Rockliffs from Yorkshire to Tasmania 1840's/50's. Descendants of Francis Rockliff, :: Genealogy
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Rockliffs from Yorkshire to Tasmania 1840's/50's. Descendants of Francis Rockliff,

Journal by lollyrock

This is information I have learned from Rosie Marshall, and Bev Smith, both of Tasmania, regarding the Rockliffs who emigrated to Tasmania in the mid 1800's..

The above mentioned Francis was the son of Francis of Alford, a Breeches Maker by trade. The younger Francis (b.1748) moved to Kirk Smeaton in Yorkshire, his wife Mary Dawson (b.1749). They had at least twelve children, listed in a Family Bible in the possession of Vincent Rockliff of Davenport, Tasmania.:
Francis (Aug.1772), Mary (b.1/11/1773), William (b.3/8/1775), Anne (15/5/1777), Elizabeth (15/3/1779), Henry (b.7/2/1781), Susanna (5/5/1783), Hannah (15/3/1785), George (5/4/1787), Sarah, John (15/1/1791), Andrew (10/2/1793).

Of that brood, the descendants of eldest daughter Mary (who married Henry Reed), and her brothers William, and Henry, colonised northern Tasmania in the mid 1800's. According to the booklet "The Rockliff Saga", compiled by Norman Rockliff in 1974, Henry Reed in 1840 had properties in north Tasmania, and asked his nephew Henry Rockliff to come out to manage one. This Henry Rockliff was the son of Henry (b.1781), and in due course three of this Henry's younger brothers joined him there. Henry arrived on the "Essex" in 1841. According to shipping records, there were other Rockliffs on board - another Henry (b.1813?) and his wife and children, and John, aged 19,(b.30/12/1821), single. These two extra Rociliffs were sons of William (b.1775) and Mary (nee Lawrence). It is thought there was another brother Lawrence, who emigrated to Sydney in 1853, and possibly a sister, b. 1833, both also William's (1775) children.

My husband descends from John. John married Emma Maria Boston 5/7/1848, in Tasmania, and it is thought they had at least eleven children, but unfortunately no birth records have been found to prove this. The first was (1)John, (b.21/12/1848; m #1 Mary Elizabeth Rockliff (cousin?) m#2 Caroline Barker), (2) Aubrey James (b.25.7.1850; m Ellen Fitzmaurice), (3) Alfred (b.3/9/1852; m firstly Martha Bird (my husband's line), and secondly Ada Johnstone), then three children who died young, in 1868 - possibly diptheria epidemic - William b.1855, Catherine b.1857, and Mary Elizabeth b.1859; then came Ambrose (b.8/11/1860; m Margaret Davies), and Rachel (b.1863; m.William Wright); and the last three also died young - Selina "Celia" Louise, b.10/10/1864; Anna Maria b.1867, and Albert Henry b. 17/7/1869.

At this stage I have knowledge of Alfred's son Arthur Alfred's (b.1/4/1878, in Don, Tas.) descendants, and would be glad to share information. I have sketchy details of the descendants of the others. If anyone descends from John's (b.1821) line I would like to be able to add them to my data.John's son John (b.1848) is the ancestor of Bev. Smith's husband and she has passed on her data, but I would also like to record the descendants of Aubrey James, Ambrose, and Rachel Wright. (Lyn!)

I must reiterate that the above is from information from others; I personally have not resourced the documental evidence, and I apologise if I have got it wrong!.
(Blenheim, New Zealand, first written in 2001.)

by lollyrock Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2017-07-03 10:39:40

lollyrock , from Born and raised in Adelaide South Australia. Now residing in New Zealand., has been a Family Tree Circles member since May 2015.

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by meeksie on 2018-08-14 06:42:20

Listed on the ship Essex with the Rockliffs was George Elliott - as I am of the Elliott family from Kirk Smeaton presume this George was a relation. U fortunately I can find no further details about him.

by lollyrock on 2018-08-15 09:36:41

Hello meeksie. No, sorry I cannot help you there....but yes, being from Kirk Smeaton does make it sound like there could be a connection. I'll check to see on Rockliff family trees, if I can spot George Elliott being perhaps the son of a Rockliff daugher married to an Elliott - but don't know if I do have that detailed information.

by Alison_Southward on 2020-03-03 21:33:20

Henry Rockliff (1781-1861), son of Francis Rockliff and Mary Dawson, married Mary Anne Elliott (1793-1857) and is my husband's 4th x gt grandfather.

by lollyrock on 2022-09-01 09:27:04

Hello Alison. Perhaps the George Elliot mentioned by Meeksie above, must have been a nephew or g,nephew of Mary Anne Elliott ?!

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