George Rayner and Mary Pyers

George Rayner was the second son of William Rayner and Elizabeth Goldsmith. He was born on Norfolk Island on 15 March 1794.1 William and Elizabeth separated about 1796 so when George and his brother William were baptised on 20 May 1804, it was under the surname of their step-father and Elizabeth's new partner, Robert Jones.2 It is not known at this point how and when George arrived in Van Diemen's Land. George may have been using the name George Jones, if we use the same conjecture applied to his brother William. Louis Daniels reports that William "was probably the William Jones, single, who sailed from Norfolk Island to the Derwent on the Estramina on 15 May 1808, aged 15."3 George was only 13 and we can only assume remained with his mother and step-father. According to Michael Flynn Elizabeth Jones (formerly Rayner, nee Goldsmith) "sailed for Sydney with (Robert) Jones in July 1809",4 so perhaps we can suggest that George sailed from Sydney for Hobart sometime within the next few years of that date.

George first appears in the Tasmanian Historical records as a successful farmer by 1817, using the name of his biological father William Rayer, and supplying the Stores with 800 lbs of fresh meat, 36 bushels of wheat, and a second tender of 500 lbs of meat.5 That same year he advertised that he was leaving the colony in the ship, Harriet, and requested all claimants to present themselves.6 George Rayner, age 22, free by birth in New South Wales, ultimately left on the ship Henrietta Packet on 25 June 1817 'bound for Port Dalrymple'.7 He was back in Hobart on 20 November 1819 when he married Mary Pyers, aged 16, daughter of Samuel Pyers, a convict sentenced in London on 1791, who arrived on the Active, recorded as Spiers, and Sarah Johnson. Mary too was a Norfolk Islander, born there on 17 September 1803. George's father, William Rayner, was the witness to the marriage.8 The Pyers family, with three children, Mary, Richard and a third unnamed infant, came to the Derwent on the City of Edinburgh in September 1808, and took up a land grant at New Town. In 1820 George continued supplying the commissariat with quantities of meat. According to the B. W. Bray, the Tasmanian State Librarian, in a query regarding William Rayner:

It appears that William Rayner junr and George Rayner had property in the vicinity of Russell's Falls, New Norfolk district and at one stage were virtually in partnership. In the tender lists for meat for the last quarter of 1820 they were bracketed together and, commenting on their tender of 4000 pounds of meat, Assistant Commissary-General Hull stated: "I have put them both together; they did not supply in the last list and they possess cattle sufficient to meet three times the quantity...."9

George and Mary's first child was Robert Rayner, born on 9 June 1822 in Hamilton under the name Robert Hillier Rayner. Robert was christened on 4 July 1822 at St. David's Church in Hobart.10 The use of the name Hillier as a middle name, also recorded as Hallier and Halyer, is a feature of every child's name in this family, as it was with George and Mary's second child, George Hallier Rayner, was born on 14 July 1824 in Hamilton.11 On 14 May 1825 George petitioned for an additional 360 acres to be granted to him that were marked at Hotel Point, opposite the mouth of the River Clyde. He stated that he was a free settler of Russell Falls, had been living in the district for nine years, and was "now struggling for the support of a crippled wife and two children". His postal address is given as care of William Rayner, Hobart Town. He was granted the land but it was not located specifically where he wanted it.12

George and Mary's third child was their first daughter. Elizabeth Hallier Rayner was born on 4 September 1826 in the New Norfolk district. Elizabeth's birth date is often reported as 26 September 1826 as that is the date stated on a much later baptism registration. As the first date was recorded just two years after the event it is presumed to be the more likely candidate. Elizabeth was baptised 7 January 1828 in St. Matthew's Church in New Norfolk.13 Their fourth child was another daughter except this time they used an alternative middle name. Maria Alice Rayner was born on 31 October 1828 in Hamilton. Maria was christened in St. Matthew's Church in New Norfolk on 12 May 1833.14 Even so, much later, Maria was known as Maria Hallier Rayner. The Rayner Family Correspondance Folder in the Archives Office of Tasmania includes a paper with Maria's birth date as 4 May 1833 but this is an error. The issue of variable date reporting is also noted in the case of William Hallier Rayner, born on 13 August 1831 in Hamilton. William was baptised on 16 March 1833 in Hobart.15 His birth date for a much later baptism was recorded as 30 August 1831, again the earliest registration is assumed correct. In early 1833 then the Rayner family comprised George (38), Mary (29), Robert (10), George(8), Elizabeth (6), Maria (4) and William (2).

Their sixth child and third daughter, Mary Hallier Rayner, was born on 7 October 1833 in Hamilton, again according to a much later baptism record.16 George is recorded as a farmer for all the children's births and baptism, and yet on 26 July 1834 he wrote to the Chief Police Magistrate recommending along with several others, that a Division Constable be appointed between New Norfolk and A. McPherson's home 30 miles away. He applied for the position and this was approved by the Lieutenant Governor in the Executive Council, 8 August 1834.17 This is confirmed the following year in 1835 when George is on the Census Returns as a Division Constable for the district of New Norfolk.18

On 14 October 1835 George Rayner purchased land from The Crown in the Parish of Argyle. The amount is not given.19 George was expanding his work choices, his land holdings, and of course his family. His seventh child, Edward Hallier Rayner, was born on 18 June 1836 in Hamilton.20 Edward was followed by Janet Halyer Rayner, born on 26 November 1837 in Hamilton.21 In January 1838 George was receiving assignments of convicts as reported in the Hobart Town Courier.22 According to all state registration records that completes the family of George Rayner and Mary Pyers, but much later the marriage of an Isabella Halyer Rayner (with that unique middle name) lends credence to the potential for their to be a ninth child. From Isabella's age stated at marriage (18) she would have been born about 1839.

Steven Cook, a descendant of Isabella, has confirmed that she was in fact, George and Mary's ninth child -

I can confirm that Isabella Hayler Rayner is indeed the daughter of George Rayner and Mary Pyres. She is my great-great grandmother, but her background had proven for us a little bit elusive, due to vague and incorrect details on her daughter's (i.e. my great-grandmother's) death certificate (Catherine Isabella Arilla Moore). For a long time we didn't even have her correct surname. So it has taken us a little bit of time to connect to the Rayner family. But I have confirmed the connection via Ancestry DNA, with confirmed relatives with common descendants of William Rayner.

Essentially, we have worked out via newspaper articles on Trove, that Isabella was abandoned by her husband with two young daughters under three. She then died soon after, and her ex-partner appeared to shop the children around, trying to find people to look after them, but never really coming through with any money. Anyway, I guess that explains why my great-grandmother hadn't ever really passed on the right details to her children for them to provide on her death certificate, but we got there in the end!

Anyway, in short I can confirm Isabella is indeed George and Mary Pyres 9th child. Her daughter (my great-grandmother) moved to NSW and married William Cook, a kiwi by birth, mounted policeman in the central-west of NSW, and later postmaster. She had 15 children of her own, the youngest being my grandfather, who in turn had 10 children, so the number of people related to the Rayner family in Australia must be enormous! My grand-parents, if they were alive, would have 100+ great-grandchildren themselves. 23

George didn't live to see his children reach adulthood, he died on 12 October 1840 in Hobart Town from "bursting of a blood vessel", so presumably a stroke. His location in Hobart indicates he was either staying with family or an inpatient of the Hobart General Hospital, probably the former as death registrations usually note the location as the hospital if that is the case. He was recorded as aged 45, and a farmer. The informant was "W(illia)m Rayner Sen(io)r, Baker, Barrack St(reet)", proof that this was indeed the George Rayner who was born on Norfolk Island.24 The reason that this is even an issue is that a George Rayner had died the year before on 20 April 1839 in Hobart Town, aged 45 and a farmer.25 There is really no way to choose between the two deaths from the indexes, but as stated the actual registration confirms the latter as the correct event. The George Rayner who died in 1839 lived at Great Swan Port, and this is confirmed by an entry in the Hobart Town Gazette just six days after the man's death where a Robert Doctor was seeking administration of Rayner's estate as a "creditor of the said deceased". He had arrived in the colony as a convict aboard the Medway, arriving in Hobart Town on 13 March 1821.26 He was employed by a Mr. Meredith and had 200 pounds of capital but was refused when he applied for a land grant as he didn't arrive as a free person.27 With George's death confirmed as occurring on 12 October 1840, the claim in the Rayner Family Correspondance Folder that on 19 April 1840 notice was given to the Society of Friends that George Rayner had died at Hobart Town, aged 45, had to be investigated, and sure enough the minutes were dated 19 November 1840, as follows:

Burial Note for George Rayner of Fairy Dale in the District of Hamilton 8. Permission having been given for the internment of George Rayner (not a member) in Friends Burial Ground at Hobart Town, a Burial note for that individual was brought in; he being a farmer at Fairy Dale in the District of Hamilton, Aged 45 years and 7 months, who died the 12th day of the 10th Month 1840, and was interred on the 15th of the same.28

Society of Friends Burial Note for George Rayner
Society of Friends Burial Note for George Rayner
Reproduced Courtesy of the University of Tasmania Special Collections

George died intestate (without a will) so his wife Mary submitted a request for letters of administration:

In the Administration of George Rayner - with the Will annexed. Citation to Mary Rayner, Widow and Relict, Dated October 15th, 1840, Returnable November 9th, 1840. Letters of Administration were granted by the Court to the said Mary Rayner dated 9th December, 1840, upon her giving the usual bond of which a copy follows: In the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land. Be it known unto all men by these presents that on the Ninth day of December in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and forty the Last Will and Testament of George Rayner of Fairy Dale in the District of Hamilton in Van Diemen's Land, Farmer, deceased, a true copy whichof is hereunto annexed was exhibited and proved before this Honourable Court and that Administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights, credits and effects of the said deceased within the said Island of Van Diemen's Land and it's Dependencies was and is hereby committed unto Mary Rayner of Fairy Dale aforesaid Widow of the said Deceased, she having been first duly sworn that she will well and truly perform the said Will by paying first the debts of the said Deceased and then the Legacies therein bequeathed so far as the Estate will thereunto extend and the Law bind her and that she will well and truly Administer all and singular the goods and chattels, rights, credits and effects of the said Deceased and also make and exihibit unto this Honourable Court a full, true and perfect Inventory of all and every the Goods and Chattels, rights, Credits and Effects of the said deceased on or before the Ninth day of June One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty One and render a true Account of her Administration on or before the Ninth day of December in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and forty one and afterwards from time to time as she shall be lawfully required. And further that she believes that the Goods, Chattels, rights, Credits and Effects of or belonging to the said deceased in Van Diemen's Land and it's Dependancies at the time of his death did not exceed in value the sum of One Thousand Five Hundred Pounds. Given under my hand and the Seal of the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land at Hobart Town aforesaid the day and year first above written. By the Court, W. Sorell, Registrar.29 George's will is still being transcribed.

His widow Mary was the beneficiary of his will, her address being "Fairy Dale", Hamilton. The assets were not in excess of 1500 pounds, and the executors were his wife, Mary, his father, William Rayner, William Watchorn of Hobart, merchant, and Robert Caldwell, general dealer.30 The month after George's death his eldest son Robert Hallier Rayner married Mary Ann Luarence (according to the register but Mary Ann was mostly styled Lawrence) on 10 November 1840 in Hamilton. Robert was recorded as aged 20 (he was just 18) and Mary Ann as aged 17, making her birth year about 1823. Robert was described as a Yeoman, Charles and Eliza Clarke were witnesses.31 In typical fashion for the family, both Edward and Janet Rayner were baptised and their births registered on the same day, 3 June 1841, in Hamilton. The family members were often baptised in groups, and multiple times.

Even while the younger ones were being given the holy rights, the older siblings were just beginning to move away, although in the case of Elizabeth Rayner perhaps not so old. Elizabeth Hallier Rayner, recorded as aged 15, married William Wrathall, aged 30, on 16 October 1841 in Hamilton.32 William was born about 1810 or 1811 in England, the son of Stephen Wrathall and Mary Ann Walker. William's brother Richard married Elizabeth Rayner's step-cousin Elizabeth Nichollias. They would go on to have five children, initially in Hamilton before they finally settled in Hobart.33 Looking after her large number of children as a sole parent didn't seem to slow Mary down. In August 1842 Mary Rayner was a signatory to an open letter addressed to John Forster backing his appointment as Assistant Police Magistrate.34 In November 1843 Mary was participating in advertising the stud fees of a young colt:

MATCH'EM.-This beautiful jet black powerful cart colt, three years old, will commence travelling on the 3rd October, from Mrs. Rayner's, Fairy Dale, near Hamilton, to Mr. Cresswell's, New Norfolk; from thence to Mr. Wilmore's, White's Hill, near Hamilton; then to F. T. Marsetti's, Esq., and return to Hamilton and the Woolpack Inn, and Mr. Elwin's, Bush Hotel, New Norfolk; from thence to Mr. Fenton's, and back to Mrs. Rayner's, aud remain two days; apd will continue this round every twelve days, if no accident happens. Terms-£2 5s each mare, by bill at three months, from the 1st of January, 1844.35

On 3 July 1844 George Rayner's estate was still being settled when an Agreement was sealed regarding 300 acres of land in Argyle Parish on the Derwent River that had been granted to him on 11 May 1837, giving ownership to Robert Rayner, the eldest son, now aged 22 and married to Mary Ann Lawrence, and to the trustees of his three younger brothers who were minors, George, William and Edward.36 On 12 June 1845 all the children of George and Mary Rayner were baptised (most of them for the second time) on the same day in Hamilton.37 It is this second registration which has contributed to most of the variable reporting around the children's birth and baptism dates.

Rayner Birth Registrations at Hamilton
Rayner Birth Registrations at Hamilton
Reproduced Courtesy of the Archives Office of Tasmania

To compound the issue of tracking this family, there was also variable spelling of both the surname (Rayner, Raynor), the middle name (Hallier, Hillier, Halyer), and the child's given name, such as Maria Hallier Rayner who was recorded as Marion Hallier Rayner when she died on 11 May 1846 in Hamilton at the recorded age of 17.38 Cause of death? The variation in George Rayner's marriage to Hannah Ransley was in his middle name which was recorded as Halyer. The event occurred on 5 October 1848 and was registered in Hobart, although according to some reports the event occurred in George's home in Glenora.39 Hannah was born on 23 October 1825 in Bilsington, Kent in England, the daughter of George Ransley and Elizabeth Bailey. Her father had been transported to Van Diemen's Land as a convict for smuggling, the leader in fact of the infamous Aldington smuggling gang. George and Hannah Rayner would have twelve children over the next 20 years, nearly all in the New Norfolk area where George worked planting hops in the Bushy Park.

Mary Rayner (nee Pyers), still a young woman of 45 although she stated she was 43, remarried to William George Spicer, aged 35, a farmer, on 27 February 1849 in St Mary's in Hamilton (also reported as Macquarie Plains), The witnesses were William Jarvis and Susannah Jones.40 William George Spicer had quite a colourful background, having been a member of the 7th Hussars, a cavalry regiment in the British Army. He forged his own pass and was subsequently tried for forgery and desertion in Canada in November 1839. He was sentenced to 14 years transportation and was sent back to England for his final journey to the colonies as a convict. He arrived in Van Diemen's Land in February 1841 aboard the Lord Lyndoch. Due to his military status and education he was appointed to the constabulary and apart from some minor misconduct re-established himself in the new society.41 William was conditionally pardoned in October 1847 and some eighteen months later married Mary Rayner (nee Pyers). Two years after that Mary's daughter Mary Hallier Rayner followed suit and married James Jackson on 22 April 1851 in St. Peter's Church in Hamilton.42 James was the son of William Jackson, and according to Brian Rieusset in his book "The Jacksons of Hamilton: a brief study of a pioneering family in Tasmania":

James Jackson's [first] wife Emma Louisa aged just 37 ... died in 1850 on 19 August from an inflammation of the intestines ... Eight months later, there took place an event of interest to us in Hamilton with the marriage ... of James Jackson, now aged 42, and Mary Hallier Rayner, aged just 17.43

Mary Spicer, formerly Rayner, nee Pyers, died on 7 December 1852 in Hamilton. The cause of death was recorded as influenza.44 Mary was only 49 when she died, unlike most of her siblings who lived into thier 80s. Mary was buried at St. Peters in Hamilton.45 The legacy of Mary's short life lay in the ongoing lives of her children. A Jessie Rayner, aged 21, married George Fenton Ranstay on 5 October 1853 in New Norfolk.46 It is believed this record represents the marriage of Janet Hallier Rayner to George Ransley Fenton. According to Louis Daniels, George Ransley Fenton's wife was Jessy Rayner, born 21 October 1832, the daughter of William Rayner and Sophia Cullen.47 The use of the middle name Halyer in the couples' descendants convinced me the latter arrangement was probably correct. George was born on 3 September 1832 in New Norfolk to Matilda Ransley and an unknown father.48 His birth was registered under the surname of Ransley but he assumed the surname of his mother's husband Charles Fenton who married on 6 May 1833 in New Norfolk.49 Janette Rayner and George Fenton would have an enormous family of 16 children, many with enigmatic middle names like Langdon Bennett, Eminergam, Reteena Patience, Alonzo and Edward Waterloo. Mary Hallier Jackson (nee Rayner) wasn't as fortunate as her sister, like the wife of James Jackson before her she died from Inflammation of the Stomach on 3 April 1856 in Hamilton. Mary had given birth to three children, and was aged 22.50 James Jackson remarried for a third time to Anne Browne on 8 August 1856 at St John the Baptist, Ouse.51 In July 1856 a number of the Rayners appeared in a list of persons entitled to be placed on the electoral roll for Cumberland, they were Rayner, James Halyer; Rayner, Edward Halyer and Rayner, William Halyer.52 In August 1856, on the electoral roll itself, they appeared as follows:

  • RAYNER Edward Halyer: Cherry Tree Point, River Derwent; Freehold Estate
  • RAYNER George Halyer: Fairydale, on the River Derwent; Freehold Estate
  • RAYNER William Halyer: Cherry Tree Bottom, River Derwent; Freehold Estate53

The marriage of an Isabella Halyer Rayner to Edward Moore on 8 June 1857 in Hobart suggests, as discussed earlier, that George and Mary Rayner may have had a ninth child.54 A confirmed descendant, William Hallier Rayner, married Charlotte Cooper the same year on 18 August 1857 in St. Peter's in Hamilton. James and Eliza Bryant were witnesses. William was recorded as William Halyer Raynor for the event.55 Charlotte was born on 14 February 1840 in Hamilton, the daughter of George Cooper and Anne Miller.56 The last of George and Mary's children to marry was Edward Hallier Rayner. As Edward Halyer Rayner he married Martha Willcox (or Wilcox) on 28 May 1859 in Hobart, so perhaps even the children were confused about the spelling of the middle name. In an unusual twist Edward was the younger of the couple at 22, while Martha was aged 30, making her birth year about 1829.57 They would have four children that have been traced. The potential ninth child of George and Mary, Isabella Halyer Moore (nee Rayner), died on 27 September 1863 in Goulburn street in Hobart at the recorded age of 23. Isabella was recorded as being born in Tasmania, an engineer's wife, and the cause of death was disease of the heart.58

On 27th instant, at her late residence in Goulbourn street, Isabella Halyer, wife of Edward Moore, aged 23 years, friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, which will take place from 83, Bathurst-street at 3pm, on Tuesday.59

In July 1868 George Halyer Rayner was a trustee on the Upper Derwent Road Trust, a position he maintained into the early 1870's.60 In March 1874 his farming activities were reported in The Mercury:

Mr. G. H. Raynor Mr. Raynor has eleven acres of hops within a short distance of Bushy Park, and close to the River Styx. He had 13 acres last year but grubbed two, and he says that if the prospects of the market do not improve, he will grub more this year. The average yield is expected to show a decrease on last season of some three hundred weight, about 12 hundred weight being the estimate. Irrigation is carried on from lagoons on the grounds, the water from which soaks into the earth, so that there is no necessity for any machinery. The decrease in acerage and yield will not necessitate so many pickers, and about 100 will be sufficient.61

In the 1870s there occur a number of records in relation to George and Mary's son Robert Rayner bound to confuse most researchers. Leanne Jefferis has kindly provided clarification in regard to these events. Initially on this site it was reported that the wife of Robert, Mary Ann Rayner (nee Lawrence), died on 4 March 1875 in Hobart.62 The following death notice records the death date as 3 March 1785, and Mary Ann's spouse as William Rayner which should have raised a red flag.

RAYNER. - On the 3rd March, 1875, Mary Ann, the beloved wife of William Rayner, after a long and painful illness. Her funeral will leave her late residence, 16, Colville-street, this (SATURDAY) MORNING, at half-past 10, when friends are respectfully invited to attend.63

In fact Mary Ann had emigrated to Victoria long before in the 1850s. According to family legend, Robert had attempted to realise a family fortune by emigrating to California during the gold rush but had been killed in the process. No evidence has been found to support that assertion. There is evidence to support that he had died however, as Mary Ann Rayner, a widow, married John Turner on 15 March 1853 in Geelong, Victoria. A William and Mary Ann Saunders were witnesses to the event.64 Mary Ann and John had two children before John Turner's untimely death on 20 October 1857 from Phthisis, or Tuberculosis, in Geelong, Victoria.65 Mary Ann's story continued however, as she entered into a relationship with Jonas Jeffers, or Jefferis, or Jeffreys, or Jeffries, and they had two children. Jonas had also been married before and already had six children so between them they must have had a large family. Mary Ann Turner and Jonas Jefferis married on 16 February 1863 in Geelong, Victoria.66 Again, misfortune struck when Jonas was killed on 24 August 1863 while Mary Ann was pregnant with their second child, when he fell from a dray he was driving and was crushed under the rear wheel as reported in the Argus a week later.67

GEELONG. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) THURSDAY. Aug. 27 A melancholy and fatal accident occurred near Modewarre, on Tuesday last, to a small farmer named Jonas Jeffreys. The deceased was coming into town with his bullock dray, sitting on the pole behind the two pole bullocks, when some sudden lurch or shock is supposed to have thrown him from his seat, and he fell under the near wheel, which passed over and along his body from the hip to the head, completely smashing one side, and causing, it is supposed, instant death. The deceased leaves a widow and large family poorly provided for. An inquest was held on tho body yesterday, and a verdict of accidental death was returned.68

Mary Ann's fate will be reported later but to conclude this discussion of the family of Robert Hallier Rayner there is also a report that records him as dying in November 1875, but no such death registration has ever been found.69 A Robert Rayner died on 30 October 1875 but he was the son of William Rayner and Charlotte Cooper, and obviously an infant, aged zero (actually 17 days).70 In a confirmed event, Elizabeth Hallier Wrathall (nee Rayner) died on 11 April 1891 in Hobart.71 Elizabeth was buried on 13 April 1891 in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart with her last address recorded as Brisbane Street.72 Elizabeth's husband William Wrathall died the following year on 14 May 1892 on the Queen's Domain in Hobart, from apoplexy with cardiac failur.73 Of the remaining family, Janette Rayner's husband George (Ransley) Fenton died on 8 October 1906 at Uxbridge, in the New Norfolk district.74

FENTON.—On October 9, 1906, at his residence, Western Uxbridge, George Fenton, the beloved husband of Janet Halyer Fenton, aged 74 years.75

George Hallier Rayner's wife Hannah Rayner (nee Ransley) died on 23 March 1908 at "The Rocks" in New Norfolk.76

RAYNER.-On March 23, at her late residence, The Rocks, New Norfolk, after a short illness. Hannah, the beloved wife of G. H. Rayner, in her 85th year. Funeral will leave her late residence at 12 noon, and will arrive at St. John's Church, Plenty, at 3 p.m., on Wednesday, 25th inst.77

In the same year, on 3 October 1908, Mary Ann Jefferis, nee Turner, nee Rayner, formerly Lawrence or Laurence, the wife of Robert Hallier Rayner, died in Winchelsea, Victoria. The cause of death was heart disease and dropsy from which she had suffered for two years. Mary Ann's youngest son Thomas was the informant for the event. The death registration stated that Mary Ann was 85 years old, was born in London and had been in the Australian colonies for 77 years, the first 19 in Tasmania and the rest in Victoria.78 George Rayner died just over two years after his wife Hannah on 18 November 1910, also at "The Rocks" in New Norfolk.79

RAYNER- November 18, at his late residence, Rocks, New Norfolk, George Hayles Rayner, in his 67th year. RAYNER-Friends of the late George Hayles Rayner are respectfully invited to attend his funeral which leave his late residence, Rocks on Sunday the 20th lnst, at 10 am, arriving at St John's Church, Plenty, at 12 30. Melbourne papers please copy.80

Janette Halyer Fenton (nee Rayner) died on 12 June 1912 in the General Hospital in Hobart.81

FENTON.— On June 12, 1912, at Hobart, Janet H., relict of the late George Fenton, of Uxbridge, in the 77th year of her age. FENTON.—Friends of the late Janet H., relict of the late George Fenton, of Uxbridge, are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, which will move from the junction of Macquarie Plains Station and Glenora Roads on Saturday Afternoon (Tomorrow), the 15th inst., at 12.30 o'clock, arriving at Glenora Cemetery at 1 p.m.82

Regarding the last two boys, William Hallier Rayner died on 6 March 1913 in Ellendale.83 He was buried in St. Andrews Cemetery at Ellendale in Tasmania.84

RAYNER.-On March 6, at his late residence, Ellendale, William Halyer, the dearly beloved husband of Caroline Rayner, in the ?7th year of his age. Funeral will take place at 3 o'clock on Saturday.85

Edward Hallier Rayner died on 30 June 1915 in Ellendale.86

  • 1. Minutes of Hobart Town Monthly Meeting of Friends: University Special Collections; University of Tasmania; Sandy Bay, Tasmania; S.1. A.1. 1833-1857
  • 2. Norfolk Island Baptisms; XXXX
  • 3. Daniels, Louis: The Rayner Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 4. Flynn, Michael: The Second Fleet; p. 295
  • 5. Hobart Town Gazette, 18 January, 29 March, 10 May 1817.
  • 6. Hobart Town Gazette, 26 April 1817.
  • 7. AOT Passenger List, Henrietta Packet, Unknown Reference
  • 8. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1819/322
  • 9. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder
  • 10. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1822/1238, Baptism Registration NS282/8/1/1-4
  • 11. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1825/1770
  • 12. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder citing CSO 1/13/278 (CSO 1/30/1772)
  • 13. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1828/2839 and AOT Baptism Registration NSXXXX
  • 14. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1833/5135 and Baptism Registration NSXXXX (no birth date is given for the baptism registration)
  • 15. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1833/4708
  • 16. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1833/5135 and AOT Baptism Registration NSXXXX
  • 17. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder citing CSO 1/738/15965
  • 18. Reference to be followed up...
  • 19. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder citing LSD 1/73 p. 404
  • 20. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1841/105
  • 21. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1841/106
  • 22. The Hobart Town Courier Friday 26 January 1838
  • 23. Email from Steven Cook on 12 January 2019
  • 24. AOT Death Registration RGD 1840/493
  • 25. AOT Death Registration RGD 1839/155
  • 26. AOT Index to Tasmanian Convicts;
  • 27. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder citing CSO 1/362 file 8297 (note that the AOT numbering of the CSO section has changed so this reference may need some work to review)
  • 28. Minutes of Hobart Town Monthly Meeting of Friends: University Special Collections; University of Tasmania; Sandy Bay, Tasmania (S.1. A.1. 1833-1857)
  • 29. AOT Last Will and Testament AD961-1-2-137 (pp/ 1-6)
  • 30. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder
  • 31. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1840/885
  • 32. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1841/1238
  • 33. Louis Daniel's has written a brief history of William Wrathall which is out scope to include in this particular section. There is a large amount of material regarding the Wrathall family on the Internet.
  • 34. Colonial Times Tuesday 23 August 1842
  • 35. The Courier Friday 13 October 1843 and 3 November 1843
  • 36. Daniels, Louis: The Rayners; Privately Published; 1999 (no reference citation)
  • 37. AOT Baptism Registration RGD 1845/214-220
  • 38. AOT Death Registration RGD 1846/3
  • 39. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1848/1578 with Louis Daniels reporting the latter location of the marriage
  • 40. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1849/106
  • 41. AOT Convict Conduct Record CON33/1/5, Appropriation List: CON27/1/8, Indent: CON14/1/5
  • 42. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1851/119
  • 43. Rieusset, Brian: The Jacksons of Hamilton; Privately Published; 1993.
  • 44. AOT Death Registration RGD 1852/77 (cause of death provided by Robert Bellenger)
  • 45. TAMIOT
  • 46. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1853/1358
  • 47. Daniels, Louis: The Rayner Family; Privately Published, 1999
  • 48. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1832/4602
  • 49. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1833/2289
  • 50. AOT Death Registration RGD 1856/141 and Rieusset, Brian, The Jacksons of Hamilton, Privately Published, 202 Carella Street, Howrah, 7018, 1993.
  • 51. Daniels, Louis: The Rayner Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 52. The Courier Saturday 19 July 1856
  • 53. Rootsweb: Electoral Roll for the Legislative Council, District of Derwent;
  • 54. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1857/286
  • 55. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1857/99
  • 56. Birth Not Registered, The Rayner Family History, Rayner, Daryl James, (Privately Published).
  • 57. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1859/124
  • 58. AOT Death Registration RGD 1863/4093
  • 59. The Mercury Monday 28 September 1863
  • 60. Launceston Examiner Saturday 11 July 1868 and The Mercury Tuesday 11 August 1868
  • 61. The Mercury 2 March 1874 p.3, c.5
  • 62. AOT Death Registration RGD 1875/2508
  • 63. The Mercury Saturday 6 March 1875
  • 64. VIC BDM Marriage Registration 1853/3122
  • 65. VIC BDM Death Registration 1857/6653
  • 66. VIC BDM Marriage Registration 1863/696
  • 67. VIC BDM Death Registration 1863/6444
  • 68. "GEELONG." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 28 Aug 1863: 5. Web. 15 Feb 2014;
  • 69. Rayner, Daryl James, The Rayner Family History, Privately Published, 29 September 1999.
  • 70. AOT Death Registration RGD 1875/393
  • 71. AOT Death Registration RGD 1891/308
  • 72. Southern Regional Cemetery Trust, "Cornelian Bay Cemetery Registrations," (Church of England, Section H, Number 52, Sub location A)
  • 73. AOT Death Registration RGD 1892/1247
  • 74. TFI Death Registration RGD 1906/1213
  • 75. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 16 Oct 1906: 1. Web. 10 Feb 2014;
  • 76. TFI Death Registration RGD 1908/579 as Anna Rayner
  • 77. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 24 Mar 1908: 1. Web. 10 Feb 2014;
  • 78. VIC BDM Death Registration 1908/15732
  • 79. TFI Death Registration RGD 1910/626
  • 80. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 19 Nov 1910: 1. Web. 10 Feb 2014;
  • 81. TFI Death Registration RGD 1912/1372
  • 82. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 14 Jun 1912: 1. Web. 10 Feb 2014;
  • 83. TFI Death Registration RGD 1913/392
  • 84. TAMIOT
  • 85. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 7 Mar 1913: 1. Web. 10 Feb 2014;
  • 86. TFI Death Registration RGD 1915/914
John Horton
John Horton's picture
The Pyers Family

Mary Pyers was the daughter of Samuel Pyers and Sarah Johnson. Samuel was born about 1771 in Clerkenwall, Middlesex, England. He was sentenced at Clerkenwell, London on 13 September 1790 to seven years transportation.1 He was transported on the Active, a ship of the third fleet, and arrived in Sydney on 26 September 1791.2 Samuel was subsequently sent to Norfolk Island aboard the Atlantic on 26 August 1792.3 It was there that he met Sarah Johnson. They were married on 2 November 1801 on Norfolk Island.4 Sarah was also a convict, having been tried at the Old Bailey on 26 October 1797.

590. SARAH JOHNSON was indicted, for feloniously stealing, on the 19th of October , a linen shirt, value 6s. a linen shift, value 2s. a check linen apron, value 10d. a black silk bonnet, value 3s. and a scarlet cloth cloak, value 6d. the property of Philip Baldwin. ELIZABETH BALDWIN sworn. - I am the wife of Philip Baldwin. Last Thursday I lost the things named in the indictment; I left them in the house for a quarter of an hour, and when I came back again, the prisoner was gone with the property. SARAH WORLIDGE sworn. - I saw the prisoner go out with the things about three o'clock, and I followed her across the fields; I desired her to stop and throw the things down, she said she had nothing, and I followed her till she did throw them down.(The constable produced the property, which was deposed to by the prosecutor.) Prisoner's defence. I did it from necessity and want. GUILTY (Aged 14.) Transported for seven years. Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron HOTHAM.5

Sarah was transported to New South Wales on the Britannia and arrived in Sydney on 18 July 1798. At some stage between then and 1801 she was transferred to Norfolk Island where as previously noted she married Samuel Pyers. The couple were relocated to Van Diemen's Land as part of the evacuation of Norfolk Island in 1808. They departed Norfolk Island on the City of Edinburgh on 3 September 1808 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 1 October 1808.6 Samuel and Sarah had the following children.

Name Birth Marriage Spouse Death
PYERS, Richard 29 Sep 1801 Norfolk Island7 23 Apr 1821 Hobart, TAS8 OSBORNE, Jane 27 Oct 1859 Adelaide, SA9
PYERS, Mary 17 Sep 1803 Norfolk Island10 20 Nov 1819 Hobart, TAS11 RAYNER, George 07 Dec 1852 Hamilton, TAS12
27 Feb 1849 Hamilton, TAS13 SPICER, William George
PYERS, Sarah 00 XXX 1805 Norfolk Island14 17 Oct 1825 Hobart, TAS15 JARVIS, William 15 Jul 1892 Richmond, TAS16
PYERS, Maria 00 XXX 1808 New Norfolk, TAS17     27 Mar 1812 Hobart, TAS18
PYERS, Hannah 22 Apr 1812 Hobart, TAS19 14 Nov 1831 New Norfolk, TAS20 SHAW, Joseph 26 Jan 1887 Hobart, TAS21
21 Nov 1842 New Norfolk, TAS22 GREGSON, Charles
PYERS, Samuel 00 XXX 1815 New Norfolk, TAS23 20 Mar 1842 Hamilton, TAS24 SMYTH, Amelia 19 Jun 1891 Charlton, VIC25
17 Sep 1854 Buninyong, VIC26 COOK, Mary Montgomery
PYERS, Susannah 05 Sep 1818 Hobart, TAS27 02 Oct 1838 New Town, TAS28 COOK, James  
PYERS, George 06 Dec 1821 Hobart, TAS29 17 Nov 1841 Geelong, VIC30 CARRAL (CARROLL) Celia King 22 Oct 1895 Lawler Station, Minyip, VIC31
28 Jun 1879 Hobart, TAS32 MOORE Annas
  • 1. Samuel SPIERS; Index of Felons & trespasses, Middlesex Sessions, 13 September 1790. Samuel is listed under Trespasses Indictment No.164.
  • 2. Geni: Convicts, Naval Personnel and Free Settlers on the Third Fleet, Australia, 1791;
  • 3. HRA. 1 Vol.1. p274, 283 - Account in "The Irish Australians" by K. A. Johnson, Syd, 1984.
  • 4. AONSW; St Phillips Register of Baptisms, Marriage & Births for Norfolk Island. AO Ref. SZ/1023, CPD382
  • 5. Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.0, 10 February 2014), October 1797, trial of SARAH JOHNSON (t17971025-9).
  • 6. AOT Colonial Secretary's Office CSO 1/177/4306 p.222 and Irene Schaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled Three Times Over; St. David's Park Publishing, 1992
  • 7. "International Genealogical Index (IGI)," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014-02-10), entry for Richard Pyers.
  • 8. AOT Marriages Registration RGD 1821/467 as Richard Spires
  • 9. SA BDM Death Registration Adelaide 1859/9/60
  • 10. "International Genealogical Index (IGI)," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014-02-10), entry for Mary Pyers.
  • 11. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1819/322
  • 12. AOT Death Registration RGD 1852/77
  • 13. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1849/106 as Mary Rayner
  • 14. "International Genealogical Index (IGI)," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014-02-10), entry for Sarah Pyers.
  • 15. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1825/820 as Sarah Piers
  • 16. AOT Death Registration RGD 1892/614
  • 17. "International Genealogical Index (IGI)," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014-02-10), entry for Maria Pyers.
  • 18. AOT Death Registration RGD 1812/119
  • 19. AOT Baptism Registration RGD 1822/1200
  • 20. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1831/1725 as Hannah Spires
  • 21. AOT Death Registration RGD 1887/428
  • 22. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1842/1667 as Hannah Shaw
  • 23. "International Genealogical Index (IGI)," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2014-02-10), entry for Samuel Pyers.
  • 24. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1842/1386
  • 25. VIC BDM Death Registration Ref. No. 1891/5517
  • 26. VIC BDM Marriage Registration Ref. No. 1854/2566
  • 27. AOT Baptism Registration RGD 1822/1201
  • 28. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1838/4182
  • 29. AOT Baptism Registration RGD 1822/1202
  • 30. VIC BDM Marriage Registration Ref. No. 1841/595
  • 31. "Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 23 Oct 1895: 1. Web. 10 Feb 2014;
  • 32. VIC BDM Marriage Registration Ref. No. 1879/1977 (marriage place TAS registered VIC)