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Climbing My Family’s Gum Tree

January 25, 2021

Blogger Pauleen from Family History Across The Seas put out the challenge of an Australia Day Geneame in 2014. This geneameme re-surfaced this year when Anne from Anne’s Family History reposted her updated reply to the geneameme, due to extra research done. My first thought was that I must re-do mine. I did then get a surprise to find that I didn’t even do it the first time round. I seem to remember that 2014 was an extremely busy time in my life and I took a short hiatus for the blog. So, better late than never. Here is my answer to Pauleen’s Geneameme.

Link to Pauleen’s Geneameme Climbing your family’s gum tree


My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was: My fourth great grandfather Thomas JONES was my first ancestor to arrive in Australia. He arrived at Hobart, in 1831, with Catherine who was soon to become his wife, and their baby son Robert. Thomas and Catherine married shortly after their arrival. Information on Thomas’ death certificate is that he came to Australia with the military. So far, I’ve found nothing to verify this. Looking for any Jones in the passenger lists is like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially this early in the 19th century.

I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with): I have no Australian royalty at all, or even anyone who would be considered important in society. We are a very working class family, though to me my ancestors are all important.

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from: My ancestors all came to Australia from Britain. I have branches from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. We are not at all multi cultural.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? My ancestors were all assisted immigrants, except perhaps for my great great grandfather Thomas WATERS. He arrived at Adelaide in the early 1850s. There is no record that his voyage was assisted, so I originally assumed he paid his own way, even though I’ve never been able to find his passenger record. A few years ago, a family researcher in England told me he was ship’s crew and jumped ship in Adelaide, to avoid going back to problems he had left behind in England. This has never been verified, though he definitely left problems behind him in England.

How many ancestors came as singles? Three direct ancestors came as single passengers.

How many came as couples? I’m still working on this due to family lines that haven’t yet been researched. Most of my direct ancestors came either as couples or travelled with their future wife.

How many came as family groups? Two direct ancestors travelled in family groups, on information I have so far.

Did one person lead the way and others follow? Family members followed my great great grandfather Farquhar Morison to Australia from Scotland.

What’s the longest journey they took to get there? Six months was the longest journey, I’ve come across so far. The McPherson’s came out on The Hercules, leaving England in January 1853. After many delays along the way, mostly due to bad weather, including having to turn back to England to wait for better weather, they arrived in Adelaide in July 1853.

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place? Not that I know of so far.

Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive? My direct ancestors arrived at Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia

Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? They mostly stayed in the same place. One ancestor relocated to Sydney from Tasmania. Another moved from South Australia to Victoria and two other families moved from Tasmania to Victoria.

Did they stay in one town or move around? Those that stayed in one state, mostly stayed in the same area,

Do you have any First Australians in your tree? None found as yet.

Were any self-employed? I have four direct ancestors who farmed their own land. Another four ancestors were self employed.

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in? Mostly agricultural labourers, either growing vegies, sheep or dairy farming. One ancestor was a school teacher in the early years, There were also a few miners.

Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation? As far as I know, I would say no.

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? None


What’s your State of Origin? Victoria

Do you still live there? I still live in Victoria. I lived in the town where I was born for 52 years, before moving to a city, about two hours away.

Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child? Rosebud, Victoria

Any special place you like to holiday now? Port Fairy, Victoria. We go there every year

Share your favourite spot in Oz: I would have to say Noosa as that is where my son and grandchildren have made their new home.

Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had? Cycling holiday around far North Queensland in 1989

What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list? Due to Covid my holiday bucket list is now much more simple – Noosa, Port Fairy, Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Norfolk Island.

How do you celebrate Australia Day? Our community usually has an Australia Day ceremony, but not this year due to Covid. We will have a quiet day at home. Dinner well be Aussie lamb cooked on the barbie.

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  1. Thanks for the mention. Happy Australia Day.
    Six months is an amazingly long voyage. Some of my forebears were on the ‘Dirigo’ which had to turn back after 14 days because of a cholera outbreak. The journey still took less than 6 months though.

    • It would have been a dreadful unimaginable voyage Anne. Thanks for pointin me towards this geneameme. Can’t believe I missed it in 2014

  2. Thanks for joining in Jennifer. It’s good to meet someone else without “royalty”….we seem to be rare 😉 I wonder if you’ve searched for Thomas Waters in the crew lists and merchant shipping records? No wonder there were ships sitting in port with all those men who jumped ship – including mine perhaps.

    • I did check the crew lists and merchant records quite a while ago. I should have another look with fresh eyes. Thanks for the reminder

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