KATHLEEN ROWELL HORNEMAN (nee LAWSON)
|First name||KATHLEEN ROWELL|
|Last name||HORNEMAN (nee LAWSON)|
|Country of Origin||England|
|Date of Birth||1909|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||6/12/2014|
|Submitted by||Judith McLeod|
Kathleen Rowell Horneman (nee Lawson) 1909 – 1985
Arrived Sydney June 1912 on the Orvieto.
Kathleen’s parents were Ernest Lawson and Mary Armstrong. Ernest Lawson was born on 20
February 1882 in South Shields, Co Durham, England. When he was in his teens the family moved
from South Shields to Selwood House, Haydon Bridge. ln 1901 he was working as a Shipping
Clerk in the family business and in 1906 when he married he was a part owner. At the time of his
marriage he was living at 27 Baring Street, South Shields.
Ernest married Mary lsabel Armstrong on 4 June 1906 in St Michael’s Church in the Parish of
South Westoe in Co Durham. At the time Ernest was 24 and Mary was 27. (Mary was born on
Christmas Day 1879 in Brampton, Cumberland). Mary’s grandfather, John Armstrong had
married Elizabeth Burn who was a direct descendant of the cousin of William Burn, the father of
Scottish bard, Robert Burn.
Mary and Ernest had four daughters, all born in South Shields;
1. Isabel Ester Reveley Lawson (1906 – 2005) married John Broadley.
2. Dorothy Armstrong Lawson (1908 – 1995) married Roger North.
3. Kathleen Rowell Lawson (1909 – 1985) married Francis Eric Horneman
4. Eileen Lawson (1911 – 2000) married Roland Oscar Youngberg.
The family probably lived at 27 Baring Street, South Shields, until departing for Australia. Ernest
migrated to Australia some time between August 1911 and Match 1912. On arrival in New South
Wales Ernest worked for a short time in Cessnock and in the office of a mining company at
Newcastle. Mary and her four daughters sailed from London on 27 April 1912 an the P&O ship
Orvieto arriving in Sydney in June 1912.
At that time Ernest was working in Sydney. After a few months, he was offered a job in the office
of Birt and Co in Brisbane, as overseas shipping agent dealing in cargo. Ernest transferred to
Brisbane first and the family followed on the ship Ajana. Emest remained with Birt & Co for some
thirty years, becoming State Manager. He was involved with the building of Newstead Wharf, Birt
& Co premises in South Brisbane, the commencement of Qld Cold Stores and Paul’s Milk and lce
Kathleen was educated at Dutton Park and Greenslopes State schools. She became a ladies
hairdresser however also spent much time travelling in southeast rural Queensland with her
father. Kathleen had learnt to drive and often acted as chauffeur for her father on business trips.
During a trip in 1939 Kathleen met Francis Eric Horneman, known as Eric who lived at New
After their marriage Eric and Kathleen and lived at “Kumbee”, New Koreelah in northern New South
Wales. This would have been a totally different life to what Kathleen was used to, with no power,
no hot water and no one to cook! Eric taught her the basics in cooking and how to manage a
wood stove. By the late 1940’s finances had improved and they led a comfortable country life.
Kathleen and Eric had five children they are –
1. lan Lawson Horneman born 1940 married Elizabeth Eileen Harris in 1964.
2. Alison Nell Horneman born 1942 married Alfred John Sleath in 1971.
3. Judith Fay Horneman born 1944 married Kevin McLeod in 1972.
4. Patricia Margaret Horneman bom1946 married Geoffrey James Smith in 1970.
5. Alan Francis Horneman born 1949 married Nadine Bullock in 1970.
Kathleen Rowell Horneman (Lawson) died on the 27 August 1985 at Killarney Hospital, Qld. Her
husband Francis Eric Hornernan died on the 7 October 1988 at Kumbee, New Koreelah. NSW