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George Alston

George Alston, one of 289 convicts transported on the Thomas Arbuthnot, 06 January 1847

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: George Alston
Aliases: none
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 52 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Surrey Assizes
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Thomas Arbuthnot
Departure date: 6th January, 1847
Arrival date: 4th May, 1847
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land [convicts disembarked at Port Phillip, not Van Diemen's Land]
Passenger manifest Travelled with 289 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 92, Class and Piece Number HO11/15, Page Number 154
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

tonycocks1 on 16th February, 2018 wrote:

George Alston was born c1829 in the Civil Parish of St. Nicholas, Harwich Borough, Essex, the son of George and Charlotte Alston and brother to Esther, William and Matilda.

Nothing is known of his childhood and early life prior to his being summoned to appear at the Kingston on Thames Quarter Sessions on 25/03/1844 accused of “Stealing 3 watches & 50/-”, found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation.  Aged 14 he had apparently been employed as a Potter.  He was first received at Millbank Prison as part of the normal holding arrangements and then, on 12/07/1844, transferred to Parkhurst Prison.  His initial Gaoler’s report confirmed that he had been “Once convicted of felony”, was single and could read and write imperfectly.  During his imprisonment he was taught the trade of Agricultural Labourer and according to the Governor his conduct was “Good.”.  He was discharged from Parkhurst Prison 11/01/1847 in readiness for transportation to the Port Phillip District in the Colony of New South Wales as an “Exile”.  Queen Victoria had directed in 1844 that “Exiles” were to be accepted as free men for “We .......are graciously pleased to extend our mercy and grace unto them and to grant them our pardon for which they stand convicted (and) this our pardon shall have the effect of a free pardon within our said Australian Territories”. 

George Alston sailed on 11/01/1847 aboard the “Thomas Arbuthnot”, eventually disembarking at Williamstown in the Port Phillip District on 04/05/1847.  He was immediately granted a Conditional Pardon and employed as a Gardener by Mr J. Brack of Mt. Macedon at £20 p.a.

There then follows approximately a 6 year interval before further information on his life becomes available.  This is not uncommon with those transported as “Exiles”.  Quite a few became shepherds, domestic servants on outback properties or went gold prospecting and as there were no prescriptive monitoring arrangements, requiring records to be maintained on their movements, invariably a marriage, birth of children or death marked the normal point of re-emergence in tracing terms.  In the case of George Alston it was his marriage.

He married 24 year old Mary O’Brien in South Melbourne, Victoria, in 1853 and nine children were born to the couple:

      (1):  Matilda no indication of birth but died in 1856 (age unknown):

        (2):  Mary presumed born in 1857 (deduced from her father’s Death Certificate
            which shows her age as 44 on that document);

      (3):  Margaret born in Norwood 1860;

      (4):  Matilda born 1863 in Boroondara and died 1863 aged 10 days;

      (5):  George Thomas born 1864;

      (6):  Patrick William born 1867in Boroondara;

      (7):  James born 1869 and (8) his twin sister, Alice Emily in Black Hill: and

      (9):  Kate born 1872.

Nothing is known about the family’s life in Victoria, except it is understood that George was a farmer in the Doncaster area.  He died on 22/03/1902 in Doncaster, primary cause “Valvular disease of the heart and chronic rheumatism” and secondary cause “Uncertain diarrhea lasting eight weeks”.  He was buried in Box Hill Cemetery on 25/03/1902.  Mary was living in Leeds Street, East Doncaster, according to the 1903 Census and it is thought she died in 1909.

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au