I'm very excited and pleased to promote this book about the Dawson Family from my (distant) cousin Helen Laidlaw.
Helen has devoted over 20 years to researching, collating and writing this wonderful story of our ancestor John Dawson.
As a 15 year old, John emigrated to Australia with his family on board the Canton. Lucky for us, he kept a journal which Helen has used as the bedrock for her family history research.
"This story is true and has never been told before....The life-stories of the children of a Lincolnshire gardener and his wife, who migrated in 1835 to Australia, explore the social history of the colony in the 19th century. The varied histories of the four brothers and five sisters range from employment by the Macarthurs of Camden NSW to the goldfields of Victoria; from pardoned convicts to the most selsct circles of Sydney; from a Melbourne merchant's mansion to a selector's property in the Riverina; from the Quaker community to the lawyer who defended Breaker Morant during the Boer War; and from Federation to World War I." (Introduction pg 7)
My direct line of descendants, Mary & George Coker are featured in chapter 11.
Helen has generously included hundreds of colour photos, copies of certificates and artwork in her beautifully presented book.
The book was launched in January 2011. Susan Gervay has kindly written a blog to celebrate the occasion.
The Gardener's Gamble can be purchased through Helen's webpage or from
Camden Historical Museum, 40 John St, Camden NSWDymocks, Shop 27 The Grove, 174 Military Rd, Neutral Bay NSW
Dymocks, 68 Kinghorn St, Nowra NSWFullers Bookshop, 131 Collins St, Hobart TAS
Fullers Bookshop & ABC Centre, 93 St Johns St, Launceston TAS
Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSWJennie's Book Nook, Centrepoint Arcade, Kiama NSWLady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson NSW National Library of Australia Bookshop, Parkes Place, Canberra ACT
The Museum of Sydney Bookshop, Bridge & Phillip Sts, Sydney NSWOur Bookshop and Cafe, 103 Queen St, Berry NSWState Library of NSW, Library shop, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW