This website is primarily concerned with the early years of Australian, and in particular Tasmanian history, as described on the About Us page. For the principle families see the Books page. If you're looking for something specific use the Search function, and if you wish to reproduce material from this website see the Copyright Guidelines page for further information. Use the Contact Us form to get in touch, or view our Website Registration, Privacy and Site Updates page for details on how to get more out of this website.

Recent Posts Preview

Lydia Harnett and Henry Webb

Friday, 27 July.
Sarah Ann Smith, complained of Constable Rogers having assaulted her, under the following circumstances : - It appeared that a daring burglary had been lately committed, at the house of Doctor Fowler, in Macquarie street, out of which a quantity of jewellery was stolen and a warrant obtained to search the house of Mr. Henry Webb, who lives in the neighbourhood, but at which place, no stolen property was found. Rogers, who executed the warrant, observing the complainant leaving Mr. Webb's house, followed her, and requested to know what she had with her, and examined a parcel she had in her hand, and, also a pair of bracelets she had on her arm, and then allowed her to depart. A summons was granted for Rogers' appearance, to answer the charge. 1

Eliza Waterman

Eliza "Waterman" was a convict; arriving on board the ship Hydery in 1832, after having been convicted of "stealing from the person" and sentenced to seven years transportation. Also on board the Hydery with Eliza, was her seven year old son, William Powell jnr. 1 Extensive research has revealed that Eliza "Waterman" was in fact, Elizabeth (aka Eliza) Mary Smith, daughter of John Smith and Mary Waterman of Oake in Somersetshire, England. Eliza having been baptised on 30 April 1806 and with an older brother William baptised earlier on 5 July 1804. 2

  • 1. TAHO - Conduct record - image #322
  • 2. Ancestry : Somerset Heritage Service; Taunton, Somerset, England; Somerset Parish Records, 1538-1914; Reference Number: D\P\Oake/2/1/3

William Powell jnr and Mary Ann Browne

William jnr, reportedly aged 25 (actually aged 28) married Mary Ann Brown, reportedly aged 20, at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Hobart on 7 September 1853. The witnesses were John and Ellen Degan. 1

The origins of Mary Ann Brown(e) have not been positively confirmed, although family lore is that she was an Irish famine orphan and refugee who arrived in VDL circa 1851 at the speculated age of 17, from Limerick in Ireland. The search continues ...

Eliza Atkins and John Perkins

Eliza Jane Atkins was born on 3 February 1852, and baptised on 21 March 1852, in the Horton district of Tasmania, the eighth child of Samuel Atkins and Jane Ayres, and their fourth daughter.1 Eliza's parents had emigrated from Norfolk, England just over a decade earlier on the Van Diemen's Land Company expedition of the Emu.

When Eliza was 16 she married John Thomas Perkins on 11 May 1868, again in the Horton district. Both could sign their names in the register. John was recorded as a farmer and Eliza as a spinster. The witnesses were George Eastman and Elizabeth Atkins.2 A John Thomas Perkins was born on 12 January 1850, also in the Horton district, the son of Samuel Perkins and Ellen Hanson, but he has been found not to be the same individual that married Eliza Atkins. In the first instance, John stated his age as 20 when he married Eliza, making his birth year 1848. Secondly, for most of the births of his children John's father registered the event, and he was almost always referred to as James Perkins, not Samuel. A Perkins family descendant, Georgina Cotter, has revealed John's actual origins.

  • 1. TAHO Birth Registration RGD 1852/236 and TAHO Baptism Registration NS 884/14 no 206
  • 2. TAHO Marriage Registration RGD37/1/27 no 345

Arnott family beginnings ....

Thomas Arnott was born in 1781, possibly the son of William Arnott and Mary Quantock who lived in the parish of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate. Thomas lived in a very dire period of London's history where unemployment was exceptionally high and people would do just about anything to acquire a meal.

By the time he was nineteen, Thomas was 5' 6” tall and described as being of dark complexion with brown hair and dark eyes and had completed his apprenticeship as a watchmaker. 1

In July of 1800. Thomas was indicted on three felony charges -

Indictment 85 # 1 - Thomas Arnott from New Prison convicted by N Conant Esq on Oath of Temperance Wife of John Legge for Stealing 4 Loaves of Bread value 10d.
Indictment 2 - Detained on Oath of Alice Wynne for Stealing a Cotton Gown value 10d. her property - dated July 7 1800
Indictment 3d. Detained on Oath of Sarah Welch for Stealing a Cotton gown value 10d. her property - dated July 7 1800
(also Sessions of Peace, Middlesex) 2

  • 1. Tipping : Convicts Unbound
  • 2. UK National Archives : Central Criminal Court - HO77 - Newgate Prison Calendar