Bell Ancestors Coming Down-Under- South Australia

 

In former blogs I have blogged about the emigration of various branches of our Bell Family to United States ,Canada and Australia. This emigration story spanned nearly a century and was virtually global in range.

The 1830’s were a terrible time period for our Bell ancestors in Kent, England. Many families who faced with starvation or the newly erected Workhouses, saw emigration as their only opportunity and salvation. However they didn’t have means to emigrate.

Fortunately through various avenues several immigration schemes were being put forward by colonial governments particularly in Australia. Several of our Bell family took advantage of these schemes to emigrate.

George Bell (b1806) the second son and child of John and Mary Bell (nee Kemp) of Mereworth, Kent married Jane Hunt on 25 December 1827. They had a number of children all born at Mereworth; Jane (b1828), John (b 1830), Mary (b1832), George (b 1834) and Ann (b1837).

By 1837 this family had to relied on parish assistance to survive. The alternative was to go into the Malling Workhouse.

They wished to emigrate to New South Wales with other family members, but unfortunately they could not satisfy some of the conditions for a free passage. Their children were too young for employment when they arrived. However no such restrictions were proposed by the South Australia (Land) Company who were paying free passages for emigrants to come out to the newly formed free colony of South Australia.

George Bell was the right age and calling for a free passage, but the company was not prepared to pay the passage of his wife and children. The Mereworth Parish Overseers came to the family’s assistance and paid their passage. They also paid all the other costs of emigrating.

“1838 – An Account of Moneys Spent by me for parish of Mereworth to assist in clothing and other expenses attending so many poor families who were emigrating from this parish to New South Wales”

Pd the Emigration Committee for passage for five children belonging

To George Bell                                                                                                              £15.00

Pd Mr Carr a bill for list shoes etc for G Bell                                                              13. 4

Pd Mrs Browning a bill ditto                                                                                          14. 6

Pd Mr Viner a bill for G Bell                                                                                           £2. 12. 6¾

Pd Mr G Morphew a bill for tools for George Bell                                                            18. 7

Pd Mr Farrant for ditto                                                                                                     £2. 16. 2

Pd J & T Dutt a bill ditto                                                                                                            9. 6

Pd Mr Hy Shirley a bill for tin for G Bill                                                                               4. 10

Pd Mrs Capan for lowance for G Bell and family at T(own) Malling                              1. 10

Pd Mr Samuel Glover bill for Bell                                                                                     £2. 17. 6

Gave George Bell and family to receive at landing in South Australia                      £3. 10. 0

Gave the man to pay for breakfast for himself and George Bell, his wife and

family on rode (road) to Deptford                                                                                       £1. 1. 0

Pd Mr George Harryman a bill for meate (meat)for Mrs Bell                                              2. 6

Pd Mr Wolf a bill as part for Mereworth going to Deptford with emigrants                  14. 0

Pd Mr Durrell a bill at Meeting of South Australia Company                                             6. 0

Pd Mrs C Goodwin a bill for George Bell                                                                          £5. 16. 6

Pd Mr Hards a bill for Mrs Bell                                                                                                11. 3

Paid for George Bells bed and bedding                                                                              £4. 10. 0

This gives us a very detailed account of the costs involved in emigrating

Clothes and shoes as well as the necessary tin lined trunk for the clothes to keep them dry on the voyage. Tools for George Bell to bring out with him to use in his employment.

The bed and bedding for the voyage and the family’s settlement in Australia. For the family to stay overnight at Malling and their transport to Deptford. From there the emigrants were taken to Gravesend to embark on the emigrant ship.

Barque

Image from https://www.google.com.au believed to be Barque Falls of Clyde now preserved as a museum ship in Hawaii. Retrieved 15 July 2017

 A Barque has three or more masts with square sails on the fore mast and fore and aft sails on the after mast. Generally in the range of 250-700 ton capacity.

 

George and Jane Bell and family embarked on the Resource, a barque of 417 tons built in Calcutta in 1804. It was owned by Mr T Ward of London. The ship left London about 15 September (1838) under Captain Boyle and arrived in Port Adelaide on 23 January 1839. On board were more than 140 immigrants, many poor farming families from Kent and other places in England.

Shipping…

JAN. 23.—Barque Resource, Capt. Boyle, from

London, 7th October, with 140 emigrants and passengers.

Trove: Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 – 1844) Wednesday 30 January 1839 p 2 Article From <http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?l-state=South+Australia&l-decade=183&l-month=1&l-year=1839&q=%27Resource%22>

South Australian Shipping…

Resource, from London, Captain Boyle, arrived 23 January, with one hundred and forty-three emigrants, six adults and fourteen children died during the voyage.

Trove: The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 – 1842) Wednesday 6 February 1839 p 2 Article From <http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?q=%22Resource%22&l-decade=183&l-year=1839&l-state=New+South+Wales&l-month=2&s=0>

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The “Dash” of Thomas Hodgetts, Second Fleeter

Thomas Hodgetts, born 1763, Staffordshire, England, arrived in Sydney in 1790 aboard the Second Fleet. He died in Tasmania in 1823.

He is my husband’s ancestor and I have spent many years researching his life.

My challenge is now to get his story down on paper. I have spent the last few days collecting my notes, folders and computer files together to begin this task. Like all projects the hardest part is getting started.

While the research began at his death and progressed backwards through the surviving Tasmanian, Norfolk Island and New South Wales records to Staffordshire in England, the writing of the story is better explained from his birth through his youthful years, marriage, criminal records, transportation and life in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Tasmania. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘dash’ in a person’s life.

You know when you see “Thomas Hodgetts, 1763 – 1823”, which refers to born 1763 and died 1823. The ‘dash’ years are their life story in between those dates. In Thomas’s case it spans 60 years.

I have now broken these 60 years into his life in England and his life in Australia. He was 27 years of age when he was transported in 1790, so that gives me 27 years in England and 33 years in Australia. In England it is the Georgian and early Regency period and in Australia early Colonial times, and all that implies in law and custom.

 We can piece the story through many records, but putting it all down in the historical and social context of the times without making some ‘gaff’ is the real challenge.

MALH0023509Above: One of the Petitions for Thomas Hodgetts [ Ref: Thomas Hodgetts Petition;1789,Home Office,HO13,Correspondence and Warrents,7/23,England and Wales; Crime, Prisons & Punishment,1770-1935,Institutions & Organizations, Prison Registers retrieved from Findmypast,15 May 2017 at http://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=tna%2fccc%2f2a%2fho13%2f00006070 ]This is  also one of the documents I  photographed  when at the National Archives, London in 2014.

 Although I find it all most interesting, it is going to take some real discipline to sit at it day after day as ‘work’, especially with the busy life we lead.

The reason I am doing this project is for our children and grandchildren, but I know there are many thousands of descendants of Thomas Hodgetts in Australia, who are always keen to find out more on this ancestral line. Hopefully their interest will keep me on track with the project.

Family Heirloom- Dead Man’s Penny for James Joseph Stapleton

A family heirloom on our children’s paternal side of the family is a World War I Memorial Plaque, but is more popularly known as a ‘Dead Man’s Penny’. It is in memory of James Joseph Stapleton who was killed in action on the Somme on 1 September 1918.

J J Stapleton Memorial Plaque-Copyright Nola Mackey 2013

This Photograph is Copyright-Nola Mackey

These Memorial Plaques were issued after World War I to the next of kin of all British and Empire soldiers, sailors and airmen who were killed or died of wounds during the war.

In 1919 the British Government held a design competition for the proposed plaque. There were over eight hundred designs submitted. The winner was Edward Carter Preston a renowned sculptor and medalist for a prize of £250.

These plaques were made of bronze and about five inches or 120 mm in diameter.

The medal design was only on the front and is an image of Britannia holding a trident and standing with a lion. In Britannia’s outstretched left hand is an oak wreath. At the bottom of the plaque is another lion tearing apart the German eagle symbolizing Britain’s superiority on land. Dolphins swim around Britannia symbolizing sea power.

A rectangular tablet to the right of Britannia is where the deceased’s full name is inscribed. No rank is included as all gave the same sacrifice- their life. Around the edge of the plaque in capital letters reads: “HE/SHE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR.”

The initial plaques were made at Acton in London, but later, manufacture was shifted to the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. On the back of this plaque is “WA”(the A being formed by a bar between the upward strokes of the “W” ), which indicates it was made at Woolwich.

These plaques were issued with a commemorative scroll from King George V.

On receipt of the scroll and plaque the next of kin were required to officially acknowledge by letter and form. These can be found within the service personel records at the Australian Archives.

From the 18th Century the British ‘penny’ was made of copper and a ‘Britannia’ design featured on the face of the coin. It is described as- “Britannia seated facing right, wearing a helmet, holding a trident in her left hand and her right hand resting on a shield with the words ‘one penny’ in the field and date below.” This design with few variations remained as the face of the British penny from c 1780 to 1967.

During World War I the soldiers used these coins as ‘Two-up’ Pennies and even today many surviving sets come out on “Anzac Day”. This is the only day ‘Two-up’ is legally sanctioned.

Due to the similarity in design of the Memorial Plaque and the British penny the Memorial plaque became known colloquially as “The Dead Man’s Penny”.

See also

posted 21 April 2013 at World War I Family Heroes – The Stapleton Boys

posted 13 October 2014 at Australian World War I Battlefields Tour – Family Heroes J J Stapleton and R E Sherwood – Mont St Quentin

 posted 13 October 2014 at Australian World War I Battlefields Tour – Family Heroes J J Stapleton and R E Sherwood – Peronne

Bell Ancestors, Going to America-Postscript

In recent times I get telephone calls and receive emails from people all over Australia asking what website they need to access to download their ‘family history’.

When I inquire a little deeper they tell me they have an important family birthday celebration coming up and the ‘family history’ would make a great gift.

Then I ask, why they thought it was on the Internet and so easily accessible? Yes, they were avid fans of ‘Who Do You Think You Are? And,yes, they had seen the advertisements on the television. They had tried the suggested site,but couldn’t find what they were looking for, so thought it must be on another website, and I would surely know which one.

Family historians who have been ‘doing their family history’ for some time know that it is not all about the collection of names and dates and entering them into a data base to reveal their ‘family tree’.

I believe it is a life time journey, where the solving of little family puzzles, finding that elusive document, sharing ideas and stories with not only with like minded people, but if you are very blessed, people, who are actually connected to the same family.

Just as it takes time, work and dedication for a seed to grow into a mighty tree, it takes time, work and dedication of many people to ‘grow’ your ‘ family tree’.

Unfortunately with the ‘fast and furious’ digital age people ‘want everything now’ with instant gratification. I know many get so disappointed, and some even angry that I can not give them the instant answers they were expecting. Sometimes I will suggest I meet them in the local library and we have a look on the Internet to see what we can find, and perhaps, even someone, who is researching the same family. If they are not even interested in doing that much, I have to tell them I cannot help.

I am very aware of how the information gets onto the Internet. It is the work of many, many thousands of people,who over time, have collected, indexed, scanned and data-entered massive amounts of information. Sometimes it is actually part of employment and people get paid to do it, but mostly it is usually many thousands of volunteers and family historians, who are ‘giving back’ to their family and community. The Internet is not some super software program, which has collected the information out of the ether and sorted it into files we can miraculously access, and download with our computers and smart phones.

I am always hopeful that the large ‘free’ as well as subscription websites might make that fact a little clearer to their subscribers and users.

Computers and the Digital Age make wonderful ‘slaves’ for researching our family history, but we always need to take care they do not become the ‘masters’. It is not all on the Internet.

I believe the most important part of family history is that everyone in the family should be encouraged to take part no matter how large or small their contribution, but everyone should also be acknowledged in some way for that contribution.

For example,take my last blog- Bell Ancestors, Going to America.

If I hadn’t made time on my busy trip to England to meet with Joan and Ivy,(as they are not on the same family line as myself);

If Ivy hadn’t been encouraged to bring out all those dozens of photographs;

If she hadn’t told us the story of those reputed uncles;

If I hadn’t followed up on the story, when I returned home;

If Glenda and Jim hadn’t been prepared to spend many hours on a difficult and a rather thankless task of combing through many, many records, (and by the way it wasn’t their branch of the family either);

If they hadn’t passed the information back to me;

If I hadn’t done anything with it, or wasn’t prepared to spend the time collating and fitting it with other records I had collected over the years;

If I hadn’t contacted Joan and Ivy with the results,and if they hadn’t then contacted these cousins in USA;

Then so much family history would have been lost again. What a terrible tragedy.

I have always been very grateful for the friendship, love and dedication to service not only with my own family research, but the ‘family history’ community at large. This is what I’m trying to pass onto the next generations. One way I have found is encouraging them all to take part at our family gatherings, as well at other appropriate activities.

Blogging also gives me the opportunity to acknowledge so many in the past, and also the present too.

Educating Nola- Mortal Me, The Abdication of Superwoman

Those who follow my blogs and perhaps others who have a passing interest in the people and places I have blogged about, will think I have fallen off the face of the earth, as after starting so promisingly last year, with the exception of a couple of blogs this year, I have been silent.

I have always kept my personal life under wraps, and never liked to talk about my activities and achievements, but it is time to declare, ‘Superwoman’ has abdicated!’

I have always taken on the role of ‘superwoman’ both for our families and in the community. I stepped up every day and most nights, to help and deliver whatever was asked of me, whether by family, friends, or even strangers. A family joke was, that our phones may as well have been a ‘call centre’, they were so busy. I never learned to say ‘no’ to anyone. Of course criminal activities were not in any of those pleas for help, just frightened, ill and desperate people or enthusiastic family historians. I loved my ‘work’,why would I say no?

For most of my life I have been the lynch-pin for four generations of our immediate families, as well as the ‘go-to’ person and ‘family historian’ in the extended families.

As a community volunteer I have also been on a great many and a variety of community projects in a time span of more than fifty years. Without fan-fare I got the job done. Sometimes in an executive role, but usually as a dedicated worker.

Commemorative Plaque-2010

Commemorative Plaque-2010

For many years I have been known as ‘the local historian’ for the Clarence River area in Northern New South Wales, although I have no family connection to the area, just a obsessional interest for over fifty years, of the area and the families who settled here.

Memorial Plaque No 3

Memorial Plaque No 3

Rotundra and Memorial Gardens

Rotundra and Memorial Gardens

I believe in life long education, and along the way, completed a Diploma in Family Historical Studies with the Society of Australian Genealogist (Sydney) and an Associate Diploma in Local and Applied History ( CAE,Armidale). I also began a degree in history at UNE (University of New England, Armidale). I sadly withdrew, when I could no longer afford or justify the many thousands of dollars in fees and HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) each year for my ‘hobby’, when our own, (then teenage children), needed assistance to continue their tertiary education.

Along with this I have run three parallel careers throughout my life; one in teaching, one in health sciences and one in researching, writing and publishing in local and family history.

To top it all off we have eight grandchildren, ranging in age from 19 to 3 years. I have always been involved in their busy lives and activities.

As you can imagine, being so busy, I have no time to be ill or slow down, although by the end of last year, my close friends and family were getting concerned about the amount of work I was being pushed to take on. I was getting up earlier and going to bed later, so it left so little time for sleep.

Well it all came crashing down just after Christmas, when we seemed to be attending funerals every few days. Some of these were for elderly friends at the end of a long life and could be expected, but some were for friends and family about my own age and younger. A sudden illness had taken them unexpectedly and quickly.

Although I have had to deal with death all my life, with the death of many friends, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, and even siblings,  I thought I could continue to do it all, and was not ready for the overwhelming grief that brought about the sudden and dramatic change in my life. No stroke or heart attack (-thank goodness-), but my body just rebelled and I couldn’t function anymore.

I needed complete rest and a change of life style to begin to get my life back. This included retiring as a busy community volunteer and the closing of my history research and publishing business- Heritage Path. Consequently, I have also taken down my website, also known as ‘Heritage Path’.

For the time being I have retired from teaching, but have recently taken on the role of ‘student’ in a few activities to improve my health and well- being.

Always the optimist, I have taken this opportunity for a life ‘do-over’. Many will be involved or following Thomas Macentee and his ‘Genealogy Do-Over’ weekly blogs at Genebloggers. Well I am not actually involved or following Thomas’s program, but I am taking this opportunity to return to researching our family histories. Previously I was so busy I could only manage the occasional research foray into our own family histories. Now, I can find time most days to have a little dabble, although it is seldom uninterrupted. One thing I am doing is taking time to record and document the facts- this means adding my sources- and to ‘write up’ my research as I go.

I recently finished, or as far as possible for the time being, the story of the ‘life and times’ of my maternal grandparents, Arthur and May Baxter (nee Bell). Although born in Picton, in southern New South Wales, they moved to the South Arm of the Tweed River in the north of the state, soon after marriage in 1913, and lived there for fifty years.

I shared this story with my first cousins and their families at a family gathering a few weeks ago. We all had a wonderful day, with much laughter and reminiscing. I am very keen to continue the story of other generations, particularly all our direct ancestors. I hope to share some of this research through blogging, as I believe this will keep me on track.

Educating Nola – Managing the Daily Tasks.

I’m back on track for the Blogging 101 course, although probably not quite able to feel comfortable with all the tasks.

Today’s task was to work on my ‘About’ page. I have looked at my information on this page encapsulated in one paragraph. I have always been a very private person, and have never liked talking about myself, so found this task rather difficult. I feel I have captured the spirit of this task in this one paragraph, as it tells how I got interested in my family history, which I’m actually blogging about.

I also need to see if I can add a ‘widget’ or two to my blogs. Must to go back to the ‘how to’ instructions for that one. Our instructors, or team leaders are very helpful and patient, which is just as well with technologically challenged students such as myself.

However, I have tried to follow the course section by section, and have started a new blog from the beginning at http://nolamackey2.wordpress.com/ for my ‘local history’.

I have developed a deep interest in the history of the Clarence River District, in northern New South Wales over many, many years,although we have no family connections here. For nearly fifty years I have been researching, collecting documents, and writing about the area, and have published numerous books on various topics.

I have written much more about myself on my ‘about’ page on my new blog, but probably need to edit that down and rearrange it all, as it is a bit like a CV, which we were advised to avoid. I will look at that over the next few days, to see if I can get that down to succinct paragraph or two, too.

As well as sharing our own family histories on my original blog, I now plan to share some of my huge local history collection, on this new blog, starting with some stories from women’s perspective, concerning World War I.

These blogs I plan to present as a serial, over the next few weeks or so.

It is the story of two sisters, who found themselves trapped ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ in Berlin at the beginning of World War I.

See you all somewhere in cyberspace soon.

Educating Nola – Busy Life.

Sometimes life gets complicated and family matters take you away from those activities you plan. That is what happened this week. Now I’m back doing my Blogging 101 course.

Day three’s task on the course, was to write the blog of why I started blogging in the first place. Although I have been blogging on and off for a while, I realised that I had written the blog about where it all started. I was trying my best to get organised with all my ‘history stuff’, both family and local. I have progressed, since I started putting my plans into place. However, I have not progressed as quickly, or as far as I originally planned, but I’m getting there. Blogging on my ancestors, has made me write about them more and put them into context, so that is a good thing. I just need to do more of it, so I can get these promised family history books, together, and share them with family and friends as planned.

Day four of the course, was to ‘Say Hi to my Neighbours- blogging ones that is. People who blog about and are interested in the same kind of things-genealogy, history and such. I spent several hours blissfully reading all about other peoples families and ancestors. Gave me lots of inspiration, ideas and encouragement to really get into the ‘blogging habit’ and consistently write up my research and findings. That will get me closer to getting my books finished.

The fifth day’s task was to ‘Love my theme’. Well, I have kept my theme at the moment, but have added my new title and tagline. Maybe I will experiment more a little later, when I have time and am curious about other ways of presenting my work.

The sixth day was to write a blog for our ‘dream reader’. I must admit I hadn’t thought about this aspect. I have been so engrossed in trying to get my blogs together, to make sense, and to be informative, as well as putting my experience or ideas across. At this stage my dream reader is anyone genuinely interested in family and local history.

Over the next few months I plan that my writing will be more consistent. A release from the daily stress of attending to life’s details, perhaps, but mainly to sort and get those stories onto paper.

Both our family histories and the local histories.

Catch you all somewhere in cyberspace if not tomorrow- soon.