March 2014 – Week 1 – Another Week of SteelyGene’s Activities.

  •  Sherbrooke Up & Down Bulli Mountain  – 2014 NSW Heritage Festival Journeys Event Planning.
  • On-line Twitter #genchat focused on using NARA records in the USA – my gt gt grandfather was American and so was my husband’s gt grandfather, so I’d been looking forward to this
  • Setting up One Drive (formerly SkyDrive) to experiment with using  the Cloud for note taking
  • Organising my bookmarks in Diigo and Delicious, on-line social bookmarking sites
  • Helping out relatives with glitches on our shared Wiki Tree and Tribal Pages family trees.
  • Migrating my Tumblr posts to A Steely Genes Journey” on WordPress and some notes to Evernote & Diigo
  • Changing the WordPress templates for my Family History sites to reduce some of the clutter
  • Participating in Facebook Family History and Nostalgia sites
  • Fellowship of First Fleeters – South Coast Chapter Meeting March 4 2014, my first and where I learned a lot – I’m descended from First Fleeter convicts John Small, Mary Parker and James Bradley, while my husband is descended from First Fleeter sailor Peter Hibbs and Mary Pardoe, a 2nd Fleet Convict transported on the Lady Juliana. However he had not previously heard the Lady Juliana referred to as The Floating Brothel, actually it was fellow Hibbs-Pardoe descendant Betty Warne, from whom I first really heard of the term, The Floating Brothel.
    • Quite a happy friendly buzz  where I was both warmly & formally welcomed. Lots of activities and interaction with other chapters. They have a newsletter called Colony sent out by email, which I am looking forward to reading
    • Arthur Phillip Memorial tablet being installed in Westminster Abbey by Queen Elizabeth II. They spoke of seeking reinstatement of Arthur Phillip bust at First Fleet Park – often these items seem to vanish at least temporarily.
    • Reports – including John Boyd invited to speak at Probus and View Clubs on First Fleet, Betty Warne gave her usual Helensburgh report
    • Events – 1914 memorial – meetings and outings – May luncheon – Parramatta in Government House with tour of St John’s Parramatta where 40 + First Fleeters are buried – with 17 having FFF plaques
    • They shared news of the SLNSW Mitchell Library petition which could see books locked up and have digital access only and what of digital divide issues –  viz many pre baby boomers do not use computers. They spoke of NSW Land titles access is being digitised but search functionality is not optimal and a key member, an IT geek, was having trouble with the digitised items.
    • Encouragement to write stories of your 1st Fleeters and make sure you cite your sources
    • Norfolk Island – Robin Stanford mentioned new burials found at Norfolk Island and the 2015 trip to commemorate the loss of the Sirius in 1790.
    • The Facebook page  is generating inquiries – “making organization relevant to a generation that looks at those sort of things” John Boyd … (KC note- actually Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y  & Millennials are all using Facebook) .
    • The Floating Brothel – Lady Juliana – 2nd Fleet – a DVD brought along by Betty Warne, descendant of Mary Pardoe (2nd Fleet Convict) and husband, 1st Fleet Sailor Peter Hibbs.
      • Chronic poverty generated crime so ruling class sent them to the colonies – fortunate to have so many records available, including the London Times which was reporting from the courts around mid 1780’s.
      • Mary Wade was only 11 years old and sentenced to death (mention of  the UK’s Bloody Code with about 200 capital offences). She was locked up in Newgate Prison awaiting execution. Meanwhile the prison populations were swelling due to losing American war of Independence (1776-1783) and  so convicts couldn’t be sent  to America  anymore, after being sent there from as early as 1611, (more) although claim it occurred from 1718.  Lady  Juliana Mary Wade descendant, Megan, was shown accessing court records on-line on the DVD.
      • Another female descendant of the Lady Juliana convicts, a sheep grazier , observed in the DVD,  that  tainted convict blood doesn’t matter anymore. And yet another, Rachel Hoddy‘s descendant, Reverend  Janet Philips was shown looking at original Old Bailey court records where Rachel was sentenced to 7 years transportation.
      • How did these feisty, far from docile women end up on the Lady Juliana instead  of the horrendously overcrowded Newgate Prison or even executed ? Following a 1789 request from Governor Arthur Phillip, it was decided by Lord Sydney’s offsider, Nepean, to send women to marry, have families, and so create a stable society in the NSW colony.  As there were not enough women prisoners in Newgate Prison to fill the Lady Juliana, country gaols in the UK were scoured for 5 months in 1789  to find enough young women of breeding age to be sent out to the Colony.  It was during the reign of George III ie mad King George, and when he deemed to be recovered, there was a celebration with commuting of sentences of all condemned women, to be transported instead. So the young Mary Wade was spared execution and came to Australia.  So having escaped execution in her childhood, she had come to the Illawarra, and had 300 descendants at the time of her death.
      • Also mentioned on the DVD, memoirs by John Nicol, a steward on Lady Juliana, were written and showed great compassion to the convict women.
  • Coming up later in the week – several Google Hangouts by Jill Ball @Geniaus & Myrtle, meeting of the Illawarra Historical Society, a U3A session on New Lanark Mill in Scotland – a UNESCO World Heritage site; later in March is the Illawarra Family History Group AGM 

About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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