• Mel Hulbert

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #8 ‘Prosperity’

‘Prosperity’ is the prompt for week eight.


I have fallen behind on my plans to write one genealogy blog per month, partly because of a busy schedule recently and partly as this topic has had me stumped for some time as none of my ancestors were what you would call ‘prosperous’. After thinking on this for a while it occurred to me that it depends on how you look at prosperous – it’s all relative!

Many of my ancestors arrived as assistant immigrants and there were a number of convicts and soldiers as well. For many of them, working as labourers, poverty and barely scraping by was normal. Owning your own land or living a comfortable if not prosperous life was a dream rather than a reality. However, many of my ancestors boarded ships either by their own or Her Majesty’s choice and travelled to an island half way around the world. While convicts had no personal choice on where they were sent, if they behaved and worked hard they received a Ticket of Leave and a Certificate of Freedom and as ex-convicts were entitled to a land grant.[1] They owned land and owning land was a step up the social scale and something they could never have hoped to do back in their own countries.

I spoke of my Rutter ancestors in July and how they arrived as immigrants, initially leasing land and then purchasing their own. Likewise in May I looked at a long line of the White and Moullin families but mostly in Guernsey. In 1852 in Australia, George White (Junior) was a store keeper and his mother Suzanne (Susan) also started a store opposite Heazlett’s pub in the small gold mining town of Major’s Creek. [2].

Richard Tuckwell, my 4x great grandfather I mentioned in my September post also did well for himself, acquiring land after leaving the military and also owning a Butcher’s Shop and house in Pitt Row (now Pitt Street, Sydney [3]) until his death in 1820 [4,5,6,7].

So while I wouldn’t consider any of my ancestors very prosperous, they made a good life for themselves and their families.



References:

[1]Land Grants Guide, 1788-1856. (2020, January 23). Retrieved December 2020, from https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/archives/collections-and-research/guides-and-indexes/land-grants-guide-1788-1856

[2] Maddrell, R. H., & Kennedy, R. (1978). Major's Creek. Braidwood Gold Fields 1850-1860’s (3rd Reprint, p. 3). A.R. McLean Printing.

[3] NOTES AND ANECDOTES ABOUT OLD PITT STREET: FROM ONE OF MR. C. H. BERTIE'S ARRESTING ARTICLES (1920, July 1). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 9. Retrieved December 28, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115601610

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

[5] Hampshire Allegations for Marriage Licenses, 1689-1837 (database on-line), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com.au/ :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

[6] NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Registration number 249/1820 V1820249 8 https://www.nsw.gov.au/topics/family-history-search

[7] Classified Advertising - The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) - 30 Sep 1820. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2017, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/2179772

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