“Harriet clutched the rail to steady herself, as the ship lurched when the wind caught her sails and lifted her forward.”
Harriet Hodgett’s fourth sea voyage had begun. Today it is the anniversary of the beginning of that journey 200 years ago.
Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts, with their two youngest sons, James aged 13 and Daniel 11, as well as daughters Sarah, 19; Elizabeth, 15; Hannah, 8; and Jane, 6 years, had taken passage on the schooner, Sinbad, for Port Dalrymple in northern Tasmania.
The family was joining their eldest son, John, and his family, who had made this journey over two years before.
They left their eldest daughter Mary, her husband, Thomas Graham, and their three infant daughters, at the Hawkesbury River.
The Sinbad was a wooden, 2 mast schooner, of 44 tons, built in Sydney in 1818, for George William Barnard, specifically for the coastal trade between the colonies.
In the State Records of New South Wales is a hand-written document that records this voyage of the Sinbad.
On page 142 of the Harbour Master’s Registers, it states- ” No 11/194 Muster of the Master, Crew, and Passengers of the schooner Sinbad of Sydney- Berthen Registered 44 tons- bound for Port Dalrymple”. It then lists the five crew and eleven passengers, with pertinent details.
I know this document has been shared amongst Hodgett descendants. Although it is great so many are willing to share research, we always need to be mindful of copyright and legal requirements.
This document is not available on the Internet through one of the large subscription websites such as Ancestry.com; Findmypast or the Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch. Although the State Records of New South Wales has a partnership with these websites for some records, this document is not part of records available. Nor is it available through the State Records website itself. Not yet anyway.
However, you can get a copy of this record for your family records by visiting the State Records facilities or by post, by paying the nominal administration fee. That all-important reference is-
” NRS 1289 Ships Musters, Dec 1816-1825 4/4771 pp 142-143, Reel 561″.
I need to remind you, that even though you can get a copy, it is still ‘copyright’ to the State Records, and you cannot legally make copies and distribute to others, as they do not assign ‘copyright’ to you when you get the copy. Nor can you put it up on websites without permission and attribution.
However, you can make a transcription and share with family members without legal problems. By making a transcription and sharing with family history researchers you do a greater service. Firstly they know that it exists, what it says and where it is from. Secondly, realize that in the future, your descendants, and researchers generally, will probably not be able to transcribe old documents, as they will not be able to read ‘running writing’ and the cryptic abbreviations.
I share with you a transcription of my copy of this document below.
By putting a header at the top of the page and transcribing word for word the whole document, my family knows in an instant, from whom this document came and when the work was done. They also know if they wish they can also get their own official copy from the State Records of NSW, using the reference. ( I also type these up to make a more tidy copy and add some notes).
Although it is wonderful to have this surviving document, it is important for our family history, to know how and why this document was created in the first place.
In 1819, the Colony of New South Wales was made up of several communities at Sydney, Parramatta, Hawkesbury River, Newcastle, Norfolk Island, Hobart, and Port Dalrymple. They were all part of the colonial convict system, although not all the people who resided there, were convicts. That is to say, there was a growing number of free persons in these communities. This included our Hodgetts family.
However, these free people could not move freely around between these communities or to any other place in the world without the permission of the Governor through his various officials.
The law required that all persons do two things before they could move to another place, particularly by sea. Firstly they had to publicly advertise their intention of moving, by placing a notice in the newspaper, the Sydney Gazette. Our Thomas Hodgett’s notice of intention appeared on 13th and 20th February 1819. This made sure you didn’t leave any debts and gave people, who owed you money notice to pay before you left the colony.
Secondly, you had to get a written ‘pass’ from the Judge Advocate’s Office, which checked your status, and how you came to be in the said Colony you wished to leave. You would be given this pass stating your name, your status, and sometimes age, to give to the ship’s master, to allow you onboard the vessel, even though you had already paid for your passage. The information from this pass was then lodged with the Harbour Master’s Office and was entered into his daily register. Thomas Hodgett’s would have needed that pass when he and his family disembarked at Port Dalrymple to show the Government officials there he had permission to settle in that community.
Now we know what records were created, where can we get a copy of the corresponding documents for John Hodgetts and family, who had left Sydney some years before, to settle in Port Dalrymple?