How to Claim a Convict by never giving up!

When I was blogging last year for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, one of the challenge questions was, Who Would you Invite to Dinner? I wrote about my 2 x paternal great grandmother Ann Green. Her family had been giving me the right royal run around. Oh what would I give to have my nanna over to dinner and tell her what I know now!

I knew that Ann Green (1835-1915) had married John Clinch, a convict, at the age of 17, on the 21st July 1851, in Hobart, Tasmania. They had 3 children, Annie Matilda, George Frederick and Emily. John was sentenced in 1842 for stealing a coat and some silver for which he got 12 months, then he goes off and steals some coffee and gets 7 years transportation to Tasmania. He disappeared until I found him in 1856 serving time in Pentridge Prison, Victoria on 3 counts of horse stealing. He received 7 years on the first count, 5 years accumulative on the 2nd and another 5 years accumulative on the 3rd. I knew I had the right person from his occupation of wood turner and the tattoos on his arm. While he was working on the road gang, he got up to all sorts of mischief and spent time in solitary confinement on many occasions. John received his Ticket of Leave in 1863 and was free November 1865. I’ve not found when he died. He wrote to Ann while he was in prison and she was still in Hobart. So I don’t know anymore about him. Note here – John Clinch, convict is not our direct ancestor. Keep reading….!

From family information and years of searching, I know that Ann Green/Clinch went on to have 6 children to Neil Campbell, a tailor from Nova Scotia. I don’t know anymore about him either! They immigrated to New Zealand, eventually making their way back to Victoria, Australia but not before spending a short time in Western Australia. I am descended from their 2nd child and daughter, Alice Zenobia Campbell and Charles Harry Norman Lymburner.

For years now, I have been trying to find when Ann Green/Clinch had married Neil Campbell. Did she? And when did the Green family arrive in Australia. More than likely Tasmania, but maybe Victoria or even New South Wales.

Then there is the story of Ann’s sister, Matilda Ellen Green who married John Year, mariner, in Hobart Tasmania, at the age of 16. She later marries another John, John Gamfield in Waverly, NSW. What’s with all these John’s!!??

I had not found out anything on John Year and wrongly presumed for years, that the License to Marry document was a Permission to Marry, which is required if someone marries a convict. So I had jumped to the wrong conclusion, even though I have their marriage entry, I don’t know what happened to John Year. He’s still another mystery man.

Hobart was a sea port and popular for the whaling ships. Did Matilda marry a mariner off a whaling ship? Or was he a crew member on the ship they came out on? Perhaps he served on a convict ship? I’ve yet to discover his story, but will keep to the direct line for now. Keep reading…!

If you’re following this and are lost about now, then good on you, because I am too! This tree chart might help you see who I’m referring to. The middle line shows Ann and her sister Matilda. My grandmother, Annie Norma Lymburner, is on the bottom line.

Here’s what I know about Ann and Matilda’s father, Thomas Green, our new convict. Thomas Green and Ann Wright married in 1833 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick. They were found in Shoreditch, London, England in the 1841 census. Thomas is 30, born Ireland, Ann 25 born England, Daughter Ann is 6 born Ireland, Matilda 3 born England and there’s a 3 month old baby Samuel born England.

I have Matilda’s baptism from England, but not Ann’s from Ireland, nor Samuel’s in England. Did Samuel die before they came to Australia? There is no mention of him in any of the records. Thomas Green and Ann have 2 more children in Hobart, Esther in March 1850, died April 1850 and an unknown male child. Who is he? Or Did he die too?

I was playing with the family tree on Ancestry the other night and added the second marriage of the father Thomas Green. I knew that his first wife Ann (Wright) had died in 1853 and have photographs of her headstone at St David’s Church, Hobart. My brother Peter has actually been there. I could never find when the family came out to Tasmania. So I’d let it be. It was hard, there were so many Green’s. The Tasmanian Archives had found an entry for Thomas Green, bootmaker, married to Caroline Harnish in 1854.

I digress to make a note here that back then, some 15-20 years ago, none of this research was online. We had to write letters and wait patiently by the letter box and hug the postie when he delivered an exciting find!

Further research at the archives, found the proper name to be Caroline Horsnick, alias Cramer, German, a convict transported 10 years for stealing. The Permission to Marry had that Thomas Green was a free man and Caroline had come out on the Duchess of Northumberland. I didn’t bother looking into her records as she wasn’t a direct ancestor and of course, why would I look into convict records when it said he (Thomas) was free. Well!!! …Caroline was the key to my mystery.

When I entered Caroline into my Ancestry tree, up popped a hint right away, a Permission to Marry. I already had this, didn’t I? But it looked different. It ‘was’ different. A Register of Women’s applications for Permission to Marry. It read, 13 Dec 1853, Caroline Horsnick, D of North (Duchess of Northumberland) to John Green, and a ship name that I couldn’t read. John Green??? I thought she married Thomas Green!? What is this? So I punched in the name Caroline Horsnick into the Tasmanian Archives website, which now has these amazing records online. Up popped a match with John Green. I clicked on his name and there was a ship name, Theresa. Yes! That’s what was on the Permission to Marry that I couldn’t read.

I checked out a record or two, there were heaps, one being the Convict Conduct Record for John Green. written by the surgeon on board the convict ship. Lo and behold, John Green was no other than Thomas Green. In the far column it read, proper name Thomas. His occupation was a Boot Maker and he was from Limerick. Oh my goodness me!! Thomas Green, you little bewty! You’re a convict, my very own direct ancestor. How about that! I wonder what my grandmother would say?!

And that my friends and rellies, was the end of going to bed that night for me. I was off and running, pulling out every record possible from the Tasmanian Archives, Ancestry, Find My Past and the Old Bailey, London’s Central Criminal Court. These records have been digitised and transcribed online, so it didn’t take me long to find his entry.

John Green, convict number 15907 came out to Hobart, Tasmania on the Theresa arriving 4th July 1845. He was tried for counterfeit in silver coins at the Central Criminal Court on the 6th January 1845 WITH his 9-year-old daughter Ann (Green/Clinch/Campbell!)

I hope this has whet your appetite to find out more about John AKA Thomas Green and his family. I’ll tell you more in my next blog/newsletter.

Watch this space!

I haven’t referenced any documents on this post but will in the next one when I get to sharing the information about convict John.

I do want to thank my friend Jean Naumann in Queensland. Jean and I met online during a course we did with the University of Tasmania on convicts when I found out more about my husband Bob’s great grandfather, convict Samuel Mansell. We then had the pleasure of meeting Jean and her husband Gary when their cruise ship came into Geraldton a couple of years ago. Jean has helped me to get my head around all the information and piece it together via Messenger

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
This entry was posted in Blog, Campbell, Clinch, Green, Surnames. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to How to Claim a Convict by never giving up!

  1. Pingback: Sources Used: Convict Thomas Green | jenealogyscrapbook

  2. Pingback: A Free Man at Last – Thomas Green, Convict – Part 5 | jenealogyscrapbook

  3. crissouli says:

    Congratulations…your blog is included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris

    It is a great feeling when hunches and hints prove to be right.. well done. I’ve read the follow up and added it to the list as well, so readers can follow the whole story.. so please accept this for both blogs.

  4. Pingback: Thomas Green alias John – Convict | jenealogyscrapbook

  5. Pamela Batten says:

    Well reading this blog is far better than going to the ‘Camp Kitchen’. How exciting for you. All the family history research you have done over so many years and now this find! We are so lucky to have so many digital records available online and more being added all the time? Look forward to the next blog, but do have to confess, I was lost when you asked the question! But you did a great job to bring it all together.

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      You got lost then, imagine what it will be like when I put it together in a timeline!! I think I covered too much on the other ‘outlaw’ convict! I’m enjoying this new journey, but it is taking me away from other work 🙂

  6. Great work, welcome to the descendants of Convicts too. Many of them had an Alias

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Thanks Carol, he’s been doing my head in forever. It was the morning tea on Monday with ‘friends’ that got me started looking again!! I’m pretty excited. More to come soon when I collate all the information into something that makes sense.

  7. How exciting- a genuine Convict. Welcome to the brood of the infamous.
    There is never an end to this hobby – only two weeks ago my DNA match has produced new cousins and a very exciting journey. I’ll tell you more at a later date.
    I can feel your excitement in your writing Jenny, onwards and more please.

  8. kardu13 says:

    Yeah, it’s been quite a wait for one of your ancestry blogs. A great read! Look forward to the next installment. Thanks Jenny.

  9. tstatton says:

    How exciting for you and your readers Jenny. We are all waiting with baited breath to learn what other information you will locate hidden away and share with us all. Congratulations to you for being so determined in you quest to discover all of your ancestors – warts and all. This post has once again met all of our expectations with your thoroughness in researching.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I'd love to hear your comments.

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