David Morgan (1828-1893)

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David Morgan
Sex: Male
Birth: 5/1/1828, Old Castle, Bridgend, Glamorgan, Wales
Baptism: 12/1/1828, Coity, Glamorgan, Wales
Death: 4/11/1893, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Father: David Morgan (1800-1895)
Mother: Catherine Jones
Spouse/Partner: Ann Watkin
Marriage: 1/1/1850 Cymmar, Glamorgan, Wales

David was born on the 5th January 1828 in Old Castle, Bridgend, Glamorganshire, along with his twin sister Catherine. The twins were named after their parents - also David and Catherine. His father was a miner and a shoemaker.

David was the fourth of his parents nine children, including siblings Thomas, John, Catherine, William, Mary, Evan, Joseph, Margaret and Richard. His sisters Catherine and Margaret did not survive infancy.

Early Life in WalesEdit

David's mother died when he was only 13 years old, so his father raised the family for sometime. In the 1841 census, David is recorded at Llantirsant, Glamorgan, with his father and siblings. He is recorded as a collier along with brothers Thomas, John and William. His father would later remarry a woman by the name of Ann (surname currently unknown).

David married Ann Watkin, daughter of Thomas Watkin and Gwenllian Evans, in Oct 1850 in Cymmar, Glamorganshire, Wales. The couple set up home in Merthyr Tydfil, where their first child was born in December that year.

In the 1851 census, David is recorded as a coalminer living at Graigddu Cotages, Dinas with his family.

Voyage to AustraliaEdit

By 1857, David and wife Ann had four children, all born in Merthyr Tydfil. He and his father decided to emigrate 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 travelled alone, leaving Ann and the four children behind in Wales. Another possibility is that they only had enough money for the tickets for ther two them, as they travelled 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.

An article that appeared in the Argus newspaper a few days later pointed the blame directly at the immigration officers in Liverpool for not checking the berthing arangements before the voyage departed. Then, on the 10th September, an article in reply stated that Mr McCulloch of the Legislative assembly had said that the 'Dragoon' was not a Government emigrant ship and that there were "consequently no powers to enforce penalties for the irregularities of which proof had been adduced."


Father and son moved inland to the Ballarat area where they took advantage of the Gold Rush occuring at the time. They must have had some success because within a year, David was able to bring Ann and his three children out to Australia (His youngest child, a daughter named Alice, had died only seven months after he had left for Australia ). They travelled on the ship "Great Australian" and arrived in Melbourne on 16th September 1858.

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 his twins were born 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 her mother to say “Shift that one David, there’s another one coming!”

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


How David came to learn the butchery trade is unknown, but by 1884 he had a butcher's shop at Cambrian Hill. He and 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, he was a butcher at 59 Nelson Place Williamstown. He also lived 20 Albert Street Williamstown. This was his residence when David died on 4th November 1893 of cardiac disease. A descendent also stated that David had a withered arm. His daughter Arabella was the infromant at his death. He was buried in the Williamstown Cemetery on the 6th November 1893.


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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