Joseph Dodgshun was born on 7 Feb 1831 at Morley, Yorkshire, England to Joseph Dodgshun (1798-1864) and his wife Sarah (Sally) Dixon (1802-1835). He married his cousin Maria Buckley on 22 Feb 1859 at Leeds, Yorkshire. They had four children between 1860 and 1868. Joseph was a partner in the family firm of woollen manufacturers and merchants, which had been established by his grandfather in 1798. In Sep 1874 the Dodgshun family arrived in Victoria on the Durham to expand the business. Joseph had first journeyed to Australia in 1866 on an epic voyage around the world.
In 1888 he moved to Tasmania as a senior partner in the firm Dodgshun, Sons & Co. The warehouse and Launceston Clothing Factory were located at 91 & 93 York Street, Launceston, from 1891; their residence was 'Ashfield' in St Leonards. They were supporters and exhibitors at the Tasmanian Exhibition of 1891-92. The company won a First award for its exhibit of Tasmanian manufactured clothing and Scafe's patent leather and combination boots displayed in a large glass case in the Avenue of Nations. Joseph Dodgshun won a prize for his Newfoundland dog in the Agricultural and Horticultural Show held at the end of the Exhibition on 1-2 Apr 1892.
The extended Dodgshun family moved back to Melbourne in 1899 to their home 'Beulah' in Hawthorn. Joseph senior died on 27 Dec 1915. His wife Maria and sons Charles and Jospeh and daughter Jane are also pictured in the Family Album. See The Examiner, 24 Sep 2005, p 24.