Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Australia Day Challenge 2014

Pauleen of Family history across the seas blog has set a geneameme challenge for Australia Day:
The geneameme comes in two parts: one to test whether your family is ridgey-didge and the second to show us how Australia runs in your veins, without any flag-waving and tattoo-wearing. Shout it out, be proud and make everyone wish they lived in this wide brown land of ours.

What a good prompt to get me off the travel blog and back onto the genealogy blogging.
It also seems a good way to do a summary of what I know before I head off with Mum on the Unlock the Past Genealogy cruise – yes, another holiday for me! And where I'll get to meet and swap stories with Pauleen in person.

Sometime ago I did an 'Arrivals' table where I looked at what information I had on the ancestors who were the first to arrive in each line of my family.
This was to help me determine where next to direct my research and what I was missing in linking them back to the UK.
This table has really helped me with Pauleen’s BIG challenge.

I am only referring in this blog post to the furthest back in each family line, as, in the words of one of my English friends, I am “one of the most Aussie people she knows” (all of my great grandparents were born here, and some further back too).
This is already probably one of the biggest blog posts I've ever done!

Here are my answers:

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was:
John MARSDEN, 1812 although he didn’t choose to come.

I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with):
Two convicts:
1.    John MARSDEN arrived 1812 into Hobart on the Indefatigable (the first ‘fleet’ into Tasmania). Lived the rest of his life in Tasmania.
2.    Thomas Brooke/Brook/BROOKS arrived into Hobart in 1831 on the Lord Lyndoch. He moved to Victoria after his pardon and lived a long life in Mortlake, Victoria.

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from:
England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland
(and should I add Cornwall as they like to think they are a different country?)

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam?
Most of them – I think all except for the two convicts and the sailor mentioned above, and Jane CONDELL (daughter of Henry mentioned below) who came assisted passage on the Isabella Watson – a nursemaid.
See answers below for more details.

How many ancestors came as singles?
Three 3x great grandfathers:
1.    Robert STONEHOUSE arrived (Tasmania) in c1817 on the Duke of Wellington – sailor.
2.    Thomas BROOKS arrived (Tas) in Nov 1831 on the Lord Lyndoch – convict.
3.    Henry Raikes GARRETT arrived (South Australia) in Sep 1858 on the African – unassisted.

Two 2x great grandfathers:
1.    Alfred TERRY arrived (Vic) in Nov 1852 on the Diadem – unassisted.
2.    William LONG / LONGBOTTOM arrived (Vic) in 1859, probably on the Shalimar. He had previously been to New Zealand but I’m yet to find details on that.

One 2x great grandmother:
1.    Elizabeth McVey arrived (Vic) in Sep 1848 on the Melbourne

How many came as couples?
None just as couples – all either singles, family groups or ‘advance or following’ parties.

How many came as family groups?
Five sets of 3x great grandparents:
1.    Theophilus Francis OLD and wife Mary Ann nee SPEAR arrived (Tas) with a son in Jan 1844 on the Indian – unassisted.
2.    Charles Kelvey PEARSON and wife Eliza nee MASON arrived (Vic) with 3 children in Dec 1852 on the Syria - unassisted
3.    William FRANCIS and wife Anna nee COLLIER arrived (Vic) with a daughter in Sep 1862 on the Great Australia – unassisted.
4.    James GRENFELL and wife Nannie nee HATTAM arrived (Vic) with 4 children in Jul 1866 on the Fitz James – unassisted
5.    Phillip BLUETT and wife Mary Jane nee HUNN arrived (Vic) with 2 daughters in Mar 1871 on the Cospatrick – unassisted

One 2x great grandmother, Emma Augusta nee HODGES with her first husband Peter Henry FARMILO and child arrived (Vic) in Jun 1856 on the Atalanta – unassisted.

Did one person lead the way and others follow?
Two 4x great grandfathers:
1.    John MARSDEN arrived (Tas) in 1812 on the Indefatigable – convict.
a.    Four of his five children followed him: daughter Jane MARSDEN arrived c1817 (free), son John arrived 1820 (convict), and sons Thomas and Benjamin followed him here.
2.    Henry CONDELL arrived (Tas) in Dec 1822 on the Skelton – unassisted
a.    His wife Marion nee VALLANGE arrived (Tas) in Apr 1825 on the City of Edinburgh – unassisted.
b.    His daughter Jane Cundell/CONDELL arrived (Vic) in Aug 1840 on the Isabella Watson – assisted (nurserymaid)

Three sets of 3x great grandparents:
1.    William Harris LAITY arrived (Vic) c1851 – ship not confirmed yet.
a.    His wife Elizabeth Ann nee FRANCIS arrived (Vic) with her children, including 18 year old Elizabeth Ann LAITY (my 2x great grandmother) in Nov 1868 on the Conflict - unassisted.
2.    Robert LEWIS arrived (Vic) in Dec 1853 on the William & Jane – unassisted.
a.    His wife Mary Elizabeth nee BLACKMORE, with 7 of their children, all survived the shipwreck of the Schomberg off the coast near Curdies Inlet (Vic) in Dec 1855 – unassisted.
3.    Frederick Augustus ROWDEN arrived (Vic) in Feb 1855 on the Gipsy Bride – unassisted.
a.    His wife died when he was away and his 11 year old daughter Emma Laura ROWDEN (my 2x great grandmother) was brought to Vic by a friend in Sep 1864 on the Lincolnshire – unassisted.

What’s the longest journey they took to get here?
I haven’t done the stats on this. Something to look into I think.

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place?
William LONG had spent some time in New Zealand.
Henry CONDELL had also worked in India and Canada.

Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive?
Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia

Did they settle and remain in one state/colony?
Most of my line of the Tasmanians moved to Victoria.
Most of the Victorians stayed although a few had siblings that moved to NSW and WA.

Did they stay in one town or move around?
Most moved a bit although often not very far.

Do you have any First Australians in your tree?
Pretty sure not.

Were any self-employed?
Quite a few of them.

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in?
In the UK – based on census or directory info:
Tin miner: James Grenfell 1851 age 18, and in 1861
Shop girl: Nanny Hattam 1851 age 14
Mine Labourer / Blacksmith: Phillip Bluett 1851 age 12, and 1861
Mine girl: Mary Jane Hunn: 1861 age 24
Copper miner: William Laity 1851 age 25
Watchmaker / Jeweller: Charles Pearson from at least age 19
Sugar boiler and lozenge maker: Frederick Rowden 1851 age 25
Hairdresser / Barber: Robert Lewis

In Australia:
Farmers / Agricultural labourers: John Marsden, Thomas Brooks, Theophilus Old, Robert Stonehouse (short stint as a police constable)
Miners: James Grenfell, Phillip Bluett, William Laity
Engineer and Manager at Sawmill, Storekeeper: William Long
Brewers / brewing industry: Alfred Terry, Henry Garrett
Publicans: Robert Lewis, Charles Pearson (also a Watchmaker / Jeweller)
Storekeeper / Brewer / Publican / Mayor of Melbourne: Henry Condell
Teacher: William Francis (later a farmer)
Music teacher and musical instrument importer: Frederick Rowden

Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation?
Teacher: My Dad was a teacher.
Music: many of us play musical instruments
Brewer / Publican: many of us drink the produce J

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”?
Don’t think so, although some did go for a visit – to show how they’d made it  in the new country, and one, Henry Garrett, to try to collect some inheritance.

What’s your State of Origin?

Do you still live there?
No, moved to NSW in 2000 – followed Mr Jax

Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child?
Port Campbell, Victoria

Any special place you like to holiday now?
I'll keep this answer Australian, despite just having returned from Europe: 
Hunter Valley, Tasmania, Queensland beaches and islands, Port Fairy (Vic)

Share your favourite spot in Oz:
Wherever family or friends are, OR somewhere really peaceful.

Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had?
When I was a teenager, my family and another family went on a small plane trip through Central Australia, through the edge of a cyclone, flying over Ayers Rock, landing on the 'main street' of an outback town and taxiing up to the door of the pub, and going to the Oodnadatta races.

What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list?
North West Western Australia – Kimberley, Bungle Bungles. I’ve told Mr Jax that’s the only place he’ll ever get me to go camping any more.

How do you celebrate Australia Day?
We usually have a big BBQ and pool party at our house with bombing competitions in the pool.


  1. I have an indirect ancestor Eliza Newman (GGG aunt), born on the Isles of Scilly, who arrived on the Isabella Watson too, which was wrecked entering Port Phillip Bay. She was rescued from the shipwreck by the Irish ship's surgeon, a vet, whom she then married but who later deserted her with 6 children. She then married an Cornishman and had 5 more children. She died at 64 of burns after a house fire. Poor woman.

  2. 1821! So far, you have the earliest arrival! My first arrival to Australia was on board the Lord Lyndoch to Hobart but he was one of the prison guards and it was several years later. Another coincidence!

  3. Seems quite a few of us have ancestors who were given a 'free' passage, even if not willingly... an interesting lot.

  4. I enjoyed your post. Nearly half our immigrating forebears came from England and my husband thought I should separate out the Cornish :)
    Happy Australia Day