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


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.


Family History Class Notes- Searching the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages On-line Indexes for NSW


In our former classes we looked at Birth, Death and Marriage certificates and the registration of these events in Australia. We noted the on-line indexes for each of the states was a little different in the information given. The New South Wales Indexes do not have the dates of the event, only the registration year. They do not give the maiden name of the mother either. This can present difficulties in using these on-line indexes.

IMG_9364 (2)

Collection of Birth,Death and Marriage Certificates for New South Wales,Australia

The New South Wales website for the on-line indexes is found at – https://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/

If you open the Home page of this website you will note tabs across the top of the page. On the right-hand side, you will note a ‘Family history research’ tab.

When you click on this tab it will open in a new window. On this page, you will note this list:-

  • Start searching
  • Or ask a transcription agent
  • Tips for family history research
  • Contact us for help


Click on the ‘Tips for family history research’.

Please download and read the “Family history search help guide” (Pdf format) found here.

This will help you get started on your search.

However, I know some of you will still have problems. I have prepared a more in-depth guide, which I hope will help with some of the more specific problems. This is also in pdf format. You will find it under the Resources & Tips Tab above.

This guide includes:- Historical background
Other States websites for Birth, Death & Marriages
Accessing the on-line indexes for NSW
Transcription Agents
A Basic search for:- Birth Certificates
                                    Marriage Certificates

Death Certificates

Problem-solving using Advanced Techniques with ‘Wildcard Options.
 Problem with:-Surname
                             Christian Name

Place and Time period


You will see listed on the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for NSW website the Historical Indexes range from 1788 – 1989. ( Plus part of the current year)in this way. Baptisms 1788 – 1855, Births 1856 – 1919 +; Marriages 1788 – 1969 +; Burials 1788 – 1855 and Deaths 1856 – 1989 +.

[In the list above you will note Baptisms 1788-1855 and Burials 1788-1855. These are before the official registrations came into effect on 1 March 1856. They will be explained in another class.]

Good hunting to you all. If you are still having problems please contact me.