I’ve had the great fortune to be able to travel to Tasmania (Hobart) in December 2019. Part of that fabulous family holiday included a trip to Port Arthur. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve not been able to place any direct ancestors at Port Phillip during its operation. I’d like to hope that that remains as it is, because having visited there, despite its austere beauty and unexpected stunning gardens, Port Arthur remains a place in Tasmanian history where there has been great sadness and loss by those who have spent time there. It was most definitely one of the most profoundly emotive places I’ve ever been.

2019 (Back River, New Norfolk) Cemetery Photos

Back in December 2019, I was travelling around Tasmania and came across a cemetery with some old graves. It was one of those rather warm days. Some of these might be useful to other researchers in our lines and your welcome to use these if they are of use to you? Whilst I didn’t/couldn’t find any of the particular graves I was looking for on this day, I did find enough connections and no reason not to expect that this was a familiar cemetery to our pioneering ancestors.

Walter Hancock (1826 – 1871) and Louisa Hall (1833 -1887) (Callan) – London brickmaker to Hawke’s Bay pioneers.

I’ve been researching this one for some years now. Even with the arrival this week of the death certificate from New Zealand there is little I can conclusively prove regarding the origins of our Hancock origins.

I’ve been checking regularly through ‘Thru Lines” on Ancestry.com DNA looking for a connection to the (English based) Hancock line. I have been able to find DNA connections through both Walter and Louisa via their children Emma Sarah Hancock and Elizabeth Hancock.

I hope you enjoy the story that I’ve been able to put together for Walter and Louisa.

Mystery Children. Linked to Fowles or Lorkin/Larkin?

These photographs are on card, are quite small and are exactly what you would expect for pre-twentieth century photography. Each of these photographs were taken at the same time at the Stevenson and McNicoll studios at 108 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. From 1885 on-wards Stevenson and McNicoll added the ‘gold border’ around their photographs and this was something common in their work. With this in mind I know that these photographs were taken from 1885 onwards. These photographs originally belonged to Lily Mary Lorkin/Larkin Fowles. I had thought at first that they might be her first three sons and daughter as children however, I can’t corroborate that and the little girl doesn’t look old enough to be the eldest child. So I’m back to the drawing-board and looking for help to identify these children.

Puzzle Mystery, Frank?

This very dapper gent is Frank and I know that because it’s written in pencil in beautiful scrolling script on the back of the card, well actually the more I look at it it could even be Izaak. I’m really not sure anymore. However, if you can help me ID this fellow I would be deeply grateful. This is going to be somehow linked to the Fowles or Lorkin/Larkin family.

Puzzle Solving WW1 photograph.

Hello everyone,

I’m undertaking a spectacularly large project with photographs that have been given to me. The puzzle is that not all have names or information on the back to serve as clues.

If you know who this fellow is and I suspect he may be linked somehow with the Fowles family? I would dearly like to hear from you. I have the original which is in very good condition on heavy card. There is absolutely nothing to indicate who this came from, not even a photographic studio name.

Any help identifying this fellow would be deeply appreciated.

Susannah Nairn and Elizabeth Hopper and the unfortunate Mr Twydell…

I can’t believe I missed this.  And thank goodness for eagle-eyes,  I’m going to give full thanks and credit to our cousin Glenda Humes who has made some remarkable discoveries through her research of our Susannah Nairn and Elizabeth Hopper and their dual connection to Mr Twydell, fabric merchant in London.

Both ladies were convicted and transported (at different times) for stealing from the same shopkeeper!  Poor old Mr Twydell was the victim of several light fingered ladies over the years. Two of ours included.

Here is the research/correspondence from Glenda: 

“I have been researching convict Elizabeth Hopper (wife of William Hazlewood, convict) trying to pinpoint the location of her 1787 crime which was the drapery store of Anthony Twydell. From a search on Anthony Twydell on the Old Baileys site, I came across Susannah Nairne who stole fabric from the store of Anthony Twiddle in 1791. More research led to Anthony Twiddle, Twydell, Twedall, all apparently the same person and victim of multiple fabric thefts between 1783 and 1795. The 1791 court transcripts lists a brother Levi Twiddle – a Levi Twidale was listed as a breeches maker – the same person when you search for Twidale under the Old Bailey site as it brings up Susannah Nairn’s proceedings (and there is an Ancestry tree for Levi Twidale which shows Anthony as his brother). It seems the store was located in the Minories, north of the Tower of London and possibly close to John St. now called Crosswall, west of the Minorities road (a Starbucks sits of the east corner now!) The church at the north end of the street is St. Boltoph Church and Twydell was an active member. Both Elizabeth Hopper and Susannah were transported but Mary Snow who stole fabric in 1795 got off with a fine despite stealing more than Elizabeth (Susannah stole 20 shillings worth of handkerchiefs). I thought this back story was an interesting addition to Elizabeth Hopper (my 5th G-Grandmother and Susannah Nairn whom I believe I must be related to distantly but haven’t found the connection yet.”

Here is how I can explain your connection to both ladies. Elizabeth Hopper would have one child on New Norfolk Island.  Susannah would have one child from our (Riley) line, two more with her (Wells) husband and one child presumably Riley left back in London. In effect four children, three fathers.

Elizabeth Hopper of London was convicted and transported in 1789 aboard the Lady Juliana (also known as The Floating Brothel).  Her ship was the first one to arrive in Sydney after the first fleet had landed.  This was in 1790.  Elizabeth was sent to Norfolk Island. She would die there in 1795. She married William Hazelwood.

Susannah Nairn was transported in 1792 aboard The Kitty to Australia on what is now known as the “fourth fleet”.  Somewhere between being incarcerated and arriving in Australia Susannah became pregnant and the father remains unknown. She had been married twice? in England, to a Tolbert/Talbot and Riley.  She was delivered of a son, John Riley not long before arriving in Sydney. However the father remains unknown as due to time incarcerated and travel could not have been husband.  Once arriving in the colony of New South Wales, Susannah would go to and remain living the rest of her life in the Parramatta area.  She would marry Robert Wells.

Now, here is the connection, Elizabeth Hopper had a daughter named Maria Hopper-Hazelwood in Norfolk Island.  After her death and when the island population was relocated to New Norfolk in Tasmania, Maria went to live there with her father.

Susannan Nairn descendants (my line) 

John Riley (freeborn) went on to marry convict Catherine Latimore (Wanstead). NSW.

Their daughter Diana Riley (freeborn) married William London (freeborn) NSW.

Their son William London married Matilda Ann Mitchell. NSW.

Their daughter Priscilla London married Arthur Helmrich. NSW.

Their daughter, Neva Helmrich would marry Ernest Kingshott Whitehead.

Elizabeth Hopper descendants (my line)

Maria Hopper Hazelwood, (freeborn) married convict Robert Hay. TAS

Their son John Hay (freeborn) married convict Sophia Morgan. TAS

Their daughter Mary Ann Morgan-Hay (freeborn) married Francis Kingshott (freeborn). TAS

Their son Francis Kingshott (freeborn) married Hannah Oakley (freeborn). TAS

Their daughter Edith Kingshott went to NZ and married Ernest Whitehead. NZ

Their son Ernest Kingshott Whitehead would marry Neva Helmrich.

This however is just the connection with my line.  It is likely if not probable that there could be other connections between these families simply because of the close proximity that families had and the limited ‘marrying’ options in those days. We have to remember that for quite a long time NSW and Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) were our earliest settlements.