Convict Links
The first of our ancestors to make the journey from England to Australia did so rather reluctantly. The chart below shows how they were linked to Amelia Smith, who married Sydney Mills Puckle, a son of the Reverand Edward Puckle, in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, in 1866.
James Morrisby.
James was born in Cawood, Yorkshire, and died in Clarence Plains, Tasmania. He became a blacksmith by trade and later joined the guards.
On 7 July 1784 he was convicted at the Old Bailey of stealing with force and arms an iron bar valued at 10d. He was sentenced to 7 years transportation and left Portsmouth on the 'Scarborough', one of the 11 ships of the First Fleet, on 27 Feb. 1787. The Fleet, under the command of Captain Arthur Philip, carried 717 convicts, and travelled via Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town, arriving at Botany Bay between 18-20 Jan. 1788. The land there was considered unsuitable for settlement, so they headed for Port Jackson, a little further north.
In Mar. 1788 he was sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius, where he became a model settler. In 1791 he had 12 acres of land and this more than doubled in later years. As well as farming his land, he spent about a month as a crewman on the 'Reliance' in the late 1790s, and in 1802 became a constable. He was forced to accept the Governor’s offer of exchange for 80 acres of vigin land in Van Diemen’s Land – the family, except for William and Richard, left Norfolk Island in December 1807 on board the 'Porpoise', and when James arrived in Hobart Town he immediately began to establish his farm at Clarence Plains.
In 1816 James married Eleanor (Alice) Murphy, an Irish convict who arrived at Port Jackson on the 'Catherine' in May 1814 and was later transferred to the 'Kangaroo' and sent to Van Diemen’s land. She died in 1821 – they had no children.
Ann Brooks.
On 2 Dec. 1787 Ann was found guilty of stealing (2 linen sheets, valued at 5/-) and sentenced to 7 years transportation. She and her son William travelled on the 'Lady Juliana', a ship of the Second Fleet that arrived at Port Jackson in 1790 (conditions were much worse for the Second Fleet – 278 deaths at sea, as compared to only 48 for the First Fleet). Three months later she was sent to Norfolk Island aboard the 'Surprise', arriving on 7 August.
First recorded as being with James Morrisby in July 1791 when she shared a sow with him, and in June 1794 they were living together.
Thomas Kidner.
Thomas, a stonecutter, was transported with the First Fleet on the 'Alexander' – he was tried in Bristol in 1783 and sentenced to 7 years. He was sent to Norfolk Island on the 'Supply' in 1789. He became a settler and acquired 30 acres of land on Norfolk Island. He later sailed to Port Jackson on the 'Buffalo' in 1805, but must have returned – reported as leaving Norfolk Island on the 'Lady Nelson' in 1807 for the Derwent River (Tasmania).
Jane Whiting.
Jane was tried in Middlesex in 1789 and sentenced to transportation for life for robbery (original death sentence was later commuted to life). She was transported on the 'Lady Juliana' (Second Fleet), arriving in Port Jackson in 1790, and in August of that year went to Norfolk Island on the 'Surprise'.
Elizabeth Birkitt
Elizabeth was convicted at Nottingham Quarter Sessions in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation for larceny - appears in a book “Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls”. She arrived in Tasmania on the 'Morley' in 1820 and in a muster of that year was assigned to Larsom, Hobart Town.
Could this have been Richard Larsom, son on Ann Brooks, who arrived in Van Diemen’s land a year or so before his mother’s death in 1813 .. Richard had also married Thomas Kidner’s sister Ann in 1812.
Granted a Free Certificate in 1831.

Also making the journey .. George Smith
George was not a convict, but had joined the 62nd Company of Marines, Portsmouth Division, when he was 22 years old. He had been born in Solihull, Warwichshire and his occupation was given as a butcher by trade. He was one of the marines selected to accompany their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonal Collins, aboard the 'Ocean' to Port Philip. A new settlement was to be established there, with Collins as Lieutenant Governor.
He married Grace Morrisby, eldest daughter of James and Ann, in 1810 – their children were all born at Clarence Plains.