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Wondering about a convict ancestor?


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#1 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:52 PM

Not making any promises, but I am finding myself buggerising around trying to figure out what to write about for my latest UTAS subject.

I had thought about a couple of things, but I worry that the subject matter is too easy or hackneyed, so I am canvassing options.

The topic I'd be writing about would be one of these options:
  • Write an essay in which you compare your convict’s life history with those of other men or women who were transported to Australia at roughly the same time in the period 1788-1868.How typical or atypical were the attributes and experiences of your chosen convict?
  • Describe the experiences of one particular convict from leaving Britain or Ireland until their arrival in Australia. In answering this question, it is important to assess how these experiences of your convict may have differed from those who were on earlier or later transport vessels.
There are some other options, but I do like the process of choosing a person and going searching for EVERYTHING about them, so these ones appeal most.

Now, DP has a few convict ancestors but one was the subject of my last unit and it feels a bit cheaty to choose him since my research was so extensive. Others are first fleet etc and therefore too much is already written about them, and certainly about the other convicts who arrived with them. Another was in the very, very last lot of convicts that landed in QLD, but their entire experience was unusual so it doesn't really fit the bill either. The uni specifies not choosing convicts who've already had biographies or extensive research conducted.

Anyway, I am throwing it out there that if you have a convict ancestor (suspected or proven) you would like investigated, please feel free to give me their details! I am browsing around Trove and Ancestry (uni provides free access) right now, but will sign up for a month worth of Find My Past once I choose what to write about, as it can often be revealing.

Can't promise that I will end up writing about them, especially not if they're Irish or called John/Elizabeth Smith, but am happy to consider and do some preliminary investigations at least.

Will just need a name and roughly when you think they arrived. If you're not sure, I might need names of a wife/children to go on and establish a connection.

Hit me.

Edited by Renovators delight, 15 May 2019 - 03:52 PM.


#2 seayork2002

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:01 PM

If you can't find any one person who can give you name try getting a passenger list of the ships and maybe one will stand out?

Thinking more this may not be the best advice!

Edited by seayork2002, 15 May 2019 - 04:04 PM.


#3 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:04 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 15 May 2019 - 04:01 PM, said:

If you can't find any one person who can give you name try getting a passenger list of the ships and maybe one will stand out?

I've been trying that but nothing inspires me so far, the only ones that look interesting turn out to die with no descendants or disappear or something. I figure if they have descendants to post on EB at least they might have got married and reproduced which makes for a more interesting investigation ;)

#4 seayork2002

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:06 PM

View PostRenovators delight, on 15 May 2019 - 04:04 PM, said:

I've been trying that but nothing inspires me so far, the only ones that look interesting turn out to die with no descendants or disappear or something. I figure if they have descendants to post on EB at least they might have got married and reproduced which makes for a more interesting investigation ;)

I get it and hope you get someone but was thinking in case not, I have gone back to early 1800's online but not earlier on my mums, my dads side is Greek and Irish so not help there

#5 Lunafreya

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:08 PM

Do you have Hamish Maxwell-Stewart for your lecturer? He’s amazing.

#6 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:15 PM

View PostLunafreya, on 15 May 2019 - 04:08 PM, said:

Do you have Hamish Maxwell-Stewart for your lecturer? He’s amazing.

Yes, he's the unit coordinator. Very lucky to be able to study this stuff really.

#7 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:15 PM

I have John Randall (1st Fleet). Born USA ex African American slave (once again accounts vary here). His life here is uncertain by ancestry, especially the Maternity of his daughter Francis.

I believe John Aitken (2nd fleet) was a Freedman African Caribbean Carpenter.


#8 Lunafreya

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:19 PM

View PostRenovators delight, on 15 May 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:



Yes, he's the unit coordinator. Very lucky to be able to study this stuff really.

He’s amazing. I had him for Australian history and Atlantic history. Used to give extra lectures as it clashed with other units. I loved how he got so excited about things when lecturing and say “Hurrah!”

And he got me liking social history, the history of ordinary people.

#9 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:35 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 15 May 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:

I have John Randall (1st Fleet). Born USA ex African American slave (once again accounts vary here). His life here is uncertain by ancestry, especially the Maternity of his daughter Francis.

I believe John Aitken (2nd fleet) was a Freedman African Caribbean Carpenter.

They sound like very interesting people to look up - I am actually looking for another person supposed to be African American who arrived in possibly the 1830s. Issue is that First and Second fleet are just too well written about already, so its hard to write anything that isn't too derivative if not plagiaristic. Everything has been thought about and collated and discussed already :(

DP's 2nd fleet ancestor is a good example. So much has been written about the horrors of the 2nd fleet, but her boat came through relatively unscathed. There is also a lot of debate about her background, and I wouldn't want to get involved in that. Not as bad as his 1st fleet ancestor who some people like to pretend was an illegitimate noble. Don't think he was :)

#10 Catticus

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:50 PM

How about my mystery ancestor, Robina Lochie, born in Stirlingshire Scotland 1818 or thereabouts, married to Edward Alders (and multiple other spellings)? She was a Scottish Convict, so not well researched at all.

#11 TinyGiraffe

Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:51 PM

I have an ancestor Johann Fredrick Herold, born 1816 in England. Based on his convict record's from Fremantle prison he was a self employer dyer and was charged with rape in London and transported for life on the Lord Dalhousie into Fremantle WA, arrived on 28/12/1863. He died 9/08/1874 in Lake Monger, WA by drowning at the same time as one of his children. He was married to Ruth Wansborough nee Taylor and they had 4 children.  

I know nothing about that side of the family and found this via ancestry.com around 2 years ago when I was looking into some of my ancestry.

#12 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:17 PM

View PostCatticus, on 15 May 2019 - 04:50 PM, said:

How about my mystery ancestor, Robina Lochie, born in Stirlingshire Scotland 1818 or thereabouts, married to Edward Alders (and multiple other spellings)? She was a Scottish Convict, so not well researched at all.

Guessing this is your Robina:

Posted Image

Posted Image

And her Edward is this bloke:
https://convictrecor...rs/edward/67909

She's a possibility! Have been looking at some Scottish stuff recently due to a whole branch of my family's ancestors coming to light. Only issue is that with so MANY descendants there might be too much written about her around. Will check it out though.

I have a few on the boil now, happy for people to keep them coming :)

#13 Soontobegran

Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:41 PM

I do.
Elizabeth Rope and Anthony Pulley. First Fleeters who are direct descendants of my mum.
They had the first baby born on Aussie soil to convicts. That baby was my mum’s Grandparent 5 down the line I think.
Lots of information and dad has already completed the family tree.

#14 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:57 PM

View PostTinyGiraffe, on 15 May 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

I have an ancestor Johann Fredrick Herold, born 1816 in England. Based on his convict record's from Fremantle prison he was a self employer dyer and was charged with rape in London and transported for life on the Lord Dalhousie into Fremantle WA, arrived on 28/12/1863. He died 9/08/1874 in Lake Monger, WA by drowning at the same time as one of his children. He was married to Ruth Wansborough nee Taylor and they had 4 children.  

I know nothing about that side of the family and found this via ancestry.com around 2 years ago when I was looking into some of my ancestry.

http://nla.gov.au/nl...-article2973071

Posted Image

What a very sad story :( My cousins lived in Daglish St Wembley and we spent a lot of time round Lake Monger. I have subsequently learned more of its history.

Another possibility! I am not sure how good WA records are. Shall add him to the list, though.

View PostSoontobegran, on 15 May 2019 - 06:41 PM, said:

I do.
Elizabeth Rope and Anthony Pulley. First Fleeters who are direct descendants of my mum.
They had the first baby born on Aussie soil to convicts. That baby was my mum’s Grandparent 5 down the line I think.
Lots of information and dad has already completed the family tree.

Oh I know them! Yes, definitely not suitable unfortunately, as far too much has been written and investigated. Still fantastic names.

Edited by Renovators delight, 15 May 2019 - 07:02 PM.


#15 Soontobegran

Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:42 PM

View PostRenovators delight, on 15 May 2019 - 06:57 PM, said:





Oh I know them! Yes, definitely not suitable unfortunately, as far too much has been written and investigated. Still fantastic names.

Yes, I think it was the awesome names that got them so much attention...that and the fact they got pregnant the night the men and women were permitted to mix. :)

#16 WTFancie shmancie

Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:09 PM

Here's my convict on my mum's side:

https://convictrecor...unt/henry/67392

Edited by WTFancie shmancie, 15 May 2019 - 08:11 PM.


#17 Renovators delight

Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:52 PM

View PostWTFancie shmancie, on 15 May 2019 - 08:09 PM, said:

Here's my convict on my mum's side:

https://convictrecor...unt/henry/67392

I will have to check him out too! I like that he went to Van Diemans Land - tends to be better records.

I spent some time looking through British newspapers earlier to find out what DPs 6g grandmother did - she was sentenced to death in 1822 for stealing an umbrella and some other things that weren’t worth listing in a newspaper apparently. Transported for life instead. Within a couple of months she had nicked off from her employer in Parramatta too.

#18 Sancti-claws

Posted 16 May 2019 - 05:32 AM

I am afraid the only miscreants in my lineage are remittance men...

#19 Renovators delight

Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:27 AM

View PostSancti-claws, on 16 May 2019 - 05:32 AM, said:

I am afraid the only miscreants in my lineage are remittance men...

I have one, but he is worth it! Very eccentric, and he was the naughty son of a naughty son of a Very Respectable Quaker family. My great great grandfather. Fascinates me, I would love to spend some more time digging into his life here, but it requires a bit too much travel that I can't currently afford. He has a few missing years between arriving in Port Phillip and settling down as a fencer in Beaufort. What irritates me is the fact that he came from money, is described as independently wealthy in electoral rolls, never had a proper job, declared bankrupt apparently at one point? Lived in pleasant houses all the time, owned all sorts of land and when he died his wife moved to WA with plenty of cash and bought several bits of land and built nice houses etc.

Yet when he died there is no probate or will or anything in public records office, and he was buried in an unmarked grave. There are a few lawyer references, I wish I could dig through their archives from 150 years ago. But no.

Genealogy can be tantalising.

#20 Renovators delight

Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:39 AM

View PostWTFancie shmancie, on 15 May 2019 - 08:09 PM, said:

Here's my convict on my mum's side:

https://convictrecor...unt/henry/67392

Your Henry looks quite interesting, he lived to such an old age too! But someone on Ancestry has already stuck everything together, so he might be a little too well documented as well :(

#21 Renovators delight

Posted 16 May 2019 - 05:55 PM

View PostCatticus, on 15 May 2019 - 04:50 PM, said:

How about my mystery ancestor, Robina Lochie, born in Stirlingshire Scotland 1818 or thereabouts, married to Edward Alders (and multiple other spellings)? She was a Scottish Convict, so not well researched at all.

Poor girl was ill on the voyage - says she was aged 15 at the time, and was under the care of the ship's surgeon from 2 October to 8 October with pneumonia. Hopefully not pneumonia as she was put back with the other convicts after only 6 days.

If I were to investigate the entire voyage of the George Hibbert, the ship she came on, it could be interesting. There were 144 female convicts transported and

"The Sydney Herald reported.......

The female prisoners who lately arrived per George Hibbert, seem fully equal to the task of rivalling in bad conduct those renowned damsels who arrived in the Colony a few years ago by the Roslin Castle and Lucy Davidson, and who were so noted at the time for their bad behaviour. Scarce a day passes without a batch of George Hibberts being placed at the bar of the Sydney Police."

#22 WTFancie shmancie

Posted 16 May 2019 - 06:18 PM

Funny thing, OP - my mum's parents thought my dad (and his family) weren't good enough for her.

My dad's ancestor came to Australia as an immigrant - not a convict -  and a very affluent cabinet maker at that!

A shame my mum didn't know that way back when - she could have put her awful parents back in their place.

#23 Catticus

Posted 16 May 2019 - 06:45 PM

Thanks for that snippet! We don't know what she was convicted of, or her family. Which is unusual, as the Scots were largely literate and had pretty good BDM records.

#24 Renovators delight

Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:02 PM

I am just trying to muck around with Scottish records and find out now. According to her convict indent she could read but not write on her arrival here.

#25 Renovators delight

Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:08 PM

View PostCatticus, on 16 May 2019 - 06:45 PM, said:

what she was convicted of

Posted Image

Family is problematic, as Scotland's People are mercenary and want money for everything. Will have a look anyway. Still haven't decided what to write about for my essay :)




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