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You can't tell the story of the Draydon's without including the little town of Pratten, near Warwick in SE Queensland.  


(Extracts from Driden, Dryden & Dreadon....)


Joseph Draydon was born on 14 March 1839 to Joseph Draydon and his wife Jane Tremayne in Lecudden farmhouse near Helland in Cornwall. Joseph senior was a brother of John Draydon the father of George and William Dreadon who emigrated to New Zealand in 1863 and 1865, making Joseph junior a first cousin to the New Zealand bound brothers.

Joseph Draydon 1839-1919

Joseph was married on 11 October 1861 at Helland Cornwall at the age of 22 as Joseph Dreadon. The two spellings of the family name were interchangeable among many of the family who were born near Helland where the spelling of Draydon had been favoured, while Dreadon was the spelling favoured in Blisland and Bodmin the few miles either side of Helland. Joseph's bride was the decidedly pregnant 17 year old Ann Maria Biddick, daughter of Matthew Biddick a farmer of Bodwen near Helland.


Their first son was John Draydon born on 22 November 1861. In late 1862 the small Draydon family emigrated from Cornwall England together with the Biddick family consisting of Ann's parents Matthew and Elizabeth and a younger daughter Mary Jane Biddick then aged 12. They embarked on the ship Everton from Birkenhead Liverpool on 4 November 1862 reaching Moreton Bay off Brisbane in Queensland Australia in mid February 1863. Both families were listed under the broad heading of agricultural labourers.

The Everton was at anchor at Moreton Bay on Friday 13 February 1863 when she was struck by a cyclonic gale, forcing a run out to sea. It was a day later when the winds eased and she made her way back to the Bay. On 17 November the Everton landed and discharged its 363 Government immigrants with the reported death of 12 during the voyage of whom most were children.

In Queensland Joseph found work on the construction of the Ipswich to Grandchester railway, living with Ann Maria in the railway camps while adding to their family another three children, George, Annie and Joseph junior. The Toowoomba extension of the railway was completed in 1867, which saw Joe Draydon put his family and possessions on a cart and head for the gold diggings of Darkey Flat (later named Pratten) near Warwick in Queensland. Joe and his brother- in-law Robert Fraser who was married to Jane Biddick, mined their “El Dorado” together.   (See photos below)  Joseph Draydon stayed on in Darkey Flat as the gold mining declined, buying a farm to run cows and later breeding Clydesdale horses. He died at Pratten aged 82 survived by his wife Ann Maria who died in 1928 aged 84.

Of their family, John Draydon the oldest son born in Cornwall married Margaret Wilson and had three children born in the Warwick and Darkey Flat (Pratten) area between 1887 and 1895 – Margaret, George and Matthew Draydon. Many of their descendants live in the Toowoomba area of Queensland.

George Biddick Draydon the second son was born in Pratten in 1863 and married Grace Elizabeth Beil (cousin to Christina). They remained in Pratten where they had a family of ten children between 1891 and 1919 most of whom married in the Clifton and Toowoomba area. George's grandson Cliff Draydon's wife Valma von Pein of Toowoomba has collected much of the genealogical information presented here, her sharing of which has been appreciated.

Joseph Draydon junior the third son was born in 1866 and lived in Gum Flat. He married Christina Beil and had together a family of eight of whom only six survived to adulthood.  Joseph Draydon junior died in 1931 and is buried in Pratten Queensland. 

Ann Draydon born on 1868 was the fourth child and only daughter of Joseph and Ann Maria Draydon who married George Booth Lambley and produced six children; Charles, William, Lilian, George, Anne and Edward Lambley born in Pratten Queensland.

The following photos were taken by Des Draydon in 1988 when he, Uncle Jack Turner and his daughter Angela visited on the occasion of a Pratten reunion.   Click on the first photo to enlarge & scroll through the Album.

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