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Dadswell Family

Australian Family Branches: Llewellyn Dadswell

Llewellyn Dadswell, a policeman in Queensland for 19 years until his discharge in 1936, shared 'recent' ancestors with a number of other Australian branches of the Dadswell family.
Charlotte (Ovenden) Dadswell
His great grandparents were James and Charlotte (Ovenden) Dadswell, who were also ancestors for the Bassett family in Melbourne, the Western Victorian family of Thomas William Dadswell, the Red Cliffs family of Henry Dadswell, an existing Queensland Dadswell family group and also with the Canadian Dadswell family of Barbara Nethercott.

Llewellyn's great grandfather was James Dadswell, who lived at Mayfield, Sussex and who died in 1838 of an apoplectic fit at the age of 55. James' wife Charlotte (pictured at right) survived to the age of 99, dying in 1882. Between them they produced 10 children, including these three siblings -

  • their fifth child Jane Dadswell born 1818, who married into the Bassett family, some of whom eventually made their home at Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Victoria;
  • their ninth child Thomas William Dadswell born 1828, who married (1) Sarah Elizabeth Holmes in England, and later (2) Prussian woman Helena Scheer in Berlin - Thomas and Helena migrated to Australia in 1857, resulting in Dadswell families establishing in a number of Victorian centres, including Warrak (near Ararat), Stawell, Red Cliffs, Geelong and Portland; and
  • their tenth child Charles Dadswell born 1834, the youngest of the 10 children - it was from Charles that Llewellyn descended, as did another closely-related group of Dadswells who today are still living in Queensland.

The last-born Charles Dadswell (1834-1917) became a coachman and family folklore has it that he drove the last horse-drawn postal coach from London to Brighton in the 1880s.

He married Ann Card and they had four children, including William James Dadswell, who rose through post office ranks from letter carrier to superintendent of postmen at Brighton by the time he retired in 1918.

In 1880, William married Kate (Catherine) Simmonds at Brighton and they had 10 children - Edith Catherine (born 1881), Annie (1882 or 1883), Charles (1884), Kathleen 1886), William James 1890), Llewellyn (born at Brighton on 4 November 1892), Harold Douglas (1895), Wallace James (1897, and who has descendents living today in Queensland), Roderick Cecil (1900) and Septimust Reginald (1903).
Catherine (Simmonds) Dadswell
In the 1901 census, William and Kate are shown as living at Brighton with seven of their children - Charles (a railway engine cleaner then aged 17), Kathleen (14), William (11), Llewellyn (8), Harold (6), Wallace (3) and Roderick (8 months) - and with Alpheus Augustus Dadswell, (born 1867) - this was one of William's brothers who was also a postman.

In the 1911 census, William and Kate are living at 253 Queens Park Road, Brighton, with Llewellyn, then an 18-year-old gas fitter, and four of their younger children, along with William's brother Alpheus.

[Pictured at left are Kate with the two youngest children - Roderick (left) and Septimust]

It is unclear if Llewellyn also entered the postal service but Australian Army documents claim he was in the British Army Service Corps for five years prior to World War One. In 1911 he married Minnie Robinson at Brighton, and in 1912 they had a daughter, Dorothy A. Dadswell.

Llewellyn Dadswell is shown in shipping records as arriving in Sydney on 3 July 1913, having sailed aboard the 'Osterley' from Tilbury on the River Thames. Llewellyn travelled to Australia without his family and in January 1915, when enlisting in the Australian Army, he described himself as a fitter living at Innisfail, Queensland. At this time he stated he was not married and he listed his father (living at 253 Queens Park Road, Brighton, Sussex) as his next-of-kin. However Llewellyn was discharged after several months as medically unfit for service (chronic rheumatism) and in June of 1915 he joined the Queensland Police.
Llewellyn Dadswell enlistment certificate
A little over a year later he resigned to again enlist in the Australian Army, this time declaring he was married and that Minnie Dadswell was his next-of-kin and that he had a daughter (both living at 261 Queens Park Road). His Army service was again brief - within a few months of his second enlistment, he was discharged from the Army.

Llewellyn rejoined the Queensland Police on 1 May 1918, and saw service as a police constable at a number of centres including Innisfail, Fossilbrook, Mackay and Ogmore.

On 25 January 1936, he married Margaret (Maggie) Catherine Byrne, daughter of William and Mary Ann (Power) Byrne. He declared himself a bachelor but family sources believe he was at that time still married to his first wife, Minnie Dadswell, who was living with their daughter in England.

Llewellyn was discharged from the police force on superannuation in January 1936 and he and Maggie lived at 43 Milne Lane, Mackay. He was aged 52 at the time of his death at Mackay Hospital on 28 December 1944. His death certificate records his marriage to Margaret Byrne.

Some years later, Maggie moved to Sydney and became a baby-sitter for the family of racehorse trainer Tommy Smith. Following an illness, she died in Sydney in 1961.

Strangely, it was around this time that Llewellyn's first wife, Minnie, was approached by Australian Government officials in England and offered a Queensland Police pension, presumably on the basis that authorities knew she was his lawful wife.

Minnie Dadswell died in Brighton, Sussex, in 1973. Their daughter Dorothy, who had been helping support her mother, died the following year, also in Brighton.

- Information compiled November 2008, updated June 2012

Related information

Family tree for Llewellyn Dadswell
Information about James Dadswell, great grandfather of Llewellyn Dadswell.

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