David Brown, along with his mother, brothers and sisters, decided to emigrate from Dundee in Scotland to Perth, Western Australia in 1929. They had been working in Dundee within the jute industry, but the industry was on the decline, and the Australian Government was encouraging migrants to settle in Australia by paying most of their fare.
David Brown was only 19 when he left Scotland, but he was already engaged to be married to Madge MacKenzie. Madge’s father had emigrated to Perth as well, and the plan was for Madge to follow her father and fiance the next year.
However, the Great Depression hit in 1929 and the assisted immigration scheme shut down. Madge was stranded in Dundee. Her family in Australia tried to save enough money to get her out, but the depression made this difficult. It took seven years for Madge to make it to Perth where she eventually married her fiance, David, in 1838.
The story was not such a happy one for David’s older brother Thomas who had also emigrated to Perth. He also left behind a loved one. Tom had married Jane Ogilvie, who was 4 months pregnant, just before he left for Australia. Jane stayed in Dundee to look after her sick father and, although Tom kept trying to get her over to Australia, by the time they could manage it, too many years had passed and they divorced. Their daughter grew up in Dundee, and died in 2009, having never known her father.
Thanks to Ancestry.com.au, David Brown’s grandson, David, has recently contacted Tom’s grand-daughter in Scotland, and David has been sharing family memories and photos of Tom.