The Family of James Donaldson Watson

James Donaldson Watson as a twenty year old, prior to embarking on his journey to Australia. This photo was kindly provided by Anne Steel, his great grand-daughter.

James Donaldson Watson, as a young man in 1853, about to sail to Australia.
James Donaldson Watson, as a young man in 1853, about to sail to Australia.

James Donaldson Watson was born on 29 October, 1833 in Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland. He was baptized on 18 December 1833 in Kilrenny, Fife. He died on 15 April 1914 in Rochester, Victoria, Australia.

James Donaldson Watson arrived in Victoria on board the “Oliver Lang” in September 1854. An interesting account of the voyage can be found here: Papers and Correspondence of William Stanley Jevons.

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.

James Donaldson Watson, his wife Catherine Fogarty and their eight children and Michael O’Brien in Victoria Australia 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, his wife Catherine Fogarty and Alexander (with one leg) next to his mother.

Catherine Fogarty born Tipperary, Ireland 1837.

The next generation….

Margaret born 1865 died 1943 married Richard 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.
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.

Thomas built the ‘Rockleigh’ homestead at Tennyson. They had their first child Catherine Eliza (Katie) there in 1890 (died 26 July 1973 Bendigo), when Thomas was 27 and Margaret 20. On 27 September 1891 they had James Alexander Donaldson Watson (Jimmy), (died 16 July 1984 Bendigo), five years later they had Alexander Hugh (Sandy) on 23 September 1896 (died 28 June 1958) and four years later they had Margaret Rita Mary (Rita) born 1900 Tennyson (died 26 November 1927 Tennyson). Rita had a club foot and was intellectually special. Rita was born when her sister Catherine (Katie) was 11, JD, 9, and Alec four. When Rita was six; her mother Margaret contracted Pleurisy/Pneumonia Syncope (fainting) and suffered for 10 days before dying at Tennyson. When Margaret died at age 36, just prior to Christmas 1906 her children were Katie 17, Jimmy 15, Sandy 10 years and Rita 6 years.

Later on, maybe around 1920:

The Watson Family at Beanleigh, Tennyson, Victoria around 1919
The Watson Family at Beanleigh, Tennyson, Victoria around 1920

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 Watson and his wife Margaret (nee Egan)

James Alexander Donaldson Watson and Elsie May Fullerton on their wedding day 30 January 1918:

Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Watson on their wedding day 25 October 1925:

Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart
The wedding of Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart

A few of the clan about 1940.

Some of the Watson, Stewart, Gladman clan around 1940

Others in the above photo: Back row; Rupert Watson in the hat, Tom Gladman and Bruce Watson. Middle Row: Man in dark suit (unknown), Alex Watson, Herbert Gladman and Rob Stewart. Bottom Row: Ian (Tiny) Watson, Beryl Fiedler (Watson), Marjorie Elliott (Gladman) in front of Herbert, Elaine Lawrence (Watson), Nellie Mitchell (Gladman) and Ruth Stewart (Nanny)

Watson Family Reunion, White Hills gardens about 1971

Watson Family Union 1971 at White Hills, Bendigo Victoria

Australia with Jack and Mallie



Watson Y-DNA

Fatherline Ancestry

Modern science can now provide Fatherline DNA results showing a direct paternal heritage, passed down from a father to his son, though the Y chromosone (Y-DNA).

Through Y-DNA we can trace back our DNA direct paternal line until the point around 180,000 years ago when their appears to be a common Y chromosome. Some believe the gentleman’s name was Adam.

From generation to generation, changes to the way people lived, created changes in the Y-DNA – now displayed as branches of the Y-DNA tree.

Haplogroup: R-U106 Subclade R-S3251.2

Watson DNA belongs to the Germanic branch of the R1b fatherline.

My DNA was tested in August 2019, indicating the fatherline signature belongs to the R-U106 group.

R-U106 is sometimes referred to as the Germanic branch of the R1b fatherline. This hapogroup is found in large concentrations in the populations of Northwest Germany and the Netherlands. However, it is not the only haplogroup associated with Germanic people.

RU-106 common Geographic Regions

The RU-U106 group can be commonly found in the locations shown below:

Haplogroup R-U106 is common in these countries.

For more details follow this link:

Margaret Egan

Margaret Egan (Watson) 1870 - 1806
Margaret Egan (Watson) 1870 – 1806

Margaret was born in 1870. Her birth certificate records the place as Heathcote, Victoria, however it was more likely Mia Mia, a nearby farming locality.

James Egan Land
The Egan farmland at Mia Mia, Victoria, Australia.

Margaret’s parents were James Egan (1845 – 1915), (born Offaly, Ireland) and Eliza McDonell (1845-1875), (born Inverness, Scotland).

James’ parents were Owen Egan (1798 – 1866) from Offaly, Ireland, and Mary McIntyre (1810 – 1896) from Kings County, Ireland. Mary McIntyre was the sister of Stephen McIntyre who settled in the Terrick Terrick locality in Northern Victoria. (Mitamo area).

McIntyres Family History
Margaret’s father James on the McIntyre Family Tree.

Around this time the Junction Hotel and Store** was owned by Patrick O’Brien and his wife Elizabeth Lucy (McIntyre) who was the first cousin of James Egan, Margaret’s father.

Patrick and Elizabeth O'Brien
Patrick and Elizabeth O’Brien of the Tennyson Junction Hotel and Store.

Margaret was five years old when her mother died in 1875 at the early age of thirty. Her brother Hugh was about two years old and her sister Mary was about one year old.

After his wife’s death James Egan remarried and had three more children with Elizabeth Mary Hogan and live in New South Wale for time.

Meanwhile, Margaret was raised by her grandmother in Kyneton before coming to live at the Junction Hotel and Store at Tennyson in the Parish of Wanurp.

Tennyson Junction Hotel and Store 1885
Tennyson Junction Hotel and Store 1885

When Patrick O’Brien died in 1885 he left provision for Margaret in his will. Margaret was fifteen when Patrick passed away. It appears probable that Margaret may have  lived with the O’brien family for a considerable time.

The Will of Patrick O'Brien
Patrick O’Brien left provision for Margaret Egan in his Will.

The family of Margaret’s future husband Thomas Watson, live on their property “Beanleigh” about one kilometre west of the Tennyson Store. One could surmise a formal courtship preceded their wedding in 1888, in the manner accustomed by the close-knit community of the Parish of Wanurp, during the late 1880s.

After a well publicized wedding in 1888, Thomas and Margaret made their home at “Rockleigh”, about two kilometers west of the Junction Hotel and Store.

Margaret was the mother of Catherine Elizabeth Watson (1889-1973), James Alexander Donaldson Watson (1891-1984), Alexander Hugh Watson (1896-1958) and Margaretta Mary Watson (1900 – 1927). The children were known as Katie, Jimmy, Sandy and Rita.

Unfortunately, Margaret passed away at the early age of thirty-six. After ten days suffering Margaret succumbed to Pleurisy/Pneumonia Syncope (fainting) just before Christmas in 1906. Margaret is buried at the Pannoo-bamawm (Pinegrove) Cemetery.

Margaret Egan
A younger Margaret Egan

** The history of the Tennyson Junction Hotel and store can be traced back to the 1850s when the building was imported to Bendigo from Scotland. The prefabricated iron building is believed to have been originally intended for use as a boot manufacturing factory, but it was erected in the suburb of White Hills, where it did service as a hotel during Bendigo’s golden era. In 1865-6 the licensee of the White Hills hotel was David Jack. In 1875 Patrick O’Brien of Tennyson purchased the hotel, disassembled it and transported it to Tennyson, where it was re-fabricated and named the Junction Hotel and Store. The building was of two stories, constructed from very heavy iron with widely spaced corrugations, riveted onto heavy angle iron.

The Tennyson School 1927
Wanurp State School 1927
Wanurp State School 1927 – Tennyson, Victoria


Read the Early Memories of Hugh Egan – life around Mia Mia in the 1870s.

Alexander Hugh and Florence Jean Watson

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 1925 and had six children, Rupert, Bruce, Ian, Elaine and Beryl, and then many years later,  Russell (Sam).
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 1925

Wedding Day – Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart

A young Alexander (Sandy)

Alexander Hugh Watson
Alexander Hugh Watson

Younger Jean:

(Florence) Jean Watson

The Wedding Day:

Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart
Photograph at the wedding of Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart

Home sweet home, the boys on their bikes:

Rupert, Ian (Tiny) and Bruce astride bicycles.

A decade or so later:

Ian Thomas, Rupert Egan and Bruce William Watson at Bruce's wedding in Swan Hill 1 July 1950
Ian Thomas (20), Rupert Egan (23) and Bruce William Watson (22) at Bruce’s wedding in Swan Hill 1 July 1950

Anyone for tennis?

Alex, a champion tennis player
Alex, a champion tennis player
Jean ready for action.
Jean ready for action.

The family car:

Early Days:

The Jewett Jowett
The Jewett Jowett (1930s)
Jean and Alex Watson with Unknown about 1940.
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.

About 1960:

Jean and Alex Watson at daughter Elaine wedding, January 1956
Elaine and Beryl

The Children:

Bruce and Rupert Watson
Bruce and Rupert

The Watson siblings:

Back: Rupert, Ian and Bruce. Front Elaine, unknown, Beryl
Back: Rupert, Ian and Bruce. Front Elaine, unknown, Beryl
Elaine and Beryl posing in the midday sun at Rockleigh – 1940s.
And then along came Sam….
Russel Alexander (Sam) Watson

Off to the ball!

Rupert, Beryl, Elaine and Ian Watson about 1950
Bruce, Elaine, Rupert, Beryl and Ian
Rupert ……….eldest son of Alexander and Jean Watson…mid 1940s
Rupert Egan Watson 1926-1980

Rupert (second left) and Bruce(right)… probably in Bendigo early 1940s.

The Watson lads, Rupert second from left and Bruce on the right. Other two unknown.
Life on the farm:
Rupert on horseback
Rupert with dogs on the farm

Rupert with an eighty-two pound cod caught about 1960. Also in the photo, from left: “Barb-wire” Riordan (not confirmed) and Jack Mustey.

Rupert sporting the fashion of the day.
Rupert sporting the fashion of the day.
Rupert demonstrating dancing and a rather large hand on the unknown lady's back!
Rupert demonstrating dancing and a rather large hand on the unknown lady’s back!
Rupert Watson with a World Champion Shearer Kevin Sarre in Sydney, approximately late 1950s.
Rupert Watson with a World Champion Shearer Kevin Sarre in Sydney, approximately late 1950s.

More “Rockleigh” Tennyson Photos (Provided by Sherree Haring)

Elaine facing the camera. Others unknown.
Unseal road to Bendigo in front of Rockleigh, Tennyson, Victoria
Elaine with her mother Jean
Jean, Tiny and Bruce Watson?

Later on, perhaps, Jeans seventh birthday celebration:

Jean with her “children” late 1970s.

Jean’s later life:

Some years after Alex’s death in 1958, Jean married Duncan Palmer.

Jean with husband Duncan Palmer at the Bowls.

The Watson Story

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).

William Watson our Great Great Great Great Grandfather was a  shoemaker from Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland. He was born 1758 and died Nov 1842 aged 84 years.
The Kingdom of Fife
Cellardyke, is in the Kingdom of Fife, on the Eastern Coast of Scotland. It is in Kilrenny Parish and part of the former Burgh of Kilrenny.
Close up Map of the Cellardyke area that wrongly alludes to Cellardyke being part of Anstruther Easter (there is something confusing going on here as pointed out by Sonny*)
Cellardyke Scotland
Priceless aerial photograph of Cellardyke provided by Sonny Corstorphine, whose friend took the photo in March 2003. (Too early in the year to have any boats in the harbour) Sonny lives in the large white house with the grey slate roof left of centre, three streets back from the harbour with the long red brick building behind it.
 (you can figure out exactly where this has been taken  using Sonny’s aerial photo as a guide)
Cellardyke was originally thought to have been called Silverdyke, but the pronunciation got lost somewhere along the way.  It is a small coastal fishing village.  Watson was the most common name and there were many unrelated Watson’s in the area.
The population of Cellardyke in 1841 was 1,526.  Of this 108 were Watson’s. (There were only 80 Smiths).  Inhabitants of Cellardyke are known as ‘Dykers’.
In 1881 there were 206 Watsons, (193 Smiths), 30 Donaldsons
Currently on the Electoral Rolls there are 12 Watsons left in Cellardyke, possibly not our relatives.  Also 6 Donaldsons.
Watson is thought to be of the Buchanan Clan or the Forbes clan, however  it is unlikely Watson’s ever had a true tartan because Tartan links are a modern concept, not reality based.
Buchanan Tartan
Forbes Tartan
There were so many Watson’s in Cellardyke that family groups were once known by their nicknames.  Those in the fishing industry as Puckie’  or ‘Patchie’ (Puggy Patch),  or as  the  ‘Hanksie’ Watson’s.   
There are also the Ruser Watson’s who Harry Watson is related to and Water Willie Watson who is Sonny Corstorphine’s GG Grandfather and the sole survivor of a boating tragedy at the mouth of Cellardyke Harbour in February 1800. We are not blood related to either Harry Watson or Sonny Corstorphine’s GG Grandparents, we are only distantly to related to both of them through the marriage of our Margaret Donaldson Watson (James Donaldson Watson’s sister) who married a John Watson from the ‘other’ Watson family.
There were also the ‘Singing’, ‘Barony’ and ‘Forrester’ Watson’s.  Of the ‘Forrester’ Watson’s there was a sub group called ‘Dirty Jack’ who drove a steam drifter that ran on coal.
Sonny Corstorphine who presently lives in Cellardyke is also descended from a shoemaker who died the year our William Watson was born, our descendents may have shared the same shoemaking premises in different decades.
Snippet from Paul Watson (JD’s great grandson)
An interesting snippet that Annette told me long ago (forgive me Annette if the details have become idealized and also for the dodgy Scottish accent and stereotyping):
She and husband, Don (Watson) apparently visited the old Watson stomping grounds, probably in the 80’s (I presume it was Cellardyke). Don apparently located a distant relation, who was the keeper of the “bootie hoose” (sic) (boathouse). Admittedly, they would have stuck out like sore thumbs as tourists, and many tourists (from ex-British colonies) to remote places in Britain and Ireland are probably looking up traces of family history, but the story goes that when Don knocked at the door of James Watson’s “bootie hoose”, the same fellow answered the door with the remark/accusation “Och, and yee’d be a Watson then!”. Don does look very Watsonish, but anyway it’s an amusing story.
Population               Year   1755            total inhabitants       1348            
1801                                              1043
1851                                               2194
1901                                               2950
1951                                               2271
John Street Cellardyke Scotland
William Watson ——married —Jean/Jane/Janet Clarke/Clerk
b 19/2/1756 -58                                                         b1762
d 14/11/1842 aged 84                                               d 1837
Shoemaker                                                           aged75
Buried Kilrenny       
A Kilrenny Church

Williams parents may have been James Watson and Elizabeth Brydie. The Brydie’s were Stonemasons.
Jean’s parents may have been William Clark and Janet Lyall                           
William and Jeans’s known children were Janet born 1791Alexander born 1794, James born 1797, Thomas born 1800 and Preston (female) who died in 1826.
Jean and William’s second child,
Alexander is our GGG Grandfather.
Alexander Watson  –m 30/11/1827–  Margaret Donaldson
Born 19/11/1794                                                      born 14/4/1805
Cellardyke Fife                                                         died 9/3/1843
Died 4/12/1864                                                        Aged 38 years 
Cellardyke buried Kilrenny                                      * Broken headstones still exist in Kilrenny                                                                                                                                  
Aged 70 years                                                          Kirk Yard for Alex and Margaret
Master Builder/Stonemason          
Alexander and Margaret had four known surviving childrenWilliam Watson a Baker born 1831 died 1906, James Donaldson Watson born 1833 died 1914, Margaret Donaldson Watson born 1837 and Jane Clarke Watson born 1842.
After their mother Margaret died in March 1843, their father Alexander married Janet Reekie in Oct 1843 and she became a stepmother to William 12 years, 10 year old JD, 6 year old Margaret and one year old Jane.
Margaret later went on to marry an unrelated John Watson and they  named their first born daughter Janet Reekie Watson in honour of Margaret’s  stepmother.
(There were 14 Reekies living in Cellardyke in 1881)
Note on JD’s brother the Master Baker William Watson Jnr
Sonny Corstorphine from Cellardyke has provided the following information-
Regarding William Watson, born 1831, he was still living with his wife in Cellardyke in 1861. He was a master baker and employs 1 boy. He moved away from Cellardyke by 1871 and from his later family, and I think that he may have lived in Ceres (the birthplace of his wife Janet Milne) in that year. By 1881, he has moved to Edinburgh and the census entries are as follows-

In 1881 William lived at    His family consisted of-

30 Alva Street, Edinburgh


William Watson (head)  age 49 born Cellardyke, Fife. Master Baker employing 3 men and 2 women.
Janet Milne Watson (wife)  age  46  born Ceres Fife.
Margaret D. Watson  age20  b Cellardyke.
Jessie M. Watson  age 19 b  Cellardyke.
Alexander Watson  age16  b Cellardyke.
Eliza M. Watson  age14 b  Cellardyke.
William Watson  age 12  b Ceres.
Alison P. Watson  age10 b Ceres  (the 2nd of that name).
James M. Watson  age 9  b Ceres.
Chrissy L. Watson  age 8  b Ceres.
David E. Watson  age 6 b Ceres.
Watson Memorial Plaque
Alexander, his wife Margaret Donaldson and their Grandaughter Alison Pride Watson 9 years old and her father (their son) William (the Baker) and his wife Janet Milne.  Plaque restored by Alexander’s son James Donaldson Watson’s family (hey that’s us!), all done by Don Watson and his wife Annette, note mention of Pinegrove, Lockington.
A note on the Donaldson’s
sasine which is a legal document drawn up on the transfer of land was discovered and copied in Scotland by Beverley Weston during her 2000 visit.  It reveals that-
Our GGG Grandmother Margaret Donaldson who married Alexander Watson was the daughter of James Donaldson and perhaps Margaret Lessells. After his wife Margaret’s  death James  married Agnes Young 20 years his junior in 1839 when James was 65 years old.
Margaret Donaldson’s siblings were Margery who married John Leckie whose occupation was a Cooper, Elspeth who married John Leslie a farm hand, and Christian who married James Wood a mariner.
(Eleven Leslies lived in Cellardyke in 1881.  And 57 Woods)
Gravestone of Jane Clark Watson and family.
Gravestone of Alexander’s daughter Jane Clarke Watson and her family, The Thaws (note Alexander and Margaret’s head stone with the broken top removed and the new brass plaque in the background). ( Also immediately to the right is the light blue stone with silver writing commemorating Sonny’s Uncle who died in WW1) Note:  The Kilrenny Kirkyard, now only accepts cremation urns for burial.
*the above information was collated with the very generous help of the ‘Cellardyke genealogists’ Harry Watson, Beverley Weston, John Watson and Norma Brown.
And also with the help of our very own Annette Watson wife of Donaldson James Watson, from Lismore, NSW who helped with both the information above and below.
Alexander and Margaret’s second son James Donaldson Watson decided to immigrate to Australia during the gold rushes where he met and married a girl from Kings County Ireland named Catherine Fogarty.
James boarded the ill fated RMS Tayleur sailing ship which left Liverpool on 19th January, 1854 when he was aged 20.  He was accompanied by two other masons from his area, both of who drowned.  Out of 581 passengers and 71 crew, 380 were drowned with many being dashed against the rocks in a vain effort to reach safety.  Following is a summary of the shipwreck-
The Tayleur
Launched 4th October 1853   – Maiden Voyage 11.55am Thursday 19th January 1854 Wrecked around midday Saturday 21st January 1854
James Watson aged 75
In 1910 at Tennyson, Victoria, Australia
No. 469 – Saturday. Feb 4. 1854 – price ½d.
“:-  About 12 o’clock, noon, I was in bed, when David Nicolson came below and said the ship was near land, and that were in danger; Thomas Wilson was sea-sick, and lay still, but I went on deck immediately, and was there only a short time when she struck on Lambay Island.  This might be about one o’clock. A rope was attached to the island from the vessel, and many of the people were getting on shore by it.  I resolved to get on shore by that means, if possible, and advised David Nicolson to follow me, but he declined, thinking the vessel would hold together.  It was with difficulty I could get at the rope, from the crowd of passengers which surrounded that part of the vessel to which it was attached, but I at length succeeded, and warped myself on shore.  Scarcely had I reached the Island, when the ship gave a lurch which broke the rope, and all on it were cast into the sea and drowned.  After I was on the island, I saw David Nicolson standing on the deck, and called and beckoned on him to come; but I never saw Thomas Wilson, which might be caused by the number of people on deck.  David Nicolson, was 21 years of age, and Thomas Wilson, 23.”
The above was written by my GG Grandfather James Watson aged 20, he had boarded the Tayleur on its maiden voyage to make the long trip to the Australian colonies. 
The rocky shoreline of Lambay Island.
On board with him were 580 other passengers, all looking forward to starting a new life.  The atmosphere of excitement and ‘newness’ that was apparent on that day, as he boarded with his two masonry friends, flooded the decks with an air of eager anticipation.
Within 48 hours their hopes were dashed upon the jagged rocks of Lambay Island in what can only be described as a horrendous struggle for life against insurmountable forces of nature.  There were 380 passengers and crew lost that day. 
Of the hundred women on board only three survived, having crossed the rope to the island as many lost their grip from the line that promised safety and fell into the thrashing waters below, the weight of their gowns taking them into the depths.
Many bodies were lashed so violently against the rocks that they were left bloodied and dismembered, their clothes having been torn and shredded from them.
Others were gruesomely wedged between rocks.  Desperate attempts were made by fathers to save their terrified children, but their efforts were in vain and only one baby survived.  No doubt carried in his father’s teeth as he warped his way along the rope to safety.
The scene was the most pitiless and futile of any shipwreck as they were only 20 meters from land.  The rocky cliff and the violent seas were their doom; there was no pleasant beach for them to wash onto.
My GG Grandfather only survived because of the bravery of some other men who had  miraculously had the foresight to take a rope from the Tayleur to the island and fasten it amongst the rocks so that many including my GG Grandfather could warp their way to safety.
. “ I resolved to get on shore by that means, if possible, and advised David Nicolson to follow me, but he declined, thinking the vessel would hold together. “
This resolution had saved young James’ life. 
“Called and beckoned on him to come”
David Nicholson, would not, or could not leave the ship and was to drown along with the other 379 souls who perished that morning.
. “There were seven persons belonging to this neighbourhood on board; namely, Dr. R. Hannah Cunningham, wife and child, Kingsmuir, drowned; David Nicolson, mason, Pittenweem, do; Thomas Wilson, mason, Peat Inn do; David Pratt, seaman, a native of Cellardyke, but now residing in Dundee, saved; and James Watson, mason, Cellardyke, do., - so that out of this list of seven, only the two last are now living”
Dr Cunningham referred to above was the ship’s doctor and he had struggled to his last breath to save his wife and child but he could not.  The forces of the ocean and the harsh shoreline of Lambay Island had thwarted his every desperate attempt.
For the survivors a miserable night was spent.  Many where injured and lay freezing and hungry.  It was a pitiful sight but what was far worse was the sight of those who had not made it.

“The gale continued to tear across the island”

The cargo of Gravestones went straight to the ocean’s floor


Some survivors made their way on Sunday morning to the mainland aboard one of the lifeboats.  A return boat brought food and comfort to the survivors.  On Monday morning the ‘Prince’ took 230 survivors back to the mainland.
The Tayleur lay undisturbed until 1957 until divers located her.
Some more information about the RMS Tayleur can be found at :
The Tayleur Bell
Pottery on the Tayleur


The survivors were offered free passage to continue their journeys to Australia but my GG Grandfather chose not to take up this generous offer from the White Star Line.  Instead he boarded the Oliver Lang from the Black Ball Line later that year and arrived safely in Port Phillip Bay to start his new life.
Within 5 years he had met and married an Irish girl from Kings County.  They had eight healthy children and both James and his wife Catherine lived to the age of 81 years and are now buried in the Pinegrove cemetery just out the road from the town of Lockington in North Central Victoria where I grew up.
James then boarded the  Oliver Lang  (Catherine came out on the Echunga) this is a description of the ship on its voyage to New Zealand 4 years after James boarded it for Port Phillip in 1854, the trip took around 100 days. 
Oliver Lang
Ship: 1224 tons
Captain: Joseph Mundle
Surgeon Superintendent:
Sailed London June 18th 1858 – arrived Wellington September 18th 1858
The Oliver Lang was built at Quebec, and on her maiden voyage to Liverpool was wrecked at Bantry Bay (southern Ireland), but was got off and repaired. She made her first appearance in Wellington in 1856, arriving there on December 19th of that year after a smart passage of 85 days from Liverpool. After arriving at Wellington in 1859 she was beached at “Kaiwarra“. One story says that she had had a mid-ocean colision with the barque Shan which damaged her hull while the second story says that she arrived in Wellington safely and was blown ashore by a squall. Either way she was condemned and remained there until she broke up.
White Wings – Sir Henry Brett
Our GG Grandparents
James Donaldson —— m  20/7/1859— Catherine Fogarty
Born 29/10/1833                                                   born 25/3/1840
Cellardyke Fife Scotland                                      Kings County
Died a bloody long way away                               Died a bloody long way away
16/4/1914 Tennyson Victoria
Australia                                                                died Rochester                                            Farmer                                               18/8/1921
Both Buried at Pinegrove near Lockington, Victoria, Australia
James Donaldson Watson, his wife Catherine Fogarty* and their eight children and Thomas O’brien at Tennyson Victoria Australia about 1910.


James Donaldson Watson aged 20 years son of a Master Builder in Cellardyke and a stonemason himself and also brother of a Baker decided that  he wanted to do something different and emigrate to Australia, during the gold rushes, he came out on the ship ‘Oliver Lang’ in September 1854  (after the failed attempt on the Tayleur) and 5 years later he married the Irish girl Catherine Fogarty*.  They married in Geelong and both led long full lives before dying in Rochester, Victoria, Australia,  James aged 81 in 1914 and Catherine aged 81 in 1921. 
*Please note Fogarty pronounced Foe garty not Fog arty.
Catherine Fogarty was born in Kings County (as were the Egans and McIntyres).
Kings County Ireland.
Catherine’s mother died when she was a child and her father remarried and she was reared by a family of the name Gannon, who may have migrated with her. 
She left for Geelong as a 16 year old on May 30th 1857 on the Echunga and arrived in Geelong on 19th August 1857.  She travelled as an assisted migrant under the sponsorship of a Mr Morrison of Moorabool Street Geelong where her sister Mary already resided (perhaps as a housekeeper).
Moorabool Street Geelong Victoria Australia
Geelong’s population went from 8,000 in 1851 to 22,000 in 1853. It thereupon stabilised, not reaching 30,000 for another sixty years.During the late 1850s some of Geelong’s notable institutions and buildings were created: Geelong Grammar School and Geelong National Grammar School (later the Matthew Flinders Girls’ Grammar) in 1858, the Town Hall, Market Square, the mechanics’ institute, and the railway connection to Melbourne was opened. In the municipal sphere Geelong’s future was curtailed like Melbourne’s, with the creation of closely adjacent road districts and suburban councils – South Barwon and Bellarine/Indented Head roads districts, Newtown borough (1858) and Geelong West borough (1875).
From Irish Heritage Newletter
Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake 
As I sat in my window last evening,
The letterman brought it to me
A little gilt-edged invitation sayin
Gilhooley come over to tea”
I knew that the Fogarties sent it.
So I went just for old friendships sake.
The first think they gave me to tackle
Was a slice of Miss Fogarty’s cake.
There were plums and prunes and cherries,
There were citrons and raisins and cinnamon, too
There was nutmeg, cloves and berries
And a crust that was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
Such that work up a fine stomach ache
That could kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake.
Miss Mulligan wanted to try it,
But really it wasn’t no use
For we worked in it over an hour
And we couldn’t get none of it loose
Till Murphy came in with a hatchet
And Kelly came in with a saw
That cake was enough be the powers above
For to paralyze any man’s jaws!
Catherine and James’ eight children were Alexander born 19/11/1860 Lethbridge Vic, died 16/6/1929 buried Pinegrove, Thomas born Ballarat 19/11863 died 28/9/1929 Bendigo buried Pinegrove,  Margaret born 16/9/1865 Williamstown Vic died 2/5/1943 buried Pinegrove, Julia born 5/10/1867 Karngun Vic, killed 21/11/1912, Jane born 14/9/1870 Karngun Vic, who married Thomas O’Brien’s son Thomas, died 24/1/1952 buried Pinegrove, Catherine born 14/3/1873 Karngun Vic died 23/11/1934 buried Pinegrove, Bridget born 28/7/1875 Echuca died 14/4/1966 Echuca, William James born 1878 Rochester died 1962 Moonee Ponds buried Rochester, Victoria, Australia.
Black line traces James and Catherine’s location at the time of their children’s births, starting with marriage in Geelong, followed by births in Lethbridge, Ballarat, Williamstown, Karngun Parish (just west of Geelong 3 births), Echuca and Rochester.
Watson Graves at Pinegrove
Left James Donaldson and Catherine Fogarty
Reddish on the right with angel Margaret Egan/Watson, Margaret Rita Mary Watson (Rita), Thomas Watson
James Donaldson Watson and Catherine Fogarty’s son-
Thomas is our G Grandfather
Thomas Watson              —-m 1888—                Margaret Egan
Born 19/1/1863 Ballarat                                                                     born 1870 Mia Mia (Vic)
Died 28/9/1929 Bendigo                                                                     died 14/12/1906 Tennyson
Buried Pinegrove                                                                                                          Buried pinegrove
Died age 66 years                                                                              died aged 36 years
Margaret Egan around 1886
Thomas then aged 43 married the housekeeper Anne Slattery five years later when he was 48, they had no children.  Therefore, when Alex our Grandfather was 15 he acquired a Stepmother.  They also would have continued to care for Rita from the age of 6 years until her death at age 27 years of cardiac failure at Tennyson on 26th November, 1927
Thomas owned two 2 Storied shops in Pall Mall Bendigo where Annie Watson continued to live after Thomas’ death in 1929 until her death.
Note on  ‘Katie, Jimmy, Sandy and Rita’ Watson
The children grew up at ‘Rockleigh, Tennyson. 
Katie married William John Gladman from Milloo/Tennyson/ Bendigo and had four known children Hubert who married Gertie and had Shirley, Patricia, Peter, Kathleen, Wayne and Tracy.  Nellie who married Frank Mitchell and had Fred and Chris.  Tom who married Valma and had Gerry, Phillip, Mark, Maryanne and Catherine.  Margery who married Gilbert Elliot and had Roslyn and Murray.
Jimmy married Elsie May Fullerton  b 1/01/1892 Elmore died 1964 Pyramid Hill, a school teacher and had Maurice, Alec, Jim, Kathleen, Geoff, Mark and Don
1901 Snapshot
It was a very different Australia that our Grandparent’s were born into at the turn of the century.  For example in 1901 when Alexander Hugh Watson was 5 years old, the total population of Australia was only 3,773,801 people and only 1,201,070 lived in Victoria.  The average age of people living in Victoria was 23 years old.  The average annual income was 46 pounds.  58.4% of houses were made from wood, iron, lath and Plaster, Slab, Bark, Mud etc. 33.8 % were made from Stone, Brick, Concrete etc. and 5.6% were made from Calico, Canvas etc.
(quoted from
Alex grew up at Rockleigh the homestead that his father had built at Tennyson.  He was a grazier and an Orange Orchardist on a property that was one road back from the Tennyson store and  two roads south called ‘Yeaman’s’ (Currently owned by Chappels )and used to travel in his T-Model Ford to the Bendigo shop to sell fruit on Monday and return Friday.  At some stage when Elaine was 12 years old they returned to live at Rockleigh.  He later become the Proprietor of the Lockington café until his retirement in 1958.
Alex and Jean continued
The newly weds lived in Bendigo where Rupert Egan was born on 1st September, 1926 when his mother Jean (Grandma) was one week from her 17th birthday.
She then had Bruce William at home on 9/11/1927  at age 18,
Ian Thomas born 29/11/1929  at age 20
Elaine Margaret 9/12/1931 at age 22, Beryl Ruth 15/1/1934 at 25 and Sam (Russell Alexander) 20/2/1950 at 40 years.

Watson Weddings

A wedding is a special event and fortunately photographers have captured history for us to enjoy and ponder over. These photos include the descendants of James Donaldson Watson and some of their much love relatives.

As yet a photo of Thomas Watson and Margaret Egan wedding hasn’t been found, however thanks to Sherree Haring here is a newpaper clipping:

Thomas and Margaret Watson Wedding Clipping

Another find by Sherree! This article tells of the wedding of Julia Watson (daughter of James and Catherine Watson) to John Murphy.

The Wedding of Julia Watson to John Murphy.
The Wedding of Julia Watson to John Murphy 1899.

Two interesting snippets discovered by Paul Watson:

  1. Wedding of Mr. Martin Reisinger,  to Miss Margaret Donaldson Watson, 1893.

The Bendigo Independent
Wednesday, April 5th 1893
On Easter.Monday, an interesting wedding took place at Tennyson, when Mr. Martin
Reisinger, foreman of Mr. T. Spencer’s mill, Rochester, was united to Miss Margaret
Donaldson Watson, second daughter of Mr. John Watson Watson, Fifeshire. Scotland. The marriage ceremony took place at the residence of Mr. James Watson, uncle of the bride, and was solemnized by the Rev. Mr. Neilson.
The bride wore an elegant costume of fancy tweed trimmed with rich ottoman silk. with diamond jewellery, handsome felt hat and leathers, with gloves to match. Miss J. Watson, sister, was bridesmaid and was attired in a charming costume of fancy biscuit color trimmed with shot silk lace, gloves and hat to match. Mr.Alec Watson, cousin of the bride, was groomsman,” ’After the ceremony, the bridal party, with about 80 guests, partook of a dejeuner, at which the health of Mr. and Mrs. Reisinger was proposed by the Rev. Mr. Neilson and warmly honored. Other toasts followed, in which good wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the happy couple were the theme. The festivities were kept up till early the next morning. The presents for the bride were of large number and value.

An interesting follow up article found by Sherree Haring:

Martin Reisinger died about one and a half years after this article was published.

2. Wedding to Mr Eldred Cox to Miss Kate Watson 6 August 1902.

The Bendigo Independent
15 Aug 1902
On August 6, at St- Patrick’s Church, Tennyson, a wedding took place’, the contracting parties being Miss Kate Watson, fourth daughter of Mr. Jas. Watson, of Beanly Park, and Mr. Eldred Cox, of Coolamon, N.S-W. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked exceedingly
charming in a magnificent dress of white Japanese silk, the bodice was fashioned in Russian style, trimmed with white applique, and draped to effect with bunches of chiffon, the skirt being plain and finished at the foot with serpentine flounces and train, with the usual wreath and veil. The bridesmaid Miss Mary, sister of the bride, wore a dress of soft white silk, with guipure trimmings and picture hat. Mr. Gilbert, brother of bridegroom, was groomsman. After the ceremony, which was performed by Prior Meredith, the party drove to the residence of the bride’s parents, where sumptuous breakfast was elaborately laid out in the dining hall, which was decorated with evergreens and lilies, and seated 80 guests. After the breakfast, Prior Meredith proposed the toast of the “Bride and Bridegroom”, referring to them in terms most eulogistic and wished them long life and happiness. The bridegroom suitably responded. The other toasts were, the bridesmaid, by Mr. E. Cox, and responded to by Mr. G. Cox; the parents, by Mr. M. O’Brien, and responded to by Mr. Watson; the ladies, proposed by Mr. D. McIntyre and responded to by Mr. Woolcock ; and the chairman, proposed by Mr. T. Watson. Prior Meredith suitably responded.
In the evening the happy couple left for Rochester, amidst showers of rice and congratulations, en route for Sydney, where the honeymoon is to be spent. The bride’s traveling dress consisted of blue frou frou with black glace silk strappings, and white front sequin toque. After the departure of the bride and bridegroom, the company adjourned to the hall, where dancing was kept up with spirit to the music of Messrs. O’brien, E. Seiersen, and E. Windridge, assisted by several ladies.The wedding presents were costly, numerous and of a useful— as well as ornamental character.
Among many may be enumerated the following : — Bride to Bridegroom, Gladstone bag; Bridegroom to bride, gold diamond bracelet ; father of bride, cheque; mother of bride, household linen; Mr. A. Watson, cheque; Mr. and Mrs. J Murphy, ringer; Mr. T. Watson, cheque; Mr. &Mrs. T. O’Brien, case of tea-knives; Mr. J. Watson, jun. cheque; Mrs.; E- L. OBrien, tea set ; Mr. and Mrs. M. O’Brien’
picture, toilet, and trinket tray; Mr. and Mrs.O’Brien, clock; Miss Gannon, silver cruet; Mr. Gill Cox, pair vases; Mr. A. Yeaman, celery glasses ; Mr. D. McIntyre, silver cruet; Miss Lizzie O’Brien, pillow sham in shadow work; Mrs. and Master J. Stewart, dinner knives and carvers; Mrs. Yeaman, crystal salad bowls; Miss Taylor, afternoon tea-set; Mr. & Mrs. Seiersen snr., cheque; Mr. S. Cox, silver tea spoons; Mr. and the misses Ailen, silver butter knife; Mr. S. 0’Brien, silver salts in oak stands; Mr.
and Mrs.Jer Murphy, linen table cloth; Mr. B. Cox, opal jug; Mr. & Mrs. Green, jardinière; Mr. & Mrs. Orchard, table cloth; Mrs. Joyce, tea knives; Mr. T. Parr, clock; master M. O’Brien, pickle jar; Miss Mary Watson, sewing machine and dish cover; Misses Joyce, drawing-room ornaments; Mr. & Mrs. Clohesy, tea set; Master J. O’Brien, sauce bottle; Miss Mollie O’Brien, hand mirror; Miss Eilleen, Seiersen, crumb tray and brush; Master Ed. Seiersen, stew pan. Miss Rita Watson, silver cake stand; Miss Katie Watson, crystal sugar basin; Miss Cassie O’Brien, china teapot; Miss B. Yeaman,
crystal jelly dish; Mr. G. Patuflo, sausage machine; Miss Nellie 0’Brien, jam dish; Miss. Jasper, silver cruet; Miss M. White, ornaments; Master J Watson, salts; Mr. & Mrs. E.P. Seiersen, fire screen; Messrs E & C Ham, set carvers in case; Miss M. O’Brien, photo in frame; Mrs. Walters, sessert knives and forks and tablespoons, Miss E. Windridge, cake stands; Mr. & Mrs.Mrs. G. Draper,
drawing-room lamp;.Mr. & Mrs. Shaw, butter dish; Mr. and Mrs. ()Woodcock, silver butter dish; Mr. E. Windridge, sauce-bottle; Miss.K Murphy, damask cloth; Master AIick Watson, butter dish.|||l-category=Article|||l-state=Victoria|||l-title=806


Margaret Watson married Richard Brereton 1863: This photo provided by Anne Steel who mother was Margaret Brereton the daughter of Margaret and Richard Brereton.

Margaret Watson married Richard Brereton 1863
Margaret Watson married Richard Brereton 1863

Alexander Hugh Watson and Florence Jean Stewart, 1925:

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

Beryl Watson and Ron Fiedler Wedding
Ron and Beryl Fiedler’s Wedding

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

The Annie May Stewart Story

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

The Alex Watson Story

Alexander Hugh Watson
Husband, Father, Grandfather
Thomas and Margaret Watson of ’Rockleigh’, Tennyson Victoria were parents to Catherine born 1890, James Donaldson born 1891, Alexander Hugh born 1896 and Margaret Rita Mary born 1900 and died aged 27yrs.  Known as Katie, Jimmy, Sandy and Rita.
This story is about Alex.  A hardworking farmer who worked the team of draught horse from before daybreak till dark.  Coming home, caring for the ‘team’ brushing and feeding.  Most nights would be 10pm or 11pm before sitting down to his evening meal.  The ritual would start again next morning before daybreak.  A hard life in the early twenties!
One story told was Alex driving the ‘team’ around the paddock across the top round and down the other side and across bottom end of paddock and every time he came halfway along field the ‘team’ would snort and carry on.  Eventually the mystery was solved as the grain lay flat on the ground revealing his brother Jim lying in the sun reading a book!  Jim was not keen on the farm work, more academically inclined?  He married a schoolteacher to prove it!

Jean and Alex Watson about 1940



Alex was an athletic build stood 6ft 1 inch tall, dark curly hair, shy with laughing blue eyes that twinkled, a wonderful sense of humour, handsome, light smoker, non swearing, sober habits a real gentleman, whom all his female cousins and friends truly respected and loved.  Alex married Florence Jean Stewart in 1925.  She was only fifteen years and eleven months old … a child bride.  The Stewarts lived across the road at ‘Glen Ayr’ Tennyson.
Alex purchased ‘Yeaman’s’ property about four miles from ‘Rockleigh’.  He and Jean started their married life here where sheep and cattle roamed the many acres.
About a sixth of the farm was planted with orange orchard.  The packing shed was two paddocks across, from the home with irrigation channel which had a bridge across for access in the fruit season.  The packing shed was humming as busy as a beehive with noise of the ‘Grader’ being manually driven as the many thousands of golden oranges were graded and packed for the markets in Bendigo.
Alex employed an Englishman named Harry Evans.  Harry arrived on Watson’s farm the day of his 21st birthday and became a friend for life.  Harry lived in the ‘old’ house which housed the orange grader.  It becomes a habit for Alex to walk over to visit with Harry of an evening.  The boys Rupert and Bruce had been warned not to go across the Bridge on their own, but one evening they decided to follow their Dad hiding outside.  Alex being aware that they had disobeyed waited till almost 9pm, turned to Harry and in a loud voice said, ‘I must go Harry, there’s a giant crocodile lives under the bridge and he comes out at nine o’clock.  With that he rushed out and run as hard as he could and as he went over the bridge he let out a blood curdling scream, ‘There HE is!’  Those two little boys never went over that bridge again on their own.  Their screech of ‘DADDY, DADDY, DADDEE’ was heard far and wide in the night air.  Alex never hit the children but had a subtle way of teaching them a lesson they never forgot!
Eventually Alex purchased a fruit shop in Pall Mall Bendigo opposite the renowned Shamrock Hotel where Dame Nellie Melba slept one night and the town’s Post Office Clock was silenced so she wouldn’t be disturbed!
Alma Hocking helped Alex in the fruit shop called ‘Tennyson Fruit Supply’.  A story Alex told was how they had a cat in the back of the shop to keep rats at bay and one day he dived his hand into the Hessian bag only to feel the cat had messed in the bean bag.  Quickly he rushed out the back of the shop where he washed off the offending excretion.  Telling the customer someone told him to if you washed the beans it would help keep them crisper longer.  Alex was no fool!
In 1926 September 1st Rupert Egan was born, in 1927 a home birth on November 9th Bruce William arrived.  1929 October 29th Ian Thomas, 1931 December 9th Elaine Margaret, 1934 January 15th Beryl Ruth followed in 1950 February 20th by Russell Alexander.
Every child was to learn to love a very caring, compassionate, kind Father who spoilt every one of them.  Each Friday night the children would be listening for the sound of the T-Model Ford to arrive as they were always treated to a Freddo Frog or a Nestle choc bar each.  Providing for the family was his priority!  Some nights he would say, ‘Oh, I forgot the chocolate, sad faces soon brightened as he produced from his pockets, ‘the goods!’
Alex worried about the future events world wide; many hours were spent talking about the future with his sister Catherine.  They both tended to be worrywarts.
In the mid forties Alex moved the family to his old home ‘Rockleigh’.  Waiting in the garage was a monster of a car called the JEWITT it was so grand!
Fifteen cows were milked night and morning by daughters Elaine and Beryl; the separator would hum while the rich cream would come out the spout into cream can which was picked up by Mr. Munday driving the cream truck every three days.  The cream was taken to Rochester Butter Factory.
About 1946 ‘Yeamans’ was sold to a Returned Serviceman and ‘Rockleigh’ became the only family income resource.
Alex liked growing vegetables etc and decided to grow tomatoes for Factory in Bendigo.  He was helped by Rupert and ‘Mister’ (his pet name for Ian).  Bruce by this time had been taken under the wing of Uncle Keith Stewart down in bright lights of Melbourne.
Hundreds of acres of tomatoes were grown over the years, millions of seeds planted in hot beds out under the peppercorn trees to be carefully watered and weeded to ‘pulling stage’ then replanted in acreage for coming season.

Alex hired a twelve seater bus from Bendigo every weekend for pickers to travel to Tennyson.  Eager pickers were left behind each week.  They were paid one shilling a case.  One weekend two pickers really excelled and filled 95 cases each.  As a bonus Alex gave both men FIVE POUND cheque.  Next weekend both men were back again mainly because Alex had forgotten to SIGN the cheques!!
During these years Mr. Bill Lambourn had a 17 passenger bus service from Cohuna to Bendigo which passed by ‘Rockleigh’ each week day.  As business progressed Mr. Lambourn purchased an 8 seater Packard bus which was garaged at ‘Rockleigh’  and when needed Alex would drive the bus to Lockington to pick up surplus passengers from there through Tennyson, Kamarooka etc to depot in Bendigo… being a gentleman this job suited him admirably.
Alex had developed a problem with his legs, varicose veins were now causing ulcers and much time had to be spent resting.  This may be one of the reasons he became so interested in game of Draughts.   Even forty years after his death his ‘brain teaser’ problems are still quoted in farmers paper The Weekly Times etc.  He travelled to Tasmania where he won a silver trophy shaped like the map of Tasmania.
His favourite pastime was tennis which he excelled at.  Many years at Bendigo Easter Tournaments Alex Watson excelled winning the men’s Singles Championship, he won with blood sodden feet from the many blisters.  Later was heard to say ‘you forget about your feet, your racquet and head is all that matters’, his motto on tennis which he would quote; THE GAME OF TENNIS IS OH SO QUAINT…YOU JUST HIT THE BALL WHERE THE OPPONENT AINT!  Years later he was very proud watching his children making their presence felt on the same Courts Elaine R/U in Under 17 yrs.  Rupert and Elaine Q/F in mixed doubles.
Alex also had responsibility of two shops owned by family in Pall Mall Bendigo.  Rented out as a Butcher Shop and a Café.

Alexander Hugh Watson


In 1950, Alex decided with help from Estate Agent that selling ‘Rockleigh’ and buying Rose Café in Lockington would be viable proposition as daughters were teenagers and could be salesgirls.  In January 1950 Watson’s Café became a reality.  It proved not to be the best move Alex made in his lifetime.  As children married and moved out.  He was left to run shop mostly on his own as Jean had new son to nurture.  His health deteriorated legs were becoming increasing problem till he was forced into selling the business.
That was start of the tragic end to this story.
Alex, Jean and Russell moved to Archibald Street Lockington in 1957.  From then on Alex worried himself sick.  How could the family survive?  With no income?  He exhausted all avenues round town and no employment was available.
He spent some time in West Breen with Beryl.  On his return came to the conclusion the Government had the answer.  If he died Jean would receive the Widows Pension.  She and Sam could survive without him.
Regretably, on June 28th Alex unselfishly ended his life.  Jean and Sam did survive on pension until Jean re-married in 1962. (edit: Jean married Duncan Palmer)

(Story is thought to be by Elaine Watson/Lawrence)


Whilst Alex Watson is well remembered as a champion tennis player, he also exceeded in the board game of Draughts. During his time as proprietor of the Cafe in Lockington, Alex would play several of the local youths at the same time, emerging victorious on all but a very rare occassion.

Some newspaper snippets relating to Alex’s prowess can be seen below:





James Watson Pioneer

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.

Karngun Hotel

It is interesting to note that 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”.

Karngun, Winchelsea
The original properties of James Watson and Michael O’brien were situated here. The Karngun Hotel, operated by the Watsons was on O’briens land.

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.

A clipping from the Riverine Herald, 30 April 1885:

Waranga Channel Tender

Another interesting clipping illustrates some shire council shenanigans and a rare family event – a Watson being late?? Unheard of!

Watson Tender

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

Loving Memory
Our Dear Parents
James Watson
Died 16th April 1914
Aged 81 years
Catherine Watson
Died 17th August 1921
Aged 81 years
And our dear brother
Died 16th June 1929
The article below appeared in a local newspaper following the passing on of James:

An Old Pioneer
Rochester Express, Friday 22 May 1914

Nanny Stewart

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, Keith with pipe, Hubert Gladman (back row) then Alan  with Alex Watson in the back row. On the right of Alex, unknown.

Nanny’s boy with Alex Watson, second from right.

Ruth Stewart with family:

Ruth Stewart and Family

 Pictured above L to R: Jock, Alan, Donald, Robert and Keith 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?

Four generations from Nanny to Sherree:

Sherree Haring with mother Elaine Lawrence, grandmother Jean Watson and great grandmother  Ruth Stewart.

Nanny’s brothers William and Thomas Samual (Sam) fought in World War 1. Sadly, Willy didn’t make it home. Read about it here: Private Willy Crossman.

Descendants of William WATSON

The father of our Watson family in Australia, James Donaldson Watson can be found in this document below:

Descendants of William WATSON
First Generation
1.  William WATSON was born about 1758.  He was buried on 14 Nov 1842 in Kilrenny, Fife.  He died in Nov 1842.


William WATSON and Jean\Jane CLARK were married on 15 Oct 1790 in Kilrenny, Fife.  Jean\Jane CLARK was born about 1762.  William WATSON and Jean\Jane CLARK had the following children:
          2        i.        Janet WATSON was born on 9 Oct 1791 in Cellardyke, Fife.  She was baptized on 16 Oct 1791 in Kilrenny, Fife.
          +3      ii.        Alexander WATSON (born on 19 Nov 1794).
          +4      iii.       James WATSON (born about 1797).
          5        iv.       Thomas WATSON was baptized on 2 Nov 1800 in Kilrenny, Fife.  He was born 9 0ct 1800 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          6        v.       Preston WATSON died in Aug 1826.  She was buried on 26 Aug 1826 in Kilrenny, Fife.
Second Generation
3.  Alexander WATSON was born on 19 Nov 1794 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He was baptized on 30 Nov 1794 in Kilrenny, Fife.
Alexander WATSON and Margaret DONALDSON were married on 30 Nov 1827 in Kilrenny, Fife.  Margaret DONALDSON was born on 14 Apr 1805.  She died on 9 Mar 1843 in Cellardyke, Fife.  Alexander WATSON and Margaret DONALDSON had the following children:
          +7      i.        William WATSON (born on 10 Mar 1831).
          +8      ii.        James Donaldson WATSON (born on 29 Oct 1833).
          +9      iii.       Margaret Donaldson WATSON (born about 1837).
          +10    iv.       Jane Clarke WATSON (born about 1842).
Alexander WATSON and Janet REEKIE were married on 3 Oct 1843 in Anstruther Easter, Fife, UK. 
4.  James WATSON was born about 1797.  He died in 1875.
James WATSON and Elizabeth BRYDIE were married.  James WATSON and Elizabeth BRYDIE had the following children:
          +11    i.        Margaret WATSON (born about 1835).
          12      ii.        William WATSON was born about 1838.
          13      iii.       Jean WATSON was born in 1840.
Third Generation
7.  William WATSON was born on 10 Mar 1831 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He died on 28 Jan 1906 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK.
William WATSON and Janet\Jessie MILNE were married on 16 Dec 1857 in Cameron, Fife.  Janet\Jessie MILNE was born about 1837 in Ceres, Fife.  She died on 21 Dec 1924 in Kilrenny, Fife.  William WATSON and Janet\Jessie MILNE had the following children:
          14      i.        Alison Pride WATSON was born on 7 Oct 1858 in Cellardyke, Fife.  She died on 20 Oct 1867 in Cupar, Fife.
          15      ii.        Margaret Donaldson WATSON was born on 18 Aug 1860 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          16      iii.       Janet Milne WATSON was born on 21 Mar 1862 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          17      iv.       Alexander WATSON was born on 28 Apr 1864 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          18      v.       Eliza Milne WATSON was born on 1 Aug 1866 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          19      vi.       William WATSON was born on 21 Sep 1868 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          20      vii.      Alison Milne WATSON was born on 18 Aug 1870 in Ceres, Fife,                                        
          21      viii.     James Milne WATSON was born on 16 Oct 1871 in Ceres, Fife.         
          22      ix.       Christian Leslie WATSON was born on 10 Mar 1873 in Ceres, Fife.
          23      x.       David Edmond WATSON was born on 23 Dec 1874 in Ceres, Fife.
8.  James Donaldson WATSON was born on 29 Oct 1833 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He was baptized on 18 Dec 1833 in Kilrenny, Fife.  He died on 15 Apr 1914 in Rochester, Victoria, Australia.
James Donaldson WATSON and Catherine FOGARTY were married on 20 Jul 1859 in Geelong, Vic, Australia.  Catherine FOGARTY was born on 25 Mar 1840 in Tipperary, Ireland.  She died on 18 Aug 1921 in Rochester, Victoria, Australia.  James Donaldson WATSON and Catherine FOGARTY had the following children:
          24      i.        Alexander WATSON was born on 19 Nov 1860 in Lethbridge, Vic, Australia.  He died on 16 Jun 1929.
          25      ii.        Thomas WATSON was born on 19 Jan 1863 in Ballarat, Vic, Australia.  He died on 28 Sep 1929 in Bendigo, Vic, Australia.
          26      iii.       Margaret WATSON was born on 16 Sep 1865 in Williamstown, Vic, Australia.  She died on 2 May 1943.
          27      iv.       Julia WATSON was born on 5 Oct 1867 in Karngun, Vic, Australia. She died on 21 Nov 1912.
          28      v.       Jane WATSON was born on 14 Sep 1870 in Karngun, Vic, Australia. She died on 24 Jan 1952.
          29      vi.       Catherine WATSON was born on 14 Mar 1873 in Karngun, Vic, Australia.  She died on 23 Nov 1934.
          30      vii.      Bridget WATSON was born on 28 Jul 1875 in Echuca, Vic, Australia. She died on 14 Apr 1966.
          31      viii.     William James WATSON was born in 1878 in Rochester, Victoria,        Australia.  He died in 1962.
9.  Margaret Donaldson WATSON was born about 1837.
Margaret Donaldson WATSON and John WATSON were married on 13 Nov 1857 in St Andrews, Fife, UK.  John WATSON (son of David WATSON and Janet FARMER, grandson of William Watson and Ann Cunningham) was born in Jan 1834 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He died on 31 May 1890 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He lived 46 James Street on 31 May 1890.  Margaret Donaldson WATSON and John WATSON had the following children:
          32      i.        Janet Reekie WATSON was born on 23 Sep 1858 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          33      ii.        Margaret Donaldson WATSON was baptized on 8 Aug 1860 in Kilrenny, Fife.  She was born in Aug 1860 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          34      iii.       Jane WATSON was baptized on 2 Feb 1863 in Kilrenny, Fife.  She was born in Feb 1863 in Cellardyke, Fife.  She died on 29 Jan                      1898 in Rochester, Victoria, Australia.
          35      iv.       Isabella WATSON was born on 20 Jul 1865 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          36      v.       David WATSON was born in Jan 1871 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He was baptized on 15 Jan 1871 in Kilrenny, Fife.
10.  Jane Clarke WATSON was born about 1842.
Jane Clarke WATSON and Oliver THAW were married on 15 Jun 1863 in Kilrenny, Fife.  Oliver THAW (son of Oliver THAW and Elizabeth UNKNOWN) was born about 1837 in Cellardyke, Fife.  He died in Feb 1910 in Kilrenny, Fife.  Jane Clarke WATSON and Oliver THAW had the following children:
          37      i.        Oliver THAW was born about 1864 in Anstruther Easter, Fife, UK.  He died in 1893 in Bendigo, Vic, Australia.
          38      ii.        Alexander THAW was born about 1868 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          39      iii.       James THAW was born about 1872 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          40      iv.       Margaret Donaldson THAW was born about 1880.  She died on 12 Jun 1881 in Anstruther Easter, Fife, UK.
11.  Margaret WATSON was born about 1835 in Anstruther Wester, Fife.
Margaret WATSON and Robert DAVIDSON were married on 18 Nov 1863 in Pittenweem, Fife, UK.  Robert DAVIDSON was born about 1838 in Carnbee, Fife.  He died before 1881 in Cellardyke, Fife.  Margaret WATSON and Robert DAVIDSON had the following children:
          41      i.        Elizabeth B DAVIDSON was born about 1865 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          42      ii.        Margaret B DAVIDSON was born about 1867 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          43      iii.       James Watson DAVIDSON was born about 1872 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          44      iv.       Emma G DAVIDSON was born about 1874 in Cellardyke, Fife.
          45      v.       Roberta G DAVIDSON was born about 1876 in Cellardyke, Fife.

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

Recent information:

The hand written family tree of 10 generations was written by me many years ago. After further research and thanks to Beverley WESTON I found that I had the wrong Alexander WATSON who was baptised 1797, it should be Alexander WATSON baptised 19 Nov 1794 to William WATSON (shoemaker) & Jean CLARK. At the time of my early research there were three Alexander WATSONS baptised about the same time in Kilrenny Kirk. The proof comes from the Sasine records located at the University of St Andrew’s.
(5616) July 22 1830
Alexander WATSON, Mason, Cellardyke, Seised July 13 1830 in the east part or half Tenement and half yard and new Dwelling, etc……….on Disp. by Jean CLARK and William WATSON, Shoemaker, Cellardyke, her husband, with consent of George DAIRSIE, Tanner, Anstruther Easter – reserve the life rent May 19 1823 – and Margaret DONALDSON, his spouse, etc…..’

Happy hunting, Annette WATSON

Marriage Certificate:
Marriage Certificate 1859