Hodgetts Family

First Generation


Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts arrived in New South Wales on 28th July 1790, aboard ships of the Second Fleet.Thomas Hodgetts had been tried and convicted at, Stafford Assizes.  He was sentenced to death on 12th March 1788, the sentence later being commuted to transportation to New South Wales for seven years.  He arrived aboard the "Scarborough" on her second trip as a convict ship.  Harriet Hodgetts came free to New South Wales, aboard "Neptune", the so called death ship of the second fleet.

Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts were one of few married couples who came to New South Wales in those early days of the colony.  Generally wives of convicts were not permitted to accompany their husbands, and husbands of convicts were not permitted to accompany their wives, on either the first or second fleets.  This generally was the case also for the wives of the Civil and Military personnel of the two fleets.  However there were a few exceptions to this general rule, and Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts were one such exception.  Because they were husband and wife, the story of their success in the colony is of immense interest to those of us who wish to know of our nation's origins.


There is some doubt as to the proper identity of  Thomas Hodgetts. A great deal depends on the proper identification of the Thomas Hodgetts, who arrived in New South Wales on 28th June 1790 aboard “Scarborough”, of the second fleet.  

The documentation in the new South Wales archives indicates, that the Thomas Hodgetts who arrived aboard “Scarborough” of the second fleet was convicted at Stafford in England on 12th March 1788.

To date, two sets of information has been received about the trial of a Thomas Hodgetts at Stafford.  One trial took place in 1787 and the other in 1788.  One of these trials was of a Thomas Hodgetts who committed a felony at Wednesbury in Staffordshire.  The other of these trials was of a Thomas Hodgetts, who committed a felony in Aldridge Staffordshire.

A Thomas Hodgetts was baptised at Great Barr in Staffordshire, on 12th May 1773.  No parents are given in the Great Barr Church register from which this record has been obtained.  The absence of parents' names, may indicate that the Thomas Hodgetts who was baptised, was an adolescent and therefore, could have been born about 1761.  There was a John and Mary Hodgetts who married at Great Barr on 27th May 1742 and were having children up to 1759.  

Mary Hodgetts was buried at Great Barr on 3rd August 1763 and John Hodgetts was buried at Great Barr on  19th April 1765.  If Thomas Hodgetts is their child and was born circa 1761, then his baptism might have been overlooked, because of the death of his parents just a year or so after he was born.

The real significance of this baptism is that, at the time Great Barr was part of the Parish of Aldridge and it was a Aldridge that Thomas Hodgetts was tried on 12th March 1788, and was where he was alleged to have committed his crime (with other persons).  However this will be covered later in Trial.

However there is another Thomas Hodgetts, who was baptised at Wednesbury in Staffordshire on 27th December 1763.  His parents are given in the Wednesbury register as Richard and Elizabeth Hodgetts

The Thomas Hodgetts who was baptised in Wednesbury on 27th December 1763,  he married Ann Duce at Wednesbury on 28th May 1783 and they had the following children:-----  Ann born 30th  June 1783, Thomas born 8th September 1788 and William born 26th April 1790.

So this Thomas Hodgetts would have had to leave a wife and three children (the third not yet baptised), if it was him who was transported aboard "Scarborough" in 1790.


The indents of "Scarborough" of the Second Fleet, indicate that Thomas Hodgetts arrived in New South Wales as a convict, he having been tried and convicted at Stafford Assizes on 12th March 1788 and sentenced to death.  This original sentence later being commuted to 7 years transportation to New South Wales.  The same indents also indicates that aboard the "Scarborough" with Thomas, was Thomas Collier, who was also tried and convicted at Stafford on 12th  March 1788 and sentenced to death.  Collier's death sentence also being commuted to transportation for seven years.  Thomas Collier's name will come up later.

At present there is no certainty as to the proper identity of Thomas Hodgetts, or whether the two trials of Thomas Hodgetts in Stafford, one on 14th March 1787 and the other on 12th March 1788, are of the same or different persons.  However after careful examination and double checking the records, the facts point to that there was only one Thomas Hodgetts.

The facts are as follows:-

19th May 1783 Thomas Hodgetts stole a cotton gown valued at ten shillings, being the property of William and Ann Duce at Wednsbury in Staffordshire.

17th January 1787 Thomas Hodgetts was indicted and charged with stealing the cotton gown as above and was allowed a recognisance of his own and his brothers sureties, amounting to £ 80-00.

14th March 1787 Thomas Hodgetts was tried at Stafford and found guilty of stealing the cotton gown as above and sentenced to be hanged.

15th November 1787 Thomas Hodgetts, Thomas Collier, Thomas Burghley and Joseph Sheldock, are alleged to have stolen a flitch of bacon (forequarter) valued at forty shillings, being the property of Gilbert Houghton, at Aldridge in Staffordshire.

12th March 1788 Thomas Hodgetts and the others were tried at the Market Hall Stafford, for a burglary at Aldridge , Staffordshire, in which a flitch of bacon had been stolen. All four were acquitted, but were tried at the same assizes on another charge of breaking into the house of Joseph Nock at Rowley and stealing a large quantity of cloth, sheeting, linsey and some clothing on 13th November 1787. Thomas Hodgetts and Thomas Collier were convicted on a lesser charge of theft only, and sentenced to seven years transportation avoiding the death sentence. The other two men were aquitted.

So it seems that the Thomas Hodgetts that was tried and convicted on 12th March 1788 at Stafford Assizes, is the Thomas Hodgetts who was transported to New South Wales, where he arrived on 28th June 1790.

Immediately after his trial, Thomas Hodgetts was taken to the Stafford Gaol where he was held until, 17th May 1788, when he was taken to the “Lion” prison hulk, moored off Gosport near Portsmouth Harbour. There he was employed as a labourer on fortification works. He was included in a list of the most usefull and well behaved convicts on the hulk who were recommended to be held back from transportation.

In May 1787 the Home Office received a petition for mitigation of sentence on behalf of Thomas Hodgetts, signed by the minister, church wardens and overseers of the parish of St.Mary, Whitechapel, and by several residents of Whitechapel and Aldgate. They stated that his wife and three small children were in want of subsistence and were in deepest distress and if released he would be given employment

The judge recommended against any mitigation of the sentence, commenting that witnesses had proved that Hodgetts and Collier had sold some of the stolen property to another man. They had escaped the capital conviction for burglary only because evidence relating to the time of the break-in had been defective. He wrote “It appeared to me, that the prisoners were part of a very bad set, and in a country which abounds with bad men, it would be a great encouragement to housebreaking, if a slight punishment were to be inflicted.”

In September 1789 Thomas Hodgetts lodged a second petition with the Home Office, with a confession signed by Collier in which he stated that Hodgetts had not been concerned in the robbery, although he had been present when the stolen items were sold. The petition was attested by the chief mate of the “Lion” hulk. No action was taken and Thomas Hodgetts was transported.


Another unresolved question is the timing of the marriage of Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts. Did they marry in England before coming to New South Wales? and if so where?  Did they marry in New South Wales shortly after their arrival?  What was Harriet's maiden surname?  Did they marry at all?  Both Thomas and Harriet maintained throughout their lives, that they were married in England and that he came to New South Wales as a convict, aboard the "Scarborough' and that she came free, aboard the "Neptune", both in the Second Fleet.

It may be that Harriet Hodgetts was indeed Ann Duce (which means that Thomas stole the cotton gown from his father and mother in-law). As stated earlier a Thomas Hodgetts and Anne Duce, who had married in Wednesbury in 1783 and had three children. There was a Harriet Hodgetts living in the East London parish of Whitechapel in November 1789 when her husband was embarked on the “Scarborough”. Parish officials stated that she was living in poverty with her three small children.

Harriet (or Ann) Hodgetts was one of a small group of wives and de-facto partners of second fleet convicts who eccepted the Government's offer of a free passage to the colony. No record of the three children's presence in the colont was been found. They may have been left in England with relatives or else died on the voyage. The “Neptune” was known as the death ship of the second fleet.

Harriet Hodgetts status as a free woman, is maintained consistently in the New South Wales, Norfolk island and Van Dieman's Land documentation, as distinct from women who were free by servitude. The New South Wales Muster of 1806 indicates, that Harriet Hodgetts (Hodges in the muster) was married to Thomas Hodgetts (also Hodges in the muster) and that she was married in England.

If Harriet was not Ann Duce, then when might Thomas and Harriet have married in England and where?  Thomas Hodgetts committed his crime at 3am, on 15th November 1787 at Aldridge.  Presumably he was arrested and incarcerated immediately.  He was tried at Stafford on 12th March 1788 and remained incarcerated until he was placed on board "Scarborough" in December 1789.  It seems therefore, that Thomas was incarcerated from the date he commited his crime, 15th November 1787, until his arrival in Port Jackson on 23rd June 1790.

Some questions are raised by these circumstances.  Was there any opportunity for some fraternisation with women, between November 1787 and December 1789?  

Was there any such opportunity for fraternisation whilst the Second fleet was in preparation at Portsmouth?  

Did Thomas and Harriet marry before 15th November 1787 and if so where?  These questions will probably never be answered, as the only two people who can answer them have been dead for over 100 years.

It is almost certain that Thomas and Harriet had no children when they arrived in New South Wales on 28th June 1790.  No mention is made in any official documents of any such children.


That Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts arrived safely at Port Jackson, in New South Wales in June 1790, must in the circumstances, be a matter of very great good fortune.  First they had to survive the procedures relating to transportation, also the general rule that free spouses of convicts and civil and military personnel, were not to be permitted to make the voyage.  Then they had to survive the voyage itself.  

The three ships of the Second Fleet, embarked their convict passengers in December 1790 at Portsmouth.  The agent of transports was, Lieutenant John Shapecote. The Second Fleet contractors were Messr's Camden Calvert & King.

The fleet sailed from Portsmouth in England on 19th January 1790. "Scarborough" (left) having made the trip already, as a ship of the First Fleet in 1787/88.  The other ship in the Second fleet "Surprise", is thought to have been quite unsuitable for the long voyage to New South Wales, and the convicts aboard her, had a very wet voyage, especially in rough seas and heavy gales.

The Second Fleet arrived of the Cape of Good Hope, in company, on 13th April 1790, after a passage of eighty-four days from Portsmouth.  It remained at the Cape for sixteen days, sailing again on 29th April 1790.

The "Surprise" parted company with the other two ships soon after and arrived off  Port Jackson, as early as 23rd June 1790, but was blown out to sea and did not make port until 26th June 1790.  The Second Fleet's passage was a relatively fast one, especially the passage from the Cape.

The mortality rate of the Second Fleet, was the highest in the history of transportation to Australia.  1017 convicts were embarked at Portsmouth.  This figure was varied by the re-landing of 11 convicts at Portsmouth and the embarkation of 20 convicts at the Cape of Good Hope.

Therefore 1026 convicts should have been disembarked in New South Wales, but during the voyage 256 male and 11 female convicts died, which means, that only 692 male and 67 female convicts, a total of 759 convicts in all, did in fact disembark in Port Jackson.

Aboard all three ships, but especially aboard the "Neptune", convicts were treated with incredible and savage brutality.  The convicts were starved, and kept in chains for long periods, many in water up to their waists.

The Second Fleet arrived at Port Jackson with its convicts in a pitiful and sickening condition.  Not only had 267 convicts died on the voyage, but no less than 486 convicts were disembarked, in what Judge-Advocate Collins, described as a "lean and emaciated" condition. Many of them required medical attention. Of these convicts Collins said also that these Second Fleet convicts exhibited "more horrid spectacles than had ever been witnessed in this country".

Inquiries were held in England, into the conduct of the Masters of the transports and their officers and crews, but not very vigorously pursued.  Prosecutions of the contractors and the officers of the ships were commenced, but none were convicted. Several of the masters and officers fled England for France to avoid prosecution.  The matter was never concluded.

So such were the circumstances in which, Thomas Hodgetts, as a convict aboard the "Scarborough" and Harriett Hodgetts ,as a free woman aboard the "Neptune", arrived in New South Wales, to begin a new life together in the infant colony.

Thomas & Harriett Hosdgetts

With the horror of the Second Fleet behind them, Thomas and Harriet now had to prepare themselves for a new life in a new country.  The colony of New South Wales, was two years old and Governor Phillip had managed to establish a small town of make shift houses carved out of the wilderness that surrounded Sydney Cove.

There were few skilled workers amongst the convicts and the few that did have a trade or skills could be expected to improve themselves and their conditions.  The convicts were not kept in prisons,  these were non existent, so most of them had to provide their own accommodation.  

After regaining their health, Thomas and Harriet would have followed the usual practice of constructing a small one roomed cottage, divided into two rooms by a curtain.  The cottage would have been constructed with rough hewn supports and covered with wattle and daub, the floor would have been earth.

Although Thomas was described as a labourer at his trial, he was a skilled Blacksmith and Gun-barrel forger. Governor Phillip would have directed him to work with the Government blacksmiths in and around Sydney.  After his working day he would be free to work privately for wages and tend to his own garden to supplement his meagre Government rations. Harriet, as a free woman, was able to tend to her vegetable garden, as well as obtain employment in exchange for food or goods.

Slowly, Thomas and Harriet's life improved and on 25th October 1791, their first known child was born. He was christened John, at St.Phillips on 17th November 1791.  John was the first Hodgetts child born in Australia, but it is suspected that they may have had children in England.  Thomas and Harriet never named any of their children after themselves, which was common with almost all families in those days, so this tends to suggest that they had to leave children behind in England.

Thomas and Harriet's life was starting to settle down to some form of normality, and their family began to grow.  A daughter, Mary was born on 15th September 1793, and another daughter was born on 21st April 1795.  Sadly the first daughter Mary died three days after the second daughter was born, so the new girl was named Mary Maria in respect of her sister.

Thomas's sentence of seven years expired in March 1795, and he was free to work at his trade for wages and apply for a grant of land.  At this time the Colony was under the control of the New South Wales Corps, more commonly known as the "Rum Corps", which had created a monopoly of trade, the payment for goods being made in rum.  Under the "Rum Corps", it was hard for an ex-convict to improve himself or achieve any degree of social status.

Thomas and Harriet were finding it hard to raise a family under these conditions.  When their daughter Sarah was born on 1st September 1797, Thomas had decided to leave Sydney as soon as was possible.  

Thomas was charged with using insulting language and appeared in the Criminal Court in January 1800, it appears whilst drunk, Hodgetts asked John Ramsey if he was Irish or English and then knocked him to the ground. The bench reptimanded Hodgetts, describing his language as “highly inflammatory amongst the different descriptions of prisoners in this Colony”.

In July 1800, Thomas took his family to Norfolk Island, sailing on the same ship as Major Joseph Foveaux, who arrived on Norfolk Island on 26th July 1800, as the new Lieutenant Governor.


On Norfolk Island, Thomas was appointed to the position of Constable.  He was soon involved in a the conspiracy by the convicts to take over the island.  An Irishman, Harry Grady went to Major Foveaux with information of the conspiracy.  The revolt was put down and the ring leaders hung.  At the subsequent inquiry, Thomas Hodgetts, was called upon to corroborate the evidence of the informer, as he was present at the time the information was given to Major Foveaux. It was during their stay on Norfolk Island, that Thomas and Harriet, met and befriended the family of Nathaniel and Olivia Lucas.  Both Nathaniel and Olivia were First Fleet convicts. This friendship was to last for many years, with some of their children marrying between the two families.
Thomas continued in his role as a Constable, this position allowing him and his family to draw victuals from the Government stores.  This is confirmed from the Victualling Lists and General Muster papers in the archives of New South Wales.

On 28th November 1801 another daughter was born to Thomas and Harriet. She was named Elizabeth when she was christened a month later by Rev. Fulton.

In 1804 Harriet gave birth to another son, to be named James.  The children now totalled two boys and three girls.

By 1805 Thomas had returned to his trade as a blacksmith, and was off Government stores. It was at this time that the Governor General, decided to abandon Norfolk Island as a penal colony, because of its isolation and distance from Sydney.  


The Hodgetts family returned to Sydney, in July 1805 aboard the "Lady Nelson" arriving in Port Jackson on 30th July 1805.  

Back in Sydney, Thomas again set up his Blacksmith shop and his now 15 year old son John, was learning his trade from his father.  While at home Harriet gave birth to another son Daniel, born 14th October 1806.

After the rebellion against Governor Bligh in 1808, Thomas was appointed Superintendent of Government Blacksmiths on 11th April 1808.  This position had been held by his partner in crime, Thomas Collier, between 17th October 1800 and 1st May 1801, but he was discharged for disobedience and improper conduct.

The position Thomas now held was quite a senior one.  With it came a 21 year lease of a house in South Street, Sydney.  The house, granted to him by Colonel William Paterson on 14th July 1809, was valued at £10 ($20) and he had to pay 10 shillings ($1) per year rent.  

Shortly after this Harriet gave birth to a daughter, named Hannah.  However, the records show that one year later, on 8th May 1809, Harriet again gave birth to a daughter also named Hannah.  It is thought that the earlier daughter had died at birth, and so the new baby received the name of Hannah when she was baptised at St.Phillip's, Sydney, on 18th June 1809. By this time Thomas had improved their house and built a workshop to contain his forge, so that he could operate his business from home.

The year 1810 saw the arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who set about to put a stop to the corruption of the New South Wales Corps.  He also improved the opportunities open to ex convicts and their families, but not all it seems.

The year 1810 saw the arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who set about to put a stop to the corruption of the New South Wales Corps.  He also improved the opportunities open to ex convicts and their families, but not all it seems.

In the Archives Office of New South Wales is a petition numbered 144, dated 12th January 1810 addressed to Governor Lachlan Macquarie, for permission to continue to occupy the house, which he was granted by way of lease.  Apparently this petition failed, as in the year 1810, Thomas Hodgetts, moved his family to Pitt Town on the Hawkesbury River.  They returned to Sydney, on 8th April 1811, for the wedding of their son John, to Olivia Lucas, at St. Phillip's Church, Sydney.

Back in Pitt Town, on 25th September 1811, Harriet gave birth to another daughter, Jane who was to be her last child.  Also during this time on the Hawkesbury, Thomas and Harriet's daughter, Mary Maria, married Thomas Graham, at Windsor, on 13th September 1813.

Early in 1816 John and Olivia Hodgetts, along with, the brothers Nathaniel and William Lucas, sailed with their families to Port Dalrymple, as Launceston was then known. Thomas and Harriet also decided to make the move to Van Dieman's Land.  After making their farewells to their married daughter Mary Maria, they sailed from Sydney in the Schooner "Sinbad" on 27th February 1819, once again to make a new home.

Mary Maria, was the only child of Thomas and Harriet to remain in New South Wales.  She spent the rest of her life farming with her husband Thomas Graham on the Hawkesbury River.  She died at Wilberforce on 17th May 1844, probably never seeing her parents again.


When the "Sinbad" sailed up the Tamar River and docked at Launceston, it was met by John Hodgetts, who welcomed his parents with the news that his wife Olivia had just recently given birth to a daughter, whom they had named Maryann Maria, after their daughter and his sister left behind in New South Wales.  John was also able to tell his father how he was developing  the 60 acre farm he had recently been granted.

By 15th October 1819, Thomas and Harriet were helping their son John develop his 60 acres.  They were doing well enough to be off the Government stores, and were in fact, in a position to sell wheat to the Government as well as export it to New South Wales.

On 15th May 1820, the Government considered an application by Thomas and Harriet Hodgetts, for a grant of land to farm in the north.

30th May 1820, saw the birth of a daughter, Henrietta, to Thomas and Harriet's unmarried daughter Sarah.  The baptism records give the name of the father as John Piper of Port Jackson.  The correct identity of John Piper is not known.  However the father of Sarah's daughter is not known for certain, but it can be assumed he was unaware of the child's birth as there were no plans for a wedding. Thomas and Harriet took this child in as their own, but apart from being included in the muster of 1820, there is no other information about this child, so it is assumed she did not survive childhood.

Not long after the birth of this child, Thomas and Harriet received their grant of 60 acres on the Lake River near the town of Longford.  Thomas quickly constructed a wattle and daub cottage in which to house his family, and within a few months had sown 6 acres of wheat, and established 34 acres of pasture, on which he ran his stock of 3 steers and 7 heifers.  The conditions must have been extremely hard that first winter with nine people sharing the small wattle and daub cottage by the river. The early 1820's were very prosperous years for the Hodgetts families and their hard work was well rewarded. The families still continued to live in simple and modest cottages and put their profits back into their farms.  

In February 1823 the Hodgetts families celebrated the marriage of Thomas and Harriet's daughter Elizabeth, to George Lucas, the ninth child of Nathaniel and Olivia Lucas.

What had begun as a happy and prosperous year for the Hodgetts family, was shattered when Thomas Hodgetts died suddenly, at his home in Longford, on 27th October 1823.  He was buried three days later, on 30th October, at the Cypress Street Cemetery.  Thomas left a widow, eight children and fourteen grandchildren to mourn his passing.  His life had been one of extreme hardship and suffering, but he had overcome all the torments that went with being a convict, and had become an honest hardworking family man.

His grave no longer remains, but his monument is the fact that he was one of the true Pioneers of this nation of Australia.

After the death of Thomas, Harriet continued living on the farm that she and Thomas had started.  Harriet's burden was somewhat eased by the help from her children, who were operating farms of their own close by.  Harriet operated the farm with great success until her death, at Longford, on 30th June 1850, aged 85 years. She was buried in the grounds of Christ Church, Longford. Her headstone stone is still there, but gives her name as Henrietta Hodgetts, (her real name?).

Second Generation



John Hodgetts (left) was born 25th October 1791 in Sydney. He married Olivia Lucas after banns, at St.Phillip's Church, Sydney, on 8 April 1811. John had met Olivia Lucas, the daughter of Nathaniel and Olivia Lucas, on Norfolk Island. Their first child Hannah was born on 31st July 1812.  They were to have two more children while in Sydney.  Thomas born 21st February 1813 and Nathaniel born 20th March 1815.

Before and after his marriage to Olivia, John worked with and learned his trade as a blacksmith from his father Thomas.  Early in 1816 John and Olivia sailed to Port Dalrymple in Van Dieman's Land.  When John and Olivia arrived at Port Dalrymple in 1816 it was very squalid, with a scattering of poorly constructed timber cottages housing a few hundred settlers and convicts.

John and Olivia were granted an allotment in the centre of Launceston by Colonel Cimitiere, the Officer in charge of Launceston. They immediately set about building a small cottage surrounded by a picket fence.  The laws governing land grants at this time were almost non existent, so records of John's original grant no longer survive.  John also set up a forge and blacksmith shop on his grant and soon found plenty of work amongst the new settlers. Business was quite good indeed for John and Olivia, who added to their success when she gave birth to a son, James on 3rd March 1817, the first Hodgetts child to be born in Tasmania.

By 1819, when John had convinced his parents to make the move to Van Dieman's Land, and Olivia had given birth to their fifth child, another daughter, Maryann Maria born 4th March 1819, John had given up his blacksmiths shop to concentrate on working his farm of 60 acres.  By 1820 John had added to the size of his farm, with the purchase of another 400 acres.

21st April 1821, saw the birth of another son to Olivia.  The family were stated in the records as living at Patersons Plains. Patersons Plains was an area that ran along the North Esk River from Launceston along Elphin Road and out towards Perth. John and Olivia were still farming at Patersons Plains in 1822, but now they had only 90 acres, having sold off 370 acres. John and Olivia moved to Norfolk Plains in 1823, the year his father died.  This meant that the entire Hodgetts clan was now living in the district, with the exception of Mary Maria who had remained in New South Wales.

Five months before the death of John's father, Olivia gave birth to their 7th child, Richard born 8th May 1823 he was baptised at St.John's Church, Launceston on 16th March 1824.

Norfolk Plains was a large area that stretched from Perth in the East, to Westbury in the West, Hadspen in the North, to Blackwood Creek in the South.  It was first settled in 1808 when a few of the Norfolk Island settlers were resettled there after the Island was first closed down as a Penal settlement.

John and Olivia saw the marriage of their first child, on 9th January 1829, when Hannah married William Dalrymple Keating at St.John's Church, Launceston.

In 1832 John was granted a three acre allotment in the centre of Longford, which fronted onto Marlborough Street and backed onto Pakenham Street.  The following year he sold part or all the land to a Charles Reid. There is some confusion in the records as to whether he sold all, or only part of the land at this stage.

Early in 1835, Olivia delivered their 11th child Hester born 29th January 1835.  Shortly after this, John decided to move to Cressy where an opportunity existed in the village for a good blacksmith.  John and Olivia sold the farm in Longford to a William Field.  They were leaving their farm at an opportune time.  The prices of produce had been falling steadily since 1830, and by 1835, had fallen by 50%.  People were starting to just walk of their farms, or sell them for as little as a bottle of rum.  At least one third of the shops and stores in Launceston were closed or abandoned, so John and Olivia's move to Cressy was probably a forced one. Luckily John had the money from the sale of his farm, so he was able to set himself up in a blacksmith shop.

There was also no shortage of property to buy or lease at very advantageous prices. John and Olivia were able to lease a small farm at the southern end of Cressy, at what is known as Bell Post Corner. It was opposite the turn off to Oban and Woodbourne, and is now part of the property of "Glencoe" that backs onto Brumby's Creek.

Cressy had grown around the Cressy Company, which had been formed in 1828 and been granted 20,000 acres.  John Hodgetts took advantage of the trade the Cressy Company generated, as he was able to make a decent living from the blacksmith shop he had set up on the property.

Late in 1841, John and Olivia decided to leave the Bell Post property and 1842 found them living in Perth. This was only temporary, as they were soon back in Cressy, on a property named “Ashton” on the Elphinstone Road.  John was able to lease this property for a bushel of wheat per acre, per year. John set up his forge again and with his family to help him on the farm was able to live in relative comfort throughout the depression.

John Hodgetts, suffered a great loss on 22nd June 1851, when his wife Olivia died suddenly, aged only 56 years.  The loss of his wife left John with two teenage children to look after, Hester and Charles. Little is known of John from this time until his death on 13th August 1871, aged 81 years.  He was buried at Longford on 16th August 1871.

John Hodgetts had been one of the first “Currency lads”. Currency lads and lasses was the name given to the first generation born to convicts in Australia and they were a breed of their own, as they were born and bred to suit the harsh condition and life style of the early colony.  He was every bit a Pioneer.

John set up his forge again and with his family to help him on the farm was able to live in relative comfort throughout the depression.

John Hodgetts, suffered a great loss on 22nd June 1851, when his wife Olivia died suddenly, aged only 56 years.  The loss of his wife left John with two teenage children to look after, Hester and Charles.

Little is known of John from this time until his death on 13th August 1871, aged 81 years.  He was buried at Longford on 16th August 1871.

John Hodgetts had been one of the first “Currency lads”. Currency lads and lasses was the name given to the first generation born to convicts in Australia and they were a breed of their own, as they were born and bred to suit the harsh condition and life style of the early colony.  He was every bit a Pioneer.

Mary 1793-1795

Mary was born on 15th September 1793 in Sydney. Unfortunately Mary only lived for a little over two years, dying in Sydney on 24th April 1795.

Mary Maria 1795-1844

Mary Maria born in Sydney on 21st April 1795. She married Thomas Graham, at St.Matthew's Church, Windsor, New South Wales, on 13th September 1913. Thomas was the son of Matthias Lock and Elizabeth Eupham Graham. After their marriage, Thomas and Mary farmed a land grant at Wilberforce on the Hawkesbury River. By 1815 they were supplying the Government with meat, and by 1828 their land holdings at Wilberforce had increased to 145 acres.

Mary Maria was the only Hodgetts to remain in New South Wales. When she died at her home on 17th May 1844, aged 49, she had probably never seen her parents again after they moved to Tasmania. Thomas Graham remarried two years after Mary Maria's death, to Margaret Louisa Mills, on 22nd May 1846.  There were seven children from this 2nd marriage, making Thomas the father of 21 children in all.  Thomas died at Wilberforce on 15th August 1862, and was buried in St.John's Cemetery, Wilberforce.
Thomas and Mary Maria had 14 children.

Sarah 1797-1880

Sarah was born in Sydney 1st September 1797 and was 21 years old when the family moved to Tasmania in 1819. On  30th May 1820, Sarah gave birth to a daughter, Henrietta.  The father of the child was named as John Piper of Port Jackson, it is thought that John Piper was in fact Captain John Piper, after whom Point Piper in Sydney is named . Sarah and John were never married as he was already married and had returned to England. Sarah and her daughter lived with Thomas and Harriet for a few years.  Nothing is known of Henrietta and it is thought she may have died at an early age.

Sarah Hodgetts married Richard Lawson, at St.John's Church, in Launceston on 22nd August 1825, just before her 28th Birthday.  Richard was 32 years old. Richard and Sarah lived at Norfolk Plains for the early part of the marriage, where Richard was a farmer as well as an Inn keeper at various places around the district.  However in 1831 he was operating an inn named “The Five Alls”, further south, at Ross, a small stopping place on the way to Hobart.  They did not stay at Ross very long however, and soon took their family back to Norfolk Plains, where they once again ran an Inn, after a couple of years they gave this up and went back to farming, at Liffey for a while, and then at Little Hampton on a property called “Kilburn”.

Richard Lawson died at Little Hampton, Tasmania on 30th May 1856.  Sarah died at Bishopsbourne, Tasmania on 30th December 1879, she was buried at Bishopsbourne on 1st January 1880. Richard and Sarah had seven children.

1. Elizabeth was born at Launceston on 13th June 1826. Married George Cox at St.John's, Launceston on 27th September 1856.

2. Thomas, born at Launceston on 1st September 1827. Married Sarah Webb at Christ Church, Longford on 3rd August 1848.

3. Richard was born at Norfolk Plains on 28th January 1829. Died in 1852. He never married.

4. Daniel was born at Norfolk Plains on 10th December 1830. Died at Bishopsbourne on 24th November 1865. He never married.

5. William was born at Norfolk Plains on 18th August 1832. Married his 1st cousin, Adelaide Lucas at Christ Church, Longford on 9th June 1864. On their marrige certificate William's marital status is given as widower, but nothing is known of his first wife. William took after his father and became a Publican. He died at “Brickendon”, near Longford on 9th April 1881. Adelaide never remarried. She continued on with the lease of the “Cressy Hotel” until 1886. She died at Longford in 1935. They had nine children

6. Henry was born at Norfolk Plains on 22nd January 1835. He married a girl named Harriet Hardman. Henry and Harriet remained on the family farm “Kilburn”, which he inherited when his mother died. Henry died at Longford on 28th October 1910. It is not known if they had any children.

7. George Hatton, born at Longford 18th March 1837. Married Janet Scott. George was a farmer in the Liffey area. He died at Bishopsbourne on 13th February 1866. It is not known if there were any children from this marriage.

Elizabeth 1801-1887

Elizabeth was born on Norfolk Island 28th November 1801.  Elizabeth married George Lucas on 24th February 1823, at St.John's Church, Launceston.  She had known the Lucas family all her life, first on Norfolk Island, in New South Wales and later in Tasmania. For the first years of their marriage George Lucas worked as a carpenter, a trade he learned from his father. George had been granted 260 acres on the Longford to Cressy Road.  Here they built their first home, a small weatherboard house.  Their first child was born there, to be followed by eight sons and two more daughters.  .

In 1831, land near George and Elizabeth's farm became vacant. George submitted a formal Application for the land on, 23rd April 1831, it being granted to them, on 30th May 1831.  As soon as they received the grant, George built a new brick house on the site.  Over the next years they developed this into a first class farm.  The name given to the Property was “Kelton”.  George and Elizabeth remained at “Kelton” for the rest of their lives, George died there on 23rd July 1868 and Elizabeth 23rd March 1887.

James 1804-1854

James was born in 1804 on Norfolk Island.  James married Mary Cox at St.John's Church, Launceston, on 19th November 1827.  Mary was the daughter of John Cox who had been granted land near Longford in 1811.  After their marriage Mary moved onto the farm that James had been working in partnership with his brother, Daniel, since 1824, on a grant at Lake Plains, near Longford.

In 1839 James and Daniel travelled to Port Phillip, to assess the opportunities of the new colony,  They returned soon after convinced that a move was unnecessary, as the farm at Lake Plains was doing quite well.  However the depression of the early 1840's hit them hard, and by 1843 they were forced to sell everything. James and Daniel then moved to Cressy, where they farmed a property named “Creekdon” until they were declared insolvent in 1846. James then leased 149 acres from Charles Field at Cressy, where he farmed until his death. James died suddenly on, 4th November 1854 of cancer. After James died Mary stayed at Cressy until 1863. She then moved to Rosevale and bought 250 acres. Mary died of scarlet fever, along with four of her grand-children, at Rosevale on 13th November 1877. James and Mary had eleven children.
Daniel 1806-1870

Daniel was born on14th October 1806 in Sydney, after his parents had returned from Norfolk Island.  When he was eighteen, he and his brother James applied for grants of land at Lake Plains in the Longford district, their applications being granted on 4th February 1825. The two brothers lived on and farmed the land together.  When his brother James married in 1827, it is believed Daniel went to live in his mother's house, only five minutes down the road, although the brothers still worked their grants together, and were able to prosper in the good times of the 1820's and 1830's

In 1833 Daniel, made the trip back to Sydney to visit his sister Mary Maria Graham. This trip would have been a time to relax, and exchange family news.  After his trip to Sydney, Daniel continued to farm his land at Lake Plains, but by 1840 the first signs of the depression began to become evident.  Daniel and James soon found that even hard work was not enough to meet their expenses. In 1843 they were forced to sell their joint farms. A little while later Daniel and James were working a property named “Creekdon”, but things were no better.  On 6th June 1846, they were both declared insolvent.

Daniel then moved to Cressy, probably to work for his older brother John, who had been in the area for many years.  By 1848 Daniel owned a small weather-board house on a small block of land in Cressy, on what was then called “Hodgetts Corner”.  His brother James, also lived there with his wife and family.
On 22nd October 1851, Daniel, in company with his nephew Richard Hodgetts, sailed to Victoria, aboard the "City of Melbourne", to try their luck on the goldfields.  While in Victoria, they visited Richard's brothers in Portland.  Daniel returned to Tasmania in 1854 and continued to lease land in the Cressy district, until his death, on 1st August 1870.  He was buried next to his mother in the grounds of Christchurch, Longford.  Daniel never married.

Hannah 1809- 1891

Hannah was born in Sydney on 8th May 1809. When she was about ten years old, her parents moved to Port Dalrymple in Tasmania. She married Robert Brumby, at Christ Church, Longford on 3rd January 1831. Hannah signed the register with her mark. The two witnesses to her marriage were James and Jane Hodgetts, her brother and sister, They also signed with their mark, which points to the fact that most of the Hodgetts children had very little, if any education, with the exception of the eldest, John, who was able to write his name in the register when he married in 1811.

Robert Brumby was born on 22nd August 1799, at Scotton, Lincolnshire, England the son of John Brumby and Susannah nee Coggan who were married on 24th November 1790. Susannah died on 6th June 1823 aged 55. Two years later John married Sarah Wragg. John died on 14th January 1835, aged 65.

Robert came to Australia with his older brother John on board the "Moutaineers". They left England on 25th April 1825, embarking in Plymouth.  They arrived in Tasmania on 24th October 1825, having been delayed for two months en route at Cape Town after the ship “struck upon a rock”. The brothers had come to join their uncle, James Brumby (their father John's brother) who had come to Australia as a redcoat with the Third Fleet in 1791.

The Brumby family name was the name given to the wild horses of Australia, because James had left behind some of his horses when he left New South Wales for Tasmania.  These were allowed to roam free and were later called “Brumby's horses”, or later still, just "Brumbies”.

In October 1826, Robert purchased the 'Harwick Hill' property then owned by his uncle James. For the first few years in Tasmania Robert also worked as a wheelwright and is thought to have owned premises in Longford.

The 1842 VDL census indicates that he had 'two convicts on assignment' and that his 'household of twenty persons included six "mechanics and artificers" and three "persons employed in agriculture", 1842 Census of Tasmania, Norfolk Plains Parish 1 (page 29).  11 of the twenty persons in the household had been born in the colony (8 of whom would have been his and Hannah's children). The August 1856 Electoral Roll for the Tasmanian Legislative Council lists three Brumbys who qualified to vote on the basis of having freehold land at Cressy: John, Robert and William.

He owned land at Cressy in 1856 which qualified him to be listed on the Legislative Council electoral roll and also had a house in Longford (according to the electoral roll for the House of Assembly).

Robert and Hannah continued to live at “Harwick Hill” until their deaths.  Robert  died there on 12th November 1873 of congestion of the lungs. Hannah also died there of heart disease and old age, on 23rd June 1891.  

There is a large tombstone in the Methodist cemetery at Longford, erected to the memory of him and his wife, Hannah. The grave also includes (or is dedicated to the memory of) their daughter Charlotte Augusta (wife of John Mason) and their daughter Lily Augusta who died at the age of 9 on 3rd February 1870. Inscription on grave says 'In memory of Robert Brumby of Harwick Hill Died 12 November 1875 [?], aged 73. Hannah wife of the above died June 23rd 1891, aged 82. Charlotte Augusta beloved wife of John Mason and daugher of the above died 4th Sept 1871, aged 33. Lily Augusta daughter of the above. J. & C.AAA. Mason died 3rd Feby 1870, aged 9. Robert and Hannah had fourteen children.

Jane 1811- ?

Jane was born in Sydney on 24th September 1811, six months after her brother John married Olivia Lucas.  Jane was the last of Thomas and Harriett's children.  She was also the last of  their children to leave home. She married William Flint, at Christ Church, Longford, on 11th November 1837. William Flint was a sawyer and worked around the Norfolk Plains area, and up the Liffey Rivulet for the first five years of their marriage.  They then settled down on a farm at McCraes Hills and later moved to Gretta, near Longford. Nothing is known of this family after 1847, but is thought they may have moved to Portland, Victoria. or to New Zealand.

Jane and William had six known children prior to 1847.

1. William Henry, born at Longford on 1st October 1838.

2. Thomas, born at Longford on 19th July 1840.

3. Daniel, born at Longford on 13th February 1842.

4. George, born at Longford on 19 August 1843.

5. John, born at Longford on 20th June 1845.

6. James, born at Longford on 24th January 1847.

Harriet 1818-?

Harriet was born in Tasmania in 1818. Nothing further is known

Third Geneeration


Hannah 1812-?

Hannah was born in Sydney 31st July 1812, she was only four years old when John and Olivia moved to Tasmania in 1816.  The family was living at Longford when Hannah married William Dalrymple Keating at St.John's Church, Launceston, on 9th January 1829.

William Keating was a widower and eight years older than Hannah, who was only seventeen when they married.  William was the son of James Keating and Ann nee Middlebrooke. He was born in Westbury, Tasmania on 19th March 1811  He received his middle name, because he was the first white child born in Port Dalrymple.

William had three sons from his previous marriage, so it was that although only seventeen, Hannah had acquired a family as well as a husband.  William and Hannah farmed near Longford for the first years of their marriage.  Later moving to Cressy about the same time as her parents settled there.  In 1848 they were at “Hagley Farm”. No record of Hannah's death has been found, but William died in Melton, Victoria in 1884.  William and Hannah had twelve children, plus the three from William's previous marriage.  

1. John born at Cressy on 7th August 1831. He married Fanny Wood in Victoria in 1866. John died at  Woodend, Victoria on 4th December 1889. Fanny died at Woodend in 1920. They had eight children.

2. Mary Ann.born at Cressy on 18th March 1833. Nothing further is known.

3. Susannah, born at Cressy on 11th December 1835. She married Charles Miller at Launceston 2nd May 1854. Susannah died of childbirth at Melbourne, Victoria in 1855. They had one child.

4. Sarah, born at Cressy on 18th August 1836. Married James Edward Geake in Victoria in 1867. She died in Victoria in 1872.

5. Elizabeth, born at Cressy on 4th May 1838. She married a chap named Geake, probably a brother of James. She died at Daylesford, Victoria in 1894.

6. Maria, born at Cressy on 9th November 1839. Nothing further is known.

7. Eliza, born at Cressy on 8th September 1841. Nothing further is known.

8. Jane, born at Cressy on 27th June 1845. Died at Longford on 28th February 1846.

9. George, born at Cressy on 20th January 1847. He married Martha Jane Selman at Woodend, Victoria in 1874. George died at Woodend in 1920. Martha died at Woodend in 1949. They had eight children.

10. Emma, born at Cressy on 24th September 1848. Died at Westbury on 31st December 1849.

11. Ellen, born at Cressy on 4th October 1850. She married William Henry Stevens at Woodend, Victoria in 1875. She died at Balranald, New South Wales in 1884. They had one child.

12. Tasmania Dalrymple, born at Cressy in 1954. Died in Victoria in 1879.

Of their children, one, John (1831-1889) was instrumental in the development of the town of Woodend in Victoria.  He made his living from owning and training racehorses.  He set up the Woodend racecourse, as well as having interests in various hotels and businesses in Woodend.
Thomas 1813-1880


Thomas (above) was born in Sydney on 21st February 1813.  He married Alicia Davey, (above) at Christ Church, Cressy on 28th March 1843.  Alicia was born at Norfolk Plains on 24th June 1824, the daughter of James and Catherine Davey.  

Thomas and his family, along with his brother John moved to Portland, Victoria in 1847, where they saw there was a great need for timber in what was a thriving town.  Thomas set up a sawpit, as did his brother John. Thomas was doing quite well with his sawmilling business, which was expanding all the time, supplying the town with roof shingles and fence palings.  In the late 1870 Thomas sold his sawmill in Portland and moved to a farm at Bahgallah near Casterton.  He lived in Casterton until his death on 19th January 1880.  Alicia died at Casterton on 8th October 1897.  Thomas and Alicia had  nine children.  

1. John was born at Longford on 15th December 1843. He died at Portland in 1871. He never married.

2. Maria was born at Longford on 29th March 1846. Married her 1st cousin Thomas Hodgetts at Mount Gambia, South Australia in 1867. Thomas was born at Longford on 26th April 1840, the son of Nathaniel Hodgetts and Elizabeth nee Miller. Shortly after the birth of their 1st child in 1868, they moved to Casterton in Victoria, where they lived the rest of their lives. Thomas died there on 5th December 1919 and Maria died there on 27th May 1925. They are both buried in the Casterton Cemetery. They had twelve children.

3. Thomas was born at Portland, Victoria on 28th March 1848. He married Elizabeth Lewis at Casterton on 28th April 1875. Sometime after 1881 they moved to Wentworth in New South Wales where Thomas worked as a bullock team driver. Elizabeth died at Wentworth on 3rd April 1885, shortly after the birth of their sixth child. After the death of his wife, Thomas took the children to Mt. Gambia to be cared for by a maternal aunt. Thomas then drove bullock trains, worked on paddle steamers and moved about the country, finding work where ever he could.

Thomas died at Wentworth on 29th October 1932. Thomas and Elizabeth are both buried in the Wewntworth Cemetery. They had six children.

4. Nathaniel was born at Portland on 18th May 1850. Nathaniel was also a bullock team driver the same as his brother Thomas, working mainly around the Portland area carting timber. In 1868 he moved to Casterton.

Nathaniel married Harriet Neave at Coleraine in 1873. In 1874 he took up land at Bahgallah, which he named “Woodview”. Harriet died at Casterton on 12th January 1933. Nathaniel died at Casterton on 11th September 1935. They had five children.

5. Olivia was born at Portland on 5th April 1852. She married her 1st cousin Nathaniel Hodgetts at Christchurch, Casterton on 20th July 1869. Nathaniel was a bullock driver for most of his life, he worked most of the country areas between Portland and Adelaide. Nathaniel died at the Adelaide Hospital on 25th September 1930. It is not known when Olivia died. They had thirteen children.

6. Jane was born at Portland in 1854. She married James Bolster in 1874. Jane died at Hughesdale, Victoria in 1942. They had eight children.

7. Mary was born at Portland on 20th July 1856. She married Thomas Thorne at Hamilton, Victoria on 25th July 1877. Sometime after the birth of their last child, they moved to Rockhampton in Queensland. Thomas died at Rockhampton on 18th May 1916. Mary died at rockhampton on 2nd July 1923. They had ten children.

8. George was born at Portland on 28th February 1860. Died at Portland on 2nd March 1862.

9. Henry George was born at Portland on 11th May 1862. Died at Mount Gambia in South Australia on 16th February 1897. He never married.

Nathaniel 1815-1847

Nathaniel was born in Sydney on 20th March 1815. He was only seventeen when he married Elizabeth Miller at Longford on 26th September 1837. After their marriage Nathaniel and Elizabeth farmed a 60 acre grant on the northern edge of Longford, until the sudden death, of consumption, of Nathaniel on 25th June 1847,  leaving Elizabeth with a family of five small children all under the age of six.

Nothing more is known of Elizabeth, but two of their sons, Nathaniel and Thomas, were to later to move to Portland in Victoria, marry and have families.

1. George was born at Longford on 24th June 1838. Died at Longford on 30th July 1839.

2. Thomas was born at Longford on 26th April 1840. He moved to Portland, Victoria. He married his 1st cousin Maria Hodgetts at Mount Gambia in South Australia in 1867. Although married in South Australia, Thomas and Maria lived all their lives at Casterton, Victoria. Thomas died at Casterton on 5th December 1919. Maria died at Casterton on 27th May 1925. They are both buried in the Casterton cemetery. They had twelve children.

3. Hester was born at Longford on 22nd July 1842. Nothing further is known.

4. Nathaniel was born at Longdford on 15th August 1844. He also moved to Portland. He married his 1st cousin Olivia Hodgetts at Christchurch, Casterton on 20th July 1869. Nathaniel worked as a bullock driver in and around the Casterton area. Sometime before 1888 the family moved to South Australia. Olivia died at New Thebarton, South Australia, less than a week aftrer giving birth to her thirteenth child. Nathaniel died in Adelaide, South Australia on 25th September 1930.

5. Elizabeth was born at Longford on 29th July 1846. She married James Scott, a miller, at Port Sorell, Tasmania on 13th May 1869. They had two children.

6. Emma Jane was born at Longford on 29th July 1846 the twin of Elizabeth. She married Duncan McClaren at Port Sorell on 12th July 1876. They had one child.

James 1817-1903

James was the first Hodgetts child to be born in Tasmania. He was born on 3rd March 1817, the year after John and Olivia arrived in Launceston. He wasn't baptised until almost two years later on 18th January 1819. The ceremony being performed by the Rev. John Youl in John's small blacksmith shop that also served as a church.

James learned his farming skills from his father and made good use of these all his life.  He was almost  24 years old when he married Mary Fagan, at Longford on 2nd February 1841. Mary was born in 1823 the daughter of James Fagan and Rose nee Campbell.

James and Mary lived in Launceston until after the birth of their first child Elizabeth.  After this they moved to McCraes Hills, near Cressy.  By 1858 James was leasing 200 acres near Iveridge from William Pitt.  In 1868 James and Mary moved their family to a 90 acre property near Bell Post Corner at  Cressy, Leased from P & J. Brumby.  By 1882 James had paid for this land as he is listed as the owner.

James retired at the age of 70, and leased the farm to his son John.  After the death of his wife Mary on 25th May 1885, James sold the land and went to live with his son, Henry, at McCraes Hills. It was here that James died on 17th February 1903 aged 86.  James and Mary had thirteen children, one being adopted.

1. William was born at Cressy in 1832. He was adopted by James and Mary. The names of his birth parents are unknown. He married Sarah Ann Griffiths at Cressy on 2nd August 1870. Wiliam and Sarah lived all their lives in Cressy, where William worked as an overseer for the Gatenby family. William died at Cressy on 25th November 1916. Sarah died less than two months later on 13th January 1917. They are both buried in the Cressy Cemetery. They had ten children.

2. Elizabeth was born at Cressy on 14th November 1841. She married William Bunton at Chalmer's Manse, Launceston on 7th August 1877. Nothing further is known.

3. Edward was born at Cressy on 8th May 1843. He was 32 when he married Janetta Wheeler aged 17, at Holy Trinity Church, Cressy on 26th October 1875. However this was not a good marriage, shortly after the birth of their fifth child they separated. Janetta became involved with Edward's cousin Ernest Thomas Hodgetts and moved with him to Victoria, leaving Edward with their five children to bring up on his own. Edward died at Bracknell, Tasmania on 15th May 1912.

4. Henry was born at Cressy on 1st January 1845. He married Isabella Susannah Keating at Cressy on 13th June 1867. Isabella was born at Westbury on 20th May 1850, the daughter of Thomas Keating and Susannah nee Miller. Henry was one of the most successful farmers in the Cressy district, firstly on a property he rented from William Gatenby, then on his own 950 acre property called “Conara”, which he took up in 1894. As well as running “Conara”, henry also ran the 2,873 property of “ Mcraes Hills”, across the road from “Conara”.Henry died at Cressy on 22nd September 1910. Isabella died at McCrae's Hills on 8th December 1930. They had fourteen children.
5. Thomas was born at Cressy on 5th September 1846. He married Frances Agnes Lee at Cressy on 1st July 1873. Frances was born at Cressy on 20th July 1857, the daughter of William Lee and Violet Isobel nee Thompson.

Thomas and Frances lived at Cressy for many years, where Thomas was a farmer and later he worked as a storeman. Between 1892 and 1897 he was employed as a carpenter at “Saundridge”. Some time after 1897, he and his family moved to Ridgley near Burnie. Thomas died at Ridgley in 1917. They had eleven children.

6. Jane was born at Cressy on 18th July 1848. She married John Hill at Cressy on 19th January 1871. They had eight children.

7. John was born at Cressy on 15th August 1850. He married Priscilla Thompson at Cressy on 7th May 1878. Priscilla was born 3rd September 1838, the daughter of James Thompson and Eleanor nee Hunt. John died at Ridgley on 18th February 1918. Priscilla died in 1931. They only had the one child, Percy Samuel.

8. George was born at Cressy on 12th January 1853. George was a licensed victualler at Cressy, probably at the Cressy Hotel. He may have married a Louisa Goss, but no record of the marriage has been found. George died of Typhoid, at Cressy on 20th April 1883, just before the birth of their only child, Angus George, who was born on 30th July 1883. It is not known if Louisa remarried.

9. Mary Maria was born at Cressy on 6th June 1855. She married Charles Smith at Chalmer's Manse, Launceston on 6th April 1879. Charles and Maria farmed a property at Blackwood Creek all their lives. Mary died at Blackwood Creek on 3rd September 1934. They had eleven children.

10. Charles was born at Cressy in 1857. He married Emma Jane Keating at Deloraine, Tasmania on 17th March 1879. Emma was the sister of Isabella Keating who had married Charles's brother Henry. Charles died of spinal paralysis at Burnie, Tasmania on 8th February 1916. They had four children.

11. Alfred James was born at Cressy on 3rd September 1859. He died at Cressy, of inflamation of the lungs, on 10th May 1864, aged only four years.

12. Olivia Rose was born at Cressy on 27th November 1861. She married Alfred Morley at Longford, Tasmania on 10th September 1884. They had only one child, Ida Maud.

13. Richard was born at Cressy on 7th August 1864. He married Martha Boxhill at Cressy on 21st July 1886. Richard died at Ridgley on 15th July1914. They had nine children.

Mary Ann Maria 1819-1902

Mary Ann Maria was in born Longford on 4th March 1819.  The same week her grandparents arrived in Tasmania.  Mary Ann grew up at Bell Post Corner, it was here that she met Thomas Summers, who was working for her father as a farm labourer. They were married at Christ Church, Longford on 25th October 1841. Thomas was a farm labourer and later an overseer in the Cressy district.  They lived all their lives at Cressy. After the death of Thomas on 18th January 1884, Mary Ann moved into Cressy township, where she died in 1902, leaving 7 living children, 48 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Thomas and Mary had fourteen children.  

1. Thomas was born at Cressy on 7th September 1841. Married Catherine Christy. Nothing further is known.

2. Eleanor was born at Cressy on 27th November 1842. Nothing further is known.

3. George was born at Cresy on 24th July 1844. He married Jane Waddington at Longford on 3rd July 1872. George was the Sexton of the Holy Trinity Church at Cressy, from 1897 until his death. He died at Longford on 2nd May 1939. They had two children.

4. Jane was born at Cressy on 13th November 1845. She must have died in infancy, as the next born child was also named Jane.

5. Jane was born at Cressy on 29th November 1846. She also died in infancy, dying at Longford on 14th October 1849.

6. Edmund was born at Cressy on 11th October 1847. Nothing further is known.

7. Elizabeth was born at Longford on 6th September 1849. She married John Stebbings at Longford on 16th March 1870. Northing further is known.

8. Jane was born at Cressy on 18th August 1851, the third child to be given this name. She also died in infancy, at Longford on  11th March 1852.

9. Sarah was born at Cressy on 22nd December 1852. She married William Dent at Longford on 19th April 1881. Nothing further is known.

10. James was born at Cressy on 21st August 1854. Died at Longford on 7th September 1868, aged fourteen.

11. Jonathan was born at Cressy on 21st August 1854, the twin to James. He only lived a little over a week, dying at Cressy on 29th August 1854.

12. Flora was born at Cressy on 31st August 1857. She married Charles Jones at Longford on 18th October 1877. Nothing further is known.

13. Charles Edward was born at Cressy on 2nd July 1861. He died on 1st august 1919. It is thought that he never married.

John 1821-1898

John was born at Longford on 21st April 1821.  John grew up and worked on his father's farm, until in 1844 he in company with his brother Richard sailed for Portland, Victoria.  On arrival in Portland, John, who knew how to handle a bullock team soon found work and set about earning the money to pay for a place of his own.  

In 1847, John returned to Tasmania, only to return later the same year with his brother Thomas.

John who saw the potential in timber set up a sawmill to supply roof shingles and fence palings to the ever growing town of Portland.

He married Catherine Britt at St.Stephen's Church, Portland on 13th December 1854.  Catherine was the daughter of John Britt and Alice Louisa nee Conrick she was born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1831, and had arrived on the “Tudor” in January 1854. After their marriage John and Catherine moved to the Gorea area and lived in a bark hut at what was known as “Hodgetts Swamp”.  They took up a 60 acre selection and built a fine house that stood until about 1920, but is now only marked by a large patch of jonquils.

John Died at Portland on 2nd May 1898.  Mary also died at Portland in February 1914. They are both buried in the Portland Cemetery. They had eleven children, all born at Portland.

1. Olivia Henrietta was on 3rd December 1856. She married a butcher named Thomas Dent at Portland in 1878. Thomas was also born at Portland in 1856, the son of Michah Dent and Barbara nee Bye.

Thomas died at Portland on 10th June 1928. Olivia died at Portland, shortly after on 1st August 1928. They are both buried in Portland Cemetery. They had fourteen children.

2. Patrick James was born on 7th March 1857. He married Susan Johnstone at Portland on 13th June 1889. Susan was born at Portland in 1865, the daughter of John Johnstone and Elizabeth nee Angus. Patrick died at Portland on 9th December 1923. Susan died at Cobram in 1949. They had twelve children.

3. Arthur was born in 1858. Nothing further is known

4. John was born in 1859. Nothing further is known.

5. Richard was born and died in 1860.

6. Charles was born on 5th January 1862. He married Helen Grace Kittson in 1901. Ellen was born at Portland in 1868, the daughter of Hugh Kittson and Margaret nee Jennings. Charles died at Heywood, Victoria on 2nd December 1920. Helen died at Hamilton on 29th July 1943.

7. Elizabeth was born on 8th January 1866. She married John Boyle at All Saint's Church, Portland on 13th November 1889. John was born at Portland in 1858, the son of Richard Boyle and Harriet nee Jory. Elizabeth died at Portland on 30th September 1892, a year after the birth of her 2nd child. John died at Portland on 15th October 1931.

8. Thomas Edward was born on 31st March 1868. He married Agnes Ellen Hollis at Portland in 1898. Agnes was born at Portland in 1869, the daughter of Robert Hollis and Ellen nee Pitcher. Thomas died at Portland on 19th January 1947. Agnes died at Portland on 6th July 1946. It is not known if they had any children.

9. Mary was born on 15th May1870. She married William Atchison at Portland in 1902. Mary died at Portland on 25th February 1932. They had five children.

10. Catherine was born on 10th October 1872. She married Henry Stephens at Portland in 1894. Catherine died at Essendon in 1952. They had one child.

11. Alice Louise, birth date unknown. Died in 1952.

Richard Hodgetts (left) was born on 8th May 1823, not long after his parents John and Olivia moved to Longford.  His early years were spent on the farm of his parents and working with his father in his blacksmith shop.  

On 22nd February 1844, Richard sailed for Portland in Victoria, aboard the Schooner “Essington” with his brother John and cousin John Lucas. The “Essington” was owned by one of the Henty brothers, who had a few years earlier, founded the first settlement in Victoria, at Portland. Richard was going to Portland to escape the depression, which was effecting the farmers of Tasmania.  It is not certain how long. Richard stayed in Portland, but it is thought that he returned to Tasmania about the time of the death of his brother Nathaniel, at Longford on 25th June 1847.

Almost four years later, on 22nd October 1851, Richard once again went to Melbourne, sailing on the “City of Melbourne”. He then on foot to the Victorian goldfields, which were attracting many unemployed men from all over Australia, and indeed the World. Richard returned to Tasmania, without making his fortune, and on 15th May 1854 he married Louisa Wadley at Christ Church, Longford. Louisa was born at Norfolk Plains on 21st May 1836, the eldest child of Thomas Wadley and Rebecca nee Bates, who were farming in the Lake River area.

After their marriage, Richard and Louisa Hodgetts settled in Cressy where Richard leased a farm at Field's Paddock.  Their first child Emma was born there on 1st September 1855 and died there on 26th April 1879, aged 24.  Emma never married.

Richard and Louisa farmed at Field's Paddock until about 1880, then Richard became a teamster for a few years. He was also an overseer for an unknown Cressy property owner, until he decided to move from Cressy around 1880. He moved to Longford and became a milkman until he retired and settled permanently in Longford. The house that Richard rented in Longford, was on the very same block of land that his father John had been granted in 1830.  The house faced onto Pakenham Street.  Richard died in this house on 22nd July 1893 and was buried in the grounds of Christ Church, Longford.       Left Louisa Hodgetts nee Wadley

After Richard's death, Louisa purchased the house and lived there until her death on 12th January 1915.  She was buried with her husband on 13th January 1915.  Her obituary in the local press read:-
"The funeral of the late Mrs. Richard Hodgetts took place at the Longford Anglican cemetery on Thursday afternoon, where there was a large attendance of relatives and friends from the surrounding district.  The Rev. L.T. Tarlton conducted the services in the church and at the graveside. Miss. M. Wright played the “Dead March in Saul as the coffin was carried from the sacred edifice.  The six sons and a number of grandsons were the chief mourners.  
A large number of beautiful floral tributes were placed on the grave. The deceased had been a resident of Longford for upwards of 40 years.  Her husband predeceased her many years ago.  She leaves one daughter (Mrs. Austin) and six sons".  

Three of Richard and Louisa's sons never married and lived in the old house until it was sold after the death of the last son, Amos George (Jack), on 18th October 1958.

The Hodgetts family home at Longford

Jane 1825-?

Jane was born at Longford on 16th July 1825.  She was 24 years of age  when she married Samuel Parfeet at Christ Church, Longford on 10th October 1849. Samuel was a ticket of leave convict who had not yet served out his full sentence, and thus he needed permission from the Governor to marry. Nothing is known of their life, except that they had three children.

1. Henry was born at Longford on 6th January 1851. Nothing further is known.  

2. Elizabeth was born at Longford on 23rd July 1852. She married her 2nd cousin Edward Lucas, at Longford on 8th March 1877. Elizabeth died at Longford on 20th June 1900. Edward died at Longford in April 1903.

3. Jane was born at Longford on 8th March 1854. Nothing further is known.

Elizabeth 1827-1884

Elizabeth was probably born at Longford about 1827-28. This can not be comfirmed as records of her birth have never been found. She was only sixteen, when she married John Saltmarsh, a blacksmith, at Longford on 14th May 1844. John was born at Launceston about 1821, the son of William Saltmarsh and Elizabeth nee Stevens. After their marriage, John worked as a blacksmith until 1856, when he took up farming at Muddy Plains, now known as Pateena. Elizabeth died at Longford on 5th December 1884. John died on 6th May 1891. Nothing else is known of them other than that they had fourteen children.

1. Emma was born at Longford on 18th March 1845. She married Joseph Torley at Launceston on 19th January 1869. They had two children.

2.  Henry William was born at Longford on 28th July 1846. Thought to have died in infancy.

3. William was born at Longford on 10th June 1848. Died at Longford on 9th October 1868, aged twenty. He never married.

4. Eliza was born at Longford on 13th December 1850. She married Robert Wise at Longford on 22nd April 1874. Robert was born at Longford on 15th July 1855, the son of Richard Wise and Mary nee Saltmarsh. Robert died at Longford 3rd October 1912. They had four children.

5. Elizabeth Olivia was born at Longford on 25th January 1854. She married William Wise at Longford on 17th July 1872. William was the brother of Robert Wise who was to marry her sister Eliza. Elizabeth died at Longford on 1st May 1891. William died at Longford on 9th July 1922. They had four children.

6. John was born at Longford on 14th December 1855. He married Elizabeth Letitia Dilworth at Longford on 30th March 1881. Elizabeth was born at Westbury, Tasmania on 3rd November 1854. They had eight children.

7. Mary was born at Longford on 6th February 1858. She married Thomas Bartlett at Launceston on 12th June 1890. Nothing further is known.

8. Jane was born at Longford on 19th February 1860. She married William Smith at Launceston on 25th May 1894. They had one child.

9. James Henry was born at Longford on 29th July 1861. Nothing further is known.

10. Charles was born at Longford on 28th August 1863. He married Rowlina Jane Bussey at Longford on 13th June 1888. They had five children.

11. Thomas Richard was born at Longford on 1st July1865. He married Elizabeth Grigg at Longford on 25th September 1890. Nothing further is known.

12. Hannah was born at Longford on 4th April 1867. Nothing further is known.

13. Edith Sarah was born at Longford on 29th August 1870. She married William George Bird at Longford on 20th March 1889. They had four children.

14. Joseph was born at Longford on 21st October 1872. Nothing further is known.

Sarah 1829-?

Sarah was born at Longford on 27th April 1829  She was 19 years old when she married John Miller at Longford on 23rd October 1848. Very little is known about their lives except they lived in the Longford and Cressy district and had seven children.

Henrietta 1831-1859

Henrietta was born at Longford on 30th December 1831. She was 25 years old when she married the 34 year old Charles Smith at Christchurch, Longford on 19th July 1855. They had only one child, George who was born on 6th august 1857, he died two years later on 28th August 1859. Sadly, Harriet, as she was called all her life, died at Cressy four months after the birth of George  on the day before Christmas, 24th December 1859.

Hester 1835-1916

Hester was born at Longford on 29th January 1835.  She married her 1st cousin Daniel Hodgetts who was the son of James Hodgetts and Mary nee Cox at Longford on 11th November 1853.  It must have been a hurried affair, as a son, Victor was born a little over a month later at Cressy, on 24th December 1853.

Daniel and Hester's early life together was spent farming with the rest of the Hodgetts clan on Field's Paddocks in the Cressy district.  

Daniel and Hester moved to Rosevale in 1864, where he purchased 50 acres on a hillside overlooking the Rosevale Creek.  This farm was named “Hill Green”. Daniel made a reasonable living from mixed farming.

Daniel died of phloric disease on 1st March 1879.  After Daniel's death Hester took up more land across the creek making a total of 119 acres, with a boundary on the main road. In 1880 a new house was built on this land by Charles Sydes, it was of split weather boards, with a wooden shingle roof.  Hester died at this home on !9th January 1916. Daniel and Hester had fourteen children.

1. Victor Horace was born at Cressy on 24th December 1853. Died on 28th June 1930. Victor had a son, Thomas Edward, born at Westbury in December 1877. The mother's name is unknown, or if he was married. Victor died on 28th June 1930.

2. Rosella Constance was born at Cressy on 30th March 1855. She never married, but had two children, their father's name is unknown. Rosella died at Rosevale on 22nd June 1876.

3. Lillias Clemantine was born at Cressy on 19th October 1856. She married John Lett about 1877. Lillias died on 27th January 1889. They had only one child.

4. A female child was born at Cressy on 6th June 1858. She only lived three days dying on 9th June 1858. Unfortunatly because of her short life she was not named.

5. Belinda Grace was born at Cressy on 30th August 1859. She married Jeremiah Arnold at St.Mary's Church, Hagley, Tasmania on 15th June 1886. They had nine children.

6. Eugene Earle Harold was born at Cressy on 23rd October 1861. He died at Rosevale on 2nd April !935. It is thought he never married.

7. Alman Albert was born at Rosevale in 1864. He married Jane Elizabeth Davies at Emu Bay, Tasmania on 20th March 1889. Jane was born on 5th June 1864, the daughter of James Davies and Jane nee Jamieson. About 1899 Alman and his family moved to Victoria. Alman died at Carnegie on 6th September 1942. Elizabeth died at Malvern in 1955. They had nine children.

8. William George was born at Rosevale on 5th December 1865. Sometime before 1901 he went to New Zealand where he met and married Eileen Ann Corkery. They only had the one daughter.

9. Alberta Rose was born at Rosevale on 21st August 1867. She married James Smith at Launceston on 12th December 1895. She died at Rosevale in 1911. They had seven children.

10. Ernest James was born at Rosevale on 26th May 1869. He also went to New Zealand. In 1901, he married Mary Corkery the sister of Eileen who married his brother William. They had six children.

11. Charles Daniel was born at Rosevale on 24th March 1871. He married Rosa May Chandler. He died in 1951. Rosa died in 1956. They had seven children.

12. Mary Ann was born at Rosevale on 5th October 1873. She married Thomas Trinder Rocher at Queenstown, Tasmania on 24th May 1906. They had three children.

13. Ida Bertha was born at Rosevale on 19th October 1875. She married Henry Hall about 1907. They had three children before Henry died in 1915.

14. Thomas was born at Rosevale on 3rd November 1877. He lived less than three years, dying at rosevale on 1st June 1880.

Charles 1837-1928

Charles was born at Bell Post Corner near Cressy on 29th December 1837. He spent the early part of his life on the property at Bell Post Corner, which was  next door to the first Chapel to be built in Cressy.

His brothers had all left home by the time he was born, and as he grew up he used to watch his father working in his blacksmith shop. He used to enjoy watching the sparks fly from the forge on the cold frosty mornings.

When he was about four or five years old his father took him and the family to live at “Ashton”, which was situated on the Elphinstone Road.
Charles lived at “Ashton” until his mother's death in 1851, then he went to live with his older brother James who was to die in 1854.

Charles married Mary Ann Wadley at Bishopsbourne on 15th July 1863. Mary Ann was born in Evandale in March 1841. Her parents were William Wadley and Sarah nee  Bates. She was a cousin of  Louisa Wadley who had married Charles's older brother Richard.

As a youth Charles had worked very hard and saved his money, enough to buy himself a horse and cart and start a carrier business. At the time of their marriage this  business was doing quite well.

Shortly after their marriage Charles and Mary Ann purchased 100 acres of land at Blackwood Creek, which they added to from time to time as they could afford it.

Their first child was born on 16th May 1864, and named Olivia after Charles's mother.

It was about this time that a man named Williams, asked if Charles and Mary Ann could take care of his little daughter aged three. He promised he would be back to collect her later, but he never came back, so the girl, named Mary Ann was brought up as one of the family.

Charles operated his carrier business around the Blackwood Creek, Cressy, Longford, Bishopsbourne and Bracknell area for many years. He would drop the mail in at the various towns and properties in the area, which made him the first unofficial postman in the district.

They were still living at Blackwood Creek, when Charles was approached by officials of the Union Bank (now the A.N.Z.). They wanted to clear up a problem concerning the land on which the bank's building stood. Apparently the bank had built their building on land that Charles' father, John still had a claim to, as Charles was the last surviving son, he was asked to sign away all claim to the land, he declined.  Bank officials made the trip to Blackwood Creek six times trying to change his mind, which he never did.

Mary Ann died at Blackwood Creek on 26th December 1918. Shortly after her death Charles went to live with his daughter Olivia and her husband William Philpott, at their home at Golden Valley. He stayed there for a short time. Then moved in with his youngest daughter Ellen (Nell) and her husband William Spencer, at “Westmoore” near Cressy. He died there on 28th December 1928 aged 92 years. Charles and Mary Ann had seven children of their own, as well as the adopted Mary Ann.

1. Mary Ann (Williams) was born in 1861. She married Charles Woodbury. Nothing further is known.

2. Olivia was born at Blackwood Creek on 16th May 1864. She married William Philpott at Longford on her 24th birthday 16th May 1888. They had seven children.

3. Sarah Jane was born at Blackwood Creek on 1st April 1866. She lived less than a year, dying at Blackwood Creek on 29th December 1866.

4. Charles Edward was born at Blackwood Creek on 11th February 1867. He married Lily May Spencer at Blackwood Creek (date unknown). They never had any children of their own, but adopted a boy they named Ernest Leslie, and a girl they named Edna Jean.

5. Elizabeth was born at Blackwood Creek on 22nd December 1869. Nothing further is known.
6. Ada Grace Lavinia was born at Blackwood Creek on 11th March 1871. Died at Launceston on 10th August 1962.

7. John William was born at Blackwood Creek on 18th February 1873. He married Alma Bethune Hughes about 1901. Alma died 20th August 1948. John died on 4th June 1955, they are buried in the Cressy Cemetery. They had five children.

8. Ellen Mary was born at Blackwood Creek on 8th August 1875. She married William Thomas Spencer at Longford on 27th May 1896. William was born at Longford on 22nd December 1868, the son of James Spencer and Maria nee Jordan.  William was the brother of Lily May, who had married her brother Charles. William died on 17th July 1955. They had three children.

Fourth Generation


Emma 1855-1879

Emma was born on 1st September 1855 at Norfolk Plains.  Emma was the first of Richard and Louisa's children, but nothing is known of her life. She died on 26th April 1879 at Cressy.

Arthur William 1859-1924

Arthur William was born at Norfolk Plains on 19th January 1859.  Arthur was known as “Con”  throughout his life. Arthur married Sarah Jane Saunders, about 1880. Sarah was born at Hobart on 19th July 1855. After their marriage Arthur and Sarah lived at Bishopsbourne for a short time. They later moved to Bracknell, where Arthur found work as a farm labourer and anything else he could, working in a sawmill or as a trapper,  he was also the local S.P. bookie. He was also a quite accomplished artist, and after Sunday dinner would often bring out his paper and pencils and draw for the family. Arthur died at his home in Bracknell on 6th July 1924.  Sarah died in 1953, aged 98. Arthur and Sarah had only one child. Anna Agnes born on 22nd February 1881. She was known as Hannah for most of her life. Anna married Alfred Williamson at Longford on 19th November 1897, at the age of sixteen. She passed away on 12th February 1987, ten days before her 106th  birthday.

Albert Richard 1861-1954

Albert Richard was born at Cressy on 3rd January 1861.  He was a tall and very large man, as were most of the Hodgetts family. He could use his size to bluff his way out of any situation, thus his nickname “Bluff”. Albert married Harriet Jane Reynolds at Deloraine, the ceremony taking place at the home of Harriet's mother on 15th August 1891. Harriet was born on 16th March 1867 the daughter of William Roe Reynolds and Elizabeth nee Saunders. Albert was a jack of all trades, and could turn his hand to almost anything, he was a shearer, timber cutter, trapper and could operate a Blake's threshing machine. Albert died at Launceston on 11th September 1954. There were seven children from this marriage.

Mary Ann 1862-abt 1950

Mary Ann was born at Cressy on 5th December 1862. In her childhood years she was known as “Polly”. She married James Austin, an Englishman who had come to Australia with his brother and taken up shearing in New South Wales. James won the New South Wales Shearing Championship when he was 19 years old. Shortly after this he moved to Tasmania and his brother returned to England.  

James and Mary Ann lived in a small hut at Blackwood Creek, from which James travelled all over the district working as a shearer and doing odd jobs. Mary Ann was exposed to many hardships while she reared her family, quite a lot of the time she was alone while James was working on distant properties. James was working on the property, “Saundridge” a few miles from the hut, the day that Mary Ann had to walk 20 kilometres into Cressy with a sick child.  This was probably James Henry, who died when only a few years old. In later life they had a shop in Canning Street, Launceston.  They also had another shop at the Sandhill. Mary Ann died at the home of her brother Albert, in Launceston in the 1950's.  It is not known when James died.  They had at least 18 children.  

Alfred Edward 1865-1865

Alfred Edward was born at Cressy on 15th January 1865. He unfortunatly only  survived for six months, dying  at Cressy on 20th July 1865.

Ernest Thomas 1867-1945

Ernest ThomasHodgetts (left) was born on 25th January 1867, at Norfolk Plains.  He grew up around the Cressy district, where he worked as farm labourer.

Some time in the late 1880's, Ernest Thomas and Janetta Hodgetts nee Wheeler ran away to Melbourne.  Janetta was the wife of Ernest's cousin Edward Hodgetts. It is quite possible that Janetta was pregnant to Ernest at the time, and running away to Victoria was the easiest way to avoid a scandal!  They always maintained that they were married, but this was impossible, as Janetta was still married to Edward.

They first settled in the suburb of Clifton Hill, where the first of their nine children was born.  Albert Melfort Ferdinand born 19th December 1889.  They later moved to Williamstown, where in 1893 Janetta gave birth to stillborn twins, probably at the home of her mother, who had moved to Williamstown some years previously. The twins were not named and on their birth certificate, Janetta gave her name as Cressy. The next born was Gladys, she was born on 24th February 1894.  Another set of twins was born in 1897.  Named Dorothy Ruth and Thomas, they also died at birth.  

In 1900 Janetta gave birth to another son, William.  In 1902 she gave birth to her last child, another daughter, Janetta (Jean).  Both of these were to survive into adulthood. Sometime after the birth of their last child, they moved to Port Melbourne, where Ernest Thomas was employed by the Williamstown City Council to operate the Short Road Ferry across the Yarra River. (This has now been replaced by the West Gate Bridge).

Short Road Ferry Across the Yarra River

After the death of Janetta, at the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum at Cheltenham on 10th April 1940, Ernest Thomas went to live with with his eldest son, Albert Melfort. Ernest Thomas died in Richmond on 12 September 1945.  Ernest and Janetta are both buried at Preston Cemetery, their grave marked by a simple wooden cross, bearing the inscription R.I.P.

Amos George Ferdinand 1869-1958

Amos George Ferdinand was born at Cressy on 20th February 1869.  He was called Jack throughout his life, which probably saved him a lot of embarrassment. In his youth Amos was a very good sportsman, he was quite well known as a runner and played Australian Rules Football for South Esk ( now Longford Football Club).

Amos was a shearer, but he could also operate a variety of threshing machines, he was also quite handy with an axe.  He moved around a fair bit, one day would find him in a sawmill at Blackwood Creek, the next he would turn up in Victoria shearing sheep. He remained a bachelor all his life, living in a small room he built onto the back of his mother's house.  He died there on 18th  October 1958.

Percival John Leanard 1873-1873

Percival John Leanard was born at Cressy on 22nd January 1873, but lived only eight months, dying on 14th September 1873.

Denton Rufus Winthrop 1875-1950

Denton Rufus Winthrop was born at Cressy on 20th September 1875.  He was also known all his life by his nickname “Bluey”. He was a large man like his brothers, but was very conscious of the fact that he had a very short neck, and would often ask his mates, “ I have got a neck, haven't I ?”. He owned and operated a billiard saloon in Longford. He was also a keen betting man and very fond of horse racing. He also remained a bachelor and lived with his brothers in his mother's old house until his death on 31st July 1950.

Erskine Nathaniel Archibald 1878-1955

Erskine Nathaniel Archibald was born at Cressy on 16th December 1878.  He used the name “Nat” all his life.  

Nat was another big man and liked to box, as did most of his brothers. He was a very good boxer and won many contests and bouts, beating some well known Australian champions of the time. He didn't take the sport seriously and only fought for the fun of it.
He worked all over Tasmania and Victoria as a shearer and any other job that he could get.  He always dropped in on his many cousins when he happened to be in the area. He never married. He died in the old house at Longford that he shared with his other bachelor brothers on 28th September 1955.

Fifth Generation



Albert Melfort Ferdinand Hodgetts (right) was born at Clifton Hill on 19th December 1889.  He was to use the name “Mel” all his life, and disliked being called Albert or Bert.

Albert attended the Williamstown State School, where he met and was friends with a Mary Edith Henderson, who he was to met again a few years later, when one of his four daughters was to marry one of her sons.  

Albert married Florence Nellie Ray Donelly, at St.John's Church, Riddell's Creek on 19th March 1913.  Florence was born on 17th July 1894, the daughter of Frederick Henry Donelly and Clara Ellen, nee Branson. It is not known how they met, but is possible it was while he was in Riddell's Creek visiting Wheeler relatives.

Albert worked as a wharf labourer on the coal wharves for quite a few years, firstly unloading ships manually, by the bag full, carried on his back, and later with the aid of mechanical grabs and conveyer belts. Later he was to find employment at David Mitchell Estates, unloading lime from railway trucks.

Florence died in August 1929, at Greenvale Sanatorium, of consumption (tuberculosis).  She was buried at Williamstown Cemetery on 15th August 1929.
After the death of Florence, Albert was consoled by his sister-in-law, Lillian Agnes Hodgetts, nee Lasseter. Lillian's husband William Peter Hodgetts having been killed in an accident in 1925. Albert and Lillian married in 1932.  There were two children from this marriage, Arthur Melfort born 1939 and William born 1944.

In the early 1950's, Albert was able to buy a small poultry farm at Dingley, using money received as compensation for lung damage caused by years of breathing coal dust and lime fumes.

Lillian died in the Queen Victoria Hospital on 18th January 1962. After her death Albert sold the poultry farm and moved into a small unit at Noble Park, where he lived alone until his death of malnutrition in the Dandenong Hospital on 1st August 1974.

Albert Hodgetts & Florence nee Donelly

Un-named Twin Girls 1893-1893

The twins were born at Clifton Hill in 1893. They died a few days later at Williamstown.

Gladys Louisa 1894 -1981

Gladys Louisa was born at Clifton Hill on 24th February 1894. She married William John Burgess at the Holy Trinity Church in Port Melbourne on 19th February 1914.  Gladys died at Greensborough on 13th April 1981. They had five children.

1. Gladys Ann Ruth born at Port Melbourne in 1914. Died at Croydon, Victoria in 1977. Married ?? Banks.

2. Thomas William Alfred born at Port Melbourne in 1918. Nothing further is known.  

3. George Reginald Vernon born at Northcote, Victoria in 1920. Nothing further is known.

4. Jean born ??. Nothing further is known.

5. William born ??. Nothing further is known

Dorothy Ruth 1897-1897

Dorothy Ruth was born at Williamstown in July 1897. She only lived a short time, dying at Williamstown in august 1897.

Thomas Malcolm 1897-1897

Thomas Malcolm was born at Williamstown in July 1897, the twin of Dorothy. He only lived a few hours.

William Peter Vernon 1900-1925

William was born at Williamstown in 1900. He married Lillian Agnes Lasseter at the Holy Trinity Church, Port Melbourne on 28th June 1924. Lillian was born in Phelps, in the State of New York, United States of America on the 3rd of June 1905, the daughter of Lewis Herbert Lasseter and Florence Elizabeth nee Scott. (Lewis Herbert Lasseter was also known as Harold Bell Lasseter of lost gold reef fame).

William and Lillian (left) only had one child a daughter, Hazel, born in 1925. Hazel married Reginald Good in 1943, and now lives in Penguin, Tasmania.

William died as a result of an accident on 8th April 1925, when he put his head out of a tram and was hit by another tram going in the opposite direction.

Janetta 1902-1938

Janetta was born at Williamstown in 1902. She married Reginald Dykes on 12th March 1921. She died at Fairfield on 30th May 1938. They had two children.

1. Ruth born ??. Nothing further is known.

2. Rae Janetta born in 1929. died at Carlton on 9th December 1937.

Sixth Generation


Clara Janetta 1913 - 1959

Clara Janetta was born at Port Melbourne in October 1913. Clara was known as  “Nettie” all her life. She married Robert Henry Malley at St.Bartholemew's Church, Burnley in 1937. (left)

Robert Malley was the son of Henry Ward Malley and Elsie May, nee Price. He was born at Powllet River near, Walhalla in Victoria in 1913.  In his early years he worked in the timber industry around the Walhalla district. After their marriage, Robert opened a small engineering business that he named “Milo engineering”, the main business carried out by this firm was the maintenance of the conveyer system at General Motors Holden.
Nettie died at Glen Iris on 28th February 1959 and was cremated at Springvale Crematorium on 3rd March 1959.  A few years after Nettie's death Robert married again, the name of his second wife is not known.

Robert died at Mallacoota on 26th March 1980, his body was cremated at Springvale and his ashes buried at Mallacoota.

Robert and Nettie had three children.

1. Joan was born at Camberwell on 14th June 1938.  On 10th December 1955 she married Ivan Gardner, the son of Albert Henry Gardner and Lillian May nee White.

Joan and Ivan have  three children. Kerry Iris Maree born 21st May 1956. Robert Ivan Henry born 29th June 1958 and Raylene Michele born 9th March 1960.

2. Elaine Joy was born on 19th November 1945. Married John Brodie at Christ Church, Richmond on 2nd October 1965. They have two children. Melissa Jane born at Prahran on 19th October 1969 and Dean Robert Edward born at Prahran on 21st May 1971.

3. Glenda was born on 9th September 1950.

Frederick Thomas Nathaniel Erskine 1916-

Frederick Thomas Nathaniel Erskine (left) was born on 1st November 1916, at Port Melbourne. “Nat” as he preferred to be known, married Betty Riley at St. Bartholemew's Church, Burnley on 15th August 1938.  Betty was the daughter of William Charles Riley and Agnes nee Burchell. There is some confusion as to what Betty's surname is, as according to her birth certificate, her father's name is John Ryan. However on her mother's death certificate, the surname is given as Reilly. Betty died at the "Villa O'Neill Nursing Home", Prahran, Victoria on 9th June 1994.

Nat worked in the Hotel industry all his life, mostly as a bar manager.  Family legend also has it that he also ran an S.P. bookmaking operation.

Nat and Betty had two daughters.

1. Shirley was born at Carlton on 3rd April 1939. Married Barry John Pearson at All Saint's Church, Windsor on 6th June 1959. They have three children.

2.  Sandra was born at Prahran on 30th November 1944. Married Reginald Leach at All Saint's Church on 21st March 1964.

Walter William1919-1919

Walter William was born at Port Melbourne in January 1919. He only lived a short time dying in January 1919.


Elsie Florence Orita was born on 20th January 1920 at North Melbourne. Elsie married Frank Lonsdale Blackwell Lee at St. Bartholemew's Church Burnley, on 1st April 1939.  Elsie is covered in detail in the Lee chapter of this history.

Betty May 1923-

Betty May (left) was born on 29th April 1923, at Kensington Victoria. She married Vincent Gilbert Dingey at St. Bartholemew's Church, Burnley on 20th September 1941.  Vin's real parents are unknown, as he was adopted as a baby.

Shortly after their marriage, Vin joined the army and was serving with the Ambulance Corps in Western Australia, when he heard that the Airforce was looking for volunteers for aircrew.  He volunteered and was transferred to the Airforce and was sent to England, where he served as a tail gunner in Lancaster bombers.  He was shot down over occupied territory in the later part of the war and spent some time in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.

After the war Vin became a house painter.  His one passion was fishing, and it was while he was on his way down Oliver's Hill, Frankston, on his way home from a  fishing trip that he was involved in a car accident, this resulted in the loss of his right arm.  He always says that it was ironic that he went right through the war even surviving being shot down, without a scratch, only to lose his arm in peace time. Vin and Betty had four children.  
1. Raymond, born at Edithvale on 7th August 1942.

2. Susan, born at Chelsea on 12th June 1946.

3. Ronald, born at Burwood on 28th February 1952.

4. Peter, born at Box Hill on 14th March 1959.

Dorothy 1925- 1944

Dorothy was born in 1925. She died of Tuberculosis at Creswick in Cental Victoria,  in March 1944. She was buried in the Williamstown Cemetery on 4th March 1944, aged eighteen years.


Arthur Melfort 1939 - 1996

Arthur was born at Richmond in 1939. He married Beverley Irene Lawson at Ormond, Victoria in 1958. Arthur died of Cirrhosis at Preston on 18th March 1996.
They had three children. Patricia Anne, Steven William and Colin Arthur.     

William 1944 -

William was born at Richmond in 1944. Nothing further is known.