Martha Virco – breakouts

This story has been created by Wendy Westgate as part of the University of Tasmania’s HAA007 Convict Ancestors unit


Martha was transported to Van Diemen’s Land on the Hindostan; the ship was carrying 179 female convicts. The ship’s Master was George LAMBE, and the Ship surgeon was Thomas W. MCDONALD.[1]

This journey was the second the Hindostan had made as a Convict ship; in July 1821, the ship sailed to New South Wales with 152 male convicts, arriving in Port Macquarie on 24th November of that year.

The Hindostan subsequently made one more trip as a Convict ship; it left London on 7th October 1840 with 209 male convicts on board, arriving in Hobart on 19th January 1841.[2]



John Boyd

When Martha married John BOYD, he is described as a Free Man[1]. I have tried to find out more information about John, but there are at least three men of that name who arrive in Van Diemen’s Land in the 1830s; with more research, I’m sure the correct one could be identified.

John was a carpenter, a valuable trade to have in those times. The children of Martha and John were born in a number of places, which suggests John moved his family around in stay in employment; many of the places are in the north of Tasmania, south of Launceston.

John died on 9th October 1862:[2]


JB, death

Entry for death of John BOYD; TAHO, RGD35/1/31, Morven, 1862/309

[1] Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Compiled from publicly available sources; John BOYD and Martha VICO

[2] TAHO, RGD35/1/31, Morven, 1862/309, John BOYD


5 thoughts on “Martha Virco – breakouts

  1. Martha and John are my great great grandparents. I have been aware of them for a decade of so now and have dabbled occasionally to learn more. Next month my husband and I are making a brief visit to Tasmania and would be interested in finding out more. Is there anything you might suggest? As you might see I am not well versed in tracing family history. If there is any advice you might be able to give it would be very much appreciated.
    Sincerely Gillian Abate

  2. I think I said that Martha Vico and John Boyd were my great grand parents. At the expense of seeming like an idiot I meant to include an extra great there, my apologies. Regards Gill Abate

  3. Hi cousin Gill,
    Would love to meet up with you one day if possible. Could go to St Johns Church in Ross where they were married. Could go to Evandale to see what is in their history room. To find everything on my blog about this couple click on the right under tags for John Boyd and Martha Virco or in the category section choose Boyd, Hearn and Virco.

    Most of the info I have found is online at Libraries Tasmania, under the family history portal, then on the right click on Tasmanian Names Index and search for John Boyd or Martha Vico or Martha Virco.

  4. Hi Sue
    I have begun the Diploma Studies, and have just viewed the video where you explain about blogging. The name William Vercoe caught my eye. My partner is Todd Vercoe, tracing back to Cornwall. My Daughter-in-law has Varcoe name in her ancestry. so a little coincidence there. I am now going to read your other entries about Martha 🙂

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