Letter F challenge

In the early days of the colonies of Australia, there were three groups of people arriving – convicts, military and

Typical free settler hut

Free Settlers

The first free settlers came in 1793 and were Thomas Rose and his family on the ship Bellona. The government in Britain was trying to promote Australia as a place to go for keen and experienced farmers.

The first free settlers in Tasmania arrived with Lieutenant Governor Collins in 1804. The Maritime Museum had a display about early migration into Tasmania and one of my troublesome free settlers was mentioned on it.

Unlike the convicts, the government did not collect or keep good records of these early free settlers. Maybe they were mentioned by name on shipping lists or in personal papers of the people they worked for or if they got into trouble then there were in the government gazettes.

Often the shipping records would only mention the county they were from in England so it makes it difficult to try and find them back in the old country especially if they have a common surname.

My free settlers are:

John DAVEY – John was born in Devon, England. He was brought out to Tasmania as a servant to George Meredith on the East Coast of Tasmania.  He arrived in Hobart Town on 13 February 1855 on board ‘Wanderer‘.  John was occasionally mentioned in the ‘Meredith papers’ which are housed in the State Library Archives in Hobart.  He was recorded last at ‘Cambria‘ in January 1857.  His wages at this time were 7 pounds and 10 shillings per quarter.  Source: Meredith papers NS 123/1/69 TAHO – Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office  In the 1851 English Census there were over 50 possible John Davey born around 1834. I have narrowed it to a possible 7.

William SMITH – Lots of posts I have written about this ancestor who arrived in Tasmania sometime in the 1850’s from the Navigator Islands (Samoa) and was given the name William Smith. What is his Samoan name?

David DIXON – David and his wife Mary (nee PICKERING) arrived on 30 August 1841 on the ship ‘Andromeda’ with their young daughter Elizabeth. He was age 24 and a farm servant. The family arrived as bounty immigrants applied for by Mr Stevenson at Curramore property near Cressy.  Source CB7/9/1/1/ page 15 – TAHO

William CHANDLER – worked at a nursery at Enfield near London before coming to Australia with another family in the sailing ship Fortitude on 15 February 1855. They settled at Monavale in the midlands where he was the estates gardener. He was then employed as gardener at Government House but left to establish a garden south of Granton. After his marriage he returned to Government House as Head Gardener then before retirement worked at the Grange Taroona. (Mercury 23 July 1985)

Caroline BRYANT – arrived on the La Hogue which was a steamer, then on the Tasmania finally arriving in Hobart  19 Jan 1856 with her mother Charlotte Bryant (nee BULL).

William WYATT – my grandfather who I know nothing about except he married my grandmother and had my father. He then deserted the family and we think headed to New S0uth Wales.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with F that relates to your family history or your research.

letter F

17 thoughts on “Letter F challenge

  1. French is the surname of my 2xg.grandmother Frances Arabella who was supposedly born in British North America in 1790.

  2. Fabulous Frenetic Foreigners……..My First lot arrived in Sydney 1832 as a guest of the government….He tied up with a young girl who arrived Sydney with her family in 1837, exactly one hundred years before I was born…..They have caused me to now have Filing cabinets of information about them…. Of course I have had to Follow up with the in-laws also….A Family of them arrived in Tasmania in 1850..He was a Chelsea pensioner guard on the convict ship Maria Somes…..The daughter married there aged sixteen to a George WOOD…Dad and the rest of the family moved on to New Zealand…The WOOD family moved to Victoria where they had three daughters…George disappears after that,and perhaps it is him who drowned in Sydney harbour Dec 1866….George may have been a convict who arrived Tasmania 1817..(As yet unproven)..The next thing i know about the mother and three daughters is that two of the daughters married brothers in New Zealand…The nearest I can ascertain is that they they went to NZ c1867..this comes from death records……

  3. OOPS a faux-par…….I need to correct some of the information on my previous post re George Wood…He arrived in Tasmania on the convict ship John Barry 11 August 1834……..He was seventeen years old………

  4. F = Free settlers. All my ancestors came to Australia as Free settlers. I’m yet to ascertain their exact reason for making the decision to come, as generally they were ag labs or tradesmen.

    Sue, similar to you, I know nothing about my g grandfather from the time he arrived in 1854 until his first son was born. Not even a marriage that I can find!

    Enjoy reading your blog. One ancestor of mine, Thomas Browne, was in Tasmania. He was responsible for the surveying of Hobart Town. Other than that I know little about the early days of Tasmania.


    Since Ancestry has decided to no longer support it, I have the dilemma of not knowing what to do. Should I buy Legacy? Should I buy Family Historian? Should I buy Roots Magic? I will need to look into each of these programs before I make a decision.

    I have always been perfectly happy with Family Tree Maker and I have thousands of names on it, but I do not want to be left with a program that is unsupported. So lots of research ahead of me.

  6. Glen Fiddich and Family

    There are nights when quiet reflection and a minor indulgence is worthwhile. Its then the Glenfiddich, or Lochan Ora, Drambuie or even a nice Port comes out. During that introspective time I’ve wondered why Glen was given the top gig in the company and not Trevor or Myrtle Fiddich. Who’d by a Trevor Fiddich? I guess that’s life but a quiet celebration and reflective time should be taken.

    I have a couple of different “Fiddichs” but one has a special family significance. It’s a Cask Strength Whiskey sold only at the distillery, about 49% proof, aged 20 years. The last trip we all went on together was to the UK in 1996. The distillery was on our jaunt through Scotland. The kids were 10. 12 and 15. My wife and I took a brief tour. I have no idea what we did with the kids. We probably locked them in the car. At the end of the tour we got a sample glass. My wife likes her scotch with coke. That of course was unacceptable and is still a bit of a family joke today. I scored to samples that day.

    It was an amazing family trip with events that come up from time to time at family dinners. At the end of each treck to some slightly out of the way B&B there’d be tension because the written instructions in the B&B handbook provided a description much like an oral message over the phone. The one that springs to mind was “The last house in Somerset” . What? We were lucky we came the expected way.

    It was out last holiday pre-digitalisation. We had no mobile phones, no internet, no email, no facebook even??? And no satnav . Everything was planned on paper. Faxes were sent. Expensive phone calls made. We made one call home at a phone box along the way with a handful of two pound coins. We had maps of all kinds. The big one was that the last trip we did with the SLR camera. The pre-digital camera of the day. It was a damn good camera. I still have it . We took 14 rolls of film and waited from day 1 of the trip till after we’d returned to see if all the shots were ok. No second chances then. I think I was a better photographer then in some ways. I had to have all my settings right because what I took was what we got.

    It was a great family time…………. and I muse over it from time to time with a little Glenfiddich and some quiet time helps with that.

  7. Family.
    I find it fascinating,, the amount of children in each family.
    Though these free settlers and convicts, most of which lived on the smell of a rag, they still had large families.

  8. Fascinating stories, of your families and trips. My husbands maternal family came from Scotland. The patriarch tenant sheep farmer known by his nickname Furmiston which stems from his location had some interesting old poems written about him and three old mates climbing the crags of Carpshairn. His young son and bride came to Australia via Melbourne and moved to Qld settling around Rockhampton. The family bible of 1851 contained entries of all his children and dates of B&D. There was once a farm on the creek just west of Westwood where Grandfather Harper had an amazing fruit garden and a very social tennis court. Looking back on the old photos and driving past the now desolate site it is kind of hard to imagine.. The new Rocky highway disturbed the spring which supplied the water. The Gardener moved and took his magic with him. This year his Grandson being laid up for a while, decided to use his draftsman skills with pen on parchment (an old skill) and drew a plan of Glenallen and the memories came flooding back, simply fabulous stuff…

  9. F is for Forster the alleged maiden name of my mysterious great grandmother. Her stories relayed to family members contained furies which are the bane of our lives. Freedom of information, fees to obtain vital records, family trees, famous relatives – sadly this family tree contains none although sideways here is a living relative who is a MBE and a great great grandfather’s brother was a regular at the Danish Royal Palace playing music before coming out to Australia. F is for failure if records found aren’t corroborated with other evidence. Format – what is the best way to record your family tree and file those paper or digital records we collect. Finally F is for fanatics which genealogists become once they find that new piece of information.

  10. Found- when the brick wall has crumbled, and the information being looked for has finally been found.

  11. Finding Family – my mother’s family came in to South Australia as free settlers in the mid 1800’s. They worked in the mines mostly, and moved around following work. They were MOODY, BATCHELOR, COOK and READ.

  12. F is for Family.
    Family History and my wonderful family.
    Fred my wonderful husband( whose FH has already been done and published by a distant cousin).
    Fanatic Family gatherings, with 3 sons and wives and daughter and 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson.

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