Elizabeth Stokes and Joseph Genders

Elizabeth Stokes is the earliest known ancestor of this family, although there has been much conjecture about her origins. There are two versions of Elizabeth's arrival in Australia. While there is agreement as to the ship, the Glatton, one camp relates that Elizabeth arrived with a daughter Ann aboard ship, the other that Elizabeth arrived alone and that Ann was born on Norfolk Island, the daughter of Elizabeth and Joseph Genders.

Judy Summers has recorded that Elizabeth Stokes was "...sentenced at Warwick, England on 28 March 1802 to seven years transportation."1 According to Susan McKenzie on the Convict Records website, Elizabeth "...stole some calico (fabric) from a shop."2

Between March and September 1802 Elizabeth was either in prison or on one of the hulks as Elizabeth arrived in New South Wales aboard the Glatton which sailed from England 23 September 1802. The ship visited Rio and arrived in Sydney on the 11 March 1803. The ship's commander was James Colnett and besides cargo, she was carrying 385 convicts and 24 adult passengers and their children.3 Her arrival was reported in Sydney Gazette on 12 March 1803:

Yesterday, shortly before our paper went to press, arrived within the heads His Majesty's ship GLATTON, commanded by Capt COLNETT, from England, with prisoners of both sexes. Capt Colnett saw a ship the day before he got in, which he supposes to have been the BRIDGEWATER, whose arrival may be hourly expected.4

A further report on 19 March 1803 revealed greater detail about the journey:

On Sunday last anchored in the Cove, His Majesty's Ship Glatton, James Colnett, Esq Commander, with Prisoners from England, from whence she sailed the 23rd of September last. In her way she put into Rio de Janeiro to refresh. She left England with 270 male and 135 female prisoners - seven of the former and five of the latter died, brought upwards of 30 Free Settlers, Eight Pieces of Heavy Ordnance, and a quantity of Ordnance Stores. The day before she got into the Cove 100 weak people were taken out, and put on board the Supply. 50 of the most ailing were soon after sent on shore to the General Hospital, where every attention was paid them. Their complaints were slightly scorbutic, of which they are recovering very fast.5

The accepted early history of Elizabeth Stokes is outlined in the following summary sent to Shirley McKellar from Jeanette Henshaw:

Elizabeth was born in Warwickshire around 1780 (the exact date and place are unknown). She was convicted in Warwick on 23rd March 1802 and received a 7 year sentence. She was transported to Sydney 23rd Sept 1802 on board the "HMS Glatton" which arrived on 11th March 1803. Between March 1803 and June 1803 she was sent to Norfolk Island on the "Lady Julianna".6

Jeanette Henshaw's account continues:

She married Joseph Genders on the 26th June 1803 (sic). The Rev Henry Fulton performed the ceremony according to the Church of England rites Joseph was born in 1771 in Staffordshire. Joseph was born about 1771 and was convicted in Stafford on 30th July 1788 and sent to Sydney on the "Matilda" (3rd fleet) for seven years transportation. The 1805 muster of Norfolk Island shows Elizabeth and Joseph as settlers from convicts, self supporting (ie, off stores) with a child Ann who was born in 1803 on Norfolk Island.7

Marriage Registration of Joseph Genders and Elizabeth Stokes

Marriage Registration of Joseph Genders and Elizabeth Stokes
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

As can be seen from the certificate Elizabeth and Joseph were married on 20 June 1803.

Joseph, Elizabeth and Ann boarded the "City of Edinburgh" bound for the Derwent settlement in Van Diemen's Land on 3 September 1808, arriving in Hobart on 2 October 1808.8

There is no entry in the General Muster of 1809 for either Joseph or Elizabeth although there were other Norfolk Island settlers in the list. In the Return of Men who have been Convicts and are at present in Hobart Town, Norfolk Island and Port Dalrymple, 1811 Joseph Genders is recorded as Joseph Jenders of the Matilda, convicted at Stafford and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. Irene Schaffer has added Gender/Jul 1788 in the remarks.9 Elizabeth Stokes also appears on this return as Elizabeth Stokes of the Glatton, convicted in Mar 1788 in Warwick and sentenced to 7 years transportation. Irene Schaffer has added [Mar 1802] in the remarks.10

Joseph Jenders (sic) was included in a list of Signatures of Inhabitants of Hobart Town for Establishment of a Criminal Court at Hobart Town in 1815.11

For the General Muster of Free Men, Hobart Town, compiled between 7 September and 2 October 1818, Joseph was recorded as Joseph Genders of the Matilda, sentenced at Stafford to 7 years transportation. He was off victuals so was not receiving any government stores.12 Elizabeth was recorded as E. Jenders, nee Stokes, wife of Joseph Jenders and off victuals.13

Between 11 October and 16 October 1819 a Land muster was compiled with Clarence Plains residents required to attend District Constable Kimberley's property to lodge their details. Joseph Jenders was shown to be farming 30 acres, 24 of which were in pasture, 5 were growing wheat, with another two half acres devoted to beans and potatoes respectively. Joseph owned 120 sheep, was married with one child, as well as a government servant.14

Follow up reference to Ann Jenders on the 1819 muster...

In February 1820 Joseph was involved in boating accident on the Derwent which must have been quite traumatic for him:

Within the last two years we have had occasion to record several fatal accidents occurring on the Derwent by the upsetting of boats, whereby a number of fellow creatures have been unfortunately drowned. Our attention is now again called to another unhappy instance. On Monday afternoon last a small ferry-boat, the property of James Orman, one of the ferrymen between Hobart Town and Kangaroo Point, left this side of the river for the opposite shore, having in her two passengers, named Richard Brown and Joseph Genders. It appears that the boat had safely reached Kangaroo Bay, and that the melancholy event happened within 30 yards only of the landing, under the following circumstances. The owner of the boat, who it seems was intoxicated, while in the act of taking down the sail rather hastily, unfortunately fell overboard; and Brown, who was also in a state of inebriation, instantly endeavoured by reaching over the side of the boat to prevent Orman from sinking; but instead of this, the poor fellow himself fell headlong out of the boat, causing it to upset, and the other passenger to be precipitated into the water. Orman and Brown instantly disappeared, but in a few minutes after rose to the level of the water, close alongside of the boat, which was keel upwards. Genders being perfectly sober, immediately used every exertion in his power to keep them above water, in the hope that he might save their lives till another boat could come to their assistance; but they being so very helpless, his efforts were of no effect, and they were both unfortunately drowned, not withstanding one of them was esteemed a good swimmer. The survivor having made the shore, speedily procured a boat and some persons for the purpose of finding the bodies, which were shortly afterwards picked up, and were the next day brought to town, where an Inquest was held on the occasion.15

In March 1820 Joseph was reported as providing meat to the Government Stores:

Commissariat Office, March 24th, 1820.

LIST of Persons from whom Supplies of Meat will be received at His Majesty's Magazines in Van Diemen's Land for the ensuing Quarter.

AT HOBART Town:-.... [June] 10- William Bunster, Esq. 1500, William Coventry 750, Philip Pitt 1000, Richard Pitt 1000, William Parsons 750, E. M. Mack 750, Joseph Genders 500...16

On 21 May 1821 a Joseph Jonders was included on a List of Debts Due from Individuals to H. M. Government at Hobart Town. His debt was 19 shillings and six pence.17

Joseph was included in a Muster of Free Men at Hobart Town in 1822: Joseph Genders, free by servitude, arrived in the colony (of New South Wales) in 1791 after being sentenced to 7 years transportation in Stafford.18

There seems to be some issue with the entry for Elizabeth as according to the record Elizabeth Stokes, free by servitude, arrived aboard the Lady Juliana, 1790.19 Irene Schaffer has written Ann Stokes (who had married Humphrey Lynch) in the remarks but in actual fact Elizabeth did take the Lady Juliana to Norfolk Island and so may have confused vessels. If this is Ann then Elizabeth doesn't seem to be represented. As a final twist with this muster an Ann Genders is recorded in the list as being born in the colony.20

Joseph doesn't reappear in the historical record until another 4 years later when he advertised a reward for lost or stolen sheep:

STOLEN or Strayed, from my Farm, near Kangaroo Point, on Wednesday) the 1st Inst. 55 SHEEP ; some with a notch in the front of the right ear. and others with a notch in the back of the same ear.-A REWARD or FORTY DOLLARS will be paid by me to any Person who may enable me to recover the said Sheep ; or, if Stolen, the same Reward will be given to any Person who will give such Information, as may be the Means of the Offenders being prosecuted.


In 1827 the death of Mrs. Genders was reported in the Colonial Times, but this was the wife of William Genders who had also arrived in Hobart Town on the City of Edingburgh:

Deaths - On Tuesday afternoon, Thomas Speake, the well-known old Yorkshire man the proprietor of those valuable premises opposite the new Police Office - Same Night, in consequence of her clothes taking fire, Mrs. Genders, of Cascade-road, a Norfolk Islander. It is a lamentable fact, that both of the above individuals met their death from the effects of drinking.22

In July 1829 an auction was held “the 14th Instant, at 12 o'clock, one Mile from Kangaroo Point, on the Farm adjoining Joseph Jenders” a rough indication of where the property was in relation to modern day Clarence.23 A further advertisement in September 1829 also mentioned the Genders land

Richmond P. D.. Clarence Plains, Petchey John, 1000 acres, on the north of the Coal River road behind farms to Mrs. Jenders, rent commencing 1st instant.24

Elizabeth Ginders (sic) was buried on 10 September 1835 at Kangaroo Point aged 55, a farmer's wife and a free woman.25 No cause of death was recorded.

Burial Registration of Elizabeth Genders

Burial Registration of Elizabeth Genders
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

In January 1836 Joseph Jenders (sic) was fined for not registering his dog:

Hobart Town Police Report.
January 15, 1835.

Joseph Jenders was fined 10s. and costs, for not having registered his dog.26

Joseph Genders was buried on 12 February 1838 in the Clarence District. Joseph was also known by the surnames of Jenders or Jinders. Ironically, Robert Knopwood who was the minister for both Joseph and Elizabeth’s burials, appears shortly after in the same burial register.27

Burial Registration of Joseph Genders

Burial Registration of Joseph Genders
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

  • 1. Summers, Judith: Facsimile Correspondence
  • 2. Convict Records: Elizabeth Stokes; http://www.convictrecords.com.au/convicts/stokes/elizabeth/123414
  • 3. Bateson, Charles: The convict ships, 1787-1868; Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1985, 1969
  • 4. Sydney Gazette 12 March 1803
  • 5. "REMAINDER OF SHIP NEWS." The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) 19 Mar 1803: 4. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625464.
  • 6. Jeanette Henshaw on 7 Jun 2000
  • 7. Jeanette Henshaw on 7 Jun 2000
  • 8. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [Appendix II: Fifth Embarkation p. 226]
  • 9. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 6:2a, p. 67]
  • 10. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 6:2b, p. 76]
  • 11. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 7:7a, p. 87]
  • 12. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 8:3a, p. 106]
  • 13. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 8:3b, p. 121]
  • 14. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 9:2, p. 138]
  • 15. "No title." The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821) 12 Feb 1820: 1. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article657576.
  • 16. "GOVERNMENT NOTICE." The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821) 13 May 1820: 1. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article657908.
  • 17. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 10:6, p. 169]
  • 18. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 11:1, p. 181]
  • 19. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 11:2, p. 203]
  • 20. Schaffer, Irene (Ed.): Land Musters, Stock Returns and Lists; St. David's Park Publishing [List 11:2, p. 198]
  • 21. "Classified Advertising." Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 - 1827) 10 Mar 1826: 1. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2447374.
  • 22. "Answer to E.A. W.'s Rehus." Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 - 1827) 7 Sep 1827: 3. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2450854.
  • 23. "Advertising." Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) 10 Jul 1829: 1. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8644375.
  • 24. "Classified Advertising." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 19 Sep 1829: 2. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4213674.
  • 25. TAHO Burial Registration RGD 1835/4232
  • 26. "Hobart Town Police Report." Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) 19 Jan 1836: 7. Web. 17 Mar 2015; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8648844.
  • 27. TAHO Burial Registration RGD 1838/5619



John Horton
John Horton's picture
Ann Stokes and Humphrey Lynch

There have been spurious associations linking Elizabeth Stokes with Ann Stokes, a convict who arrived in New South Wales aboard the “Lady Juliana” in 1790. Both women were from Warwickshire, both were convicted and sentenced to transportation, and both were subsequently sent to Norfolk Island. On the island Ann married Humphrey Lynch, a convict who had arrived in New South Wales aboard the Alexander as part of the first fleet, while as already reported Elizabeth married Joseph Genders.

Some websites are reporting that Elizabeth Stokes was in fact the daughter of Ann Stokes but there is no historical material to support that assertion. There are secondary sources however which paint conflicting reports about both of these families. According to C. J. Smee in the Pioneers Register Ann and Humphrey had two daughters, Ann and Elizabeth. According to Schaffer and McKay the couple were childless.1 However, after Ann’s death on 26 February 1816 Humphrey Lynch committed suicide on 28 December 1816, and the newspaper report of the event mentions a daughter living at Kangaroo Point:

On Saturday morning last as a man of the name of Dennis Geary a settler, near New-town, was going through the woods on his way to Hobartown, he discovered a quantity of sheep without a shepherd; on examination of which, he found they were belonged to an old man that lodged in his house of the name of Humphrey Lynch, and who had the same morning gone out as usual with his sheep to graze. Geary after a length of time in search of Lynch, went to his neighbour (James Williams) to relate the circumstance, who accompanied him the whole of that day in quest of the absconded shepherd, but returned home unsuccessful except finding Lynch's dog. The sagacity of the animal having excited the attention of Williams, he humanely started off the following morning (Sunday) at 4 o'clock in hopes of discovering Lynch, when after a search of two hours he perceived the unhappy man suspended by his neck with two silk handkerchiefs to a limb of a tree, not 20 yards from the spot the dog was found the previous evening. On this unfortunate discovery, Williams immediately went to Geary, and dispatched him to town with disaster of Lynch; he then returned back to watch the corpse till it was removed, where he had not been many minutes before one of the hankerchiefs to which he was suspended rent asunder and the body fell to the ground - the body was conveyed to the Jolly Sailor, in Liverpool Street, for a Coroner's inquest; and on Wednesday Afternoon the inquest was held, when the jury, after a short deliberation returned a verdict -- suicide. We understand he had previously bequeathed his sheep, &c. to a daughter living at Kangaroo point.2

These associations will be followed up and this comment updated with any relevant information.

  • 1. Schaffer and McKay: Exiled Three Times Over; pp. 14-15
  • 2. 1817 'Hobart Town; SATURDAY, JANUARY 4, 1817.', The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), 4 January, p. 1. , viewed 26 Mar 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651835