DAWSON – KIRK and Associated Families by Lynne Pearson nee Dawson.
Robert DAWSON was born 1819 in Grafton Regis, Northampton, the son of John and Elizabeth (nee ROSS) DAWSON who were married in Grafton Regis 10th October 1803. Robert married Elizabeth KIRK at Potterspury 3lst August 1840, the daughter of Daniel KIRK of Yardley Gobion and Susanna BIGNELL who had married 19th November 1810 at St Nicholas in Potterspury. Elizabeth was born C1820 and baptised 21st May 1820 in Potterspury . Robert and Elizabeth (nee ROSS) DAWSON came out to Australia in 1849 on the “St George” with three of their children, George Samuel born 1841, Thomas born 1846, and John Daniel born 1849, another six children were born in Australia, Stephen, Walter, Robert Joseph, Isabella, Clara and Esther. Also on board was another DAWSON family, John and his wife Susannah (nee SMITH) with five of their children, Sarah Ann, Thomas, Mary, William and Hannah. A boy Frederick age five, born 1845 at Potterspury according to St Catherine’s House Indexes, died on the voyage out, do not know from which of the two families he belonged. I have not tied these two DAWSON families together as yet, though from the 1841 Census for Grafton Regis, the four adults plus Thomas age four, and Sarah Ann age five were there. Elizabeth (nee KIRK) had come from a fairly large family, and one of her sisters Hannah had also come out to Australia in 1848 on the “Fairlie”, she had married Noah HORNER in 1843, and they had their three children with them, Sarah Ellen, Edwin and George. A fourth child William was born on the voyage out, two more of their children were born in Australia. Also on board the “Fairlie” were John BLISS and his wife Sarah (nee HORNER) a sister of Noah, they had two boys with them, six more were born in Australia. Another brother was also on board, Thomas BLISS and his wife Louise (nee Johnston). Joseph HORNER a brother of Noah’s was also on board, Joseph’s wife had died and he married again in Australia to Hannah his sister-in-law, his brother Noah had died in 1854 leaving Hannah with six children to bring up. With Joseph on board the “Fairlie” were his two daughters Harriet, who married Patrick DRISCOLL, and Jane who married Samuel MORGAN. William HORNER the father of Joseph, Sarah and Noah came out to Australia the same year on the “Charlotte Jane” with two more of his children, Mary Ann and Ellen. All of these families settled in the Bathurst/Kelso area of New South Wales, and they all seem to be interwoven. The DAWSON, BLISS, HORNER and KIRK families all coming from the same areas in Northampton, and brickmaking was basically a family affair, many of these names occur regularly throughout nineteenth and twentieth century directories in NSW. Hannah, one of the daughters of John DAWSON married George BLISS, the son of John and Sarah (nee HORNER), another son married Catherine ASPREY, and John Daniel DAWSON married her sister Sarah. Another family from the Pottespury/Yardley Gobion area was the BONHAM family who also came to the Bathurst/Kelso area. They must have all known each other back in England and with determination and courage, as the hardships would have been immense in a new land; they overcame it all to help build and populate their new country. This is what I believe to be correct though it may contain some unintentional errors, please let me know of any assumptions I may have made. LYNNE PEARSON (nee DAWSON) 2008