Surname Saturday

Surname Saturday – Docwra (from Bassingbourn, England to Victoria, Australia)

The first person in my tree with this surname was my grandmother, Edith Meriden Docwra (my mum’s mum).  This means that this is one of the main branches of my family tree.  It is also the most common surname in my family tree.

Since I’ve already written posts about some of my ancestors on this line in my 52 ancestors series, this is a summary

My grandmother, Edith Meriden Docwra, was born 26 January 1904 at 9 Canterbury Place, Prahran, Victoria, Australia.  She died 26 June 1948 in the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.

Her father, Harry Docwra, was born 8 May 1866 in Dandenong Road, Keysborough, colony of Victoria.  He died 21 August 1934 on the family farm in Warrandyte Road, Baxter, Victoria, Australia.  Harry married Emily Alice Oliver on 5 November 1902 in Sale, Victoria, Australia, and they had four children

  • Edith Meriden Docwra 1904-1948
  • George Henry Docwra 1906-1972
  • Annie Eileen Docwra 1909-1997
  • Ronald James Docwra 1917-1957

Edith and Annie both married, but the two sons never married.

Harry father, Alfred Docwra, was christened 13 July 1824 in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England.  He migrated to Australia in 1848, and on 5 March 1852 he married Mary Scott, at the Parish of St James in Melbourne.  Alfred died 2 June 1903 at the home of his daughter Edith and son-in-law James Parry at Thomas Street, Prahran.

Alfred and Mary had 10 children:

  • Charles 1854-1855 Died young
  • Elizabeth 1855-1926 Married John Littlejohn
  • Stephen 1857-1923 Never married
  • James 1859-1951 Married Clementina Roberts – they had 6 children
  • Mary 1862-1942 Married John (Sydney John Thomas) Biggs.
  • Joseph 1864-1941 Married Sarah Maria Barrett – they had 1 child
  • Harry 1866-1934
  • David 1868-1954 Never married
  • Edith 1870-1960 Married James Parry
  • Emma 1873-1873 Died young

Alfred was the illegitimate son of Tempest Sell and Jane Docwra.  Jane was christened 14 July 1800 in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England.  She had another illegitimate child, Sarah Waller, and then married Samuel Mosley on 3 December 1829 in Bassingbourn.  She was buried 12 August 1840 at Bassingbourn.

Jane was the daughter of William Docwra and Elizabeth Quy. At this stage, the earlier information for my branch of the Docwra family comes from transcripts of the Bassingbourn parish registers.  These show

William Docwra married Elizabeth Quy 16 November 1793

Wm Docwra was christened 6 March 1768 in Bassingbourn – parents Jn and Eliz

John Dowra married Elizabeth Sell 16 February 1766 in Bassingbourn.

John Dockerill was christened 1 April 1745 in Bassingbourn – parents John and Sarah

John Docera married Sarah Barraues on 22 August 1735 at Duxford St John, Cambridgeshire, England.  There is a burial record for a Jn Docwra, whitesmith, on 7 January 1773 in Bassingbourn, and Sarah Docwra, wid, on 7 October 1782.

John Docwra was christened 14 October 1705 at Bassingbourn – parents Francis and Susanna

Francis Docwra married Susanna Searle 3 October 1694 in Bassingbourn.  Francis was buried 17 March 1740 and Susan Dockrell, wife of Francis, on 19 June 1711.

Francis Docwra was christened 5 June 1670 in Bassingbourn – parents James and Grace.

I haven’t yet found a marriage record for James and Grace, but the first child found for James and Grace was Susan, christened 3 March 1649 in Bassingbourn.  There were 10 children born to James and Grace in Bassingbourn between 1649 and 1670.  It would therefore seem unlikely that they would have been married much earlier than 1649.   James would therefore have been born about 1620-1630.  I haven’t yet been able to find a baptism record for James, so I have not yet linked him to the other Docwra families living in Bassingbourn.  I have some of this information in my family tree, as unlinked families.