Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Australia Day Challenge 2014: C’mon Aussie

My blogging buddy, Pauleen from Family History Across the Seas has organised a fun little meme for Australia Day. As I blogged for Australia Day in previous years - 201120122013 I simply "had to" take part for 2014, although I have not answered all the questions.

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was: George Bridges Bellasis and his wife Esther nee King who I blogged about in 2011 (and many times since). George was an officer in the Honourable East India Company and was transported on a ship called "The Fly" for killing a man in a duel for being dishonourable to his sister in law. George was pardoned and returned to India and his previous role in the HEIC. Meanwhile, Esther left behind in Australia this lovely piece of artwork, one of the earliest pieces painted by a woman.

This is called "The Carrajan by Mrs Bellasis, Sydney" and was painted circa 1803. I sent off to the archive, The Mitchell Library, State Library for NSW, for a electronic copy and it is one of my genealogical treasures.

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from: My family lines that went to Australia were all from England.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? Yes, some did. John Ellis and his wife Sarah migrated to Geelong in Victoria in 1854 under an assisted migrant scheme. John Hunt Butcher and his wife Sarah migrated under completely their own steam to Victoria and then to Tasmania in 1821. Branches of that family moved west to Western Australia.

Did one person lead the way and others follow? Yes, In the case of John Ellis and his family they were followed by Sarah Ellis' brother Josiah Turpin who travelled with his nephew Josiah Ellis a year later. John Hunt Butcher was I believed tempted to try the new land through his brother in law William James Burchell who was a famous botanist who had spent time in South Africa and South America.

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place?Other lines of Burchell family were planning to migrated to Australia, as they applied (and were granted a land grand) but stopped off in South Africa to see other family and stayed there.

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? Go home, who would really want to? The only one was George Bridges Bellasis who was pardoned and returned to India via England.

The Section of the meme called NOW IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU I have decided to miss out however, I have had family members since 1803 somehow involved with Australia the last member of my family to migrate there was in 1947. So is Australia and the travelling gene in my blood? Quite possibly.

As to a Australian bucket list destination - I have travelled a fair bit in Australia, but something that is on my list is to do what I have called the Hunt Butcher circuit. I want to explore the destinations of the family of John Hunt Butcher.


  1. So good to see you celebrating Australua Day from afar, Julie.

  2. Sorry Julie, losing the plot!! I was sure I'd commented. I'm so pleased you joined all of us in this meme because we give you honorary Aussie status - and hope you realise that's a compliment ;) I was taken by the family getting side-tracked as they plainly felt it suited them better. I loved that dainty flower when you shared it with us...so wonderful to "have".

  3. Yes that is certainly a beautiful painting.

    Happy Australia Day :)

  4. The artwork is gorgeous. It is excellent that we can access so much digitally.

    Happy Australia Day
    Anne from Ballarat

  5. Anonymous1:50 am

    Glad to see you have lots of connections with Australia.


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