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Family history brought to life in new Larne Museum exhibition

Press release   •   Jun 27, 2019 15:09 BST

Dawson family

“Maggie”, a family history exhibition, tells the story of Margaret (Maggie) Scott and four generations of her descendants beginning with Maggie’s birth in Drumgavlin, County Down, during the Great Famine, and leading to the present day and a local Larne family.

Maggie, born in 1844, was left behind as an infant when, at the height of the Great Famine in 1849, her parents emigrated to America with six other children. Maggie never joined her parents but later married Samuel Dawson who ran a timber and builder's supply yard in Newtownards. They had eight children with all four of her sons going off to fight in the Boer War. Sadly Maggie saw six of her children buried before her, one aged just two years and the rest in adulthood.

Maggie's daughter, Margaret, married Allan Dorman who worked for a timber merchant in Belfast. They set up their first home in Larne where Allan bought a timber yard. They had three children, two of whom, Daisy and Tom, worked at the yard.

100 years on from when Allan Senior came to Larne, Tom's son, Allan Jnr, is still trading in hardware and builder supplies and has been joined by his son and daughter, bringing a fourth generation to the company.

This exhibition contains a wealth of family heirlooms including handmade quilts, lacework, clothing, photographs, a Royal Wedgwood dinner service, furniture and letters, amongst other items, giving us a glimpse into the lives of Maggie and her family.

“Maggie” is on display from Friday 5 July until Saturday 24 August at Larne Museum & Arts Centre. Includes Saturday opening on 27 July, 10 August and 24 August. Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 10.00am - 4.30pm. Free admission.