Archive for the ‘Brick Wall’ Category

In Search of the Birth of William George Baker

This is the first post of a series that I intend to write to show my research into finding the UK birth record of my GG Grandfather William George Baker.

William George Baker married Sarah Baldwin in Woolwich Kent in 1863. They came to New South Wales with their young son, William George, on the ship ‘Trebolgan’ in 1865.

On a number of records found here, William’s birth appears to be between 1836 and 1840 and his parents were Samuel & Sarah Baker.

On the shipping records, his age is listed as 27 years old. This makes his birth year to be around 1838. His native place reads Sudbury Suffolk. His parents are listed as Samuel & Sarah, with his mother living at Woolwich England. He is also shown to have ‘an Uncle George King’ living in the colony. I’m have not yet found any record of George King nor have I found a shipping record that matches to a George King coming from Suffolk. I did find a marriage between a Samuel Baker and a Sarah King in 1831 at Boxford, Suffolk. (M13246-1).

On the birth certificate of his son Albert Samuel, in 1870, William was 31, making his birth year to be 1839.

On the birth certificate of his daughter Emma, who was born in 1874, William was listed as 37, making his birth year to be 1837 and born at Bures, Suffolk, England.

On the birth certificate of his son Ernest, born in 1876 he is again shown as being 37, making his birth year to be 1839 and he was born at Bures, Sudbury, Suffolk, England.

On William’s death certificate, his age is listed as 45 born in Sudbury Suffolk. This makes his birth year to be around 1836. His parents are listed as Samuel Baker & Sarah Sampson. (The Sampson, I believe is incorrect or maybe Sarah remarried).

Anything is possible considering the different ages he is across the various documents. He could have been born as early as 1835 but I’m sure he was born in Bures (or surrounding districts) Suffolk.

I have over the years checked parish, civil & census records on FindMyPast, Free BDM, Ancestry UK and as yet not found a definite match.

With the changes on FindMyPast and the ability to now be able to in more detail on the Birth Indexes, I performed a search on William Baker born between 1837 and 1841 and this produced 13 results, 2 of which I can discount due to the child’s middle names, so that leaves the following. The advanced search would be better if you were able to include the names of both sets of parents.

BAKER William Wangford Suffolk 1837
BAKER William Blything Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Hoxne Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Bosmere Suffolk 1838
BAKER William Plomesgate Suffolk 1839
BAKER William Cosford Suffolk 1839
BAKER William Woodbridge Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Woodbridge Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Hartismere Suffolk 1840
BAKER William Hartismere Suffolk 1841
BAKER William Wangford Suffolk 1841

A search using just ‘George Baker’ brings up 9 records, of which one ‘Henry George Baker’ born at Sudbury, Suffolk in 1841 could be a possible relative.

Checking the 1841,1851,1861 UK census finds no record of the family in Suffolk.

I have been trying to determine when my ancestors William & Mary Thomas died

William Thomas

The only possible death record in SA that I have been able to find that matches to William is this:

Surname: THOMAS
Given Names: William
Date: 1882-08-30
Sex: M
Age: 73y
Status: N
Relative: (not recorded)
Residence: Wallaroo Mines
Death Place: Wallaroo Mines
District Code: Dal

Note: I’m not sure what the N against Status means.  I’ll have to try and find out what it means. Maybe that’s a clue in itself.

Today I received a ‘transcript’ of the death which follows:

  • William Thomas 73y a miner,
  • Died 30 August 1882 of senile decay at his residence at Wallaroo Mine
  • Informant R S Haddy:
  • Undertaker at Kadina
  • Registered by D W Sands at Kadina
  • Entered in District Registry Office 19 Sept 1882 by John Clark  District Registrar

The age of this William and the area fits to mine, but seeing that there were a number of William Thomas’s in the Wallaroo area, I have to wait and see if I can find some other piece of information to determine if this is the right one or not.

Mary Thomas

An entry found in the Adelaide Advertiser, shows the following. I’m yet to determine if this is the wife of my William.

“Adelaide advertiser 14/09/04. The friends of the late Mrs. MARY THOMAS, Relict of the late William Thomas, late of Wallaroo Mines, are respectfully informed that Her funeral will leave, the residence of their DAUGHTER (Mrs. H Vivian, Pulteney Street). on THURSDAY, at 1 p.m., for West Terrace cemetry”

I’ve been advised that the daughter’s first name was Jane and that her husband was Henry Vivian.

William and Mary’s children were:

  • Mary  (1833) – listed in the 1841 UK census, aged 8.  Not listed with the family in 1851, but she may have married by that stage.
  • Jane (1834) – in UK 1841 Census, age 5,(making her birth year to be 1836)  but in the 1851 census she is listed as being 17 (making her birth year to be 1834)
  • Elizabeth (1837) – married John Easterbrook
  • William (1840) – married Asneath Dunn
  • John (1842) -
  • Richard (1844) – married May Nankervill
  • Edward (1846) – married Jane Clark
  • Grace (1849) – married Richard Mitchell
  • James (1853) -

Other information on William Thomas:

William was born around 1809 in Cornwall, England.  He is listed as being 30 in the 1841 UK Census. In the 1851 UK Census, he is listed as being 42 and born ‘Sithney, Cornwall’.  The shipping record shows that William was born at Camborne, Cornwall.

William Thomas and his wife Mary came to Australia with their children on board the ship Utopia, which arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 9th July 1858

Thomas William 48 Miner 1596/3 Camborne, Cornwall With Family
Mary 46
Richard 13
Edward 11
Grace 8
James 5

Their eldest two sons were listed as ‘single’ men on the shipping records

Thomas John 16 1593/2 Camborne, Cornwall With parents
Thomas William 18 1596/3 Camborne, Cornwall With parents

Elizabeth Thomas (daughter of William & Mary) also arrived on the ship Utopia but with her husband John Easterbrook

Easterbrook John 23 Copper Miner Redruth, Cornwall
Elizabeth (Thomas) 24

What I need to do next:

  • Determine the following information in relation to Jane Thomas (the daughter of my William & Mary)
    • Who did she marry?
    • Did she come out to Australia?
    • If she did come to Australia, did she marry  before or after her arrival?
    • Check for the surname of the Jane Nankervill that arrived on the ‘Gilmore’ in 1857 with her husband James. The Nankervill family is connected to the Thomas family by way of Richard Thomas (born 1844) who married Mary Nankervill.
    • Check Shipping list of Henry Vivian who arrived in SA in 1864.
    • Check the NLA website for any reference to William & Mary Thomas.  Some of the SA papers are not yet online. (articles are listed as ‘coming soon’).
    • I note the following death in 1907 for ‘Henry Vivian’
      • VIVIAN.-On the 6th September, at Wakefield Street Henry, dearly beloved husband of Jane Vivian, late fitter Islington workshops and Kadina, aged 66 years 9 months.



My GGG Grandmother, Mary Ryan or Hanratty, was born in the mid 1830′s at Dungog, New South Wales. No record of her birth has been found. According to her death certificate in 1909, her father’s name was Arthur Hanratty (Pig Merchant).

The following information is everything that I have been able to find on ‘Arthur Hanratty’. I am yet to establish if he was Mary’s father but investigations show he was living in the Dungog area in 1841.

  • Robert or Arthur Hanratty was born about 1806/1808 in Armagh Ireland. He came to New South Wales, on board the convict ship ‘Mangles 5’ in 1827. His name in is listed as Robert Hauraltly.
  • In 1834, Robert is listed in the Convicts Applications to marry Ellenaor Hanratty (alias Moran). The application was granted. From the marriage index it shows ‘Robert or Arthur Hanratty per Mangles 5 to Ellen Hanratty per Edward alias Moran, were joined in together in wedlock by me this 19th Day of September 1834 at Sydney.
  • From checking both the indents for Robert & Ellen, they were both tried at Monaghan, Ireland on the 7th August 1827. Robert was convicted of pick pocketing and Ellen for stealing money.
  • Robert Hanratty alias Johnston received a Certificate of Freedom on the 25th August 1834, (per Mangles (5).
  • We next locate an Arthur Hanratty in the State Records – CSreLand index. Item 2/7874 Reel 1136. This shows that he purchased two lots of land at Clarencetown. This is confirmed from the details in the Sydney Gazette dated 24/4/1841 and the deeds are dated: Deeds dated 25th February, 1841. Item 28 Arthur Hanraty. 2 roads, Clarence town lot and iItem 29 Ditto, 2 roads, ditto, lot 1
  • In the Hunter Valley Directory of 1841, Arthur is listed at: St Leonards, Dungong , purchased lands at Clarence Town.
  • It’s also noted that in the same Hunter Valley directory a Robert Johnston is listed at Boatfall, Dungong District. Maybe this is just a co-incidence.
  • From they Sydney Gazette & NSW Advertiser (NSW: 1803-1842 – date: 17th March 1842 – Arthur Henrietty and two other men (James Cox & Richard Cox) were indicated under a charge of feloniously killing and carrying away one cow, the property of Mr. Thomas Holmes, at a place called Russell Farm. Verdict not guilty.
  • The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803-1842) – Thursday 17 March 1842 – Arthur Henreity -indicted for feloniously stealing and killing, with the intent to carry away, three cows, the property of Mr Richard Lang. Arthur pleaded not guilty. The jury, after a short absence, returned a verdict of guilty. Sentence, fourteen years transporation.
  • After checking the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence microfiche (1826-1872) I find the following information in reference to Robert Hanratty. A look at the original documents at the State Records office at Kingswood shows:
  • Item: 4/2638.5: 27th January 1844 – Robert Hanratty alias Johnston (Mangles 5), listed on a list of 50 prisoners being transferred from Cockatoo Island to Norfolk Island on the ship ‘The Duke of Richmond’. Sentence 14 years: Tried: 9th March 1842. I have yet to find any information on when Robert arrived at Cockatoo Island but from looking at the sentence and the trial date, that this is the same person as the Arthur Henreity that was convicted of killing the 3 cows. The ship ‘The Duke of Richmond’ was a convict ship that arrived in Hobart on the 2nd January 1844 with 111 convicts from England. The ship then left Hobart and arrived in Sydney on its way to Norfolk Island.
  • Item: 4/2658: 13th May 1844 – List of Prisoners employed as Domestic Servants to officers at Norfolk Island. Name of Officer: Rev William Welch, Name of Servant: Robert Hanratty.
  • Now this is where things are a little tricky. The following is in relation to an Arthur Hanratty (alias Arthur Clarke). Arthur Hanratty is listed with an Eliza Hanratty in 1856 on the Deposition Papers and convicted of Horse Stealing at Maitland. I am yet to find out what sentence Eliza received or what connection she had to Arthur but Arthur received a 5 year sentence ‘on the roads’.
  • After checking the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence microfiche (1826-1872), I find the following information for Arthur Hanratty (alias Clarke). Item: 4/3382: Arthur Hanratty, alias Clarke is listed on a list of prisoners at Cockatoo Island who were considered for ‘convict indulgence’ during the month of July 1858. Arthur Hanratty: Ship: Indian Ocean, Tried: Maitland, When Tried: 14th May 1856,Offence: Horse Stealing and stealing a cart, Sentence: 5 years to be served concurrently,District to which Ticket of Leave to be issued: Goulburn Item: 4/507: 6th August 1863 – Petition of Arthur Clark or Hanratty a Prisoner at Cockatoo Island for release of his sentence after 3 years and 9 months. States his conduct has been good. He arrived at Cockatoo Island on the 9th October 1859.
  • NSW Police Gazette 1863 – Arthur Clarke or Hanratty, per “Indian Ocean,” 1853; convicted at the Criminal Court, Sydney, on 3rd October, 1859, of horse-stealing, and stealing a cart, and sentenced to 5 years on the roads ; again convicted at the Maitland Quarter Sessions, on the 14th May, 1856, on two charges of horse-stealing, and sentenced to 5 years to the roads, to be served concurrently.
  • In 1863, Arthur Clarke’s (alias Hanratty), Tickets-of-Leave was cancelled.
  • From the 1864 NSW Police Gazette: Arthur ANDREWS alias HANRATTY convicted on 2 counts of horse stealing. From Dr. Harris and Mr OAKES both of Parramatta. Tried April 1864 at Maitland Circuit Court, sentenced to 3years hard labour at Maitland Gaol. This is also located on the NLA Website ( Article 1 and Article 2).

General Comments

  • Are Robert Hanratty alias Arthur Hanratty (Mangles 5, who arrived in 1827) and Arthur Hanratty (Indian Ocean – 1853), the same person? They were of the same age, they lived in the same area in New South Wales, and were both born around the same time in County Armagh, Ireland.
  • From the Police Gazette in 1863 Arthur Hanratty, alias Clarke stated that he had arrived as an immigrant to Portland Bay in the year 1853. Checking the shipping indexes, the Indian Ocean arrived in 1854 to Portland Bay and there is no record of an Arthur Clarke, Arthur Hanratty, or Robert Hanratty (or various spellings) listed as a passenger on the Indian Ocean.

Next Steps

  • What happened to Robert Hanratty after his arrival at Norfolk Island in 1844?
  • Did he finish his sentence?
  • Did he receive a pardon, ticket of leave?
  • Did he return to New South Wales and if so, how? Or did he end up in Victoria and change his name to ‘Clarke’?
  • Eliza Hanratty convicted Horse Stealing in 1856, was she sent to H M Parramatta Gaol? A child named Robert Hanratty (parents Arthur & Eliza) died aged 2 at H M Parramatta in 1857. He was apparently born in Melbourne but a search of the Melbourne BDM indexes found no reference to a birth of a Robert Hanratty (or variant spellings) around 1855. So was Robert the son of Arthur & Eliza Hanratty who were convicted of Horse Stealing in 1856?