Our Hodgetts Family Saga-Thomas Hodgetts,1796,Sydney

I have previously blogged about other convict weddings Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts were witness to.

See Our Hodgetts Family Saga Thomas Hodgetts,1790, Sydney posted 31 May 2020

Also

Our Hodgetts Family Saga Harriet Hodgetts,1790, Sydney posted 8 June 2020

And

Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Thomas Hodgetts,1792, Parramatta. posted 13 July 2020

As I previously mentioned, the above-mentioned marriages were in John Cobley’s series of books about the early settlement in New South Wales and ‘The Brave Old Pioneers 1788-1988: the story of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts and their family, by Richard Hodgetts.

However, this marriage is another of several documents I have recently located about Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts and their life in Australia. This marriage has not been mentioned in the material published on the Hodgetts family.

There has been an error in the transcribing for the index. On the marriage entry, the year is 1796, but it has been transcribed as 1798.[1]

View of Sydney Cove / painted by Thomas Watling1794-1796?
From <https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/collection-items/view-sydney-cove-painted-thomas-watling>

These entries can be found on Reel 5002  in the Archives Authority of NSW (State Records), in their Genealogical Kit.

332/1798 V1798332 3A

JONES

BENJAMIN

FLEMMING

MARY

CA

212/1798 V1798212 4

JONES

BENJAMIN

FLEMMING

MARY

CA

From <https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au/lifelink/familyhistory/search/result?3>

As I have indicated before this was only the beginning, not the end of my research when I transcribed these records.

How did I use these records to further my research into the lives of our Hodgetts ancestors?

Remember our ancestors lived complex lives and their family and friends played an important part. As Sydney was a convict settlement the Government officials also played a part and greatly influenced where and how our ancestors lived.

Benjamin Jones was born about 1772 in Birmingham, England. On 23 March 1790 at the Warwick Assizes Jones was tried for theft and was sentenced to seven years transportation. He arrived in Sydney on the Third Fleet on board the Britania on 14 October 1791.

He married the widow Mary Flemming on 20 April 1796 in St Phillip’s, Sydney. Soon after marriage, he settled the family on a land grant on the Hawkesbury, which had been granted by Governor Hunter to his eldest step-son Henry Fleming, although he was only a child at the time. Further children were born to Benjamin and Mary Jones including Elizabeth, born  1797; John, born 1799, James born 1803, Benjamin born 1804 and Robert born 1809.

Benjamin and Mary Jones with their five children left the colony on the Sydney Packet on 1 July 1815 bound for England. They returned the following year and settled in Hobart, Tasmania.

Benjamin Jones died there on 13 April 1837 and Mary Jones died the following year.[2]

Mary Flemming (nee Lay), is believed to have been born in the British Colonies in America. She met Joseph Flemming, a British soldier during the American War of Independence, and had a daughter with him, whom they named Eleanor. They returned to England and settled in Essex. They married there on 8 July 1788 before Joseph Flemming transferred to the New South Wales Corps in late 1789. He was promoted to Sargent the following year. The family arrived in Sydney on board the William and Ann of the Third Fleet on 28 August 1791. Soon after arrival, a son was born and they named him Henry. He was baptized at St Phillip’s on 11 September 1791.

Another daughter was born in 1793 and was named Margaret. She was baptized on 25 December 1793 at St Phillip’s, Sydney.

After serving his three years in the NSW Corps, Joseph Flemming resigned from the army and was granted land at Concord in 1794.

The family had just settled on this grant when Joseph Flemming died leaving his widow, Mary, with three young children to support. It is believed that Benjamin Jones was an assigned convict helping Flemming clear his land ready for sowing crops. After Joseph Flemming’s death, his Grant was sold and the family moved to the Hawkesbury River where the eldest son Henry (although only eight years of age), was granted land. The Flemming children all survived to adulthood and married. Mary Jones had five further children with Benjamin Jones. She died in 1838 in Hobart, Tasmania.[3]

Thomas Hodgetts

Thomas Hodgetts was implicated in a robbery in 1787 in Staffordshire and was sentenced to 7 years transportation. He embarked on the Scarborough in the Second Fleet in 1790. After a few months in Sydney, he moved to Parramatta with Harriet, a free woman who arrived on the Neptune claiming to be his wife. [See earlier blogs]

By the time of the Benjamin Jones- Mary Flemming marriage in 1796, Thomas Hodgetts had completed his seven-year sentence.

Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts had three surviving children at this stage and were living in Sydney, where Thomas plied his blacksmithing trade.

He possibly made friends with  Benjamin Jones because he came from the same area in England and his speech would have naturally made these men plausible friends, although there was nearly ten years difference in age.

Katherine King is believed to have been the wife of Robert King. Robert King may have been a soldier and that is how Katherine became a close friend of the widow, Mary Flemming.

Robert and Katherine King had children including William Henry King born on 8 March 1791 and baptized in Sydney on 17 March 1792. He was drowned as an infant and was buried on 26 October 1792.

Another son named Robert was born on 27 October 1795 and baptized at St Phillip’s on 1 January 1796. I have not been able to find more information on the King family and they may have left the colony soon afterwards.[4]

 Rev Richard Johnson.

He was a Church of England clergyman ordained in England in 1784. In 1786 he received a Royal Warrant appointing him chaplain to the new colony in New South Wales. Shortly afterward he married Mary Burton at Islington, London on 4 December 1786. They embarked a few months later in the Golden Grove in the First Fleet.

Soon after arrival the Rev Johnson held his first service and continued to do whenever and wherever he could. These he carried out in tents, barns, or even under trees when a building was not available. He also carried out baptism, marriage, and burial services and entered them into his private register. Later he sent a list to the Governor’s Office of all baptisms, marriages, and burials.

Johnson was known for his care and interest in the convicts and often gave articles and food for their comfort from his own stores brought out from London in a private capacity.

Although Governor Phillip required the convicts to attend Sunday service, he was reticent to build a church as he felt all the Government building projects should be to house and feed the colony.

By 1793, Johnson was so frustrated by the lack of progress towards the building of a church that he undertook this project himself and paid for the materials and labour for the church to be built. It was a wattle and daub construction at what is now Richard Johnson Square at the intersection of Bligh and Hunter Streets. Unfortunately, this was burned down in 1798. The Governor had it replaced with a larger and more substantial building.

Johnson was also concerned about the lack of facilities for the education of colonial children and established schools in Sydney and later Parramatta. He also travelled to Norfolk Island when he could for the spiritual care of the convicts there.

Johnson and his family remained in the colony for nearly ten years before he asked to be returned home to England citing ill health. The family left by the Buffalo in September 1800.[5]

View of Sydney Cove / painted by Thomas Watling1794-1796?
From <https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/collection-items/view-sydney-cove-painted-thomas-watling>

Although this marriage is not mentioned in ‘The Brave Old Pioneers 1788-1988 by Richard Hodgetts, this book is still available for purchase from the author. Those interested can contact me by leaving a request in the comments box below and I will happily pass on the message.

A list of my references is available to family members and interested researchers on application. Please leave a request in the comments box below indicating your interest.

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Our Hodgetts Family Saga-Sarah Hodgetts,1797,Sydney

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:-

 Baptisms

 SYDNEY

Dec 24 Sarah Hodgats  d of Thomas and Harriet Hodgats. B 1st September 1797.[1]

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.

HODGETS,Sarah,1797,Sydney,Baptism Transcription 1

HODGETS,Sarah,1797,Sydney,Baptism Transcription 2

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

Eastern View of Sydney, 1797

By Edward Dayes

Contributed By National Library of Australia [PIC Solander Box A28 #R286]

From <https://dictionaryofsydney.org/media/59789

 

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

[1] Sydney Cove 1795-1800 The Second Governor (Volume V), John Cobley, Angus & Robertson Publishers,1986,Sydney, p188

 

Our Hodgetts Family Saga-Mary Maria Hodgetts,1795,Sydney

The eighth document for our Hodgetts family in Australia was the baptism entry of Mary Maria Hodgetts, the second daughter of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts.

There is no mention of this record in John Cobley’s,  Sydney Cove 1793-1795 Vol IV.

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, MARY M       358/1795 V1795358 4      THOMAS   and HARRIET

From <https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au/lifelink/familyhistory/search/result?5>

There was only one, the baptism register of the Rev Richard Johnson. Using this reference I was able to search for this entry in the Archives Authority of New South Wales (now State Records) Genealogical Kit (1988) for baptisms 1788-1855.

HODGETS,Mary Maria,1795,Sydney,BaptismTranscription 1

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 Volume 4 was in the above-mentioned records and I was able to view a microfilm copy of the original record on AO Reel 5002. This was Rev Richard Johnson’s original baptism register. I also made a page by page search of Vol 1 1795 for the entry of the chronological list the Rev Johnson sent to the Governor’s Office, as I believed there was every indication this record had been created and most likely survived. I found the entry for this baptism on Reel 5001 – Vol 1 1795 entry 465. Somehow it had escaped the on-line index at the website for the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages for NSW.

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.  I was able to make transcriptions and add appropriate notes.

HODGETS,Mary Maria,1795,Sydney,BaptismTranscription 2

You will note this birth took place a few days before the burial of their eldest daughter Mary. This would give a reason this daughter was also called Mary. The baptism took place in Sydney in September and was recorded as taking place in the parish of St Phillip’s Sydney, so we know that Thomas and Harriet were still residing in Sydney. We also know by this date that the Rev Richard Johnson had completed his church, so this baptism took place in the church.

From earlier research we know that Thomas Hodgetts was sentenced in March 1788 to seven years transportation and he came on the Second Fleet, arriving in June 1790. So doing the calculations, by March 1795 Thomas had served his sentence and was, at last, a free man. In theory at least, as it would have taken some time for the Governor’s Office to confirm his status.

How did this new status change his life?

In a later blog, I will show you how you can take these documents and use them as a timeline to research the mass of colonial documents to build a possible  life story for our ancestors.

My share documents for this baptism can be found under the  Resources and Examples Tab on this website under-

HODGETTS, Mary Maria,1795, Sydney, Baptism Transcription 1

HODGETTS, Mary Maria,1795, Sydney, Baptism Transcription 2

Sydney Cove c1794-96

View of Sydney Cove / painted by Thomas Watling1794-1796?
From <https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/collection-items/view-sydney-cove-painted-thomas-watling>

Our Hodgetts Family Saga-Mary Hodgetts,1795, Sydney.

The seventh document for our Hodgetts family in Australia was the burial entry of Mary Hodgetts, the eldest daughter of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts.

I found the first mention of this record in John Cobley’s Sydney Cove 1793-1795 Vol IV. The entry states:-

“Burials

April 24 Hodges, Mary    Child       Sydney” [1]

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/

HODGES MARY    1160/1795 V17951160 2A     INFANT

HODGES MARY     708/1795 V1795708 4           INFANT

Using these references I was able to search for these entries in the Archives Authority of New South Wales (now State Records) Genealogical Kit (1988) for burials 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 2 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 burial 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.

HODGES,Mary,1795,Sydney,Burial Transcription 1

HODGES,Mary,1795,Sydney,Burial Transcription 2

We do not know the cause of death of little Mary. It could have been a fever from teething or perhaps diarrhoea. It would be another sixty years before civil registration and cause of death added to the certificate.

You will note this burial was recorded as taking place in Sydney so we know that Thomas and Harriet were still residing in Sydney.

From earlier research we know that Thomas Hodgetts was sentenced in March 1788 to seven years transportation and he came on the Second Fleet, arriving in June 1790. So doing the calculations, by March 1795 Thomas had served his sentence and was, at last, a free man, in theory at least.

It would have taken some time for the Governor’s Office to confirm his status, but how would his life have changed?

Sydney Cove c1794-96

View of Sydney Cove / painted by Thomas Watling1794-1796?

From <https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/collection-items/view-sydney-cove-painted-thomas-watling>

 

In a later blog I will show you how you can take these documents and use them as a timeline to research the mass of colonial documents to build a possible daily life of our ancestors.

My share documents for this burial can be found under the  Resources and Examples Tab on this website under-

HODGETTS, Mary,1795, Sydney, Burial Transcription 1

HODGETTS, Mary,1795, Sydney, Burial Transcription 2

[1] Sydney Cove 1791-1792 (Volume IV), John Cobley, Angus & Robertson Publishers,1983, Sydney, p250

 

Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Mary Hodgetts,1793,Sydney.

The sixth document for our Hodgetts family in Australia was the baptism entry of Mary Hodgetts, the eldest daughter of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts.

I found the first mention of this record in John Cobley’s Sydney Cove 1793-1795 Vol IV. The entry states:- “Baptisms

SYDNEY

Oct 27 Mary Hodges d of Thomas and Harriet Hodges. B 15th September 1793.[1]

[I did check to see if there were any other Thomas Hodges with a wife Harriet but found none, and am confident that the ‘Hodges’ referred to our ‘Hodgetts’ family. In many of the early colonial records our Hodgetts family is recorded as HODGES. However, it must be noted that not all HODGES references relate to our HODGETTS family. There were other convicts with the HODGES surname.]

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/

HODGES MARY   THOMAS     HARRIOT   241/1793 V1793241 4

HODGES MARY  THOMAS       HARRIOT   301/1793 V1793301 1A

Using these references I was able to search for these 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.

HODGES,Mary,1793,Sydney, Transcription1

HODGES,Mary,1793,Sydney, Transcription2

You will note this baptism was recorded as taking place in Sydney.

So, sometime between August 1792 and October 1793, Thomas and Harriet had moved back to Sydney.

Sydney 1793

 View of Sydney Cove from the North-West, 1793,
  by Fernando Brambila held by British Library Maps K,124,Supp. Fol. 43
From <https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/view-of-sydney-cove-from-the-north-west>

Remember, Thomas was still a convict at this stage and was under direct government control, so the move was not a personal choice but dictated by his government employment directive.

I will discuss this part of the Hodgetts family story in a later blog post.

 

My share documents for this baptism can be found in the Resources an Examples tab on this website under:-

HODGES,Mary,1793,Sydney,Baptism Transcription 1     and

HODGES, Mary,1793,Sydney,Baptism Transcription 2

[1] Sydney Cove 1791-1792 (Volume IV), John Cobley, Angus & Robertson Publishers,1983, Sydney, p80

 

Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Thomas Hodgetts,1792,Parramatta.

The fifth document for our Hodgetts family in Australia was the marriage of John Martin to Ann Toy when Thomas Hodgetts was a witness.

I first came across this reference in Sydney Cove 1791-1792, Volume III by John Cobley.

“Sunday, 26 August (1792)

Fine and cloudy.

The Rev Richard Johnson conducted two wedding services at Parramatta… John Martin married Ann Toy, with Thomas Hodgetts and Luke Jones as witnesses“.[1]

From this entry, 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/

217/1792 V1792217 3A MARTIN  JOHN TO TOY ANN CB

and

79/1792 V179279 147A MARTIN JOHN TO TOY ANN CB

I immediately consulted the Baptism, Marriage, and Burial records 1788-1855 in Archives Authority of NSW (now State Records of NSW) Genealogical Kit, 1988.

However, only one record was available. That was on Reel 5002, Vol 3 entry number 217. This was from the chronological list of marriages that Rev Johnson sent to the Governor’s Office. There was little information on this entry.

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 transcription and add appropriate notes to my transcription.

MARTIN-TOY,1792,Parramatta,Marriage Transcription1

The second reference you will note fell into the Volumes not available in the Genealogical Kit. That is the 124-164 volume frame. The volume we want is 147.[See blog post “Our Hodgetts Saga – John Hodgetts,1791, Rose Hill “, for further information about these records.] So I was not able to view a microfilmed copy of the marriage register of the Rev Richard Johnson.

However, I was able to get a certified transcription (not a copy) of this record from the registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages office in Sydney. The fee of $35 for a transcription is not a small sum, but as it is an early colonial reference to our Thomas Hodgetts, who is a direct ancestor of my husband, I purchased this transcription.

MARTIN-TOY,1792,Parramatta,Marriage Transcription2

If I had been able to see or purchase a copy I could have compared Thomas Hodgett’s signature to former examples. In this case, I was not able to do so.  However, I was able to confirm Thomas was still at Parramatta. His eldest son, John had been baptized at Rose Hill (Parramatta) the year before. To whether Thomas was still in convict accommodation or he and Harriet had been allotted their own quarters we do not know. Governor Phillip was keen to house and feed the colony and all projects were still directed to the public good. He had started to allow land allocations to convicts who had completed their sentence and non-commissioned officers and privates who had completed their term of service and wished to remain in the colony. Others still under sentence and service were housed in government accommodation and barracks.

Harriet and the infant John may have been in the women convict quarters. Hopeful they may have been allowed a small suitable hut with another family or just maybe after a time one on their own, with Thomas having permission to join them.

Government House,Parramatta

Government House, Parramatta,1791

From the collections of the

State Library of New South Wales

[a928407 / DG SSV1B/3]

(Dixson Galleries)

From <https://dictionaryofsydney.org/media/3163>

This was only the beginning not the end of my research when I transcribed these records. From former blog research, we know that the Rev Richard Johnson was a Church of England chaplain appointed to the colony and had arrived with his wife as free persons on the First Fleet.[See Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Thomas Hodgetts,1790, Sydney].

Now let us look at the wedding party and how Thomas Hodgetts might have known these people.

John Martin

John Martin was charged at the Old Bailey 3 July 1782 with stealing clothes. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. It was stated he was a negro and he was put on a convict ship for Africa. However, he became ill before he sailed and was returned to Newgate Prison. He was later transferred to the prison hulk Ceres in the Thames. He finally embarked on the Alexander on 6 January 1787 and was sent out to Sydney on the First Fleet. He later removed to Parramatta and it is there we believe became a friend of Thomas Hodgett’s. He married Ann Toy on 26 August 1792 when Thomas Hodgetts was one of the witnesses. He was granted fifty acres of land on the northern boundary of Parramatta at the end of that year and remained there for many years. When his wife Ann died in 1806 he remarried.[2]

Ann Toy

Ann Toy was sentenced to seven years transportation in October 1789 at the Maidstone Quarter Sessions for petty larceny. She was arrested and charged after pawning a violin which had been stolen from Giles Russell, a pensioner at the Royal Hospital in Greenwich. She was immediately embarked on the Neptune in the Second Fleet. She was possibly a friend of Harriet Hodgetts. She married John Martin on 26 August 1792 at Parramatta. Ann remained childless and died in 1806.[3]

Thomas Hodgetts

Thomas Hodgetts was implicated in a robbery in 1787 in Staffordshire and was sentenced to 7 years transportation. He embarked on the Scarborough in the Second Fleet in 1790. After a few months in Sydney, he moved to Parramatta with Harriet, a free woman who arrived on the Neptune claiming to be his wife. [See Our Hodgetts Saga – Harriet Hodgetts,1790, Sydney.]

Although it is possible John Martin was known to Thomas Hodgett’s in Sydney it is more probable that they became friends after their move to Parramatta, hence he being a witness to his marriage.[4]

Luke Jones

Luke Jones was born about 1768. On 2 April 1788, he was sentenced to seven years transportation at the Old Bailey for the theft of clothing. He was put in the crowded Newgate prison. In late 1789 he was sent to the prison hulk Dunkirk in Plymouth Harbour. He embarked on the Neptune to sail in the Second Fleet to Sydney.[5]

Records in the colony for this convict are scarce, although he can be found on the Transportation Register for the Second Fleet. He is believed to have moved to Parramatta with other Second Fleet convicts in early 1791.

There is no mention of this convict in the records until 1792 when he appears as a witness to a marriage on the 24th June. For the next six months, he was a witness at all marriages at Parramatta, some 22 in all. Rather than being a close friend of all these couples, I believe it more likely that he was acting as a clerk or churchwarden at Parramatta for the Rev Richard Johnson during this time. [6]The indications are that he could read and write as he signed the register in each case. He could have carried on into 1793, however, the records are not available to check if this was the case.

In Michael Flynn’s book for The Second Fleet, Luke Jones is recorded as arriving on the Second Fleet but having died on 1 August 1790 soon after arrival. I believe this is incorrect and it was the convict Lewis Jones who was buried on this date.[7]

My share documents for this marriage can be found under the  Resources and Examples Tab on this website under-

MARTIN-TOY, 1792, Parramatta, Marriage Transcription 1

MARTIN-TOY,1792,Parramatta,Marriage Transcription 2

[1] Sydney Cove 1791-1792 (Volume III), John Cobley, Angus & Robertson Publishers,1965, Sydney, p294
[2]The Founders of Australia-A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, Mollie Gillen, Library of Australian History, Sydney,1989,p239.
[3] The Second Fleet-Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790, Michael Flynn, Library of Australian History, Sydney,1993,p 576.
[4] ibid, p335.
[5] The Second Fleet-Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790, Michael Flynn, Library of Australian History, Sydney,1993,p 371.
[6]Sydney Cove 1791-1792 (Volume III), John Cobley, Angus & Robertson Publishers,1965,Sydney, pp 274,280,285,290,294,317,323,339,347,354,355.
[7] The Second Fleet-Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790, Michael Flynn, Library of Australian History, Sydney,1993,p 371.

PS-  Richard Hodgetts mentioned this marriage in his book, “The Brave Old Pioneers 1788-1988.” This book is still available from Richard. If you wish to have contact details please leave request in comment box below. This is to protect Richard’s private email address being harvested by scammers.

Our Hodgetts Family Saga – John Hodgetts,1791,Rose Hill.

The fourth document of our Hodgetts family in Australia was the baptism entry of John Hodgetts, the eldest son of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts.

I found the first mention of this record in John Cobley’s Sydney Cove 1791-1792 Vol III. The entry states:- “John Hodges, the son of Thomas and Harriet Hodges was christened on Thursday 17 November 1791”. [I did check to see if there were any other Thomas Hodges with a wife Harriet but found none, and am confident that the ‘Hodges’ referred to our ‘Hodgetts’ family.]

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/

Although I tried many alternate spellings for the John Hodges/Hodgetts baptism there was only one reference in the index.

HODGES JOHN  son of THOMAS and HARIETT reference 29/1791 V179129 148

However, when I searched the microfilms for this entry in the Archives Authority of New South Wales (now State Records) Genealogical Kit (1988) for baptisms 1788-1855 This record was not among them.

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.

These records were microfilmed and were released to the public in the Archives Authority of New South Wales Genealogical Kit in 1988. Of the 164 volumes, 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.

Note that the only reference to John Hodges (Hodgetts) baptism entry fell in the records in the 124-164 volume frame, that being Volume 148.

However please note you are able to get a certified transcription (not a copy) of this record from the registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages office in Sydney. The fee of $35 for a transcription is not a small sum, but it is the only reference for this baptism entry (which also included birth date). As John Hodgetts is a direct ancestor of my husband, and I believe it is important to collect all records available for direct ancestors, I purchased this transcription.

Government House,Parramatta

Government House, Parramatta,1791
From the collections of the  State Library of New South Wales
[a928407 / DG SSV1B/3] (Dixson Galleries)
From <https://dictionaryofsydney.org/media/3163

The information on this record turned all the early colonial Hodgetts family history on its head!

It stated:- John the son of Thomas and Harriet Hodges was born on 25 October 1791 and was baptised on 17 November 1791 at Rose Hill, Port Jackson, County of Cumberland.

HODGES,John,1791,Rose Hill,Batism Entry

[My share document can be found under the Examples and Resources tab on this website]

Most family researchers would not pick up the significant detail that the baptism was at ‘Rose Hill’. Rose Hill was not part of Sydney, but was part of Parramatta!

So, sometime between December 1790 and October 1791, Thomas and Harriet had moved to Parramatta, had become a couple, and started a family.

Remember, Thomas was still a convict and was under direct government control. He was housed with the First Fleet blacksmiths as indicated by he being a witness to a marriage in Sydney in November 1790. (See blog “Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Thomas Hodgetts,1790, Sydney” posted June 2020).

Harriet was still in Sydney when she was a witness to the marriage of James Bird to Mary Dismon. (See “Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Harriet Hodgetts,1790, Sydney” posted June 2020).

How, when, and why did the Hodgett’s move to Parramatta?

I will address these questions in a later Hodgett’s blog post.

 

 

Our Hodgetts Family Saga- The Second Fleet,Anniversary Day

 

Today, 230 years ago, on 28 June 1790 our ancestors, Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts arrived in Sydney on the Second Fleet.

Firstly, let us go back a few weeks previously.

1st June 1790.

The colony at Sydney Cove had been on shortened rations for some months. Little work had been done towards building accommodation for the expected arrival of convicts in the Second Fleet. Morale in the colony was low.

21st June 1790.

Much had happened in the colony in the space of three weeks, including the arrival of the convict transport the Lady Juliana with convict women and stores on 3rd June, and the store-ship Justinian on the 20th June with the much-needed stores for the colony. At long last, there was the expectation that everything could get back to normal in the colony. Most importantly the full weekly ration was ordered to be issued and the ‘drum sounded’ to recall convicts back to labour at 1 pm so the job of erecting accommodation for the newly arrived and expected convicts could get underway.

23rd June 1790.

Early in the morning, a sail was sighted at the look-out on the South Head, but the weather came in quickly and the ship was lost from sight as the gale-force winds pushed her out to sea.

It was not until two days later when the weather had cleared that the ship could finally be seen again as it slowly made its way through the heads. It was the Surprize, a convict transport under Nicholas Antis, who had sailed in company with the transports Neptune and Scarborough.

The scene on arrival of the Surprize was in direct contrast to the arrival of the Lady Juliana some three weeks before, whose female convicts had embarked in good health, having few deaths on the voyage.

The Surprize arrived with more than a hundred of the 218 male convicts on board ill, most with scurvy and dysentery. They were moved to the hospital as soon as possible. Tents had to be erected to take the overflow of the sick.

Later that day the signal flew at the South Head that further ships had been sighted.

These were the convict transports, Neptune and Scarborough, under Captains Trail and Marshall respectively. They too had been blown out to sea with the recent Winter gale.

They finally made their way through the heads and anchored off Garden Island.

The next day the ships warped into Sydney Cove to unload their cargo. The first priority was the human cargo.

Much has been written about the terrible conditions endured by all those who arrived on these ships and the horror of those who witnessed that arrival. Graphic details were given in letters and journals by marines, clergy, government officials, and even convicts.

Our ancestors, Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts arrived on those ships. Thomas as a convict on the Scarborough and Harriet as a free woman on the Neptune.

What was it like for them on the day of arrival?

It was cold, very cold. Everyone was wet, very wet, and had been for weeks. Everyone was hungry, very hungry. They had had little food for weeks and that was mostly hard mouldy ships-biscuits which had been made years before. Washed down with a little water if it was available.

Absolutely terrible! Right? How could this happen?  The masters of the ships had been heartless scoundrels and responsible for the carnage! Some 230 years later everyone knows this. Right?

52ba87069567100df1ee3e0bdb8b6ea558548903

The truth of the matter was that these ships were in trouble even before they sailed from Portsmouth on the 19th January 1790. The carnage was inevitable with many at fault, from politicians to Admiralty, contractors, government officials, marines, crew, and even the convicts themselves. The domino effect and even the weather conspired and moved towards what we might call the perfect storm.

It was a miracle that the ships arrived at all, although with only two-thirds of their human cargo alive, with many dying after their arrival.

How did Thomas and Harriet survive? What if, we, their descendants, were able to interview them. What would we ask them about the voyage? What might they tell us?

Our Hodgetts Family Saga – Harriet Hodgetts,1790, Sydney

In this blog, we are going to look at the third document for our Hodgetts family in Australia. It is also the first document for our Harriet Hodgetts. This was when she was a witness at the marriage of James Bird to Mary Dismon on 29 December 1790.

One could be forgiven to think in the early days of the convict colony, marriages only took place on Sundays after the obligatory service, but that was not so. The 29th December 1790 was a Wednesday.

Government House,1790,Sydney

My first reference to the above marriage was in John Cobley’s book, “Sydney Cove 1789-1790”.[1]

I followed up by finding the actual document references from the online Marriage Index on the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Sydney at  https://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/ .

There were two references and I knew I needed to see both. Using these references I consulted the microfilms in the Archives Authority of New South Wales, (now State Records of New South Wales), Genealogical Kit 1988. Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1788-1855, AO Reel 5002.[2]

Although due to Copyright restrictions I could not print these out, I could make transcriptions. You will note these documents are not the same. One was from the Rev Richard Johnson’s Marriage Register, and the other the chronological list he sent to the Governor’s Office.

BIRD - DISMON,1790,Sydney,Marriage Transcription2

BIRD - DISMON,1790,Sydney,Marriage Transcription1

When researching I always go through the process of trying to answer a number of questions. In this case, I wanted to know- Why was the marriage on a Wednesday, and where was it? Who were James Bird and Mary Dismon? Who was John Hunter the other witness to the marriage? How did Harriet (Hodgetts) know these people?

After asking similar questions for the marriage of George Fry and Elena Sandwick, (See former blog Our Hodgetts Family Saga- Thomas Hodgetts,1790, Sydney), I now knew who Rev George Johnson was. I also knew that the marriage was likely to have been outside or in a tent as there was no church building. However, because it was on a weekday without the church crowd, it may have been a more private affair at or in George Johnson’s home. A wattle-and-daub hut near Government House in Sydney.

Although the banns for the marriage would have been called on three Sundays previously there was no requirement that the marriage must take place on a Sunday. Note it was high Summer and the days were long, so there was still plenty of light, late into the evening. Each of the parties would have had permission from their overseer to be out of their place of residence after sunset.

Now we look at the wedding party.

James Bird was transported on Alexander in the First Fleet. He had stolen in the company of others,1000 pounds of saltpeter from a warehouse, and was sentenced to 7 years transportation. It seems he was often in trouble with the authorities in the early years of his sentence, but I have found no mention of his name in records after his marriage. He signed the register so he could at least write his name. [3]

Mary Dismon was believed to have been born in Ireland. She was sentenced on 9 September 1789 at the Old Bailey with Mary Butler after an incident in the Convent Garden Markets. She was held in Newgate Prison until she was sent to the Neptune to be transported to NSW on the Second Fleet. It is believed she became friends with Harriet on board the ship and remained so in the colony. She signed the register with an X as her mark, so she possibly had no education.[4]

John Hunter had originally been sentenced to death at the Old Bailey in 1784 for theft. However, he was reprieved and sentenced to transportation for life. He was sent to the prison hulk Fortune at Portsmouth. He was placed on board the Scarborough in the Second Fleet, so it is likely that he may have been a friend of Thomas or at least known by him. He signed the register so he could at least write his name.[5]

Harriet (Hodgetts) is believed to have been born in Staffordshire in 1765 and to have arrived onboard the Neptune in the Second Fleet, as a free woman. She claimed to be the wife of the convict, Thomas Hodgetts, although we now know this was not true. There were other free women on the Neptune who claimed to be the wives of convicts too. There appears to be no document of arrival in the colony to support the claims of these women. However, there was a letter to Governor Phillip which noted that the offer of passage had been made to wives of convicts, and a few had taken up the offer. Phillip was instructed to give them the same rights to food and clothing as convict women.[6] Harriet and the other ‘wives’ claimed the ‘free’ status and the Neptune as the ship of arrival on all subsequent colonial musters.

Harriet signed the marriage register with an X as her mark, so she possibly had no education.

I found no other marriages where Harriet Hodgetts was a witness.

Copies of my share documents for this marriage can be found under the Resources and Examples Tab on this website. See BIRD-DISMON, 1790, Sydney, Marriage Transcription 1 and 2

[1]Sydney Cove 1789-1790, John Cobley,1963 (Reprint 1980), Sydney, Angus and Robertson,p225

[2]Guide to the State Archives of New South Wales: Information Leaflet No 35, Attorney General and Justice- Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages: Microfilms of copies Registers of Baptisms, Burials and Marriages 1787 – 1856, Sydney,1984. p 9, Reel 5002

[3] Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, Mollie Gillen, 1989, Sydney, Library of Australian History, p 35

[4] The Second Fleet:- Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790, Michael Flynn,1993, Sydney, Library of Australian History, p244

[5] The Second Fleet:- Britain’s Grim Convict Armada of 1790, Michael Flynn,1993, Sydney, Library of Australian History, p350

[6]Sydney Cove 1789-1790, John Cobley,1963 (Reprint 1980), Sydney, Angus and Robertson,p225.

PS-  Richard Hodgetts mentioned this marriage in his book, “The Brave Old Pioneers 1788-1988.” This book is still available from Richard. If you wish to have contact details please leave request in comment box below. This is to protect Richard’s private email address being harvested by scammers.

Our Hodgetts Family Saga- Thomas Hodgetts Transportation Register

We research our family history backward – that is we start at the end and then move back generation by generation with documentation. However, most of us find when it comes to writing the family story we find it easier to write from the earliest ancestor we can find and then move forward with the story.

So with our Thomas Hodgetts I began with his burial and moved backward, finally arriving at the document I believe to be his baptism in Staffordshire.

Having said that, I am going to share with you a series of blogs about our Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts from what many people might consider the middle of the Hodgett story. That is their arrival in Sydney on the Second Fleet. For me, this is for convenience, but it is also the beginning of their life together.

The first document for this couple in Australia was Thomas Hodgett’s entry in the Convict Transportation Register. This was the first time this document was used. For the First Fleet in 1788 only a list of convicts on board each transport was supplied to Governor Phillip. However, the lack of any other information caused a major problem for Phillip.

Obviously, each of those “transported” were convicts, but soon after arrival, Phillip found convicts approaching his officers saying that they had completed their term of ‘sentence’ and asked the Governor to arrange their passage home to England, so they could resume their lives as free persons. Or, because of good conduct, they might ask for the indulgence of a shortened sentence with the same accompanying request for passage to England. However, Phillip had no documentation which showed when their sentence expired or would expire.

In England, convicts who had served their sentences were free to return home when their term was proven to be completed. In the transported convicts mind that should also happen in the New South Wales colony. As the Government had transported them there, they should return them home. Note, ‘exile’ for life was not part of their sentence. There were cases that mentioned this as a condition of sentence, and of course, those convicts could not have expected to go home.

However, it was not the intention of the Home Office that convicts and indeed soldiers should return home, but to remain after the completion of their sentence or service in the colony as ‘free settlers’.

To overcome this dilemma, Phillip in his early correspondence to the Home Office, requested that each convict’s place and date of conviction, and the term of the sentence be listed with their name.

Adhering to Phillip’s request the ‘Transportation Register’ was included for the Second Fleet showing this information.

Now let us look at the entry for Thomas Hodgetts. [Note- It was usual to use contractions to shorten the paper work].

HODGETTS,Thomas,1790,Sydney,Convict,Transportation Register

From Ancestry.com.au, Australian Records Collection, Index of Convict Transportation Register, from State Records of NSW, Convict Transportation Register 1789-1790 (Second Fleet) p 64.

[NB:- Although all these men were sentenced in the same place and often the same day, they were not all sentenced for the same crime nor length of sentence.]

However, it soon became apparent even this extra piece of information was not enough to identify the right person. Particularly when there was more than one person of the same name, even on the same ship.

This led to the document we know as the “Convict Indent”, which gave a whole lot of information about each convict including age, religion, education, crime and sentence, and even who they were assigned to on arrival. This helped not only at their arrival, but it could help track them in the colony right to the end of their sentence. These documents now in the State Records of New South Wales, help us to identify our ancestors among the many thousands of convicts when we are tracing our family tree.

The above is an explanation of why we only have a ‘Transportation Register’ entry for our Thomas Hodgetts and not a ‘Convict Indent’, which I know many people are looking for.

HODGETTS,Thomas,1790,Sydney,Convict Transportation Register

My above share document can be found under The Resources and Examples Tab on this website as Thomas Hodgett’s Transportation Register Transcription.

Good Ancestor hunting everyone.