Gordon DNA in NSW, Canada & NZ

By , December 23, 2012 10:13 am

The original property was granted to the Glassons  but the Glasson name changed to Gordon in 1908 when D W T Gordon married Edith Glasson at Godolphin (see image under Three Weddings) , the grand-daughter of Richard Glasson.  The Gordons were Scots-Irish in origin and settled first in Bathurst and then in Moorilda or Tea Pot Swamp as it was then called. Their property there was called Glengowan and is still in family hands in 2012. David came from County Tyrone and  Matilda from County Donegal. They sailed to NSW on the Lady Peel in 1849 shortly after their marriage. David was the third child in the family and he left his two older brothers Stewart and Charles and his parents, Joseph and Anne (nee Kilpatrick) on their 39 acres farm near Newtownstewart, in the parish of Ardstraw, County Tyrone.

Joseph and Anne later emigrated, not to NSW but to Ontario, Canada in 1857 with their family which by then included 5 more children viz James,Robert, Mary, Alexander and Samuel. The connection  between the NSW and Ontario families was confirmed by a  Y-DNA test in 2003 between descendants of Charles Gordon in Ontario and David in NSW.  Why the majority of the family went to Canada and chose not to join David in NSW is a mystery. Perhaps there was a family disagreement or perhaps circumstances (e.g. proximity to home or cost of transport) at the time favoured Canada as a destination. In any event the family prospered in both countries.  Joseph outlived his wife Anne (aka Nancy) who died in 1869 and remarried  Margaret McCartney in his eighties after Anne died.  The marriage certificate listed his parents as being John (born 1765) and Isabella Boyd. (John and Isabella were married in it is believed, at Castlecaulfield, Donaghmore;  reference  Jackie Bridson )

Canadian census records of the period show that Joseph  worked  as a mail carrier for the Post Office in Maple Ontario. His death certificate  is not clear  but suggests he may have lived to beyond 100.  His place of burial and that of his two wives is a mystery despite efforts to trace them. We are still looking and would appreciate any help. Likewise we have very little information about Joseph’s parents  or probable siblings who may  be buried somewhere in County Tyrone.

In 2009 another matching Y- DNA  test was discovered in New Zealand.  The ancestor of James Gordon of Palmerston North,  NZ was   Thomas Gordon (born in 1842 in Killoan, Drumquin, Tyrone; died 1898 Waitekauri, NZ). Thomas came  to NSW on the ” Hornet” in 1865. Records show Thomas’s  parents as Andrew Gordon (1816-1904) and Anne Smyth  (1821-1891) but the shipping records state that they had no relatives living in the colony. The DNA evidence is at odds with this statement.

Andrew’s father was  also Thomas born about 1790. Thomas (b. 1842)  married Margaret Hunter Mackenzie (1848-1929)  of Wollongong NSW and they moved to Waitekauri in NZ where among other things they had a boarding house.    It remains to be seen if a paper connection with Joseph Gordon can be established but the relationship with the NSW and Canadian Gordons is undeniable from both the DNA and photographic evidence. Perhaps Thomas’s (b.1842)  grandfather, Thomas (born about 1790) was a brother to Joseph Gordon who went to Canada or even a brother to Joseph’s father John born around the same period.

Open the link below to see  some of the earlier descendants  of  John and Isabella in NSW and Ontario.

John Gordon 5 Generations descendants

Compare this with the  abbreviated version of the  descendants in New Zealand  of Thomas Gordon of Drumquin, County Tyrone in the  following file

Descendants of Thomas Gordon



2 Responses to “Gordon DNA in NSW, Canada & NZ”

  1. Peter Gordon says:

    Hi there… great to see some extra family history (I think)… our branch of Gordons were from County Tyrone and came to Australia through Simon and James Gordon (3 brothers and 1 sister) They lived in Sydney and had properties in the Bega District… family line goes… James Gordon (their father died in Ireland) then James Gordon (came to Australia) then James Alexander Gordon (my great grandfather), then John Herbert Gordon, John Frederick Gordon, then me Peter James Gordon… been looking around the net and amazed at the amount of good information! Anyway thought I’d better say g’day! Cheers, Peter

  2. Lynnette Diaz says:

    Hi Peter, I am looking for something to link James and Jane Gordon abt 1790, two sons bapt Mourne Co.Down 1811 + 5 yrs. Thomas left Ireland 1840 on the Thomas Lowry, arrived in aussie but went straight on to New Zealand. There is a definite likeness between my Thomas Gordon and your Thomas Gordon. Are you able to help? Cheers Lynnette

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