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,1791
From the collections of the State Library of New South Wales
[a928407 / DG SSV1B/3] (Dixson Galleries)
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.
[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.