Sunday, January 26, 2014

Australia Day Challenge 2014

Climbing my Family's Gum Tree

The surnames of my ancestors who first set foot on Australian soil (my boat people)

I have not completed any family history research or blogs for over two months but thank you to Pauleen from Family History Across the Seas for proposing this Australia Day Challenge and prompting my return.

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was:
Samuel Mottram, who arrived at VanDiemans Land (Tasmania) on 8th August 1838,  aboard the convict boat,  Lord Lyndoch.  He was 38 years old.  It is uncertain if he was accompanied by his young wife Catherine and daughter Margaret or if they followed him soon after.
Samuel was not a convict.  He was a soldier in the British Army who was escorting 330 convicts to Australia.  

I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with)
I thought for a while that my elusive Elias Jones was a convict.  However, I was disappointed after researching three convicts name Elias Jones to find that none of them were my ancestor. So no, I do not have any Australian Royalty.

Alexander Walker was 5 when he arrived
in Geelong, on the James Brown,
 with his family on 5th January 1853.
A brother died on the journey.
I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from:
Twenty from England, Six from Ireland, Five from Prussia, One from Wales (the elusive Elias Jones) and another elusive ancestor, Samuel Drayton, from United States.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam?
Fourteen were "Assisted passengers",  nine were "Unassisted passengers", a further nine are unknown with three of those appearing to swim!.  Two ancestors were working on boats (a convict boat and a whaling boat) and decided to remain in Australia.

How many ancestors came as singles?
I admire the bravery of all those who made the long and dangerous voyage to Australia.  Six of my male ancestors came out as singles.

How many came as couples?
There were only two couples (husband and wife). 

Edith Bound was age 8 and Amelia (Milly) Bound was 20, when they arrived in Port Adelaide, with their widowed mother and 7 siblings, aboard the Oaklands.  They were the last of my "boat people" to arrive on 21 September 1878

How many came as family groups?
The majority arrived as a family group.  Nine family groups made the voyage to Australia with five ancestors being younger than 10 years of age (the youngest being age two).  At age 22, Margaret Gully and her sister Ellen were very brave to make the journey to Australia from Ireland.  It must have been very difficult for my GGG Grandmother, Amelia "Jane" Bound (nee Congdon), who had recently been made a widow, to make the journey with 9 children, the youngest being 10 months old.

James Pilgrim was 22 when he
arrived in Melbourne
10th October 1858
aboard the Lady Milton
Did one person lead the way and others follow?
Yes, I immediately think of my GG Grandfather, James Pilgrim, who followed his older brother John to Australia and was soon followed by his younger sister Emma and her husband, with a further three siblings remaining in Essex.
What’s the longest journey they took to get here?
Over 3 years! Samuel Drayton boarded the whaling boat Sophia in Nantucket on the 15th June 1848. He was one of 25 crew. It is known that the schooner stopped at Pacific islands to offload barrels of sperm whale oil, arriving at Port Jackson, NSW,  on 28th October 1851.  I am hoping to get a copy of a log book detailing the voyage.  Fingers Crossed!
Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place?
I believe that two of my unknown boat people may have left UK and spent time in USA and NZ respectively, before coming to Australia, which is why I cannot confirm their arrival details.

I would love to find out how and 
when Richard Foy came to 
I believe that he arrived in QLD 
in the 1870s but the records
 have been destroyed
 by flood so I cannot prove.
Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive?  Did they settle and remain in one 
state/colony? Did they stay in one town or move around?
13 Victoria,  12 South Australia, 2 Tasmania and one in NSW.  I also believe that one ancestor arrived in Queensland prior to making his way to Victoria.  However, I cannot prove it, as the relevant QLD immigration records were destroyed in floods. 
Samuel Mottram, who was mentioned previously, arrived in Tasmania.  After two years, he went to WA, where the family stayed for 22 years before following their son to the Victorian goldfields. However many of the other children remained in WA.
Most of my boat people ancestors made their way to Victoria with a few remaining in SA.

Do you have any First Australians in your tree?
We may have aboriginal blood in one "branch" of the tree but it will need a DNA test to prove it.  On a different perspective, I am married to a "First Australian".  My husband's mother was born in Germany and his father in Romania whilst my husband was the "first" of his line to be born in Australia.  (I haven't done much work on his family tree).

Were any self-employed?
Yes, I have many farmers in my ancestry. 

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in?
I have previously written about the occupations in my family history.  Those who arrived in Australia, were primarily farmers or miners.

My father was the first white collar worker in the family, while I was the first to go to university (advanced diploma) with my daughter the first to obtain a degree.

Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation?
James Pilgrim purchased farm land in 1882, which is now operated by his Great Grandson.   There are many properties in the area, which are owned by various members of the Pilgrim family.

Mary Ann Warner was 4 years old
when she arrived at Port Adelaide,
aboard the Westminster
with her family on 5th July 1848
Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”?
Only one that I am aware of but it was only for a visit to seemingly collect additional furniture and goods.

Now it's all about me

What's your State of Origin?

Do you still live there?
Yes, I have lived in 15 towns within the State of Victoria, which are
listed in another post

Mother and Daughter
Jane Warrick (nee Trethewy) and
Mary Ann Scott (nee Warrick).
Jane was 22 when when she arrived in
Port Hobson aboard the Appleton on
25 January 1857 with her husband
and two children under two.
Where was your favourite Aussie Holiday place as a child?
Nearly every school holidays, we would go to the "Beach House" at a tiny coastal town on the South East coast of Victoria.  My parents have lived there since they retired so I wont mention the name.  I still find it one of the most relaxing places to visit.

Any special place(s) that you like to holiday now?
My husband and I love to travel and see new places.  I have a list of places that I am "ticking off".  Our most recent holiday was to US.  It is my dream to spend 3 months in a campervan, travelling England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, visiting all the places where my ancestors lived (but doing some touristy things too)..........................but that will need to wait until the kids have finished uni and/or I retire!

Share your favourite spot in Oz:
Now that is HARD as there are so many great places to see and things to do.  I keep going back to Cairns as my sisters live there.  I  don't think I could live there but I always enjoy it and there is always plenty to do and see.

Any great Aussie adventure you've had?
Jungle Surfing at Cape Tribulation and Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Hard to believe that I am scared of heights isn't it! 

What's on your Australian holiday bucket list?
Definitely Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and the Red Centre.

How do you celebrate Australia Day?
I don't tend to go to Australia Day events but instead use the time to do research and blog! 

 I thank my ancestors for making such sacrifices and having the courage to make such a long and difficult journey to Australia so that we can have a wonderful life now.

Donald Scott was 23 when he traveled
alone aboard the Sappho, which arrived
in Geelong on 18 December 1852. 
Mary Ann (Polly) Warrick was my
youngest "boat person" as she was
only 2 years old when she arrived in
Port Hobson aboard the Appleton on
25 January 1857.

I would love to find out how and when
Richard Foy came to Australia.  I believe
that he arrived in QLD in the 1870s
but the records have been destroyed
 by flood so I cannot prove.

Eduard Geier was 22 when he
came to Australia.  His father
was the oldest of my 'boat people"
at age 63. They arrived in
Port Adelaide aboard the
Alfred on 6th December 1848.
Matthias Lange was 49 when
he arrived with family at
 Port Adelaide in 1846, aboard the
George Washington.


  1. It's great to read about your ancestors' trips Sharon. I especially like the graph you've made of their occupations and the photos you have of your ancestors!!

    1. Thank you Kylie. I love my statistics and graphs!

  2. Hi Sharon, great blog, love all your photos, especially James Pilgrim! Have a great Australia Day, researching and blogging.

    1. Thank you. I am making the most of it as I am working tomorrow.

  3. I love the photos you've included in this post - you are lucky to have them. I also love the graph of your ancestors occupation. Can I ask how you made it?

    1. Hi Sherie, I love statistics so often put them into Microsoft Excel and then create graphs in Excel. I find graphs a great visual way to summarise information. It is great when I can use them in a blog and even better when others appreciate them too.
      Thank you

  4. Great post Sharon! I agree with Kylie, love your photos and the graph. Happy Australia Day

    1. Thank you Kerryn. I really enjoyed checking and summarising all the information on my many migrants into one post. I am very lucky to have been able to collect so many photos.

  5. Beaut post, Sharon. I've been missing your posts - pleased to see you at the keyboard again.

    1. Thank you Jill. That is very nice of you to say.

  6. Hi Sharon - I enjoyed reading your post. Happy Australia Day. Regards Anne in Ballarat

    1. Thank you for reading Ann. Happy Australia Day.

    2. Inspired by your lead in image, I just had a fun play with Tagxedo :) Thanks!

  7. A great post, Sharon... loved that you included not only the photos, but captions to tell us about them.I'll join the fan club for the graph, and also for your surname tree... I just copied the name of gthe site for that as I was looking for something similar to wordle, but couldn't remember what it was. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Wasn't quick enough to fix the typo... darn!

    2. Lol. Glad I could help. Wordle has stopped working for me so found this one instead!

  8. Great post, Sharon. You always have lots of interesting photos! I hadn't thought of including bar graphs in posts about family but they work well here.
    I love Tagxedo - first discovered it when we were planning the Latter family reunion held in March last year. I had no photos of the first arrivals so used a Tagxedo of family names and places in an Australian map as the graphic on the invitations - will definitely use it on my blog sometime soon!

    1. Thank you Maureen. When we had the Pilgrim Family Reunion, I spent hours making up a family tree of names. I mean hours! Then I discovered Wordle, which made it SO easy but it has stopped working so I am on to Tagxedo now.

  9. You know many more details about your ancestors than I do! great post.

    1. I love the gum tree image. In poetry, that would be classified as a concrete poem!

    2. Thank you Nonnie. I have learnt something new. I had not heard of a concrete poem but "googled" it to learn more. Love the Internet!

  10. Sorry to be coming in late Sharon. What a wonderful post full of information and the twists and turns your research has taken you along. I wondered if the crew of whaling ships were regarded as merchant seamen...I suspect not but you never know it might be worth searching FMP or Family Search for them.

    I'm with the crowd in loving the photos -you have such a great array. I also like the occupation graph and may have to try that with mine. I'm a bit of a stats freak too :-)

    I had trouble the last time I tried Wordle but had used Tagxedo before so just switched to that.

    Not sure I believe your fear of heights...nothing, even a Lotto win (well maybe!) would induce me to climb the Harbour Bridge, or even the Story Bridge in Brisbane. Hadn't heard of jungle surfing before though I've been to the Daintree. Maaaybe would try that.


  11. FMP and Family Search don't reveal anything about Samuel Drayton. However as a result of this post (thank you so much for prompting) I may have located a copy of a journal that was written by one of the other crew members. Trying to control my excitement as I may not be able to get a copy (copyright) and it is in a whaling museum in USA.

    On another note, the jungle surfing was scarier than the Bridge Climb! I was shaking uncontrollably with fear but I always try to overcome my fear and still try things. I feel so good after I have conquered my fear! But I will NEVER Bungy Jump EVER!