Lydia Biggs (1864 – 1948)

Lydia was born to my 2 by great uncle, Alfred Biggs, and his wife, Mary Ann Jane Readwell Dickson in 1862 at Waverley (NSW BDM Reg No 3756/1864). Her older sister, Eliza Mary, had died the year before at only 13 months of age. Two years later her brother, Stephen was born but he also died in infancy. Alfred and Mary did not have any further children and it is not hard to imagine that Lydia was considered to be very precious.

As with most women of that period there are few records to trace her history.  In notes from Historical Waverley Vol 6 it mentions Lydia as delivering fresh meat for father’s butchery and suggests she was “a remarkably good looking woman”.

Her mother died in 1884 when she was 20 years old and she remained with her father for a further four years until she married Joseph Dickson. Her family had a close relationship with her mother’s family and they also lived in the Waverley area. The continued friendship between the families saw her marry her cousin Joseph. For those who want to work it out Joseph’s grandfather, who was also a Joseph, was Lydia’s  grandfather’s brother. Sufficient to say they were cousins but not so closely related as to prevent marriage. Lydia was 24 years old at the time of her marriage and Joseph was 32 years old (NSW BDM 1888/3044). The notice of their marriage appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 July 1888.

dickson biggs

Joseph had taken up a selection at Narrabri around the Myall Hollow area. Narrabri  was a prime wheat growing area and it was here they established their family. Lydia and Joseph had seven children :

Daisy Mary Dickson (1889 – 1975)
Hilda Grace Dickson (1891 -1979)
Clifford Randolf Dickson (1893 – 1979)
Doris Isobel Dickson (1893 – 1979)
Florence Winifred Dickson (1897 – 1988)
Rita Lilian Dickson (1899 – 1989)
Hazel Edith Dickson (1904 – 1978) (born in Orchard Hill, St Marys)

The family was deeply religious  with Joseph a trustee for the Presbyterian Church and reports of him preaching in support of temperance. In April 1900 the Daily Telegraph reported a valedictory social being given for Joseph and mentioning his contribution of 150 pounds towards wiping the debt on the local Wesleyan Church.

Joseph’s father died in 1900 and possibly an inheritance saw them move from Narrabri. Lydia’s father died in 1911. It is not until 1930 that they reappear on the electoral roll living at 20 Woodlands Road, Ashfield. Joseph is listed as a gentleman (meaning he has a private income rather than work related). Lydia is listed as domestic duties and four of their children are still living at home.

Lydia’s husband died in 1934. She continued to live at Woodland Street until her death on 1 October 1948.