Wednesday, June 29, 2016

John Fraser - b1809

John Fraser - A journey from Inverness to Goulburn.

Poverty, famine and epidemics in Scotland in the 1820s and 1830s caused the first significant Scottish emigration to Australia.  By 1837, when John Fraser's family immigrated to Goulburn, it appears they had already lost two of their children, two more died on the journey.  What a heartbreaking start to their new life that must have been.

From the :Inverness Courier, 30 May 1838

‘Australian Emigration—Fort William’
After some months of expectation and anxiety, Dr. Boyter, the Government emigration agent for Australia, arrived at Fort William on x 8th current. The news of his arrival, like the fiery cross of old, soon spread through every glen of the district, and at an early hour on Monday, thousands of enterprising Gaels might be seen ranked around the Caledonian Hotel, anxious to quit the land of their forefathers and to go and possess the unbounded pastures of Australia. . . . While we regret that so many active men should feel it necessary to leave their own country, the Highlands will be considerably relieved of its over-plus population.


I do not know who John Fraser's parents were, but it is likely they were also from Inverness in Scotland, as people did not move around a lot in those days, unless they were immigrating.  I know from census information that John Fraser was born about 1809 in Inverness, Scotland.

The Fraser Clan had traditional land in Inverness-Shire, Scotland.

Fraser Castle

Family life

 John Fraser and Ann McGlashan married in Longforgan, Perthshire, Scotland on 9th May, 1831, and we know this from the Scottish Marriage records.  John was aged about 22, and Ann 21 years.

The family lived in Inverness according to the 1851 Census.  They had five children before they immigrated to Australia.  The children were born in Longforgan, and Inverness in Scotland, but when they arrived in Australia, only their daughter,  born just before the journey (Ann) was still alive.

We know from the immigration records that both John and Ann could read and write, and that they were Protestants.  John's occupation is listed as Grieve, which means he was a sheriff or bailiff in Scotland.  There are a few entries in the NSW Government Gazette naming a Constable Fraser in the Goulburn area, but it is not clear if it is my John Fraser - could be though!

It appears the family went straight to Goulburn to live, in a little town called Bungonia, and this is where my GG grandmother, Jessie Fraser was born.  The couple went on to have another 6 children, making it 12 in all.

Here is a picture of their daughter Jane Fraser and her husband William Cummings:

and, this (sorry about the quality) is their son Robert Fraser and his wife:

John Fraser died on 11th April, 1883, and his wife 5 years later.  They are both buried at the  Old Goulburn Cemetary, Goulburn, NSW, AUS.  I know nothing of their life together other than they lived and had their family in the Goulburn area, hopefully more will come to light in the future.

" Anne Fraser 
 11 December 1888, 80y. Wife of John Fraser. Leaving 3 sons and 5 daughter
Her beloved husband, John Fraser
 11 April 1883, 74y. Native of Fifeshire, SCT., Husband of Anne Fraser.
James Fraser
13 June 1907, 56y. 3rd son of John & Anne Fraser."


More Information? If you are researching John Fraser and would like the sources for this story, 
please contact me or comment below.  I would be happy to collaborate with you

Ann McGlashan - b1808

Born in Inverness, Scotland in 1808, Ann's parents were Alexander McGlashan and Elizabeth.  I do not know Elizabeth's surname, or how many children they have.

There is also a birth registered in 1811 for an Ann McGlashan, so the date of birth is in dispute, although her immigration papers say she is aged 28 in 1837, so that would make here DOB about 1808/9.

The McGlashan Clan is a Sept of the Mackintosh Clan, which is a Scottish clan from Inverness with strong Jacobite ties. The Mackintoshes share a common history with the Chattan Confederation.  
McGlashan Tartan

Origins of the clan

Shaw, son of Duncan Macduff, accompanied King Malcolm IV of Scotland to Morayshire to suppress rebellion in 1160. In 1163 he was granted land in the Findhorn valley and made constable of Inverness Castle. Upon Shaw’s death in 1179, his son, Shaw the second became chief and was confirmed by William I of Scotland the Lion.

Probably the earliest authentic history of Mackintosh is traceable to Shaw or Search Macduff, a cadet son of the third Earl of Fife. The son of Macduff, for his support of King Malcolm IV, was awarded the lands of Petty and Breachley in Invernesshire and was appointed Constable of the Castle thereto. Assuming the name Mac an Taoiseach which means “Son of the Chieftain”, he became the progenitor of his own clan.

 The current Chief is John Mackintosh of Mackintosh. He has been chief since 1995 and currently resides in Singapore as a teacher at Nanyang Girls’ High School.

 I know nothing more about Ann McGlashan, other than her death on 11th February, 1888 at Goulburn.  She died 5 years after her husband John, and is burried with him at Old Goulburn Cemetary, Goulburn, NSW, Australia.  

Immigration of the Fraser family - John Fraser

Bungonia - John Fraser

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mary Ann Katesby - b1778

Mary Ann Katesby - weaver, convict, mother.

In 1798, when Mary Katesby was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, Ireland was very unstable, and there was an Irish rebellion. Army regiments from England and Scotland were involved in putting down the rebellion. Because of their geographical location near to Ireland many of the English regiments were from the Lancashire area, and in particular the area around Manchester. 
The Lancashire area became a loyalist 'hotspot' and the loyalist elite began to influence public and civic events until it became unacceptable for anyone holding reformist views to hold a position or present their views in public.  Manchester had become a centre of the industrial revolution, and cotton mills were everywhere.
It is in this setting that we find Mary Ann Katesby standing in the dock at The Quarter Session Court where the less serious crimes were dealt with, and that usually met only four times a year.

Early life

Mary Ann Katesby was the daughter of James Katesby and Ann Collis who married at Saint Marys Church, Portsea, Hampshire, England.  It is unclear if her surname begins with a C or K, as her father is listed in the English Marriages database as Catesby.

St Marys, Portsea.
She was born the year the first settlement was established in Sydney Cove, Port Jackson - 1778; at Haigh, Lancashire, England.  I don't know if Mary had any siblings, or very much about her early life, except that it was probably lived in the Manchester, Lancashire area.

Conviction & Transportation

Mary Katesby was tried and convicted at the Lancashire Quarter Sessions on 19th October, 1798 (age 20 yrs)  and was given a 10 year sentence.  This was changed to Transportation, in accordance with the law of the time.  She spent around a year in Lancaster Castle Gaol.

She was transported for, 7 years, to Australia in 1800 aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" arriving on 12th June, 1801.
Her Convict Indenture gives us the following information:

Name:     Mary Katesby
Date of Conviction:     10 Oct 1798
Place of Conviction:     Lancaster
Vessel:     Earl Cornwallis
Port of Arrival:     Sydney
Date of Arrival:     10 Jun 1801

Convict Indenture, 10th June, 1801



Just a year later, Mary married John Johnson on 9th July, 1802 at Parramatta, NSW, AUS.  Presumably, they met on the ship they were transported on.  There is no Permission to Marry or Marriage Banns that have been found for this marriage, only an entry into the Australian Marriage Index.  John Johnson died on 16th Febuary, 1803 at Parramatta, and is buried at St Johns Anglican Church Cemetery, Ashfield. 

Mary and John Johnson had one child, Mary Ann Johnson, who married John Thompson in 1818, and then  George Augustus Frederick Lentz (an architect) in 1855.

Just one year later, Mary married Thomas Bates at St Johns Anglican Church, Parramatta on 6th February, 1804.  There were a lot more men in the colony than women, which meant women could be picky about who they married.

Thomas and Mary had 3 children, Margaret, John, Elizabeth; and possibly a 4th child, James Joseph Bates.  Neither of their daughters appear to have married, John Bates married Sarah Hill but died aged just 30.  James Joseph married Sarah Fitzpatrick, the daughter of an ex soldier who became a  Policeman, and they went on to have 10 children. 

After Thomas died

There is a little more information in the 1828 census concerning Mary, she appears to have lived with, and been 'employed' by another ex convict, John Thompson, her daughter's (Mary) husband.  Thompson was a convict from the Fortune given a life sentence, but making a living as a harness maker.

Mary died on 22nd December 1828, and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery, Rookwood, NSW in the Old church of England section, Row 1.

More Information? If you are researching Mary Ann Katesby and would like the sources for this story, please contact me or comment below.  I would be happy to collaborate with you

1828 Census - Mary Katesby

John Johnson - marriage to Mary Katesby

Conviction of Mary Katesby

Transportation - Mary Katesby

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thomas Bates b1766

THOMAS BATES - From common thief to an honest industrious character.

I wonder how Thomas felt, standing in the dock,  when he was sentenced to Death at the Old Bailey. A common enough sentence in those days. Fortunately, transportation was often used as an alternative to hanging or imprisonment for criminals in England.  From 1787-1868, criminals from the United Kingdom were transported to the British colonies in Australia as the American War of Independence had made it impossible to continue to send them to America.  Thomas Bates was one of them.

I am quite lucky that we know a lot about Thomas  after he was transported to the Colony.  Several documents exist, and they paint a story of survival, and the beginings of the colony.  The Clark branch of my family centred around the Parramatta & Auburn areas of NSW, and Thomas owned land in what is now Auburn.  He is just one of the several people in the family that appear to have been on the wrong side of the law.  Fortunately, Thomas seems to have become an upright person in society (with one significant slip up!) and future generations did the same.

His Beginnings

Thomas Bates was the son of John Bates and Elizabeth Wood who married on 28th February, 1746 at All Saints Church, Canterbury, England.  The family lived in the London area, which is where most of their children were born.

All Saints church

Thomas was born on 14th August, 1766 in London, and baptised at Saint Luke Old Street Church, Finsbury, London in September the same year.

St Luke Old Street church

The Old Baily and Transportation

This is all I know of him until he was committed for Trial in 1796 at the Old Bailey for stealing clothing and cloth.

Old Bailey C1808

As often was the case, the sentence of death was commuted to Transportation, and records show Thomas Bates was on a hulk until it was carried out, although no hulk record has been found so far.   Convicted criminals like Bates, who were sentenced to transportation, were punished with imprisonment in prison hulks to work at hard labour prior to their transportation.    Life in prison hulks was hard, and death rates were high.

Thomas was transported in 1798 on "The Hillsborough"  The death rate on the journey of the Hillsborough was one of the highest of any convict ship, 95 of the 300 convicts died on the journey, and many more were ill when they arrived in Sydney in 1799.

When he arrived in Sydney, the Governor was John Hunter.  Hunter was a naval officer and was recalled to England  just after,  in 1800.

Hunter handed over to Lieutenant-Governor Philip Gidley King, who established Australia's first welfare institution (Female Orphan School) in 1801.  The school housed abandoned and orphaned children who were supposed to be educated, but were often put to work as servants and making clothing.

Life in Australia

Thomas Bates' early life in NSW, Australia as a convict was quite successful, he became a land and livestock owner and farmer and was given conditional emancipation in 1803 and a pardon in 1804.

Thomas Bates was one of the first people who owned land in what is now the Centre of Auburn.  An Heritage Study into the history of Auburn  gave me quite a lot of information about where Thomas had his land. 

Thomas married Mary Ann Katesby on 6th February, 1804 at St Johns Anglican Church, Parramatta, NSW, Australia.

St Johns Parramatta

Mary was also a convict, transported on the Earl Cornwallis in 1798 she had previously married a convict, John Johnson in 1802, but he died the next year in 1803.  They had one child, Mary Ann Johnson.

In April 1809, Lachlan Macquarie was appointed Governor of New South Wales.  Macquarie was Australia's longest serving governor, and led the penal colony to a free settlement through policies of economic and social development.  He is also remembered, however, for mistreatment of the aboriginal population.

Gov Macquarie

In the early years of their marriage, Thomas became a constable in Parramatta.  The family had 4 children (Margaret, John, James and Elizabeth) and owned 50 acres in what was then Greater Parramatta.  There are several reports of a Thomas Bates being a road repairer in Parramatta, as well as being granted a publican licence in Parramatta, but it is difficult to confirm the latter is the right Thomas Bates.

In 1815, we do know that Thomas apprehended the bushranger, John Fitzgerald at Concord, and he was given 10 pounds reward.   Fitzgerald was infamous for his exploits in the Hunter region and for escaping from gaol on several occasions, he died in notorious circumstances.

An insight into Thomas Bates can be found from a 'memorial' letter he wrote to Gov. Macquarie in 1820, where he describes himself as being of honest, industrious character.

The family were still landholders in Parramatta in 1822 when Thomas and his wife were charged with assaulting Maria Haslem (Maria & her husband appear to have owned land near to the Bates').
He fell from grace, and was dismissed from his position as Constable.  However, the situation is unclear, as he is still listed as a constable in 1823 & 1825, and still on the Colonial Secretary papers, being paid as a Constable in Parramatta.

What else is known?

That is the last we know, with any certainty, of Thomas Bates. There is family information that he  was involved int he uprising of Vinegar Hill and that he was  buried at the Devonshire Street Cemetery. The Devonshire Street Cemetery was eventually closed and the graves exhumed and moved to other cemeteries to make way for the Construction of Central Station in Sydney.

"Thomas Bates (1825)". Thomas was buried in the Church of England section. His remains were re-interred in Bunnerong Cemetery (Botany), Church of England Section 4S, plot 102. Johnson & Sainty transcribed the headstones back in 1969-1970. Gravestone Inscriptions NSW Volume 1, Sydney Burial Ground by K.A. Johnson and M.R. Sainty.

His wife, Mary Ann Bates is in the 1828 census, living in the household of John Thompson (her son in law), she is listed as Widow by this time, she died in December the same year.

More Information? If you are researching Thomas Bates and would like the sources for this story, please contact me or comment below.  I would be happy to collaborate with you.

Thomas Bates Memorial Letter to Gov. Macquarie.

Bushranger John Fitzgerald

Thomas Bates and Mary Katesby maried life

Marriage of Thomas Bates and Mary Katesby

Thomas Bates connection to Auburn

Thomas Bates Early life in Australia

Transportation on the Hillsborough

The trial of Thomas Bates at the Old Bailey

I am lucky that the whole trial [3] of Thomas Bates at the old baily is online and quite easy to read (see below - note that often f is used instead of s).

He was accused of stealing cloth and clothing from the house (and workplace) of one Jonathan Hewitt, a tenant in Ratcliffe Court, St Lukes parish, London.  Jonathan Hewitt was a ribbon weaver.  The robbery was committed by Thomas Bates and John Everitt, who worked together. John Everitt told the court it had been Thomas Bates idea, and he had been bullied into carrying the robbery out.  He said that a man called Benjamin Goddard had paid 3 guineas to Bates, and he and been paid a guinea from it. Much was made at the trial about Bates changing a guinea with the owner of a public house next to where the robbery took place. Thomas said the guinea was Everitt's wages, and pleaded that if he had committed the robbery where was the money for the goods? He had only been found with a few shillings.   Another lodger in the same house as the robbery, testified that she had seen 2 men, one tall, on the night, one with a blue coat.  Everitt had a blue coat.  .

John Everitt does not appear to have been charged and tried, but he does appear in other trials as a witness for the prosecution.

 The trial was also reported in the London Gazette of January 14th 1797 as follows:

Yesterday 12 prisoners were tryed at the Old Baley, two of whom were capitally covicted, viz. Tate Cohert, for burglariously breaking open the house of Henry Moses, and stealing a woman's shoe; and Thomas Bates, for felonious stealing in the house of Jonathan Hewitt four cloth coats etc value 40s and upwards.  Four were convicted of felony, and six acquitted.

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