Marriage Colgrave Watkins

Isabella Watkins is my 3x great grandmother. She was a convict transported for stealing 2 shawls. She was convicted at Surrey assizes on 29 March 1841. Just 3 months later she was put on the ship Garland Grove and left London on 23 June 1841. Isabella wasn’t mentioned by the ship’s surgeon as having been ill on the trip. On 10 October 1841 the ship arrived in Hobart Town with 179 female convicts and 13 children.

Just one year after arrival, Isabella Watkins(on) was asking permission to marry Francis Col(d)grave who was by this time a free person.  Convicts, still serving their sentence, needed to get permission to marry from the government. Their application was first sent to the muster master on 7 October 1842, who then passed it on to the secretary who received it about the 18th. In the final column of the marriage permission says App?

Permission to marry for Coldgrave and Watkinson

From reading other permissions to marry (PTM), it looks like the woman has to have been in the colony for at least 12 months before being given permission to marry someone.

The couple didn’t waste time. On 14 November 1842 they were married in the district of Avoca at the newly consecrated Anglican church. They were the 85th marriage in the church. They were married by Rev. William Richardson who was a Colonial Chaplain and was made the incumbent in October 1841.

Readers: Did you have an ancestor who had to get permission to marry from the government or a parent?

My 3xgreat grandmother Isabella Watkins

I haven’t yet written a full biography of Isabella but she certainly had an interesting life being born around 1823 in Hull, Yorkshire. She then moved to London where she was convicted about age 18 and transported to Van Diemens Land (VDL).

I have written quite a few posts about Isabella. Here are some of the more interesting ones: Post in 2014, Post in 2016 (some images not working – sorry) and Fiction based on a newspaper article.

I know virtually nothing about her life prior to being convicted on 29 March 1841 at Surrey assizes. But more is known once she arrives in Tasmania (VDL). Convicts had a lot of paperwork kept on them – conduct records, descriptions, indents (often mentioning parents and siblings), trial records, musters and of course newspaper articles.

Isabella departed London on 23 June 1841 on the ship Garland Grove. The ship arrived on 10 October 1841. She was sent to Mr Legge at Cullenwood near Fingal and in February 1842 was sentenced to time at the Female House of Correction in Launceston. On 7 October 1842, just one year after arriving in VDL, she was given permission by the government to marry Francis Colgrave (many spelling variations). Francis had also been a convict but was free by this time. They were married on 14 November 1842 at Avoca which is on the road between Fingal and Launceston.

Over the next 24 years, Francis and Isabella had 2 daughters and 7 sons including Francis John Colgrave, my great great grandfather born in 1843. Only one child Arthur died age 16. One daughter, also named Isabella was born in 1842, but I have not been able to find her marriage or death.

Isabella’s husband Francis died on 24 October 1890 and just over a week later Isabella passed on 3 November 1890. The funeral notice in the paper said she was survived by 6 married sons and one single daughter – this must be Louisa as she was mentioned as sole beneficiary in Isabella’s will.

Isabella Colgrave funeral 1890

Readers: Have you had a married couple die within a week of each other?

Francis COLGRAVE junior

Francis John COLGRAVE junior was the second child born to Francis COLGRAVE senior and Isabella WATKINS(ON). He was born 11 November 1843 and baptised a a month later in the parish of Evandale.  Francis’s parents had both been convicts – Francis senior received his conditional pardon on 28 October 1841, Isabella was approved for a conditional pardon on 21 September 1847.

The surname COLGRAVE is also spelled as Coldgrave, Colegrave, Coalgrave, Colgreave in various records.

Francis’s siblings:

The family lived in the Blessington, Deddington and English Town area near Ben Lomond in northeastern Tasmania.  In some books, the area was also known as Anamana.

Between 1850 and 1853, Francis senior had a total of 21 convicts working on his property.

In 1861, when Francis junior was 18 years old, a murder occurred at a boarding house which his parents ran in Evandale. Much of this was written up in the local newspaper.

Married life and children

On 19 May 1865, Susan BOYD, aged 20, married Francis John COLEGRAVE, aged 21. They were married at the Manse at Evandale by the rites of the church of Scotland by banns. Witnesses were Catherine Boyd and Samuel Colegrave.  Francis John was noted as a labourer in Evandale.

Over the next 20 years, ten children were born to Francis and Susan.

In 1873, Francis is mentioned in the local newspaper or is this Francis senior?

In 1876, Francis junior purchased 69 acres, 2 roods, 27 perches  in the area of Blessington. Neighbouring landowners were William Owen, Francis Colgrave senior, Samuel Colgrave, George Robotham and William Kirkwood.

On 13 March 1890, the marriage of Martha Jane to George Davey was held at Francis and Susan’s house. This was according to the Presbyterian church by license.

Francis senior died in October 1890 then his wife Isabella died early in November 1890.

Francis and his son as well as many other Colgrave males were mentioned as supporting Eustace Cameron Esq as their nominated representative for the House of Assembly in 1891.

In December 1892, Francis was one of three nominated as a candidate for the position of trustee for the Evandale Road District.

On 14 May 1895 marriage of Lilian Ada to Charles Davey was held at Francis and Susan’s house. This was according to the Presbyterian church by license. This was the second marriage between the Davey and Colgrave families.

Francis’s wife Susan died on 27 February 1900 at their son Samuel’s residence and registered as living in English Town, Deddington. She was buried at the old English burial ground in Evandale.

In 1903, Francis was again a candidate for trustee of the Evandale Road District.

Francis was mentioned in the Tasmanian Post Office Directories (Wise) in 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1921.  He was in these books as Francis Colgrave and his son, also called Francis John, was mentioned as Francis J. They were noted as farmers at Anamana.

In 1913, Francis or his son Francis J, farmer at Blessington, was charged with offering sheep for sale that were carrying ticks.

In 1914, there were 14 people mentioned owning property at Anamana. They were:

  • Brown – Adam and Harry – farmers
  • Colgrave – Ernest C – grazier
  • Colgrave – Francis and Francis J – farmers
  • Davey – Charles, George, Harry and William – farmers
  • Ede – Charles P – teacher
  • Frederick – G – farmer – could be Frederick George Colgrave
  • Redburn – Mark – blacksmith
  • Loane – Jno – grazier
  • Tuck – Jos – farmer

Many Colgrave adults married into the Davey, Brown and Redburn families.

In the 1914 and 1919 electoral rolls Francis and Francis J were noted as farmers in the Blessington area.

In the last 5 years of his life, Francis (Frank) or his son often wrote letters to the Evandale Council asking for improvements to the roads in the area around English Town.

On 26 June 1920, Francis junior passed away at one of his daughters’ residence in Evandale. In his will, he left all his freehold property and buildings to his two youngest sons, Ernest and Frederick. His remains were interred at the Anglican Cemetery, Evandale.

Readers: If any members of the family have any photos I could use in my biographies, it would be much appreciated.