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Sophia James

Sophia James, one of 338 convicts transported on the Coromandel and Experiment, November 1803

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Sophia James
Aliases: Rushton
Gender: -

Birth, Occupation & Death

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

Life Span

Life span

Median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Unknown
Convicted at: Pembroke Great Sessions
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Coromandel and Experiment
Departure date: November, 1803
Arrival date: 7th May, 1804
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 337 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 357 (178)
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

JJames on 7th October, 2012 wrote:

“Experiment” left Cowes 2 January 1804 and arrived 12 June 1804. SOPHIA JAMES’ age and crime not stated.  In 1806 Muster she is listed as being “P” (prisoner) and residing at Female Factory, Parramatta. 

It appears from information in 1828 Census that she is the SOPHIA RUSHTON, at Parramatta who said she arrived on the Experiment in 1801. In fact the “Experiment” arrived in 1804 (1st voyage) but Sophia had been convicted in 1801.  The only other Sophia on the “Experiment” of 1804 was Blondell/Blundell who had married Stafford LETT shortly after arrival and her 1812 petition sets out all these details, still married to him, granted a liquor licence a few years later.  This is not Sophia Rushton.

So strong circumstantial evidence that Sophia James became Sophia Rushton.  In 1828 she said she was aged 43 (therefore born 1785, arrived aged about 18-19); Protestant and was a washerwoman. She signed the census page with her mark.

William Rushton was of the “Coromandel” but no marriage evidence found. Sophia and William had five children listed in the 1825 muster at Parramatta under his name; two of them then mentioned in the 1828 census with Sophia.  The boys are in the NSW BDM registry index:
1. Mary B 1809/10
2. Ann B 1811
3. John B 1813
4. Thomas B 1815
5. Joseph B 1821 or 1822.

In 1828 Sophia was the head of the household as William Rushton was in the Iron Cove Gang.  He had been sent to Newcastle for 2 years in 1815 leaving Sophia alone with four small children )aged brand new to 5/6 years).  He was sent to Port Macquarie later again from 1823 - 1825 for stealing. Sophia spent many years trying to bring up her family alone.  In 1828 she also had listed with her a four year old grandson also named John, not stated whether the child of her daughter Mary or daughter Ann (no marriage found for either of these girls).

In 1832 Sophia Rushton died “RUSTON” in NSW BDM index. William Rushton in 1833 had a ticket of leave granted to him and then cancelled for being in possession of stolen goods.  Youngest son John is not recorded as being in the male Orphan school so not known to date what became of him. Son Thomas in 1828 was working as a servant for William Hicks of Parramatta. He is probably the Thomas RUSTIN who married in 1843 to Ellen Smith at St John’s Parramatta.

William Rushton aged 55 remarried in 1843 to Ellen Parker aged 50 per “Sarah Eliza”, she had a ticket of leave.  Permission was granted in December 1843 since William was still a convict, for the marriage to be at Parramatta.

Convict Changes History

JJames on 7th October, 2012 made the following changes:

alias1, crime

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