Richard Dawson (V) and Elizabeth Fox.
The Portarlington Story
Phyl Preece wrote that she was told the Dawson family was not originally English, but that John Hughes Dawson’s family came to Cornwall from Ireland. She said there was a family legend that they were descended from an Earl of Portarlington. Portarlington is just west of Dublin, in country Laois, in modern Eire.
As Phyl actually said that the Dawsons came to “Cornwall from Ireland” I would very much doubt this story. This story originally sent me off track for some years, as I searched for Dawson’s in Cornwall. It wasn’t until I found that John had been born in Kent that I began to find John’s ancestors.
The Dawsons had been in Kent for a number of generations. John’s father was Richard Dawson, baptized on 24 April, 1785, the third in a line of Richard Dawsons of Kent going back as far as I have managed to research.
Richard was born in Birchington, Kent, on the Isle of Thanet. He worked as an agricultural labourer and so moved around. He lived for sometime in or near Minster, then moved to Monkton from 1811, but had most probably moved to Reculver soon after 1815. Later in life it appears Richard and Elizabeth moved back to Minster. All of these locations are in Thanet, Kent.
While living in/near Minster Richard married Elizabeth Fox on 13 October 1808. Richard and Elizabeth had five children.
- Richard – baptized 21 May 1809, Minster
- William – “ 18 August, 1810, Minster
- Elizabeth – “ 22 September, 1811.
- Died in infancy. Buried 13 April 1812, Monkton.
- Stephen, “ 6 February, 1814, Monkton
- John Hughes “ 6 August, 1814, Monkton.
Their first child, also named Richard, was born – as researchers of family history will recognise is common – less than nine months after their marriage. Their third child, and only girl, died in infancy, being buried seven months after her baptism.
Richard had one sister two years older than he, and one sister three years younger than he. The rest of his siblings were boys; William, four years younger, John Hughes, six years younger, Stephen nine years younger, Thomas eleven years younger, Elijah twelve years younger, and Richard was 14 when his youngest brother was born.
At this stage I do not know anything more on the other children.