Genealogy Wise

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I am able to do look-ups for convict related informtion, mostly NSW.

I have copies of
  1. Lesley Uebel's Convict Anthology
  2. The  Mechant's Women  (Elizabeth Rushden)- story of the Bussorah Merchant passengers
  3. The Boxbourbury and the Emu (Elizabeth Hook) - story of 2 convict transports and passengers
  4. Catholics in Early Sydney
  5. Barefoot and pregnant - anthology of Irish famine orphans.
  6. The Convicts and Exiles transported from Ireland  1791 to 1820 (James Donoghue)
  7. 1828 census
  8. Pioneer Registers for Parramatta, Maitland, Minmi, Cessnock, Brisbane Waters,  and the Hunter Valley
  9. Cemetery registers for Mays Hill, Old and New Wallsend, Minmi, Stockton and Maitland
  10. Notorious Strumpets : lists of women transported to Tasmania

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Rosie

John Clear (b1812 Kings County Ireland) received 7 yeras for assault in c1834 and arrived sydney on the Royal Admiral 1835. TOL 1839 and pardon in 1841. Can you confirm through your records. Trying to find out where he was from 1835 - 1841 and then from 1841-1849. He married at Gouldurn 1850. Sometime I believe he was in the Hunter Region around Singleton.


Chris Horgan
Clear, John 1835 arrived Royal Admiral from Kings Co sentenced 1834 to 7 years, aged 22, Ticket of Leave number 39/788.
He was sentenced for Assault grievous, was single and a farm Servant .

He received a TOL Passport (a copy of which you can order
CLEAR John - Royal Admiral 1835 40/074 3 Mar 1840 39/0788 [4/4239] 967 On the application of Mr Grose

He received his Ticket of freedom in December 1841 and it was in the Sydney Newspaper (see link )

Can't find a link to Singleton, but it might be worth getting a copy of the Ticket of Leave which will give location

Hi again Chris.
I found a newspaper reference to your John CLEAR ( ) refering to a Ticket of Leave issued in 1839 for County Durham - Invermein, i.e. Scone in the Hunter Valley
Hi Rosie,

For me that is great news. I have 4 NSW convict ancestors, and as I live in Melbourne, a lot of research has been difficult for me. I have some other books that I will list that may be of use to other's when I can gather them together. I will probably get back to you when the need arises.
My convicts names were:
James Lefroy
Olive King
John Roberts
Sophia Lawrence (nee Chapman)

Many thanks for this group and your offer

how can I help you?
Hi Rosie,

Two of my GGG Grandparents were convicts, both sent to NSW. The first was:

John ROBERTS, (b. 1817) from Birmingham, convicted at the Warrick Assizes for stealing goods in April 1836. He came to Australia aboard the "Prince George" on 23 March 1837, and was assigned to John S. Ferriter at Patrick Plains. I am unsure what his occupation would have been. He was given a ticket of leave in 1844 (MM), but this was reversed when he was declared insane in 1848, (MM) and he died at the "Parramatta Lunatic Assylum" (Formerly the Parramatta Female Factory) in 1849 (NSW BDM V1849739 34B/1849)

In 1842 he was refused permission to marry Sophia LAWRENCE (nee Chapman) on the grounds that she was already married to William Lawrence of Cambridgeshire.

Sophia LAWRENCE was sentenced in Cambridge in January 1837, and arrived in Australia in December 1837 on the ship "Henry Wellesley". I cannot find what her crime was; nor to whom she was assigned once in the Colony. Neither can I find her Ticket of Leave or Pardon.

Regardless of the refusal for them to marry, they had two [illigitimate] children; Mary Ann ROBERTS [n.d.] and John William ROBERTS (1845-1921) [my GG Grandfather] born in West Maitland on 24 August 1845.

In the same year John ROBERTS died, 1849, Sophia married a Charles DICKS [whom I know nothing about] at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in West Maitland.

So my questions are:
1. What happened to John Roberts to have him declared insane, and is it possible to find records of his treatment and death at the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum?

2. How did John and Sophia meet? and what were their duties?

3. How is it that Sophia could not marry John Roberts, but could marry Charles Dicks?

Difficult? but questions that play on my mind constantly!

Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated

Regards from Linda
1.I found a reference to John getting in trouble for stealing from his empoyer in 1846
There are a few mentions of John Roberts in the Maitland Mercury around the decade, but as it is a fairly common name I'm not 100% sure that it is your man. The offences range from perjury to theft.
Paramatta Lunatic Asylum records are kept at the NSW State Archives -western Sydney\Agency\62\Series\Creating

2. I can find Sophia on the list of convicts to Port Jackson, but nothing more than you already know.

3. Women who were married were not permitted to remarry in Australia for 7 years. it seems to have been common practice that if a couple had been parted for 7 years with no possibility of reuniting, then remarriage was permitted. Although male convicts could have their families shipped out to join them at the goverment expense- after they had earned a ticket of leave, female convicts were never allowed that option. As the woman could not return home, and the husband could not come to Australia, re-union was impossible.
Your Sophia left England in 1837, and in 1842 she was only here 5 years when she applied to marry.

I can't find Charles Dick on any of my data bases and reference lists, sorry.

Not much help, I'm afraid.
Hi Rosie,

They were tricky questions that I had not been able to answer myself, but having access to the Lunatic Asylum Records will be great!

And I had not thought about the "7 year rule" that applies to marriages, so that does answer two of my questions - I don't thnk Charles Dcks was a convict, just a third husband! - Maybe she met John early on and went by the name of Roberts from 1937 onwards; they did arrive close together? and maybe the spelling was "Laurence" ? - something I just thought of and will look into later.

So actually you were a great help and many thanks for your time and effort.

I have many common names in my family; Roberts, Morgan, Smith, Johnson, Jones, so It does become difficult differentiating one from the other - something exotic along the way would have been nice!

Cheers from Linda

Oh - just two more things... found a newspaper clipping from the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 29 Jul 1876.. where Sophia Beard gave witness on the death of someone ... her statement begins with "I am matron of the Benevolent Asylum, West Maitland".

Thats where she died...  so they may have some info as well

In the same paper on 13 Oct 1847, a John Roberts a patient at a convalescent hospital (doesnt say where but assume Newcastle) assisted police in connection with a robbery..

Hi Linda

I too am researching John Roberts & Sophie Chapman...  couple of things i've discovered...  

  • Mary Ann was born in 1849 - so conception could of been in 1848 dont know what day/month she was born as yet
  • Sophie married Charles Dicks 2nd Nov 1849
  • John Roberts died on 29 October 1849

Could Mary Ann be Charles daughter...  am trying to get some records from NSW archives to see if they can give admission dates...  and reasons for admission...  John must of still been with Sophia in 1848 for her to fall pregnant and give birth in 1849.- or maybe not maybe she conceived in did Charles Dicks emerge on the scene?  seems stranged that all 3 things happened that year...and 2 of the events within 5 days of each other

On Mary Janes and John Cliftons marriage cert the witness was Charles Dix.. they married 24 Dec 1865

The application to marry was refused in 1844 - that was 7 years from Sophia's arrival which was 1837 - maybe because the Henry Wellesley didnt actual disembark until 3 January 1838..

Have obtained burial cert for John but only gives date of death, where buried and age...  nothing else and there is no death cert on NSW BDMs.   Will order Mary Janes birth cert now ...

Kind regards

Thanks for your generous offer - it will certainly be of great assistance to those of us with lots of convicts in our trees.
Hi Rosie
This should get the ball rolling with all that info

thank you for your generous offer to the people here on GW






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