Australia Day 2011- My earliest free immigrant

The original idea for this originated from Shelly from the Twigs of Yore. I have been trying to decide which ancestor to choose and which document too choose as there are a few I could have chosen, I have decided though to dicuss my earliest known free immigrant ancestor, Joseph Dilworth.  I do have 5 direct ancestors who arrived as convicts between 1827 and 1839 but the details of these ancestors only came to light in the last few years, whereas the information I have had on Joseph, I obtained almost 20 years ago, when I first began my family history. I’ll be writing about my convict heritage in another post sometime soon.

Joseph Dilworth who was born around 1807 Killyman, Tyrone, Ireland. Jospeh arrived in New South Wales, with his first wife Elizabeth and son Josias Wilison on board the ship Wilson on the 7th January 1842. I am descended through Joseph’s second marriage to Mary Quirk, and they married in March 1857, 3 months after Elizabeth died in 1856. I suspect that Joseph married quickly and only wanted a mother to his fiive children from his first marriage. Joseph & Mary went onto have 6 children, before seperating about 1870 when Mary began a relationship and had 3 children with Michael Melvyton. 

The earliest document that I have is the copy of the shipping record from the Index to Bounty Immigrants Arriving in N.S.W., Australia, 1828-1842. I’ve had this for about 20 years when I printed it off, from the microfilm at the local library.  Back when I first began tracing my family history, all of my research was done at my local library, scouring microfiche, micofilms, books and indexes, which took a lot of time do unlike now.  You can now view the indexes to the Bounty Immigrants arriving in NSW as well as the original image on line for free at Family Search.

The information provided was:

Principal’s Name: Joseph Dilworth Estimated birth year: 1818 Age in years: 24 Native place of Principal: Killyman, Tyrone, Father’s name: John Mother’s name: Ruth Spouse’s name: Elizabeth Dilworth Native place of spouse: Tullaniskan, Tyrone, Spouse’s Father’s name: John Ditty Spouse’s Mother’s name: Nancy Ship: Wilson Date of arrival: 07 Jan 1842.

Have a good Australia Day everyone…


  1. Researching has certainly got easier with the introduction of so many online resources. My post has a similar theme – document found in archive now available online.

    I’m having so mush fun reading these posts, thsnks.

  2. Thanks for your contribution to the Australia Day posts, they all make such interesting reading. How lucky for your to have Bounty Immigrants who came to Sydney, as there are more details available for them (parents names etc.) than for Bounty Immigrants who arrived in Melbourne. My genealogy wish is to discover that the Entitlement Certificates for passengers on the Himalaya survive somewhere in an archive!!

  3. This is such fun reading through all the posts, thank you for sharing yours!

  4. Thanks for sharing this story. Thanks also for the link to the record on FamilySearch. It’s good to know that there’s useful Australian information being added there – with images!
    Thanks again.

  5. Belinda

    I can’t believe my ancestor, Anne Morris, was on the same ship on the same day! I couldn’t find her record on the site you used, but thankfully, I did find her immigration records on although your record was more detailed. Anne Morris went to work for Major Wentworth, in Parramatta, as a House servant for a year.

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