Thomas may have returned to seafaring, as he was absent from his land for some time so it seems, but Hannah and Priscilla were released from the orphanage, to their father's care in 1843. 1 & 2 Evidence strongly suggests Thomas had returned to Sydney and the sea, having left his two daughters with a family relative, possibly Richard Arnott. This occurring at some point between the death of his second wife Sarah in 1839, and mid 1840, when a marriage registration appears in NSW. The Proclamation of Banns in the church register, shows the following detail. 3
|Name||Condition||Abode||Ships Name||Sentence||When Allowed||When Published||Remarks|
|Married||Thomas Arnett||Widower||of this Parish||Ocean 1808||X||June 7th||Free|
|Christiana McGeady||Widow||of this Parish||Miller 4 1840||X||June 14||Came free to the Colony|
Thomas, a widower, marries a Christiana "McGeady," also a widow, at St James Church, Sydney, on 22 June 1840, The Minister was Robert Allwood and witnesses were a Joseph Moss of Castlereagh Street and Elisha Hayes of Pitt Street; 5 Elisha Hayes, being a clerk at St. James Church, witnessed many marriages there, so he probably had no personal connection to either Thomas or Christiana.
This then raises the question of where and when had Christiana possibly previously married someone by the surname "McGeady." The issue is further complicated by a correction made on the actual church marriage registration, where the names of the parties have been entered as per the Proclamation of Banns details and both parties sign their names respectively, except Christiana signs her surname as "Margaretje" or similar. It could be possible that Christiana gave her surname verbally for the Banns, and it was written down as it sounded, but when it was read out at the wedding, she corrected it. The Minister or church Clerk, probably subsequently then has to correct the name of the bride, previously written as "McGeady". It is also puzzling that when she later married William Rodgers in 1848 she signed with a cross, and when she was also later admitted to Darlinghurst Gaol in 1856 it was noted that her education was "Nil", i.e. she could not read or write.
Back in VDL, at Kangaroo Point, on 26 February 1844, an unnamed female child is born to Thomas Arnott and his "wife" or partner, "Ann Arnott - formerly Selby". 6
Where Thomas had been and where, when and if he married Ann is unknown. She has not been positively identified but there are no known convict records for a female of a similar name. The daughter is subsequently named as "Eliza", at a baptism at St Georges Church in Battery Point on 14 April 1844. The baptism entry shows her birth date as 26 February 1844. Both the civil birth registration and the church baptism show the mother of Eliza as "Anne Selby".
Are Christiana McGeady / Margaretje and Ann(e) Selby one and the same person ?. The naming of two of Thomas' granddaughters (daughters of Eliza), as "Christina" and "Clara", strongly suggest this possibility as being plausible.
Did Thomas and Christiana travel to Adelaide and South Australia and return in 1845 ?.
Shipping Intelligence. June 25.
Same Day.-The cutter William, 33 tons, Tait, from Launceston. Passengers-T. Arnott and wife, Mr A. Best, E. Kenedy, J. Williams, J. Penfold, J. Sandford, W. Stevens, and four privates of the 96th regt. 7
Shipping Intelligence. SAILED.
OCT 19.-The brig Dorset, 81 tons, Walsh, for Sydney. Passenger- Dr. Calmann.
SAME DAY.-The brig Henry, 106 tons, Tregurtha, for Launceston. Passengers- Mr and Mrs Arnott, W. F. E. Liardett, Esq., Mr Wells, Mrs Lett and two children, Mr. Koch, Mr Bloomfield, Mrs Brown. 8
Thomas spent the last three years of his life surrounded by growing daughters, farming his small-holding near Kangaroo Point and making chairs.
Thomas died of inflammation of the stomach, and was buried at St Matthew's Church, Clarence Plains in an unmarked grave on the 5th January 1847. 9 R[ichard] Arnott "Labourer, Richmond Road near Kangaroo Point" was the informant.
- 1. Orphan School Site - Hannah Arnott
- 2. Orphan School Site - Priscilla Arnott
- 3. Research by Julie Skellern
- 4. Not very clear - looks similar to "Miller" or "Mueller"
- 5. NSW : Marriage Registration - V147 24B/1840
- 6. AOT : Birth Registration - RGD 1844/107/33 - Hobart
- 7. Shipping Intelligence - South Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1844 - 1851) 27 June 1845: p2
- 8. Shipping Intelligence - South Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1844 - 1851) 21 October 1845: p2
- 9. AOT : Death Registration - RGD 1847/1/35 - Clarence Plains