From Federation-My grandparents and parents

John Henry (‘Harry’, my mum’s father) Dean born in1903 in Chiltern, Victoria. His father, John Henry, is Head Teacher in the north-east Victorian town.

Joao Luis da Silva (b. 20 April 1904 in Lisbon, d. 1977 in Melbourne) grows up in Lourenco Marques, Portuguese East Africa.

John Henry Dean and his wife Alice move the family to Melbourne in 1914 “to enable the family to be closer to Arthur [(b. 1893, d. 1970)], who was in training to join the army”(Allen, op cit, p 18). John Henry takes up the position of Head Teacher at Napier Street (Fitzroy).


Robert James Kewish is a journalist working, since 1920, with The Weekly Times (an agricultural paper founded in 1869), which is located on Flinders Street in Melbourne. He is a senior figure in the city’s Masonic Lodge.

John Henry Dean, Head Teacher at Elsternwick Primary School, dies in September 1922.

Joao Luis emigrates to Australia in 1924, nobody knows why. “Self taught to speak and read English and proud of it,” writes my father in his memoir. “I understand that my father’s view of the world was that the British knew the best way to govern and both he and Maria Nazaré (his sister) desired to have English spouses and live in English speaking countries,” he recalls.

Joao Luis marriesies Phyllis Elsie Pearl Caldicott on 15 December 1924.

In 1926 John Henry Dean’s son, John Henry (‘Harry’, d. 1954), marries Beatrice Kewish (b. 1901, d. 1978). My maternal grandparents meet through the church and worship in a Melbourne Presbyterian congregation. In 1926 he buys Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters.


Some time toward the end of the 1920s, an acquaintance whose husband is having an affair consults Robert Kewish, believing he can put matters right. He is successful and in 1930 himself runs off with the woman. Beatrice, his daughter, and her sister Reba never forgive their father, as my mother will later explain:

“I wish I had had the opportunity to know him beyond the slight, plump, balding figure who made rare visits on some Sundays, in the front room of Glen Eira Rd., never offered a seat or refreshment.”

Harry is a member of the Presbyterian Church before switching to Socialism. He is a pharmacist. His first child is my mother.


Joao Luis and Phyllis have another son, John Paul, who is born on October 1946.

In December 1946, Peter da Silva, my father, breaks his neck while diving into the Parramatta River at Gladesville, a suburb of Sydney, on a visit to his maternal grandfather, William Henry Caldicott.

In 1949, Harry’s older brother Arthur becomes a judge of the Victorian Supreme Court.

In 1948, Harry’s sister Madge (b. 1910 in Daylesford, Victoria, d. 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand) goes to Japan with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (B.C.O.F.).

One album covering Hong Kong and Singapore is prefaced: “Tony, to whom I owe these pictures, my camera, and any skill I possess. He came from Michigan, USA and was an Army photographer.” She returns to Sydney in February 1951(?), having spent four years and one month, by her count, in Japan.

When I spoke with Andrew Jack at the Australian War Memorial, whom I’d been put onto after contacting them through the Web site, he said that my observation — that although Madge was very anti-Japanese at the start of her sojourn she became very attached to the country and its people by the end — was typical of the experience of B.C.O.F. members.


My great-grandmother, Alice Dean dies, aged 80.

In 1951, Carrie Maria (Sally) da Silva, my aunt, (b. 1926 in Melbourne, d. 2003 in Murray Bridge, South Australia) marries John Victor Cromwell (b. 1927 in Murray Bridge, South Australia).

Noel Kewish (b. 1908, d. 1977), Beatrice’s younger brother, enters photographs in various exhibitions (1952, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964) in Melbourne.

In 1954 Joao Luis da Silva is naturalised. Harry dies. Peter da Silva is engaged to marry. Judith Dean.

Phyllis is devastated when their youngest son Paul, 11, is killed by a car while riding his bicycle in 1956. She comes with us when my parents relocate to Sydney. She is a devout Anglican and attends church on Sunday. She never divorces Joao Luis.

Joao Luis writes to tell his family about Paul’s death.

In 1956 Madge (schoolteacher) marries Borge Elmer Johansen (stevedore). Elmer collects German erotica from the 1930s. On the suggestion of a staffer at the Art Gallery of NSW, I contact Andersen Shaw & Associates (53 Nelson Street, Annandale) who quote me just under $190 per unit for restoration, mounting and framing. They use UV-protecting perspex not glass as it reduces discoloration due to age.

The town of Edgbaston is made a ward of Birmingham.

In 1850 the district of Port Philip is separated from New South Wales and becomes the colony of Victoria. Gold is discovered in May 1851. The first steamship arrives in Sydney in 1852. (The colony of South Australia had been separate from the time of its first settlement by Europeans in 1836.)
“In 1850 the Australian Colonies Government Act was passed by the British Parliament. It expanded the New South Wales Legislative Council so that by 1851 there were now 54 members – again, with two-thirds elected. The Act also permitted the creation of three other self-governing colonies with a Legislative Council on the NSW model: South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria.” (From the Parliament of New South Wales Web site.)

In 1852, the British government announces the abolition of convict transportation to the eastern colonies. “Most arrivals are unassisted immigrants from Britain, selected and despatched by the colonial land and emigration commissioners.” (From the Victorian Immigration Museum Web site.)


In 1852, after Alexander MacArthur’s death, Eliza MacArthur emigrates with her daughter Maria Alexina (b. 1838) to the colony of Victoria where, in 1853, she marries William Norris at St Andrews (C of E), Brighton.

In 1852 William Hayward (b. 1815 in Kent, d. 1890 in New Thebarton, South Australia) marries Catherine Murphy (b. 1835 in Ireland, d. 1892 in West Adelaide) in Holy Trinity, Adelaide.

In 1851 William Warren Dean (grocer, b. 1826 Macclesfield, Cheshire, d. 1876) marries Henrietta Kenyon (b. 1831 in Lancashire, m. 1851, d. 1890) in the Church of St Peter (C of E) at Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire. Their first child, Peter William, is born in Ashton under Lyne in July 1852.

In 1852, William Warren Dean and in 1855 Henrietta, arrive in the colony of Victoria. On his son John Henry’s birth certificate, William Warren is shown as a ‘Digger’, and on his own death certificate as a ‘Miner’. Thanks to Patricia Allen for research published in Silk, Gold and Chalk: some early history of the Deans, Perth, 2007.

In 1852 Elizabeth MacGugan (nee Monro, b. 1803, m. 1830, d. 1875) makes the voyage out to Portland, in the colony of Victoria, alone with five children. Her husband was Archibald (b. 1804, d. 1850).

In 1853, Robert Henry Caldicott (b. 1833, d. 1905) leaves Edgbaston and emigrates to the colony of South Australia along with his father Alfred Jolly (a printer and stationer, b. 1802 and christened in St. Martin’s Parish Church, Birmingham, d. 1888). Possible resource: The History, Topography & Directory of Warwickshire, William West (1830).

Robert Henry’s mother Henrietta (nee Saunders, b. 1804, m. 1831, d. 1866) also emigrates. He settles in Adelaide with his wife Emma (nee Saunders, b. 1831, d. 1891).

William Warren and Henriett Dean’s third child, Mary Ann, born at Ovens goldfield in 1857 “so it is probable that the family were living in a tent/hut on the goldfields in the Beech worth area”, writes Patricia Allen (op cit, p 11).


John Henry Dean born “at Campbell’s Creek, Newstead Division (near Castlemain)” (Allen op cit, p 12).

In 1869, Thomas Michael Kewish (b. 1833, d. 1922), a tailor who lived in Ballaugh, Ireland, and (note: this is possibly a spurious name, we’ve already seen Thomas Michael Kewish married to Leonora Ann Kaye) wife Michaela (nee Leomintly, b. 1835, m. 1860, d. 1906) emigrate to Durham Ox, Victoria.


William Warren Dean dies “of ‘Chronic Congestion of the Brain'” (Allen, op cit, p 13) in January 1876 in Bendigo, where he worked as a miner.

In 1879 Robert Saunders Caldicott (b. 1859, d. 1950) marries Elizabeth Hayward (b. 1859, d. 1930).


In 1892, John Henry Dean (b. 1861, d. 1922) marries Alice MacGugan (b. 1869, d. 1950).

In 1895, Robert James Kewish marries Alexina Reba Carr (b. 1868, d. 1948), daughter of Thomas and Maria Alexina.

Luis Antonio da Silva (b. 1878, d. 1926) marries Maria Nazare Ribeiro (b. 1882, d. 1922).

William Henry Caldicott (b. 1881, d. 1962) marries Carrie Morgan (b. 1880, d. 1913).

Thomas Coldicott, my earliest known forbear, is born in 1587 and marries.

17th century

Thomas Coldicott is born in 1610. He is a husbandman and is buried in 1664 in Ilmington, Warwickshire.

John Coldicott is born in 1641 in Ilmington, Warwickshire, and marries.

18th century

In 1703 William Coldicott (b. 1671 in Ilmington, Warwickshire, d. 1746 in Ilmington, Warwickshire) marries Clementia Underhill (b. 1675) in Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire.

Underhill Coldicott (b. 1715, baptised in Ilmington, Warwickshire, d. 1776 and buried in Church Honeybourne, Worcestershire), a husbandman, marries Ann.

In 1739 Edmund Christian marries Elizabeth Cowin in Onchan, Isle of Man.

In 1751 Richard Fell (b. 1720), Mayor of Kendal, marries Agnes Wilson in Selside, Kendal, Westmorland.

In 1763 ribbon manufacturer John Caldicott (b. 1742, baptised in Ebrington, Gloucestershire, d. 1808 in Coventry) marries Sibella Ludford in St Michaels, Coventry. (Note the change in the spelling of the name.)

In 1770 Edmond Christian (christened 1744 in Onchan, Isle of Man) marries Catherine Cottier (b. c. 1749 in Lezayre, Isle of Man).

In 1780 Thomas Beilby (b. 1747, d. 1826) marries Isabella Fell (b. 1756) in St Peters, Sheffield.

In 1790 John Caldicott (b. 1768, d. 1846) marries Sarah Payne (d. 1856) in St. Peter & St. Paul Parish Church, Aston, Warwickshire.

Robert Saunders marries Henrietta. Their first child, Elizabeth Eycott, is baptised in 1799 in St Phillip’s Cathedral, Birmingham.

In 1799 Thomas Kewish (b. 1778 in Lezayre, Isle of Man, d. 1822) marries Isabel Christian (christened in 1777 in Onchan, Isle of Man).

Early 19th century

In 1808 Dr. William Beilby (b. 1783 in Sheffield, d. 1849 in Edinburgh), president of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, marries Maria Catherine Moller (b. 1790, d. 1868) in St Georges, Dublin.

[William Beilby marries Janet Somerville (b. 1802). I think this is a red herring.]

In 1824 William Kewish (b. 1803) marries Catherine Cowley (b. 1803, d. 1883).

[Thomas Leomintly takes Annie for a wife; this may be a red herring.]

Henry Caldicott listed as “haberdasher, hosier etc.” of Bull Street. Source: The History, Topography and Directory of Warwickshire, William West, 1830.

In 1831 Alfred Jolly Caldicott marries Henrietta Saunders (baptised 1804 in St Phillip’s Cathedral, Birmingham) in St Mary’s, Handsworth, Birmingham. “Saunders Miss H. acad. New John-st.” (source: William West’s History).

In 1835 Dr. Alexander MacArthur marries Eliza Beilby (b. 1816 in Edinburgh, d. 1896) in Edinburgh. Maria Alexina (d. 1927) is born in Dublin in 1838 and marries Thomas Carr (b. 1832 in Bermondsey, London, d. 1922) (note: not sure if they marry in the British Isles or in Victoria).

Thomas Michael Kewish (b. 1833), a tailor, marries Leonora Ann Kaye. This is documented online. In 1865 their son Robert James Kewish (d. 1948) is baptised in Lazayre Parish, the Isle of Man. He grows up in Douglas.