database websites. You will find a link to these on the Family Tree page.


More Information?
Much of the information on these pages is introductory.  Any family members or genealogists who would like more detailed information, or who would like to contribute and share information, please don’t hesitate to contact me


* Of course all white immigrants to Australia are latecomers since the Aborigines have been here for 50,000 years and the British first came in 1788.



18 Responses to Dawson Family History

  1. Paul Shurte says:

    I have the Dawson family from New South Wales in my Family. They are related to the Skinners and arrived in Australia much earlier that you state. The Dawson was able to pay the passage of many Dawson families to Australia.
    One day I’ll try and reconnect with you and give you more. My grandfather was Charles Frederick Dawson and his brother was James Dawson. Both fought in WW I James was a light hoarse man and my granddad was in Egypt after Gallipoli. He was a runner. The Australia Veterans set my grandfather up to work in the Post Office in Lismore, NSW but ge was from and always wanted to live in Tenterfield where the family were known early as Sheepheard but I’d say they really were stock-man. The women taught school and did the canning and preparing of food.

    • eirenehogan says:

      Thanks for your comments, Paul.

      My immediate family came to Australia in 1905, as I said. Another branch of my family came to Western Australia in 1829/30. We both descend from Dawsons in Kent, UK. You’ll find more information on that at this link; https://mydawsonfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/names/dawson/dawson-biographies/

      There is a long pedigree and a lot of Dawsons in the family in Kent, although it seems the largest number of Dawsons seem to come from Yorkshire.

      Are your Dawsons from the UK? If so, which county did they come from? I wonder if there is a connection? It’d be great to find out if there is.

      If you know more, please do let me know.


      • Eileen Mclean says:

        Hi Eirene…

        I have only just started this quest of finding my Dawson side of my family. I also have the original family Crest. My grandfather’s name was Henry Stuart Dawson. He was born in Glentworth, Lincolnshire England 1867 died in 1945. His father’s name was Edward Dawson. They immigrated to Canada in 1884.


        • eirenehogan says:

          Hi Eileen, hope I did reply to you, although it doesn’t look as if I have.

          Unfortunately I don’t think there is any direct contact with my side of the Dawson family. My ancestors who emigrated from the UK came in 1905 and came from Hampshire. Their origins were actually in Kent, for about 400 years, before that they did come from the north west of England. Maybe ultimately they are connected, but it would be a long way back.


    • Hi Paul
      I’m looking for a Greg Dawson born 1952/53 who lived in Peakhurst in 1971. He used to work at Sydney Airport as a Clerk then. He had a girlfriend named Sheryl and they had a baby boy who was adopted in early 1972. He is my husband and I’m hoping to find Greg. Maybe you know someone in your family who may know him? Cheers Alison

      • eirenehogan says:

        Hi Alison,

        I hope Paul does see your post. Perhaps you could try clicking on his name at the top of his post.

        My Dawson family emigrated to South Australia and there are actually very few descendants of that family in Australia with the Dawson surname as there are more female descendants than male. Up to 1952 there was just a tiny number of male descendants in my line, and none of them are called Greg.

        I do wish you all the best in trying to find her husband’s birth father.


        • Thankyou Eirene,
          I have found further information since posting and am hoping also that Paul will see my post. Thankyou for further details about the family.
          I hope so too!

  2. Barbara King says:

    I have just found your site and have not yet looked into it too closely but certainly will. I am a of the branch of the tree that came into WA in 1830. Elijah Dawson is my great, great, grandfather. I have done a lot on the tree from the time we arrived at the Swan Colony but not prior to that. I will be most interested in what you have on that period. I can see I will be spending a lot of time back in the research of the tree. Thank you for making your data available.
    Best wishes to all who are part of this huge family tree.
    Barb king

  3. eirenehogan says:

    Hi Barbara, exciting to hear from you. I am amazed at how many Dawson connections I am finding from WA. Until only a couple of years ago I never knew the Dawsons had immigrated to WA some 75 years before my branch came to SA. Unfortunately my father never found out as I discovered it after he passed away. I have never heard my aunts and uncle talk of it. Maybe some of them did know but I never heard.

    So it is very exciting to make these contacts.

    I do have a contact in WA, Val Williams, who has been researching your branch of the family for some years, she has done most of the research I have on the UK. I also have a contact in the UK, Gillian Dean, who has a great Ancestry family tree. You can find their details on the ‘sources’ page. I also do have a page on Elijah Dawson, which you should be able to find by using the search button.

    I’d love to hear more of your researches. You can email me if you like, my address you can find under ”Contact”.


    • eirenehogan says:

      Hey Barbara, I did a blog post on Elijah Dawson today, and received a reply from Glenis, another one of Elijah’s descendants. You can have a look at it on the Blog page (which you can find a link to in the navigation bar on top of this page).


  4. steve poole says:

    hi Eirene, my name is steve poole bn in sth aust.my gg/g mother was ELIZABETH LYDIA DAWSON she marr a Charles Henry Hardy.she was bn 23-nov-1843 ? and d 26-jun-1924 in adelaide S.A.her father William Dawson bn 1824 d 16-3-1885.his wife Mary Ellen Hamp bn 19-NOV-1892? in Oxford U.K. d 6-may-1892 in Kapunda sth Aust thats all i have.
    the Martin and Hamilton names do ring a bell
    cheers steve poole

  5. eirenehogan says:

    Hi Steve,
    More Dawsons in SA. I have come across these names in my researching, but I don’t know of any connection to my family. My branch of the family arrived in SA in 1905. They come from Hampshire, but originally the family was in Kent for about 400 years.

    Hamiltons came to Adelaide in 1837, so are among the earliest settlers there. There are many descendants. Do you have any more information on any Hamiltons in your family?


  6. bronwyn dawson says:

    hey there im a dawson bronwyn dawson from portstephens nsw,my father name was james dawson,and my grandfather was named ted dawson.

  7. Colleen Zele says:

    My grand mother was Ellen Lockhart née Scott her mother was Sarah House,
    her Father Charles Frederick Scott.
    His mother was Mary Ann Scott née Dawson
    I have just started to look into my fathers heritage and am very pleased to have found your information .
    Thank you
    Colleen Zele née Lockhart

    • eirenehogan says:

      Hello Colleen,
      Pleased to meet you! Lovely to meet another member of the family. If you want any more information on the Dawsons of WA do go to the page on Elijah Dawson. I would love to hear more about your family tree, so if you would like to email me directly with any info you have and find, please do contact me via the Contact page.
      Good luck with your research.

  8. Carolyn Dawson says:

    Hi, my husband is a Dawson and his relatives emigrated to Tasmania in 1831. His G.G. Grandfather was William Dawson b. 1810 ( son of Sir William and Lady maria Dawson ) and he was married to Ann Lydia Barrett. and they had 10 children. All of them eexcept 2 or 3 of the children emigrated to N.Z. My husbands G.Grandfather remained in Tassie hence the Dawson family here

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