Ancestral Origins of Richard Dobson Clement

The information below describe the ancestral origins of Richard Dobson Clement (20 April 1839 - 11 Nov 1929) who migrated to Australia in 1867. It has been compiled from information provided by Ian Starling and Margaret Tyler in early 2015.

In summary, the family lines described below, with place names in square brackets, are as follows. The early origins of the Clement family appear to be in Darlington, later in Sunderland, on the coast to the north east. The names in bold are the main characters whose lines lead, eventually, to Richard Clement.

Darlington, County Durham, United Kingdom

The Darlington and general area of Durham County in the UK where many of the individuals below were born or lived is shown in the Google map below:

Darlington area, County Durham, United Kingdom

The Sands family of Darlington

George Sands (1684 - ) married Mary (? - 1762) > Dorothy Sands (1708 - ) married John Richmond (? - 1775) > Thomas Richmond (1748 - 1817) married Mary Cook (1747 - 1778) > Dorothy Richmond (1775 - 1810) married John Clement (1773 - ) > John Clement (1803 - 1879)

The earliest known members of the Sands family were William Sands (abt 1650 - ) who married Margaret ( - 1706) and had the following children, all born in Darlington:

Other children may also have been born (noting the gap between each).

It is not known when William Sands died. His wife Margaret was buried in St Cuthberts on 27 April 1706.

William and Margaret Sands' third child, George Sands (1684 - ), a shoemaker, married Mary, probably in another parish around 1705. George and Mary had eight children, including a set of twins:

Several of George's sons followed him into the shoemaking trade. William, John , Henry and Christopher became shoemakers. Mary's death is recorded in 1762. She was buried in St. Cuthberts, Darlington, on 30 December, 1762. George had predeceased her.

The Cook family (of weavers) of Darlington

Nicholas Cook (abt 1640 - 1704) married Dorothy Rayne > George Cook (1684 - 1761) married (wife's name not known) > Nicholas Cook (abt 1720 - ) married Catherine Appleby (1721 - ) > Mary Cook (1747 - )

Nicholas Cook (abt 1640 - 1704), a weaver, married Dorothy Rayne in Darlington in February 1665. It is believed that they had at least three sons and two daughters:

Nicholas Cook senior died in Darlington in May 1704 and was buried in St Cuthberts on 20 May the same year.

George Cook (1684 - 1761), a weaver, was baptised (on 30 December 1684) and buried in Darlington (but not married there, it seems). The name of George Cook's wife is not known. They had at least one child, a son called Nicholas Cook (abt 1720 - ). George Cook died in Darlington and was buried there on 15 December 1761 aged 77.

Nicholas Cook (abt 1720 - ), a weaver possibly from another parish, married Catherine Appleby (1721 - ) in St Cuthberts Darlington on 1 July 1743. They had five children:

The Simpson family of Darlington

Robert Simpson ( - ) married Mary ( - 1703) > Anne Simpson (1697 - ) married George Appleby (1696 - 1739) > Catherine Appleby (1721 - ) married Nicholas Cook (abt 1720 - ) > Mary Cook (1747 - 1778)

Robert Simpson, a potter, and his wife Mary (surname not known)(died 1703) had three sons and two daughters all baptised at Darlington:

The Appleby family of Darlington

George Appleby ( - 1724) was the son of another George Appleby of Darlington. George Appleby junior had four children with his wife, whose name is not known:

George Appleby (1696 - May 1739), a weaver and a bake-house man, married Anne Simpson (1697 - ) in Darlington on 16 July 1718 (where both were born). George and Anne had the following children:

George Appleby senior died in July 1724 and was buried in St Cuthberts. George Appleby junior died in Darlington in May 1739 and was buried on 31 May 1739.

The Richmond family of Darlington

George Sands (1684 - ) married Mary (? - ?) > Dorothy Sands (1708 - ) married John Richmond (? - 1775) > Thomas Richmond (1748 - 1817) married Mary Cook (1747 - 1778) > Dorothy Richmond (1775 - 1810) married John Clement (1773 - ) > John Clement (1803 - 1879)

William Richmond ( - ) of Darlington and his wife (name not known) had three children:

John Richmond ( - 1775), a shoemaker, married Dorothy Sands (1708 - 1786) on 20 November 1732 at St Cuthberts in Darlington. John and Dorothy Richmond had nine children:

John Richmond died in November 1775, and was buried at St Cuthberts on 8 November. His wife Dorothy died two and a half years later, and was buried at Darlington on 16 May 1786, aged 77.

The Richmond / Cook/e connection - Darlington

George Sands (1684 - ) married Mary (? - ?) > Dorothy Sands (1708 - ) married John Richmond (? - 1775) > Thomas Richmond (1748 - 1817) married Mary Cook (1747 - 1778) > Dorothy Richmond (1775 - 1810) married John Clement (1773 - ) > John Clement (1803 - 1879)

As noted above, Thomas Richmond (1748 - 1817), a shoemaker, married Mary Cook/e and had the following children:

Mary Cook died in March 1778 and was buried in St Cuthberts. Thomas Richmond re-married, this time to Elizabeth Fairburn on 30 December 1781. They had the following children:

The Clement / Richmond connection - Darlington

George Sands (1684 - ) married Mary (? - ?) > Dorothy Sands (1708 - ) married John Richmond (? - 1775) > Thomas Richmond (1748 - 1817) married Mary Cook (1747 - 1778) > Dorothy Richmond (1775 - 1810) married John Clement (1773 - ) > John Clement (1803 - 1879)

John Clement (1726 - 22 August 1799) may (and may not) have been the person with the same name in Darlington noted as a banker with Messrs Wetherell & Co. In any case, a John Clement married a local girl, Eleanor Wood (abt 1728/9 - 1 May 1806) some time before 1749 in Darlington and had at least one child, James Clement (1749 - 1804).

James Clement (1749 - 1804) was a labourer and husbandman. His occupation suggests he may not have been the son of a banker. James married Margaret Little ( - November 1790) on 29 November 1773 in St Cuthberts in Darlington. They had the following children:

Margaret (nee Little) died in 1790 when Jane was 6. James then remarried, this time to Margaret Brown on 5 August 1793. They had the following children:

John Clement senior and his wife Eleanor Clement (nee Wood) (1728/9 - 1 May 1806) were both buried in St Cuthberts, Darlington.

Some time before 1796, John Clement junior (1773 - ), a labourer like his father, met Dorothy Richmond (abt 1774 - 1810). They married in St Cuthberts on 26 April 1796. James and Dorothy Clement lived in Darlington and had six children all born in that town:

It is not known when John Clement (senior) died.

The Dobson family of Sunderland

John Rowell (1763 - 1810) married Sarah Dobson (? - ?) > Isabella Rowell (1803 - ) married John Clement (1803 - 1879) > Richard Dobson Clement (1839 - 1929)

Sunderland is a town on the British coast south east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, through which the River Wear flows. An area in Sunderland is called Bishopwearmouth.

Sunderland, United Kingdom

Edward Dobson, the son of Edward and Mary Dobson, was born in Sunderland and baptised there on 24 September 1738. On 2 December 1759, he married Isabel Charleton in the church at Sunderland. It is believed that Edward and Isabel had a daughter, Sarah Dobson, as well as a son named Richard Dobson, born in Sunderland in 1769 and baptised on 8 August the same year.

It is significant (to the belief that Sarah was the daughter of Edward and Isabel Dobson) that John and Isabella Clement named a son Richard Dobson in 1839, after his great-uncle. Richard Dobson married Ann Crawford in 1791, and had a son, also called Richard Dobson, born in Sunderland in 1795.

Another, more tenuous theory suggests that Sarah Dobson was the daughter of a John and Sarah Dobson, and was born in Rothwell near Leeds in 1771 - the latter seems unlike given the distance from Rothwell to Sutherland.

The Rowell family of Sunderland - Dobson connection

John Rowell (1763 - 1810) married Sarah Dobson (? - ?) > Isabella Rowell (1803 - ) married John Clement (1803 - 1879) > Richard Dobson Clement (1839 - 1929)

Henry Rowell (abt 1736 - ) and Jane Dodsworth (abt 1740 - ) are believed to be the parents of John Rowell (1763 - 1810).

John Rowell (1763 - 1810) married Sarah Dobson (1769 - 1811), the presumed daughter of Edward Dobson (1738 - ) and Isabel Charleton referred to above, in Sunderland on 10 December 1792. John and Sarah Rowell had seven children:

John Rowell senior (1763 - ) died in October 1810 was was buried in Sunderland on 18 October 1810 - the same day that his last child Dobson was born. About a year later, his widow Sarah also died and was buried on 3 November 1811, leaving the children orphans. It is not known who looked after them.

By 1881, John Rowell junior (1806 - ) was living in Hampshire (near Southampton), giving his age as 76. He was noted as being married (presumed to be widowed), and boarding with Michael (age 44) and Jane Ann (41) Phillips at 12 John Road, St. Mary Extra in Hampshire, and their two dressmaker daughters, Margaret Ann (18) and Sarah Jane (16). Michael Phillips was an iron ship caulker (builder), born in Sunderland and Jane had been born in Rainton, south of Durham. The daughters had been born in Bishopwearmouth and Sunderland. No family connection has been established between John and the Phillips - Jane Ann's maiden name was not Rowell. John appears to have died shortly after the 1881 census. His death is recorded at South Stoneham in Hampshire on 6 August 1881.

John Weatherall, the son of Elizabeth Rowell (2 November 1800/bap 2 February 1801) and John Weatherall, died before the 1871 census. Someone of that name died in Sunderland in the second quarter of 1869, aged 64 – possibly a little young to be Elizabeth’s husband). Elizabeth was living in an Alms House in Stockton, with some other senior women at the time of the 1881 census. She lived to the age of 84, and died in Stockton in the first quarter of 1885.

The Clement / Rowell connection - Sunderland

John Rowell (1763 - 1810) married Sarah Dobson (? - ?) > Isabella Rowell (1803 - ) married John Clement (1803 - 1879) > Richard Dobson Clement (1839 - 1929)

Some time before 1824, John Clement (1803 - 1879) left Darlington and made his way to the coastal town of Sunderland, a coal loading port on the mouth of the River Wear 20 kms north east of Durham, where he became a bread baker there. John met his wife to be, Isabella Rowell and they married on 14 February 1824, possibly in the Church of England (although it is understood that, following their marriage, John and Isabella Clement attended the small non-conformist Congregational 'Bethel' Chapel in Villiers St, Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland that was built only seven years earlier.

John and Isabella Clement had nine children, all born in Sunderland except the last:

By the date of Richard Clement's birth in 1839, the family were living in Queen Street, Sunderland. The children's father, John, was still a bread baker. By 1851, the family had moved dto 87 High Street, Sunderland. By 1861, they were living at 90 High Street, Sunderland (although this may reflect a renumbering rather than a move as such). In the same year, Isabella (now 28) and Thomas (now 26) were still living with their parents. Some time after 1861, John and Isabella Clement moved to 98 Mainsforth Terrace; by 1871 when he was 68, John was recorded as a 'master baker'.

John and Isabella Clement in the 1870s

John Clement (born 1803) suffered from paralysis for the last two years of his life and died on 4 August 1879. His wife, Isabella Clement (nee Rowell) died on 6 January 1881 from bronchitis. They were living at 99 Mains Forth Terrace at the time and both were buried at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery (Ward 3, Section C, 710 and 711 - note that other related Clements are buried in Ward 3, Section C, 148). Their daughter Isabella Kirtley was living at 78 Mainsforth Terrace at the time of their deaths.

Life of Richard Dobson Clement (1838 - 1929) in the UK - marriage to Jane Elizabeth Burdon (1843 - abt 1865)

During Richard Clement's youth, Sunderland was an important coal port and shipbuilding centre in Britain. Richard's father John was a recorded as a baker, and a butcher, but many of his relatives were involved with the sea which was perhaps not surprising. The family attended the Bethel Chapel, an independent church in Villiers Street.

On 13 November 1860, Richard Clement, by then a butcher residing in the Bishopwearmouth area of Sunderland, married Jane Elizabeth Burdon (1843 - abt 1865) in the parish chuch of St Thomas at Stockton-on-Tees, about 40 kms south of Sunderland and around 15 kms east of Darlington. Jane was the daughter of John Burdon (a local cord winder (cordwainer) and shoemaker) and Jane Burdon (nee Dinsdale). John Burdon's father was Robert Burdon, also a shoemaker. Jane Burdon senior was the daughter of Joseph and Jane Dinsdale. Jane had a brother, Matthew Burdon, a fitter.

It is not known why Richard Clement went to Stockton-on-Tees or how he met Jane Burdon. However, Richard Clement's aunt Elizabeth Weatherall (nee Rowell) moved to Stockton in the late 1830s with her husband and family and this may have been the reason Richard was in that town.

Richard Clement is not recorded on the night of the 1861 census (he may have been at sea - see below) but his wife Jane is, with her parents at 131 High Street, Stockton. Richard and Jane Clement had two children:

  • Jane Dinsdale Clement (9 June 1862 - ). Married William Roger Stuart (abt 1858 - ), a joiner, in 1883. Neither appear in the 1891 or 1901 census suggesting they may have emigrated.
  • Matthew Burdon Clement (14 December 1864 - 1937). Married Catherine Duck (1864 - 1936) in 1886. See below for further information.

Jane Clement died in 1865, possibly connected with the birth of her son Matthew Clement. No documentary reference has yet been found of Jane's death. Somewhat curiously, Richard's subsequent marriage and death certificates in Australia make no reference to children from his first marriage.

While he was recorded in his children's birth certificates as a butcher (and with the middle name of 'Downs'), Richard Clement appears to have spent time at sea as a ship's steward. The two children, Jane and Matthew, appear to have been brought up by their grandparents - they were recorded living with them in the 1871 census (at White Swan Yard, adjoining the White Swan Inn in High St, Stockton) and the 1881 census. By 1881, Jane Clement was described as a milliner, while her brother Matthew (Matt) Clement was described as an engine fitter.

Richard then appears to have taken to sea as a ship's steward. He was said to have travelled to the New Hebrides on one occasion. Richard Clement departed Liverpool on 25 November 1867. A Miss Rye had chartered the White Star clipper Queen of the North to carry 142 emigrants, mostly single or widowed women, to Melbourne. Richard was a steward on this voyage.

See separate story for the life of Richard in Australia, his marriage to Agnes Hitchcock (nee Weston), and his marriage to his third wife Margaret Knight.

Life of Matthew Clement (1864 - 1937)

Matthew Clement married Catherine Duck in Stockton in 1886. Catherine Duck was also born in Stockton. They had one child:

  • John Fletcher B Clement (1887, Stockton - )

In 1891, Matthew (a fitter) and Catherine Clement and their son John were living at 39 Sydney St, Stockton, right next door to Matthew's grandfather, John Burdon, who was then a 72 year-old watchman. John Burdon had married Rebecca Hammond late in 1888, following his first wife's death early in 1887. Both Matt (as he was named in the census) and Catherine were still at Stockton in 1901 (aged 38 and 37).

It would seem that Richard lost contact with these two children after coming to Australia. The detailed diary of his daughter, Isabella, on her visit to England in 1907, makes no reference to her half-sister and half-brother, although she spent much time with her Clement cousins in Sunderland. This apparent severing of family ties still appears a mystery.

John F B Clement married Lillian M Dobson (1892, Teesdale - ) at Stockton in 1913. Lillian is not believed to be related to the other Dobsons recorded above.

It seems that the family moved to Middlesbrough during the 1910’s, and it was at Middlesbrough that Matthew died in the last quarter of 1937, aged 72. Catherine had also died at Middlesbrough, at age 71 early in 1936.

Page created 29 March 2015, updated 30 March 2015. Copyright 1985 - 2017, Andrew Warland. email: andrewwarland(at)