Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bucket List 1 - How did I happen to be an Australian?

My parents: Laurie Tonkin and Olwen Selby

Since retiring from full-time blogging (and, indeed, well before that and prompting it), I have been working on my family tree. Since my father died, it became obvious to me that I had so much stored in my head that would be lost, as Dad did, too, and lost his was.

So, I set myself a task of taking my four grandparent family-tree-branches (lines) back out of Australia. The lines are:
Selby, and
The Tonkin and Cole are my father's lines. The Selby and Hughes are my mother's lines. I have now traced each line back to the United Kingdom.
L to R: Grandpa Tonkin, Grandma Tonkin, Grandpa Selby, Grandma Selby
L to R: Will Tonkin, Sylvia Cole, Roy Selby, Ollie Hughes

Of course, with each successive generation of ancestors, one doubles the number of lines to juggle. And, as a researcher, I had to make decisions about how lateral to make each line, ie was I after only depth, or was breadth of interest, too. Both my father's lines only went back three generations, meaning both the Tonkin and Cole lines went back to my great-great-grandparents (2*G-GPs), which is to about 1850. However, one of my mother's lines went back five generations to my great-great-great-great-grandparents (4*G-GPs), which is to about 1800. But this was coupled with my maternal grandmother being a first generation settler.

But how to record all this? I have extensive records on I have the ability to print trees via "Family Tree Maker". But, history is not just names and dates. The study of history has moved on from William the Conqueror and 1066; from Vladimir Lenin and 1917. History, to be real and to be engaging, has to tell the sociology of the time; has to put the ancestor into context, warts and all, has to breathe life and blood into a simple working-class bloke from the boon-docks. By writing a series of posts, here, I hope to fray this piece of string, to find its length, where it starts, and how best to show off its warp'n'weft. So, dear reader, you are my test bunnies.
When researching family history, and recording the results, many codes are used. The three logos above are ones I use. Other researchers choose differently. The first logo indicates the person was a convict. The second logo indicates the person died before reaching adulthood (21). The third logo indicates the person died in childbirth. Logos are only used if a photograph is not available.

So, let's do the convict ancestors.

Grandpa Tonkin did not have any convicts on his paternal TONKIN LINE. The Tonkins (parents and four children)arrived into Melbourne on the 'Swiftsure" in March 1857 from Penzance, Cornwall. However, Grandpa Tonkin had two convicts on his maternal CHAPMAN LINE. William Chapman was transported (stealing money, 7 years) to Port Jackson in the "Susan" in 1834. Charlotte Webster was transported (10 years, but don't know what for) to Port Jackson in the "John Renwick" in 1838. BTW, transportation to NSW ceased in October 1850. They married in March 1843. My father's maternal COLE LINE had no convicts in sight. His great-grandfather, Stephen Cole, arrived into Melbourne aboard the "Red Jacket" in May 1860, with my father's grandfather, Charles, arriving on the "Swiftsure" in April 1862 together with his mother and siblings.

Grandma Selby (Olwen Hughes) met my grandfather, Roy Selby, in London during WW1. She was from Tywyn, Wales, and was a maid. She arrived in Sydney between November 1919 (when Roy returned from service) and May 1920, when they married in Enmore. So, no convicts on my mother's maternal HUGHES LINE. However, my maternal grandfather's line has three convicts The SELBY LINE migrated to Port Jackson in May 1839 as Bounty Migrants on the "Spartan" (both parents and two sons). No convicts there, but the younger of those two boys married Mary Ann Puckeridge, whose paternal grandfather, Joseph Puckeridge, was transported (stole 75 yds of material, sentenced to death but remitted to life in the colony) to Port Jackson in the "Earl Cornwallis" in June 1801. Both Mary Ann's maternal grandparents were convicts: Thomas Hughes was transported (for life, but no idea what for) to Port Jackson upon the "Perseus" in 1802; Susannah Smith was transported (14 years for I know not what) to Port Jackson aboard the "Wanstead" in January 1814, and married Thomas Hughes in 1816.

Joseph Puckeridge, 1801, "Earl Cornwallis" (my 4*G-GF)
Thomas Hughes, 1802 "Perseus" (my 4*G-GF)
Susannah Smith, 1814, "Wanstead" (my 4*G-GM)
William Chapman, 1834, "Susan" (my 2*G-GF)
Charlotte Webster, 1838, "John Renwick" (my 2* G-GM)
It is interesting that the ancestore who became shopkeepers, sailed of their own volition into Melbourne, whereas the ancestors who were inner-city working-poor "tradies" were sent at the King's leisure into Sydney!


diane b said...

You sure have done some research there. Are you going to tell us what they did, where they lived and how they died. I love these stories.

Julie said...

Yep, all that. I like that sort of yarn, too. But I need to get a style. I want it to be like a work of fiction, just with real people and as many facts as I know. I learn little things about them each day. An engrossing hobby. Like poor old Charlotte Webster ... fell down a flight of stairs ...

Joan Elizabeth said...

You do have an interesting heritage. Did the family admit to having convicts in the line?

Julie said...

My father knew because I saw a scribbled note in a margin to that effect in his hand. But he never told me, so he never admitted to it. I feel certain that the cover-up in my mother's family happened very quickly (like before 1850). I feel certain that she did not know, nor did my grandfather.

Kay L. Davies said...

I gasped at "stole 75 yds of material, sentenced to death but remitted to life in the colony" — that's a fair bit of yardage, but a death sentence? Life was hard in those times, and remittance to the colony (if one survived the voyage) might not have been much easier.
I've heard the term "at the King's leisure" before but it still seems rather odd.
When I first saw the photo of your father in the sidebar of your Sydney Eye blog, I thought it was Barry.
I'm glad you're enjoying "plumbing the deeps" to discover what you can about your family, but I understand how difficult it can be to establish a style in which to write it.
(Must admit I miss your full-time blogging, though.)
Luv, K

Piratess-Lyonesse-ELOHIM-ARCTURIAN said...

Wow, am so pleased to have come across your blog; I am embarking on a much similar journey myself, attempting to write my first bookon my bloodlines & ancestory. Funnily enough I am Penzance born & bred, though I do have family in
Sydney & Canberra, as two of my maternal great uncles ended up there. Thanks for sharing, Julie :)