Our TWO Wanstead ancestors.

I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.  But here is the first time I have found two convicts who came on the same ship who have ended up having their families marry into each other in our connections.  Catherine Latimore who came out on the Wanstead in 1814 also traveled with fellow convict Maria Coverley from England to Port Jackson (Sydney) on the Wanstead.

 (1)Catherine Latimore would go on and marry John Riley and their daughter (2) Diana Riley married William London.  Diana and William had a son (3) William John London.

(1) Maria Coverley had a daughter Elizabeth Coverley with William Badgood/Bidgood. (2) Elizabeth married Edward Mitchell and they had a daughter  (3)Matilda Ann Mitchell.

William John London and Matilda Ann Mitchell married and went on to have a large family of their own.

So the Wanstead played quite the role in bringing these two families together.

Catherine Latimore England to Port Jackson (Sydney)

b.1797 – d. 1868

Sentenced 7 years

Wanstead (1814) 

convict ship

Maria Coverley England to Port Jackson (Sydney)

b.1792 – d. 1864

Sentenced 7 years

Wanstead (1814)

convict ship

Riley Family Reunion March 2016

I wondered if you might like to know that there’s a facebook group page called “Riley Extended Family” – https://www.facebook.com/groups/361710750687571/ & that they’re having a big family reunion for ‘Riley’ descendants in March 2016?
Kind regards,
Anne Cobcroft :))
I’m also a descendant of Susannah – but from her marriage to Robert Wells.

Recommended read: The Campbelltown Convicts.


MoshPit Publishing, 1Feb.,2013Convicts164 pages

” I noticed that Catherine Lattimore was sentenced on the same date at Warwick Assizes as Mary Morris. They were both transported on the Wanstead and rowed up the river to Parramatta.” Peter Hinds.


On 19 March 1818, a young man called John Champley was committed to the House of Correction in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, for two years’ hard labour. He had been convicted of being a party to the theft of eighty pounds of butt leather in Pocklington on 13 December 1817.

Four months later, after an attempted escape from the House of Correction, he was sentenced to transportation to one of His Majesty’s ‘Plantations or Colonies abroad’.

Champley arrived in the penal colony of Sydney Cove on Thursday 7 October 1819 and was assigned to a shoemaker at Parramatta. After receiving his freedom in May 1826, Champley left Parramatta – with the shoemaker’s wife.

Early in 1829, Champley and his family left Sydney to live at Bong Bong. In February 1830, following a robbery at the nearby Oldbury estate, Champley and his two alleged accomplices, John Yates and Joseph Shelvey, were sentenced to death at Campbelltown. They were saved from the gallows upon appeal by their barrister and their death penalties commuted to ‘life and hard labour in irons’. Champley and Shelvey were sent to Norfolk Island, and Yates to Moreton Bay.

About a year later, two captured bushrangers from Jack Donohoe’s gang made confessions concerning the robbery and Champley, Shelvey and Yates were brought home and pardoned. However, the trial and incarceration had by now reduced their lives from one of hope to one of despair.

Many Australians now take great pride in tracing their convict heritage, but this has not always been the case. Historically governments destroyed convict records and families kept their offspring in the dark about their convict ancestry which has made it difficult to establish the true stories of these convicts.

The backdrop to this story is the slavery of the convict system in New South Wales with the terror of the penal settlements of Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay.

Under this evil system excessive floggings were handed out by the magistrates. The floggings and starvation drove many convicts to abscond and take to the bush to become bushrangers. Even when the convicts were emancipated they were still treated as second class citizens.

This book serves to record as many facts and details as possible of one story from this tragic period in our country’s history. It is a timely reminder that compassion and authority do not always go hand in hand.

Getting through the messages..

Phew, we are a chatty bunch.  I’m using the Christmas break to also catch up with a lot of messages.  I apologise if I have not responded sooner, it has been a very busy year. I will get to all of them.  If I have missed you or you want to contact me again by all means please shoot me over an email.   Wishing all of my family and extended distant family a happy and blessed new year!

Very interesting article on Irish names…. relevance to Donovan included.


Author is Mike Collins.

Read in the messages, interesting reference to Donovan being a name that doesn’t travel far from Cork in Ireland.  Fits in with what I was told, that Great great-grandmother was from Cork.

A good read.



Pop back and check on pages of interest. I’m updating all the time.

Over the last few months I have come across a great deal of extra information.  Keep popping back to check pages as I update them frequently.  An easy way of doing this automatically is the ‘follow me’ button.  If you use that, then you will be notified by email whenever there is an update.  That option might suit?


Update on Captain Gay, For all ye landlubbers,

Thanks to the amazing people at Sydney Heritage Fleet, have got a whole swag of new stuff for our Captain Gay and family;

Check out the updated page. The Gay Family

Got a hankering to find out more about our ocean going heritage?  Then check out Sydney Heritage Fleet.