Joseph Dodgshun was born on 2 Apr 1866 at Morley, Yorkshire, England, the third son of Joseph Dodgshun (1831-1915), merchant, and Maria Buckley (1828-1916). He arrived in Victoria at eight years of age with his family on the Durham in Sep 1874. He came to Launceston in 1888. In 1891 he joined the family firm of Dodgshun, Sons & Co., wholesale clothing manufacturers and warehousemen, 91 & 93 York Street, Launceston.
Joseph married French-born Elisabeth Catherine (Lily) Piper on 7 Jun 1894 at the Baptist Church, Middle Park, Victoria. They made their home at 11 Stewart Street, Launceston, where their first two children were born: Elvie Faufette on 3 May 1895 and Alice on 10 Jul 1896. The family returned to Melbourne in 1899, and they had another three children there: Harold, 20 Dec 1900; Dorothy, 4 Jun 1904 and Kenneth, 13 Feb 1906. Joseph died at Glenferrie on 21 Oct 1949 aged 83. Lily died at Hawthorn on 24 Jun 1960 aged 94. His parents and brother Charles and sister Jane are also pictured in the Family Album. See The Examiner 24 Sep 2005, p. 24.