John HOOPER – A “notorious character”

Week 48 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: THIEF Where do I start? Sixteen of my direct ancestors were sentenced to transportation ‘beyond the seas’ to the colonies of Australia, all for theft.[1] None of them saw their family, friends or homes again. Some had lived in rural England. Others came from the slums of the…

Family Photo Friday – Maria Kezia Roberts

M y 2 x great grandmother Maria Kezia ROBERTS was born in Windsor, New South Wales on 10 January 1839. Maria Kezia was the grand daughter of William ROBERTS, a convict sent to Australia on the Scarborough in the First Fleet. William married Kezia BROWN, a convict who was transported to Australia on the Neptune,…

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…

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…

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….

TROVE Tuesday – Henry Standen was “capitally convicted…”

While convict records provide a wealth of information about a person following conviction, contemporary British newspaper accounts can be a rich source of information about the crime as well as that person’s life in the UK before transportation. Therefore, this week’s finding is not from TROVE but from the 19th Century British Newspapers Collection (Gale),…

Scenic Saturday – Hobart

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…

Red Gold

Week 35 OF 52 ANCESTORS CHALLENGE PROMPT: AT WORK …they were splendid men, hard workers, hard drinkers and hard swearers. But they held their own life cheap if a comrade was in danger, and they would share their last pint of flour or pipe of tobacco with a clansman of the scrub” Cornstalks, ‘SPLENDID MEN’,…