|About Ottaways of Kent
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I started this journey a number of years ago when my mother died and I was going through her personal things - I suddenly realized that I knew very little about her family, apart from her siblings and the fact that she had been born in England. (I had found lots of photos whose names meant nothing). Her family were remarkably easy to trace as they had remained in a small corner of Kent for Centuries. Tracing back down the lines I read letters detailing the beginnings of the city of Wellington in NZ, descriptions of exotic plant life and colourful birds in Jamaica in the 1830's. I read stories of life on the American frontier and of journeying up the Huon River to remote Michigan State to establish a town up there. I read of the exploits of a family member who played both cricket and football for England, and at the other end of the scale of the degradations of family members who had ended up in the Workhouses of England. It was a wonderful journey, so when my father also passed away a couple of years ago, I took his research and have continued on with that side of the family. This side of the family Tree came from all parts of England and Ireland to settle in Austalia, and they came for all types of reasons. Some came to escape the ravages of the Potato Famine in Ireland,coming to a very young Colony at Port Phillip Bay, others were lured out by the promise of the Goldrush, still others came to better the lives that they had had in the Coalmines in Wales. What a wonderful glimpse into History through my own family it has been and I daresay it will continue, even though I am sure that I have the bulk of people in the right place, I am sure some more "twigs" will pop up from time to time. I hope that all who enter these pages enjoy them as much as I have in locating these people. UPDATE: I have just completed an update of this website, and now have an amazing number of confirmed relatives. There are so many that have been added that it is impossible to put down the stories of all, but suffice to say that I have now seen how the 'well-to-do' Victorian families fitted out their homes by browsing through an Auction Catalogue for one family member. Through the letters of another family member I have now some idea of how the very early settlers lived in the Canadian wilderness. I have looked at the very early settlement which would later become /Adelaide in South Australia through the eyes of a branch of the Ottaway family who were some of the first settlers there. I have learnt of the many different Immigration schemes that had existed as a way of getting as many people to populate this country as quickly as possible. These schemes were not necessary after Gold had been discovered. I have travelled from Somerset to a very young Victoria with the Harding family and then on to Queensland with them when the land was opened up there only to learn that Elias had left behind in Victoria, a sister and a cousin, and that there were other cousins that had emigrated to South Australia. I have seen how some family members lived in the very harshest of conditions in this country's interior, whilst another family member was well known for his isolated life-style and his treks into the northern deserts with his camels, looking for the Lassiter's grave. And I have not mentioned the many family members who went to war in the 1st WW and who now rest in peace in unmarked graves in France. I am sure that there are other stories in there that I have neglected to mention, but what I must doe is thank the many people who have given me information and at times corrected my mistakes. Keep watching as I am sure that there will be another update in a year or two. Judy Leslie June 2016