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Dadswell Family History

Generation 9
Stephen Orrace Dadswell (1854-1940) and Ellen Garland Pett

On this page:
Ancestors of Stephen Orrace Dadswell
Stephen Orrace Dadswell's story
Key family dates
Further information

Ancestors of Stephen Orrace Dadswell

Robert Doudeswell 1560 > Robert Doudeswell 1606 > Edward Dodswell 1659 > Edward Dodswell 1679 > Thomas Dadswell 1719 > Edward Dadswell 1754 > Robert Dadswell 1784 > Robert Dadswell 1819 > Stephen Orrace Dadswell 1854

Stephen Orrace Dadswell's story

Stephen Orrace Dadswell, the second and only surviving child of Robert and Naomi (Juniper) Dadswell, was born at Irishtown (Preston), Melbourne on 27 August 1854.

Family stories tell of him attending The Model School, Victoria's first secondary school which opened in 1852. Stories also say that Stephen Dadswell, as a nine-year-old, walked from his home at Preston to Parkville to see the departure from Melbourne of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition of 1861.
Dadswell and Merrett engine name plate
Stephen became a locksmith and later an engineer, working from Russell Street in Melbourne City. He is credited with being instrumental in the design and building of Dadswell and Merrett engines, usually a single cylinder engine rated at three to 5.5 horsepower.

In 1881, Stephen Dadswell married Ellen Garland Pett, daughter of Joseph and Emily Marie (Gibbons) Pett. The couple lived at Moonee Ponds and had six children.

In 1890, he and an associate, John Miller, applied for a patent for an "improved apparatus" to be used for elevating firemen and hoses to different heights at a burning building and also as a means for "rescuing inmates and saving goods."

Family sources remembered Stephen Dadswell as a quiet, modest man who was never sick and who worked until he was 72. His wife Ellen was more outgoing.

Ellen (Pett) Dadswell died on 9 November 1939 aged 78, Stephen Dadswell died the following year, on 24 April 1940, aged 85. Both were buried at Coburg Cemetery. Although Stephen and Ellen Dadswell had six children, the Dadswell name died out with the next generation.

This 11-generation Family Chart shows the development of this Dadswell family (PDF file).

Picture: Name plate on the Dadswell and Merrett Federal engine - see website references below.

Key family dates

Stephen Orrace Dadswell
born 27 August 1854
died 24 April 1940
Ringwood, Vic
Ellen Garland Pett
born 10 September 1861
died 9 Nov 1939
Children -

1. Orrace Stephen Dadswell born 1882 - [married 1. Minnetta Blanche Griffith, 2. Victoria Hope Violet Wallace] - died 23 July 1937

2. Percy Joseph Wardlow Dadswell born 21 Jan 1884 - [married Eva Victoria Scadden] - died Jan 1970

3. Sidney Edward Dadswell born 1885 - [married Lily Robinson] - died 28 Jun 1947

4. Elsie May Dadswell born 1887 - [married Cecil Spencer Darling] - died 29 Nov 1968

5. Ernest Herbert Dadswell born 1889 - [married 1. Ida Keighley, 2. Laura Whittam] - died July 1968

6. Frank Leslie Dadswell born 21 Feb 1890 - [married Elizabeth (Bess) Kirk Raff] - died 24 Apr 1950

Further information

Information on Robert and Naomi Dadswell (generation 7, parents of Stephen Orrace Dadswell)

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