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  • Mel Hulbert

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #6 ‘Same Name’

‘Same Name’ is the prompt for week six.

Selecting which ‘same name’ to write about was a difficult one as I, like I’m sure many of us do, have numerous branches where the same name features over and over again.

I decided to look at Richard Tuckwell’s line. Richard is my 4x great grandfather who arrived in Australia as a Quartermaster Sergeant in the 102nd Regiment (NSW Corps) on the Pitt in 1792.[1,2] He and his partner Elizabeth Buckner had seven children; Richard, William, Sarah, John, Elizabeth, George and Frances.

My direct ancestor is William Tuckwell who married Elizabeth Thorn in 1816 [3] and they had nine children. The second youngest of their children was George Thomas Tuckwell, my 2x great grandfather who was likely named after his Uncle George. George Thomas married Elizabeth Roughley in 1853 [4] and they had a son called George Thomas Tuckwell born circa 1854 (no baptism has been found). From what I have found so far, this is where the names ‘George’ or ‘George Thomas’ end in my direct line of the Tuckwell family.

However, the George that started it all, son of Richard and Elizabeth, born in 1803 [5] has an interesting story that has only come to light in the past few years. George was a wheelwright in Parramatta and he and his partner (I can find no marriage record) Hester (or Ester) Hendle had three children. After this the trail on George went cold – and I mean cold as in frozen! No evidence of George anywhere could be unearthed so I popped this one aside in the ‘come back to this mystery later’ basket.

Fast forward a few years and I was looking at some DNA matches on Family Tree DNA. I did a name search on ‘Tuckwell’ and a new match with links to this name came up. I contacted Fred and he responded back almost immediately, saying that my email had just confirmed what he had suspected - that his mystery George Tuckwell was from Australia and not from England as records would have him believe.

So where did George end up? America.

Fred and I exchanged information and have done further research and no records exist for George leaving Australia nor for his arrival in America.

George married Mary Ann Colesworthy in 1837 in Portland, Maine, USA [6]. They had at least seven children and as I might have guessed, the first, a son born c1838 [6], was named George W Tuckwell. Fred descends from their sixth child Mary Anna Tuckwell.

Since the first DNA match with Fred, I have found a number of matches on Ancestry with George’s descendants in the USA, adding further confirmation.

So the mystery of what happened to George has finally been solved!

There still remains the mystery of why George left Australia and his family for America but this may be one that we will never solve.

By reaching out to your DNA matches, you just never know what mystery might be unravelled in the process!


[1] Biographical Database of Australia, Person ID: B#15001135801

[2] Hampshire Allegations for Marriage Licenses, 1689-1837 (database on-line), Ancestry ( :downloaded 28 December 2017), Original data: Moens, William J. C. Hampshire Allegations for Marriage Licences Granted by the Bishop of Winchester, 1689–1837. Vols. 1 and 2. Digitized extracts. London: The Harleian Society, 1893

[3] NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Registration number 753/1816 V147B

[4] NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Registration number 131/1853 V149

[5] NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Registration number 1003/1803 V148

[6] Information researched and shared by Fred (surname withheld for privacy)


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