Dowty, Henry

Date of Birth/Death:


Henry Dowty – labourer and storekeeper.

Henry Dowty was born on 12 Aug 1821 in Alderbury, Wiltshire, England, the son of William Dowty (1787-1869) and Charity Musselwhite (1789-1851). Henry sailed from Plymouth on 11 May 1849 on the ship Eliza and arrived in South Australia on 23 August 1849. The passenger list records him as aged 27, single and an Agricultural labourer from Wiltshire.

Henry, then aged 34 years, was married to Hannah Maria Window, aged 32 years, (1823-1906) on 30 May 1855 at the Wesleyan Chapel in Brompton, South Australia. She was the daughter of Daniel Window (1795-1838) and Elizabeth Gazzard (1799-1869) and she was born in a village near Stroud in Gloucestershire, England on 3 Sept 1823. After the death of her father in 1838, she arrived, aged 16 years, in Sydney on board Orestes on 28 Nov 1839 with her mother, older brother (Samuel) and younger sister (Martha) She moved with her mother and brother from Sydney to Adelaide in January 1849. Henry and Hannah had four daughters:

  • Elizabeth (1857-1941) b. at Willunga, never married
  • Mary Ann (1858-1945) b. at Willunga, m Thomas Pointon on 19 June 1884 in Willunga, d. at Port Lincoln.
  • Alice (1860-1953) b. at Willunga, never married, d. at Willunga and buried in the Wesleyan Methodist (Uniting) Church cemetery
  • Charity (1862-1864) b. & d. in infancy at Willunga and buried in the Wesleyan Methodist (Uniting) Church cemetery.

Henry Dowty had purchased an allotment on Church St. (now Aldinga Road) Willunga in 1852 which was the eastern half of Acre 15 in Section 257. A pug and stone cottage was erected for Henry Dowty in 1853 by local builder George Sara. It was originally a four-room cottage with a slate roof, and it was to be the Dowty family home for over 90 years. Henry and his new wife Hannah, moved into the cottage which they called “Alderbury” after his home town in England. In the 1860s they opened Dowty’s Store in the eastern end of their cottage. After Henry died, aged 53 years on 25 Jan 1875, Hannah continued to run the small store and when she died in 1906, it was then run by her unmarried daughters Elizabeth and Alice.

The Dowty family were devout Wesleyan Methodists and active workers for the church in Willunga and Henry was a Trustee of the Church in 1857. Henry, Hannah and their daughters Alice and Charity are all buried in the Wesleyan Methodist (Uniting) Church cemetery in Willunga.


South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
South Australian Deaths Index of Registrations 1842-1915
South Australian Marriages Index of Registrations 1842-1916
Willunga National Trust Blue Folder – Family Histories Vol. 40-4 D
Statton, J. 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Henry Dowty – Vol I. p.426.
Passengers in History – South Australian Maritime Museum
Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
SAILIS (online) CT 36/161
Ancestry (online)
SA Genealogy database (online)
1862 ‘Advertising‘, South Australian Register 3 November, p. 3. , viewed 27 Dec 2023,
1871 ‘Advertising‘, South Australian Register 22 September, p. 2. , viewed 27 Dec 2023,
1875 ‘Advertising‘, Adelaide Observer 23 January, p. 2. , viewed 27 Dec 2023,
1906 ‘OBITUARY.’, Chronicle 27 October, p. 41. , viewed 27 Dec 2023,
1906 ‘Church Triumphant.’, Australian Christian Commonwealth 30 November, p. 11. , viewed 27 Dec 2023,

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