The ninth document for our Hodgetts family in Australia was the baptism entry of Sarah Hodgetts, the third daughter of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts.
I found the first mention of this record in John Cobley’s Sydney Cove 1795-1800 Vol V, The Second Governor. The entry states:-
Dec 24 Sarah Hodgats d of Thomas and Harriet Hodgats. B 1st September 1797.
I then checked for references in the online index of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages in Sydney at https://bdm.nsw.gov.au/
HODGETS SARAH 495/1797 V1797495 4 d of THOMAS and HARRIOT
HODGETS SARAH M 662/1797 V1797662 1A d of THOMAS and HARRIET
Using these references I was able to search for entries in the Archives Authority of New South Wales (now State Records) Genealogical Kit (1988) for baptisms 1788-1855. The early colonial baptism, marriage, and burial records of some 164 volumes cover the time before civil registration in New South Wales. This includes Victoria and Queensland which was part of New South Wales at that time. These are held as Government records by the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages for New South Wales in Sydney.
Many of these records were microfilmed and released to the public in the Archives Authority of New South Wales Genealogical Kit in 1988. Of the 164 volumes copied, only 123 volumes were released in the kit covering the time frame 1788-1855. Volumes 124-164 were not included in the kit.
This was because some of the records contained in the volumes were after 1855 so fell outside the parameters of the historical project and were subject to state privacy laws. Other volumes were not included because they were so fragile and the handling of those volumes would have destroyed them.
Returning to our Hodgetts research I found Volumes 1 and 4 were in the above-mentioned records, and I was able to view microfilm copies of the original records on AO Reel 5001 and 5002. These were Rev Richard Johnson’s original baptism register and the chronological list he sent to the Governor’s Office.
Although you can view these records at your library you cannot make a printout as it is a condition of use of these records and is stated at the beginning of each film. The copyright belongs to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages. At the time I was able to make transcriptions and add appropriate notes.
By 1797, Thomas Hodgetts had completed his sentence some two years before, and as a ‘free man’ was able to set up a business for himself in Sydney. We would like to think he set up as a blacksmith, as it has always been presumed to have been his trade in Australia. However, I have found no evidence of this in colonial records. I believe he would have found it difficult to get any employment, which paid any reasonable income.
Although still on meagre government rations, I believe the family lived in very poor conditions.
Eastern View of Sydney, 1797
By Edward Dayes
Contributed By National Library of Australia [PIC Solander Box A28 #R286]
My share documents for this baptism can be found under the Resources and Examples Tab on this website under-
HODGETS, Sarah,1797, Sydney, Baptism Transcription 1
HODGETS, Sarah,1797, Sydney, Baptism Transcription 2
 Sydney Cove 1795-1800 The Second Governor (Volume V), John Cobley, Angus & Robertson Publishers,1986,Sydney, p188
Having no abode or occupation listed, probably like so many of their peers Thomas and Harriet undertook whatever work they could so they and their children could survive… barely.
I have the greatest admiration for these ancestors and am trying to build a picture of their day to day lives from the historical records.