Edward Dawson


Father: John Hughes Dawson
Son: Cyril Dawson


Edward was born and grew up in a small town in Cornwall, UK.  His was descended from a long line of agricultural workers in Kent, all living near very small towns.  Edward’s own father broke away from that lifestyle, taking up work in domestic service and moving away from Kent.  By the time he was twelve, in 1871, however, Edward’s family had moved from Cornwall into Exeter in Devon.

While in Devon as a young adult Edward was working in accounting, in 1881 (UK Census), but at some stage was also apprenticed to an early photographer named Angell, in the small fishing village of Paignton, on the coast of Devon.

By the 1880s Edward was living in Hampshire and working as a photographer with George West.  He married George’s daughter, Maria, in 1886.

In that period her name was pronounced as Mariah (“Ma-rye-a”; that is, with a long ‘i’, not a short ‘i’).  She liked to be known by her full name, Maria, but was usually known by the shortened form Ria (pronounced with a long ‘i’).

Ria and Edward eventually had three children, but at first they had several still born births – boys.  I do not know if there were also girls.  Bertie, the first child to survive, was given the second name of Victor, as a sign of victory for his survival.  It was said that his first name of Hubert was given after Edward’s elder brother Hubert.

In 1905 Edward moved, with Maria and their three children, away from the towns of Hampshire, of modern Britain, out to the colony of South Australia.  The family initially stayed in Adelaide but soon moved to Tumby Bay in Eyre Peninsula.  Ultimately Edward and Ria moved with their son, Cyril, out to the farmlands of Eyre Peninsula near Lock in the 1920s.

Edward died in 1950 and was buried in the small rural town of Lock, South Australia.

* * *

Family oral history
UK Census records
UK Parish Records


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