Sarah Watkins-John Ellison

Sarah Watkins per Ship Canada 1810 – John Ellison per Ship Albemarle 1791

 

In the 18th century, the Parish Registers were the main sources for births deaths and marriages.  In England, before 1800's only the Church of England records were readily available. There were two Churches established for Early Parramatta, St John’s Anglican Church and St Patricks Catholic Church. 

In New South Wales, the First Parramatta Female Factory built 1804 called the “Cloth Factory” or the Factory above the Gaol, had 30 beds.  There were 200 female convicts and their children, 170 plus children had to find a bed in Parramatta.  Until the Hyde Park Barracks and other barracks were built, the convicts lived with their assigned masters or mistresses or had a convict hut.

View of Governor’s House, Rosehill, Parramatta c1798. A convict hut is on the left. From the collection of the State Library of New South Wales [a928407 / DG SSV1B/3] (Dixson Galleries)

The painting above shows a convict hut on the left, the story is explained in a blog posted by a young enthusiastic historian Michaela Cameron, who has written the story of her tour with the Parramatta Park Trust in 2015.

 https://theoldparramattan.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/parramattas-convict-huts/

Sarah Watkins story. By descendants Alice Kershaw, Maree Cairns, Lena Garrett, Cathy Haynes and Bette Fritz (By Marriage)

Sarah was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Watkins, who was christened at St. Mary Magdalene's Bermondsey 24 August, 1788. Sarah wad tried at Maidstone Quarter Sessions, Kent 12 January 1809, on June 7 1809 she was convicted of Fraud and sentenced to seven years penal servitude 

"Convicted of unlawfully, knowingly and designedly by false pretences obtaining from William Worboys £4-16-0 of the monies of the said Willliam Worboys.  Ordered to be transported for the term of seven years to such place or places, port or ports beyond the seas as His Majesty by and with the advice of his privy council shall declare and approve pursuant to the statute in such case made and provided".....  Extract from Minute Book (Lena Garrett Descendant.) 

Sarah was transported in March 1810 to New South Wales in the Canada.   The ship arrived 10 September 1810. It was common practice for sailors to choose one of the female convicts to be their bed mates for the voyage.  See the story of the Canada voyage… 

https://www.jenwilletts.com/convict_ship_canada_1810.htm

 

Information above was supplied by Maree Cairns, this was Sarah’s child mentioned below, John Ellison mentioned him as his adopted son in his will 1832. (Courtesy of Maree Cairns.) 

In 1811, Sarah was listed as a resident of New South Wales, arriving on the Ship Canada, her child, William McCaul (sailor’s son) was born 24 March 1811.  In the 1814 Muster Sarah is recorded as being single and living at Windsor. It has not been established how Sarah met John Ellison, or where she was living, she may have been working for him, but the marriage of the couple was performed at St John’s Anglican Church by the Reverend Samuel Marsden.

John Ellison convict, who arrived on the Albemarle which was part of the Third Fleet consisting of eleven ships. The Albemarle sailed from Portsmouth on 27 March 1791 as part of the Portsmouth division of the Third Fleet. At sea, on 9 April, some of the convicts attempted to capture the ship. The ship's master, George Bowen, picked up a blunderbuss and shot and wounded one of the ringleaders, at which the others fled below deck. Bowen rousted out the other ringleaders, two of whom were hanged and the others put in irons. The Albemarle then sailed for Madeira, where the mutineers were put ashore to be returned to England to stand trial for mutiny. The Albemarle then sailed for the Cape of Good Hope to re-supply, afterwards continuing to Port Jackson.

My ancestor John Ellison was tried in Middlesex in 1787 and sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing a master's shirt after a drinking session at the "Spotted Dog Tavern". He arrived on the Albemarle, in 1791 and married another convict, Sarah Watkins in Parramatta on 7 October 1817. He went on to become a substantial landowner in the Parramatta area and was at various times the licensee of a number of Parramatta taverns. Records show he was the licensee of the Jolly Sailor Hotel in George St, Parramatta in 1830. He left a large family, including my ancestor, his daughter Jane. Jane married a "mystery man" Michael Lenehan. I am trying to establish if Michael was any relation to the respected cabinetmaker Andrew Lenehan whose furniture still takes pride of place in Government House (Sydney) today.” Cathy Haynes Descendant.  

Ellison's Hotel. — The old hotel was situated in George Street. It belonged to the Ellison family for generations, and was later kept by Mr. Harry Ellison. It was known as The Jolly Sailor. Mr. George Caines was once the proprietor, and he, on receiving notice to quit, shifted opposite. He could not take his sign, the name of the hotel, with him, so he called his hostelry The Jolly Sailor's return. Caines was of the Caines family in Bristol, a family of notorious criminals; who owned The Jolly Sailor Inn in Hanham, Bristol.

Sarah had 2 sons by John Ellison by the time she was free by servitude, second son was Thomas, born 14th April 1817, the couple had a further seven children. 

In the List of Carters, Sydney in 1820 Sarah Watkins is listed as having a Carter’s Licence (that is she was licensed to conduct a carting business). Sarah was one of only three women listed to be a carter for 1820.

In the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Tuesday 28 February 1832, page 3 it was announced the death of Sarah.

John Thomas Ellison was born at Parramatta 15th July 1841.  His grandfather, also John, was transported to Australia in 1791 on the Albermarle and became the publican of the 'Bird In Hand' (1817) and the 'Jolly Sailor' in Parramatta. His son Thomas continued in the trade and owned the 'Native Lass' on Lapstone Hill and the 'Toll Bar' Inn at Linden. He married Elizabeth Huff in 1840 at St John's Church Parramatta and John Thomas was their first child.

More information found on this blog.

http://springwoodhistorians.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/early-residents-john-thomas-ellison.html

Sarah Bishop Ellison married Richard Hunt - Daughter of Sarah Watkins and John Ellison.

Sarah Bishop Ellison was born on 8 March 1819 and baptised 3 October 1819 at St John’s Church, Parramatta by Joseph Kenyon. Sarah Bishop Ellison aged 17 years married Richard Hunt in 1836, in Sydney. Richard Hunt’s first wife Lydia Barber died in Parramatta 11 October 1835. Richard was left with five children between the ages of thirteen and two years.

Richard and William Hunt were brothers, tried at the Old Bailey on 25 October 1815 and sentenced to 7 years for stealing 4 silver spoons and wine from the Sadler's Hall, London. Richard arrived in New South Wales in April on the ship 'Morley', and his brother William August 1817. Richard was sent to Liverpool and William to Van Diemen’s Land. Richard was granted his absolute pardon in about 1819. Richard Hunt and William Hunt were indicted for stealing, on the 4 October, four silver table spoons; value £3 1 shilling twelve bottles of wine, value £2 1 shilling and twelve glass bottles, value 2 shillings. the property of the Wardens of the Sadler's Company.

Richard Hunt aged 18 and his brother William Hunt, aged 21 were found guilty and were transported for seven years.  After gaining his ticket of leave, Richard worked as a harness maker and was able to purchase land in the Dural area. He purchased town land in the news township of Gundagai and carried on his business as a harness maker.

The Hunt family had in previous floods been able to find security from the rising waters of the river Murrumbidgee River by taking shelter in the loft.

In 1852 the town was considered to be colonial, but on the 25th June that year, a flash flood hit and the town was swept away. Luckily for the townspeople, Aboriginal men who lived in the area were able to help with rescue operations. Using their canoes made of bark; they floated easily and saved forty people who were stranded in the water.

The men received medals for their bravery, as well as payment from all of the inhabitants as a gesture of goodwill, although one of the aborigines died shortly after from being exposed to the conditions.

Monument at Gundagai Cemetery, Wikimedia

The act of the aborigines was remembered, and represented a resolution of any problems between the locals and the natives. The Gundagai floods of 1852 were some of the worst to ever hit Australia. The floods resulted in eighty nine deaths, the most Australia has ever seen from flooding.

Only three houses were left standing after the flood waters receded. However, once the clean up was completed, another flood hit in 1853. Gundagai was then rebuilt on higher ground of the surrounding hills of Mount Parnassus and Asbestos Hill to save any similar incidents in future. Even with the relocation, the area still suffered from floods. In 1891, rescue workers and farmers were left stranded in trees because of the rising water. The Murrumbidgee River has risen over seven metres on nine separate occasions since 1852, which averages out at once every eleven years. http://floodlist.com/australia/gundagai-floods-1852

 
Richard Hunt, his wife Sarah Bishop Hunt nee Ellison, and their Emily aged eleven, Richard aged nine, Caroline aged seven, and John James aged only three years perished.

The Hunt family had in previous floods been able to find security from the rising waters of the river Murrumbidgee River by taking shelter in the loft.

In 1852 the town was considered to be colonial, but on the 25th June that year, a flash flood hit and the town was swept away. Luckily for the  

townspeople, Aboriginal men who lived in the area were able to help with rescue operations. Using their canoes made of bark; they floated easily and saved forty people who were stranded in the water.

The men received medals for their bravery, as well as payment from all of the inhabitants as a gesture of goodwill, although one of the aborigines died shortly after from being exposed to the conditions.

Monument photograph courtesy of Peter F Williams.

The act of the aborigines was remembered, and represented a resolution of any problems between the locals and the natives. The Gundagai floods of 1852 were some of the worst to ever hit Australia. The floods resulted in eighty nine deaths, the most Australia has ever seen from flooding.

Only three houses were left standing after the flood waters receded. However, once the clean up was completed, another flood hit in 1853. Gundagai was then rebuilt on higher ground of the surrounding hills of Mount Parnassus and Asbestos Hill to save any similar incidents in future. Even with the relocation, the area still suffered from floods. In 1891, rescue workers and farmers were left stranded in trees because of the rising water. The Murrumbidgee River has risen over seven metres on nine separate occasions since 1852, which averages out at once every eleven years. http://floodlist.com/australia/gundagai-floods-1852  


Richard Hunt, his wife Sarah Bishop Hunt nee Ellison, and their Emily aged eleven, Richard aged nine, Caroline aged seven, and John James aged only three years perished.

This is a message from a researcher Bette Fritz, who is a descendant of Sarah’s daughter Sarah Bishop Ellison by marriage. “I am not actually a descendant of Sarah's but am the third great granddaughter of her son-in-law Richard Hunt and his first wife Lydia Barber.  His second family with Sarah Ellison certainly came to a tragic end but I love the part where they were heard singing their favourite hymn as they were washed away to their deaths”.

Full story Sarah Watkins and John Ellison.

©Alice Kershaw, Maree Cairns, Bette Fritz,  Granville Historical Society Inc.