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Info on Grandfather’s Photo

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corisande
1 hour ago, HarryBrook said:

I believe he was gazetted Captain into 3rd Bn. The Welsh Regiment on 18 January 1889 rather than promoted from the rank of Lt. He does not appear in Army lists prior to 1889

 

1. I would go with you on this. I have tried all the available earlier army lists and he is not there. I Remember this is a time of purchased commissions, I my understanding was that you could buy a Captains (or indeed higher) commission if you had the money

 

2. It appears not possible to establish if he did or did not, commit bigamy. Or indeed if he was married to the Japanese lady. Given that his son got to Hawaii and that Philip appears to have visited his son there (correct me if I am wrong) it seems unlikely that he had abandoned the Japanese family, and presumably hs English wife Effie knew about the Japanese family. She was a widow herself and may have had other children herself

    To me, though I could not prove it, I think the most probable explanation is that he did marry the Japanese Lady, but she died, and the son was probably left with Japanese grandparents . It seems impossible to prove or disprove that.

 

3. I also assume that the saga does not end with the family coming to Hawaii. Were they interned in WW2, as many Japanese Americans were.

 

4. There seems no record of any of the family taking US Citizenship - the USA have good records on that.

 

5. I too was perplexed by the meagre £1800 left in probate - though this may only refer to his UK monies and that his US estate was dealt with there.

Edited by corisande

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, corisande said:

 

1. I would go with you on this. I have tried all the available earlier army lists and he is not there. I Remember this is a time of purchased commissions, I my understanding was that you could buy a Captains (or indeed higher) commission if you had the money

 

2. It appears not possible to establish if he did or did not, commit bigamy. Or indeed if he was married to the Japanese lady. Given that his son got to Hawaii and that Philip appears to have visited his son there (correct me if I am wrong) it seems unlikely that he had abandoned the Japanese family, and presumably hs English wife Effie knew about the Japanese family. She was a widow herself and may have had other children herself

    To me, though I could not prove it, I think the most probable explanation is that he did marry the Japanese Lady, but she died, and the son was probably left with Japanese grandparents . It seems impossible to prove or disprove that.

 

3. I also assume that the saga does not end with the family coming to Hawaii. Were they interned in WW2, as many Japanese Americans were.

 

4. There seems no record of any of the family taking US Citizenship - the USA have good records on that.


Yes, I agree that there’s more yet to be unearthed regarding the marital histories.

 

As regards the purchase of commissions, that had specifically been abolished in the earlier Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s and before the Childers Reforms of 1881, well before Phillip’s 1889 gazetting as a Captain, so he could not have purchased his rank.  There’s still more to learn regarding the circumstances under which he may have avoided time as a subaltern.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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sadbrewer

One thing that seems to be missing is his whereabouts in the 1881 Census.

   I found this but unfortunately don't have the subscription to follow it up...can anyone help?

 

 

 

Screenshot_20191114-215005.jpg

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corisande
25 minutes ago, sadbrewer said:

One thing that seems to be missing is his whereabouts in the 1881 Census.

 

He and wife Ellen are visitors at 27 Conduit St , London. The building is a hotel.

 

Both born Gilderstone, Norfolk

 

The surname is mistranscribed as Dawson on Ancestry index

Edited by corisande

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FROGSMILE
1 minute ago, corisande said:

 

He and wife Ellen are visitors at 27 Conduit St , London. The building is a hotel.

 

Both born Gilderstone, Norfolk


That’s interesting, it’s the first time that his wife’s birth place has been revealed.  It’s a small village so he probably knew her since they were children.

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Dragoon

Great stuff, the forum at its best!

Don't know if the attached is of interest?( Bottom right)

 

Chris

data(0).pdf

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2ndCMR
2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

If the marriage to his Japanese lady had a legal standing, surely he would have been committing bigamy under British law, even back then?

 

He may not even have known about the koseki registration, if it occurred. 

 

What view if any the British consular authorities took of "country marriages" as they were known in Canada, I do not know.   I suspect they ignored them unless someone made an issue of it.  We might as well do the same in regards to "bigamy". 

 

After all, it was a custom already well established in places like India, and reportedly when wives sometimes arrived, "mistresses" had to vacate.   Still, not quite a bad as being made to kneel outside the shoji bedroom door while your husband "entertained" one of his mistresses in the family home, waiting to be summoned by a clap of the spousal hands, as happened in one account I read (from the 1920s or 30s).

Edited by 2ndCMR

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2ndCMR
On 14/11/2019 at 13:13, corisande said:

 

1. I would go with you on this. I have tried all the available earlier army lists and he is not there. I Remember this is a time of purchased commissions, I my understanding was that you could buy a Captains (or indeed higher) commission if you had the money

 

2. It appears not possible to establish if he did or did not, commit bigamy. Or indeed if he was married to the Japanese lady. Given that his son got to Hawaii and that Philip appears to have visited his son there (correct me if I am wrong) it seems unlikely that he had abandoned the Japanese family, and presumably hs English wife Effie knew about the Japanese family. She was a widow herself and may have had other children herself

    To me, though I could not prove it, I think the most probable explanation is that he did marry the Japanese Lady, but she died, and the son was probably left with Japanese grandparents . It seems impossible to prove or disprove that.

 

3. I also assume that the saga does not end with the family coming to Hawaii. Were they interned in WW2, as many Japanese Americans were.

 

4. There seems no record of any of the family taking US Citizenship - the USA have good records on that.

 

5. I too was perplexed by the meagre £1800 left in probate - though this may only refer to his UK monies and that his US estate was dealt with there.

 

There were no internments in Hawaii during WWII to my knowledge.  Nihau Incident notwithstanding.

Edited by 2ndCMR

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TEW
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:


That’s interesting, it’s the first time that his wife’s birth place has been revealed.  It’s a small village so he probably knew her since they were children.

 

Indian Navy Family Pension Fund, courtesy of rootsweb, lists Ellen Effie Dent & gives her birth as Totnes, 2/8/1854.

TEW

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FROGSMILE
7 hours ago, TEW said:

 

Indian Navy Family Pension Fund, courtesy of rootsweb, lists Ellen Effie Dent & gives her birth as Totnes, 2/8/1854.

TEW


Thanks TEW, it just goes to show that errors are made in various records and that it’s necessary to cross reference assiduously.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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sadbrewer
3 hours ago, corisande said:

 

He and wife Ellen are visitors at 27 Conduit St , London. The building is a hotel.

 

Both born Gilderstone, Norfolk

 

The surname is mistranscribed as Dawson on Ancestry index

 

Thanks for that Corisande...the village seems to have several possible spellings but Girdlestone is used today.

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sadbrewer
3 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


That’s interesting, it’s the first time that his wife’s birth place has been revealed.  It’s a small village so he probably knew her since they were children.

 

The villages are very close together and interestingly are close to the site of the Brewery of Taylor, sons and Dowson...which is owned by FW Dowson who I think may be Phillip's uncle.

   If Phillip is a brewer as shown in the 1881 census it's a very strong possibility that he is working in the family concern on the outskirts of Diss...perhaps he is a member of a Suffolk or Norfolk Yeomanry?

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2ndCMR
17 hours ago, sadbrewer said:

He was married in February 1881 according to this article from the British Newspaper Archive. 

 

Screenshot_20191114-104014.jpg

 

The Brewery connection is Hancock's of Wiveliscombe...that purchased a brewery in Cardiff in the 1880's and became one of Wales largest brewers with over 500 tied pubs...sold out to Bass in 1968...sadly.

In 1890 he was a Captain in the Royal Glamorgan Militia.

In 1893 he was the Chairman of Carmarthen United Breweries.

 

For a minute I thought his parents might have indulged in some sentimental cruelty, but happily Capt. Hodgson's real name was "Beilby Porteous...", not "Beiby"! ^_^

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FROGSMILE
5 hours ago, sadbrewer said:

 

Thanks for that Corisande...the village seems to have several possible spellings but Girdlestone is used today.


Early on in the thread it was stated as ‘Geldeston’, is that the same place?

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sadbrewer
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:


Early on in the thread it was stated as ‘Geldeston’, is that the same place?

 

I think it is...just a mis spelling of mis transcription somewhere along the line, but having said that there are both Girdlestone and Geldeston in Norfolk, albeit 24 miles apart. 

Edit....having said all that the Dowson family did own a brewery in Geldeston.

Screenshot_20191115-090447.jpg

 

Edit 2

   Geldeston does seem the more likely...in view of this 

 

 

Screenshot_20191115-090902.jpg

 

 

 

Screenshot_20191115-091709.jpg

Edited by sadbrewer

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FROGSMILE

Thanks for confirming. There was a danger of going over old ground and confusing matters via our enthusiasm.

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sadbrewer
8 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Thanks for confirming. There was a danger of going over old ground and confusing matters via our enthusiasm.

 

Agreed....although I think the Dowson footprints are all over Victorian Britain.

   Tbh I've found too much about them to take up the space on this thread...Gaylord has one of the most interesting widespread family trees I've seen, all originating in Geldeston. 

   Branches in Nottingham ie lace making ...sugar refining....brewing....engineering...the church in Manchester...plus many other connections. They appear to be a highly industrious clan with access to significant capital.

The famous South African Architect Phillip Dowson hreturned to his roots in Geldeston....googling the name Dowson is something the OP needs to do...the work provided by this forum has opened up a massive opportunity for a chap in Hawaii to really nail down  roots that I'm sure he never dreamed about!!

    I did find a trade directory though that showed P. S. Dowson to be in Cardiff in 1880, living at 9 Park Place....not a bad place to live

 

 

Screenshot_20191115-094548.jpg

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PRC
11 hours ago, corisande said:

He and wife Ellen are visitors at 27 Conduit St , London. The building is a hotel.

 

Both born Gilderstone, Norfolk

 

The place is Geldeston, (in some records Gelderstone), but I've never come across instances of Gildeston or Gilderstone. However I see this is a hotel, so the information would have been given by the hotel proprietor to a London based census taker, so plenty of scope for error and minimal likelihood that it would have been subject to a follow up visit to confirm the information during the period the census taker had to complete the schedule.

 

The parish register for St Michael, Geldeston doesn't seem to be on line and I've not been able to find it in the past at the County Archive - I'd mentally filed it under the possibility that it wasn't licensed for the performance of baptisms as it doesn't even seem to crop up in the annual Bishop of Norwich transcripts. Another possibility is that there seems to have been a strong tradition of non-comformism amongst the brewing families of Norfolk so any baptism may turn up in their records.

 

7 hours ago, sadbrewer said:

 If Phillip is a brewer as shown in the 1881 census it's a very strong possibility that he is working in the family concern on the outskirts of Diss...perhaps he is a member of a Suffolk or Norfolk Yeomanry?

 

The village is 2 miles north-west of Beccles, so right on the Norfolk -  Suffolk border. There was, (and is) a brewery in Bungay, a few miles to the west, but not sure about Beccles. You are a few miles away from Diss mind you although there was a major turnpike connecting Diss - Bungay - Beccles, there was a mainline east - west railway which I believe had a spur that went past Geldeston, and the waterways were then very navigable by the river transport. The pub at Geldeston Locks is still used by river cruisers.

 

William Whites 1845 History, Directory and Gazetteer of Norfolk in it's section on Geldeston has " Here are several malt-houses, a large brewery, and a staith, with a navigable cut to the Waveney."

https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/NFK/Geldeston


I was intrigued by the address for the family on the 1851 - see attached - I think it read "Brew Office"

 

To check I took a look at the 1851 Norfolk Register of Electors. This shows his father Henry as the householder at Dunbery Hills.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

Philip Dowson 1851 Census of England and Wales sourced Genes Reunited.jpg

1851 Norfolk Electoral Register Geldeston sourced familysearch.jpg

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 hour ago, sadbrewer said:

I did find a trade directory though that showed P. S. Dowson to be in Cardiff in 1880, living at 9 Park Place....not a bad place to live

 

A very desireable residential address in 1880.

Would then have overlooked the wide open space of Cathays Park, on which was later built the new civic centre for the city of Cardiff- City Hall, Law Courts, University and National Museum of Wales, plus the (rather garish) New Theatre.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathays_Park

 

Nowadays, almost all of this end of the road are very desireable business addresses instead,  with restaurants, solicitors and other professionals.

 

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Milner

And here is the marriage of Ellen to her first husband.

 

Name: Beilby Hodgson
Spouse's Name: Ellen Effie Dent
Event Date: 30 Jan 1872
Event Place: Dresden, Germany
 

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corisande

To bring his life together , I have drawn up a timeline from this thread, as it gets  bit confusing for anyone reading it.. He certainly kept up with his Japanese family, in as much as he visited them at least twice in Hawaii. (Shipping records are probably incomplete).

In the original source documentation is spelt Philip with a single "L", not Phillip.

 

1843. Philip Septimus Dowson, born Geldeston, Norfolk

1851 census. Father was a Brewer Master and a farmer of 500 acres employing 24 men and eight boys. Living at Geldeston, Norfolk

1861 census Phillip was employed by Sugar Refiners Co living in , Middle Temple with his brother

1865 Aug. Arrived in Japan

1866 he was initiated into Freemasons Lodge in Yokohama . A Civil Engineer.

1868 Whitfield and Dowson, Civil Engineers, formed in Yokohama

1871. His son Joseph Dowson born Yokohama to an unknown Japanese mother. Joseph married in Japan, and died in Hawaii in 1926

1873 Feb. Awarded Silver Royal Humane Soc medal for lifesaving in Yokohama

1877 Left Japan for good

1880 Trade directory shows him living at 9 Park Place, Cardiff

1881 Feb. Married in Brussels to Ellen Effie Hodgston (nee Dent, born Totnes 1854). He is from Cardiff. His 1930 US census entry gives this as his first marriage. (She was married before in 1872 in Germany to Beilby Hodgson)

1881 Census. He and wife Ellen are visitors at 27 Conduit St , London. The building is a hotel. He is a brewer

1889 Jan. Harts Army list gives promoted Captain in 3rd Welsh. He appears to have gone straight in as Captain, as there are no earlier references to him in Army lists.

1891 Census. "living on own means" in Glamorgan, Wales

1892 Arrived USA (from 1930 US census)

1893 he was the Chairman of Carmarthen United Breweries.

1895 Sep. promoted Major in Welsh Regt

1903 Jun Arrives UK from USA

1906 Apr. Travels UK to New York.. Aged 62, travelling to his own ranch in Montana. No other family with him. (Arrives 30th April 1906).

1907 Sep His Japanese son Joseph may well be the Mr and Mrs J Dowson who arrive in Hawaii from Vancouver. Note Philip travels to Hawaii from Vancouver the following year

1908 - 1912  Register of Electors. Householder at 24 Old Court Gardens  = NB Old Court Gardens does not appear on the 1907 Register.

1908 Feb. Arrives in US from UK with his wife

1908 Nov Travels to Hawaii from Vancouver.

1911 census Living at 24 Old Court Mansions, Kensington, London With wife Ellen. Living on own means, late major Welsh Regt.

1912 Apr. Arrives USA from UK

1917 Jun. Landed in France. French Red Cross Driver, driving ambulances in France

1918 Jul Returns to UK from France

1920 US Census living in Santa Barbara CA

1922 Nov Travels from Seattle to Hawaii. Without his wife. The family have a photo of Philip with his son Joseph and grandson Charles taken in Hawaii at this time

1923 Aug. Arrives UK from Canada

1924 Mar Travels UK to Marseilles, France

1924 Jun of Santa Barbara, Cal, he opened village hall in Geldeston

1925 May. Travels UK to Canada

1925 June 30 Arrives Duluth, Minnesota Purpose – to resume residence with wife, Ellen Dowson, at 51 Ashley Road, Sanata Barbara, California. Aged 81. Accompanied by niece Mary P Enfield. Name and address of relative \ friend in country travelled from – nephew Henry Enfield, Bramcote, Nottingham. He had previously been resident from 1886 to August 1923. He did not intend to become a US citizen but would be permanently resident. Described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes. Medical conditions – senility and deafness.

1928 Nov. Travels USA to Hawaii.. (Henry Enfield, Nottingham given as nok in UK)

1929 Feb Arrives Los Angeles, USA from Hawaii. Without wife

1929 Jun. Wife dies at Maple Bay, British Columbia

1929 Jul Arrived UK from Vancouver.

1930 US Census. A widower living at Santa Barbara, California, USA

1931 Mar. Died UK

His Probate shows he was living at Bath Club , Middlesex (but there is also his American address) when he died at Winchcombe Farm , Bucklebury, Berks and his executors were Henry Houghton Enfield and Sidney Houghton Dowson

 

Edited by corisande

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FROGSMILE
43 minutes ago, corisande said:

To bring his life together , I have drawn up a timeline from this thread, as it gets  bit confusing for anyone reading it.. He certainly kept up with his Japanese family, in as much as he visited them at least twice in Hawaii. (Shipping records are probably incomplete)

 

1943. Phillip Septimus Dowson, born Geldeston, Norfolk

1851 census. Father was a Brewer Master and a farmer of 500 acres employing 24 men and eight boys. Living at Geldeston, Norfolk

1861 census Phillip was employed by Sugar Refiners Co living in , Middle Temple with his brother

1865 Aug. Arrived in Japan

1866 he was initiated into Freemasons Lodge in Yokohama . A Civil Engineer.

1868 Whitfield and Dowson, Civil Engineers, formed in Yokohama

1871. His son Joseph Dowson born Yokohama to an unknown Japanese mother. Joseph married in Japan, and died in Hawaii in 1926

1873 Feb. Awarded Silver Royal Humane Soc medal for lifesaving in Yokohama

1877 Left Japan for good

1880 Trade directory shows him living at 9 Park Place, Cardiff

1881 Feb. Married in Brussels to Ellen Effie Hodgston (nee Dent, born Totnes 1854). He is from Cardiff. His 1930 US census entry gives this as his first marriage. (She was married before in 1872 in Germany to Beilby Hodgson)

1881 Census. He and wife Ellen are visitors at 27 Conduit St , London. The building is a hotel. He is a brewer

1889 Jan. Harts Army list gives promoted Captain in 3rd Welsh. He appears to have gone straight in as Captain, as there are no earlier references to him in Army lists.

1891 Census. "living on own means" in Glamorgan, Wales

1892 Arrived USA (from 1930 US census)

1893 he was the Chairman of Carmarthen United Breweries.

1895 Sep. promoted Major in Welsh Regt

1903 Jun Arrives UK from USA

1906 Apr. Travels UK to New York.

1907 Sep His Japanese son Joseph may well be the Mr and Mrs J Dowson who arrive in Hawaii from Vancouver. Note Philip travels to Hawaii from Vancouver the following year

1908 Nov Travels to Hawaii from Vancouver.

1911 census Living at 24 Old Court Mansions, Kensington, London With wife Ellen. Living on own means, late major Welsh Regt.

1912 Apr. Arrives USA from UK

1917 Jun. Landed in France. French Red Cross Driver, driving ambulances in France

1918 Jul Returns to UK from France

1920 US Census living in Santa Barbara CA

1922 Nov Travels from Seattle to Hawaii. Without his wife. The family have a photo of Philip with his son Joseph and grandson Charles taken in Hawaii at this time

1923 Aug. Arrives UK from Canada

1924 Mar Travels UK to Marseilles, France

1924 Jun of Santa Barbara, Cal, he opened village hall in Geldeston

1925 May. Travels UK to Canada

1928 Nov. Travels USA to Hawaii.. (Henry Enfield, Nottingham given as nok in UK)

1929 Feb Arrives Los Angeles, USA from Hawaii. Without wife

1929 Jun. Wife dies at Maple Bay, British Columbia

1929 Jul Arrived UK from Vancouver.

1930 US Census. A widower living at Santa Barbara, California, USA

1931 Mar. Died UK

His Probate shows he was living at Bath Club , Middlesex (but there is also his American address) when he died at Winchcombe Farm , Bucklebury, Berks and his executors were Henry Houghton Enfield and Sidney Houghton Dowson

 

 

Superb chronological summary of his life, corisande.  There are just three remaining puzzles/curiousities for me.  First I'd like to find out if he actually did go straight to captain on gazetting in 1881, and what the Militia regulations were in that respect.  Second, I think it's very likely that he was a driver with the American volunteer ambulance just like the young man whose picture I posted.  I suspect that it was in the USA that the money was raised to fund the ambulances (which I think were probably Model T Fords) and he was in America in the years preceding the war.  French Red Cross records might throw some light on this.  Third, I sense that in the final years he might have been estranged from his wife, albeit that is entirely a private affair and of no interest from a military history viewpoint.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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sadbrewer
1 hour ago, Milner said:

And here is the marriage of Ellen to her first husband.

 

Name: Beilby Hodgson
Spouse's Name: Ellen Effie Dent
Event Date: 30 Jan 1872
Event Place: Dresden, Germany
 

 

Her first husband died in Futterguhr, India in October of 1877.

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TTracer44

Good work Corisande, but do you need to edit the dob to 1843.

den

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PRC

I don't know if these add anything and so could be slotted into the timeline.

 

1906 April 21st Leaves London aboard SS Minniehaha, bound for New York. Aged 62, travelling to his own ranch in Montana. No other family with him. (Arrives 30th April 1906).

1908 Register of Electors. Householder at 24 Old Court Gardens  = NB Old Court Gardens does not appear on the 1907 Register.

1909 Register of Electors. Householder at 24 Old Court Gardens

1910 Register of Electors. Householder at 24 Old Court Gardens

1911 Register of Electors. Householder at 24 Old Court Gardens

1912 Register of Electors. Householder at 24 Old Court Gardens (Latest year available on the family search site.)

 

1925 May 30th Arrives Quebec aboard SS Regina

1925 June 30 Arrives Duluth, Minnesota Purpose – to resume residence with wife, Ellen Dowson, at 51 Ashley Road, Sanata Barbara, California. Aged 81. Accompanied by niece Mary P Enfield. Name and address of relative \ friend in country travelled from – nephew Henry Enfield, Bramcote, Nottingham. He had previously been resident from 1886 to August 1923. He did not intend to become a US citizen but would be permanently resident. Described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes. Medical conditions – senility and deafness.

(Both 1925 dates https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9981-ZBQ9?i=5063&cc=2185163&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AQK3T-3MYQ

 

1928 November 24th Sails from Wilmington, California aboard SS Calawaii. Final destination is Kahului.

 

For all of those the first forename in the original source documentation is spelt Philip with a single "L", not Phillip. He himself spells it with a single "L" on the 1911 Census return that he completed, although as he has signed it P.S Dowson there isn't a secondary check. Timeline probably needs to reflect the "Philip" spelling.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Philip Dowson 1911 Census of England and Wales sourced Genes Reunited.jpg

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