Family Names

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Reflections on Blogging Intentions for May 2017


In May 2017 I decided for the first time to set a single writing focus for the month. This post is a reflection on that decision.

My chosen theme was Convict Ancestors & Relations.   It seemed straight forward enough I had researched and gathered the information and even published most of it previously on an alternative website platform as part of my coursework for my Diploma of Family History at UTAS.

I announced my “Blogging Intentions for May 2017”  at the beginning of the month with very high hopes.  One post a week for the Month, it all seemed straight forward enough I had blithely listed the names of three convict ancestors, originally intending to blog about all 3.

Lessons Learned

  1. If I was going to blog in detail then 3 convicts was too many, in future I need to set realistic goals.
  2. I realised after the second week that the posts needed to hang together somehow – to make up a single theme – this resulted in me going back over several of posts after publication to tweak them so that they ran smoothly from one article to the next. 
  3. Once I published my first post I also realised that I would also need to advertise its release, this resulted in me dusting off my twitter account @kerbent and spending a few hours watching YouTube videos to work out how to use it.  I also announced the post in several Facebook Groups.  This has been a somewhat successful strategy as the number of readers did not fall as low as they had been pre-the April 2017 A to Z Challenge.  However, more work needs to be done to develop an effective strategy. 
  4. Originally  I had planned to only do four posts for the month, however, when I noticed the Geneameme "Five Faves" I decided to do this also.  Blogging can be a very lonely activity so as participating in a group activity can be very invigorating. 

Conclusion

Setting Blogging Intentions has been quite motivating, helping me to focus my energies and also helped me understand the blogging process a little better. 

The Articles

The target was one post a week for the month of May. I made my target, you can take a look if you wish they can be found by following the listed links:-

                Article 1 - The Crime, the Arrest, the Sentencing
       Article 2 - The Family That William Carbis Left Behind
       Article 3 - Untangling the Carbis evidence between 1816 & 1828
       Article 4 - The Death of William Carbis Snr

Monday, 29 May 2017

Five Faves Geneameme

Image created by Jill Ball as part of the Five Faves Geneameme, 2017 access 29 May 2017, http://geniaus.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/five-faves-geneameme.html
This post is part of “Five Faves Geneameme “  initiated by GeniAus  after being inspired by a GSQ Blogpost by Meg Carney 

To participate in this meme simply pen a blog post sharing details of five books written by others you have found most useful in your geneactivities.

Below is my contribution revolving around books I have used to give me a great understanding of the Victoria Era of History in both England and Australia.

Context in England
  • ·         Researching English Education & Health Records by Penelope Christensen  - This little book has been a gem; it has a wealth of information.  I had located Martha’s educational records but no-one had been able to tell me what they meant. This book also gives hints on where to find records concerning health records where and how to find them.
  • ·         Daily Life in Victorian England by Sally Mitchell - This book gives broad stroke overviews of English life, with an extensive further reading list at the back that helped me to find Ruth Goodman’s book How to be a Victorian, which I love.
  • ·         Good Food, Bright Fires & Civility – British Emigrant Depots of the 19th Century by Keith Pescod. - This book gives a lot of details about the depots and what our ancestors would have experienced as they waited to leave.  Well written and very informative.

Context in Australia
  • ·         My Wife, My Daughter and Poor Mary Ann by Beverley Kingston – I love this book and am constantly dipping into for further understanding.  It was recommended to me after I had posted a query concerning the mention of “Mary Ann” in several newspaper articles of the time.  FYI “Mary Ann” is slang for servant.
  • ·         Paupers, poor relief and poor houses in Western Australia, 1829-1910. By Penelope  Hetherington – I found the information in the book very useful and use it as a reference to dip into when I’m trying to understand attitudes during this period in WA.


I am currently trying to write a novella about my great-grandmother Martha Sarah Ellis born in 1870 in England, and the above books represent some of the interesting source material that I have found.

The kernel of my story yet to be written
Martha began life in 1870 during the Victorian Era in England. Her destiny would have been one of continual servitude either as a servant for a family or as an unpaid domestic for her father and stepmother if she had stayed.  In 1889 she journeyed to Australia on a ‘Bride Ship’ in search of a better life. On arrival in The Colonies she was faced with a whole new set of challenges. This is her story as she pushes back against the expectations and social mores to create a new life for herself.  

I’m always on the lookout for more good titles, you can never know too much.



The Death of William Carbis Snr

Article 4 - Convict Ancestors & Relations

William Carbis Senior/The Older

Christened 23 Mar 1761 St. Buryan, Cornwall, England.
Married 29 Sep 1783, Paul, Cornwall, England.
Convicted and Transported to Australia.
Died in New South Wales, Australia, location & date unknown [see below for more detail]

Artist Marsha Webster, untitled graveyard, 2012, scanned a pencil drawing, personal Collection
In 1825 William Carbis (jnr) was a Government Servant on his father's, William Carbis [Snr], estate in Wilberforce, New South Wales.[i]  In 1828 William Carbis “C.P.”[conditional pardon] owns land in Mangrove Creek, Porthead Land, New South Wales, his son by the same name is working for him [note William Carbis Junior did not get his C.P. until 1839[ii]].[iii]  In the same year, 1828, William Carbis [Snr] also requested 3 Government Servants for Farm Service.[iv]   

Beyond 1828 we have not been able to find about him in the records, or when he died.  According to Jean Staunton who has been in correspondence with the Central Coast Family History Society who advised: “that if a minister didn't perform the burial it wasn't recorded as it could be a chance [for the convict] to escape under[create] a new identity.”  So maybe there was no minister to perform the burial when William Snr died and consequently no record was made of his death.

Nothing has been located in the official New South Wales records, in TROVE, or in the known cemeteries of the region.

Theme - Convict Ancestors & Relations - May 2017



Wiki Tree Link for William Carbis

Any ideas where to look next?  




[i] Convict Muster Record in 1825  for William Corbis, ‘New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849’, Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, Microfilm Publication HO10, Piece 19 Year 1825. The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.  Accessed 18 September 2016
[ii] Ancestry, Register record for Conditional Pardon #37 for William Carbis the younger,   ‘New South Wales, Australia, Convict Registers of Conditional and Absolute Pardons, 1788-1870’ State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia; Card Index to Letters Received, Colonial Secretary; Reel Number: 797; Roll Number: 1250, Year 1839. Accessed 22 September 2016
[iii] Ancestry, "1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy)," database and images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 Jun 2016); Entry in 1828 Alphabetical listing C-D for # 340 for William Carbiss or Carbett  (p.14, Line 7, image 29 & 30 of 459); Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 21-28); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England; Ancestry, Recommended Home for Ticket of Leave entry for William Carbis, ‘New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia, Convict Pardons and Tickets of Leave, 1834-1859’ Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, Class HO 10; Piece: 52 Year 1839,  Accessed 22 September 2016; Ancestry,  1828 Census Record for William Carbiss #335, ‘1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (Australian Copy)’ New South Wales Government. 1828 Census: Householders’ returns [Population and Statistics, Musters and Census Records, Census, Colonial Secretary], Surnames A-C, State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia. Accessed 18 September 2016
[iv] SRNSW, Copies of letters sent within the Colony [Colonial Secretary] 1814-1827, NRS 962: Convicts, 4/3666, Reel 1042, p.338

Monday, 22 May 2017

Untangling the Carbis evidence between 1816 & 1828

Article 3 - Convict Ancestors & Relations


William Carbis Senior/The Older

Once the ship Ocean was moored in Port Jackson NSW a local official came on board the ship to conduct a muster.[i] The official welcomed and simultaneously cautioned them as to what was expected of them, and arrangements were made for their disembarkation.  The convicts that arrived on the Ocean were sent to one of three places for distribution, Parramatta, Windsor or Liverpool.[ii] William Carbis Snr., William Carbis Jnr. and Francis Bassett travelled to Mr Cox Esq J.P in Windsor by cart with 63 other Ocean convicts.[iii]  Only 3 of those sent to Windsor were pre-assigned to settlers, the others would stay at Mr. Richard Fitzgerald’s House. The house had been rented by the government to accommodate the Convicts sent to Windsor until further arrangements were completed for their placement with a settler.[iv]

I had always assumed that convicts sentenced to life lead lives of incarceration and servitude. However, this was not the case.  All sorts of arrangements were entered into that are not revealed in the annual convict musters.  Below is a summary of what has been found (to date) in the musters for William Carbis Sen., William Carbis Jnr. and Francis Bassett.

Summary of Convict Musters between1816-1828 constructed from available records.
William Carbis Sen.
After arriving in Windsor a muster was taken a year later, and William Carbis Snr was listed as a settlerman but both William Carbis Jnr and Francis Bassett are both listed as government Servants.[v] There appears to be a change in William Carbis Snr status between 1817 and 1820 as he becomes a government servant.[vi] Why there has been a change in his status is not clear.  Reasons could include the following possibilities, a clerical error, or he may have not coped as a settlerman in a foreign land and been re-classified as a government servant or may have been considered to have lied about his trade (husbandman on marriage certificate vs seaman on arrest/convict records). By the 1819 convict muster, it stated that he was sent to Mr. J. Campbell, along with 7 others serving life-sentence’s who had also arrived on the Ocean in 1816.[vii] By the 1822 muster he was listed as a farmer.[viii] In order for this to occur he must have received his Ticket of Leave.[ix]  The 1822 muster tells us that his son William Carbis Jun. is assigned to him as a government servant. In 1828 Francis Bassett, who received his ticket of leave in 1822,  joins William Snr. on his farm as a labourer.[x]
In the muster documents, it appears that William Snr. and William Jun. were both assigned to J. Campbell. However, there is some evidence to contradict this. In a letter written by William Carbis Jun. in an application for his ticket of leave it appears he worked for either Win Bawn and/or C M Doyle (who both signed the supporting statement) from 1816 to 1822.[xi]

SRNSW, Colonial Secretary Correspondence Letters Received 1826-1934 Petitions, 4/2247, 34/205 excerpt concerning William Carbis petition for a Conditional Pardon
It is confusing to untangle the detail as many private arrangements could also be made. A man could spend part of the day 'working in servitude' and the other part of the day working for himself as explained in the quote below.
“When male or female convicts arrived in Sydney or Hobart in the first fifty years, they were usually assigned to work either for the government or for a private individual. In the early years the government provided a food allowance for those who were privately assigned, while their masters obtained the benefit of their work. Until tighter regulations were introduced, both privately and publicly assigned convicts were allowed to work for themselves in the afternoons, earning an income. In effect, part of the day was their own. Some lived in accommodation supplied by their masters, while many others lived in their own housing.”[xii]

In conclusion
At the age of 55, William Carbis Senior found himself in a new country working as a government labourer in Windsor NSW as the servant of Mr J.T.Campbell.[xiv]   We know that between 1816 – 1828 William Carbis Senior was a government servant, although he may have been a settlerman for a short time after arrival in 1816. He may have worked both as a government servant to someone, (yet to be identified), part of the day, and for himself as some sort of farmer in the afternoon. By 1821 he is a farmer possibly after receiving his Ticket of Leave in the same year, it appears that his son who has been working as a government servant for either Win Bawn and/or C M Doyle came to work for him. 

However, by the end of the Muster of 1822, he had received his Ticket of leave and become a farmer.[xv]  It also appears that Francis Bassett may also have worked for him in 1822 after receiving his Ticket of leave for a short time before going to Richmond.[xvi] 


In 1828 census William Carbis Senior was 67 years old and had seven convicts working for him on his farm in Lower Portland Headland in the Hawkesbury area, including his son and his son-in-law.[xvi] His son had joined “his aged father” according to the Muster in 1827.[xvii] All three men can be found together on William Carbis’ farm.


Theme - Convict Ancestors & Relations - May 2017


Article 1 - The Crime, the Arrest, the Sentencing

Article 2 - The Family That William Carbis Left Behind


Wiki Tree Link for William Carbis

Sources
[i] White, Charles. 1889. Early Australian history: Convict life in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, parts I & II, the story of the ten governors and the story of the convicts. Bathurst: C. & G.S. White "Free Press Office. (2016. Gutenberg.Net.Au. Accessed June 11 2016. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks12/1204081h.html#CHAPTER_VIII_AFTER_LANDING)
[ii] Ancestry.com, New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Citing - Series: NRS 937; Reel or Fiche Numbers: Reels 6004-6016 Includes mention of Wm Carbis Snr & Jnr & Francis Bassett  (images 509 to  511 of 7619)
[iii] 1816 'GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS.', The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), 11 May, p. 2. , viewed 13 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176651; Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010. Original data: New South Wales Government. Main series of letters received, 1788-1825. Series 897, Reels 6041-6064, 6071-6072. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia. New South Wales Government. Special Bundles, 1794-1825. Series 898, Reels 6020-6040, 6070; Fiche 3260-3312. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.New South Wales Government. Memorials to the Governor, 1810-25. Series 899, Fiche 3001-3162. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.© the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales and is used under licence with the permission of the State Records Authority. The State of New South Wales gives no warranty regarding the data's accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose. View Full Source Citation.
[iv] 1817 'GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS.', The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), 8 February, p. 2. , viewed 10 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2177063  
[v] Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. Year 1816 entries for William Carbis & William Carbis (image 104 & 105 of 525)
[vi] Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. Entries 1817 for William Carbis & William Carbis Jnr Image 113 & 114; Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.  Entries 1819 for Wm Carbis Wm & Wm Carbis Junr (image 164 & 165 of 898); Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. Entries for 1820 Wm Carbis Wm & Wm Carbis Junr (image 177 & 178 of  549); Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. .Entries 1821 for William Carbis & William Carbis Jnr (image 171 of 478)
[vii] Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.  Entries for Wm Carbis Wm & Wm Carbis Junr (image 164 & 165 of 898)
[viii] Ancestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 5, 19-20, 32-51); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. Entry for 1822 William Corbis Junior (line 30) (Image 141 of 685); Ancestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, Class: HO 10; Piece: 19, Year 1825, Entry for William Carbis (image 229 of 697)
[ix] Note according to the NRNSW website there is Ticket of Leave No. 2003 for William Carbis Snr Refer to index that cites SRNSW, NRS 12188, Bound manuscript indents 1788-1835, Fische 634 [4/4005] Entry for William Carbis page 2;  However a “copy of [4/4003-19]  ...items not available electronically (source " Series Detail ". 2016.Investigator.Records.Nsw.Gov.Au. Accessed June 10 2016.” (http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/Entity.aspx?Path=\Series\12188.))
[x] Ancestry.com. 1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 21-28); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England..  Entry  in HO 10/28 # 511 for Francis Bassett (Image 23 of 663) – [note HO 10/28 is the general muster]; Ancestry.com. 1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 21-28); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.. Entry in HO 10/21# 573 Francis Bassett,(image 121 of 382)  note HO 10/21 is the 1828 Census]; Ancestry.com. 1828 New South Wales, Australia Census (TNA Copy) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 21-28); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England; Johnson, Keith A., and Malcolm R. Sainty. 2001. 1828 census of New South Wales. Sydney Library of Australian History, CD ROM edition.  Entries for William Carbiss Jnr #C0340, .& Francis Bassett # B0573
[xi] SRNSW, Colonial Secretary Correspondence Letters Received 1826-1934 Petitions, 4/2247, 34/205
[xii] Bruce Kercher, The Unruly Child: A History of Law in Australia (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1995), pp. 22-42
[xiii] Ancestry.com. New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 5, 19-20, 32-51); The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England. Enrty  1825 for Francis Bassett (image 49 of 697)

[xiv] Ancestry. Entries 1817 for William Carbis & William Carbis Jnr, New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834, Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England. [Image 113 & 114]; Ancestry,  Entries 1819 for Wm Carbis Wm & Wm Carbis Junr New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834, Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication HO10, Pieces 1-4, 6-18, 28-30); The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England. [image 164 & 165 of 898]; Ancestry, Entries for 1821 William Carbis & William Carbis Jnr, New South Wales, Australia, Settler and Convict Lists, 1787-1834, Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England. [image 171 of 478]

[xv] Ancestry, Entry for 1822 William Corbis Junior (line 30), New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849, Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania, HO10, Pieces 5, 19-20, 32-51, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, England. [Image 141 of 685]

[xvi] Johnson, Keith A., and Malcolm R. Sainty. 2001. Entry for William Carbiss Jnr #C0340 1828 census of New South Wales. Sydney Library of Australian History, CD ROM edition. SRNSW, Copies of letters sent within the Colony [Colonial Secretary] 1814-1827, NRS 962: Convicts, 4/3666, Reel 1042 , p.338

[xvii] Ancestry, Entry 4/4508, year 1827, No. 326, Permission to marry entry for Francis Bassett & Eliza Jones ; & Entry item# 4/4511, 1827, No. 328, Permission to marry entry for Francis Bassett & Eliza Jones, New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Convicts' Applications to Marry, 1826-1851 Registers of convicts' applications to marry. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia: State Records Authority of New South Wales. Series 12212, SRNSW, NRS 845 Depositions and other papers, Sydney and Country, 4/8480 , Windsor, Nov 1824-Aug 1836, 4/8480, No 16 Page 319, Reel 2754 [Image 3 & 11 of 16]

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Family That William Carbis Left Behind

Article 2- Convict Ancestors & Relations

William Carbis Senior/The Older
Figure 1 Descendant Tree for William Carbis. For image credits see below


William Carbis(Senior) was the second of six children to William Carbis and Elizabeth Nechollens.[i]  When he was transported he not only left his parents and five siblings behind but also his wife and three of his four children. His son William and his son-in-law were also convicted and transported with him.[ii] 


William's Parents

William Senior's parents, William Carbis and Elizabeth Nechollens were married in Elizabeth's parish of Sennen, his father, William, travelling from the parish of Paul for the occasion.[iii]

Figure 2 Banns of Marriage between William Carbis & Elizabeth Nechollens. For image credits see below

They stayed in the area. Their first two children, Mary and William Snr., were baptised in the parish of St Buryan in 1758 and 1761 respectively. The four subsequent children were baptised in the parish of Paul and this were the family seemed to settle.

Figure 3 Parish map of the Tip of Cornwall For image credits see below

William's own family

William Carbis Snr. was living in Paul and working as a husbandman when married Ann Drew, also living in Paul in 1783.[iv]

Figure 4 Banns of Marriage between William Carbis & Anne Drew. For image credits see below


William Snr. and Anne had 5 children: Ann Drew, William (The Younger), Martha(who died before the age of one), Martha, and Richard.[v]  In 1812 William Snr. was a seaman or perhaps he was an agricultural labourer out of work (who followed his son to sea for work) William (the younger), to sea to earn a living or avoid detection of the authorities.

When William Snr. was convicted of sheep stealing he was convicted with his son William (the younger), and his son-in-law Francis Bassett.[vi] [Read more about what happened.] There appear to have been strong links between the Carbis and Bassett families. The families seemed to have known each other very well. 

Connections between the Carbis & Bassett Families

The two families lived relatively closely together just walking distance apart according to the newspapers which helps to explain why there was also two marriages between them.  William Carbis Snr's daughter Ann Drew Carbis married Francis Bassett in 1806 and Martha Carbis married Francis' brother John Bassett in 1812.[vii]  It was at the end of 1812 that the crime was committed and the three accused absconded to sea. [viii]  But it wasn’t 1815 that they were caught, convicted and sentenced. It would have been a great drain on those remaining behind in Cornwall having lost 3 bread winners.

It is known that Martha Bassett nee Carbis migrated to Victoria, Australia in 1852 with her husband, John and their adult children.[ix] It is not known if she had any contact with her father, brother or brother-in-law. It is also thought that Richard Carbis may also have come to Australia.

Theme - Convict Ancestors & Relations - May 2017

Article 1 - The Crime, the Arrest, the Sentencing

Wiki Tree Link for William Carbis


Image Citations

Image 1 Descendant Tree for William Carbis. Private Collection of Sandra Williamson

Image 2 Banns of Marriage between William Carbis & Elizabeth Nechollens. "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Sennen Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1812, Entry #3 for William Carbis & Eliza Nechollens, married 18th August 1755, p.1 (image 4 of 27 )

Image 3 Parish map of the Tip of Cornwall -  "Cornwall Online Parish Clerks". 2016.Cornwall-Opc.Org. Accessed June 15 2016. http://www.cornwall-opc.org/MAPS/maps.php.- Note two maps used to create new edited image (http://www.cornwall-opc.org/MAPS/parish_map.pdfhttp://www.cornwall-opc.org/MAPS/great_britain.gif )

Image 4 Banns of Marriage between William Carbis & Anne Drew. "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1813 p.488 Entry for William Carbice and Anna Drew married 29th September 1783 (image 65 of 143)

[i] "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro,  St Buryan Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1718-1812, Entry for Mary Carbence, baptised 7th January 1758, p.32, (image 20 of 88 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11839-55390-56?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro,  St Buryan Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1718-1812, Entry for William Carbence, baptised 23rd March 1761 p.34, (image 21 of 88 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11839-63031-81?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro,  St Paul Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1694-1775, Entry for John Carbis, baptised 4th December 1763 p.78 (image 50 of 101 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-141997-38?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro,  St Paul Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1694-1775, Entry for Martha Carbis, baptised 17th October 1765 p.81 (image 52 of 101 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-139946-34?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro,  St Paul Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1694-1775, Entry for John Collins Carbis, baptised 16th August 1770 p.89 (image 57 of 101 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-146252-28?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro,  St Paul Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1694-1775, Entry for Richard Carbis, baptised 8th March 1775 p.97 (Image 60 of 101 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-141189-30?cc=1769414)

[ii] Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: New South Wales Government. Musters and other papers relating to convict ships. Series CGS 1155, Reels 2417-2428. State Records Authority of New South Wales.  Entries for Wm Carbis Senr, Wm Carbis Junr & Francis Bassett (Image 1 & 2 of 8)

[iii] "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Sennen Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1812, Entry #3 for William Carbis & Eliza Nechollens, married 18th August 1755, p.1 (image 4 of 27 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12434-39920-25?cc=1769414)
[iv] "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1813 p.488 Entry for William Carbice and Anna Drew married 29th September 1783 (image 65 of 143 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11130-158740-54?cc=1769414)

[v] "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Baptisms, burials, 1776-1812, Entry for Anne Drew Carbis baptised 14th November 1784 p.17 (image 13 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-137203-30?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Baptisms, burials, 1776-1812, Entry for William Carbice baptised 10th May 1789 p.25 (image 18 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-140471-83?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Baptisms, burials, 1776-1812, Entry for Martha Carbice baptised 7th October 1792 p.31 (image 21 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-146403-25?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Baptisms, burials, 1776-1812, Entry for Martha Carbis buried 13th September 1793 p.111 (image 21 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-146403-25?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Baptisms, burials, 1776-1812, Entry for Martha Carbis baptised 5 October 1794 p.36 ( image 26 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11597-144620-24?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Baptisms, burials, 1776-1812, Entry for Richard Carbis baptised 17th August 1797 p.44 (image 30 of 82 at https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DTJ7-DXZ?i=29&wc=3CBW-PYM%3A138123201%2C140206301%2C1582895306%3Fcc%3D1769414&cc=1769414)

[vi] West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser 7th April 1815 Pg. 4; Royal Cornwall Gazette 22nd April 1815

[vii] "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1813 p.245 Entry for Francis Bassett and Ann Carbis married 7th November 1806 (image 127 of 143 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11130-159132-4?cc=1769414); "England, Cornwall and Devon Parish Registers, 1538-2010," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 May 2016), Cornwall Records Office, Truro, Paul Marriage banns, marriages, 1754-1813 p.273 Entry for John Basset and Martha Carbis married 15th March 1812 (image 141 of 143 at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11130-159580-8?cc=1769414)

[viii] West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser 7th April 1815 Pg. 4; Royal Cornwall Gazette 22nd April 1815

[ix] Unassisted Immigration to Victoria - Inward Passenger Lists for British, Foreign and New Zealand Ports 1852-1923 (PROV Series VPRS 7666, 7667 and 7786), Fiche Page B197 009 - DEC 1861, GREAT BRITAIN.

x 2016. Cornwall-Opc.Org. CORNWALL ONLINE PARISH CLERKS website Accessed June 15 2016. http://www.cornwall-opc.org/MAPS/parish_map.pdf

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Crime, the Arrest, the Sentencing

Article 1 - Convict Ancestors & Relations 


William Carbis Senior/The Older
It was just before Christmas on 13th December 1812 in the small town of Penzance in Cornwall, that two sheep were stolen from Miss Borlase’s herd.[i] The evidence found in the three suspect’s homes had been unequivocal, leaving little doubt in everyone's mind of their guilt. William was arrested along with his son William and his son-in-law Francis Bassett, they were all family men, related to each other by blood and marriage. None of them were present at the time of the constable's raids on their homes, together they had absconded to sea leaving their womenfolk behind. They had returned home after 2 years in 1815 soon after Hoskin the Hind, the main witness had died. Miss Borlase, however, was still intent on pursuing the matter; sheep stealing was a serious capital offence.
Chris Downer (2005). Launceston: castle over rooftops SX3384 Geograph(CC BY-SA 2.0) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/571483

After arrest, they were held for almost 5 months before their case could be heard in the Launceston Assizes, on the 27th of March 1815.  During the court case, no-one was particularly sympathetic or cared to hear their version of the events and all three men were sentenced to death.[ii]  Once sentenced the trio were held in Launceston Jail. The Jail had been built in the grounds of what had once been the Grand Castle of Launceston.  An ignominious place described 20 years earlier as follows - “The Prison is a room or passage twenty three feet and a half by seven and a half, with only one window two feet by one and a half:  and three Dungeons or Cages on the side opposite the window : there are about six and half feet deep; one nine feet long; one about eight; one not five: this last for women. They are all very offensive. No chimney: no drains: no water: damp earth floors: no Infirmary. The yard not secure; and Prisoners seldom permitted to go out to it. Indeed the whole Prison is out of repair”.[iii]
Anon, 'Postscript', Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser, Thursday, February 23, 1815; Issue 2581. Column 1
They were held here jail until 7 Aug 1815, almost 5 months after their death sentence was awarded. During this time their punishment was reduced to a life sentence in New South Wales. [iv] Their case had been heard in the western assize circuit, a court which heard an usually high number of animal thefts cases compared to the rest of England, in fact a “fifth of all those transported from the western circuit were accused of various kinds of animal theft“.[v] 
The Hulk
Prison Hulk [Picture]. 2016. Nla.Gov.Au. Accessed June 15 2016. 'National Library of Australia' http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an5487524-1

William was one of 5 prisoners who had been convicted before the 1816 Lent court session together they were transferred to the Portland Hulk. The conditions on the Hulk were not much better than they had been in Launceston jail, the Hulk was very old and dilapidated, so bad that it was decommissioned in 1817.[vi]    It was usual for Hulk prisoners to work on the shore during the day, work that would provide them with meagre savings that could be used to ease their conditions.  However, in Langstone Harbour where the Portland was moored, there was not enough employment for all the convicts.  The authorities were only able to place one-third of prisoners on shore at Fort Cumberland the rest needed to stay on board the Hulk.[vii]  It was indeed difficult for inmates.  Prisoners were confined to the Hulk during most of the day however they ate on shore in specially provided sheds for that purpose. At night they were confined to one of four decks with no lighting although some had private lights to read and work by at night. In total, they spent 53 long days and nights on the Hulk in less than optimal conditions before being discharged to the government contracted transport ship the Ocean on the 22 August 1815 in preparation for their journey to Australia.[viii]  

Dighton, Robert. 1781, A fleet of transports under convoy Printed for & sold by Carrington Bowles, London viewed 28 June 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-135886548 
The Ocean & Arrival in Australia
William was on board the Ocean when it finally began its journey from England in August 1815, with 220 passengers on board.   Of the 219 convicts who arrived in Australia, 98 of them had life sentences, the only free passenger on board the ship was Rev. John Youl from the British and Foreign Bible Society. [ix] 
 “The Bible prized by Convicts” Christian Herald and Seaman's Magazine, Volume 4 1816  Page 218
Rev. Youl ran classes every day based on the scriptures,  resulting in a number learning to read despite the initial opposition of some of the convicts.[x]
The journey itself took just under six months and included a seven-day layover in Rio as the ship picked up cargo to be added to the human cargo of convicts already on board. The additional cargo included imported goods that were to be sold on arrival in Australia and included alcohol, confectionery, hardware, clothing and other household goods, all which would help improve the profits for the ship owners.[xi]
Only one convict died during the journey, due to a gale of wind causing him to accidentally fall down the hatchway from the deck above. The accident was not surprising as the men wore leg irons for the first part of the journey and there were lots of small casualties from people falling about the decks.[xii]  The men spent 10 hours out of 24 below decks; the heat below must have been unbearable as the ship crossed the equator.  Relief from the oppressive heat below would only have been possible on the open deck above.  The reasons to be on deck included participating in Rev. Youl's classes or performing allocated duties such as cleaning or assisting with the cooking or other ship chores.
Henry Brewer, View of the entrance into Port Jackson taken from a boat lying under the North Head [picture] 1790. National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an4910576. Accessed June 15 2016.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an4910576 
 Port Jackson must have been a welcome sight when they arrived on 30th  January 1816.[xiii] 

Edit History

Originally posted on the 7 May 2017
Updated and revised on 26 June 2017


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