My long Colgrave line

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, I was doing a lot of personal research on my convicts sent to Van Diemens Land. I was a member of many mailing lists and people around the world would ask for copies of their convicts’ records held at the Tasmanian archives in Murray Street. But back then, nothing was online. It meant going to the actual archives to look at microfilm and microfiche and then making copies on a printer. Many of these copies were on A3 paper that didn’t really hold the ink very well.

The main documents were:

  • conduct record which included where tried, ship to Australia, offences in the colony and sometimes a description as well as other information
  • indent record which included place tried, sentence,  description and relatives in England
  • description which included age, height, native place, colour of eyes, hair, tattoos etc

For those living in Australia, I only charged the cost for photocopying and the stamps to get to wherever I sent the documents. Most people would send me a five dollar set of stamps as payment. These helped when posting overseas.

One person from England asked me to look up her convict, and send her the paperwork to where she lived in Bedfordshire.  I would help again at a later time to transcribe the records if the person was having trouble reading the writing and the format of the documents. But I felt half the fun of research is trying to work out what the document said by yourself first. She thanked me very much for all my help and said if ever I needed help researching in Bedfordshire then to get in contact with her.

At this time I was researching one of my convicts – Francis COLEGRAVE tried in Huntingdon Assizes in March 1832. He didn’t have an indent record, so no names of parents or siblings to work from. His conduct record did say he had a brother who had been transported too and that Francis had been in prison before. But where was Huntingdon? I had never heard of that as a town or county in England.

But to go any further back I would need to use parish records as his birth was prior to 1837. Very few of these were online at that stage. I searched A2A which was archive to archive in England, some other records from the National Archives England, but I needed help.

So my friend in Bedfordshire spent hours when she could researching the Colegrave family for me. She found prison records, parish church records, military records, tax records and finally this is where my line of Colgraves are at the moment.

Sue Wyatt

  1. daughter of Phyllis England
  2. daughter of Hannah Davey
  3. daughter of Martha Colgrave
  4. daughter of Francis John Colgrave
  5. son of the convict Francis Colgrave
  6. son of Francis and Frances Colgrave nee Bourn in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire
  7. son of Samuel and Sarah Colgrave nee Pain
  8. son of Francis and Mary Colgrave nee Cooper
  9. son of Thomas and Rebecca Colgrave nee ???
  10. son of Thomas and Juditha Colgrave nee ???
  11. son of Thomas and Margaret Colgrave nee Pettitt

This fabulous researcher got me back to the birth of Thomas in 1602 and his wife Margaret in 1603. This is 11 generations back from me.

Having tested my mother’s DNA, we have found proven cousins back to Samuel and Sarah Colgrave nee Pain.

Readers: How many generations back is one of your ancestors? Must be proven through records though.

 

 

Let’s dance! Square dance that is!

With my parents now heading to their late eighties, I have been looking back at some of the influences of their lives together. This photo represents one of those – square dancing.

Mum and dad met while square dancing.

Before they were married, mum represented Tasmania in 1951 at the Australian championships. She was one of the couples from Swan St Club.

 

The average age of the winners was 16 – mum was actually 17 at this time. Mum’s father, Henry Lewis England, nearly fell over the balcony at City Hall when mum and her team won the Women’s Weekly competition in Tasmania.

This image is of them being congratulated on their win. Click on the image to find out more about the second and third prize winners in Tasmania – A National Fitness Council team and the Elizabeth Street School teachers team.

 

The Tasmanian team enjoyed time out at the Sydney Botanic Gardens while at the championships. Joe Lewis, a caller from America, was the judge and he gave points for showmanship, spirit of happiness, timing, precision, gracefulness and impromptu calls. Click on the image to read about the Square Dance contest in Sydney. The Tasmanian team came second.

 

Now back to mum and dad. They met at St Peters Hall in Harrington Street Hobart on 12 September 1952 when dad was 20 and mum 18. A group of dancers had gone to Collinsvale to do an exhibition square dance on that date but mum and dad were at the hall.  Dad was part of the Bar 8 square dance group hence the number eight with the line through it on his shirt above.

According to mum, when I was about 6 months old, they took me to a square dance at Claremont Hall and the other dancers were amazed that I slept through the music and other noises. I can remember as a small child being taken to square dancing evenings at a hall in Lindisfarne and enjoying the music. This also influenced my life as I too joined a square dancing club in Hobart but also learnt how to teach Round Dancing – a variation of ballroom dancing done in between square dance brackets.

Sources:

Image 1 – personal collection

Image 2 – Mercury Hobart 18 Jul 1951

Readers: Did you or your parents ever take part in square dancing? Where and when? Or maybe ballroom dancing was more their style. Where and when?

 

Fresh start

John ENGLAND, my great great grandfather was one of my convict ancestors who I felt deserved being sent to Van Diemens Land.

Why you might ask?  Let me tell you his story.

John was born at Rotherham, Yorkshire in 1828.  By age 19 he was 5 feet 6 and 3/4 inches with fair complexion, oval head, sandy hair, no whiskers, brown eyebrows, hazel eyes and large nose. He was an iron moulder in the Rotherham area. His father was William and he had a brother named Thomas and sisters Elizabeth, Mary and Ann (or maybe Mary Ann)

Image from page 178 of "Foundry practice; a treatise on molding and casting in their various details" (1909)

But on 15 March 1846, his life was to take a big turn around. He was about to leave his safe home life and set off for a fresh start in another country thousands of miles away from England.

The indictment

On March 19, 1846 a warrant was set out by John Fullerton Esquire (JP) to John Bland (Constable of Rotherham) or to John Timms (deputy) and to the Governor of the Castle of York to convey John England, Samuel Myers, Joseph Barras and Richard Hague to the Castle of York and to deliver them to the Governor with the warrant.

John England, a labourer, on 15 March 1846 did with force and arms upon Maria Kaufman violently and feloniously make an assault and violently and feloniously did ravish and carnally know her. The other four with force and arms were present aiding, abetting and assisting John England.

Witnesses were John Bland, Maria Kaufman, Philippina(Caroline) Kaufman, Emma Harrison and William Hudson.

Friends help before the trial

Whilst awaiting trial, friends of John England did the following.

On June 9, 1846 George Aizlewood, Joseph Hague, Michael and Hannah Bradshaw, being evil disposed persons, unlawfully and wickedly with force and arms did conspire, combine, confederate and agree together to persuade Maria and Philippina Kaufman from attending to give evidence as witnesses.

They did this by paying and defraying the fare and expenses of the journey by railroad from Rotherham to London. Hannah paid 20 shillings for steam boat for parts beyond the seas. On 20 June 1846 she purchased and paid for diverse wearing apparel for Maria and Philippina. They tried to induce Maria and Philippina severally to suppress the evidence they knew and to withdraw and conceal themselves.

Whilst travelling in England in September 2005, I visited National Archives at Kew and found the actual indictment papers. I took photos with my ipad of the document which, when unrolled, was about 10 metres long. Here is an example of one of the 15 images I have. I still have to transcribe the document.

The trial

John was tried on 9 July 1846 at the York Assizes and was transported for life. It was his first conviction and it was rape in companion with Joseph Barras, William Thompson, William Aizlewood and Samuel Myers. John and Samuel arrived on board the same boat.

Awaiting transport

John and his companions in crime were in Millbank Prison before setting sail to VDL. (PCOM2)

Millbank Thomas Hosmer Shepherd pub 1829.jpg
Public Domain, Link

Heading to Van Diemens Land

John England then embarked on the convict ship Pestonjee Bomanjee (2) from London on 25 October 1846 and arrived 17 February 1847. According to the Home Office (HO 27/80) he had no degree of instruction.  He was a protestant who could read but the surgeon report said John was a negligent scholar. He had many marks on his arms – boys/men blowing horn, birds and bush, ship and 2 fishes, bust of woman, sailor with flag etc.

His conduct while under sentence

Maria Island - settlement of Darlington - view from hill (c1924)

John was stationed at Darlington, Maria Island, 28 February 1847 until late 1849.
14 August 1847 insolence
5 August 1848 idleness
7 December 1848 misconduct fighting on the works – 14 days solitary
3 June 1851 Hobart – misconduct being out after hours

Freedoms

On 8 August 1854 he received his ticket of leave meaning he could now get a job and earn his own wages.

His marriage to Rebecca Jackson (another convict) was approved on 20 September 1854.
16 August 55 Hobart resisting a constable fined 1 pound

His final freedom, a conditional pardon, was given on 22 July 1856 just 10 years after his conviction back in England.

So did John make a fresh start once his sentence was completed?

He raised a family of 8 children, worked as a moulder with John Swaine in Collins Street, Hobart, then Crosby and Robinson in Campbell Street and again with John Swaine.

At the marriage of his eldest daughter Elizabeth, the marriage notice mentioned Sheffield papers to copy, so maybe John was still in touch with family back in Yorkshire.

John led a good life here in Van Diemens Land later known as Tasmania and died in February 1905 at the age of 77.

 

Readers: Which ancestor of yours had to make a fresh start or on their own decided to make a fresh start? Do you know the reason why?

Organizing for #52ancestors in 2020

geralt / Pixabay

I didn’t do very well in either 2018 or 2019 writing posts about my ancestors. But in 2020, I plan to be very organized and complete at least two posts each month. Luckily, Amy Johnson Crow has already published what the theme will be for every week of the year.

Here are the first two months and my idea of what I could write about:

Week 1 (Jan. 1-7): Fresh Start – any of my convicts starting a new life in Australia
Week 2 (Jan. 8-14): Favorite Photo – check my collection for a great photo
Week 3 (Jan. 15-21): Long Line – perhaps the Colgrave family who I have found resources for back to 1604
Week 4 (Jan. 22-28): Close to Home – about my dad
Week 5 (Jan. 29-Feb. 4): So Far Away – another convict story or my Uncle Mike from Poland

Week 6 (Feb. 5-11): Same Name – will have to check my database
Week 7 (Feb. 12-18): Favourite Discovery – record at Donegal archive for Rebecca Jackson
Week 8 (Feb. 19-25): Prosperity – mining in NE Tasmania
Week 9 (Feb. 26-Mar. 3): Disaster – Dawson relatives at Mt Lyell mine disaster

Readers: Which two topics would you most like to read about? I will then make sure I write those posts.

 

Mum reminiscing

Boxing Day here so mum, dad and I went out for lunch at Live Eat Moonah. This is a franchise owned by my cousin Kelli who turned 46 today. We had a great healthy meal, but had to be home by 1pm ready for the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race which mum likes to watch every year.

On the way home, mum told us that her father took her to watch the very first race 74 years ago when she was a child about 11 years old. Nearly every morning once the race began, they would walk from Grosvenor Street in Sandy Bay to Princes Park in Battery Point to watch the boats come in. They would only go down when he knew some boats would be arriving.

Her father Henry Lewis England loved boating and would often take mum and her sister fishing off Sandy Bay beach.

Mum couldn’t remember much more about the yacht race other than they didn’t take any food with them and they were there when the last boat came in.  Dad piped in from behind me in the car with his memories of that race. He knew it was the ship Wayfarer that came in last nine days after the race started. He thought the ship was from Launceston and only did a leisurely cruise rather than racing hard.

Looking at reports in newspapers on Trove, the first official race in 1945 had lots of problems. Some of these still happen now 75 years on.

  • Two ships went ‘missing’
  • Gales across Bass Strait
  • Becalmed near Hobart

Comparison of Sydney Hobart with Fasnet race held off Isle of Wight in England

In August 1945, there was discussion on having a race in 1945.

 

The race has begun with 9 yachts taking part.

First casualty of the race was Archina.

Bad weather slowed the race but a Tasmanian yacht is in the lead

Two yachts are missing

One yacht reappears near entrance to Storm Bay

Rani crosses the line at 1.45am on 2 January 1946 to win the race and handicap honours.

Discussion about race becoming an annual event.

Should it also become a Hobart to Sydney race sometimes?

The placings – only Wayfarer to arrive

The last yacht has finally arrived after sheltering in Port Arthur11 days after start of the race.

Mum and dad’s memories were fairly accurate considering it happened 75 years ago when they were both children.

Readers: Have you or one of your family members taken part in a big yachting race? Have you been at the start or finish of a yachting race?