Before Bills birth

George Bryden (his grandfather)
Isabella Hamilton (his grandmother)
Jane Bryden (his mother)
The story starts with Bill's Grandfather, George Bryden. He hailed from Dumfriesshire in the lowlands of Scotland and he was a tailor/draper by trade coming south to establish his business in Chatham. He married Isabella Hamilton on 5th July 1883 and Jane Bryden was born in 1885 in a small cottage in the hamlet of Collin, near Totherwald, some 4 miles from Dumfries (the town of Robbie Burns).

Jane was one of twins; unfortunately her sister died aged seven, a not uncommon occurrence in those days of high infant mortality. Jane was the eldest of a family of five children and it was probably this, combined with her forceful personality, that made her decide to emigrate to Australia in the early 1900's having trained as a nurse in London; quite a brave undertaking for a single woman a century ago and certainly not in accordance with her father's ambitions for his daughter!

Harold George Seagoe (his father)
Jean Seagoe (his sister)
Jane worked initially as a nanny/nurse for a family of sheep farmers in the hinterland behind Townsville in Queensland. This is a sub tropical area and even today is celebrated for its rugged charms and lifestyle. Jane met Harold George Seagoe, a ship's steward from Chatham, in Sydney N.S.W. and married him at the Presbyterian Church there in 1917. They set up house in Edward Street and on the 13th July 1918 Jane in turn gave birth to twins, a girl, Jean Seagoe, and a boy - Bryden George Seagoe. The somewhat unusual Christian name stemming from a family tradition of incorporating the mother's maiden name in the names of the next generation. This was perhaps a device to keep the child in inheritance from its preceding forebears but in any case, it resulted in considerable hassle in the playground! This is probably why Bryden renamed himself Bill in later life.