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Jason Donovan

Discuss last year's series of Who Do You Think You Are?, which featured Bruce Forsyth, Dervla Kirwan, Monty Don and six more famous faces as they traced their family trees

Re: JASON DONOVAN

Postby ksouthall » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:40 pm

Emmeline wrote:
FamilyHistoryAddict wrote:I too thought it was a shame that Jason was estranged from his mother. When both your parents are deceased (such as mine are) you'd give your eye teeth to spend more time with them. You are separated from your parents by death so shouldn't waste precious moments that you could spend with them.


I totally agree with this as I've also lost both my parents. Hopefully this WDYTYA experience will spur Jason on to build some bridges with his mother as you truly don't realise what you've lost until it's gone.


I agree that Jason might regret not getting in touch with his mother while he still can, however it may not be as straightforward as it seems. Losing a parent through death is different to losing a parent through separation or divorce as people don't generally choose to die. Jason may have very mixed feelings about being left by his mother and he may be scared about the consequences of trying to contact her. He is obviously close to his dad and may also be worried about how he would feel. Although it seems from the outside that it would be great if he and his mother could become reconciled, it is not for us to judge either of them if they do not build any bridges.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby minniemonaghan » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:33 pm

I find this series fascinating and am very interested in Australian history. However I do not understand what Jason Donovan means by a "classless" Australian society. I was also extremely disappointed that there was absolutely no mention about Aborigines in this programme. I would have thought to have a balanced view of Australian society and fuller information about how the colony sprang up there should be reference to the Aboriginal presence which existed for millennia before the colonists arrived.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby ksouthall » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:30 pm

minniemonaghan wrote:I was extremely disappointed that there was absolutely no mention about Aborigines in this programme. I would have thought to have a balanced view of Australian society and fuller information about how the colony sprang up there should be reference to the Aboriginal presence which existed for millennia before the colonists arrived.


If Jason Donovan had had any Aborigine ancestors they would have been included in the programme. Likewise, if his ancestors had had significant dealings with them. As they did not form a part of the stories covered in this ONE HOUR programme, mentioning the Aborigines was not relevant in this instance.

As many people have posted elsewhere on the website, Who Do You Think You Are? is a family history programme not a general history programme. It deals with the stories of individual families not a country as a whole.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby lesley.mazey » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:44 am

I loved this episode. I found it touching without being too sacharine sweet. As a previous contributor noted, it shows the importance of not letting family rifts drag on until it is too late. I do like to think that jason has used this experience to rebuild links with his mother but only he knows the facts about what happened so I guess we shouldn't assume anything.

it was nice that this was an ordinary family (ok with some interesting convict ship links) without any links to royalty.

L
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby Jan P » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:40 pm

Although not a fan of Jason I was interested in his history because I'm a UK resident Aussie. It is a bit exciting to recognise places I've been. Then as soon as the road over the Blue Mountains was mentioned along with the name Cox my brain activated and dug down about 60 years and I remembered he was the road builder. That was a good senior moment.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby KiwiJan54 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:43 pm

minniemonaghan wrote: I do not understand ... a "classless" Australian society.

When people migrated to Australia and New Zealand it was often to escape the discriminatory system that existed in England (in particular). People in Britain were born into particular levels of society and often had little opportunity to improve their lot in life. In New Zealand and Australia the saying was "Jack is as good as his master" so people were able to use their skills and talents to make their way in life, including owning their own property, without the constraints of the countries they had originated from. Thus upper, middle and lower classes did not exist as in Britain - hence "classless society.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby mulgoa » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:38 am

My husband and son are direct descendant of Captain William Cox and his 1st wife Rebecca Upjohn ( I am not sure which wife Jason is descended from). Rebecca Upjohn is the daughter of James Upjohn of the renowned watchmaking family. James wrote in one of his dairies that his grand children may read his diaries one day - his gr gr gr gr gr gr grandchildren are ! Rebecca Upjohn is member of the Upjohn family who include - Richard Upjohn renowned Gothic Church Architect who migrated to USA, Upjohn Pharmaceutical family, Anna Milo Upjohn, Richard Upjohn Light founder of American geographic Society,neurosurgeon and famous photographer, the Upjohns were great friends of Walt Disney hence the Upjohn Pharmacies at Disneyland, great philathropists

When William and Rebecca Cox arrived in Australia with their sons it was harsh with no infrastructure with fellow colonist they assisted to establish frameworks for agriculture, breeding, infrastructure for banking agricultural societies, churches. They built magnificent homes many still standing today s fine examples of Georgian architecture. All william and Rebecca children married into leading pioneer families. Everyone had a lot of chidren and if one wife died they maried again and had more children. william and rebecca descendent is a member of the royal family.IN BRW richest austalians ever ( based on GDP) William Cox is about 38 on the list - his today equiv wealth was in the billions.

My husband and his family and ancestors have always been Cox descendents attending festivals and reunions. There is also a Annual William Cox Festival in penrith (near Mulgoa). I have found this a warm and loving family and I have read countless family diaries and letters from the 1800's. Most certainly in my husbands line the families were loving and supportive way back to William Cox. The only problem that arose was when one of the boys married a catholic in around !

Over 200 years on in Australia I find the path the family has travelled interesting. The Cox chin and eyes persists in many descendents.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby Moglie » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:34 pm

As I sit and type I'm in the birthplace of William Cox, Wimborne in Dorset - my home town :)
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby naa Aduwah » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:09 pm

ksouthall wrote:
minniemonaghan wrote:I was extremely disappointed that there was absolutely no mention about Aborigines in this programme. I would have thought to have a balanced view of Australian society and fuller information about how the colony sprang up there should be reference to the Aboriginal presence which existed for millennia before the colonists arrived.



The Aboriginal facet is clearly in this case part of the macro picture. Though this series is about family history, the programme is adept at creating a family story which is interwoven with broader social and economic history. Perhaps this did not quite fit in with notions of meritocracy that were being advanced? I personally did not see Aborigine omission as the backstory – I thought there was a more curious story around the ambiguity [and then near ambivalence?] around JD's maternal Jewish ancestry. I found this a bit odder, than the Aboriginal contribution and invisibility - as it is this cultural facet that appears to form part of JD’s direct present and a rich legacy to his children.
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Re: Jason Donovan

Postby ehoward » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:46 am

Elizabeth Gertrude O'Brien known as Gertie was born 1857 in Calcutta, India and died 1924 at Melbourne Hospital. Her parents were John Francis O'Brien and Elizabeth Emmerson. However, on the death certificate her parents are listed as 'unknown' & Robert O'Brien. The O'Briens were possibly from the Cork or Cove area of Ireland. I am unable to find any further information on her parents. Can anyone help?

Elizabeth O'Brien and Simeon Lyons were married in 1879 at Napier Street, Fitzroy by Nathaniel Kinsman, Minister according to the rites of the Free Church of England. Alice Hopwood & John Mc Guire witnessed the marriage certifcate. Elizabeth's occupation is listed as governess on the marriage certificate and Simeon's as bootmaker. Simeon later had a boot manufacturing business in the Collingwood area. His parents Joseph and Rosetta died sometime between 1882-1890.

Simeon was affectionately known as Papa Lyons, he wore a kippah hat and shawl to keep warm as he was in ill health for some years before his death in 1935.

Elizabeth O'Brien and Simeon Lyons had the following children: Sarah, Rosetta (Rose), Eileen (Eily), Esther (Ettie & Essie), Joseph, Catherine and Gertrude (Gertie). The children were all raised as Roman Catholics and grew up in the Clifton Hill area.

Rosetta and Catherine are buried with Simeon & Gertie at Melbourne General Cemetery. Rosetta died 1 March 1900, from uraemic convulsions at the age of 18, two weeks after giving birth to a son, John Joseph Hawthorne. Rosetta married Charles Hawthorne in 1899 at the age of 17 in St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Queen's Parade, Clifton Hill; her occupation on the marriage certificate is listed as school teacher. Catherine died when she was an infant. The grave where they are buried had a plaque that simply said 'Lyons', which has now since disintegrated. John (Jack) Hawthorne was then raised by a doting Eileen and his grandparents while his father sought work in country Victoria.

Joseph John Lyons joined the army during WW1 and was sent to Egypt. His service record is available on the National Archives of Australia website; it states that he suffered from rheumetism, influenza, pleurisy, bronchitis which lead to cardiac insufficiency. At the end of the war he was awarded 3 medals. He died in January 1938, at the age of 52 and is buried in Fawkner Cemetery. His death certificate lists his occupation as gardener and that he never married nor were there any children.

Gertie Lyons married Reginald Harkness lived for several years in Clifton Hill and later in Parkville. Gertie died in 1977 and is buried with her brother Joseph Lyons and her husband Reg. They had no children.

Esther (Ettie) Crowder nee Lyons lived her married life in the Footscray area. She died in 1950 and is buried at Footscray Cemetery.

Particulary seeking any copies of photographs of Rosetta Hawthorne nee Lyons .
Eugenie
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