The story of John Summers is a classic case of a convicted offender turning over a new leaf. By the time he died at 49 years of age, he had become a wealthy property owner and much respected citizen of the Western Australian colony, holding positions of great trust within the community. John Summers was… Continue reading John Summers 1837-1885 Convict No. 4942
Joseph Ledger Sowden's birth name was Joseph Sowden Ledger. Prior to him being transported to Western Australia, he was convicted on many occasions and perhaps used both surnames (his mother's maiden name was Sowden) to avoid detection of past offences. Some of these convictions were: Dec 1842, Leeds. Larceny. Jailed for 5 months. Oct 1843… Continue reading Joseph Ledger or Sowden 1824-1895 Convict No. 7551
George Steel was 25 years old when he and 18 year old accomplice John Martin were indicted for a robbery with violence against George Hennessy, a tailor, at the Old Bailey, London on 29th August 1849. It was a particularly brutal crime where the victim was assaulted and struck with a life preserver (club-like weapon… Continue reading George Steel 1824 – 1865 Convict No. 282
Foreword “I’m illegitimate!” Jean declared to the author (her daughter) of this story. “I had no idea until my brother Ian told me when I visited him in Canada in the 1980’s. I’d always wondered why my father was so distant towards me when I was little…” Jean's mother Maggie had never said a word… Continue reading Who was my Father?
John Sellenger (variants: Salinger, Sallinger, Sallenger) arrived in Fremantle on 31st. August 1853 on the ship Phoebe Dunbar, which had sailed non-stop from Kingstown, Ireland, taking 89 days. He was fortunate not to have been one of the 16 convicts and passengers who died during the journey, supposedly of Typhus but more likely of advanced… Continue reading John Sellenger or Salinger 1832 – 1906 Convict No. 2400
I was recently asked to try and trace the ancestry of a mixed race Australian whose grandmother was half Indigenous Australian and half white Australian, born in 1920. This was the first time I'd been tasked with researching Aboriginal ancestry and I was somewhat daunted by the thought of so little recorded information being available.… Continue reading Tracing Aboriginal Ancestry
John Richards was convicted of burglary at Liverpool Assizes on the 9th December 1848 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for stealing 2 hams1. This was the era of the potato famine in Ireland, which caused mass starvation, disease and emigration. John was about 23 years old, an ex soldier from Dublin, Ireland, whose parents… Continue reading John Richards 1823 – 1897 Convict No. 453