Dr Margaret L Bailey (aka Mrs Margaret Allison) is a scientist, researcher, dancer and amateur genealogist who enjoys the challenges of using her research and other skills for various worthy causes.
Margaret was the second child of Peter and Jean Dickson, but her older sister died as a baby, so she was the oldest of their children. She was born in Cairnbrae Maternity Home, 24 Somme Parade, Wanganui which previously had been her father's family home when he was young. It still exists as the Tamara Backpackers Riverside Lodge. She was named after her grandmother and great grandmother. Two brothers and a sister were born after her.
As a baby she spent time in the Stewart Karitane Hospital, where Dr Helen Deem had worked.
She was educated at Gonville Primary School and Wanganui Girls' College. Her aunts had been pupils at this college soon after it started in 1891. She then moved to Wellington to attend Victoria University of Wellington where she gained a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Mathematics ( graduated 1966) and a M.Sc. (1st Class in Chemistry) with a thesis, "Experimental and Theoretical Investigations of a Ferrous/Ascorbate Complex" in 1967. During this time she was a DSIR bursar (the first woman so appointed), gaining work experience at the Chemistry Division and the Physics and Engineering Laboratory of the DSIR during holidays. For her last year she was a University Senior Scholar.
On 10 December 1966 Margaret married John Bailey in Khandallah Presbyterian Church, Wellington. The next day they flew to England to attend the University of Oxford where they enrolled at the Mathematics Institute to study under Prof Charles A Coulson. They joined Linacre College, a new post-graduate mixed college. They both gained their D. Phil. in 1969 which was awarded in absentia in 1970. Margaret's thesis was entitled, "Some Quantum Theory Studies on Systems of Biological Interest".
They moved to San Jose, California for post-doctoral studies where Margaret attended the University of California at Berkeley under Prof Tinoco Jr.. From there they returned home in May 1970 when Margaret returned to Victoria University of Wellington for a two-year post-doctoral appointment.
Her first employment was at the Consumer's Institute as Project Officer. In 1978 she moved back to Chemistry Division, DSIR as Information Officer. From there, she was asked to join the audit team from the Commission for the Environment for the "Think Big" projects in 1980. After the change of Government in 1984, Margaret specialised in waste management. She joined the Ministry for the Environment's establishment unit in 1986, and became a Principal Policy Analyst for the Ministry. In 1991/1992 she was Task Group Leader of the Waste Minimisation Practices Task Group run by the Centre for Advanced Engineering as its Waste Management Project. She retired in 1995.
She established her own research and advisory business soon after retirement and worked in that initially on waste minimisation issues. When her husband retired, she switched to doing his research on drinking drivers and fatal road accidents, work that she had helped him with since 1970. The results of that work are held by the National Library of New Zealand. The business was wound up after her husband became too ill to work. He died on 4 August 2005 almost exactly a year after her mother. Disposing of other people's property became the major occupation.
In 2019 she married Rod Allison.
Margaret has been a dancer all her life, gaining her Elementary BBO in 1959. That year she started Scottish country dancing, a hobby that still continues. In 1985 Margaret started training to be a teacher and gained her Teacher's Certificate in 1989. She has taught a range of classes, at schools and at Club level. She has held official positions at Region and Club level. Most recently she was Region Tutor and Region Treasurer for the Southland Region of the New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS. In 2006 she went to sequence dance classes, and continues to dance at the Invercargill Club class and dances, usually as a "man" as she first was taught ballroom dancing at her Girls' College.
She is a keen gardener, having inherited green fingers from both her parents. Like her mother, she is interested in herbs and grows a number of those. She is a member of the Herb Federation of New Zealand.
She helped her mother with her genealogical research, often calling at overseas registry offices or libraries when she travelled overseas. In 2018 she was asked by her nephew for help with his work. That got her back into researching her family in more depth, including DNA tests at three major sites. As the oldest of her family on her father's line, her DNA is important for finding far-back connections.
In 2019 she joined up to WikiTree and has written several hundred profiles for her own family, those of her two husbands, and for others. She has met several cousins during her research. She enjoys being able to find as many sources as she can and weaving them into a narrative. She has participated in some of the Thons including a Source-A-Thon and a Scan-A-Thon.
As most of her ancestors are of Scottish origin, she spent time doing assignments during 2020 to learn the skills necessary for the Tartan Trail. She is a member of the Scotland Project, sometimes sourcing random profiles which may be distant cousins.
She featured in "Meet our Members" in 2020.
In 2021 she completed the Profile Improvement Project's Voyage to improve her skills in writing profiles and providing sources. She plans to use those skills to help those starting on the journey of adding their family to WikiTree.
All my profiles and other materials on WikiTree are to be passed to my nephew Tom Dickson if I am unable to manage them myself.
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Margaret is 16 degrees from John Alden, 21 degrees from Bridget Bishop, 17 degrees from Mary Bradbury, 18 degrees from Sarah Cole, 17 degrees from Deliverance Dane, 16 degrees from Mary Estey, 17 degrees from Sarah Good, 23 degrees from Margaret Mattson, 16 degrees from Mary Parsons, 24 degrees from Grace Sherwood, 17 degrees from Samuel Wardwell and 25 degrees from Kie Zelms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.