Thomas Anderson

The following article appeared in the Hawkesbury Crier, the newsletter of the Hawkesbury Family History Group, in June 2006. Some additional new information follows my article.

Thomas Anderson – A School Teacher in early New South Wales

by Grahame Thom

This story starts in Oxfordshire in 1779 when Thomas’ grandfather William Andrews married Ann Wells in North Stoke, Oxfordshire (1). Their first child of nine, Thomas was baptised in the parish church of North Stoke on 13 February 1780 (2). It is important to note that in relation to four of the baptisms of their children, the parish entries give William and Ann’s surname as Anderson, while the other five as Andrew or Andrews.

A search was made for the marriage of Thomas Anderson (Andrews) but nothing was found. One possibility is that Thomas married Sarah Holloway in about 1800 for on 12 April 1801 Charlotte Anderson, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Anderson nee Holloway, was baptised in the Parish of Whitchurch (3). We know that Thomas and Sarah had two sons, James in about 1803 and Thomas who was baptised on 6 January 1805 in the Parish of Goring (9). This parish adjoins the Parish of Whitchurch to the north west.

At the Lent Assizes in Oxford on 6 March 1805, Thomas Andrew, otherwise known as Anderson, was convicted for stealing sheep and sentenced to death. It seems likely that Thomas teamed up with John Webb to steal sheep on a number of occasions. There are two Indictments (4) which state :-

The jurors for our Lord the King upon their Oath present that John Webb late of the parish of Whitchurch in the County of Oxford Labourer and Thomas Andrew late of the same Labourer otherwise called Thomas Anderson on the fourth day of February in the fifth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland King Defender of the Faith with force and arms at the parish aforesaid in the County aforesaid one wether sheep of the price of forty shillings of the goods and chattels of Samuel Gardiner Esquire then and there being found feloniously did steal and take and drive away against the peace of our said Lord and King his Crown and Dignity and the jurors aforesaid upon their oath do further present that the said John Webb and Thomas Anderson otherwise called Andrews being evil disposed persons on the said day in February in the year aforesaid with force and arms at the parish of Goring in the County aforesaid feloniously did wilfully kill one wether sheep of the price of forty shillings of the goods and chattels of the said Samuel Gardiner with a felonious intent then and there to steal take and carry away the whole carcass of the same sheep.

The second indictment is similar as it recorded that John Webb late of the parish of Mongewell in the County of Oxford Labourer and Thomas Andrews late of the same Labourer otherwise called Thomas Anderson stole one wether sheep of the value of thirty five shillings the property of the Rev Shute Barrington, Lord Bishop of Durham, on 29 December 1804 with force and arms at the Parish of North Stoke.

The Calendar of prisoners for the Oxford Lent Assizes in 1805 states (5) :-

Sentences of the prisoners for felony and misdemeanours in the Castle Gaol of the said County who were tried before the Hon Justice Lawrence and Hon Justice Le Blanc, E Biscoe of Holton Park Esq High Sheriff.

John Webb aged 24 and Thomas Anderson aged 24 committed Feb 15 by John Reade Esq charged with having stolen one fat sheep, the property of the Bishop of Durham Guilty Death.

A number of parishes in southern Oxfordshire are mentioned above, namely Mongewell, North Stoke, Goring and Whitchurch. The western boundaries of all these parishes are on the River Thames which is the boundary with Berkshire. The area is about 25 square miles and was farming country in those days.

Thomas was held at Oxford until late May 1805 as Lord Hawkesbury wrote to the Oxford Circuit on 13 May advising that His Majesty the King had “been pleased to extend mercy to the said several persons on condition of their being transported to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales” for life. The list included Thomas Andrew otherwise known as Anderson having been convicted of sheep stealing (6). The Jackson Oxford Journal of 1 June 1805 on page 3 reported that on the previous Wednesday Thomas Anderson and John Webb had been removed from the Castle Gaol to the hulks at Woolwich. I have not been able to find evidence that John Webb came to Australia.

The following seven paragraphs were added in May 2007.

Thomas Andrews alias Anderson, aged 25 years, was placed on board the hulk Retribution at Woolwich on 30 May 1805 and then transferred to the Alexander on 14 December 1805 (6a).

Well known convict James Hardy Vaux was a prisoner on the Retribution at Woolwich during 1800-01. While waiting to be transported for a second time to New South Wales, he recalled:

“Every morning, at seven o’clock, all the convicts capable of work, or, in fact, all who are capable of getting into the boats, are taken ashore to the Warren, in which the Royal Arsenal and other public buildings are situated, and there employed at various kinds of labour; some of them very fatiguing; and while so employed, each gang of sixteen or twenty men is watched and directed by a fellow called a guard.

These guards are commonly of the lowest class of human beings; wretches devoid of feeling; ignorant in the extreme, brutal by nature, and rendered tyrannical and cruel by the consciousness of the power they possess….

They invariably carry a large and ponderous stick, with which, without the smallest provocation, they fell an unfortunate convict to the ground, and frequently repeat their blows long after the poor fellow is insensible. There were confined in this floating dungeon nearly 600 men, most of them double ironed; and the reader may conceive the horrible effects arising from the continual rattling of chains, the filth and vermin naturally produced by such a crowd of miserable inhabitants, the oaths and execrations constantly heard amongst them….

On arriving on board, we were all immediately stripped and washed in two large tubs of water, then, after putting on each a suit of coarse slop clothing, we were ironed and sent below; our own clothes being taken from us….

I soon met many of my old Botany Bay acquaintances, who were all eager to offer me their friendship and services, that is, with a view to rob me of what little I had; for in this place there is no other motive or subject for ingenuity. All former friendships are dissolved, and a man here will rob his best benefactor, or even messmate, of an article worth one halfpenny.” (6b)

It would seem that while Thomas was on the Retribution moves were made for him to be accompanied to New South Wales by his wife and children for I found the following documents.

Whitehall 3 December 1805
Comm for the Transport Services


It having been found necessary to make an addition of ten to the number of Female Convicts which are going to New South Wales: I am directed by Lord Hawkesbury to acquaint you herewith, and that orders have been given for the immediate removal of the whole of them (Fifty) on board the ship Alexander at Long Reach: in consequence of this arrangement it is proposed to allow only fifteen Male Convicts (nine of which number will be put on board from the Hulks in the River Thames) with their wives and children to embark in that vessel, which will make the number of Convicts and Women including the Female Convicts to be eighty as originally proposed.

I am also to acquaint you that orders will be given for embarking One Hundred and one Male Convicts on the Fortune. Transport from the hulks at Woolwich as soon as it is ascertained that the Guard which is to accompany them to New South Wales is on board that vessel and the remaining number will be removed from the hulks at Portsmouth on the arrival of this ship at that place. I enclose a list of Females who are allowed to accompany their husbands to New South Wales and I am directed by Lord Hawkesbury to desire that orders may be given for permitting them to embark for that Colony.

I am
J King (official in the Home Office)

An attachment lists the names of the wives of Convicts who were permitted to accompany their husbands to New South Wales and it included Sarah Anderson, alias Andrews, 2 children, wife of Thomas Andrews (7).

On 21 December 1805 in a letter to John King from the Transport Board there are lists of the names of 49 female and nine male convicts with five of their wives and children embarked on the Alexander, including the Anderson family (8). Then an official wrote the following from Portmouth :-

TO 23 January 1806
John King Esq

I am directed by the Board to index for the information of the Right Honorable Lord Hawkesbury, a list of the Convicts, Convicts’ Wives and Children, and Ship’s Company, embarked on board the Alexander for New South Wales.

I am at the same time to acquaint you that the name of the Convict who died on the 19th instant on board the Fortune, at Spithead, is William Swaine, from Lincoln.

I have the honor to be, Sir
(signature illegible)

The attachment lists 15 male convicts including Thomas Andrews from Woolwich, 49 female convicts 8 wives and 10 children as passengers including Sarah Anderson and her children Thomas 1 year and James 3 years (9). For further information about the Alexander click on link below.

The Alexander left Spithead, England, under the command of Richard Brooks, on 28 January 1806 as part of a fleet of seven ships commanded by Captain William Bligh who was proceeding to Sydney to take up his appointment as Governor of the Colony of New South Wales. The fleet split up during the voyage and the Alexander arrived in Sydney on 20 August 1806. Compared to some other convict ship voyages, the Alexander had a relatively uneventful trip but importantly there were four deaths on board (10).

The Sydney Gazette of 24 August 1806 reported that “On Wednesday arrived the Alexander, Captain Brooks, formerly of the Atlas, with 14 male and 42 female prisoners, all remarkaby healthy, and with the loss of only one of the former on the passage, and of one child likewise. Unfortunately, the man that died has left a wife and two children to lament his loss.” (11)

There were five convict couples on board the Alexander, four with two children each, and one with three, of which one died. What happened to the male convicts after arrival was researched. There is no record after arrival for Thomas Anderson. Thomas Clarkson is recorded in the 1811 and 1814 convict musters and died on 20 August 1824. John Hall is in the 1822 muster and died on 9 August 1844. John Kemp received a conditional pardon on 25 May 1816. John Tibbs died on 30 March 1836. It is reasaonable to conclude that the convict who died during the voyage was Thomas Anderson.

The 1811 General Muster of New South Wales lists Sarah Anderson as coming free on the Alexander; there are no other details (12). In the 1814 Muster Sarah is listed as a widow, arriving on the Alexander, free, off stores, with three children (13). This is the only record of a third child and may simply be a recording error. There is the possibility that Sarah gave birth to a child Elizabeth in 1809 as the father’s name is not given (14).
(See additional new information below.)

The 1822 Muster has no entry for Sarah Anderson, but there are two other interesting entries. In view of later events it is reasonable to conclude that Thomas junior is listed as having been born in the colony and an apprentice in the Sydney dockyards. Also there is another possible entry for James Anderson, came free, seaman on the Colonial Brig Elizabeth. This James Anderson appears to be a seaman on other vessels between 1817 and 1823 (15). Because there are quite a few men named James Anderson it has not been possible to establish what happened to our James.

In the Colonial Secretary’s Office document dated 8 September 1821, Thomas Anderson appeared as a shipwright (carpenter) on a list of persons victualled by the administration (16).

The only entry of interest in the 1823, 1824, 1825 Muster is for Sarah Anderson who came free on the Alexander, housekeeper of Sydney (17). There appears to be no relevant entries in the 1828 Census or the 1837 Muster. I have not been able to establish what happened to Sarah after 1825, nor find her death. A Sarah Anderson aged 79 years died on 21 November 1855 at Botany Road, Sydney, but this is unlikely to be “our” Sarah as her funeral notice refers to her son Foster Anderson with no mention of any other children (18). Perhaps the most interesting discovery was a Sarah Anderson leaving Sydney on the ship New York Packet in 1842 (19). Did “our” Sarah leave Sydney with her son James?

At some stage Thomas changed his occupation from carpenter to schoolteacher. This certainly raises the question of his education. Perhaps he had a good master while he was an apprentice and had a level of education and intelligence that enabled him to be appointed as a teacher sometime in 1824 (41). In 1826 the Church and Schools Corporation was established with schools being subject to the direction and control of the Church of England clergymen officiating in the parishes. The Trustees of the Corporation took over the 20 government schools. The role of the management of schools remained in the hands of the churches until 1848, with government grants being given to the Corporation (20).

Around this time Thomas had formed a friendship with Charlotte Manning, who lived with her parents in O’Connell Street, Sydney. Charlotte was born on the 20 March 1813, the fifth child of John Manning and Margaret Baynon and was baptised at St. Phillips Church of England, Sydney, on 13 June 1813 (21). Both her parents had been sent to Sydney as convicts and John worked as a carpenter. Perhaps with John and Thomas having similar occupations this brought Thomas and Charlotte together. For more information about the Manning family see my articles John and Margaret Manning in the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra journal, Ancestral Searcher Vol 2 No 6 December 1979 pp120-125, and Vol 3 No 1 March 1980 pp 3-8, and A lady from Wales in the 1788-1820 Pioneers Association’s journal The 1788-1820 Gazette, Vol 69, Dec 1981, pp 2-5

When only sixteen years of age, Charlotte married Thomas a twenty four year old school teacher of Liverpool. The ceremony was held at St. James Church, Sydney, on 11 May 1829 after the calling of Banns. Charlotte’s sister, Eliza Tate and her brother-in-law George Tate were witnesses (22).

By 1829 Thomas was teaching at Seven Hills, a remote area west of Sydney, where Charlotte assisted Thomas with his teaching responsibilities. There were 19 pupils. By 1831 the number of pupils had increased to 27 but dropped the next year to 18. Thomas received a salary of £50 including £10 as Charlotte was teaching needlework. In 1833 the school had 26 pupils and in 1834 29 pupils (23).

Thomas sent a petition to the Corporation Trustees in 1830, requesting that the eight acres of land which he had “put himself to a great deal of trouble and expense in getting part of the land cleared off”, be fenced. Thomas went on to say he would undertake the expense of clearing the remainder of the land so that he may be able to find a sufficiency of employment for a man by keeping it in cultivation and also to be as a protection to the place, as it is situate in a very lonely part of the neighbourhood”. The cost involved being estimated at £18.15s (24).

On 12 April 1831 Thomas applied to the Trustees for timber to the value of £3 to enable him to finish the School House. Rev. Samuel Marsden, as one of the Trustees supported the petition (25). I have not been able to establish if both petitions were approved.

While at Seven Hills, Thomas and Charlotte had their first child Thomas, who was born on 27 February 1831 and baptised at St. John’ s Church of England, Parramatta, on 10 March 1831(26). Then Margaret was born on 24 February 1833 and baptised on 31 March 1833 by Rev Robert Forrest of the Parish of St John, Parramatta (27).

In 1835 the Anderson family moved to Penrith where Thomas was the local teacher (28). Life for the Andersons changed, for some unknown reason. Thomas went from teaching to be a shipwright in Sydney. It was while they were living in Sydney that their second son James John was born on 9 June 1836 and baptised by the Rev William Cowper on 10 July 1836 at St Phillips Church, Sydney (29).

The family’s stay in Sydney was short; two years later they were living in Parramatta where their third son William Henry was born on 14 July 1838. Thomas was still employed in the boat building trade (30) and he had obtained a grant of land in Parramatta (31). The land was situated next but one, west of the Bullock Yard on the Western Road. The Bullock Yard was later referred to as the Police Paddocks and was bounded by the Western Highway, Burnett Street, Auburn Street and Church Street (all on the southern side of the present Great Western Highway (32). In 1837 the grant was mortgaged to William Minithorpe for £80 (33) probably with the intention of building a house. But it is unlikely the Anderson’ s lived on the grant, which was sold on 9 October 1838 (34).

Sometime around late 1839 and early 1840 their son William died. I have not been able to find a record of his burial but his mother’s death certificate states that William died when he was one year old (60).

Thomas then returned to teaching for when Charlotte and Thomas’ fourth son Joseph was born on 30 June 1840, Thomas gave his occupation as teacher at Brisbane Waters (35). They were still living at Brisbane Waters when the 1841 census was compiled. Their dwelling was described as a wooden house, the occupants being four males and three females, one of the males being born free and outside the colony (36). The Blue Books of Statistics for 1841 and 1842 lists Thomas as a school teacher at Gosford (12 pupils) and Brisbane Waters (7 pupils) respectively (37).

About the start of 1843 the Anderson family moved to Lane Cove. Charlotte and Thomas had their second daughter Priscilla on 10 December 1842, and she was baptised by Chaplain George Turner of the Parish of Hunter’s Hill on 29 January 1843. The entry describes Thomas as a Parochial School Master of Lane Cove (38).

For the remainder of his teaching life, Thomas and Charlotte lived at Lane Cove. The Blue Books of Statistics (39) provide the following information.

1843 Lane Cove Thomas and Mrs Anderson 46 pupils
1844 Lane Cove Thomas and Mrs Anderson 36 pupils
1845 Lane Cove Thomas and Mrs Anderson 34 pupils
1846 Lane Cove Thomas and Mrs Anderson 28 pupils
1847 Lane Cove Thomas and Mrs Anderson 25 pupils
1848 Lane Cove Thomas and Mrs Anderson 40 pupils
1849 Lane Cove Thomas Anderson 12 pupils
1850 Lane Cove Thomas Anderson 30 pupils
1851 Lane Cove Thomas Anderson no pupils

For 1849 to 1851 Thomas’ salary was £30. The Blue Book of Statistics states there was no teacher at Lane Cove from 1 August to 31 December 1851, and that it was vacant all of 1852. Thomas was not listed in pensions paid in 1852. The school at Lane Cove was a weatherboard building (40) opposite St. John’s Church of England, Pacific Highway, Gordon.

A descendant holds Thomas’ arithmetic school book and the dates he wrote in the book appear to cover most of the period he was a teacher; the first date being 17 November 1824 and the last being 15 September 1848 (41). The Blue Books of Statistics indicate that teachers followed the Madras system of teaching. This system was monitorial; children were instructed by other children called monitors, an ingenious method of compensating for the lack of teachers.

While at Lane Cove the remainder of the Anderson children were born :-

Martha on 22 May 1846, baptised by Chaplain George Turner of the Parish of Hunter’s Hill (42),
Rosanna Elizabeth on 22 April 1848, baptised by Rev W B Clarke of the Parish of Gordon on 9 July 1848 (43), and
Rebecca on 10 September 1850, baptised by Rev W B Clarke of the Parish of Gordon on 10 September 1850 (44).

Education in the Colony and the involvement of the church in the educational system had come under the scrutiny of the government. In 1839 Sir George Gipps, Governor of the Colony was hopeful that all classes would receive equal assistance from public revenue in the provision of education. By 1844 the Legislative Council had appointed a select committee to enquire into and report upon the state of education in the colony and to devise the means of placing the education of youth upon a basis suited to the wants and wishes of all the community. In 1848 Sir Charles Fitz Roy informed the Legislative Council of his government’s plans to create a dual system of education (45).

Enquiries into any profession create feelings of uncertainty and insecurity amongst its members. It is possible that this, combined with his developing ill health were the reasons why Thomas retired from his career at the age of forty six years.

In 1851 the Anderson family moved to Windsor, and on 22 September 1851 their eldest daughter Margaret married John Lane at the Windsor Wesleyan Church (46). It was probably at about this time the Andersons became members of the Wesleyan Church (later the Methodist Church).

In 1852 their eldest son Thomas married Elizabeth Buckingham (47). Their youngest daughter Rebecca died on 18 March 1853 (48), and their first grandchild Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth, died in 1853 (49). Then in 1854 Elizabeth died (50) and Thomas and Charlotte’s eight year old daughter Martha died on 24 August 1854 (51).

On 5 January 1852 Thomas was granted three lots of land in Windsor by Governor Fitzroy. These Lots were part of the site of the old Government Cottage; Lot 3 of 27.75 perches on George Street, Lot 7 of 29.25 perches on Windsor Terrace and Lot 8 of 32 perches next to Lot 7 with a common rear boundary with Lot 3. On 6 January 1854 Thomas was described as a carpenter in a settlement document which stated he desired to settle the above land to his wife in recognition of her love and affection, to be held in trust for their son-in-law John Lane’ s use during Charlotte’ life. Then on 18 December 1854 Charlotte sold the land for £205 to Charles Atkinson, a carpenter of Windsor, with the proceeds going to John Lane (52).

It is reasonable to assume that Thomas was probably doing some work as a carpenter and that son-in-law John Lane was looking after the Anderson family financially. It is not known where the Andersons lived but it could have been with the Lanes, or they may have rented a house. The next fourteen years for Thomas and Charlotte included the marriages of their sons :-

Thomas second marriage to Sarah Roberts on 27 February 1855 (53)
Joseph to Emily Stear in 1864 at Yass (54)
James to Susannah Brown in 1869 at Windsor (55)

as well as the birth of numerous grandchildren.

At the age of 58 years Thomas’s periods of illness commenced and he was admitted to the Tarban Creek Asylum (now Gladesville) on 19 July 1863. Thomas’ life was to be plagued with mental illness as this was the first of three admissions to the Asylum. He was discharged on 3 March 1865 but was re-admitted on 12 May 1865 and then discharged on 6 November 1868 (56).

On 26 October 1869, Thomas was admitted to Tarban Creek for the last time. He was transferred to the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum on 9 March 1870 and remained there until his death on 27 November 1873 (57). Medical records indicate that Thomas was afraid of all kinds of evil likely to befall him; this at times made him troublesome but never offensive (56).

Their daughter Rosanna married James Augustus Smith in 1874 (58).

In relation to Thomas and Charlotte’s married life there is much evidence portraying them as active practising Christians. Charlotte’ s obituary in the Methodist Church magazine, The Methodist, says of Thomas, Mr. Anderson was one of our most acceptable local preachers, and in that capacity had to bear no little opposition in some quarters, but happily met with encouragement from liberal church ministers with the most prominent of whom he enjoyed very agreeable intercourse. In the same obituary, Charlotte’s personal piety was described as that of a more cheerful kind, being fond of singing, a passion which remained with her to the end. (59)

Thomas was a man of above average intelligence, who in later life, was lonely and sad. Of Charlotte, she was a warm, caring, supportive mother and friend.

Charlotte died on the 18 August 1904 aged 92 years at Windsor (60). One feature of her obituary below is that Sarah had at the time of her death 35 grandchildren and 69 great grandchildren all living.

Charlotte made a brief will on 2 January 1892, leaving all her assets to her daughter Priscilla who was also appointed by her mother as executor (61). Priscilla did not marry and as reported in her mother’s obituary below, she looked after her mother and was probably involved in looking after both parents.

The Gazette, Saturday 27 August 1904

The death of Mrs Charlotte Anderson, which took place in Windsor on the 18th inst., removes one of the good old type of colonist to whom the State owes much. She passed away, ripe in years, honored by all, and with a record that can well be envied by generations now growing up. The deceased was in her 92nd year, having first seen the light at O’Connell-street, Sydney, on March 20th, 1813. A couple of years ago she was stricken with a paralytic seizure, and thence up to the time of her demise she had been invalided. Her husband Thomas Anderson, died 31 years ago in his 68th year. For many years he was a denominational schoolmaster, and for some time was in charge of a school at Lane Cover River. Three children pre-decease her, one being the late Thomas Anderson, of Comleroy Road, Kurrajong. The father of the late Mrs Anderson was James (sic) Manning, and he was the architect who planned the old Colonial Secretary’s Office in Sydney. Five of her family survive, one of them, Mrs John Lane, of Windsor, being over 70 years of age. There are 35 grandchildren and 69 great grandchildren, all living. Besides those named the family of the late Mrs Anderson are ;- Mr James Anderson, Waverley; Mr Joseph Anderson, Burwood; Mrs James Smith, Auburn; and Miss Priscilla Anderson, who resided with her mother. Mr R. J. Anderson, the newly elected Member for Botany in the State Parliament, is a grandson of the deceased. She was a hearty and vigorous woman until a couple of years ago, and was always a good and devout woman, being a member and most regular attendant of type Methodist Church. The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, the remains being, after a short service in the Methodist Church, conveyed to the burial ground at McGrath’s Hill, and laid beside those of her late husband. The funeral was a very representative one. Rev H. Jones was the officiating clergyman, and Mr J. W. Chandler carried out the funeral obsequies.

Both Thomas and Charlotte were buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery, McGraths Hill, NSW with daughters Rebecca and Martha, where their headstone stands today.


1. The information used to identify baptisms and marriages in Oxfordshire has been extracted from parish records by a professional genealogist. There is a possibility, despite searching all likely parish registers in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, that the conclusions are wrong. Also used was the International Genealogical Index – web site .
2. Parish Registers of North Stoke, Oxford Record Office, UK.
3. Parish Registers of Whitchurch, Oxford Record Office, UK.
4. Indictments – Reference ASSI 5 125, National Archives UK.
5. Calendars of Prisoners Reference QSP 1/1, Oxford Record Office, UK. It is not known what happened to John Webb as it appears he did not come to Australia.
6. Home Office Class 13, Criminal Papers, Piece 16, pages 415 to 417, AJCP Reel 422
6a. Home Office Class 9, Hulk register for the Retribution, Piece 4, and Treasury Class 38, Retribution Hulk, Piece 334, National Archives UK.
6b. Web site Port Cities, London at, May 2007
7. Home Office Class 13, Criminal Papers, Piece 17, pages 118 to 120, AJCP Reel 422
8. Admiralty Class 108, Transport Department, Piece 20, page 262, AJCP Reel 4400
9. Admiralty Class 108, Transport Department, Piece 21, pages 1 to 3, AJCP Reel 4400 and Oxfordshire Family History Society, Anglican Parish Registers, Reference PAR115/1/R1/2. In relation to esablishing a likely period for the birth of Thomas Anderson junior the following is a useful reference.

Death Certificate 68 yrs on 27 Nov 1873 = born between 26 Nov 1804 and 27 Nov 1805 – Headstone and wife’s obituary also state 68 years.

Admission to hospital on 22 Feb 1870 age 65 years = between 21 Feb 1804 and 22 Feb 1805

Admission to hospital on 12 May 1865 age 60 years = between 11 May 1804 and 12 May 1805

Marriage Certificate 24 years on 11 May 1829 = between 10 May 1804 and 11 May 1805

Letter of 23 Jan 1806 age given 1 year = between 22 Jan 1804 and 23 Jan 1805.

All the above have a common period namely 26 Nov 1804 and 23 Jan 1805, therefore Thomas was likely to have been born between these dates.

10. Bateson, Charles, The Convict Ships, 1788-1868, and Hawkings, David T, Bound for Australia.
11.The Sydney Gazette, 24 August 1806. page 3, TRove
12. Baxter, Carol J., editor, General Musters of New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen’s Land 1811, Entry 0088, page 3.
13. Baxter, Carol J., editor, General Muster of New South Wales 1814, entry 6780, page 152.
14. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference V18092190 1A/1809.
15. Baxter, Carol J., editor, General Muster and Land and Stock Muster of New South Wales 1822, entry A00310, page 10 and entry A00267, page 9 and varios Colonial Office documents relating to seamen in the NSW State Records Office.
16. Colonial Secretary’s Office Correspondence, NSW State Records, Reel 6016; 4/5781 p.75.
17. Baxter, Carol J., editor, General Muster List of New South Wales 1823,1824,1825, entry 10446, page 9.
18. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Burial, reference Vol 43 No 794
19. The New York Packet arrived Sydney on 23 October 1841, departed for Bombay on 22 January 1842, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 January 1842
20. Smith S H, and Spaull G T, History of Education in New South Wales 1788-1925.
21. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 1 No 3048.
22. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage, reference Vol 13 No 775.
23. Colonial Office Class 206, Pieces 70 to 74, Blue Book of Statistics 1829 to 1834.
24. NSW State Records, Letters from Clergy, Laity and School Teachers, 1830. reference 4/322, page 885.
25. NSW State Records, Letters from Clergy, Laity and School Teachers, 1830. reference 4/323, page 113.
26. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 1 No 10497.
27. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 17 No 37.
28. Colonial Office Class 206, Piece 75, Blue Book of Statistics, AJCP Reel 1171.
29. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 20 No 133.
30. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 22 No 672.
31. NSW Land Titles Office, Old Registers Book A No 219.
32. Letter from the Parramatta & District Historical Society 7 December 1984.
33. NSW Land Titles Office, Old Registers Book L No 485.
34. NSW Land Titles Office, Old Registers Book N No 705.
35. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 24 No 1459.
36. NSW State Records Office, NSW 1841 Census, reference X946, page 83, reel 2222.
37. Colonial Office Class 206, Pieces 82 and 83, Blue Books of Statistics, AJCP Reels 1172/3.
38. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism reference Vol 27 No 758.
39. Colonial Office Class 206, Pieces 84 to 94, Blue Book of Statistics, AJCP Reels 1173 to 1178.
40. Thorne, Les G, North Shore – From 1788 to today, page 79.
41. Copies held by author. To enable readers to appreciate the sources used to confirm that Thomas was both a carpenter/shipwright and school teacher see below-:

Death Certificate = Schoolmaster
Admission to hospital = Carpenter
Deed 6 Jan 1854 = carpenter
Deed 18 Dec 1854 = carpenter
Baptism of Rebecca 20 Oct 1850 = school-master, abode Lane Cove
Baptism of Rosanna Elizabeth 9 July 1848 = School master, Lane Cove
Baptism of Martha 22 May 1846 = Parish School master, Lane Cove
Baptism of Priscilla 10 December 1842 = Parochial School Master, Lane Cove
Baptism of Joseph 20 Sept 1840 = School Master, Brisbane Water
Baptism of William Henry on 23 Septermber 1838 = Boatbuilder, Parramatta
Baptism of James John on 10 July 1836 = Shipwright, Sydney
Baptism of John on 31 March 1833 = school master, Seven Hills, at St John’s, Parramatta
Baptism of Thomas on 10 March 1831 = blank, Abode blank, at St John’s, Parramatta
42. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 31 No 1224.
43. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 33 No 698.
44. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Baptism, reference Vol 35 No 1746.
45. Clarke, C M H, A History of Australia, Part 3.
46. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage, reference Vol 85, No 86.
47. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage, reference Vol 85 No 151.
48. Anderson headstone, Wesleyan Cemetery, McGraths Hill, NSW
49. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Burial, reference Vol 39B No 1100.
50. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Burial, reference Vol 41A No 2001.
51. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Burial, reference Vol 39B No 3875.
52. NSW Land Titles Office. Old System Deed, Vol 30 No 462 and Vol 35 No 447.
53. Hawkesbury Family History Group, The Hawkesbury Pioneer Register, page 4.
54. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage, reference 1864 No 3454
55. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage, reference 1869 No 3639
56. NSW State Records, Medical Case Book, Gladesville, reference 4/8146, Medical Register, Gladesville, reference 4/8149 and Admission Book. Parramatta Mental Hospital 4/4259, page 27. It was in his medical record when first admitted in 1863 that the birth place of Oxfordshire was recorded. This was a key piece of information leading to establishing his arrival and ancestry in Oxfordshire.
57. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Death, reference 1873 No 6309.
58. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Marriage, reference 1874 No 4163.
59. The Methodist, 29 October 1904.
60. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Death, reference 1904 No 11670
61. NSW Probate Office, 1904 No 32329. Priscilla died unmarried at Lane Cove on 16 January 1927.


Some new information has come to hand since I wrote the above article. What follows was added in August 2006.

In the article I said “In the 1814 Muster Sarah is listed as a widow, arriving on the Alexander, free, off stores, with three children (13). This is the only record of a third child and may simply be a recording error. There is the possibility that Sarah gave birth to a child Elizabeth in 1809 as the father’s name is not given (14).”

The indication that Sarah had a third child can now be clarified. From a check of the musters and other indexes, it would appear that there was only one adult Sarah Anderson alive in Sydney during the period 1806 to 1825. Assuming this to be correct then Sarah had at least two children to Bryan Overend (variously spelt Brian Overand/Overhead/Overhand) a convict who arrived on the Fortune in 1806 having been convicted at Lancaster and given transportation for 7 years(1).

Sarah and Bryan were the parents of William born on 15 May 1808 and baptised on 7 August 1808 at Sydney (2), and Elizabeth born on 12 December 1809 and baptised on 3 August 1810 at Sydney (3). Sadly Elizabeth died within days of being baptised and was buried on 10 August 1810 (4), probably in the Old Sydney Burial Ground where the Sydney Town Hall stands today.

This then explains the third child as in 1814 Sarah would have been the mother of James aged about 11 years, Thomas aged about 9 years, and William aged 6 years.

It seems that the relationship between Sarah and Bryan ended in 1809 or 1810 for Bryan married Catherine McNalty in 1810 (5). Then on 25 August 1810 Bryan Overend, master of the Lady Nelson, swore in Court that he was the father of the illegitimate male child of Sarah Anderson (6).

Bryan was appointed the master of the Lady Nelson on 27 May 1809. He was also the master of the Estramina in 1814, and may have been an officer of the brig Emu in 1815 (7). He then disappears from the records. His wife Catherine is listed in the NSW 1828 Census by herself.

The following entries appear in the General Muster for 1822 (8) –

James Anderson, Came Free, Seaman, Colonial Brig Elizabeth, Sydney
Thomas Anderson, Born in Colony, Apprentice, Dock Yard, Sydney
William Anderson, Born in Colony, Apprentice, R Uther, Sydney.

It would seem that none of the boys appears in the 1828 Census.


1. Baxter, Carol J., editor, General Muster of New South Wales 1814, entry 4639, page 105.
2. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages index, Baptism, reference, William Overhead, V18081845 1A, and NSW State Records microfilm of register Vol 1
3. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Index, Baptism, reference, Elizabeth Overend, V1809330 6, and NSW State Records microfilm of register, Vol 6
4. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Index, Burial, Elizabeth Overend, reference V18102538 2A, and NSW State Records microfilm of register, Vol 2
5. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Index, Marriages, V1810177 5
6. Sydney Bench of Magistrates – reference unknown.
7. NSW State Records, Online Index Colonial Secretary 1788-1825. The brig Emu returned to England in 1816.
8. Baxter, Carol J., editor, General Muster and Land and Stock Muster of New South Wales 1822

To see an assessment of Sarah’s life in the quest to find her death, click on the third link below.

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Convict ship Alexander 1806

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