Last week I visited the NSW State Records at Kingswood and one thing I wanted to check was the Ticket of Leave & Certificate of Freedom for John Showler & Thomas Showler, who were convicts that arrived in 1828 and 1831 respectively. On the convict indent, Thomas indicates that he had a cousin John already in the colony. From my previous post back at the end of November last year, I wrote that I thought that maybe John Showler was possibly my ancestor John Shoulders. Even though I haven’t been able to find any positive proof as yet, I do think that John Showler is John Shoulders, despite the apparent age difference, they were both from Aylesbury Buckinghamshire and secondly John Showler has also been found in some records as John Shoulder. Thomas Showler is also listed on his ticket of leave as being Thomas Shoulders.
Summary of information about John Showler/Shoulders
John Shoulders who married Mary Ryan in 1851, was 40 in 1856 and born at Aylesbury Buckinghamshire. This makes his birth year to be 1816
John Showler age at trial in January 1828, is listed as 21. But on his arrival he is listed as being only 20, making his birth year to be 1807 or 1808
John Shoulder listed on the NSW Gaol description Entrance Books (1818-1930) – Admitted to Stone Quarry 8th January 1835 and disposed 4th May 1835
John Showler - Countess of Harcourt 1828 40/0846 15 May 1840 Certificate of Freedom [4/4358; Reel 1006] TL 33/758
John Showler - Countess of Harcourt 1828 33/758 Ticket of Leave [4/4090; Reel 920] District: Inverary; Tried: Bucks QS
John Shoulders – died in May 1858 at Hernani, near Armidale NSW.
The Certificate of Freedom for John Showler is as follows:
Ship: Countess of Harcourt
Date of Trial: 15/06/1828
Sentence: 7 years
Height: 5 foot 4 & ¾ inches
Complexion: Ruddy & Freckled
General: Small Scar left eye, two scars left, IS SH bleeding heart, 1828, wreath hope & anchor on left arm. Man, Woman, Mermaid, SH on right arm.
I wonder what the IS, SH mean? Were they initials of his parents perhaps or someone else? Thomas also had letters on both his arms, having WICSRTS & EIHPY on his right arm. On his left arm he had a name L Hawkins. Could they be clues to other family members?
Summary of information about Thomas Showler
There appears to be no marriage for Thomas Showler (or variant spellings) in the NSW indexes.
There are two recorded deaths for ‘Thomas Showler’s, one in 1860 at Cooma and the other in 1897 at Liverpool. From the NSW State Records index, we can see that the Thomas Showler who died in 1897, died at the Liverpool Asylum.
Thomas Showler – Georgiana 1831 38/1157 Ticket of Leave [4/4121; Reel 930] District: Goulburn; Born: Bucks; Trade: Ploughs; Tried: Bucks QS
Thomas Showler is listed on his Ticket of Leave Passport in 1843 as ‘Thomas Shoulders’. (SHOULDERS Thomas - Georgiana 1831 43/314 21 Mar 1843 Ticket of Leave Passport [4/4249; Reel 971]
Thomas Showler - Georgiana 1831 49/0225 11 May 1849 Certificate of Freedom [4/4412; Reel 1026] TL 39/1157
The Certificate of Freedom for Thomas Showler is as follows:
Date of Trial: 4/01/1831
Sentence: 14 Years
Height: 5 foot 9 inches
Complexion: Pale & Freckled
General: Slight diagonal scar and mole on left eyebrow. WICSRTS, 1828, EIHPY on Right arm. L Hawkins, Sun, JHEVL on left arm.
Baptisms Records – Buckinghamshire
Looking at the baptism records for Buckinghamshire, I found the following ‘POSSIBLE’ baptisms for John Shouler/Shoulders.
23 Dec 1804 John born 26 Nov 1804 son of James & Esther SHOWLER – Aylesbury Buckinghamshire
27 May 1810 John son of Samuel & Ann SHOULER – Padbury Buckinghamshire
1 Jan 1815 John Samuel born 31 Dec 1814 son of John & Mary SHOULER – Whaddon Buckinghamshire
I suspect that the first one in 1804 might be the most likely one considering that this is the only baptism for a John being born in Aylesbury between 1804 & 1816. I cannot be sure if this is the correct one, unless I find some other information on who John’s parents were.
Looking at baptism records, for Thomas Showler, I note the following possibilities.
1 Oct 1797 Thomas born 18 Jun 1797 son of Thomas & Maria SHOWLER – Ayelsbury Buckinghamshire
23 Feb 1798 Thomas born 8 Feb 1798 son of William & Elizabeth SHOWLER – Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire