Chapter 2 from The Family of Thomas and Mary Beswick, 1992, revised 1998

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Mary Mackenzie, Friends and Family



THE GIRL FROM LIVERPOOL AND THE SCOTTISH SOLDIER



Mary Mackenzie, the future wife of Thomas Beswick I, was born at Sydney 23 August 1813, the child of a convict woman from Liverpool, Ann Clarke, and a soldier, Alexander Mackenzie.(1) Ann was about 20 years of age and already had another child, John.(2) There is uncertainty about the birth of John, the older child, and it is difficult to give a straight forward account of the relationship of the girl from Liverpool with her Scottish soldier. It must have been a common enough kind of pairing in those days, but if theirs was true love it certainly did not run smoothly. I will try to tell the story as simply as possible and leave the `and's `if's and `but's to the notes which will allow people who have a special interest in researching family history to follow the clues and form their own opinions.



To set the scene it might be helpful to have in mind a few facts about life in the convict colonies in the early period which affected relationships between men and women and must in turn affect our attempts to understand how a family was formed.(3) The ratio of men to women among the convicts was 7 to 1, and in the early days the remainder of the population included many soldiers most of whom did not have wives with them. Convicts comprised about half the population in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land for several decades and a high proportion of those who were free were ex-convicts or the children of convicts, children that is, usually, of the female convicts. A high proportion of the male convicts died lonely old men without families.



Nor were family units easily held together, especially in Sydney up to the time when Mary was born. Although many partnerships were stable, many were not and were affected by external circumstances over which individuals, especially convicts, had little control. There was an orphanage to which children of female convicts could be taken from about the age of 2 years so that their mothers could be more easily assigned as servants to householders.(4) John Mackenzie might have been one of those children.(5)



One of Governor Macquarie's instructions when he was sent out in 1809 was `to encourage marriage'. The system of assigning convicts to be servants of free settlers could mean that the women were treated as concubines until greater care was taken for their welfare during and after Macquarie's term. Arrangements were sometimes made for wives to be chosen as the female convicts came off the ships. Some were assigned as servants. In the earliest period, some were simply neglected and made their own arrangements. Convict women in Sydney for whom other arrangements could not be made could be taken to the Female Factory at Parramatta, a kind of workhouse.



Ann Clarke was convicted at the Borough Court of Liverpool Quarter Sessions on 3 April 1809, together with another female prisoner, Elizabeth McCallum, of stealing two pieces of printed cotton and sentenced to be transported for 7 years.(6) Her partner in crime was sent to gaol for two years, and others with similar offenses got only three or six months, but she must have been punished more severely on account of her record. She had only just been released from having served six months in gaol for stealing three cloths and other articles. Interestingly, at the time of her previous conviction on 26 July 1808 the next person listed in the report of the Liverpool sessions was Mary Clarke who was sent to prison for three months for stealing cloth. (Was she a sister? Ann named her eldest daughter Mary.) Furthermore, Ann was also sentenced to gaol for another offence on the same day as she was sentenced to be transported; that time it was for stealing, in company with Mary Long, twenty yards of check.



Those were early days of industrial development when Lancashire was leading the world in textiles. The new factory workers no doubt had plenty of opportunity to engage in a little trade of their own which might substitute for the loss of profit from cottage industry. Normal society had been greatly disrupted by the industrial revolution. One of the effects was the movement of workers, especially young people, out of the family environment. That is not to say that the social conditions caused her crime, after all there were many others in the same place who did not steal, but those days were a little like ours today in terms of the effects of radical social change on personal morality and family life.(7) Ann was about 17 years of age when she was sentenced to be transported.(8) All four of the convict ancestors of the North-East Beswicks were teenagers at the time of their transportation. Ann like her son-in-law Thomas appears to have lived without committing further offenses in her new life in the colonies(9), so change of situation seems to have made a difference to her conduct, although it did not always have such a positive effect as in two other cases of our Tasmanian convict ancestors.



It was nearly a year before her transportation ship departed from England on 23 March 1810. The voyage of between five and six months was about average or a little longer than average for convict transports at that time. We do not know what happened to Ann Clarke when she first arrived on the ship `Canada' on 8 September 1810(10). She could have been six months pregnant, but the year of birth of her first child is uncertain. Somehow she coped with the situation and began a long and successful struggle for survival of herself and her children in extraordinary and rapidly changing circumstances.



Alexander Mackenzie, the first of our ancestors to arrive in Australia, was a soldier in the 73rd regiment, one of the two regiments of the famous Black Watch, the premier unit of Scottish highlanders in the British Army. The regiment was posted to New South Wales after the Rum Rebellion when its commanding officer, Lachlan Macquarie, was appointed Governor. They arrived in Sydney Harbour on 28 December 1809, though it was 1 January 1810 when the soldiers came ashore, with the primary task of restoring legitimate government.(11) Macquarie's term as Governor marks a turning point in Australian history. Our Alexander, who was known as Sandy(12), had only a small part in it. He never held a rank other than private although he was remembered in family tradition as `Sergeant Mackenzie', but there is a good explanation of that as we shall see. Another part of the tradition handed down to us is that he came to Australia from India, and while we cannot say that it is exactly correct there is something to it nevertheless.



Alexander enlisted with the Dumfries militia in July or August 1803, and applied to transfer to the 73rd regiment on 7 September 1807.  It is possible that he was an old hand in the regiment because he was about 36 years of age(13) in 1807 and there were several soldiers named Alexander Mackenzie in the 73rd when it was in India in the 1790s, indeed as many as five of them were at Vellore in 1799. He was recruiting for the 73rd at Inverness(14) in December 1808.  He was with the regiment at Sydney at the end of 1809 and posted to Parramatta in the March Quarter of 1810 where he stayed until the last quarter of 1811, when he returned to Sydney.(15) He was then in Sydney until the March quarter of 1814, and it was during this time that our Mary came into the world.



Ann was most probably living with him and when he left she was no longer `on stores', that is, she was not being supported by the government.(16) When the baby Mary was six months old Alexander was ordered to leave New South Wales in March 1814 with an advance party of the regiment which was being sent to Ceylon. The 73rd regiment moved to Ceylon later in 1814. This was the time when the British established effective control of Ceylon by sending a military force to intervene in a dispute between the chiefs and the king who was overthrown. Ann appeared in the NSW colonial muster records later that year as a single person living in Sydney with two children and without government support. How did she manage?



Alexander completed his term of service while the regiment was in Ceylon and he was discharged there on 16 December 1815. Instead of returning home to Britain he went back to NSW first writing twice to Ann apparently with the intention of rejoining her in Sydney.(17) Whatever was Ann's situation at the time, things did not work out for them then. Alexander received approval to select a grant of 80 acres of land from Governor Macquarie and went to Van Diemen's Land alone about July 1816.(18) His original land somewhere along the North Esk River in the White Hills area was measured but not formally granted. It appears to have been exchanged for two adjacent blocks, supposed to have been 40 acres each, which are found on old maps on the left bank of the North Esk River downstream of Corra Linn, near and just below Paterson's Island, in what was later the district of St Leonards.(19)  One boundary fence coming away from the river opposite the downstream part of the island can still be seen today from the hill where the road to St. Leonards from Relbia passes on the Launceston side of the Relbia homestead. The district was then known as Paterson's Plains.(20)  Alexander began to develop the land while he worked in Launceston as an overseer of convicts: it was from this occupation that he became known as Sergeant Mackenzie.(21) He received a cow in 1817 as a grant from government stores(22) and by the time of the 1819 muster he had 32 cattle and crops on the land.(23) He might have been able to gain assistance by virtue of his position as an overseer. In any case the land was relatively well developed with 40 acres in wheat as well as running a reasonable number of cattle a year or so later.



Meanwhile Ann formed a new partnership with a convict named James Wells(24) with whom she had a child, William, who was baptized at Newcastle 3 August 1818. At about the same time she received a letter which prompted her to go to Van Diemen's Land to join Alexander and she went almost immediately, arriving there in October 1818 with three children.(25) Now things start to get complicated. Whether Ann and Alexander ever considered marriage we have no idea, but they were both apparently eligible when they had been together previously. Now things changed. Believe it or not, a few months before Ann left James Wells in Newcastle to join him in Launceston, Alexander married a 14 year old girl named Elizabeth Murphy.(26) Not only that but when Ann arrived in Launceston she was already pregnant with another child by James Wells, which she might not have known when she left Newcastle. Young Elizabeth went back to her parents.(27) Ann's daughter by James Wells, Margaret, was born 10 May 1819.(28) Ann's four children were listed with Alexander's surname in the population muster of October 1819 and four children are given as members his household in relation to Alexander's land in the Land Holders Muster that year. So they might have settled down at last; but before the end of the year Alexander Mackenzie was dead. He died at Launceston on 9 December 1819. His burial is the first entry in the register of St. John's, Launceston.(29) Six months later Ann married Thomas Brennan.



So ends the story of the relationship between the girl from Liverpool and the Scottish soldier, but it is by no means the end of Ann Clarke's part in our family history. Our ancestor Mary Mackenzie, was only six years old when her father died. Her memories of him would depend on the period of a little over one year during which her mother lived with him at Launceston, and perhaps a vague recollection of him being in Sydney when she was three. Sandy or Sergeant Mackenzie was well remembered, Mary wrote his name in her Bible, and must have been responsible with her mother Ann for what was passed on to later generations.





THE BRENNAN HOUSEHOLD



Mary spent the next ten years growing up in a mixed household which included eventually three Brennan children, Thomas, Elizabeth and Ann, as well as the four Ann brought with her from the Mackenzie household, John (who appears to be known later as Mackenzie), Mary herself, William (Wells, later known as Brennan) and Margaret (Wells/Brennan). Mary inherited her father's land and is listed in early records of the Launceston District (for the land county of Cornwall) as a non-resident landholder with 30 or so cattle and some crops on 80 acres at Patterson Plains, while living with her mother and the Brennan family. It is the circumstances of this step family which provided much of the social environment of the first generation of Beswicks. Much of that was put in place while Mary was growing up and Thomas was serving his time with Anthony Cottrell on the Nile a few miles to the South and then establishing himself in Launceston.



Among the passengers on the ship `Minstrel', when she left Norfolk Island on 13 February 1813 bound for Port Dalrymple, were Thomas Brennan, James Jordan with four children, and young men Richard Jordan and William Saltmarsh.(30)  Others who figure in our story, including the Pecks had Norfolk Island backgrounds. In some lines the families who intermarried with later generations of our family can trace their forebears back to the First Fleet through the Norfolk Islanders.(31) Those who were evacuated in 1813 went to settle at Norfolk Plains, which became Longford. Over the next thirty years or so there was a close association between the people who were evacuated from Norfolk Island and those with convict connections who settled around White Hills and other areas to the South of Launceston. Richard Jordan and Thomas Brennan were among those who moved to live in that district. We noted before their common Irish background. The link continued several generations later through the Westbury district and was carried with them to the North East.



Ann Clarke married Thomas Brennan at St. John's Launceston 28 June 1820. He had been transported for 7 years on the `Marquis Cornwallis', after being tried in the Irish county of Kildare in 1795.  It was in this marriage that Ann eventually enjoyed a stable relationship of more than twenty years. As was not uncommon for convict women, he was twice her age: she about 27 and he 54 when they married; but he outlived her, and when he died, 30 June 1850, aged 84, the informant for registration of his death was `Thomas Beswick, Patterson Plains, step son'. Our Thomas I was really a step son-in-law from his marriage to Mary Mackenzie, who became a step daughter of Thomas Brennan by virtue of his marriage to Ann Clarke in 1820.  There was clearly a continuing close relationship with the Brennan family, and it is even possible that Thomas and Mary Beswick were looking after the old man after his wife died. 



Thomas Brennan is said by the surveyor Evans to have had 30 acres of land on the South Esk, that is closer to where Thomas was assigned and near where he too later had some land, but the Brennans were living at Patterson Plains in 1821.(32) Their son Thomas was born there 21 July 1821.(33) By 1825 they had moved a few miles to `The Springs', Breadalbane. It was at `The Springs' that the Brennans were living in 1825 when a daughter Elizabeth (born 1823) was baptized, and they were still there in 1829, although by 1835 they were again at White Hills when their youngest daughter Ann who had been born in 1829 was baptized, but it is possible that at that time White Hills was thought of as including what we now know as Breadalbane. Mary was at `The Springs' at the time of her first marriage, with Jeremiah Peck, in 1829.



`The Springs' is still the name of a property on the road to Launceston Airport near the Breadalbane end of the runway, but it appears to have been applied more generally around the area of the present road junction at Breadalbane. There are actual springs on the farm which carries the name and remains of very old houses have been found at that site.(34)



Mary retained her entitlement to her father's land during this period and some arrangement must have been made for it to be worked because she is reported to have had 40 acres of wheat and 35 cattle on it in 1822. She would have gone to school then too, at least some of the time. It was probably very interrupted schooling, due partly to lack of teachers in the early 1820s.(35) We know that, unlike her mother, she could write her name, because there are documents in existence which she signed, and she could write sentences at a level of a child with a few years of schooling. At her first marriage Mary signed her name and her husband made his mark.  Both Ann Clarke and Thomas Brennan signed their marriage certificate with a cross.  Margaret Wells did likewise although her husband signed his name. 



How did Mary learn to read and write when her younger sister Margaret did not?  She might have learned a little from her father, but she was only six when he died.  There was a school in Launceston at that time but probably not at Patterson Plains.  In the early 1820s indeed Patterson Plains and Norfolk Plains were noted in a report to the Government as areas with many children and no schoolmaster.(36)  One appears to have been appointed by 1824.  It is possible that Mary could have gone to school briefly in Launceston around 1820 or in Patterson Plains 1823 or 24 for a year or two.  By 1825 she was living at the Springs and that could have been too far to walk to school.  She was still there when she married in 1829.  Her younger sister might thus have been too far from a school at the time she was the normal age to attend, and Mary would have had only very limited opportunities. 



The examples of her writing that we have in her Bible are consistent with her having had only a little schooling:  both there and in her signature on other documents she had a very uncertain hand and her spelling was sometimes her own, e.g. 'Magrett', 'Louisa ... Dide on the ningth'.  She recorded the births of her children, apparently with some difficulty. She wrote her name several times in the Bible and it is interesting that at the front she wrote `Mary Ann Beswick', and elsewhere `Mary B', `Mary Makenzie'and `Mary Peck'.(37) Why she wrote her name as Mary Ann in the front of her Bible is a bit of a mystery. Everywhere else, on her marriage certificate and land transfer documents, she signed simply as Mary. One unfortunate thing about Mary's Bible is that some earlier records, probably relating to her first marriage to Jeremiah Peck, have been removed by pages being torn out and some scratching out.



Before we look to the Pecks and what a relationship with them might have meant, we should note briefly that the families of Mary's younger half sisters Margaret, Elizabeth and Ann, continued to have significance for Mary's descendants even to the lifetimes of people living today. Let us take a peep into the next century. At the former home of my parents on `Claremont' at Derby, Tasmania, there are a few relics of earlier times. Of particular interest are two post cards from nieces of Ada Weir (eldest daughter of Thomas Beswick II):  one from 'Thora' (Bottcher/Burton, daughter of Catherine Beswick, Ada's younger sister) to Ada at an address in Queensland, with a picture of Branxholm which my father had dated 1910, and the other from 'Sylvie' (Kath Martin, daughter of Amy Beswick, another sister of Ada) dated 'May 1, 08' addressed to Derby. 



The first conveyed Christmas greetings and added, 'Auntie Flo, Maggie Young and Frank have been staying here.  Aunt Olle [name unclear] left yesterday for Penguin.  Franky still here ...'. 



The other card had a message from 'Sylvie' to her aunt concerning her grandmother:  'Grandma left today, she is going to stay a week with Mrs Emery and then a fortnight with Aunt Charlotte.  Tell Doris to expect a letter on Tuesday ... P.S. Grandma was quite well.  She received your P.C. today'.



These messages are packed with meaning which will be clearer when we consider the family of Thomas II and his wife Catherine who is `Grandma' in `Sylvie's' note, but two connections go right back to Ann Clarke, and Mary Mackenzie's younger sisters. Maggie Young, who is an important figure in the later history of the family in Western Australia, was a grand daughter of Mary's sister Margaret; and Mrs. Emery was related by virtue of the fact that the other sisters, Elizabeth and Ann Brennan, married brothers John and George Emery.(38)



To extend the forward glimpse some thirty years later, we can report that Dorothy Russell, my father's sister, said that as a young adult she was introduced on two occasions in Launceston to mature married women whose maiden names had been Emery and who she was told were cousins of her father.  One was a Mrs Harley with a Christian name of 'Louie'. She was introduced by another of the daughters of Thomas II, her Aunt Angie (Mrs Bennett). The other was a Mrs. Pithouse who introduced herself as a cousin of Dorothy's father. As late as 1984 Kath Martin (The girl Sylvie of 1908 now in her old age) wrote in a letter of a visit with Louisa Emery.



Margaret Wells `commonly known as Brennan' married William Renton Kerr in 1835. They lived at Talisker, White Hills. Their son William, born 1841, was the father of Margaret Maud Kerr known later by her married name as Maggie Young.(39) Thomas Peck, brother of Jeremiah, Mary's first husband, owned land next to the Kerrs at Talisker. Another neighbour at Talisker was Richard Jordan. Thomas Peck's twin brother Joshua Peck owned a block next to the one Thomas Beswick owned in Bathurst St, Launceston, and another next to the land Alexander Mackenzie left to Mary at Patterson Plains.  The pattern of relationships and possible points of contact between these families extends into a complex network.(40)



The descendants of John Mackenzie were known also to later generations. There is evidence of the Kerr family being in touch with the Mackenzies at least two generations later.(41) John was a hotel proprietor in Launceston(42). He had the `Scottish Chiefs' hotel on the corner of Wellington and Canning Streets 1836 - 1845 at least, and later the `Mason's Arms' in Wellington St., and another then at Gravelly Beach. His being a hotel proprietor is interesting because of the family tradition, quite unconfirmed, that `Sergeant Mackenzie' had a hotel called `The Man at the Wheel', supposedly at Newstead.(43)



We must now leave Ann Clarke and her other children, but not without a tinge of sadness. Ann Brennan died 29 July 1841, aged 49, as a result of `accident by fire'.  Launceston newspapers of the time report two fires a week or so earlier, on the 17th and 22nd. One at a house in Charles St. seems unlikely as it appears no one was injured.  The other is possible if she died of injuries later.  There was a fire at the Steampacket Hotel in which a child had died.(44)  On the other hand cooking over open fires in confined spaces was a common danger, especially to women wearing long dresses. However it was, her death in this manner saddens me, for I had come to regard Ann as above all a survivor.  She had coped with extraordinary difficulties in a life that appears to show adaptability and initiative.  It would have been demanding to say the least to have been landed in Sydney at the age of 18 in the corrupt days of 1810 when Macquarie had just arrived. In biological terms she was `a success'. Incidently, she was now at the end given her married name. Until 1828 women who had been convicts were known officially by the name under which they had been transported even if as in Ann's case it was many years after the term of her sentence had expired.







THE PECK FAMILY BACKGROUND



Mary Mackenzie married Jeremiah Peck, at the age of sixteen, on 2 November 1829.(45) Jeremiah was born on Norfolk Island in 1805.(46) His parents, Joshua Peck and Mary Frost, were both convicts who lived on Norfolk Island in the first few years of settlement. Then after ten years in NSW from 1793 to 1803 they returned to the Island for a second period before moving to Van Diemen's Land. Joshua Peck claimed to have twelve children. We know of ten. Before Jeremiah there were John, Elizabeth, Mary Ann, William and the twins Joshua junior and Thomas. Charles, James and Sarah were probably all younger.



Joshua Peck senior was transported on the `Charlotte'(47) in the First Fleet in 1788, after being tried at Exeter in March 1786 for stealing.  He was sentenced to 7 years.  He went to Norfolk Island on the Golden Grove on 13 October 1788. Mary Frost, was tried at Thetford, Norfolk, March 1789, sentenced to 7 years, and arrived at Sydney on the `Neptune' of the Second Fleet.  She went to Norfolk Island on 7 August 1790, the same time as Mary Butler. The Pecks returned to Sydney on the `Kitty' in March 1793, and received land grants at Toongabbie in 1794 and 1797. They sold their land in NSW in 1803 and appear to have arrived at Norfolk Island in that year. They departed on the `Porpoise', which left Norfolk Island 25 December 1807 and arrived at Hobart 17 January 1808.  Some of the younger children were baptized in Hobart in 1808.  They were still in the Hobart area 1811.  By 1819 they were living in Northern Tasmania and were recorded in the muster of that year and the next.  Then came a new encounter with the law.



The Hobart Town Gazette(48) of 9 June 1821 reported in a supplement that `Joshua Peck the elder, William Peck, Joshua Peck the younger and Thomas Peck, were placed on trial, charged with having feloniously killed ten sheep, the property of our Lord the King', and another charge of stealing a heifer.  They were found guilty and sentenced to be transported to Newcastle, NSW, for 14 years.  Jeremiah was not with his father and brothers when they were caught stealing sheep from the Government farm.  Joshua senior died in Newcastle in 1825.(49)



At the trial of the Pecks in 1821 the overseer of the Government flock, Thomas Daley, referred to a `stock-yard in Camden Plains, about 9 miles from Launceston' and said that `the prisoners lived about three-quarters of a mile from this yard and were the only settlers who lived near the place'.  `He had tracked sheep to within 100 yards of the prisoners' dwelling, down to a creek.'  Since December he had lost about 30 sheep.  John Bourke in evidence said he had lived at the prisoners' house briefly, having rented 80 acres of land adjoining to Peck's.  He saw Joshua, the younger, and Thomas bring the carcasses of three sheep and cut them up in the house at night.  He said `... the family fed chiefly on salt mutton and beef, but the Pecks had no sheep of their own'.  Evidence was also given by Ann Seaton who, it appeared, had lived with John Bourke, and supported his evidence.  Thomas Calvin who had been assigned as a government servant to the Pecks, remembered five sheep being `brought in from a hill by the Sugar Loaf (in Camden Plains)'. Sugar Loaf is a prominent hill at what became known later as Talisker.(50) The Sugar Loaf is marked on Evans' map of 1822.  Camden Plains was in the area where parts of McLeod's original 2,000 acres were owned about 20 years later by Richard Jordan, William Renton Kerr and Thomas Peck.



Jeremiah's brothers William and John had other sentences as well. William Peck had been deported from VDL to NSW in 1817 for being a bushranger. (Note that Ann Clarke was in Newcastle at that time.) He returned in 1820. After his second deportation he escaped from Newcastle and was sent to Macquarie Harbour in 1822. John Peck, `a native of Norfolk Island' was tried at Hobart 3 June 1824 for receiving sheep stolen by John Anderson from John Jones at Big Lagoon near Jericho and acquitted, but he was convicted of a similar charge a few months later and sentenced to 14 years at Macquarie Harbour where his brother would have been at the same time. He survived those extreme conditions and died in 1872 at the age of 80 and is buried in the family vault at St. Leonards.(51)



So Mary's in-laws were well and truly imbued with the old convict stain, more than her family of origin had been, but her mother and step father were part of it too at least as far as their backgrounds were concerned. Yet the Peck family became citizens of some means, Joshua junior in particular owning a good deal of property in the area in later years.



Jeremiah applied for land at Cox's Creek (also known as Nile River, oddly where Thomas Beswick was working) in 1826. He was granted a publican license at Paterson's Plains on 17 September 1831, where he appears to have had some land. In 1833 he had an agreement concerning 60 acres at Breadalbane.(52) He and Mary also shared the land she had inherited.



The daughter of Mary and Jeremiah Peck, Mary Ann, was born on 3 June 1833. Although it was four years after their marriage, she was their only child.(53) Mary Ann Peck played quite an important part in our history. She tends to be forgotten, but she was a member of the family along with the Beswick children of Mary. Her situation at certain times was a factor in the future of the Patterson Plains property and in the way the Beswicks moved into the North East of Tasmania in the early days when the Scottsdale and Ringarooma districts were being opened up some 30 to 50 years after the period we have been considering so far, and later still, Mary lived with her at Scottsdale in her old age. Descendants of Mary Ann are still known to the Beswicks.



A few months after Mary Ann was born, Jeremiah died on 27 November 1833, aged 28 years. Mary was not a widow for very long. She married Thomas Beswick the following May when she was still only 20 years old.



From this point on we begin to move away from the convict origins. Thomas and Mary Beswick did many of the same things as other pioneers. Their family and way of life developed in prosperity and diversity over the coming years, but it took a long time for those origins to be left behind. The story of Mary's parents, the household in which she grew up, the family into which she first married and the background of Thomas the convict must have been powerful influences. Furthermore they were shared by many, probably most, of the families like the Jordans with whom they were associated. It was the old society of Van Diemen's Land: `That den of thieves, that cave of robbers, that cage of unclean birds, that isthmus between earth and hell'.  Even as late as the 1860s the `Vandemonians' were regarded with special horror on the Californian gold fields and there was much concern about their evil influence among the first generation of free settlers in Victoria.



The really interesting question is how a basically decent society grew out of such an unpromising beginning. We can say, and it is partly true, that they were joined by many other settlers, like the upright Scots and earnest Methodists moving out of the English working class to establish something quite new under God in which notions of class almost but not quite disappeared. Each of us living today has many other ancestors of Thomas and Mary's generation. They are only two of my 16 great-great-grandparents (of whom `only' two others were convicts), and only two of 64 great-great-great-great-grandparents of my grandson Lachlan who was born as I was writing the previous chapter. But that, being only one among many influences, is not a sufficient explanation. It is in the nature of human life that none of us is entirely determined by our backgrounds.



One can understand a strong even defiant sense of pride in one's family developing among those who must have felt a need to defend the sense of worth that belongs to every human being in the face of a respectable society and civil authorities whose attitudes were understandably judgmental and rejecting. Great value attached to liberty in general, and to geographic mobility and economic freedom in particular, as people gained the means to enhance their physical well being and self respect. As Hughes and others have observed, it was the search for respectability that was the special mark of post convict Australian society. Indeed it is still a component in `the cultural cringe' of which Australians sometimes accuse one another, in the need for international recognition or reception by royalty and other representatives of respectable society which was still a strong element in the outlook of my parents generation. We have seen in our family celebration of success beyond our shores with such things as applause in a London concert hall, a Harvard doctorate, or reception as an equal by the representatives of foreign governments, and other distinctions which various descendants of Mary and Thomas have enjoyed along with recent entry to the more prestigious professions. They are worthwhile achievements, and they offer means of serving the community. There is no conflict of values in also recognizing that they are received in a somewhat different way because of our history. It is not striving for achievement, which has more universal roots, but the way achievements are received that reveals the importance of respectability in the first few generations beyond the convict era.



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Questions and comments



Notes on Chapter 2

1. 1. Registration of baptism at St. Phillips, Sydney, 26 September 1813. Her mother's name is given as Ann Clarkson, which appears to be an error as no such name appears elsewhere and the child is linked with Ann Clarke and Alexander Mackenzie in many other records, eg. in the muster records in Sydney, Hobart and Port Dalrymple. Stuart Williams identified Ann clarke initially by a process of elimination of possibilities among convicts and mothers of children in Sydney.1.

2. 2. John Mackenzie: he might not have been with her when Mary was born and we are not sure who his father was although descendants of John Mackenzie in Tasmania claim descent from Alexander Mackenzie. It appears most likely that he was born only three months after Ann arrived in the colony, while military records list Alexander Mackenzie in NSW for nearly a year before. John Mackenzie's date of birth given at his baptism at Newcastle on 3 August 1818 was 6 December 1809 when he was said to have been born at Sydney, however Ann did not arrive there until 8 September 1810, and while his age recorded for the musters varies inconsistently [8 in Oct. 1819; 11 in 1820; 11 in 1821] the most logical conclusion from all the evidence is that he was born a year later than the baptismal record indicates, on 6 December 1810. There are several examples of Ann giving `age next birthday' instead of the number of years completed as the ages of her children and this would account for an error in calculation of John's date of birth at his baptism by Rev. William Cowper. He was baptized at the same time as a younger half brother William Wells, who was generally known in later life in Tasmania as William Brennan but was also listed as William Mackenzie in the Port Dalrymple musters of 1819-21. In those musters John's age appears to have been given correctly only for the first of them, probably by Alexander Mackenzie, in October 1819; but in the later musters his approximate age was given as for the other children, probably by Ann, according to the age next birthday principle, which clearly did apply to those children, Mary, William and Margaret, whose dates of birth we know independently. As for Alexander Mackenzie's movements, these are documented in the Quartermaster's pay and muster records for his regiment which are in the Public Records Office in London. If those military records were not conclusive there would be an outside possibility of Ann and Alexander having got together earlier as a result of some of the soldiers in his regiment being delayed to travel on a later ship and arriving on the `Canada', the same ship as Ann. The other outside possibility is that John was born in 1811, but there is no direct evidence of that. Information on baptism supplied from the Mutch index by Stuart Williams, and the military records by Richard Gandy.

3. There are many histories which help to give the background. Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore is one of the best.

4. Cawley, in Greenwood, Australia: A Social and Political History.

5. He was baptized many years later at Newcastle in 1818. He was with Ann and Mary at the time of the 1814 muster in Sydney, just after Alexander had left for Ceylon. We assume he was probably not present at Mary's baptism in 1813 when he would have been about two and half, otherwise the minister would have been likely to ask about his baptism also as probably happened in 1818. He could still have been living with Ann who in later years had other children baptized at a late date at the time of a wedding or other apparently infrequent contact with the Church. If Alexander took the initiative to have Mary baptized without John that would be consistent with Mary being his only child, as would her inheriting his land at Patterson Plains.

6. The trial date and place given in the NSW and VDL records were confirmed by the discovery of a newspaper account of the trial at Liverpool in the `Liverpool Courier' of Wednesday 12 April 1809, due to the work of June Parrott (a descendent of Ann Clarke's daughter Margaret):-



LIVERPOOL QUARTER SESSIONS .. Monday se'night [last Monday week, 3 April] before the Worshipful James Gerard, Esq., Mayor, James Clarke, Esq. Deputy Recorder, the Bailiffs, etc...

Elizabeth McCallum and Ann Clark, for stealing two pieces of printed cotton - McCallum to be imprisoned two years at Preston, and Clarke to be transported seven years.



And there was a second entry on the same day:-

Ann Clarke and Mary Long, for stealing twenty yards of check, to be imprisoned one year at Preston.



There was also a previous report on Wednesday 3 August 1808:-

MIDSUMMER SESSIONS ... [26 July 1808]

Ann Clarke, for stealing three cloths and other articles - to be imprisoned six months at Preston.

Mary Clarke, for stealing ten yards of printed cotton - to be imprisoned three months at Preston.



Ann Clarke was listed at the PRO in London in the Criminal Register for Lancaster Easter Sessions Liverpool, 1809, for the crime of larceny; and in the Transportation Register (HO 11 Piece 2), for the `Canada' sailed March 1810 with 120 female passengers including Ann Clarke with trial date and place; but the reference to Liverpool sessions for Lancaster convicts was confusing because there were no Liverpool sittings of the Lancaster Quarter Sessions at that time, and the existence of the separate Borough Quarter Sessions was not known to archivists who repeatedly told inquirers there were no sessions at the time given for her conviction. Nor was her trial listed for sessions held nearby where some Liverpool prisoners were tried. That year 1809, there was also a dispute about the payment of rates by the city to the county and the county refused to take prisoners to their gaols from the city, so that there was no record of her as a prisoner in gaol before transportation where there might have been. Details of the dispute are in the Lancaster Quarter Sessions order book for 1809 in the archives at Preston [p.156 11 April; p.462 4 Oct. and a note indicating that no more prisoners were transferred after January 1809], which did at least identify a separate court in Liverpool that was sending people to prison and perhaps had power to transport. Furthermore, the relevant volumes of the Borough court records when they were eventually sought were found to be missing, possibly lost due to bombing in the war, although others were present. This is a nice illustration of the frustrations of family history research and the value of having several different approaches by different people.

7. See E. P. Thompson The Making of the English Working Class, (Penguin 1963) for an extended discussion of the social conditions.

8. She was said to be 49 years old when she died in 1841, and was probably born 1792 or 93.

9. We have less confidence in her case because the NSW convict records are less detailed and comprehensive than those in Tasmania.

10. Arrival of Ann Clarke (8 September 1810) and the date and place of her trial (Lancaster [Liverpool], 3 April 1809) is given in the 1811 Sydney muster, and the information is repeated in the 1814 muster. The trial date also appears in the Tasmanian muster returns. Sydney muster information provided by Stuart Williams.

11. See H.V.Evatt, Rum Rebellion. Angus and Robertson 1938. Lloyd O'Neil Australian Classics Edition, 1971.

12. He is named Sandy Mackenzie in the registration of his death at St. John's, Launceston.

13. His age in the report of his marriage to Elizabeth Murphy mid-1818 was given as 48, but the burial registration for his death in December 1819 gave his age at death as 47 years; so we assume he was born about 1771.

14. This might suggest that he was recruiting for the regiment in an area close to his original home in traditional McKenzie country. However, there is an unverified family tradition from Ray Jelly, a descendent of John Mackenzie, that he came from near Loch Katrine which is more like McGregor territory.

15. Military information from R. Gandy search of Quartermaster's pay and muster records, PRO, London.

16. In the Sydney muster of 1814 she is listed as a single person with two children, off stores.

17. Ann Clarke is reported in the `Sydney Gazette' on 27 January 1816 and on 2 March 1816 as receiving letters. We guess they were from Alexander Mackenzie. Incidently, Ann could not write her name (she signed her marriage certificate with a cross) and probably could not read. Receipt of letters would have been an infrequent and semi-public matter.

18. The `Sydney Gazette' of 31 August 1816 reports Alexander McKenzie as leaving for the Derwent. The date of such notices appears often to have been after the event, perhaps by two months, as for Ann in 1818.

19. The land is described in detail in a trust deed (Lands Department, Hobart) registered 1 September 1854 which transferred ownership of 69 acres comprising two blocks of land at Patterson Plains, from Thomas and Mary Beswick and Mary Ann Peck (signed by all three of them) to Samuel Beswick of `Bernard Street, Russell Square, in the county of Middlesex in England, tailor', and William Hill of the District of Morven, as trustees, for the benefit of Thomas and Mary and their children.  The deed recounted the history of the land being left to Mary by her father Alexander Mackenzie, and of her daughter Mary Ann from her first marriage with Jeremiah Peck having rights in the land after his death and Mary's subsequent marriage to Thomas Beswick. It is described as the blocks originally `located to' Benjamin Goulding and Matthew Kirk.  (The term `located to' is used in the Tasmanian records instead of `granted to' in reference to the oldest grants of about Governor Macquarie's time taken up before the Tasmanian titles began.  In the musters of Lt. Gov. Sorrell's administration the term grant' is used of the same land, as it was in some documents in Sydney, except that the Biggs report refers to Alexander Mackenzie's 80 acres, perhaps in the original selection, in reference to the Colonial Secretary's correspondence as measured but not yet granted by the Governor. The procedure was that the grant was formally made after the location had been reported and fees paid.) Alexander Mackenzie's original 80 acres is listed in the Appendix to G. W. Evans Description of Van Diemen's Land published in 1822 (see notes to chapter 1). Kirk's and Goulding's lots are separately identified by Evans in the same list. Those lots were originally described as 40 acres but measured later at 33 and 36 acres.

20. Spelling of names varied. Paterson with one `t' was common early, following the name of the founder of Launceston, Lt. Col. Paterson, but later Paterson's Plains was called Patterson Plains.

21. He was remembered in the family as `Sergeant Mackenzie' although he had only been a private in the Army, probably because he was an overseer of convicts. It took a long time before Richard Gandy discovered that he was only a private in the army.  He was described as an overseer in the trust deed of 1854 noted above. One old meaning of the term `Sergeant' is `an officer charged with the arrest of offenders, etc. (now in serjeant-at-arms)' - according to the Oxford Etymological Dictionary.  There are other cases of men in charge of prisoners at this time being so called: eg Chaplain Youl's father-in-law [Joan Bessell.]

22. HRA 3/3 p.792. Information from Stuart Williams.

23. Tasmanian Archives: Land Holders Muster 1819, October 15, Cornwall: Alexander McKenzie, 80 acres, potatoes, 12 bulls, 20 cows, convicts 1, wife nil, total in family 5.

24. James Wells was transported on the `General Hewitt', arrived Sydney 7 Feb. 1814, aged 29 years. He was sentenced to 7 years for larceny at Kent Assizes 15 March 1813. His native place was Groom, Kent. [Convict record from June Parrott]. James Wells also had a child named James in NSW in 1815 by Elizabeth Ireland [information from Joan Bessell]. William Wells was later known in Tasmania as William Brennan, eg as a witness to the marriage of his half sister Elizabeth Brennan to John Emery at Launceston 24 February 1840. In the Port Dalrymple musters of 1819 and 1820 William was listed as William Mackenzie.

25. Ann Clarke is listed in the `Sydney Gazette' 10 October 1818 as receiving a letter, and on 21 November 1818 as leaving the colony: each of these notices is probably two months late. Ann Clarke was recorded in Hobart in the 1818 muster which took place in October, and as having 3 children.  The names of the children were not given, but this Ann Clarke is likely to be the same person as we know of elsewhere.  From the list of shipping arrivals and departures it appears that the first ship on which she could have reached VDL after being in Newcastle in August arrived in Hobart on 15 October, 1818.  That was a week or so after the muster was supposed to have been completed, but there is evidence elsewhere (e.g. in Evans) of additions being made to include new arrivals.  (The book on shipping arrivals and departures in VDL to 1833 is by L.H. Nicholson and published by Roebuck, 1983).

26. Hobart Town Gazette, 1 August 1818: Married lately at Launceston, Mr. Alexander Mackenzie, a settler there, aged 48 years, to Elizabeth Murphy, 14 years.

27. Elizabeth Murphy/Mackenzie is listed with the other Murphy children in the 1819 muster, made in October, and later. She was sometimes known as Elizabeth Murphy, and in 1822 as Elizabeth Mackenzie she married John Porter.

28. Margaret Wells, later known as Margaret Brennan, was baptized as the daughter of James Wells, the same day as Ann Clarke (spinster) married William Brennan (bachelor), 28 June 1820, at St. John's, Launceston.

29. This register was begun by the first regular chaplain, John Youl, who arrived only a month or so before Alexander died.  There were only occasional visits by clergy to the Port Dalrymple district before that time.  The first entry reads:  Sandy MacKenzie, Abode - Launceston, Bur. - 11 December 1819, 'Age - 47 years, Ship's Name - died 9th December 1819 (Note: the name of the ship of arrival was recorded in this column for convicts), Quality or Profession - free, By whom - John Youl, Chaplain.

30. Among the papers June Parrott sent me is a copy of the manifest for the second embarkation of the ship 'Minstrel', bound for Port Dalrymple, on the evacuation of Norfolk Island, dated 13 Feb. 1813.

31. Joan Bessell whose First Fleet ancestor on their mother's side, Bartholemew Riorden, went to Norfolk Island in 1788, has evidence that the Islanders stuck together and tended to intermarry.

32. G. W. Evans, Description of Van Diemen's Land. 1822.

33. Baptized at Launceston 23 September 1821.

34. From Charles Thompson, a descendant of Alfred William James brother of Alexander James who married Charlotte Beswick. He has ancestors, John and Louisa Lawson, who lived at `The Springs' about 1830/40 and whose later address was Cocked Hat Hill, Breadalbane. The hill is on the Launceston side of the road junction.

35. Robson, History of Tasmania.

36. See L. Robson, History of Tasmania, Vol. I.

37. `Mackenzie' was the preferred form of the name and it is used consistently in land documents, although Mary could not always spell it. Once she wrote `Mr. Makenzie' and `Mary Makenzie'. The military records for Alexander use McKenzie. There is no significance in these differences other than the fashion of the times and common mistakes.

38. To follow the other lines of descent from Ann Clarke would take us too far from our present interest in the family of Mary Mackenzie. The Kerr family tree from Margaret is fairly well known from the work of Lynette Wells, June Parrott and others. We will use a little of it in connection with Maggie Young, Samuel Beswick II who married a cousin from that line, and Thomas Beswick III who was Maggie's business associate in WA. In regard to the Emerys: John and George Emery were almost certainly the children of William Emery of Patterson Plains, who m. Charlotte Adams. As noted above, Elizabeth Brennan married John Emery at Launceston, 24 February 1840. The children of John and Elizabeth include at least George Henry b. 13 January 1841, John William b. 9 April 1845, Thomas b. 5 July 1847, who died as an infant, William b. 30 October 1848, Thomas b. 17 April 1851, Margaret Jane b. 15 April 1853, a male b. 27 February 1856, Annie Marie b. 17 September 1858, male b. 21 July 1862, and a female b. 11 August 1864.  John's abode ranged from White Hills to Talisker to Elmswood to Nile, some of which could have been the same place. I would guess that the `Mrs Emery' referred to by Thora Botcher was the wife of Thomas Emery or his brother.  She was remembered as a relative by Doss Ranson when I interviewed her at the age of 90 in 1985. Doss Ranson was the Doris [Williams, daughter of Blanche Beswick] referred to in the post card. Ann Brennan (aged 17) married George Emery (aged 21) at Evandale 28 January 1846: the witnesses were John Emery and Elizabeth Emery. One child of George and Ann found in the Launceston district is Sarah b. 17 May 1847; the informant for registration of the birth was John Emery, uncle. There were Emerys in the Whitemark/Adelphi later. A grandchild of Elizabeth Emery (informant) was born to George and Jane Emery 1868.

39. Maggie was born Margaret Maud Kerr, daughter of William Kerr who married Sarah Barber at Warrnambool, Victoria, in 1865.  William was the eldest son, b. at Talisker 1841, of William Renton Kerr and Margaret (née Wells), Mary Mackenzie's half sister.  Maggie married Thomas Young and had a son named Raymond.  She was then a great granddaughter of Ann Clarke and a half second cousin of my grandfather Richard Thomas Beswick and his brother Thomas III who was her business partner.  She was also a niece of Ada Margaret Beswick (née Kerr) the widow of Samuel II the coach proprietor at Scottsdale.  She was at the same time a half-first cousin once removed of the same Samuel by virtue of their common descent from Ann Clarke.

40. Details of the land ownership and transactions are discussed in my progress report, `Tasmanian Roots', on the history of the Beswicks and related families in 1986.

41. June Parrott has found in a birthday book that belonged to her grandmother the name Annie Mackenzie with a birthday of Nov. 11.  It was among a dozen or so Kerr names all written in same purple coloured ink.  Among them was 'Granny' with the birth date of Margaret Wells, her son William Kerr and several of his brothers and sisters including Ada M. Kerr, Sam Beswick's future wife.  Most were aunts and uncles of June's grandmother who was a granddaughter of Margaret (Wells) Kerr.  This Annie might have been the wife a later John McKenzie who was licensed to marry Annie McLagan in the house of John McLagan, Hazlewood, Fingal, 8 January 1874. [Tasmanian Archives NS 373/3/no. 3961], and that John appears to be John McKenzie of `Delvin', Fingal whose death, aged 53, is in the `Tasmanian', 6 December 1890. However it may have been, I see here evidence of a descent from John and a continuing knowledge of the relationship between Ann Clarke's descendants named Kerr and others named Mackenzie up to 1900.  Ray Jelly in Hobart says that there are still descendants of John Mackenzie living and that he is one of them, but that the name Mackenzie died out around 1940. We thus have at least four lines of descent from Ann Clarke and the possibility of discovering more from William Wells (known as Brennan), Thomas Brennan (Junior), and the other Emerys.

42. `Hobart Town Gazette', 7 Oct. 1836 - 7 Oct. 1845, John McKenzie, lisencee of `Sottish Chiefs', Wellington St., or Wellington and Canning Sts., Launceston, and of `Mason's Arms', Wellington St., Launceston, 29 Spetember 1850 - 13 January 1857, and of `Rothshithe(?) Inn', Gravelly Beach 10 August 1858 and 11 January 1859. Inquests No. 8281 19 Oct. 1880 SC/195/61 and No. 9182 13 December 1886 SC/195/65 refer to a John McKenzie, but have not been examined. There are Lands Department records of land owned by a John Mackenzie in Launceston and Hbart, which at this stage are not proof but only a stimulus to further investigation and less convincing than Ray Jelly's reference to Mackenzie descendants.  Elaine Dobie found also the registration of birth of a female child in Launceston, 7 June 1853, to a Catherine (née McKinnon) and John McKenzie, a publican.  The Steampacket Hotel possibly figures in the death of his mother but was it was not one of John Mackenzie's. There is a family tradition that the old Alexander had a pub named 'Man-at-the-Wheel' or 'Man-at-the-Plough'. Ray Jelly says it was at Newstead where the Newstead Hotel now stands, but we have no evidence of that. The tradition, however, exits in several lines of the family, witnesses to the tradition including Dorothy Russell, the family of Alan Beswick of Branxholm and Thora Burton. It has been speculated that while Alexander left his land at Patterson Plains to Mary he might have had other property in Launceston that he left to John. There is no direct evidence and the probability of such an inheritance is related to the question of whether Alexander was in fact John's father, which seems unlikely. The memory of a Mackenzie hotel might simply be a recollection of John's business.

43. According to Dorothy Wright Joshua Peck owned `The Man at the Wheel' in Wellington St. at one stage. However when Donald Dobie looked in the archives records for `The Man at the Wheel' he didn't find it.

44. Information on Ann's death form Elaine Dobie.

45. From Kath Alexander registrations of Mary Mackenzie's marriages to Jeremiah Peck in 1829 and Thomas Beswick in 1834.  Both are in the same format with certain words added and some deleted from a printed form.  Both are signed by W.H. Browne, LLD, Chaplain.  In the first we have:-



No. 119 Jeremiah Peck of the Parish of Emu Plains, and Mary McKenzie of __________ Springs married in this church by License ____ this second day of November in the year 1829. [+ signatures].



[The words `the Parish' were struck out before `Springs']. [In another copy `the Parish of' is also struck out before `Emu Plains' -- which we guess to have been on the other side of the present airport in the Talisker hill area; but Jeremiah's interest in land at Cox's Creek might be suggestive. There are other places called `Emu Plains' in NSW and in Tasmania near the Western Tiers which are unlikely.]

46. From research by Hilton Peck, Jeremiah Peck appears on the Victualling List on Norfolk Island in 1805, but not in 1803-4 when his parents are known to have been on the island. This date agrees with age on death registration.

47. Possibly the `Scarborough'. Joshua Peck is said by Don Chapman in his book '1788: The People of the First Fleet' (p.158) to have arrived on the 'Scarborough' (cf 'Charlotte' in 1811 and also 1820 musters) and to have been sent to Norfolk Island in October 1788 where his testimony helped uncover a convict plan to take over the island in January 1789; and that "he left the island in March 1793 and by 1796 had 30 acres at Prospect Hill.  Two years later he received an additional 30 acres.  [Hilton Peck says 30 and 50, but that he had 100 acres when it was sold.] By then he and his wife Mary had four children.  In 1804, the Pecks were visited by two naked runaway convicts, one of whom was George Bruce, who later wrote an account of his adventures, entitled 'The Most Wonderful Adventures of a Man'.  In it he recorded that Mr Peck brought them some old rags to cover their nakedness, they were fed, and Mary Peck informed the runaways that the settlers who had harboured them the night before intended to inform on them."  This from Neil Chick. However, they appear to have been on the Island when the twins Joshua and Thomas were baptized in 1803.

Neil Chick also reports that Bonwick's papers (NSW Archives, Box 15 p.7344-50) has "Mary Frost listed among the settlers on Norfolk Island in 1807 but Joshua Peck or Peek not mentioned, nor any Peck or Peeks among the children above two years".  "William Peck and Thomas Peck are listed as children above two years in 1804, however the parents Joshua and Mary (Frost) Peck are not mentioned, nor are John, Joshua Jr, Elizabeth nor Mary Ann".  The record may not have been complete and there could have been more travel than we are aware of. In any case the general picture of their background is one of mobility and various kinds of enterprise.

48. This account is from Neil Chick

49. This and other details on the Pecks from Hilton Peck.

50. June Parrott sent me the cutting from the Launceston `Examiner' which published a photograph of it on 12 September 1959 with a story about its being quarried for blue stone metal for road construction and some of the history given by K.R. von Steiglitz, a local historian.  He said Governor Lauchlan Macquarie slept there one night in 1821 and had his breakfast at the foot of the hill.  The Governor was paying a farewell visit to Major McLeod, who was originally granted the property.  It was sold in 1833 to a Scottish family named McLean who like the McLeods came from Skye, whence also the name.  They built a three-storey home there and named it `Talisker'.  It was sold to Thomas Gee in 1837.  I have a picture of the old home (copied from one provided to June Parrott by the present owners of Talisker.)  It was demolished in the early years of this century, according to a note in Karl von Stieglitz's book '`Days and Ways in Old Wandale'.

The name Camden Plains is on the surveyors plan of the property of Colin Campbell, which adjoins those parts of McLeod's original 2,000 acres owned about 20 years later by Richard Jordan, William Renton Kerr and Thomas Peck, the Camden Rivulet is marked on the Southern boundary.  That stream appears on later maps as Rose Rivulet, no doubt after the Rose family through whose property it flows to enter the North Esk at Corra Linn.  Between the Kerr's 49 acres and Jordan's 40 acres is a block of 100 acres marked on a Lands Dept. map as granted to J. Solomon.  I note this because in the 1820 muster of Landholders Joshua Peck is listed as having 100 acres rented; it is the only one of exactly that size in area around Talisker.  The original large property of McLeod was divided into tenant farms.  Much of it was later sold in small lots.  The part containing the home `Talisker' remained in the Gee family until about 1950.

51. Hilton Peck letter 14.4.87

52. With L.W. Gilles registered 30 November 1833, a few days after his death! Lands Dept., Hobart.

53. 53. At least no others survived infancy; but there are unexplained dates in Mary's Bible, including 26 December 1830 and 17 February 1831. The first appears to be associated with `... at ... ' some place that could be Patterson Plains, and could be a birth record.



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