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ConvictRecords.com.au is based on the British Convict transportation register, compiled by the State Library of Queensland. We have given a searchable interface to this database, and show the information for each convict in full.

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Recent Submissions

Anonymous on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Michael Curtin:

Airds for general distribution
Height Five feet 10 inches
Complexion Sallow
Hair Brown
Eyes Blue
General Remarks Had Ticket of Leave 27/849 dated 10 Dec 1827
married Ann Sarah McKeon 13 May 1834
had 10 children

Anonymous on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Abraham Harding:

Abraham changed his name to John Fredric Harding He lived in Northam until his death in 1904 he married Emma Taylor in 1864 i have not been able to find his wife and two children in Gloster or wether they where actualy divorced on his death he was a well respected land owner and pillar of the comunity in Northam,W.A. Emma and John had 4 Sons and 7 Daughters

Anonymous on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Michael Curran:

Religion - Catholic; Status - single; age 26 ; height 5’ 4 1/2"; complexion - dark sallow; hair dark brown; eyes dark. Particulars: eyebrows meeting, diagonal scar between eyebrows, breast a little hairy.
Michael worked for Francis Beddick at Hunter River got his ticket of leave in 1846. He became quite a large landowner at "Rockfield" Munni, outside Dungog. He lived there with his wife Maryanne until his death in 1892. They had four children, Eliza, Charlotte, Thomas and William.

Lyndy Cracknell on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Richard Robinson:

He was arrested at 108 East Smithfield, accused of stealing three hams from a shop. The transcript is available at http://www.oldbaileyonline.org if you search for Richard Robertson. His age is also incorrect in the court records, he was 33 not 23. He was married and had four children, the eldest was eight. His wife Hannah Rae nee Chowne and the four children Richard, Mary Elizabeth, Louisa Hannah and William Chowne all travelled to Australia on the Broxbornbury arriving the same day as the Surry on July 28, 1814. The Surry, on which Richard travelled, lost a third of its complement to typhus. Perhaps for this reason, Richard received his ticket of leave the day he cleared quarantine at the end of August 1814. His convict number was 21810, light brown hair, hazel eyes,height five feet five and a half. He had no prior convictions nor any subsequent ones.
He worked around the colony plying his trade until the late 1840s, including working at Old Government House, Parramatta. He and his wife reared seven children (two died young). They were all respectable tradespeople, shopkeepers, hoteliers and farmers and most reared large families. Two of his grandchildren became Mayors of Liverpool and Queenbeyan. Richard died of ascites on 20 Feb 1868 at Ropes Creek and was buried at St Mary’s Church at South Creek (now St Mary’s).

Mike Harvey on 31st May, 2012 wrote of John Patton:

Arrived on ship "Lord Eldon" - Convict - 30/9/1817

The following is from the "Colonial Secretary’s Papers 1788-1825"
1825 Nov 17 - Per "Lord Eldon 1817.Assigned as servant to Captain
          John Piper.Petition for mitigation of sentence;
          as PATTON (Fiche 3210; 4/1863 p.43)

11 Jan 1838 Ticket of Leave Passport [4/4235; Reel 966] Ticket of Leave 36/0292;

*              NSWPI PIONEERS SERIES - DEATHS               *
*                  SET # 7 - 2 RECORDS                   *
*                  COMBINE: 3 AND 6                   *

INDEX YEAR         1843
FATHER           AGE 48

Mike Harvey on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Abraham Mills:

Arrived in Australia 30 Aug 1836 aboard the "Moffat" aged 19.
Ticket of leave 41/2146 Cert of Freedom 43/1020

*                DEATHS, NSW 1889 - 1918                 *
*                  SET # 4 - 1 RECORDS                   *
*                COMBINE: 1 AND 2 AND 3                 *

INDEX YEAR         1902

Abraham MILLS was tried in Southampton Quarter Sessions in Jan. 1836 for house breaking.
He was found guilty and sentenced to transportation to NSW.
Abraham was one of 399 convicts transported on the 820 ton convict transport "Moffat"
He arrived in Port Jackson on the 31.08.1836.
In 1841 he received his Ticket of Leave and was granted his Ticket of Freedom 2 years later.

"The MAITLAND DAILY MERCURY, Thursday, June 5,1902.LOCAL AND GENERAL ITEMS .... DEATH OF A NONOGENARIAN. Abraham Mills. From Mount Vincent comes word of the death of an old resident, in the person of Abraham Mills.The old man was a native of Chatham, England, but had lived in this State for many years. For a time he resided near Bullahdelah; then he shifted to Mount Vincent, where he followed the occupation of a timber getter and splitter. At the time of his death he was 92 years old. He leaves four sons and three daughters. His wife died some years ago."

1902 - 1817 = 85 therefore some porkies or assumptions have been made in his age.

And another death report:

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864-1933), Monday 30 June 1902, page 9
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19187974
There died recently at Mulbring, near Maitland, Mr. Abraham Mills, who was
between 90 and 100 years of age. He left eight sons, five daughters, ninety-four
grandchildren, and fifty-eight great-grandchildren.
This worthy colonist has been the cause of peopling the State with no fewer
than 105 souls, of a sturdy stock, noting his own age at death, and that his numerous progeny remain to mourn their loss. The deceased had been seventy years In New South Wales, and was a native of Chatham, England.

And the following newspaper reports of this "worthy colonist" shows just how vile a man he really was. 
The MAITLAND DAILY MERCURY Thursday 23 April 1868
ASSAULT -Abraham Mills was charged by Ellen Hourigan, with assaulting her on the 25th of last October, at Tocal. Complainant deposed : On Friday, the 25th day of October last, defendant came to my place ; he asked for a drink of tea, which 1 gave him ; I asked him to sit down; after some time he caught me by my dress, and said he wanted to get me in the family way; I told him ,to leave me go; he then said he would give me £5 ; I told him I did not want it ; he then said he would give me £10, and half a bullock, and we would not say anything about it to my husband ; I then ran round the table, and he after me; he threw me down ; I told him my husband, would be here in a few minutes ; he then left me, and got on his horse and rode away ; he had a bottle in a handkerchief when he came to my house ; he asked me to drink ; he offered me the bottle ; I refused to take it, or drink any part of it, but told him to go away with the bottle ; he came to my house again on the following Monday, and said he would give me £5 to settle the matter of the assault; I refused ; there was no one in the house at the time of the assault but myself and the defendant, except two children.
Henry Gurr deposed :
I reside at Stanhope, and am a carrier ; I know both complaintant and defendant; defendant informed me he had been summoned by complainant. Previous to the summons being issued, defendant informed me he had received a message from complainant, and defendant asked me to go and see what they wanted; I went to com- plainant’s place, and saw complainant’s husband ; he told me he would settle the matter it’ defendant gave him £5 ; complainant was present during the conversation, but might not be within hearing ; oomplainant’s husband said if be did not get £5 be would take out a warrant for defendant ; I told him I had not the mouey with me, but would give him security for the money, which would be paid in a few days, but he said he would not settlo the matter without he got the money ; complainant was close by by us during the conversation ; I was close to tho door, she was inside ; defendant sent me to make the settle- ment; Hourigan offered to settle it for £5,-Mrs. Hourigan, recalled ; I never saw the last witness before until to-day, to my knowledge ; if he ever came to my place he was far different than he is now. At this stage of the proceedings, Mr, Thompson, who appeared for defendant, applied for a postponement of the trial, to enable the defendant to get the attendance of an important witness. The above portion of the case was heard on the 7th of April, and was then remanded until the ninth of April, on which day it was again resumed before E.G. Cory and G. Cory, Ksqi. Mrs. Hourigan was recalled, and deposed : There was no offer of settlement made by my husband, to my knowledge ; I would not swear that the witness Gurr did not come to my place and have dinner ; some man came, but oould not swear that it was the witness Gurr ; young Mills came with the man ; did not say anything abont this last oourt day, because I was not asked ; there was nothing said about settlement of the matter, at the time young Mills was at my plaoe with the man, to my knowledge -, cannot say exactly how long old Mills stopped at my place at the time of the asaault ; it was not long; it might have been a quarter of an hour -, told defendant at that time to drink the tea, and leave the rum ; did not drink any of the rum ; defendant said he did not care for either me or my husband, as he had not got what he wanted; he called me a w-; defendant had not left my plaoe but ten minutes when my husband came home ; I told him the particulars of the assault; he asked whioh way did defendant go; he then followed him ; there was some arrangement between my busband and Mills, about a bullook which was lost, which my husband found, and for which he was to have been paid a pound, but which he had not yet got ; there was some conversation between Mills and myself about the bullook at the time of the assault.-Henry Gurr recalled, deposed : When I was talking to oomplainant’s husband about the settlement of the affair we were not talking in   a whisper, but loud, and oomplainant was close by; Mills had informed me that complainant had sent Jerry Dacy about the settlement, and he sent us over to see what they wanted ; he sent his son to show rue the road ; served a subponia on Dacy since last court day ; he then told me he would come over; saw him this morning, when he said he would not come.-Robert Mills deposed : Am son of defendant ; accompanied H. Gurr to Mrs. Hourigan’s house ; we both had something to eat there ; Mrs. Houri- gan got the things ready ; Gurr went there about a settlement ; heard oomplainant’s husband say if he got £5 he would say nothing about it; did not hear what the £5 was for; believe it was for something my father had said or done ; Mrs. Hourigan was present, and made no objection to the offer ; Gurr told Hourigan that if he waited a few days he would got him the £5, and would give him security for it in the meantime ; Hourigan said be would not make it up unless he got the money ; Mrs Hourigan was present at this conversation.-Edward Hourigan deposed ; Lived at Tocal at the time of the assault; don’t know Jerry Dacy ; saw a young man on a Sunday after the assault on my wife, who said he lived at Stanhope ; asked him if he know defendant, said he did ; asked bim would he tell Mills I wanted to see him, he said he would ; a man came with young Mills to my place after, but could not swear that the witness Gurr was the man
but I made no proposals of settlement about the assault; 1 would have nothing to do with it; old Mill came to me after, and said he knew nothing about the assault, as he was tipsy at the time ; I told him I would not have anything to do with the matter ; he begged of me not to pull him. The bench considered the assault proved, aud sentenced the defendant to pay a fine of £2 10s,, and court costs ; or, in default, one month’s imprisonment

Police Court.
Maitland Mercury, Monday, 14th January, 1867.
(Before Mr. J. Boldlng, Esq., Police Magistrate.
Abraham Mills, for drunkenness. Discharged with a caution.
William Pringle, for obscene language. Fined 5/-, or 24 hours

Wednesdav, 16th January, 1867.
(Before the Police Magistrate )
Abraham Mills waa fined 10/- , or three days in gaol, for being drunk.

Saturday, September l8.
{Before Mr. A. Vindin, 7.P.)
Drunk and Disorderly.-Cosmore Augustus Locke was convicted of having been drunk and disorderly in High-street on Friday night, and sentenced to pay a fine of 40/-, in default, to be prisoned for seven days.-Abraham Mills, for a similar offence, was ordered to pay a penalty of 20/-, or to be imprisoned for seven days.

Maitland Mercury, Saturday, April 11, 1874 LOCAL NEWS - CHARGE OF INDECENT ASSAULT AGAINST A FATHER A middle aged man, named ABRAHAM MILLS, for whose apprehension a warrant had been issued some two or three months past, was brought up at the East Maitland Police Court, yesterday, charged with having committed an indecent assault upon his own daughter, Julia Mary MILLS, near Mount Vincent. The prisoner was charged at Muswellbrook, by Sergeant THOMPSON, and he was brought up at the Muswellbrook Court. Sergeant Thompson, in his evidence, stated that the prisoner did not deny being the man, but admitted that he was drunk at the time. Prisoner was remanded to Maitland, and Sergeant Thompson’s evidence being read over, he was further remanded till Tuesday next. (Maitland Mercury, Wednesday, April l5, 1874) LOCAL NEWS - CHARGE OF INDECENT ASSAULT AGAINST A FATHER The hearing of the charge against ABRAHAM MILLS, of committing an indecent assault upon his own daughter, JULIA MILLS near Mount Vincent, about nine months ago, was remanded at East Maitland, on Tuesday. Mr. G.T.CHAMBERS watched the case for the accused.
From evidence of the girl upon whom the assault is alleged to have been committed (an intelligent young girl, about l5 years of age), it appears that the prisoner, with his wife and four daughters, lived at Mount Vincent. The assault complained of was said to have been committed about eight or nine months ago, and occurred in the house. The girl Julia Mary MILLS (second eldest) with her two little sisters, age four and five years, and her father, were in the dining room, the mother and eldest sister being in the house, her father caught hold of her, asked her to go to bed with him, and continued asking improper overtures to her, which she resisted. He then threw her down on the floor, and attempted to commit a criminal assault, but, in consequence of the resistance offered by the girl, did not succeed. He held her by the feet, and kicked her while she was down, for resisting. He had on previous occasion’s attempter a similar offence, but he never succeeded, and was described as being very cruel to the girl, beating her about the body with sticks, and otherwise ill-treating her. When the girl’s mother came home she told her what had taken place. The complainant afterwards came to live in Maitland, where she remained two or three months before laying an information with the police authorities. She was very reluctant in answering to Mr. CHAMBERS, as to the reason for her delay in the matter, but ultimately said she did not like to appear before a police court. It was not, she said, in consequence of anything any one had ever told her that she had eventually caused proceedings to be instituted - she intended doing so from the first but did not like, and appeared to have put the matter off from time to time. The girl’s mother was called to give evidence, but Mr. CHAMBERS objected, on the grounds that a wife could not give evidence against her husband. The Police Magistrate was not sure that this was not a case in which it was competent for a wife to appear as a witness against her husband, but after consulting authorities, ordered Mrs. MILLS to stand aside, and the next witness was called. This was MARGARET ANN MILLS, prisoner’s eldest daughter, who appeared in the witness box with a child* in her arms. She was living with the rest of the family at Mount Vincent at the time her sister Julia Mary complained of her father having taken indecent liberties with her. She remembered her sister complaining of her father’s conduct, and heard her mother speak to her father about it. Mrs. MILLS asked her father in her presence if he had taken liberties with Julia, but he denied it, and said if she believed what the girl said in preference to his word he would leave her and go away. The mother told him that he had taken liberties with his eldest daughter**, but he was not going to do so with Julia, and if she thought he had done so she would prosecute him for it. The witness Margaret Ann MILLS also heard her father threaten to kill his wife if she brought the matter before the police authorities. The witness also acknowledged that her father had frequently taken liberties with her**.
After hearing the evidence of the two witnesses named, the bench decided to postpone the further hearing of the case for a week. An application by the prisoner to be allowed to see his wife was refused. * The child was probably Alfred James Callaghan MILLS b.1874 Father not stated on birth registration.
But presumed to be James CALLAGHAN b.1846 in the light of the following paternity action.

Maitland Mercury Saturday 2 May 1874 ( page 3).

" AFFILILATION ( sic).- At the East Maitland police court, yesterday, James
Callaghan was summoned to answer a charge of refusing to contribute to the
support of his illegitimate child, of which one Margaret Ann Mills was the
mother. Defendant was ordered to pay 6/- (60¢) per week towards the support of the
child for a period of twelve months, also court costs 6/6d(65¢), and
professional costs £1/1/0 ($2.10) Mr C.F. Solling appeared for the plaintiff."

** A child James George T MILLS b.1871 is born to Margaret Ann MILLS.
Father not stated on birth registration.

Abraham’s wife Margaret’s statement at his trial for indecent assault of his daughter Julia "The mother told him that he had taken liberties with his eldest daughter, but he was not going to do so with Julia, and if she thought he had done so she would prosecute him for it." leads to speculation that Abraham may well have been the father of James George T Mills.
  (Maitland Mercury, Tuesday, April 29, 1874) MAITLAND CIRCUIT COURT -CRIMINAL SIDE Saturday, April 25 1874 INDECENT ASSAULT ABRAHAM MILLS was indicted, for having at Mount Vincent, on the 2 of June 1873, indecently assaulted JULIA MARY MILLS. A second count charged him with assaulting the same Julia Mary MILLS. Only one juryman was challenged. The prisoner, who pleaded not guilty, was defended by Mr. WISDOM, instructed by Mr. G.T.CHAMBERS. The Crown Prosecutor offered the case, dwelling upon the painful and horrible circumstances of it. He called the following witnesses:- Sergeant THOMPSON deposed that he had arrested prisoner in Muswellbrook on the 7th April. He admitted at once that his name was MILLS, and in answer to the charge, said he was not guilty, and it was all spite; he was drunk at the time. Constable MITCHELL had gone to prisoner’s place on the 27th September 1873, with a summons, on the charge now being investigated. Prisoner, on being informed of the charge, said, "They must prove that." Prisoner had now appeared to the summons, and witness had not seen him till recently. The prisoner had not been found by him, although he had searched. JULIA MARY MILLS, was the daughter of the prisoner, whose house is at Mount Vincent, She was fifteen last August. He mother, a sister, and some brothers were all alive. She remembered about a week after the Queens Birthday, she was down in the paddock; it was after dinner, Her father made an improper proposal to her. He tried to lift her clothes. She resisted, and he allowed her to go into the house. She told her mother of this. About a week afterwards, when her two little sisters were in the house, her father again made improper proposals. The witness described what had taken place. Her father had used some violence in endeavouring to pull up her clothes, as she had resisted. She left them in the house, and went to her mother, she was at the store, she told her mother coming along. She did not remember telling her sister. She gave information to Dr. PIERCE, who sent for her, and was by him brought to the police office. Dr. Pierce had been at her house. He did not see her there. She was in service. What she had described took place about three months before she went to service. Cross examined: She never heard her mother speak to her father about the assaults. She was in service about four months when Dr. Pierce sent her brother for her. She had not told her sister. When what she said took place in the paddock the younger children were about. She had poured out tea for her father after the second assault, and then was going away when her father told her not to go away and get a spade. Her father was sober on both occasions. He had been drinking two days before the second time. Her father had thrashed her before the first occasion. He had frequently beaten her for not eating her victuals. He also beat her for being disobedient. That was before the affair in the paddock. He had not taken up her clothes to beat her as long back as she could recollect. He had beaten her since the assault. He had beaten her several times for riding a mare without a bridle. She had frequently had rows with her brother Charley; but it was before the assault. Her father took Charley’s part, and if he was away when a row took place, when he came home he threatened to beat her. She had said, on one occasion of a beating, that she would have her father punished some day. She referred to these assaults. She knew she could punish her father for what he had done, but she was three months in Maitland before complaining, and then Dr. Pierce send for her. Her sister was now living with Leonard. She did not know that her father objected to her going to Leonard’s place. MARGARET ANN MILLS recollected that after the Queen’s Birthday her sister had made a complaint to her. Her mother spoke to her father about what her sister had complained of to her. The mother had asked whether he had taken liberties with Julie Mary, and he said no. She also said "You tried to take liberties with the other one, but you shan’t with this one." He replied, "If you believe the girl before me, I’ll leave you" Cross examined; Her sister told her, and she told her mother, one day when they were sitting at work. She did not know who told Dr. Pierce. She did not tell him. She did not know whether Leonard told him. To the Crown Prosecutor: When the police came, her father left the home, returning after eleven days, stayed a night, and then went away again.. She was then in bed. Julia Mary MILLS RECALLED BY Mr. Wisdom, said she had been frequently out in the bush alone with her father, and had slept out in the bush with him and her brothers. To the Crown Prosecutor: The first assault was concealed from the view of the house by bush

Mike Harvey on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Henry Berry:

Arrived in 7.2.1836 on ship Susan II.Occupation Baker.Literate.
Birth Certificate sighted.Shows child born as Bastard.
Also known as "Berry"

Indent shows
BERRY/Thompson/Perry John/William/Henry…Susan (2)...7th February, 1836…Sydney

Certificate of Freedom issued 27.09.1842 No. 42/1694

His death certificate states father as Joseph. Not sure where the informant
got that from. It has never been recorded anywhere else that I have searched.

*              NSWPI PIONEERS SERIES - DEATHS               *
*                  SET # 5 - 1 RECORDS                   *
*                COMBINE: 1 AND 2 AND 4                 *
INDEX YEAR         1882
On 2nd April, 1835, Henry Berry alias John William Thompson alias Perry,aged 17 years, was sentenced in Nottingham Quarter Sessions,  to 7 years transportation to Australia.
He was a Baker`s boy from Leicester. He could read and write and he was a Protestant.  His crime was robbing his master of money.

He must have prospered in the 13 years after his arrival as a convict and just 7 years after being granted his freedom as the following advertisment shows.
Maitland Mercury 27th June 1849

THE undersigned having Purchased the CATTLE branded with compass B, running on the "Gunerai Station," Gwydir River, cautions the public not to remove the same, or in any way interfere with them.
Black Creek.
June 25th,1849

From "The Upper Mooki"
by H R Carter MBE
First published 1974
ISBN 0 9598088 2 5

"Henry Berry (or Perry) was born at Leicester, England, on 2nd April,1817.  He married Jane Pyne, a native of County Clare, Ireland, at Maitland in 1848.  In the following year, their son John was born. In 1850 Henry and his family passed over the Liverpool Plains on their way to Bingara.  However, he became overseer and later superintendent or manager at "Mooki" for Richard Reynolds.  His name is recorded in the P.M.G. Department’s records of 1867, requesting improved postal facilities for the Upper Mooki. They lived in a cottage near the present "Willieawarina" homestead.

  In the Quirindi Advocate of the 5th February, 1943, "Old Ned" wrote:-
  "I well remember Henry Perry or Berry as he was called.  He was a little man and very deaf .  The blacks called him "Bail hearum".

Henry and Jane Perry had nine children, five sons and four daughters. The eldest son John and the youngest, Joseph, selected land with their father near Mooki between 1871 and 1873.
Jane Perry died on the 13th August, 1864, at the age of 32 at the birth of her 10th child, who did not survive.  She was buried at Mooki on the edge of a small ridge not far from the Mooki River where her husband was later buried beside her. Their graves are still to be seen.

  "Sundowner" wrote in the Quirindi Advocate (21st May, 1926) what can only be interpreted as a tribute to Doctors of the time and to mothers like Jane Perry:-
  " The nearest Doctor was Murrurundi, 30-40 miles by the shortest route,(Dr.  Gordon) then Tamworth (Dr. Dowe).  When called upon Dr.  Gordon (who always had good horses) would come, rain or shine, and on 13th August, 1864, he swam the Mooki (then in high flood) to attend to apatient, but too late I regret to say….
The mothers had to do all their sewing by hand, and I have seen my dear Mother sewing making our clothes late into the night, with her only light the home-made tallow candle, and in many cases the slush lamps.Usual cooking utensils were the camp oven for baking bread or damper inthe ashes, the three legged iron pot for boiling meat, the frying pan and saucepan, with tin pannikins for cups. Of course plenty had crockeryware,but the above was mostly in use, and the furniture as a rule all station made.  Houses were roofed with bark, and the floor was the mother earth, while the bedding was grass or other material gathered from the bush" .
Between 1875 and 1882 the name Berry was dropped, and all further references are to Perry."

"Sundowner"  was the nom de plume of John Perry,  eldest son of HenryBerry/Perry.

Surname First                 Alias                                       CFNo     Date       Vessel Year SRRefFilmRemarks
BERRY Henry               THOMPSON,  John William; PERRY 42/1694   27 Sep 1842 Susan 1836 4/43771012

Surname First
THOMPSON John William
Sep 1842
SRRef Film Remarks

Anonymous on 31st May, 2012 wrote of Andrew Callaghan:

Arrived in Australia on ship "Three Bees" 6/5/1814 as a convict.
(I think it may have been named after the shipbuilders/owners Buckle,Bagster & Buchanan)
Ships Master was John Wallis. Port of departure was Falmouth.
TRIAL County Down March 1813, Term 7 Years,
Native place Down,Occupation Tailor.
Age 30, Height 5’ 5",Complexion ruddy,Hair black,Eyes hazel.
Wounded in the left hand by a musket shot, two middle fingers fused.
Ticket of Leave 33/552 10th Sept.1833
Source:"Names and Physical Description of Convicts—- 1814"
James Mc Clelland ISBN 0 908492 32 4

On the 11th May fifteen of the convicts were assigned to masters at Parramatta, 20 to Windsor and ten to Liverpool .  At that time in the colony, assigned convicts and most convicts in government employment wore ordinary clothes and had to work after hours to pay for lodgings for themselves.  Except for convicts in chain gangs the colony was an open prison.  Convicts in the chain gangs wore distinctive striped costumes of yellow and black .

Three Bees
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Three Bees was a convict ship that caught fire in Sydney Cove in 1814.
The Three Bees was built in Bridgewater in 1813. Owned by Buckles and Co, it was registered in London and its master was John Wallis. Three Bees arrived in Sydney Cove on 6 May 1814 with a cargo of male convicts.
This was one of the so-called ‘fever-ships’ that had a high mortality rate for the convicts transported upon them.

Governor Macquarie wrote in his report to Earl Bathurst:

Governor Macquarie’s report of the incident can be found in the following despatch to Earl Bathurst , dated 24 May 1814 [ Historical Records of Australia , Volume 8]
"The Three Bees, commanded by Captn. John Wallis, arrived on the 6th inst. with two hundred and ten male Convicts, out of 219 originally embarked, the other nine having died on the passage; and out of those landed, it has been necessary to send fifty five to the Hospital many of them being much affected with Scurvy and others labouring under various complaints. On enquiring into the cause of this mortality and sickness, it appeared that many of them had been embarked in a bad state of health, and not a few infirm from lameness and old age. I am happy in being enabled to state that the Convicts by the Catherine and the Three Bees have, without a Single Exception, borne grateful Testimony to their having been treated with the most unremitting care, Attention, and kindness, by the Masters and Surgeons of those Vessels, from the day of their Embarkation until they were finally landed here. The circumstance of several of those unfortunate men being embarked in a diseased or feeble State will, I trust, shew the necessity for greater attention being paid to the state of the Health of the Convicts, who are to be embarked in future, which I have much reason to believe has not been so fully attended to by the Examining Surgeons as Humanity demands."
After the 210 convicts were all disembarked a fire was discovered on the ship at 4.30 pm on 20 May 1814. It was later thought that the fire was caused by candle snuff being dropped on oakum when an officer and boy had entered the hold. It soon became apparent that the fire could not be fought and so the Three Bees was cut loose from its moorings and the other ships in the cove maneuvered to avoid the ship. At 5.30 pm the first gun exploded on board and a swivel ball smashed into the parlour of the house of Captain Piper, luckily missing everything but a writing table. The ship drifted onto Bennelong Point and shortly afterwards its magazine exploded. The Three Bees was a total loss. [2]

After the 210 convicts were all disembarked a fire was discovered on the ship at 4.30 pm on 13 May 1814. It was later thought that the fire was caused by candle snuff being dropped on oakum when an officer and boy had entered the hold. It soon became apparent that the fire could not be fought and so the Three Bees was cut loose from its moorings and the other ships in the cove maneuvered to avoid the ship. At 5.30 pm the first gun exploded on board and a swivel ball smashed into the parlour of the house of Captain Piper, luckily missing everything but a writing table. The ship drifted onto Bennelong Point and shortly afterwards its magazine exploded. The Three Bees was a total loss. [2]

Part of a despatch from Governor Macquarie to Earl Bathurst Testimony in favour of masters and surgeons to state that the convicts arrived by the Catherine and the Three Bees have, without a single exception, borne grateful testimony to their having been treated with the most unremitting care, attention, kindness, by the Masters and Surgeons of those vessels, from the day of their embarkation until they were finally landed here. The circumstance of several of those unfortunate men being embarked in a diseased or feeble state will, I trust, show the necessity for greater attention being paid to the state of the health of the convicts, who are to be embarked in future, which I have much reason to believe has not been so fully attended to by the examining Surgeons as humanity demands. HRA, Vol. III page 254 to 255

From the Sydney Gazette 20.05.1814

We have unfortunately to report the total destruction of the Ship, Three Bees, Captain Wallace, whose private loss we are confidently assured is very considerable indeed.
About half past four yesterday afternoon the ship was discovered to be on fire in the after hold, immediately contiguous to the powder magazine. It has since been recollected that a boy had in the fore part of the day attended an officer on duty in the hold with a candle and lanthern; and it is concluded that a candle snuff had then fallen unextinguished among some oakum, or other strongly susceptive substance, which communicating and extending the fire in a more latent way for some hours, at length kindled into a flame, and burst forth with an impetuosity calculated at once to astonish and confound.

The proximity of the magazine to the place from whence the flames aspired was in itself a circumstance so dreadful as not to leave a moment to decide. To get down to scuttle her was utterly impossible, on account of the suffocating columns of smoke that from her hatches darkened the surrounding atmosphere.
Such was the rapidity of the flame, that in a few minutes they ascended with the smoke above the deck, and in large curls mingled with its vapour, by which the vivid flame was frequently conducted to her mast head, and soon set fire to her standing rigging. As no possibility to save the ship or any of her property existed, and the explosion of her magazine was expected every instant, the crew forsook her.
Her anchorage, close to the Government Wharf, menacing the destruction of the nearest buildings when she blew up, as it was currently reported, she had 130 casks of powder on board (though it since appears there were but 30), and as the wind was from the southward, arid it was probable she would drift outwards if disengaged from her moorings, she was cut adrift, and as she swung to and fro with the tide, menacing each point of the Cove with her broadside in turn, with her guns all shotted.
Being past all assistance, the ships and vessels at anchor shifted their births to safer situations. The brig, James Haye was for some time an object of apprehension from the position assumed by the ship on fire when first adrift. This was a tremendous crisis, a crisis of extreme agitation to the inhabitants of the town, and to those especially whose houses and other property were from the approximation of the danger, the more exposed. At this crisis, little short of the total Destruction of the Town of Sydney was expected every moment to take place by the Explosion of the Magazine. The alarm was so great that numbers of the inhabitants deserted their houses, and fled into the country to avoid being buried in its ruins.
A ship of nearly five hundred tons burden, cast loose, it may almost be said in the middle of the town, unmanageable, and pouring forth columns of smoke and fire, threatened desolation all around her, with her guns all loaded, first pointed upon one object, and then upon another, and every instant expected, by her explosion, to throw down or cover with the dreadful blast all the buildings around or near her !
About half-past six, when lying off the north east corner of the new Government Store, her first gun exploded in a direction, over Mr. Blaxcell’s, or the new Guard-house.  Fourteen went off in all; and tho’ there were several hair-breadth escapes, yet we are happy to find no personal injury has occurred.  A swivel ball, which had possibly made part of a charge of grape, as there were no swivels mounted, entered Captain Piper’s parlour window, through the lower sash, which it knocked to pieces, together with the inside shutter; took the comer completely off a portable writing desk, and fell expended in the apartment.
Captain Piper lived on the west side of Sydney Cove.  He had arrived back in Sydney in February 1814 to take up the position of Naval Officer at Sydney.  His duties combined those of Chief Customs Officer, Harbour Master, and Water Police Chief.  He and his family lived in a house allotted to them on the west side of the cove, and did not move into the famous Point Piper Villa until 1822.  The Gazette continues:
By half-past seven, she had drifted over to the rocks on Bennelong’s Point opposite Mr. Hook’s stores, and about a quarter before eight the long dreaded explosion of her magazine took place, but not by any means so awful as had been expected; for by this time the whole of her upper works, her decks, and every substance that would have otherwise have resisted the force had been annihilated; and it is more than probable that she might have admitted a quantity of water, which finding its way to the powder, had destroyed a great part of it.
After this a number of boats approached her, and several persons went alongside, to gratify a nearer approach a curiosity which a more distant view of the awful spectacle had excited.  They found the copper of her sides standing, but the planks, and timbers mostly consumed, and they heard frequently the crash of weighty substances falling into the pile of ashes, smoke, and ruins that filled the small remainder of her hull, which burnt all night, and presented to the distant eye a spectacle exciting awe, and sensible regret in the mind of everyone who witnessed the dreadful spectacle, and was capable of reflecting on its consequences to those, who are the sufferers by her loss.
The following is taken from " Colonial Secretary Papers 1788 - 1825"
CALLAGHAN, Andrew. Per "Three Bees",1814
1814 May 11   On list of convicts disembarked from the "Three Bees"
          & forwarded to Windsor for distribution (Reel 6004;4/3493p165)
1815 Jul 3   Permission to marry at Windsor (Reel 6004;4/3494 p.108)
Which is at odds with the following:
Sugarloaf Magazine ( September 1991 p.1007 ) says;-
  "The records show that, six months after his arrest for the murder ( of
Edward Pugh on 9 January 1815 ) , Andrew CALLAGHAN applied on the 29th June
1815, for permission to marry Mary BAGLEY. Governor Macquarie granted his
approval a few days later , on the 3rd July, 1815,but, for whatever reason,
they never married."

I think that ‘Sugarloaf’ has got it wrong as most of the information on Andrew Callaghan in this publication came from Les Hall.


MURDER;-  On Friday Philip McGee, Henry Laycock and Patrick
Dawson were placed at the bar, and indicted for the wilful Murder
of Mr. Edward Pugh, a settler of Richmond, on the night of the
9th January, 1815.

The chief witness on this melancholy trial was Andrew Callaghan,
who had been necessarily admitted an approver for the Crown.

This witness stated,  that on the night set forth he had
accompanied the three prisoners at the bar to the house of the
deceased, who was a very old and feeble man, with the design of
robbing him of a quantity of dollars which he was reported to
have had and which formed their chief inducement, they knowing
also that he was in possession of a silver watch, and some other
property; that on their arrival at the house, the prisoner Dawson
it was agreed should remain outdoors as a guard against surprise,
while the witness and the other two approached and knocked at the
door, which was shortly after opened by the deceased; who was
immediately attacked by McGee, with a waddy, and knocked down,
without any effort to resist upon his part; and the blows were
repeated by the same prisoner until it was certain the deceased
was incapable of resistance or alarm:- That McGee then threw a
blanket over the deceased, and they jointly proceeded to search
the house for plunder; that by the light of the fire, near to
which the deceased lay, he was observed to stir; upon which McGee
was proceeding again to beat him, but was prevented by himself
(the witness) who begged he would not murder him:- That McGee
drew the bed from under the deceased, and ripping one of its
seams, emptied out the contents; that the prisoner Laycock
observing at this time that the deceased moved, struck him on the
right shoulder with the butt of a musket, the stock of which was
broken by the violence of the blow:- they then left the house,
and on the division of their spoil, the bed tick made part of the
share taken by McGee.-  That in consequence of the dreadful
circumstance of the murder occasioning considerable alarm, the
witness three a coat, which had been taken from the deceased,
into the river, and also saw Laycock bury a quart pot, which had
likewise made part of the spoil; that McGee afterwards exchanged
a jacket with one James Gibbons, servant to W. Cox Esquire and
also exchanged with him (the witness) a counterpane for a pair
of nankeen trousers; which trousers were found in Laycock’s
possession when apprehended, and proved to be the same.

Assistant Surgeon Milchan being now called deposed to the death
of the unfortunate man being in consequence of the violent
treatment he had received upon the night stated in the

Mr Ansley McGrath deposed, that the prisoner Dawson was his
servant; and he conceived had had a knowledge of the deceased
being possessed of a sum of money.- The witness swore to a knife
found by the side of the deceased the morning after the murder
to be his property.

Joseph Mann, in whose service Laycock was at the time, deposed,
that on the evening of the murder he saw Callaghan and Laycock
in company, at which time they had a gun, which he supposed they
intended going with to a neighbouring stock-yard; that they
returned to his house at midnight,  and made some tea for
themselves; that Callaghan, a few days after, brought to his
house a tin pot and a canister, when witness having some
suspicion that they might have had a knowledge of the murder,
desired that nothing of the kind should be brought to his house;
he saw Callaghan altering a pair of nankeen trousers which he
said belonged to Laycock, and heard Callaghan say he had thrown
a coat into the river.

John Miller deposed, that the jacket produced in court very much
resembled one that he had left at the house of the deceased
shortly prior to the murder; and which had been found in
possession of Callaghan.

Mrs Penloney who had lived in the house with the deceased five
years, and had left his habitation the very day twelvemonth upon
the night the murder was committed, swore, positively to the bed
tick, which had been found in McGee’s possession and also the
nankeen trousers found in the possession of Laycock as they were
both of her own making.

Mr. Cox Esquire Magistrate, was now and stated to the Court that
on the first implicate of McGee in this charge he went to his
house at Richmond and there found the bed tick,  stated by
Callaghan to have been taken from house of the deceased by McGee
and sworn by Mrs Penloney to have been the property of the
deceased.  The trousers sworn also to have been the property of
the deceased were worn by Laycock when he was apprehended, and
a jacket produced in court, making part of the plunder, had been
found in the possession of Callaghan, who said he had it to

Mr John Howe, chief constable at Windsor, deposed to his being
present when Callaghan took from its concealment a pot, proved
to have been part of the stolen property.

The evidence for the prosecution here closed, & the prisoners at
the bar were called on for their defence; which went generally
to a denial of the fact, and to prove that several articles found
in their possession cane through the channel of Callaghan, the
Crown approver; in order to depreciate whose testimony, several
witnesses were called, two of whom fell severely under the
censure of the Court; and one of them was directed to be kept in
custody for prevarication in his evidence.

McGee endeavoured to prove an alibi, in support of which George
Coffer, servant to Mr. Cox, of Clarendon, deposed in evidence,
that on the night of the murder he supped in company with McGee,
and went to be at eight o’clock, leaving the latter sitting up
alone; which however did not in point of distance preclude the
possibility of his being present at the murder; nor could it
contend against the weight of evidence presumptive of his guilt.

The whole of the evidence being gone through, the Court cleared
between six and seven in the evening,  for the purpose of
considering their verdict; and resuming their seats after an
absence of nearly an hour, all the prisoners were pronounced Guilty.

The JUDGE ADVOCATE, before he passed the awful sentence of the
Law, expatiated with peculiar energy on the extreme depravity
that had manifested itself in the perpetration of the horrible
offence, of which they had been found guilty after a long,
patient, and impartial investigation of the testimony that had
been adduced, as well for then as against them.- The crime of
murder was in itself abominable;  in all ages,  and in all
countries it had uniformly been punished with death, as the most
heinous offence that man could possibly commit against his fellow
creature; and in the present case, the learned Gentleman had most
sensible to regret that the crime was marked with a depravity
that doubt less must preclude the hope of mercy to either of the
prisoners then standing at the bar.  It therefore became their
last and only duty to supplicate that pardon from their offended
Maker, which they had no hope to be extended to them on earth.
Heinous was the crime for which they were doomed by human laws
to suffer, and in proportion to the weight of their offences
should be their solicitude for their remission in the world in
crime.  Having solemnly and pathetically admonished the unhappy
men to lose no single moment of the short period that might be
allowed to them for the duties of repentance, which he hoped
would be sincere and unreserved, he proceeded to pronounce the
sentence of the law, which condemned them to be executed on such
day and place as His Excellency the GOVERNOR should be pleased
to appoint, and their bodies afterwards delivered up to be
dissected and anatomized.

The Court adjourned to ten o’clock, Tuesday next.

Further to the above:

  Taken from the Sydney Gazette, Sat. 3rd Feb.1816.:
  "MURDER:- On Friday Philip McGee, Henry Laycock and Patrick Dawson we replaced at the bar , and indicted for the wilful murder of Mr.Edward Pugh,a settler, of Richmond, on the night o

John Alexander Fraser on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Alexander Fraser:

I have a photo of Alexander Fraser & one of his wife,Lydia (nee Fulton)taken probably in the late 1850s.
N.B. On checking what I wrote in my earlier comments I noted an error regarding Alexander’s father’s. He died in 1809.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Edward Eagar:

Edward Eagar was a Layman,Attorney, Merchant, and Lobbyist. He was born in Killarney Ireland. Educated at Trinity College Dublin. Before transportation Edward served his time in the City of Cork gaol.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Janet Mclaren:

McLaren was her alias name . She was born in Glasgow and her real name was Janet McArthur. She married in Tasmania Edward Garrett and died in Clarendon Victoria Australia

Chris Kingston on 30th May, 2012 wrote of George Prestney:

On 7th August 1854 he was found guilty of assaulting a James Manyon and had his sentence of transportation extended by 18 months.

20/8/1864 he committed a larceny in Leithfield, Canterbury District, north of Christchurch,New Zealand
1/9/1864 He was tried and found guilty. He was sentenced " to be imprisoned in the common gaol at Lyttelton for the space of two years to be computed from the first day of Sept. inst. And to be kept to Hard Labour."
15/12/1865 He died in Lyttleton Hospital of pneumonia.

Lynn Sharpe Nee Kemp on 30th May, 2012 wrote of John Range:

Born Southburgh, Norfolk - son of John Range and Hannah Hook.

Transported to Australia after being found guilty of stealing a quantity of wool from Farmer John Middleton at Holkham, Norfolk on 28 June 1847.

Lynn Sharpe Nee Kemp on 30th May, 2012 wrote of David Gaffin:

David Gaffin was transported on the Hougoumont, aged 23, and arrived in Western Australia on 10 January 1868. He got his ticket of leave on 17 January 1872 and certificate of freedom on 17 April 1878.  Born in 1845, he was literate, single, a Protestant and his occupation was a Pitman. He was sentenced at Durham for rape and was given 12 years. His number was 9742. 

I have the newspaper account of his trial.  He was part of a group of men accused of raping a woman.  David Gaffin appears to have been a quiet, well respected man in Jarrahdale, Western Australia, so we can draw two conclusions from this:

1. This was a one off offence due to his youth and after he had served his time, he had learnt his lesson and turned over a new leaf

2. He never committed the offence in the first place.

His physical description: 5 foot 6 inches, brown hair, grey eyes, long face, sallow complexion, middling stout, several small coal cuts on face, scar on left shoulder and cut on top of head.
Source: Fremantle Prison, Crime and Punishment, Convict Data base keyboard search.

David Gaffin was a member of the Road Board (Jarrahdale which became Serpentine-Jarrahdale) from 1906 to 1922.  David Gaffin was also a member of the Board of Health at Jarrahdale.
Gaffin was an educated man and took part in community affairs and was respected.

In the 1920s, when an old man, he disappeared and was thought to have been lost in the bush. Although a large police-organised party searched for him for days he was never found.
Source: Fall V.G., The Mills of Jarrahdale, University of WA, c1972 p84

Notes from the file held at State Record Office Western Australia (SROWA) Consignment 3436 - 92/1927:

David Gaffin of Bonnie Vale, near Jarrahdale in the State of Western Australia, retired farmer, died on or about 26 June 1926. Administration granted to David Cecil Gaffin, labourer.
Gaffin’s last Will and Testament was made on 11 November 1924. The witnesses to his Will were George Watkins and his wife, Mary Isabel Watkins. (They were his neighbours for many years and for whom he had worked).
Gaffin appointed his son, David Cecil Gaffin to be Executor. He left £150 to his daughter, Evelyn Selina Mary Postans, wife of Frederick Postans and subject to this payment gave in equal shares all his real and personal estate to his two sons, Cecil and Wilfred.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of George Kitson:

George Kitson was a native of York, England.  He was 26 years old on arrival and he was married.
He had prior punishments which was 300 lashes, whilst still in Ireland.

George was assigned to William Dummesq/Dumarell and died in 1836 whilst still with him.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Edward Urling:

Edward Urling was 39 years old when indicted for stealing 1 sheep, value 2L., the property of Joseph Jessop.  2nd count with intent to steal the carcase.

1843: TOL Moreton bay.

1839: Listed as working in Moreton by per "Waterloo" (Superintendent Report Moreton Bay)

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Mary Smith:

Mary Anne Smith was pregnant out of wedlock when she was transported on the Kains.  She had a son called John on the 3/1/1830.

On arrival she was assigned to Rober Henderson where she met and married James Freeman(per Lord Eldon 1817) They lived at Cabbage Tree and later near Lake Macquarie.

Mary died 5/7/1891 in Swansea at the age of 86 of senile decay and breast cancer.  She is buried at the Belmont Cemetery, Lake Macquarie.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of James Freeman:

James was indicted for feloniously assulting James Judd a two-penny post letter carrier and stealigh eight 1 pound notes, 100 shillings, 20 half crowns, 20 silver 3 shilling tokens.

11/5/1819: Re sending of to Newcastle per ‘Elizabeth Henrietta’ under sentence for insolence to his overseer and for refusing to perform his duties.
Aug. 1819: On monthly return of prisoners punished at Newcastle.
23/5/1822: On list of prisoners Assigned.

1827: TOL
20/7/1837: Recommended CP

20/10/1831: Permission to marry Mary Smith (Kains) age 20.  He was 36. at Syd.

14/11/1831: Married Mary Anne Smith, Servant Born 1805 Manchester (per Kains.  Mary died in Swansea age 86, and is buried at Belmont Cemetary, Lake Macquarie.  She died of senile decay and breast cancer.  She had a child born on the Kains 3/1/1830 called John.

Mary had been assigned to work for Robert Henderson, which is how she met James Freeman.

James had been put in charge of Henderson’s dairy at Cabbage Tree.  After receiving his CP James bought about 30 acres of land at Cabbage Tree.  He moved to a place near where Wyee Creek enters Lake Macquarie in the 1850’s-60’s.

James was injured when a tree fell on him, he received head injuries and was never the same again.  He then developed dementia and died on 18/12/1871 at the age of 76 and is buried in Gladesville Hospital cemetery.

Karen White on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Robert Hull:

Robert Hull was charged with the murder of his wife Mary Hull nee Morrison in Central Criminal Court, on 6 March 1847 before His Honor Mr Justice Dickinson.He served 2 years with hard labour in Sydney Gaol.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Henry Mercer:

Henry Mercer along with James Presnall stole 6 ducks, value 1 pound, adn 1 basket value 3s., the goodes of John Stone.

3/11/1836: COF

1837: Married Alice Newland, Maitland/Hunter’s River area.  They lived at Glennie’s Creek near Singleton.

Henry died 5/3/1872 and is buried at Camberwell, Patrick Plains.

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of Edward Urling:

Edward Urling was married before transportation and dick and had 5 children

Anonymous on 30th May, 2012 wrote of George Kitson:

George Kitson was a native of Norwich.  He was single, protestant, and could read and write.

Assigned to Hyde Park Barracks from ship for 1 month, thence to Potter McQueen of Segenhoe.
1835: TOL Illawarra
20/7/1837: Drunkenness…attached to the General Hospital - Treadmill 2 months, weight on entering treadmill 11 stone 2 lbs., weight on leave 10 stone 8 lbs.
Then assigned to Newcastle.  Date discharged 5/10/1837 Hyde Park Barracks.

7/3/1838: Felony Wollongong - acknowledges he received 3 iron gang sentences 21/8/1843.

Free 28/4/1844.

In 1852 there is a George Kitson listed as gold mining a Major’s Creek.

Anonymous on 29th May, 2012 wrote of Richard Mepsted:

Richard was transported along with his brother John (Mellish) for housebreaking.
Assigned to Sydney Stephens on arrival.
1/2/1845: CP
14/10/1847L TOL St. Vincent

22/10/1852: Married Catherine Dunn who died 18/1/1851
22/10/1852: Married Harriet Horton wo died 22/10/1897 at Yarragee near Moruya.
1872: Richard is listed as a Farmer at Gundary.

15/8/1884: Richard died at Gundary and is buried at Moruya.

Dulcie Stewart on 29th May, 2012 wrote of Robert Scothern:

Name: Mary Ann Pickering
Age: 14
Birth Year: Abt 1818
Spouse: Robert Scothern
Request Status: Refused
Date of Permission/Refusal: 2 Apr 1832
Source: Registers of convicts’ applications to marry. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia: State Records Authority of New South Wales. Series 12212; Item: 4/4512; Page: 16.

Anonymous on 29th May, 2012 wrote of John Mepsted:

John Mepsted/Mepstead was transported along with his brother Richard (Mellish)
for housebreaking.  John could read and write, had blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, perpendicular scar on upper lip right side, small scar at one corner, great number of letters on right arm, woman, anchor and other marks on left arm.  Sun moon and star on breast, small scar over right eye.

4/8/1829: Absconded from John Eales, Hunter’s River.
29/7/1836: Absconded from Richard Jones.
22/3/1837: Assigned to William Jones, Patterson.
30/4/1842: TOL Paterson
25/3/1844: Married Elizabeth Mary Ann Lowe in NSW
31/9/1847: CP

1856: John emigrated to USA on the Jenny Ford from Sydney to San Pedro, California.

11/7/1860 Census San Bernadino: John age 54, with wife and 6 children.  They had 14 children altogether.

1893-95: San Bernadino Directory: Farmer res. Mt. Vernon.

6/9/1894: John died and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, San Bernadino, California.

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