The Neptune – the ‘Hell Ship’ of the ‘Death Fleet’

Week 43 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: TRANSPORT The ship Neptune, under contract to former slave traders, arrived in Sydney Cove on 28 June 1790, one of the six ships in the Second Fleet that had been sent to the new penal colony of New South Wales. The ship’s human cargo of convicts, some dead…

The Ugly Sisters of Lismore Base Hospital

Week 41 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: CONTEXT Most of us have really interesting, sometimes strange, family photos that really need a context or an explanation in order to make sense of them . Two photos that include Allan Harris, my rugby league loving grandfather dressed up as a most unattractive nurse, fall into this…

John Knight’s Passport: Another step towards freedom

Week 42 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT; ADVENTURE For most people a passport is a ticket to adventure, to holidays and trips far from home. To John Knight, one of my maternal 3 x great grandfathers, his Ticket of Leave Passport was another step on the long road to freedom. This passport allowed the unemployed…

Trove Tuesday – Naming and Shaming

What were the wives of Singleton up to in December 1848? Why were they deserting their husbands? Of course their husbands said it was ‘without cause’. These two notices appeared in the Maitland Mercury on 20 December 1848. They provide very different reading to the Public or Family Notices of today’s newspapers. While I don’t…

The Hungry Years

Week 40 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT; HARVEST This post, the ‘Hungry Years’, describes one family’s survival in a time of near starvation in the very early years of the colony of New South Wales following the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Harvests were poor and the population was often desperate for food….

Scenic Saturday – Cascades Female Factory, Hobart

On 21 April 1853 Margaret Stewart (1836-1889), my paternal 2 x great grandmother, arrived in Hobart on the convict ship the Duchess of Northumberland. Margaret was one of 216 female convicts on the ship. They were the last group of female convicts sent to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania).[1] Margaret, from Paisley in Scotland, had been…

Trove Tuesday – Grand Final Fever

Every family has at least one event that has achieved almost legendary status over time, perhaps an amount of notoriety. One such occasion occurred in September 1953 when South Lismore Rugby League Club’s First and Reserve Grade teams won their respective Minor and Major Premierships.[1] Stories about the tries, the extra time, the drought between…