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Author Topic: Watsons in Kimberley  (Read 249 times)

Offline haywards

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Watsons in Kimberley
« on: Monday 26 May 14 18:36 BST (UK) »
Two brothers who are Northern Irish ancestors of mine, Joseph and James Watson, went to Kimberley on business around 1900. James became an elder at Kimberley Presbyterian Church, and possibly married Edith Christina Hopkins who was born in Kimberley in 1890, before returning to Ireland in 1916. I have no details of the business, but presume it was connected with diamonds. Does anyone recognise any of these details? Any ideas on how I might discover more?   

Offline pampoen

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Re: Watsons in Kimberley
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 28 May 14 09:46 BST (UK) »
Where in Ireland were they born?
Austin, Ayling, Alborough, Bescoby, Cheal, Groom,Rathbone,Tarboton,Lyell and Smith.


Offline haywards

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Re: Watsons in Kimberley
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 28 May 14 14:49 BST (UK) »
Hello. The brothers were born in Keady, County Armagh, of farming stock. Keady was by all accounts a pretty sleepy town in the 19th century, so one thing that puzzles me is how they thought of the idea of travelling so far afield to make their fortune.

Offline pampoen

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Re: Watsons in Kimberley
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 29 May 14 10:01 BST (UK) »
The reason I asked is I found a grave in the Eastern Cape for a James Watson born in Armagh go to this link http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g2_itemId=1328049 and his brother, unfortunately the stone is damaged but can be seen at http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g2_itemId=1914589

Here is the link for the estate papers for James who died in 1951 http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za/sm300cv/smws/sm30ddf0?20140529111308CA079C69&DN=00000004 and his brother Joseph who died in 1921 http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za/sm300cv/smws/sm30ddf0?20140529111611CA079C69&DN=00000030

Regards Derek
Austin, Ayling, Alborough, Bescoby, Cheal, Groom,Rathbone,Tarboton,Lyell and Smith.

Offline haywards

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Re: Watsons in Kimberley
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 29 May 14 10:27 BST (UK) »
Thanks, Derek,  but sadly not my Watsons. We have evidence of both James and Joseph dying in County Armagh in the 1930s. I suppose however that the ones you have found might have been cousins or something (the 19th century Keady Watsons seem to have had plenty of children!). So this might possibly suggest a flurry of County Armagh Watsons trooping across to South Africa around 1900 because of conversations around the family rather than pure coincidence. But that has to be an optimistic guess at the moment.

Offline haywards

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Re: Watsons in Kimberley
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 29 May 14 10:32 BST (UK) »
By the way, Derek, do you recall which database in the SA Archives you found the estate papers? The links you quoted took me to a timed-out session.

Offline pampoen

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Re: Watsons in Kimberley
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 29 May 14 10:38 BST (UK) »
Pity try this link for the database http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za/sm300cv/smws/sm300dl select the RSA one it will search all the archives.

Regards Derek
Austin, Ayling, Alborough, Bescoby, Cheal, Groom,Rathbone,Tarboton,Lyell and Smith.