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Donald Thomas JOHNSTON of Birkenhead England and Condobolin NSW

This one is for an 80 year old friend who is trying to find information on her father.

Donald Thomas was born 1907 in Birkenhead, England, son of Ernest JOHNSTON and Mary Isabel CHALMERS. He came to Australia in 1923 with his brother Ernest. In 1929 in Condobolin, NSW, he married Ethel Margaret GOODSELL. Their son Allan was born in 1930, and daughter Pamela in 1932. A few months later Donald disappeared from the family.

I have been helping Pam over the past few months in trying to find out what happened to her father, of whom she has no memories. We have found that he was living in England again by 1972. His address was Leigh House, Leek, Staffordshire. Pam would like to find out more about what he was doing in the 40 years between these two dates, and whether he had another family in that time.

Update: Donald's death has been found - 7 April 1983 at the Doctors' Hospital, Manila, the Philippines. The informant was his fiancee, Aurora MACABENTA.

There was also a second marriage on 27 May 1958, at the Registry Office, Crewe, Cheshire, to Alison Louise HARWOOD (nee GUNN). Did this couple have any children? Alison was 35 at that time.

If anyone reading this has a connection to this family, please get in touch!

John SWADLING, convict to Sydney, NSW

John arrived in Sydney via Hercules in 1832, aged 14. He had been convicted at the Old Bailey in London for stealing a handkerchief.
In 1842 he married Mary Ann BAKER, a convict via Henry Wellesley in 1836. She was convicted of stealing a pair of shoes. Both were sentenced to seven years tranportation.

John and Mary Ann had seven children in Sydney: John, Thomas, James, Emma, Edward, Mary Ann, and Martha. John ran a successful blacksmithing business in Sydney until his death in 1858, aged about 40. Mary Ann lived until 1890.

2 comment(s), latest 6 years, 1 month ago

William WILLIAMS of Hobart Tasmania, Australia and Wales??

William WILLIAMS is still largely a mystery to me. I know that he lived in Hobart between 1852 and 1867, but I don't know where he came from or went to! These are the facts I do know about him:

* 1852 16 Sep: Transfer of land from David Dunkley and his wife Elizabeth of Sandy Bay to William Williams of Watchorn St, mariner, and William Williams of Argyle St, carpenter [wasn't one William WILLIAMS bad enough!!]
* 1862 9 Jun: William Williams heretofore of Argyle St Hobart Town in Tas, carpenter, at present residing in North Wales, and William Williams of Watchorn St Hobart Town aforesaid mariner, sold some of their land
* 1862 18 Jun: Power of attorney from William Williams of North Wales, Great Britain, farmer, to Evan Jones
* 1863 15 Jan: son William born Watchorn St Hobart
* 1864 18 Apr: married Eliza BRITTON Presbyterian Free church manse, Hobart
* 1864 6 May: dau. Eliza Jane born Watchorn St Hobart
* 1865 25 Nov: son Richard Thomas born Watchorn St Hobart
* 1866 23 Apr: son Richard Thomas died
* 1867 13 May: son John Samuel born Bathurst St Hobart
* 1867 25 Jun: William Williams of Watchorn St Hobart Town in Tas, mariner, sold his land
* 1873 31 Dec: power of attorney from William WILLIAMS of 5 Brynteg Tce, Upper Bangor, Carnarvon, UK (which William is this??) to Evan Jones
* 1890 20 May: son John Samuel married at Wollongong, William Schenck(?) WILLIAMS is a witness (is this the father, or yet another William WILLIAMS??)

William married Eliza BRITTON on 18 April 1864, when Eliza was 18 and William 54 years old. They had one child before this, and another three after their marriage:

1. William, b. 15 Jan 1863 Watchorn St, Hobart, TAS
2. Eliza Jane, b. 6 May 1864 Watchorn St, Hobart, TAS
3. Richard Thomas, b. 25 Nov 1865 Watchorn St, Hobart, TAS, d.23 Apr 1866
4. John Samuel b. 13 May 1867 Bathurst St, Hobart, TAS

The next record I can find of any member of the family is in September 1887, when John Samuel became a ship's engineer, in NSW. He married Mary Jane BATE in Wollongong NSW in May 1890. Their son William John died in Leichhardt in 1913, and the funeral notice mentioned his relatives:

* Mr and Mrs W. WILLIAMS and family
* Mr and Mrs BRITTON and family

So one of Eliza's BRITTON family, and probably John Samuel's brother William WILLIAMS were living in Sydney at that time!

I then looked in the NSW death index, and found Samuel BRITTON, son of Samuel and Ann, had died in Sydney in 1916. Looking at the Rookwood index again found a date of death for Samuel, 16 July 1916.

The Sydney Morning Herald carried a funeral notice on 17 July 1916:
The friends of Mrs Mary BRITTON and family are invited to attend the funeral of her beloved husband and their father Samuel to leave 55 Edward Street Pyrmont this day at 1 pm for Church of England Rookwood.

Searching back through the NSW indexes revealed Samuel's marriage in 1866, and the births of their children. So Eliza's brother Samuel had moved to Sydney from Tasmania in the 1860s.

In 1998 I was looking through the SAG Rookwood Index for Eliza or William WILLIAMS and found an Eliza J., much too young to be her. But then I realised the date was right for their daughter, Eliza Jane. There was little information given except that she died 29 Oct 1882 aged 18, and there was also a John BENHAM d.10 Mar 1880 aged 75 in the grave.

I checked the SMH and found the funeral notice put in by Joseph BENHAM for his step-daughter Eliza WILLIAMS. The NSW index lists a marriage between Joseph BENHAM and Eliza BRITTEN (her maiden name!) in 1879 in Sydney. At that time she claimed her parents were Samuel WESTWOOD and Ann (unknown). There's also a death in Redfern on 24 Sep 1885 for Eliza BENHAM, father John BRITTON, which is also her). She might have kept quiet about her parents because they were convicts of course. Her sister Priscilla (POPE) was one of the witnesses to the marriage - when I checked the NSW marriage index for POPEs I found Priscilla and her children marrying in Sydney during the 1870s and 1880s.

Then I checked for BENHAMs in Rookwood and found another grave containing:

1. Eliza b.5 jul 1848, native of Tasmania, wife of Joseph BENHAM, died 24 sep 1885 aged 37. Eliza was b.4 July 1845 according to the Tasmanian records (sounds like she lied about her age when she remarried).
2. Mary Sybina, d.11 aug 1919 aged 61
3. Joseph d. 16 dec 1940 aged 90

So, now it looks like most of my BRITTON and WILLIAMS families moved to NSW from Tasmania, probably to escape their convict background, as many did at that time. William probably died sometime between 1867 and 1874, but where he died is still unknown.

Mary Ann GREEN and William WORTH of Sydney, NSW, Australia

Mary Ann GREEN was born about 1806 at Green Hills NSW (later renamed Windsor by Governor Macquarie). There is no mention of her birth (or those of her five siblings) in the records of the NSW Registrar-General.

She spent time at the Female Orphan School, along with her sisters Margaret and Catherine, while their brothers John and Thomas were in the Male Orphan School. William, the eldest child, was apprenticed as a shipwright at the Government Dockyard in Sydney. Margaret was apprenticed to Francis Greenway as a house servant. He later threw her out of his house for stealing from him. The Orphan School Committee

"were unanimously of the opinion that Mr. Greenway has betrayed the trust reposed in him with regard to the said orphan apprentice inasmuch as that he should either have prosecuted her for the theft, or have retained her in his house under his protection, and therefore it is resolved that Mr. Greenway has forfeited any future claim to an apprentice from this institution."

By 1822, Mary Ann was a domestic servant for a Mr. Wright of Sydney. Late 1823 saw her marriage to William WORTH, master mariner, at the age of 17. Their daughter Grace was born in February 1824. Mary Ann's sister Catherine (Caroline) was married in October 1828 to Everitt SUMMONS. William of the Schooner 'Elizabeth and Mary', and Mary Ann, were witnesses to this marriage.

William died in Sydney in June 1834, at 45 years of age. His widow remarried to Christian HUBE, in August 1837, witnessed by Catherine GREEN (probably her mother) and a John DELANEY.

Catherine TIERNEY of Dunmore, Galway, Ireland and Sydney, NSW, Australia

Catherine TIERNEY arrived in NSW with the rest of her family aboard the Queen Victoria on 26 July 1841. The ship's papers listed a large family:

* Michael TIERNEY, a 37 year old labourer, son of Roger TIERNEY and Catherine KILLEEN, of Dunmore, Galway
* his wife Judy (later referred to as Julia), a 34 year old dairywoman, daughter of Patrick CONNOLLY and Mary SIMES, also of Dunmore

and their children

1. Catherine, 16 years old (but an inquiry was held into her age to determine the bounty, because of her small stature)
2. Roger, 12
3. Mary, 10
4. Bridget, 8
5. Honor (Hannah), 6
6. Patrick, 4
7. Bernard, 2


A further three children were born in NSW:

8. William, b. 13 Dec 1842, Bathurst
9. Ann, b. 24 January 1845, Tongy
10. Ellen, b. 9 January 1847, Weetalabla

The family settled in the northern part of NSW. Michael died in 1873 at Wollombi, west of Newcastle, where his gravestone still stands. Judy died at Bendemeer, in the New England region, on 10 February 1881. Their daughter Catherine married James COLEMAN on 4 July 1849 in Sydney.

Everitt SUMMONS of Bentley, Essex, England and NSW, Australia

Everitt SUMMONS arrived in NSW via the Brothers. The 1828 Census of NSW lists a SUMMONS family group of six:

* Everett - 35 yrs, came free Brothers in 1825, protestant, servant, working for Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens
* Caroline - 18 yrs, born in the colony, protestant
* John - 28 yrs, came free Brothers in 1825, protestant, servant, working for Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens
* Elizabeth - 20 yrs, came free Brothers in 1825, protestant
* E.R. - 18 mths, born in the colony, protestant
* infant - 1 mth, born in the colony, protestant

Birth, death and marriage records show this to be two families. Everitt had married Caroline (or Catherine) GREEN in Sydney on 28 Oct 1828, and they had five children:

1. Eliza b. 7 Jan 1829, bap. 14 Apr 1829 Newcastle
2. Everitt b. 17 May 1830, bap. 25 Jul 1830 Newcastle
3. John Australia b. 9 Sep 1831, bap. 30 Oct 1831 Newcastle
4. Edward b. Nov 1832, bap. Dec 1832 Stroud
5. Sarah Ann b. 22 Dec 1835, bap. 13 Apr 1836 Stroud

I have found several notices in the Sydney Herald around 1840-41 from Everitt, cautioning people not to give credit to his wife Caroline, who has run away from home (at the age of 25 she has been married for seven years and borne five children!).

Everitt died in Newcastle on 28 Jan 1870, and was buried at Christ Church CE Newcastle the following day. His death certificate records his parents' names as Everitt SUMMONS and Mary Ann LITTLEWOOD, his age as 77 years, and his place of birth as Bentley, Essex, England.

John and Elizabeth were married before arrival, and had two children recorded in the NSW records:

1. William bap. 1828 Newcastle
2. James bap. 1833 Sydney

John died in 1834 in Sydney, and Elizabeth remarried to Nicodemus DUNN the same year. It is not known whether John and Everitt were brothers, although this seems likely.

Cornelius O'NEAL of Bantry Bay, Ireland, and Sydney, NSW, Australia

Cornelius O'NEAL seemed an unusual name, until I started researching the man who married my gt-gt-grandfather's sister. Sarah SWADLING came to NSW with her brother William and his wife and children via the James Pattison in Dec 1838. Six months later, she married this Irishman, Cornelius, at St Philip's CE in Sydney. He was a widower, she a spinster. Her brother William was one of the witnesses to the marriage. I assume my great-grandfather, William's son Cornelius, was named after his uncle, as his is the earliest occurrence of the name in the SWADLING family.

They lived at and ran the Darling Harbour Inn for some years, and had two sons:

1. Patrick Francis O'NEAL, b. ca. 1840
2. Stephen O'NEAL, b. 1846

Sarah died in October 1852, as detailed in the Sydney Morning Herald on 20th Oct 1852, page 3 column 6:

On the 19th instant at her residence, Darling Harbour Inn, Sussex St, after a short and painful illness, Sarah, the beloved wife of Mr Cornelius O'Neale [sic], aged 41 years, leaving a husband and two children and a large circle of friends to deplore their irreparable loss.

Sarah was buried at the Devonshire St cemetery on October 21, with a simple inscription:

Sarah wife of Cornelius O'Neal
died 19 October 1852 aged 41 years
leaving a husband and two children.


Cornelius remarried on July 2 1853, to Eliza HANLY. This couple had three daughters:

1. Mary O'NEAL, b.17 Aug 1854 Sydney
2. Eliza L O'NEAL, b. 1856 Sydney
3. Catherine O'NEAL, b. 1858 Sydney

Cornelius was the licencee of the Odd Fellows Arms in Dowling St Sydney in 1858. Eliza died in early 1859.

Cornelius remarried yet again to Amelia STACK, in Sydney in 1859. They must have moved soon after this to the Shoalhaven, where they ran the Royal Hotel. Cornelius is shown as the licencee there in April 1860. He died there in December 1863:

Sydney Morning Herald 30 December 1863 page 1
On the 17th instant at his residence, Royal Hotel, Greenwall Pt, Shoalhaven, Cornelius O'Neal, aged 55 years.

The details on his death certificate state that he was a native of Bantry Bay Ireland, and had been in NSW for 32 years. The only marriage mentioned is the last, to Amelia, who probably supplied these details. He was buried at the Nowra cemetery, but there is no stone on his grave. I haven't yet discovered when he arrived in NSW. There was a Cornelius O'NEAL, storekeeper on Norfolk Island, on a list of those in Government employ in 1810, appointed by Governor Macquarie. I have no evidence of a connection with "my" Cornelius as yet.

1 comment(s), latest 6 years, 9 months ago

MUDIE of Perth, Scotland and Sydney, NSW

George MUDIE a blacksmith, his wife Agnes/Anne COOK (or COCK) and their daughters Frances Matilda and Margaret arrived in NSW on the John Barry on 8 September 1837 from Scotland. The ship was quarantined after arrival due to Typhus. They had a further three children before Anne died only nine years later, and was buried from the Scots church in Sydney. Her burial record describes her as 39 years old, the wife of a baker.

1. Frances Matilda, b. 21 April 1830, Gorbals, Scotland
2. Margaret, b.1832, Scotland
3. George, b.1838, Sydney
4. Agnes, b.1842, Sydney
5. Robert, b.1845, Sydney

George senior died at St. Ives on 29 April 1866. His will stated that he was a sawyer of Gordon, and left a farm of 42 acres to his brother Robert, and another 80 acres to his son George. Mudies Road now runs through the part of St. Ives where the farm was. George's death certificate stated that his parents were James MUDIE, watchmaker and jeweller, and Margaret SMITH. These details were supplied by his brother Robert.

Elizabeth and Emily LOGUE of Dublin, Ireland and NSW, Australia

Elizabeth LOGUE and her sister Emily arrived in NSW aboard the ship Sabrina, on July 10 1854. According to the ship's papers, they were both natives of Stillorgan, co. Dublin, Ireland, Protestants, and able to read and write. Their father was dead, and their mother was alive in Rathdown, co. Wicklow. Elizabeth, 18 years old, was a nursemaid, while her sister Emily, 19, was a housemaid. The Dublin City Directory lists a Mrs LOGUE at Hallstead Cottage, Galloping Green, Stillorgan in 1839, which may have been Eliza.

Three years later Elizabeth married John BARNETT at St James Anglican church, Morpeth, near Maitland. Her parents' names were given as John LOGUE, a land steward, and Eliza DIXON. Their first child Charles was born in Sydney the following year (where John was described as a seaman), while their next four were born back in Morpeth, the sixth in Newcastle, and the last two in Sydney again. Emily was also living in the Maitland area, as she married Robert CRAIG in 1855 at the Catholic church in Maitland. They had three children there until 1862, before disappearing from the NSW records (and into the QLD records).

Elizabeth and Emily might have written home to their mother about life in NSW, because she arrived via the Matoaka on 17 May 1855, less than a year after them, accompanied by her son John. She was present for her granddaughter Elizabeth CRAIG's birth in Morpeth on 13 July 1856 (where she was mentioned as mistress of the National School), and her grandson Charles BARNETT's birth in Sydney on 24 January 1858. Her visits to Maitland and Morpeth were probably where she met David BAXTER, a farmer from Stroud, whom she married in Sydney on 15 August 1859.

Elizabeth lost her husband John BARNETT in an accident aboard the S.S. Ranelagh, a ship which he was unloading, in 1882. She died 28 years later, in 1910, at the Newington Asylum near Parramatta.

Thomas William Wood LANE of Painswick, Gloucester, England, and Sydney, NSW, Australia

Thomas William Wood LANE died at Surry Hills, Sydney on 15 April 1890. His death certificate stated that his parents were Thomas and Eliza, that he had lived 58 years in NSW, was 77 years of age and born in Gloucester, England. A search of the IGI did not find a Thomas with those parents, but did reveal one who was baptised at Painswick, Gloucester, England on 20 June 1812, the first of twelve children born to Richard LANE and Sarah WOOD, who had married at Hempstead, Gloucester on 8 March 1812. This tied in with the middle names Wood Lane which had been given to both my grandfather and father, although no-one knew why! Richard and Sarah's children were:

1. Thomas William, bap. 20 Jun 1812
2. Edith, bap. 14 November 1813
3. Nancy, bap. 14 May 1815
4. Ruth, bap. 6 April 1817
5. Elizabeth, bap. 21 March 1819
6. Caroline, bap. 11 March 1821
7. Nathaniel Richard, bap. 19 February 1823
8. Harriet, bap. 6 February 1825
9. Henry, bap. 15 October 1826
10. Anna Maria, bap. 14 February 1830
11. Sarah, bap. 27 January 1833
12. Pamela, bap. 23 February 1834

No trace of Thomas' arrival in NSW could be found until Pat Price discovered his arrival as a convict via the Heroine on 19 September 1833. He was confirmed as the Thomas baptised at Painswick by the details of the court case in which Thomas was charged, on 27 September 1831, with having

...feloniously and burglariously broken and entered the dwelling house of Benjamin Turnbull, and stolen, taken and carried away therefrom forty gold seals, fifty gold rings and brooches, one silver watch, four smelling bottles with gold tops, and other articles...

and his mother Sarah with having

...feloniously received [the same], she .. then and there well knowing the said goods and chattels to have been feloniously stolen.

Thomas was convicted and sentenced to death, commuted to transportation for seven years. Sarah was acquitted of her charge. It is puzzling to me why Thomas stole these goods, because the indents of the Heroine state that he had been a carpenter for six years. Perhaps as the oldest of ten children at that stage, he saw (or was persuaded of) the chance for quick money. Whatever the reason, he would not have seen any of his family again, as he thereafter lived and died in NSW.

Thomas received his certificate of freedom in 1841, at the end of his seven years. Two years later, he married Frances Matilda MUDIE at Lane Cove on 11 September 1843. Their marriage certificate states his age as 26 (actually 31) and hers as eighteen (actually thirteen). This early start gave them time to have sixteen children between 1844 and 1876:

1. Richard b. 3 August 1844
2. David b. 14 April 1846
3. Ann Louisa b. 10 May 1848
4. Amelia Matilda b. 8 January 1850
5. Thomas William b. 14 November 1852
6. Frances Matilda b. 14 February 1854
7. Sarah b. 17 July 1856
8. Nathaniel b. 26 October 1859
9. Eliza b. 24 June 1860
10. Susan Jane b. 14 May 1862
11. Edith Jane b. 12 September 1864
12. Agnes b. 12 August 1866
13. Walter b. 12 May 1868
14. Albert Ernest b. 3 November 1869
15. George Henry b. 12 August 1874
16. Arthur Reginald b. 22 September 1876

Thomas' will left all his estate to his "dear wife, Frances Matilda Lane, her heirs executors and administrators". The will was signed in a very shaky hand, written on 9 April 1890, shortly before his death.