Australia connections

Purves People Around The World

Written by Shirley Skelcher, January 2000

In the Summer of 1832, banns were published for the marriage of JAMES PURVES and JESSIE WHILLIS in the parish church of Carham, Scotland. (See page on James Purves.)
One hundred and sixty-seven years later more than 22 of their descendants met in the home of John Field and his family at Gymea Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Ages of the group range from 73 years to 13 months, including Australian and British citizens.
John Field and his sister Grace Helen Jessie are the same generation as our 14 Ramsay cousins. We all share the same 2x great grandparents, James Purves and Jessie Whillis.

James and Jessie Purves had five children including HELEN JESSIE PURVES born 1836 and MARGARET PURVES born 1842 (our great Gran). Helen Jessie married ALEXANDER DICKMAN in Eccles, Scotland in 1856. They sailed from London to Australia shortly after the marriage and arrived in Sydney in November 1856. Their son WILLIAM DICKMAN was born in 1857 in Sydney where seven other children were subsequently born.

In October 1999, I had responded briefly to a query in a Borders Family History magazine from a new member GRACE FIELD who lived in New South Wales. From the time my letter arrived Down Under, emails and phone calls flew across the miles. The outcome was the get-together around John’s swimming pool, with the under 10s spending most of the day in the pool. The older generations exchanged notes, photos, jokes and yarns, while enjoying delicious foods and drinks. The end of the day came too quickly. The families dispersed to Sydney, Canberra, Bathurst and Wollongong. (Grace and I were still talking.)

Barrie and I are back in Suffolk now, but our daughter, son in law and two granddaughters remain in Sydney. The families remain in touch, linked again by electronics. If you are interested in the family tree or other details I’ll send them on. In the meantime, have a happy and peaceful new century with your own families.
Love from Shirley… 1 of the 14 Ramsay cousins.
Summer Place, Leiston, Suffolk, January 2000

The fourteen Ramsay cousins:
Clinton, Margaret, Bob, Gordon, Norman
Lorna, Christine
Shirley, David
June, Trevor
Peter
Jean, Graham.

John Field, Grace / Gay Payne, Shirley Skelcher all share Great great grandparents: James Purves and Jessie Whillis.
Robyn Bialkowski, Jennifer Buckley – daughters of Grace
Barrie Skelcher
Arnold Payne (took the photo)

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