Tasmania – Unlocking the Black Box

For too many years I put Tasmanian connections in a black box – too hard.

David had paternal Hibbs and maternal line Bates – Griffin – Amos – Green connections down there – dating back to 1798 and 1808 respectively.

My Hicks – Spowart branch family went down there in 1892 – and were in mining areas around Beaconsfield, Strachan, Storeys Creek and Zeehan.

Tasmania 2008 299

Strachan in 2008

Adam’s  4 x great grandmother from his Piper line had emigrated to Hobart, Van Diemans Land  on the Strathfieldsay in 1834.


Hobart 2008

I had previously joined and followed a couple of Tasmanian Genealogy groups on Facebook – looked at the Tasmanian Library LINC system, but it was too different to the NSW BDM system so I thought. Move on to other family lines instead – I’ll get back to the Tasmanian lines one day …. maybe….

I’d travelled to Tasmania in early 1975 with David, and then again in 2008 with our daughter, Katrina. We knew of the Peter Hibbs – “Norfolk” Bass and Flinders connection in 1798, when we visited the Bass and Flinders Museum in Georgetown on the Tamar in 2008.

But in 2008 I hadn’t realised how close we were to Port Dalrymple. That was where David and Katrina’s ancestor Maria Green nee Bates was born in 1808. It was literally two centuries earlier – possibly she was born in Yorktown just across from the Tamar from Georgetown.


Tamar River at Georgetown in 2008 – our lunch stop on 20.4.2008


Peter Hibbs, ancestor of David and Katrina, was the Master of the “Norfolk” for Bass and Flinders in their 1798 voyage around Tasmania


Katrina on the replica of the “Norfolk” at Bass and Flinders Museum in Georgetown in 2008

And then I offered to help a friend, an adoptee and  new to family history, who had just done  a DNA test with Ancestry.com. Fairly quickly it became obvious that all his ancestral lines pointed to Tasmania – dating from at least as far back as 1818 – with 19 or 20 convicts. Gulp.

In fact combined with his original pre-adoption birth certificate, using his DNA results and family trees of his DNA matches, we made a good start. Ultimately he was to learn of all of his biological ancestral lines back to at least all of his 3 x great grandparents.

Always great to find a good map of an area being researched – thanks to Alona Tester and Gould Genealogy for this one of Tasmania in 1837 !


Tasmanian Counties – shared by James Edwards

37070707_10156559690762628_3767970122971480064_o Tasmanian Districts

My education in Tasmanian genealogical resources was well underway.

What sources did I use or discover ? Well just about everything in the end.

I still prefer NSW BDM’s etc but am now much more comfortable with the Tasmanian Library LINC resource. The Tasmanian Federation Index at the National Library in Canberra was good to use – it just needs planning ahead to use it either in Canberra or the NSW State Library in Sydney.


About Kerrie Anne Christian

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