Thanks to the efforts of Marisha McAuliffe, whose Great-Grandmother was Bridget Mary Watson, the daughter of James Donaldson and Margaret Watson, it has come to light that our families can boast a lineage back to the Scottish Royal family and well as the Royal Families of England and Europe!
James Donaldson Watson was born on 29 Oct 1833 in Cellardyke, Fife. He was baptized on 18 December 1833 in Kilrenny, Fife. He died on 15 April 1914 in Rochester, Victoria, Australia. James Donaldson Watson and Catherine Fogarty were married on 20 July 1859 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. According to their marriage certificate Catherine was born on 25 March 1840 in Kings County (County Offaly), Ireland. She died on 18 August 1921 in Rochester, Victoria, Australia. This photo of their family was taken about 1910.
Standing L to R William James, Vice Versa Catherine and/or Jane , Thomas, Margaret, Bridget (Snout) and Julia (killed in Rochester train and buggy collision 1912)
Front Seated L to R Michael O’Brien (blinded in accident when building bridges in Winchelsea),Watson Pioneer and Patriarch James Donaldson Watson born Fifeshire Scotland buried Pinegrove, his wife Catherine Fogarty born Kings County buried Pinegrove and Alexander (with one leg) next to his mother.
Margaret born 1865 died 1943 married Thomas Brereton 1893, had 6 children
Julia born 1867 died 1912(killed in buggy/train accident) married John Murphy 1899, 0 children
Jane born 1870 died 1952 married Thomas O’brien 1894, 12 children
Catherine born 1873 died 1934 married Eldred Cox 1902, 3 children
Bridget born 1875 died 1966 married Daniel McAuliffe 1912, 3 children
William James Watson married Catherine Quigg. four children, buried Rochester 1962
Thomas Watson married Margaret Egan, four children, buried September 1929 Pine Grove
Alexander Watson unmarried buried Pine Grove June 1929
Thomas Watson (son of James Donaldson) with wife Margaret (nee Egan) and their four children about 1904-06.
|Thomas Watson (holding Rita)and family, Alexander Hugh on the left.|
From Left Alexander Hugh age 8-10, his Father Thomas age 41-43 nursing Margaret Rita Mary (Rita) age 4-6, Catherine (Katie) age 15-17, his mother Margaret Egan age 34-36 and James Alexander Donaldson (JD) age 13 – 15.
Later on, maybe 1920s:
|Beanleigh, Tennyson 1919|
Back row: Thomas with Rita his sons Alexander Hugh (Sandy) and James Donaldson (Jimmy).
Front row: Aunty Katie & Hubert GLADMAN, Aunty Annie (nee SLATTERY) (Thomas’ 2nd wife), Thomas’ mother Catherine FOGARTY/Watson, Monica MCAULIFFE, Bridget MCAULIFFE (Thomas’s sister), Jackie MCAULIFFE, Maurice & Elsie May WATSON (nee FULLERTON), Don’s Mother, the photo was taken about late 1919 early 1920, Maurice was born Nov 1918, he looks about 12 months old.
Catherine FOGARTY died in 1921. The photo was taken at “Beenleigh” which is about one mile south of the “Rockleigh” property.
Portaits of Thomas Watson and wife Margaret (Egan)
|Thomas and Margaret Watson|
|James and Elsie Watson|
Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Watson on their wedding day 25 October 1925:
|Alex and Jean Watson|
A few of the clan about 1940.
|Alexander Watson, second from the left, Ruth Stewart (Nanny) far right.|
Others in the above photo: Rob Stewart with the tie, next to Nanny. Possible Bruce Watson behind his Uncle Rob. Rupert wearing the hat? Ian (Tiny) in front of Alex. Beryl and Elaine in the front row.
Watson Family Reunion, White Hills gardens about 1971
|Watson Re-union 1971|
Alexander was the son of Thomas and Margaret (nee Egan). Florence Jean, better known as Jean was the daughter of Dougal and Ruth (nee Crossman) Stewart. They married about 1928 and had five children, Rupert, Bruce, Ian, Elaine and Beryl.
The Watson and Stewart families both own properties at Tennyson, Northern Victoria, in very close proximity, on opposite of the main road. The homesteads were less than a kilometre apart.
Wedding photo take at Glenayr (Nanny Stewart’s home) Monday 5 October 1928
|Wedding of Alexander Watson and Florence Jean Stewart|
A young Alexander (Sandy)
|Alexander Hugh Watson|
The Wedding Day:
|Alex and Jean|
Home sweet home, the boys on their bikes:
|Rupert, Ian (Tiny) and Bruce astride bicycle|
Anyone for tennis?
|Alex, a champion tennis player|
|Jean ready for action.|
The family car:
|The Jewett Jowett|
|Alex and Jean heading to town|
Perhaps a day at the races:
|Florence Jean Watson|
|Jean and Alex Watson|
As years go by:
|Elaine and Alexander, Elaine’s wedding 1956.|
|Jean and Alex Watson at daughter Elaine wedding, January 1956|
|Elaine and Beryl|
|Bruce and Rupert Watson|
|Bruce and Rupert|
The Watson siblings:
|Back: Rupert, Ian and Bruce. Front Elaine, unknown, Beryl|
|Rupert, Beryl, Elaine and Ian Watson about 1950|
|Bruce, Elaine, Rupert, Beryl and Ian|
Provided by Sherree Haring (nee Lawrence), (6th descendent from William Watson Cellardyke Fife, Scotland and 4th descendent from James Donaldson Watson his Grandson, who migrated from Cellardyke to Australia in 1854, during the Gold Rushes, on the ship Oliver Lang when he was 20 years old).
|The Kingdom of Fife|
|The cargo of Gravestones went straight to the ocean’s floor|
Ship: 1224 tons
Captain: Joseph Mundle
Sailed London June 18th 1858 – arrived Wellington September 18th 1858
White Wings – Sir Henry Brett
|James Donaldson Watson, his wife Catherine Fogarty* and their eight children and Thomas O’brien at Tennyson Victoria Australia about 1910.|
where her sister Mary already resided (perhaps as a housekeeper).
A wedding is a special event and fortunately photographers have captured history for us to enjoy and ponder over. These photos include the decendants of James Donaldson Watson and some of their much love relatives.
Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart, 1928 :
|Alex and Florence Jean Watson Wedding|
|Alexander and Jean Watson Wedding|
Alexander’s older brother James Alexander Donaldson Watson and Elsie May Fullerton on their wedding day:
|James Alexander Donaldson and Elsie Watson|
Rupert Egan Watson (son of Alexander Hugh) and Frances Rita Rogers pictured in the Godwin family home at Berriwillock, Victoria on their wedding day 1954:
|Rupert and Frances Watson|
Bruce William Watson and Eileen Staley with their wedding party 1954?
|Bruce and Eileen Watson|
|Bruce and Eileen Watson Newly Wed.|
And capturing the class and beauty of a bygone era, the “girls”:
|Eileen Staley on her wedding day|
Ian Watson (Tiny) and Elsie Collins on their wedding day:
|Ian and Elsie Watson|
Elaine Watson and Noel Lawrence on their wedding day, 1955:
|Noel and Elaine Lawrence|
Beryl Watson and Ron Fiedler on their wedding day, 4 June 1955.
Bridesmaids – Elaine Watson and Nancy Fiedler. Groomsmen – Brian Kelly and Alan Duckling
Russell Alexander Watson and Patrica Lang on their wedding day 1972?
|Sam and Trish Watson
L/R Laurie Stewart, unknown, Sam, Trish, Gary Young, Unknown
These newly weds on the banks of the Murray River in Echuca on 12 March 1983 are Sherree Lawrence and Ron Haring:
|Kevin Hansen, Maria Bongiovanni, Ron and Sherree Haring|
ANNIE MAY STEWART
16-6-1915 – 15.3.2010
Annie May was born the second daughter of Michael and Caroline Slattery. Her mother died when she was 4 years old, she recounted that she watched the funeral procession from over the fence where she was being minded for the day – not really understanding that it was her mother’s funeral.
She and her big sister Maggie were cared for by Grandad, Mick Slattery until Maggie was 16 and Annie was 10. They lived at Bamawm and travelled by horse & cart to Rochester for provisions and to Lockington and Tennyson to attend Mass; they were happy years according to Annie.
Mick was determined to keep his girls together, however in about 1925 Maggie went to work and Annie went to live with her Aunty Annie and Uncle Tom Watson at ‘Rockleigh’ at Tennyson.
This began Annie’s association with ‘Rockleigh’.
She had begun school at Bamawm Estate School and then to Tennyson School where she swapped sandwiches with Alan Stewart who live nearby. She used to swap her cold lamb Sangers for his plum jam Sangers; they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!
When she was 20 she married Alan and their first born was Margaret, followed sadly by a stillborn boy Alan Douglas, Annie spent her 21st birthday in hospital in Bendigo. Times were tough for Annie
and Alan, they moved house many times and the babies came at two yearly intervals. Yvonne (Vonnie), Dorothy, Eileen, Ian, Geoffrey, John who sadly was born prematurely in 1946 when Annie had a severe case of measles, lived for 5 days. In 1947 the family moved to Pinegrove and Christopher was born a few weeks later. In 1950 Laurie entered this world.
Annie & Alan then bought Rockleigh from the Watson family and Annie came into her own. She lived and breathed for that farm and the cows. Alan had a side line of rearing pigs hence the saying many would have heard as he left the pub, “I’d better get home, Mum will be wild and the pigs are not fed”. They worked hard to provide for the 8 children and to ensure they received a secondary education.
|Annie May Stewart at Rockleigh|
Annie could turn her hand to, most things; gardening, sewing, cooking, and of course cutting thistles
on the farm. Sewing – she made clothes out of the most amazing things, even shoes made for the children out of a felt hat with card board soles. Her four daughters must have tested her patience with all kinds of requests but she made many beautiful evening gowns for example Vonnies debutante frock and wedding gown and frocks for Margaret for the Belle of Belles Ball.
Nothing stumped her, she wouldn’t let it. Gardening; she managed to make a great show of her garden. And she loved her chooks, providing lots of friends with eggs for $1 a dozen (delivered to the door). Cooking; well we all know about Grandmas cooking. Her sponge lilies and lady fingers were legendary, from suppers at Milloo Hall, to afternoon tea at the Golf Club and many weddings and parties in between. Cutting thistles; she certainly did a fair job of keeping the thistles under control out on Rockleigh even in 80C heat.
While living at Pinegrove, the family took their turn at providing board for the school teacher. This teacher was Eileen Staley who later married a nephew, Bruce Watson. Eileen has never forgotten her time living with the Stewarts and certainly has never forgotten Annie.
In 1965 Annie and Alan moved into Lockington where they rented a house while Laurie completed his schooling in Echuca. Annie continued to board school teachers from Lockington Consolidated School and was a popular land lady indeed. In 1971 they moved into a new home they had built in Lucas Crescent, Annie’s dream home a triple brick veneer, the ultimate!
Unfortunately 1971 saw Alan succumb to having cancer. She was a widow at 56. However she didn’t allow herself to be daunted by this, she even enrolled in night school in Echuca to learn wood work so she could ‘fix things’. Still we all know she relied very much on hay band. It was used to tie trees and shrubs, mend handles on shovels, plus anything else she needed to tie together. She continued
to work out at Rockleigh as well as making a lovely home in Lucas Crescent.
For years the grandchildren found grandmas “a home away from home”, even the cabin was an extra bedroom. A keen golfer, she enjoyed many years of playing at Lockington Golf Club and travelling to tournaments. A perpetual putting trophy in Annie’s honour is played for over the Championships at the Club.
She also was a keen card player enjoying Euchre and travelling for Euchre parties in Elmore etc. She was used to dealing with worries but she suffered much sadness when we lost Ian in 1985 and her sister Maggie in 1995 and Margaret in 1997. The arrival of all the babies over the latter years gave much pleasure. Whenever a baby was placed on her lap she would immediately smile. Annie had 106
descendents who remember her with much pride. Indeed, a life well lived!
(written by a Stewart family member)
|Alan and Annie Stewart with family:
L/R Ian(Charlie), Eileen, Geoffrey, Yvonne (Vonnie), Lawrence (the Red Bull), Margaret, Christopher (Wick) and Dorothy.
The wedding of Margaret Stewart and Frank Smith at the Sacred Heart Catheral, Bendigo Victoria.
|Wedding of Frank and Margaret Smith
L/R: Eileen, Frank (Ned) McIntyre, Yvonne, unknown, Frank and Margaret, Noel (Nobby) O’brien, Dorothy
Jean and Alex Watson about 1940
Alexander Hugh Watson
(Story is thought to be by Elaine Watson/Lawrence)
Original Story written by Jim Slattery 17/12/1971
Jim Slattery acknowledges:
..A debt of gratitude to the many people who volunteered information and help for the compilation
of this family history. In particular he wishes to thank Mr. Jack McCauliffe for the wealth of information he has given and his mother who has been a constant source of detail over the years.
(Jack McCauliffe and Jim Slattery were cousins whose mothers were James Watson’s daughters and our Great Grand Grandfather Thomas Watson’s nephews)
Our Great Grand Grandfather James Watson….after a voyage of 2 months arrived in Melbourne with 6/- and a pound of rice.
He found work in Geelong as a stonemason for 12/- per day, much more than he could have earned in Scotland at the time. The high wages were a result of the Gold Rush labour shortage.
Some months later he went gold mining in Beechworth and was present at the Yackandandah Pitch.
A few years later he returned to work as a stonemason in the Geelong area. He worked on the building of the Barwon Bridge as a stone setter.
On 20th July 1859 he married Catherine Fogarty in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Geelong.
Catherine was born on 25th March 1840 in Tipperary, Ireland. Her mother whose maiden name was Bridget Dunne, died when Catherine was a child. Her father Thomas Fogarty remarried. Catherine was reared with the Gannons and is said to have migrated to Australia with them. The passenger list for the “Echunga” which sailed from Liverpool on 30th May, 1857 and arrived at Geelong on 19th August 1857 contains the following entry:- Fogarty, Catherine, general servant, Tipperary, RC, unable to read or write, 16 years – gone to sister Mary at Mr. Morrison’s Moorabool Street Geelong. She came to Australia as an assisted migrant under the sponsorship of a Mr. Morrison, a butcher in Moorabool St., Geelong.
The sister Mary at Mr. Morrison’s is somewhat of a puzzle because Catherine is believed to have had only one sister who migrated to America with her parents.
Catherine later took a job as a servant in Lethbridge. After she and James were married in 1859 they took up residence in Lethbridge where their first son Alexander was born on 19th November, 1860. James and Catherine later moved to Ballarat East where their second child, Thomas (GG Grand) was born on 19th January, 1863.
The story of how James met his lifelong friend Michael O’Brien is a delightful one. Both were employed constructing a bridge. A dispute arose between James and some of the labourers. They refused to supply him with bricks. Michael noticed James’ plight and at the lunch break approached him and asked :-
“Do you want a brickie this afternoon?”
“But I can’t get the bricks” replied James.
“Never mind about that” said Mick “If you could get the bricks would you want a brickie?”
‘Yes” replied James
“Then I’ll be your brickie this afternoon and you’ll have bricks” said Mick.
That afternoon James Watson got all the bricks he wanted. From that day forward James and Michael were firm friends.
Some time later when Michael and James were working together Michael noticed that each morning a rather bedraggled woman with two young toddlers would be seen about James’ tent. In the evenings a young lady in the neatest attire would appear. Watson pointed them out to his friend Mick, as ‘the old woman’ and “my beautiful daughter”.
Michael made no secret of the fact that he looked forward to meeting the beautiful daughter. In due course he did. The “beautiful daughter” and the “old woman” as well. They were both the same person. James Watson’s good wife!.
The Watsons were living in Williamstown when Margaret was born on 16th September, 1865. The following year on 30th October James Watson selected a block of 173 acres fronting the Princes Highway at Karngun (parish), 5 miles southwest from Winchelsea. Michael O’Brien selected a 75 acre block adjoining Watsons. This land was purchased over 7 years at 1 pound per acre. They had been in Karngun just 12 months when Julia was born 5th October, 1867.
In December 1868 the Crown Lands Bailiff’s report on his selection shows that Watson had made improvements to the value of 153 pounds which included a “house, fencing’ stable, stack yard, tank and water hole”
It was at Karngun that Catherine operated a hotel.
Apparently it was built on O’Brien’s land and the licence held in his name because in the PO directories for the 1868 to 1872 period, it was O’Brien who was listed as “Publican Karngun” while after Watson’s name appeared simply “Hotel Karngun”.
The beer was sold out of bottles – a fact which is remembered because the 6 year old Thomas Watson became notorious for his habit of sucking the corks after they had been discarded!
James Watson and Michael O’Brien did contract road making in the Winchelsea district and at different times had several men working for them. Road making in those days involved a considerable amount of labour. All the stone had to be broken up by hand with stone hammers. One man being able to break up only about a cubic yard per day.
Michael O’Brien lost his eyesight in an accident while blasting stone in a quarry in the Winchelsea district. The accident happened around 1872-3.
The Watson’s 6th child Catherine was born on 14th March 1873 at Karngun.
Shortly after this the Watsons and O’Briens decided to sell out and move north. James, Michael and 10 year old Thomas drove to Pannoobamawm district to inspect land.
At 9am on 20th October 1873 James Watson pegged out a 240 acre selection allotment 99B in the parish of Pannoobamawm. One hour later he and Michael pegged out a second selection on behalf of Michael O’Brien. Two days later James and Michael were in Rochester where they made out their application for a licence to occupy the land. Both applications were considered and approved of by the Local Land Board in Echuca on 4th December, 1873.
The three spent Christmas day 1873 at Pannoobamawm then returned to Karngun to negotiate the sale of their land there and prepare for the removal of their families and effects.
Having sold their Karngun properties to the adjoining station owner, a Mr. George Armytage, the two families set out for Pannoobamawm in late May 1874.
They came up in a wagon and drays and a wagonette loaded with provisions. They drove their cattle as well. A Mr. T. Armstrong who had owned a property at Karngun came up with them as far as Pinegrove. The journey took three weeks.
The day they first arrived in the district they camped on a spot just north of where McBeath’s house is today (1971). The following day they pitched their tent on the north of Watson’s block. They later built a house on the south of the block near where Cox’s house was in later years.
According to the information supplied on his application for a Crown Grant on 7th February, 1877 the Watson’s ploughed 22 acres in the first year sowed it down in wheat. It yielded 25 bushels per acre. On the same application the following details of the Watson house are given :- three rooms, dimensions 24 ft x 20 ft x 9 ft wood brick, value 100 pounds and an out kitchen 10 ft x 12 ft x 6 ft wood, value 10 pounds.
Other improvements listed were water storage of 2 dams of 237 cubic yards and 400 cubic yards valued at a total of 31 pound 17-0, an underground dairy 20ft x 10ft valued at 10 pound, a shed and a stable with stock yards worth 12 pound and a garden fence 5 pound.
Early in 1875 the eldest boy Alexander aged 14 was badly injured when thrown from a wagon in which the horses had bolted. His left leg had to be amputated. Later it was discovered that gangrene had developed on the other leg. His mother insisted that the right leg was not to be amputated in spite of the doctor’s advice to the contrary. Happily the infection cleared up and the right leg saved.
On the 28th July 1875 Bridget Watson was born and then lastly William James in 1877. Making a family of 8 children.
During the late 1870 when the notorious Kelly gang was on the rampage in Victoria and NSW Watson and O’Brien were engaged in various types of contract work in the Tongala, Restdown and Rochester districts, They worked at road making, channel digging and well sinking.
In about 1889 the Watsons started a creamery at Beanly Park, Tennyson. They milked 100 cows by hand and had 17 supplies with herds of 25 cows; They had the first separator in the district. It had a capacity of 365 gallons per hour. When the separator first arrived in its crate they did not know what to expect when they opened it as none of them had ever seen one before. It was a horse driven machine but they later powered it with a steam engine.
The Watsons manufactured cheese and butter and sold it in Bendigo. They had their own branded butter wrappers marked TBF (Tennyson Butter Factory) Apart from the dairying enterprise the Watson boys grew crops on several farms they owned. During the 1902 drought the three sons contracted to build channels in the Wimmera. They had completed about 7 miles of channel and had it approved when a sandstorm blew up and filled it all in! They were given the job of cleaning it out before they came home.
About 1907 James Watson’s health began to deteriorate finally he passed away on 18th April, 1914 aged 80 years. His wife Catherine died on 17th August 1921 after a short illness. They were buried in the Pinegrove cemetery. Their son Alexander was buried with them. The inscription on the head stone reads as follows
Ruth Stewart lived until the age of 97. Widely known as “Nanny”, Ruth was the mother of Florence Jean Stewart who married Alexander Hugh Watson
“Nanny” Stewart, mother of Jean Watson
|Ruth Stewart (nee Crossman) about 1905|
Nanny with sister, Amy and Elizabeth
|Amy, Elizabeth and Ruth|
The Wedding Day:
|Duncan Douglas (Duddle)Stewart with Bride Ruth (nee Crossman)|
The “Stewart boys” (L to R) Jock, Rob, Don Ken with pipe and Alan (wearing tie) with Alex Watson. The other maybe Gladmans.
|Nanny’s boy with Alex Watson, second from right|
Ruth Stewart with family:
|Ruth Stewart and Family|
Front Row: Ruth Stewart with daughter Florence Jean
Alan Stewart congratulating his new son-in-law Frank Smith at the wedding of his daughter Margaret.
|Frank and Margaret Smith with Alan Stewart|
As time goes by, about 1956:
|Alex Watson with mother-in-law Ruth Stewart (nee Crossman)|
Nanny’s son Keith with Ned Watson (eldest son of Sam and Trish)
|Keith Stewart hold Ned Watson, Ella in background?|
|Sherree Haring with mother Elaine Lawrence, grandmother Jean Watson and great grandmother Ruth Stewart.|
The father of our Watson family in Australia, James Donaldson Watson can be found in this document below:
This hand written family tree displays a few earlier generation of the Watsons. At the time this family tree was prepared (early 1990s) the parish records from the Kilrenny, Fife parish were missing for the 12 years between 1698-1711. The missing records, most likely hindered searching back for earlier generations.
|Watson, Kilrenny Fife|
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