Ann Watkin (1827-1916)

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Ann Watkin
Sex: Female
Birth: 3/11/1827, Ystradyfoodwg, Glamorgan, Wales
Baptism: 12/1/1828, Storehouse, Llantrisant, Glamorgan, Wales
Death: 27/7/1916, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
Father: Thomas Watkin
Mother: Gwenllian Evans
Spouse/Partner: David Morgan (1828-1893)
Marriage: 1/1/1850 Cymmar, Glamorgan, Wales

Ann Watkin was born in Ystradyfoodwg, Glamorgan in 1827, the fourth child of Thomas and Gwenllian Watkin (nee Evans). Her siblings were Thomas, Jenkin, David, Watkin, Elizabeth and Lucectia.


The name ‘Watkin’ in reference to her family is sometimes recorded as ‘Watkins’. The use of the surname as a middle name with some children in the family (in both previous and subsequent generations) seems to indicate that ‘Watkin’ was the name preferred and used by the family. In several censuses, entirely different surnames are used, likely due to the census transcriber having difficulty understanding a Welsh accent.

Ann grew up speaking Welsh and it is reported that she was still able to use the language into her old age. Ann was also deaf, but it is not known exactly when the impairment occurred. It is likely to have occurred in older age due to Anne being able to speak both Welsh and English clearly.


Nothing is known of Ann’s early life prior to her marriage. She married David Morgan on 1/1/1850 in Cymmar, Glamorgan. He was a collier from Llantirsant who had been born a twin. The couple set up home in Merthyr Tydfil, where their first child was born in December that year.

In the 1851 census, Ann is recorded as living at Graigddu Cotages, Dinas with her family, where her husband was employed in coal mining.


By 1857, Ann and David had four children, all born in Merthyr Tydfil. David and his father decided to immigrate to Australia on board the ship "Dragoon", probably to take advantage of the gold rush in Victoria. They may have wanted to test the new country first to see what the prospects were like, because father and son traveled alone, leaving Ann and the four children behind in Wales. Another possibility is that they only had enough money for the tickets for the two of them, as they traveled by unassisted passage.

The ship departed England from Liverpool and arrived in Victoria on 29/8/1857.

The voyage of the "Dragoon" was notorious for claims made in the Williamstown Police Court by fellow passengers that the berth's for single men and women below decks were not separated. Their claims were heard on the 2nd September 1857 before Lieutenant Pasco, Chairman, and Mr Verdon. The proceedings were reported in The Argus newspaper on 3/9/1857.

The Captain of the ship, G. B. Weston, claimed ignorance of the issue. He was fined the sum of 25 pounds 10 shillings in costs. A ship's mate was also fined 10 pounds.

Of the 340 passengers on board, only 140 made an appearance at the court. It is not known at this time whether David Morgan presented his case. Those that did attend received 3 shillings and 6 pence in costs.


David and his father moved inland to the Ballarat area where they took advantage of the Gold Rush occurring at the time. They must have had some success because within a year, David was able to bring Ann and the three children out to Australia (their youngest child, a daughter named Alice, had died only seven months after he had left for Australia).

Just before setting out on the journey, a family bible was given to Ann by an ‘Aunt Mary’. The bible is still in the possession of family today is written entirely in Welsh. Ann and the children traveled on the ship "Great Australian" and arrived in Melbourne on 16th September 1858. Her sister-in-law, Margaret Morgan (wife of David’s brother William) came to Australia on the same ship.

Their next child was born in 1863 in Ballarat, when David's occupation was recorded as a miner. The reason no children were born between 1858 and 1863 is currently unknown. All the remaining children were born in the Ballarat or Ross Creek area. David appears to have passed the 'twin gene' down the Morgan line to the next generation, when Ann gave birth to twins in 1870. When the twins were born it is said that one of the boys was sent for a midwife, but was waylaid by a game of marbles. So it was left to David to help in the delivery. One of the daughters overheard Ann to say “Shift that one David, there’s another one coming!”

In 1873, when son Jenkin was born and also died, David was recorded as a farmer.

Later yearsEdit

By 1884 Ann’s husband David had a butcher's shop at Cambrian Hill. The family appear to have moved the following year to Williamstown in Victoria, where he set up another butcher shop at Dover Road East. The Williamstown rates for No 7025, butcher owner, shop and house were valued at 262 Pounds, 5 shillings and 6 pence.

Between 1889 and 1892, David was a butcher at 59 Nelson Place Williamstown. The family lived at 20 Albert Street Williamstown. David died there on 4th November 1893 of cardiac disease. Daughter Arabella was the informant at his death. He was buried in the Williamstown Cemetery on the 6th November 1893.

Ann outlived David by 23 years, dying in 1916 in Dandenong, Victoria of heart failure and old age. She was buried next to David in the Williamstown Cemetery.


Name Birth Death
Children of David and Ann Morgan

Catherine 5/12/1850
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan
Ballarat, Victoria

Margaret 5/11/1852
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan
Williamstown, Victoria

Evan 20/12/1854
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan
Korumburra, Victoria

Alice 19/12/1856
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan

Thomas Watkin 18/6/1863
Ballarat, Victoria
Williamstown, Victoria

David 20/2/1865
Ballarat, Victoria
Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Gwenllian Alicia 6/10/1866
Ross Creek, Victoria
Williamstwon, Victoria

William 6/5/1868
Ross Creek, Victoria

Mary Ann 6/1/1870
Cambrian Hill, Victoria
Largs Bay, South Australia

Emma Jane 6/1/1870
Cambrian Hill, Victoria
Oakleigh, Victoria

Jenkin 28/2/1873
Ross Creek, Victoria
Ross Creek, Victoria

Arabella 2/11/1874
Ross Creek, Victoria
Caufield, Victoria


  • Baptism and burial records for Glamorgan
  • Births, deaths and marriages information for Glamorgan and Victoria
  • 1841 & 1851 Wales census
  • Passenger lists for Victoria
  • Cemetery records for Victoria
  • Information from Paul Morgan
  • The Argus newspaper

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