This tranquil harbour is where some of my ancestors began the Australian chapters of their life stories. Those stories, featuring imprisonment, hardship, separation, love, recidivism, isolation, theft, bushranging, adultery and even manslaughter, take place in Tasmania, Sydney, Newcastle and the far north coast of New South Wales. Eventually their lives intertwine.
The Tasmanian arrivals
- John HOOPER (1800-?), a paternal 5 x great grandfather, arrived on the convict ship Hibernia in !819. He had been sentenced at the Old Bailey, London to transportation to Van Dieman’s Land “for the term of his natural life”. The Criminal Registers of England and Wales described John as a ‘notorious character’.
- William and Melinda WOOLLEY, my 3 x great grandfather, and family arrived in 1837 on the William Metcalfe as Bounty immigrants from the village of Mildenhall in Suffolk. My 2 x great grandfather Henry Jacob WOOLLEY was seven years old when he arrived in Hobart.
- Margaret STEWART (1835-1889), a paternal 2 x great grandmother, arrived in 1853 on the Duchess of Northumberland, the last ship to transport female convicts to Van Dieman’s Land. Margaret was born in Paisley, Scotland and was sentenced to seven years transportation to Van Dieman’s Land.
I hope to share some of those stories on this blog.