Saturday, 22 February 2014

52 Ancestors #9 Uriah Moses

Uriah Moses is believed to have been born in 1780 in Exeter, Devon, England although one family story suggested that he came from Pontypool in Wales. All we really know is that at his trial Exeter was given as the place he came from and that Uriah was living in London when arrested. There were a number of Jewish families with the surname of Moses in the Exeter area at the time as well as a number in south Wales, so both locations are possible, however, at present, the general consensus is that he was from Exeter. Jews in south west England, a PhD thesis submitted to the University of Exeter in 1977, provides information about the history of the Jewish community in that part of England.

At the trial in January 1798, Kitty Jacobs stated that Uriah had worked with her husband at their glass shop in Petticoat Lane for three years and that it was three years since he had worked there. This would have made him about twelve years old when he began working with Mr Jacobs. Mrs Jacobs said that Uriah was very honest when he worked with them. Another witness at the trial, Elizabeth Hicks, said that she did not know Uriah but she knew his mother who was a very honest, hardworking woman. When questioned about his whereabouts when the burglary occurred Uriah said that he had been at his father's in Petticoat Lane. This suggests that Uriah had moved to London with his family when he was a young boy.

On the 8 December, 1797, Uriah was arrested for cutting the glass in a window of a draper's shop in Whitechapel and stealing a quantity of the merchandise on display in the window. On the convict records his occupation was listed as glass cutter and he would certainly have had the skills to cut the glass in the shop window. Unfortunately he cut his hand and was arrested at Guy's hospital where he was receiving medical attention for the wounded hand. He was taken to Newgate Gaol where he awaited his trial which was held at the Old Bailey a month later on 10 January 1798.
At the trial Uriah was accused of stealing seven silk handkerchiefs, value 30 shillings, thirty yards of lace, value 30 shillings, and fifty-eight yards of calimanco, value 40 shillings from William Holmes, a linen-draper and mercer. Apparently a piece of diamond was found near the window and there were traces of blood on some of the remaining items. After removing the items from the shop he had taken them to the house of Ann Benjamin who was also accused of receiving stolen goods. Ann gave him an old shawl to wrap around his cut hand and told him to go to the hospital. Uriah appears to have kept one card of lace which was found under the mattress of the hospital bed. When questioned about the cut hand Uriah said that he was carrying a teapot when crossing London Bridge and 'tumbled down and cut his hand with the pieces'. Uriah was found guilty and received the death sentence which was later commuted to transportation for life. By this time Uriah was probably 18 years old.
Prison hulks
He was taken back to Newgate where he remained for a year before being taken, on 14 February 1799, to Portsmouth where he spent the next fourteen months on the Lion hulk, one of the prison hulks moored in the harbour. The hulks were old, rotten ships, used to house convicts while they waited for a ship to take them to Australia. Eventually Uriah was taken aboard the convict ship, Royal Admiral, which arrived in Portsmouth on 11 April 1800. The ship left Portsmouth on 28 May 1800 and sailed via Rio de Janeiro to New South Wales, a journey that took 181 days. Three hundred male convicts left Portsmouth on the ship but 43 died of gaol fever (typhoid) during the voyage. The Royal Admiral arrived at Sydney on 20 November 1800 almost three years after the Whitechapel burglary.

The next that we hear of Uriah is at the muster in 1806 where he is recorded as working as an assigned convict to George Smith on land in the Hawkesbury area near Windsor. Convicts were often assigned to work for settlers as they served their sentence. In 1812 Uriah received his ticket of leave which allowed him to work for himself, provided that he stayed in a specified area and reported regularly to authorities. On 25 October 1821 he received his conditional pardon. Technically he was free but he had to stay in the colony. As Uriah had begun to establish a new life for himself in Australia and very few convicts returned to England, this was probably not a great issue.

In February 1809 a record in the Colonial Secretary's papers  mentions that Uriah had delivered produce to the Hawkesbury government stores. Uriah therefore had acquired a holding of land in the Windsor area and started growing enough grain to sell some of it. By 1818 Uriah had three acres of land on which he grew wheat, seven acres for growing maize and he owned 14 hogs. By 1819 his land holdings had increased to 12 acres. The Sydney Gazette in the early 1820s listed names of those selling grain to government stores and on 18 December 1823, for example, Uriah delivered 1000 bushels at 3 shillings and 9 pence per bushel. Uriah has therefore established a living growing grain.

The convict census in 1828 lists Uriah's occupation as a baker in Windsor. A book about the history of the Hawkesbury area suggests that Uriah started the bakery in 1821. How he started the bakery business is unknown but it could be seen as a logical move for someone growing grain. Many years later a descendant of Uriah in his published diaries, the artist Donald Friend, mentioned that Uriah had established a flour mill in the Windsor area. However the business developed it must have been successful as for the next 150 years members of the Moses family were engaged in operating bakeries in the Windsor district.

From his humble beginnings Uriah had become a wealthy man. As well as the properties used for growing grain.he appears to have owned a number of properties in Windsor including properties in George Street and Macquarie Street. One of the properties, 68 George Street, still exists today and Roderick Storie, Solicitors have information about the Moses family on their website. The records show that over the years he employed a number of people to assist with his poperties and the bakery. Uriah was also a money lender.
68 George Street in 2010 (Google Maps)
On 9 March, 1830, when he was 50, Uriah married Ann Daley, the daughter of Charles Dayley and Susannah Alderson. Ann was 20 when she married Uriah at St Matthew's Church of England. They both signed the registry with x (their mark). Uriah and Ann had nine children - Frederick Uriah born 1830 died at 8 months, Rachel born in 1831 died when 3 weeks old, Henry (1832-1926), Susannah (1834-1923), George (1838-1908), James born in 1840 and died 6 days later, James Uriah (1842-1892), William (1844-1923) and Thomas born in 1846 and died a month before he turned 4.

We have a description of Uriah from convict records. He was less than 4 feet 11 inches tall, dark complexion, his hair was described as brown in one record and black to grey in a later record. His eyes were recorded as blue in one record and grey in another. Uriah was a Jew and in London he appears to have lived and worked in the Jewish community. In Australia he continued his associations with the Jewish community including donating ₤10 towards the building of a synagogue in Sydney. His family however were members of the Church of England and two weeks before he died Uriah was baptised by the vicar of St Matthews.
Uriah died on 5 December 1847. He was buried with other family members at St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor on 7 December. There was a brief obituary in the Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer, Saturday 11 December 1847:
Also, on Sunday, the 5th instant, at his residence, George-street, Windsor, after a protracted illness of some   months, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Mr. Uriah Moses, aged 70, leaving a wife and six children to lament their loss. Mr. Moses was one of the oldest hands in the Colony, and universally esteemed by all who knew him. His remains were followed to their last resting place, St. Mathew's cemetery, on Tuesday evening last, by a numerous and highly respectable body of friends.  
After Uriah's death the various business concerns remained in the family managed initially by trustees as Henry, the eldest surviving son, was only 15 when his father died. Henry's youngest brother, Thomas died almost three years after his father but the remaining children were well provided for. Probably during Uriah's later life or shortly after his death, the fact that he and Ann's parents had been convicts appears to have disappeared from the family story. I know that my father Kenneth Campbell Moses, Uriah's great grandson, had no knowledge until shortly before he died that he had convicts in his family. A couple of years after Dad's death in1984, a family reunion and a published family history revealed that there were actually eight convicts (including one from the First Fleet) on Dad's side of the family. He would have been so proud of his convict ancestry and their part in the story of the European settlement in New South Wales. Another great grandson of Uriah, Geoffrey Frank Moses did not discover that he had convicts in his family until he received a letter in 1974 seeking information. I have used information from both Geoff's and Dad's research as well as my own research in compiling this brief snapshot of the life of Uriah Moses.

On 4 March 1869, Uriah's widow married James Powell who was described as a gentleman of Randwick. Ann died on 12 June 1880 and was buried at St Matthew's cemetery in Windsor with other members of the Moses family including Uriah

Uriah was my great (x2) grandfather

Monday, 17 February 2014

52 Ancestors #8 Susannah Alderson

Susannah Alderson was possibly born on  27 March 1780 in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Bowes is given as the village where she lived on some family trees while the index to the Yorkshire Assizes gives her place of origin as Gilmanby NR. Gilmonby is a village very close to Bowes and both are close to Sleighthome Moor. Sleighthome is also mentioned in some records. Her parents were Thomas Alderson and Hannah Longstaff. In some records Susannah is referred to as Hannah.

We next hear of Susannah when was working as a servant at Kirby Hill approximately 12 miles south east of Bowes. It is not known when Susannah first went to Kirby Hill but in 1805 she was working for the local schoolmaster, William Johnson when she became pregnant. Her son, who she named William, was born on 4 July 1806. Susannah said that William Johnson was the father of her child. William denied the accusation and took Susannah to court where she was tried and convicted of perjury. at the Yorkshire Summer Assizes on 4 March 1807.
York Courthouse in 2008
The History of York website has this image of the York Courthouse built in the 1770s and which was where the Assizes for the county were held. Additions would have been made to the building since 1806 when Susannah was tried there.
York Female Prison building in 2007
The Female Prison was built in 1780. It was used primarily to house female prisoners though males could also be imprisoned there. Two wings have been added so it would have not been so large when Susannah would have been imprisoned.

On 18 May 1808 Susannah was aboard the convict ship, Speke, when it left Falmouth Harbour in Cornwall with 99 female convicts aboard. Therefore, sometime in the months before, Susannah with her baby and other female prisoners had been brought down to Cornwall from Yorkshire by cart which cannot have been a pleasant journey. The ship travelled to New South Wales via Rio de Janeiro and The Cape of Good Hope arriving at Sydney Cove on 15 November 1808. Susannah's son, William was now almost two and a half years old and had been allowed to stay with Susannah in prison and on the ship to Australia.

Shortly after arriving in Australia Susannah must have met the former convict Charles Daley. She would have moved to Windsor soon after her arrival in Sydney as Susannah and Charles had a daughter, Ann, who was born in Windsor on 10 September 1809. On 27 August 1810 Susannah married Charles at St Matthew's Church of England in Windsor. Charles owned and farmed land in the area. Susannah and Charles had another five children, Mary Ann born 1811, Charles born 1813, Sarah born 1815, John born 1817 and Susannah born 1819. William lived with Susannah and Charles though he kept his mother's surname.

Charles died in 1831. Susannah died thirty-three years later on 7 October 1854 after being burned in a fire at her home in Windsor. An inquest was held the following Saturday with a report in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 18 October 1854:


INQUEST AT WINDSOR -On Saturday, the 7th instant, an inquest was held at Windsor on the body of Mrs. Susannah Daley, an old resident.  On the Thursday evening a neighbour saw an unusual light in the house of deceased, and running towards her met her at the door enveloped in flames. Her head, face, and upper part of her body were dreadfully burnt, so much so that she could give no account of the accident; she was very old and feeble. The jury found a verdict that she had died from the effects of a burn accidentally received.- S M Herald, Oct. 14.

Susannah was buried at St Mathews Church of England, Windsor.

Six of Susannah's children married and lived in the district producing many grandchildren. As to be expected the parents of the people they married had been convicts who had made a new life in the Hawkesbury region. Susannah's youngest daughter, also Susannah, did not marry.

Louise Wilson has written books about families that in the Hawkesbury district. Three of the books, Robert Forrester - First Fleeter, Paul Bushell - Second Fleeter and Southwark Luck are about families that the Daley family had contact with and in some cases, married into. Susannah and Charles' son, John (1817-1884), married Mary Ann Martin - the grand-daughter of Robert Forrester, and the daughter of Ann Forrester and Charles Martin. Isabella Forrester who married Charles Daley(1813-1886) had also been 'adopted' by Paul Bushell and his first wife.

William Alderson, Susannah's son who came on the ship from England with her, initially farmed land at Wilberforce before moving into Windsor where he owned and operated a tannery. He died in Windsor on 10 July 1885.

Susannah was my great (x3) grandmother.

52 Ancestors #7 Charles Daley

Charles Daley was born in Dublin, Ireland possibly in 1775.  As with many of the convicts date of birth is uncertain. Some records suggest he may have been born several years earlier, maybe  as early as 1768.  The spelling of Daley's surname also varies - Daly, Dayley and, improbably, Daily so it is necessary to try variations when trying to locate information about Charles and his family.

We first meet him in 1792 when he was arrested for stealing a saddle. He was tried in Dublin and sentenced to seven years transportation. On 23 January 1793 the ship, Boddingtons, arrived at Cork to take on convicts from various parts of Ireland. The convicts had been housed on four other ships in crowded conditions waiting for Boddingtons to arrive. In total one hundred and twenty-five male convicts and twenty female convicts embarked. Thirty-six of the convicts had spent seven weeks aboard the Hibernia and a number of these were suffering from fever and dysentery when they boarded Boddingtons. Richard Kent was the naval surgeon aboard the ship and he provided a detailed account of the voyage in correspondence. The guard overseeing the convicts consisted of soldiers from the NSW Corps. The website Free Settler or Felon provides information about the voyage of the Boddingtons.

Boddingtons left Cork on 15 February 1793. During the voyage several of the convicts planned to take over the ship and have it sail to America but the attempt was foiled. The culprits were flogged and kept in irons for the rest of the voyage.The trip to Rio de Janeiro  took 54 days arriving on 10 April. The total journey took 173 days with the ship arriving at Port Jackson on 7 August 1793. The one person who died during the voyage had been ill when he embarked. Only one person was on the sick-list on arrival in Sydney so the convicts were treated reasonably well compared with convicts on some of the other ships.

The next we hear of Charles was three years after his arrival in the colony when he married Ann Lockett (also known as Ann Lockhart) at St John's Church, Parramatta in 1796.  Ann Lockhart and Ann Lloyd, in February 1794, were tried at the Old Bailey for theft with violence in Nightingale Lane, a prostitute district. On 4 June 1794 the original sentence of death was reduced to transportation for life. On 5 October 1795 the ship, Indispensable, arrived at Portsmouth Harbour and began embarking 133 female convicts from various parts of England. The convicts would have been transported in carts and would have been in chains. On 11 November 1795 the Indispensable left Portsmouth for New South Wales. The voyage took five and a half months arriving at Sydney Cove on 30 April 1796. Two convicts died during the voyage. On 9 July 1796 a muster of the convicts who had arrived on the Indispensible and the Marquis Cornwallis was held in Sydney. Some of the female convicts were then sent to Parramatta where a new gaol had been built with provisions for weaving. Others were assigned to work in Sydney. As Charles and Ann married in Parramatta we can assume that Ann was one of the convicts sent to that settlement.

The 1801 muster noted that Charles and Ann were living at Toongabbie, west of Sydney.

The 1806 muster stated that Charles was free by servitude and a landholder with 15 acres at the Hawkesbury (Windsor) purchased from J Richards. He had 6 acres of wheat, 2 acres of barley, 7 acres of fallow land and 1 hog. In 1806 Ann died. She and Charles did not have any children.

On 27 August 1810 Charles Daley married Susannah Alderson at St Matthew's Church of England, Windsor. Susannah (also known as Hannah) had arrived in Sydney on 16 November 1808 aboard the convict ship, Speke. Her two year old son, William, travelled with her. Charles and Susannah had six children, Ann born 1809, Mary Ann born 1811, Charles born 1813, Sarah born 1815, John born 1817 and Susannah born 1819.

In 1812 Charles donated one pound towards building a school enclosed with a fence at Richmond

By the general muster of convicts in 1822 Charles' property had increased. He was listed as a tenant of 26 acres at Windsor with 14 acres of wheat, 6 acres of maize, 6 acres of barley, 70 hogs and grain in hand. The 1828 census noted that Charles and his wife were both protestants and that they lived in Windsor with five of their children.
Image taken by Brian Walters - Macquarie's Towns - St Matthew's church & cemetery
Charles died at Windsor on 17 May 1831 when he was run over by his cart when returning from the market in Sydney. His body was discovered by his son-in-law, John Wood. John Wood had married Mary Ann Daley in 1829. Charles was buried at St Matthew's Church of England Cemetery on 19 May 1831.

Charles Daley was my great (x3) grandfather.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Hawkesbury on the Net

Many of my convicts and their families lived in the Hawkesbury Valley, particularly in or near, Windsor, Richmond and Cornwallis. Hawkesbury on the Net is therefore a good starting place for family history resources relating to that region.

Volunteers have been transcribing memorials in cemeteries, church registers and other lists relating to the area. This is a work in progress but is well worth a look if your family came from the Hawkesbury Valley.

The Cemetery Register is particularly useful as it not only confirms that a person was buried in a particular cemetery but will often provide the location of the grave. The Hawkesbury Pioneers Monument contains the names of three of my convicts, Uriah Moses, John Pendergast and William Roberts. War memorials, with names, are also listed.

The Claim a Convict website now operates from Hawkesbury on the Net.

Free Settler or Felon

A website that I have used frequently when checking information about my convict ancestors is Free settler or felon.

The section I have been using primarily is the Convict Ships Index which provides detailed information (when available) about each ship bringing convicts to Australia as well as the journey. Sections from correspondence from officers or from ship logs is often used to portray the conditions faced by those on the ship.

The site specialises on the early colonisation of the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales and is an invaluable resource with those with ancestors who settled in this region including, Newcastle, Mailtland and Port Macquarie.

However, as well as the Convict Ships Index, there are sections of the website providing general information such as a section of the Parramatta Women's Prison where many of the convicts were initially sent and a section on Colonial Events which can be searched by year.

Claim a convict

I have just added the names of the 12 convicts in my family to the Claim a Convict website - a service enabling researchers with convict ancestors to contact each other by email.

The search & browse section allows you to find convicts by surname or by the name of the ship on which they travelled to Australia. It is necessary to register to become a member of the site and a password will then be sent by email. Once you have logged on you can 'claim' a selected convict and a link indicating that you are researching the person and are willing to be contacted by email is added beneath the name of the convict. You decide whether or not your name will appear on the list. Another researcher can then contact you by clicking the link which requires them to enter contact details - name and email (phone number optional). They then type their message in the box provided and enter the verification code before submitting the enquiry.

The website also has a list of useful resources for researching convicts in the family with links to the major websites for convict research. There are also links to a selection of information sheets.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

52 Ancestors #6 Mary Hyde

Mary Hyde was born (possibly) in February 1779 at Halesowen which at the time was in Shropshire but in 1844 the changed boundaries put it in Worcestershire. Mary's parents were Edward Hyde and Sarah Blunn.
Mary was baptised at St John the Baptist Church of England at Halesowen on 19 February 1799.

The next time we hear of Mary is November 1795 when 16 year old Mary is accused of stealing items of clothing from Francis Deakin, her employer, including 1 black silk cloak, 1 muslin shawl, 1 cotton gown, 1 dimity petticoat, 2 pair of cotton stockings and 1 pair of scissors.

On 21 March 1796 Mary was tried at the Warwickshire Assizes where she was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. At the trial she used her mother's name as an alias. It was not until January 1798  that Mary left Plymouth aboard the former whaling ship, Britannia II, which had been converted for carrying convicts. Ninety-two female convicts travelled on the ship to New South Wales. Only two convicts died during the voyage. The ship arrived at Sydney Cove on 18 July 1798.

There was still a shortage of females in the colony when Mary, now aged 19, arrived. Mary was possible luckier than many of the women as she met a ship's officer, John Black, and they lived together when he was in port. From March 1799 their home was on land (near what is now De Mestre Place in Sydney on eastern side of George St between Hunter St & Martin Place) that John Black leased from the government. Mary & John's son, John Henry Black, was born on 31 May 1799. In the muster of convicts undertaken in 1800, Mary & her son were listed as being no longer reliant on government stores as they were living on land owned by Mr Black and owned seven pigs, four sheep & one goat.

Captain Black was frequently away from Sydney but from 11 January 1801 to January 1802 he lived in the settlement with Mary and their son. While in Sydney he worked in the liquor trade establishing a shop on land that he leased from Simeon Lord. On 6 October 1801 Mary Ann Black was born. A month earlier on 7 September 1801 Governor King had granted Mary an absolute pardon ( 18 months before it was due). Mary (now 22) appeared to have settled into her new life in Sydney.

In January 1802 Captain Jack Black was back at sea. He was aboard the ship, Fly, travelling to India. Unfortunately of the return voyage the ship was wrecked and the crew were lost a sea. The last siting of the ship was on 14 May 1802 when it was due to travel across the Indian Ocean and around the  southern coast of Australia through Bass Strait and then north to Sydney. It is not known where and when the ship disappeared. The ship was not declared missing until February 1803 and an article in the Sydney Gazette for 15 April 1804 officially confirmed that Captain Black was  lost at sea.

Mary stayed in Sydney with her two young children and no doubt continued to run the family business. By 1805 she had entered into a new relationship, this time with Simeon Lord who had had business associations with her husband. An emancipist, Simeon had carved out a successful life for himself in the new colony. He was a trader, shipowner, sealer, auctioneer, magistrate, landowner and manufacturer - textiles, leather goods, soap, candles, hats - at various times during his business career. He was also well known as a litigant and like many other former convicts attempted to use the courts to his advantage. 
Mary Hyde taken towards the end of her life
Mary and Simeon had five children - Sarah born 1806, Louisa born 1808, Simeon born 1810, Francis born 1812 and Edward born 1814 - before they were married at St Philip's Church on 27 October 1814. They then had another five children - John born 1815, Thomas born 1816, Frederick born 1817, George born 1818 and Robert born 1821. The family lived in a large three storey house near the Tank Stream that had been constructed for Simeon in 1803. As well as the children of Mary and Simeon, Simeon's adopted daughter (Joanna Short) lived in the house. Mary's two children also lived with them though Mary Ann spent seven years living with her grandfather, Rev John Black, in England until his death in 1814. She then returned to Sydney.

In 1814 Simeon established his first factory and mill at Botany. During the next few years additional buildings were added including Banks House where the family lived from 1821 when they leased the Sydney property. The businesses at Botany continued to diversify and products were exported to the other colonies such as Van Diemen's Land.

Simeon Lord died on 29 January 1840. In his will Simeon left the members of his large family well provided for. Mary continued to live at the house in Botany and managed the businesses there. The government decided to reclaim part of the property as part of an extension to the water supply system in Sydney. So, in 1855, when some of the land was flooded, including the stream that supplied the mill, Mary took to the courts to receive proper compensation for the land and loss of business. The matter was finally resolved to Mary's satisfaction after she won an appeal to the Privy Council in England in February 1859. She was obviously a very determined woman.

Mary Hyde died on 1 December 1864 aged 85. In her will Mary left property to all her children including her daughters, stipulating that the property belonged to the women and not their male partners. Unfortunately the government at the time was not as enlightened as Mary regarding female rights.

Mary Hyde was my great (x3) grandmother.

Britannia - 1798

Britannia - ship - 301 - built 1783
96 female convicts - 2 deaths
This was the second ship named Britannia to be used as a transport. The ship was a whaler, carried a small number of prisoners and had an uneventful voyage arriving at Port Jackson on 18 July 1798.
Mary Hyde (Hide) - also known as Sarah Blunn and Mary Black - was baptised on 19 February 1779 at Halesowen, Worcestershire. Her parents were Edward Hyde and Sarah Blunn. In November 1795 Mary was accused of stealing items of clothing from Francis Deakin, her employer, including 1 black silk cloak, 1 muslin shawl, 1 cotton gown, 1 dimity petticoat, 2 pair of cotton stockings and 1 pair of scissors. She was tried at the Warwickshire Assizes on 21 March 1796 and the 17 year old was sentenced to seven years transportation to New South Wales. She arrived at Port Jackson aboard the Britannia.
  • Bateson, Charles: The convict ships 1797-1868. Sydney, Library of Australian history, 2004 (originally published 1950)

Monday, 3 February 2014

52 Ancestors #5 Simeon Lord


Simeon Lord was born on 28 January 1771 at Todmorden in West Yorkshire, England.  Simeon's parents were Simeon Lord (1744-1787) and Ann Fielding (1745-1786). Both the Lord and Fielden families had lived in the area near Todmorden for many generations.Many members of the Lord family were buried at St Mary's Church, Todmorden.
Names of  members of the Lord family on sides of memorial in front of the church
St Mary's Church, Todmorden
Being on the border, Todmorden is sometimes listed as being in Lancashire and at other times in Yorkshire. The Todmorden Information Centre provides a brief history of the area. An informative website on the area and its history is Todmorden and Walsden.In 2012 I wrote a post in this blog about the Lord family in the Todmorden area from the mid 1600s. Todmorden is situated where three valleys converge and many small farming settlements existed in the surrounding hills. One of the settlements was at Howroyd. Members of the Lord family also lived at Dobroyd and Knowl. In the 1700s it was usual for a group, maybe four, families to build their houses at one location on the slopes and farm sheep in the surrounding area. A room in one or more of the cottages would be used for spinning and weaving the wool. The cloth would then be transported by packhorse to market. Additional wool and, from the mid 1750s, sometimes cotton would be brought back to be processed in the cottages. This is the world into which Simeon would have been born.

On 22 April 1790 Simeon, aged 19, was found guilty at the Manchester Quarter Sessions of stealing a quantity of cotton cloth and calico from Robert Peel and Associates (a calico printing firm in Blackburn) and was subsequently sentenced to seven years transportation. His mother had died when he was 15 and his father died a year later. The young Simeon appears to have ended up in the Manchester area but little is known of this part of his life. What we do know is that on 27 March 1791 he left Plymouth aboard the transport, Atlantic, part of the Third Fleet, and arrived at Port Jackson on 20 August 1791. There were 220 male convicts aboard the Atlantic and 18 convicts died during the voyage.

Shortly after arriving in Australia Simeon was assigned to Lieutenant (later Captain) Thomas Rowley of the 102 Regiment and this is when his luck began to change. Thomas Rowley was almost illiterate and as Simeon had had some education and could read and write he was able to assist the soldier in his business ventures. Rowley appears to have encouraged Simeon and assisted him, when he emancipated, in establishing his first business selling spirits and general goods purchased from the NSW Officers Corps.

But this was just the beginning. Within a few years Simeon had become a wholesale merchant, sealer, auctioneer, captain's agent, pastoralist, timber merchant and manufacturer. When Governor Macquarie arrived in the colony Simeon was one of the emancipist magistrates appointed. Simeon was actively involved in most aspects of commerce in the colony and was one of the founders of the Bank of New South Wales. At times he had partnerships with other emacipists including James Underwood and Henry Kable and with the merchant Robert Campbell. Simeon was therefore, usually, a successful and wealthy businessman. He had a house built that was, at the time, reputed to be the grandest house in the colony.

What I find particularly interesting is that, from 1806, Simeon established a woollen mill and other manufacturing enterprises at Botany. One assumes that this interest was inspired by his experience and knowledge of textiles acquired back at Todmorden. As well as textiles, hats, shoes and harness were produced. At one stage Simeon and a partner were experimenting with glassblowing and pottery was another project. Many men were employed in these enterprises. Goods were not only sold in Sydney but his manufactured items were shipped to Tasmania.

On 27 October 1814, at St Philip's Church, Simeon married Mary Hyde who had arrived in Australia as a convict in 1798. Simeon and Mary already had five children before their marriage - Sarah born 1806, Louisa born 1808, Simeon born 1810, Francis born 1812 and Edward born 1812 (a week before the wedding). They had another five children - John born 1815, Thomas born 1816, Frederick born 1817, George born 1818 and Robert born 1821. Simeon has also an adopted daughter Joanna Short born 1792 and Mary had two children from a previous marriage - John Black 1799 and Mary Ann Black born 1801.

This is only a short summary of some of the events in the life of Simeon Lord. Not all of his projects went to plan. Like many of the settlers in the new colony he was often in court over one dispute or another. He also had disputes with some of the governors. Partnerships were formed and dissolved. Some ventures were more successful that others. Ships carrying cargoes disappeared en route to their destination. Yet as D R Hainsworth writes in his Australian Dictionary of Biography Online article about Simeon - If his plans were over-ambitious for the times or his own resources, he pioneered commerce in Australia and helped to transform a prison farm into a flourishing colony capable of attracting men of capital. With a few others, he strikingly demonstrated what emancipists could achieve in a new country.

In 1821 Simeon leased the Sydney house and moved to a house in Botany. Simeon died at Botany on 29 January 1840 leaving his wife and large family well provided for. A small report in the newspaper, Australian 30 January 1840 reads - Death. Yesterday at his late residence, Banks House Botany, Simeon Lord, Esq. aged sixty-nine years, deeply lamented by a large circle of relations and friends.

Most books on the early settlement of Sydney contain references to Simeon Lord. There have also been booklets and books written about him including D R Hainsworth's book, The Sydney Traders: Simeon Lord and his contemporaries 1788 - 1821 (1971).

Simeon Lord was my great (x3) grandfather.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Unlocking family stories - Google Maps

Although I have mentioned using Google Maps as a research tool in other posts, it may be useful to look at how it can be used in a little more detail.

Recently I was writing a post about my great (x4) grandmother, Kezia Brown, and decided to check in Google Maps the village where she lived. The village is Severn Stoke in Worcestershire.
After searching for Severn Stoke I clicked Maps. Part of the map appears above with the red marker showing the location of the village and its surrounding countryside. The slide on the left of the map allows you to zoom in for a closer look at the image.
Dragging the 'yellow man' at the top of the slider and positioning him on a street allows to to have a street view of the village.

A white arrow appears and dragging the arrow allows you to 'walk' along the streets.
When exploring the village I saw a church in the distance and turned down the next road to locate the church where Kezia was baptised and where her parents were married.
Members of Kezia's family would be buried in the cemetery in the church grounds.
If I had typed in St Denys Church Severn Stoke into the search box the red marker would have located the church. If the red marker is not obvious on the screen you can use the cursor, or depending on the computer or device use the touch screen,  to drag the map to have a look at parts of the image not readily visible.

Kezia left home when she was about 18 and travelled to the town of Gloucester. Google Maps can help you locate the distance between locations.

Click the Get Directions box at the top left of the screen and then fill in the two locations. Click the blue Get Directions box.
Google Maps shows the possible route between the towns. The roads would have been different two hundred plus years ago but an indication of possible routes is provided.
In the panel on the left of the map one set of directions is provided. However what I found useful was the number at the top of the directions which indicated that the distance between the two locations would have been 24 miles. This provides an indication of the journey undertaken by Kezia to travel to Gloucester in 1789.

52 Ancestors #4 Mary Bateman

Mary Bateman was born in England, possibly in London, in 1773 or 1774. There are a number of baptisms for babies named Mary Bateman in these years but at present there is no certainty that any of these are 'our' Mary Bateman.

The 1780s were a time of social upheaval in England. One event which greatly impacted upon the employment opportunities for women was the disbanding of the British Amy returning home in 1783 after the American War of Independence. Many of the former soldiers returned to the cities increasing the population and displacing women from the workforce. Many women who had worked in shops were forced from the workforce to be replaced by men. In 1785 a tax imposed upon the employment of maid servants above the age of 15 also resulted in many young girls and women being left without employment and / or accommodation. For many women living in the cities, prostitution and crime associated with prostitution was the only way to survive. How Mary ended up working as a prostitute we can only surmise. We do know however that after her arrest on 20 April 1788 her life changed dramatically.

Mary Bateman was tried at the Old Bailey in London on 7 May 1788. The day before the trial The Times reported - "There are about 100 prisoners in Newgate for trial at the ensuing sessions, which begin on Wednesday at The Old Bailey". Mary was indicted for "feloniously stealing, on the 19th of April, a silver watch value 3 l (pound) the property of James Palmer, in the dwelling house of Elizabeth Sully ..." The trial summary can viewed on the Old Bailey Online website.

Elizabeth Sully was the landlady of an establishment in Long Alley, off Cable Street, where teenage prostitutes encouraged men to visit and then stole items from them. On this occasion Mary and Elizabeth Durrand (Durant) met James Palmer, who had been spending the evening drinking, and encouraged him to accompany them home. An hour after leaving, Palmer discovered that his watch was missing. It was later discovered hidden in a mattress. Mary was sentenced to seven years transportation. On the committal statement, signed by Mary with an X, her age was given as 15.

Elizabeth Sully was also tried and sentenced to transportation. As Elizabeth Durant had provided evidence she was not tried for her participation. Four months earlier two other girls living and working at the same establishment, Mary Butler and Mary Randall, had also been sentenced to seven years transportation. At the trial the judge had made a point of limiting the value of the stolen watch to 3 pounds - a higher value would have resulted in the death sentence.

After the trial Mary returned to Newgate Gaol. Conditions in the gaol were overcrowded and unhygienic. In the book, The Floating Brothel, Sian Rees describes the conditions -
By December 1788, 151 female convicts were living in three female cells in Newgate, which had been built to house a maximum of 70. They lived on rations fixed for that theoretical maximum and not for the number actually confined. Each cell had one window opening on to an interior well. There were no beds. Instead, there was a ramp at one end of the room with a wooden beam fixed to its top end which served as mattress and pillow. To sleep on the ramp and beam was a privilege, to be paid for weekly. To rent a blanket woven of raw hemp cost extra. Those who could afford neither curled up together on stone slabs awash with saliva and urine. (page 61 Large Print edition)
These were the conditions in which Mary lived until 12 March 1789 when 108 females (including Mary) were transferred from the prison to the transport ship, the Lady Juliana - a ship carrying a total of approximately 250 female only prisoners. A report about the ship appeared in The Times 7 February 1889 p3 -
The ship, Lady Juliana, which is ordered by Government to carry over the convicts to Botany Bay, is a fine river-built vessel, and was the first ship that was taken by the Americans on her passage from Jamaica to London, and was afterwards retaken by a man of war, and conveyed to England. One hundred marines are ordered by Government to be raised to go to Botany Bay in the Lady Juliana.
The ship remained on the Thames until early July when it sailed to Portsmouth and then to Plymouth before beginning the long voyage to Australia on 29 July 1789.

Detailed records were kept of the voyage of the Lady Juliana and Charles Bateson's book, The convict ships 1797-1868, and Sian Rees book,  The floating brothel: the extraordinary true story of an eighteenth century ship and its cargo of female convicts, are recommended reading. The ship travelled to New South Wales via Teneriffe, Cape Verde Islands, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town arriving at Port Jackson 6 June 1790. Only five convicts died during the trip. Bateson suggests that this was because
  • the women were issued with sufficient rations
  • the ship was kept clean and fumigated throughout the voyage
  • the women had free access to the deck instead of being confined below deck
  • long stays at ports visited with access to fresh provisions
During the voyage the women had a daily routine which included cleaning the ship and cooking. Some of the women also sewed shirts to be sold when they arrived at the colony.

When the ship arrived  at Sydney Cove the much needed supplies were unloaded first. The convicts were finally allowed on shore on 11 June to stay in the hospital building or huts or tents. On the Sunday they attended a church service where babies born on the ship were baptised.

After a short stay at Sydney Cove many of the women, including Mary, boarded the ship, Surprize, to sail to Norfolk Island where they arrived on 7 August 1790. George Guest had arrived on Norfolk Island  in January 1790 and shortly after Mary's arrival on the island they were living together. They were married in November 1791 when the Reverend Richard Johnson visited the island. Their children for whom we can find records are Sarah born 1792, George born 1794, John born c 1798, Mary born 1803 and William born 1804.  The baby Mary died in May 1804 aged twelve months.

On Norfolk Island George and Mary acquired and farmed areas of land and by 1804 George was reputed to be the largest land owner on the island with holdings of 250 acres and 600 sheep.

When the decision was made to transfer the Norfolk Island settlement to Van Diemen's Land the Guest family volunteered to leave. In September 1805 George Guest and his family were transferred to Van Diemen's Land and settled at New Norfolk. However George felt that he had never received his just entitlements in the land transfer and spent much of his life, including several trips to Sydney, disputing this and other decisions of government officials.

Unfortunately Mary's last years appear not to have been happy ones. On one of the trips to Sydney with Mary and four of the children, George wrote that his disputes over his land entitlements had deprived his wife of her reason and that he had to hire two men to restrain her. In 1828 Mary is recorded as an inmate of the Liverpool Lunatic Asylum in New South Wales where she died in April 1829 and was buried at St Luke's cemetery on 2 April. She would have been 56 years old.

Mary Bateman was my great (x4) grandmother.

See the post - Mary's Story - for additional material about Mary Bateman

52 Ancestors #3 Kezia Brown

Kezia Brown was born in 1771 in Severn Stoke, Worcestershire. Her parents were Aaron Brown and Mary Farley. On 10 March 1771 Kezia was baptised at St Denys Church at Severn Stoke.
Part of the existing Church of St Denys was built in the 12th century.

When her grandfather, William Farley, died in May 1787 he left Kezia the sum of three pounds which she inherited when she turned 18. By 1789 Kezia appears to have left home and is working as a labourer in the garden of a property belonging to Mr James Wheeler and his family in Gloucester, approximately 24 miles from Severn Stoke. In July 1789 Kezia contracted smallpox and was looked after by the Wheeler family for six weeks. On 20 August 1789 Kezia ran away from the Wheeler house and was found by Edward Wheeler at Norton, probably on her way home to Severn Stoke. She was arrested for allegedly taking with her items belonging to the Wheelers.

On 9 October 1789 at Gloucester City Sessions Kezia was tried for the theft of one black silk cloak and hood, one piece of black lace and one piece of black ribbon, one flannel petticoat, one dimity petticoat,, two shifts, three muslin aprons, one shawl, five caps, one apron cloth and one check apron. She was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation.

In November 1789 female prisoners from county gaols were taken to the transport ship, Neptune. The ship was to carry 421 male convicts and 78 female convicts to New South Wales. On the short journey from Plymouth to Portsmouth a number of convicts died and were buried at sea. Unfortunately this was a sign  of worse things to come as the mortality rate on the Neptune during the voyage was 31% with 147 male convicts and 11 female convicts dying during the six month voyage. The contractors were paid for each convict who boarded the ship with no concern for the number who arrived in the colony alive. The contractors were also allowed to sell any surplus stores when they reached the colony so convicts were expected to survive on minimum rations. An enquiry was held when the ships returned to England however that did not assist the convicts who had had to endure incredible hardship.
The ships of the Second Fleet were due to leave England in December 1789 but stormy weather postponed the departure. Instead they set sail on 19 January. The Neptune arrived in New South Wales on 28 June 1790. Charles Bateson's book, The convict ships 1787-1868 (2004) and Michael Flynn's book, The Second Fleet: Britain's grim convict armada of 1790 (1993) describe in detail the Second Fleet voyage. The following two posts in this blog - Second Fleet and Second Fleet Ships Notes - provide some information about the journey.

By the time the ships of the Second Fleet arrived supplies in the colony were running low and there was general dismay when it was realised that instead of ships carrying much needed supplies the ships carried additional people that the colony had to support. The condition of the new arrivals added to the despair of those attempting to manage the colony. Under the circumstances it is amazing that so may convicts did survive.

Once settled in her new environment Kezia shared accommodation with William Roberts. Their first child, William, was baptised in Sydney on 4 September 1791. A daughter, Mary, was born 15 June 1793. As William had a wife and family in England, William and Kezia had to wait seven years from the day of his sentence before they could marry. On 14 August 1792, William and Kezia were married at St Phillip's Church in Sydney. William and Kezia had an additional eight children, Sarah born 1795, James born 1798, John born 1801, Robert born 1803, Maria born 1805, Hariett born 1807, Ann born 1809 and Edward born 1813.

From 1804 William received a number of grants of land initially near Sydney and later in the Windsor area where the family eventually settled. They lived on a property known as Hobby Farm (named after the original owner of the land, Thomas Hobby) which they successfully farmed. There were challenges as the area near the Hawkesbury River was prone to flooding and from time to time there were disputes between settlers. There would also have been disputes in the area with the Aboriginal people who had been displaced when Europeans started subdividing the area. Kate Grenville has written about the challenges of surviving in the early years of the colony in her novel, The Secret River, the first book in a trilogy written about this era.

When William died in 1820, Kezia and her family continued to live at Hobby Farm. The General Muster of 1822 provides information about the land and livestock belonging to Keziah Brown. In her final years Kezia lived with her son, Robert, in Richmond where she died on 22 June 1854 aged 83.

The two volume work, A rich inheritance: William Roberts and Kezia Brown, their background and their family (1988) provides additional information about what is known about the life of Kezia.

Kezia was my great (x4) grandmother.