Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Doris Moss, Convicts and Norfolk Island

I hope you have read my blog on "Doris Moss, Napoleon and St Helena".   As I was writing that blog I realised there were two families involved here - not just the father of Doris, but also the mother of Doris and their families.  Each side of the family warrants their own blog!

To think that just several months ago we knew next to nothing about Doris Olney (nee Moss), and now through some research, there is so much to share with you all. I will be repeating myself a little as I need to establish the generations back from Doris, which includes her father Clement and mother Matilda, back to her "First Fleeter" arriving on Norfolk Island.

I dedicate this blog to "Narnie".

Sue was “googling” around and came across the Olney Family Archives Blog as that was her maiden name.  She was quite emotional to see a photo of her “Narnie” who died when she was a young child. Up until that moment, Sue had never seen her face, and as she read the caption underneath - Doris Gwendolyne Moss 1896 - 1961, she realised that apart from knowing her as "Narnie", she didn't even know her name.  Sue also saw a photo of her father at the age of 2 with very fair hair, for she never knew he had fair hair as a child. Sue emailed me with questions about her “Narnie”, Doris, as she is the grand-daughter of Arthur and Doris Olney (nee Moss). Those photos are attached below.

Doris Gwendolyne Olney nee Moss 9 June 1896 - 27 July 1961
Roy (born 1917), Allan (born 1919) & Keith Olney (born 1915).

The family knew very little about “Narnie”.  About all we have known is that Doris was born in New Zealand on 9 June 1896, her Mother was a Glasson and died when she was about 3, and she was brought up in an Orphanage in Sydney. It is known that Doris worked for a Mrs. Ruth Vane and her daughter Isobel in their Pastry shop in Sydney before coming to Melbourne. Doris married Arthur Olney in 1915 in Melbourne when she was nearly 19 years of age.  Sue seemed to think there was a connection with South Africa. So our search began.

Firstly there was the announcement of the marriage between Arthur and Doris in “The Argus” on Wednesday 14th April 1915.
Marriage: Olney – Moss.  On the 16th March 1915 at St.Leonards Presbyterian Church, Brighton Beach by the Rev Hume Robertson BA, Arthur Edgar Olney, 2nd son of David and Annie Olney of “Lipson” Elm St, Hawthorn (late of Yea, Victoria) to Doris Gwendolyne Moss, daughter of Clem and the late Tilley Moss, late of New Zealand.  Present address St.Johns Avenue, Camberwell.

"Lipson" 44 Elm Street, Hawthorn where Arthur Olney was living with his parents in 1915.
44 St Johns Avenue, Camberwell, the first home of Arthur and Doris Olney.

We now had the names of Doris Moss' parents - Clem and Tilley Moss.

Tilley was short for Matilda! “Geni” was very helpful with a large family tree for Matilda Louisa Smith who was born in Hamilton, Tasmania on 29 October 1857 to parents Henry and Henrietta Smith. They had 9 children and moved to New Zealand late 1860s. The Smith family ancestors have been researched back to 1778 in England and 1770 in Ireland. More about them later. Thank you to Maria in New Zealand who managers the Smith tree on “Geni” and “Ancestry”.

Matilda Louisa Smith married Arthur Evelyn Glasson (born 1856 in Boreham, Hampshire, England) on 5 February 1880 in St John, Leeston, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Together they had 4 children:
Leonard Arthur Glasson, born 17 December 1881 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Winifred Lucy Glasson, born 21 September 1883 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Lionel Evelyn Glasson, born 5 October 1885 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stillborn son, born 1 June 1892 at 60 Matheson’s Rd, Linwood, to wife of late Arthur E.Glasson. (Same address that Clement George Moss was living at in 1896 – NZ Electoral Roll).

Arthur Evelyn Glasson died 18 January 1892 in Leeston, Canterbury, New Zealand, leaving Matilda with 3 young children – 11, 9 & 7.
What happened to Arthur and Matilda’s three young children after their Father and Mother died in 1892 and 1898?

Leonard married Myrtle Jessie Waghorn (born 1889) on 27 November 1912 in Claremont, Perth, Western Australia. Leonard died 1963 at Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia and Myrtle died 1972 in Malvern, Victoria, Australia. They had a son Edgar Leonard Glasson born 1914 & died 1972.

Winifred married John Addy (born 1882) on 23 February 1914 in Kensington & Chelsea, Middlesex, England. Winifred died October 1970 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England and John died 1972. They had 2 sons - Alleyne John Addy (1917 – 1994), and Robert Francis Addy (1919 – 1993).

Lionel married Elizabeth (Elsie) Mary Hume (born 1886) at 61 Hope St, Spotswood, Victoria, Australia. Elsie died 20 June 1916 at Bendigo, Victoria, Australia with no issue.

Matilda Glasson (nee Smith) married Clement George Moss on 30 June 1894 at Church of the Good Shepherd, Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand.

New Zealand Newspapers 12 July 1894 and 6 August 1894 gave us - 
Marriages: Moss – Glasson. On June 30th 1894 at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Linwood, by the Rev.H.J.C.Gilbert, Clement George, 5th son of the late Walter B.Moss of Ashburton and the nephew of F.J.Moss esq. British Resident at Raratonga, to Matilda Louisa, widow of the late Arthur E.Glasson.

Together they had 2 children:
Doris Gwendolyne Moss, born 9 June 1896 in Nelson, New Zealand. Her birth Certificate says her father Clement George Moss, 25 years, was born in St. Helena.

Doris Gwendolyn Moss born 9 June 1896 in Nelson, New Zealand.

Claude Clement Moss, born 10 August 1898 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

When and why did Clement & Matilda Moss leave New Zealand and come to Adelaide?  Did Doris ever know she had 3 Glasson step-siblings?

23 October 1898 Matilda Louisa Moss died in Adelaide. She was buried on 25 October 1898 at West Terrace Cemetery Adelaide (Road 3, Path 29, Site 14).

Deaths:  Moss- October 23rd 1898 at “Morton”, Adelaide, South Australia, Matilda Louisa wife of Clement G.Moss and the widow of the late Arthur E. Glasson, aged thirty nine years. (New Zealand “Star” 26 October 1898).

What happened to Doris (2 years) and Claude (2 months) now that their mother Matilda had died? 

Clement George Moss married again in England.

Clement George Moss 1870 - 1913

Clement George Moss was on U.K. 1911 Electoral Roll, 38 years, born 1873 at St. Helena, lodger at 50 Oxford Road, Islington, widower, 1 child, Commercial Traveller in Stationary.

Clement George Moss, 40 years, born about 1873, widower, married Emily Swift, 34 years, spinster on 1 September 1913 at Holy Trinity Dalston Borough, Hackney, London.  A Confectioner, father Walter B Moss (dec), Solicitor. Bride’s father Frederick James Swift.

Clement and Emily Moss had 2 daughters and 2 sons:
Vera Emily Moss, born 6 October 1914, Clement Frederick Moss, born 10 June 1916, Cyril Herbert Moss, born 25 July 1919, and Kathleen Marjorie Moss, born 6 December 1922.

Clement George Moss died March 1933, aged 60 years, at Edmonton, England.

I have now had a contact with some of Clement's grandchildren in England, and found his two daughters are still alive.

Did Doris ever know her father went to England and married Emily Swift and that she had 4 step- siblings?

Baby Claude Moss grew up in New Zealand.

What happened to Claude Clement Moss after his mother died when only 10 weeks old?  It would appear that Claude was "adopted" (whether officially or not is unknown) by his father's eldest brother Valentine Rofe Moss who married Elizabeth Ellen Fricker on 21 June 1884 in Greymouth, New Zealand.

Valentine Moss died at the Bank of New Zealand, Westport on Christmas Eve – 24 December 1912. Claude would have been just 14 years old when Valentine died.  I appears that Claude continued to live with and look after Elizabeth Moss in her older years, even after he married Marjorie Huai Shepherd in 1926.

24 September 1926 Claude & Marjorie Moss performed at “The Sailors Friendly Society”.  Claude lived at 55 Kainui Road, Wellington, New Zealand from 1919 – 1949 (at least). Claude Moss was a Captain in the N.Z. Army in 1942 (No.69403). On 8 March 1940 Savage Claude Moss captivated “the boys” at camp. Claude got a “hole in one” 23 September 1937.  

Marjorie & Claude Moss.

Claude Moss with son Barry.

Claude Moss with son Barry.
Marjorie Moss with son Barry.

Elizabeth Moss died 2 May 1933 in Wellington, Marjorie died 1972 in U.K. and Claude died 1989 in New Zealand.
Claude and Marjorie Moss  travelled back and forth a number of times between England and New Zealand because Marjorie came from England. There is a Passenger list for Claude and son Barry Moss who sailed on “Akaroa” from Wellington to Southampton, U.K. on 6 October 1950. 

Barry Moss became a talented Musician.
1958 Barry Moss: "Essay" for strings (Publisher Novello). Commissioned by the New Zealand Music Society,  this is written in a modern dissonant style but is clear enough in design and quite well written.
1958 The Monthly Music Record Volume 88-89 Page 114.(Publisher Novello) Barry Moss: "Essay" "This is a solid piece ... will be most effective in performance".
1958 "The Chesterian" Barry Moss has given us a very fine op.3 in his "Essay" for strings.
New Zealand Herald 27 December 1961. "New Zealand composer Barry Moss, currently working in London as a music copyist, has received a commission from the Wind Music Society, London, following on from his twice winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize.  In 1957 the New Zealand Music Society commissioned his "Essay" for strings which was first played at Wigmore Hall, conducted by fellow New Zealander John Matheson".
1961 British Broadcasting Corporation. Barry Moss: Title "Essay" for string orchestra, Category String Orchestra. 
1961 British Music Collection. An archive of Scores, recordings and information for U.K. Contempary music.
1971 "London Calling" Barry Moss born 1930 in New Zealand.  He came from New Zealand in 1950 as composition scholar to Royal Academy of Music.  Twice awarded Royal Philharmonic Society Prize.  Music performed at I.S.C.M. Festival (Stockholm) 1956 and by BBC and NZBC. 

What happened to Doris Moss between 1898 and 1915 is still a mystery!

The Smith Family.

We do know Matilda Louisa Smith's parents were Henry Smith (1823 - 1910) and Henrietta Letitia Smith (1832 - 1898). Henriette was a staunch suffragette in New Zealand and her 3 daughters - Matilda, Henrietta, and Elizabeth were founding members of the New Zealand Council for Women who fought for women's right to vote in 1896 in New Zealand.

Together they had nine children:
1. Matilda Louisa Smith born 29 October 1857 in Hamilton, Tasmania and died 25 October 1898 in Adelaide, South Australia.
Married 1. Arthur Evelyn Glasson, born 1856 Boreham, Hampshire, England, and died 18 January 1892 Avonside, Christchurch, New Zealand.  3 children - Leonard, Winifred and Lionel Glasson.
Married 2. Clement George Moss born 7 November 1870 in St Helena and died March 1933 Edmonton, Middlesex, England. They had 2 children - Doris and Claude Moss.
2. Henrietta Grace Smith born 7 July 1856 in Hamilton Tasmania and died 1948 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Married 1. Albert Godfrey Saunders born 1844 and died 1902. They had 9 children.
Married 2. William Thomas Champion Mills born 10 August 1838 New Norfolk, Tasmania and died 4 August 1927 Christchurch, New Zealand.
3. Ada Clara Beatrice Smith born 8 July 1859 Tasmania, Australia and died 1937 Perth, Australia.
Married Archibald Lewis Glasson born 1857 Sherbourne, Sussex, England and died 18 January 1899  Menzies, Western Australia. They had 4 children.
4. Cecilia Annie Smith born 1862 Tasmania and died 30 November 1918 Featherston, New Zealand.
Married Arthur Jary born 23 April 1852 Heacham, Norfolk, England and died 5 August 1911 Featherston, New Zealand.  They had 4 children.
5. Henry Herbert Smith born 27 April 1866 Tasmania, Australia and died 1930 New Zealand.
6. Sydney Edgar Langford Smith born 6 January 1869 Christchurch, New Zealand and died 11 November 1950 Wentworth Falls, New South Wales, Australia.
Married Charlotte Emily Webb born 19 September 1874 Darlinghurst, New South Wales and died 1963 Kellyville, New South Wales, Australia.  They had 1 child.
7. Elizabeth Herbert Smith born 31 March 1864 Cambridge, Tasmania.
Married Edward Thomas Bradshaw born 1856.  They had 1 child.
8. Evelyn Laura Smith born 13 September 1870 Christchurch, New Zealand and died 18 July 1956.
9. Amelia Eleanor Gertrude Smith born 1873 and died 18 July 1962.
Married James Bowie born 1871 and died 1961.  They had 1 child.

First National Council of Women of New Zealand ath Inaugural Meeting in New Zealand in 1896. Elizabeth seated centre with white front.  Henrietta second left standing.

Inaugural meeting in Christchurch in 1896.  Matilda 3rd left middle. Elizabeth white front centre of photo.  Henritta satanding back left.

Next generation up Henrietta Smith's family.

Henrietta's father was Henry Laporte Smith born 2 July 1792 Ireland and died 1 May 1877 in Launceston, Tasmania.  Henry was convicted for 7 years on 4 December 1841 for Forgery. On 10 February1842 Henry was on Gosport Hulks in Hampshire.  He was transported on "York" to Australia for fraudulently signing a cheque to get the Langford inheritance.
Henry married 2.Clara Yeates Cummins (1815-1898) on 10 June 1841 in St Martin, Guernsey and they had a daughter Margaret Isabella Smith (10 April 1842-1860). Margaret was born after her father was convicted.
Married 1. Maria Louisa Langford born 1804 March, Cork, Cork Island and died 2 March 1841 St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Island.

Together Henry and Maria had 8 children:
1. Eliza deLaporte Smith born 1825 Dublin, Ireland and died Winchester, Hampshire, England.
2. Charlotte Smith born 1827 and died 1840.
3. John William Smith born 1830 England and died 1855 Crimea, Ukraine.
4. Henrietta Letitia Smith born 1832 Chelsea, Middlesex, England and died 2 February 1898 Christchurch, New Zealand.  Her mother died when she was 9 and she became a Ward of well to-do family friends, - the Herberts. Henrietta came to Australia to be a Governess and married Henry Smith.
5. Maria Louisa Langford Smith born 1835 Dublin, Ireland and died 17 November 1920 Auburn, New South Wales, Australia.
6. Rowland Smith born 1836 England.
7. Susanna Langford Smith born 1838 England and died 27 October 1922 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia,
8. James Smith born 1839 St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands and died 1883.
Married 2. Clara Yates Cummins born 1813 Plymouth, Devon, England and died October 1898, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Henry and Clara Smith had 1 child - Margaret Isabella Smith born 10 April 1842 Fort George, Guernsey, Channel Islands and died June 1860 in London.

Next generation up Henry Smith's family.

Henry's father was George Smith born 1778 Solihull, Warwickshire, England and died 5 January 1858 Hobart Town, Tasmania, Australia.
George Smith married Grace Mossisby born 28 January 1797 Norfolk Island, New South Wales, Australia and died 31 July 1827 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Together George and Grace had 8 children:
1. Christina Smith born 1810 Van Diemens Land, Australia.
2. Grace Smith born 21 June 1812 Clarence Plains, Tasmania and died 3 March 1897 Hobart.
3. William Smith born 1814 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
4. George James Smith born 4 November 1816 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
5. James Smith born 1819 Hobart, Tasmania and died 1896 Southport, Tasmania, Australia.
6. Richard Smith born 1821 Hobart, Tasmania and died 1886.
7. Henry Smith born 17 May 1823 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and died 7 January 1910 Christchurch, New Zealand.
8. Ann Smith born 1825 Clarence Plains, Tasmania.

Grace Morrisby's parents Ann Brooks and James Morrisby were Convicts and "Second Fleeters" to Norfolk Island. 

Grace Morrisby's mother was Ann Lavender Brooks who arrived in Norfolk Island as a Convict in 1790 with a young son William Brooks born 1786 England.

On 25 April 1791 Ann Lavender Brooks gave birth to Richard Brooks Larson who died 13 July 1849 in Ralphs Bay, Tasmania, Australia.

Grace Morrisby's father was James/John Morrisby born 1756 Cawood, Yorkshire, England and died 29 May 1839 Clarence, Tasmania, Australia.
5 November 1791 James/John Morrisby married Ann Lavender Brooks born 1765 Middlesex, England. Ann died 2 February 1813 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Together James and Ann Morrisby had 5 children:
1. George James Morrisby born 25 November 1793 Norfolk Island, Australia and died 14 November 1826 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
2. Grace Morrisby born 28 January 1797 Norfolk Island, Australia and died 31 July 1827 Hobart, Tasmania. Grace & George Smith's daughter Chrisina Smith (1810-1885) married her uncle Henry Morrisby (1803-1856) in 1831.
3. Dinah Morrisby born 4 February 1799 Norfolk Island, Australia and died 27 September 1875 Hobart.
4. Henry Morrisby born 11 May 1803 Norfolk Island, Australia and died 25 March 1856 Rokeby, Tasmania, Australia. Henry Morrisby married his neice - Grace & George Smith's daughter Christina Smith (1810-1885) in 1831.
5. John Morrisby born 9 December 1805 Norfolk Island, Australia and died 25 October 1852 Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.

More about Ann Lavender Brooks.

Ann was living in a Court off Parker Lane, London. She was supporting a small child by dealing old clothes at the rag fair. She was brought before the Courts, but the case was discharged and she was released on grounds of humanity for having a young child.

On 12 December 1787 Ann Lavender Brooks, aged 25, (No.10827) was convicted in Old Bailey, London for Burglary (stealing a pair of sheets from a room in Drury Lane to sell to support her son William), found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation.
Ann (and presumably William) spent 15 months in Newgate Gaol. 
Ann and son William Brooks (born 1786) departed Plymouth, England on 29 July 1789 on board "Lady Juliana", arriving at Port Jackson, Sydney on 3 June 1790 - 310 days later.
On 1 August 1790 Ann and William embarked on HMS "Surprise" along with 194 convicts and was transferred to Norfolk Island, where she stayed for the next almost 17 years.

"Lady Juliana"
Route taken by "Lady Juliana" from England to Sydney Cove July 1789 - June 1790.

"Lady Juliana" was the first convict transport to leave England after the "First Fleet" sailed in 1788, and was the first female convict ship to leave England on 29 July 1789 with 245 female convicts onboard and arriving at Sydney Cove 310 days later on 3 June 1790.

When the ship was out to sea every man on board took a convict women for his "wife". The voyage took 10 months, calling into Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town before arriving in Sydney Cove.  While in these ports it was an open ship, and was later to become known as the "Floating Brothel". During the voyage there were seven births and five convicts died. At least eight children accompanied their mothers.

The women slept in the orlop deck just above the ships bilge which contained the ships holding water, human waste and remants of food.  Despite such hardships, the ships conditions may have seemed preferable to many of the women compared with those they had left behind in London's prisons.  For some women the journey to Sydney Cove itself offered an opportunity for them to better their positions. Many of the women on the "Lady Juliana" were what could be regarded as fairly old. Fifty-one women were 10 - 19 years, One hundred and sixteen 20 - 29 years, forty 30 - 39 years, fifteen 40 - 49 years and 8 over 50 years.

For the English Government, the female convicts were to serve two purposes - to prevent the starving and isolated male colonists from engaging in "gross irregularities" and to act as a breeding stock for the troubled settlement. When the "Lady Juliana" arrived in Sydney Cove the female population more than doubled, but the colonist had expected food and supplies, not a cargo of over 200 women!

The "Second Fleet" consisted of 6 ships - 4 transport ships (Neptune, Scarborough, Surprise and Lady Juliana) and 2 store ships (Guardian, Justinian). Convicts were mistreated, rations were poor and sickness rife.  Of the appoximate 1250 male convicts, over 25% died en route (in comparison to just 2.8% of those on the first fleet) and many more died within a year of reaching Sydney.  Almost half of the convicts who arrived in Sydney required immediate hospitalisation and about 80 died within three weeks of arrival.

On arrival at Port Jackson on 3 June 1790, 114 of the women convicts were sent to Norfolk Island on 1 August 1790, including our Ann Brooks and son William. Many of the women convicts were to marry or live with men who were on the island or would arrive later, convicts, ex-convicts and soldiers.  On 5 November 1791 a group of about 100 couples were married on the island by the Rev.Richard Johnson.  Sixty women from the "Lady Juliana" were later resettled to Van Diemen's Land either with their husbands or alone between 1805 - 1815.

More about James/John Morrisby.

James/John Morrisby 1756 - 1839

On 7 July 1784 James/John Morrisby was sentenced in the Old Bailey to transportation for 7 years. He stole a 10lb iron bar valued at 10 pence.  He had been observed wrenching it from a window it secured.  James was a Blacksmith and stated that he had served about 10 years in the Guards and that he and his wife had 5 children.  (A James Mossisby from Cawood had enlisted in the Scots Guards on 3 April 1776 - he was aged 19, 5 feet tall and had brown eyes).

James was transferred from prison to the "Censor" hulk moored on the River Thames.  
13 May 1787 James embarked on the HMS "Scarborough" at Portsmouth, arriving Port Jackson 19 January 1788, 251 days later and sailing some 13,000 miles.
The "First Fleet" consisted of 11 ships - 2 Royal Navy vessels, 3 store ships and 6 Convict ships with 1000 convicts. The 6 Transport ships were Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penhyn, Prince of Wales and Scarborough. The "Scarborough" had 201 male convicts, 30 crew and 50 marines.

"Censor" prison hulk moored on River Thames, London.
HMS "Scarborough" transported James Morrisby 13 May 1787 - 19 January 1788 England to Port Jackson.

The First Fleet January 1788

After 2 years in Sydney James was transferred on 1 March 1790 to Norfolk Island aboard the HMS "Sirius", arriving 13 March 1790, along with 116 male convicts, 67 female convicts, 27 infants, 65 marines and 5 marine's wives. James lived on Norfolk Island for 17 years.

HMS "Sirius" transported James Morrisby 4 March - 13 March 1790 Sydney Cove to Norfolk Island.

The arrival of  HMS "Sirius" on 13 March 1790 at Cascade Bay under the command of Captain Hunter and including the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor Major Ross was not without its dramas. "Sirius" arrived in Norfolk Island in foul weather. Because of the conditions they could not risk the usual anchorage position off the settlement at Sydney Bay and sailed around to Cascade Bay. By 15 March all people had been put ashore but they had to walk overland to the settlement Sydney Town on the south side and these included all the women and children. With an overnight doubling of population, food and other supplies seriously short, starvation was a real possibility.  Within a week Martial Law was inforced. "Sirius" eventually sailed around to the south.  Captain John Hunter wrote "These people were no sooner on shore than the wind shifted to the eastward and the weather became hazy and blew strong so that I had no prospect of being able to land any part of the provisions.  I knew the exhausted state of stores and considerations gave me much anxiety and uneasiness". The ship was driven out of sight of the island and would not appear for 3 days.

On 19 March Captain Hunter brought "Sirius" across Philip Island to the south point of Nepean and into Sydney Bay.  He brought the ship's head to the wind (that is facing out to sea).  Just as the loading of the longboats had been completed Captain Hunter noticed his ship was rapidly drifting towards the shore.  Immediately Captain Hunter gave the order to sail windward on a port track.  At that moment the wind shifted direction two points to the south. This wind shift was to spell disaster for the "Sirius" She struck upon a reef of coral rock, which lies parallel to the shore and in a few strokes she was begiled.

Immediately the "Sirius" ran aground. As much as possible was thrown overboard with the hope it would float ashore. To rescue the crew a rope was fastened to a barrel and floated ashore, then fastened to a pine tree allowing the men to scramble ashore.

In the following weeks all hardware and sails was stripped from the ship as it was desperately needed on the Island. Soon "Sirius" disappeared from view. The wreck of "Sirius" meant that the colony now had only one small leaky vessel between it and possible death from starvation. It was a dramatic and ominous tragedy which drove home to everyone, especially the powerless convicts, the precarious nature of their existence on the island. The disaster meant that the population leaped from 149 to 498 to rely on the limited resources of the island. Martial law and convict life changed dramatically.  Stealing from the public stores was now punishable by death, as it had been on the mainland, and punishments for all offences more frequent and severe.

Melancoly loss of "Sirius" 19 March 1790 off Norfolk Island

James Morrisby and Ann Brooks

In July 1791 James was living on a Sydney Town lot and sharing a sow with Ann Lavender Brooks and her son William.

5 November 1791 James Morrisby and Ann Brooks married on Norfolk Island by Rev Richard Johnson along with about 100 couples.

December 1791 James and Ann occupied 12 acres at Mt.Pitt Path (Lot No.57), this had increased to 34 acres by 1796.  The family had increased with the birth of 6 children between 1791 and 1805.

25 December 1807 James, Ann and their five children left Norfolk Island on the HMS "Porpoise" as part of the demise of the first Norfolk Island settlement. The family arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 18 January 1808.  They left behind 55 acres of land, 14 of which were sown in grain, 10 in pasture and the rest fallow.  They owned 7 hogs and held 200 bushels of maize in store.  Their buildings were valued at 90 Pounds which included a house 12 ft X 26ft, boarded, floored and shingled, also two floored barns and one outhouse.

The family settled in Clarence Plains (now Rokeby) in Tasmania. In April 1809 James received a Land Grant of 80 acres in Clarence Plains, Tasmania.

Ann Morrisby died 2 February 1813 aged 51 years.
James Morrisby married Eleanor Murphy aged 40 on 18 November 1816 in Hobart.  Eleanor died 14 February 1821.
James Morrisby died 29 May 1839 aged 83 and is buried in Clarence Plains, Tasmania.

Richard Brooks Larson married Ann Whiting Kidner in 1812 in Tasmania. Ann's father Thomas Kidner was a First Fleet convict, convicted in Bristol for Larceny, received 7 years transportation and arrived  in Sydney on the "Alexander" in January 1788. Ann's mother Jane Whiting arrived on the "Lady Juliana" on 3 June 1790. Both parents were transferred to Norfolk Island. Children born to a convict woman were given the mother's surname, whether officially married on Norfolk Island or not. Ann Kidner was born in 1798 on Norfolk Island and died 1854 in Clarence Plains, Tasmania.

Richard Larson died 13 July 1839 and Ann Larson died 18 January 1854.

The Morrisby family has continued to establish links to farming and orcharding at Muddy Plains (now called Sandford), Clarence Plains (now called Rokeby), and Orielton, all nearby to each other not far from Hobart. Tasmania.

A little bit of trivia. On 10 September 1960 I (Joy) with my sister Dawn, our Mother and Grandmother visited  Russell Morrisby at his property in Orielton, Tasmania.  Dawn rode his horse.
Little did we know at that time that James Morrisby was Russell Morrisby's Great Great Grandfather. Russell Morrisby's Father, Alfred Rowland Morrisby married a long time friend of our Grandmother (Amy Leah Christina Neylan) in 1922. Reading my Grandfather's diary in 1926, He and my Grandma visited Alfred & Amy Morrisby at Sandford, Tasmania.

Memorial to the First Fleeters and Norfolk Islanders who came to Van Diemen's Land during the evacuation 1807 - 1813.

The Memorial is in St David's Park, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Included on the Memorial is Jane Whiting and her daughter Ann Kidner (who later married Richard Larson in 1812).

James & Ann Morrisby sailed from Norfolk Island on "Porpoise" on 25 December 1807, arriving Hobart 17 January 1808.

If you have more information that you consider needs to be added to this blog, or any corrections, please contact the author by email -

The last few months have been an exciting adventure as I have discovered so much about the family of Doris Olney nee Moss who we previously knew so little about.
Refer to "Doris Moss, Napoleon and St Helena", also "Doris Moss and her extended family".  Also take a look at Solomon/Moss Family Archives Blog and Norfolk Island, First Fleeters and families Blog.

If you are researching your family, my advice is to perservere and follow the leads as they appear. You just never know where they will lead to.

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