52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors #2 Alfred Docwra

Last week I shared information on one of my ancestors: Jane Docwra.  This week I will be looking at her son Alfred Docwra.

As stated last week, this is the baptism entry for Alfred

1824 July 13 SELL Alfred son of Tempest SELL veterinary surgeon & Jane DOCWRA otp baseborn [in margin – Jane DOCWRA sister to Tempest SELL’s late wife].

Although he was listed under the surname Sell here, in later records his surname was Docwra.

The 1841 England Census shows Alfred was living at North End, Bassingbourn. He was aged 17 and born in Cambridgeshire.  Also in the household was Elizabeth Docwra, age . Elizabeth was probably his grandmother Elizabeth nee Quy (Guy).

The 1841 England Census can be found at a number of sites.  When I first accessed the 1841 census entry for Alfred and Elizabeth, I found this at Origins.net.  It is also available at ancestry.com and FindMyPast.

In 1993 I searched the Assisted Passenger lists that were held on Microfiche at my local library, but was unable to find any entry for Alfred.  Later, when searching on ancestry.com, I found his immigration record listed in 2 collections:

  • New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896
  • Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923.

It turns out, the reason I was unable to find the entry earlier was the way his surname had been spelt – Dawcra.  Since these indexes are also held on the NSW State Records website, and the PROV website (Public Records of Victoria), I searched these websites to see if anyone else came out with Alfred.

The PROV website shows that Alfred Dacwra, age 24 arrived in August 1848 on the ship “Cheapside”. Also on this ship was Edwin Dacwra, age 18.

At the time that he came to Australia, the Port Phillip district was still part of the Colony of New South Wales, so records for this period of time are in both the New South Wales and Victorian records.

Alfred married Mary Scott on 5 March 1852 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Registration no 5880). They had 10 children:
Charles born 1854 in Brighton
Elizabeth born 1855 in Cheltenham
Stephen born 1857 in Brighton
James born 1859 in Cheltenham
Mary born 1862 in Moorabbin
Joseph born 1864 in Moorabbin
Harry born 1866 in Keysborough
David born 1868 in Cheltenham
Edith born 1870 in Cheltenham
Emma born 1873 in Cheltenham

Alfred worked as a farmer/gardener. The Kingston Historical website has an article Pioneer Settlers that shows that Alfred was one of those petitioning for a post office at Moorabbin.

Alfred died 2 June 1903 at Thomas Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia, from cancer of hand and asthma.

A death notice for Alfred has been found on the Trove website.
From The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic 1864-1946)
Saturday 13 June 1903 Page 55 Column 5
DOCWRA – On the 2nd June, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. J. Parry, 21 Thomas-street, Windsor, Alfred Docwra, of Cheltenham, aged 78 years.
Sweet rest.