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


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