Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Books about Individual First Fleeters

Family historians encompass a whole spectrum of players, ranging from dabblers through amateur enthusiasts to fully professional researchers, for whom their work is serious history.

Good family history gets the chronology precisely right, and this can give you an excellent insight into what was cause and what was effect. In that way rigorous family history can actually contribute significantly to our understanding of Australian history.

The research required for a family history is extremely frustrating, and is a long, boring grind. Sorting out who was who among people with the same names, or working out that people whose names are spelt differently each time are one and the same person, requires a great deal of patience and considerable detective skills.

A combination of these difficulties, patchy source material and the need for writing skills means that published biographies of the 1500 people on the First Fleet remain scanty. Being extremely difficult and time-consuming to research, only someone with a passionate interest, such as a descendant, would ever persevere with the task.

Some of the publications listed below are little more than a few pages long, offering just snippets of information cobbled together, not always even in sequential order. Others contain lists of descendants with very little biographical material. There are several websites containing information of varying accuracy and credibility about First Fleeters but those listed below are the work of recognised researchers. More and more full-length books are beginning to emerge.

While researching my own book about Robert Forrester, prior to its publication in 2009 (with a revised edition coming soon), I began to compile a list of publications about individuals who arrived with the First Fleet. The list has expanded since then. I welcome contact from anyone who can add further titles which could be described as a biographical work on a First Fleeter.

Last updated on 4 August 2018 (thanks to input from readers).

1. ESTHER ABRAHAMS (Convict)
GEORGE JOHNSTON (Marine Officer)
Marine Officer, Convict Wife – the Johnstons of Annandale, Alan Roberts, Annandale Urban Research Association in association with Barbara Beckett Publishing, 2008

2. THOMAS ACRES (Convict)
Thomas Acres (Akers): convict, First Fleet, per "Charlotte" 26.1.1788, some Australian descendants, compiled by John Walker, Privately Published, 2008, 2 vols

3. JOHN ANDERSON (Convict)
ELIZABETH BRUCE (Convict)
Story of Two First Fleet Convicts, John Anderson & Elizabeth Bruce, Robert Taylor, Privately Published, 1985, 8 pp

4. JACOB BELLETT (Convict)
Of Angels and Eagles, Vol 1 of The Garth Trilogy, a novel by L F McDermott, Published by Lynette McDermott, 2016, 318 pp (see also Edward Garth and Susannah Gough)

5. WILLIAM BOGGIS (Convict)
Where Honour Guides the Prow, by Elisabeth Curtis & Gillian Doyle, Self-Published, 1987, 272 pp (very little about Boggis; mostly about Charles Thompson, who married William Boggis’ daughter Elizabeth)

6. JAMES BRADLEY (Convict)
Convicted: A Fascinating History of Colonial Australia Told Through Three Generations of One Family, Peter Bradley, Ventura Press, 2018, 400 pp

7. MARY BRAUND (BRYANT) (Convict)
WILLIAM BRYANT (Convict)
To Brave Every Danger – The Epic Life of Mary Bryant of Fowey, Judith Cook, Truran, 1999, 256 pp
The Girl from Botany Bay, a novel by Carolly Erickson, (John Wiley & Sons, 2005), 234 pp
Plus a number of other books about their escape from NSW in 1791

8. WILLIAM BROUGHTON (Free)
William Broughton and the Kennedy connection, Margaret Carty. M. Carty, Melbourne, 1987, 198 pp

9. ELIZABETH BRUCE (Convict) – see JOHN ANDERSON (Convict)

10. WILLIAM BRYANT (Convict) - see MARY BRAUND (BRYANT) (Convict)

11. ANN COLPITTS (Convict)
Ann Colpitts – First Fleet Convict Pioneer, Anthony Laffan, Self-Published, Brighton-le-Sands, 2009

12. JAMES BRYAN CULLEN (Convict)
No Room for Regret: Exiled: to nowhere, with no-one, with nothing, Janeen Ann O'Connell, Self-Published, 2018, 332 pp

13. BENJAMIN CUSLEY (Marine)
Benjamin Cusley, First Fleeter, Maureen A Williams, Privately Published, 1995, 72 pp

14. WILLIAM DAWES (Marine)
The Lieutenant, a novel by Kate Grenville, Canongate Books, 2010, 320 pp

15. WILLIAM DEW (Marine)
A First Fleet Family - A Hitherto Unpublished Narrative of Certain Remarkable Adventures Compiled from the Papers of Sergeant William Dew, Louis Becke & Walter Jeffery, Kessinger Publishing Legacy Reprint, 2010, 286 pp. A novel - see my review.

16. DEBORAH ELLAM (Convict)
JOHN HERBERT (Convict, Charlotte)
First Fleeter John Herbert – His Life and Times, Cecil Herbert, Privately Published, 1988, 91 pp
First fleeters, John Herbert and Deborah Ellam: their lives and the descent of the Bamford, Bates and Kay families, Arthur Chapman, Privately published, 1987, 43 pp

17. MATTHEW EVERINGHAM (Convict)
Matthew Everingham – A First Fleeter and His Times, Valerie Ross, Library of Australian History, 1980, 165 pp
The Everingham letterbook / letters of a First Fleet convict, edited by Valerie Ross, Anvil Press, c 1985, 183 pp
Also an entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography

18. ANN FORBES (Convict)
Guilty, no chattels, to be hanged : the story of Ann Forbes, First Fleet convict, Ian Forster, Privately Published, 1991, 144 pp

19. ROBERT FORRESTER (Convict)
Robert Forrester, First Fleeter, Louise Wilson, Privately Published, 2009, 442 pp, see http://louisewilson.com.au/robert_forrester.html

20. WILLIAM FRASER (Convict) - see ELLEN REGISTER (Convict)

21. EDWARD GARTH (Convict)
Of Angels and Eagles, Vol 1 of The Garth Trilogy, a novel by L F McDermott, Published by Lynette McDermott, 2016, 318 pp (see also Jacob Bellett and Susannah Gough)

22. ANDREW GOODWIN (Convict)
'Legacy of Andrew Goodwin & Lydia Munro', Patricia Kennedy, Privately Published, 2015, 192 pp
also Heaven and Hell Together, the Goodwin family website created by John Horton & Carol Brill, archived by the National Library of Australia

23. SUSANNAH GOUGH (Convict)
Of Angels and Eagles, Vol 1 of The Garth Trilogy, a novel by L F McDermott, Published by Lynette McDermott, 2016, 318 pp (see also Jacob Bellett and Edward Garth)

24. WILLIAM HAMBLY (Ship's carpenter)
The convict and the carpenter : a history of Mary Springham and William Hambly and their descendants / Trish Wood ; edited by Rick Snell, 360 pp, N. Hobart, Tas. : R.G. and P.V. Wood, 1990.

25. JOHN HARRIS (Convict)
John Harris, first fleet emancipist, compiled by Laurence Halloran, Privately Published, 1992, 62 pp
Also an entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography

26. JOHN HERBERT (Convict, Charlotte) - see DEBORAH ELLAM (Convict)

27. PETER HIBBS (Seaman)
Sailing on .... The Hibbs Line, Allen Maunder, Privately published, Schofields NSW, 1995

28. HUGH HUGHES (Convict)
In memory of a First Fleeter: the story of the Hughes family of Parramatta, Valerie Collyer, Privately Published, 2002, 99 pp

29. RICHARD JOHNSON (Free)
Australia’s First Preacher: the Rev Richard Johnson, first chaplain of New South Wales, James Bonwick, 1817-1906, Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1898, London

30. GEORGE JOHNSTON (Marine Officer) – see ESTHER ABRAHAMS (Convict)

31. HENRY KABLE (Convict)
Kable: the story of Henry Kable, First Fleet convict extraordinaire, June Whittaker, Privately Published, 2002, 620 pp
Damned rascals? a chronicle of Henry & Susannah Kable, 1764-1846, Paul Kable & June Whittaker, Kable Pictorial, 2007, 176 pp

32. JANE LANGLEY (Convict)
PHILIP SCRIVEN (Seaman)
HENRIETTA SCRIVEN (Child)
A new beginning : the story of three first fleeters and descendants, compiled by The Jane Langley Descendants Association, 2001, 1155 pp

33. ELIZABETH LOCK (Convict) - see RICHARD MORGAN

34. RICHARD MORGAN (Convict)
ELIZABETH LOCK (Convict)
Morgan’s Run, a novel by Colleen McCullough, Century, London, 2000, 608 pp

35. LYDIA MUNRO (Convict) - See ANDREW GOODWIN (Convict)
See also the historical fiction trilogy:
1. Letitia Munro, Kev Richardson, Wings e-Press, Richmond, Ky, USA, 2008, 278 pp
2. To plow Van Dieman’s Land, Kev Richardson, Wings e-Press, Richmond, Ky, USA, 2009, 364 pp
3. The Terrible Truths, Kev Richardson, Wings e-Press, Richmond, Ky, USA, 2009, 316 pp

36. JOHN MUNDAY (Marine)
Spirit of independence: John Munday, First Fleet marine and descendants, Ann Daniel, Privately Published, 2007, 288 pp

37. WILLIAM NASH (Marine)
Nash, First Fleeters and Founding Families, a three generational biographical history, Carol J Baxter, Privately Published, 2004, 463 pp

38. JOHN NICHOLS (Convict)
The Story of John Nichols, first fleeter and five generations of his family, K. Purnell [et al.], John Nichols Family Society, 1988, 328 pp

39. ARTHUR PHILLIP (Commodore & Governor)
A number of biographies have been published. As soon as I get a chance I'll write a separate post about these books.

40. SAMUEL PIGGOTT/PICKETT
Pickett lines : descendants of Samuel Piggot/Pickett and Mary Thompson, Penny Ferguson.
Chapman, A.C.T. : P. Ferguson, 2005, 525 pp

41. ELIZABETH PULLEY (Convict)
The remarkable story of Elizabeth Pulley who ventured across the wild seas and helped forge a new country on the shores of Sydney Cove in 1788, Judith Byrne Saunders, Self-published, 2002

42. ELLEN REGISTER (Convict)
After Nell: Descendants of Ellen Register First Fleeter, Part I: Eleanor, William, Mary, and William, Clare Stapleton Concord, Self-published, 1996, 91 pp. New version due out in 2017

43. WILLIAM ROBERTS (Convict)
A Rich Inheritance, Narissa Phelps Morissey (Ed), Committee of William Roberts & Kezia Brown Family Assocn, 1990, 262 pp

44. ISABELLA ROSSON?RAWSON (Convict)
Isabella, a prose poem by Winifred Weir, Five Islands Press, 2000

45. JAMES RUSE (Convict)
My Mother Reread Me Tenderley – the life of James Ruse, Janice Ruse Israel, Possum, 1988, 96 pp.
The Humble Adventurer: The Life and Times of James Ruse, Convict and Farmer, Clifford Tolchard, Lansdowne Press, 1965
Also an entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography.

46. JOHN RYAN (Convict)
A Battle Against the Odds, Arthur John Brown, Self-published, 1990, 321 pp

47. PHILIP SCRIVEN (Seaman) - see JANE LANGLEY

48. HENRIETTA SCRIVEN (Child) - see JANE LANGLEY

49. JOHN SMALL (Convict)
The Search for John Small, First Fleeter, Mollie Gillen, Library of Australian History, 1985, 189 pp

50. ANN SMITH (Convict)
Ann Smith of the Lady Penrhyn, A.J. Gray, Royal Historical Society Journal, Volume 43, Part 5, 1957, pp 252-259

51. MARY SPRINGHAM (Convict) - see WILLIAM HAMBLY

52. WILLIAM STANDLEY (Marine)
As far as I can tell: the story of First Fleet marine William Standley and some of his descendants, Graeme A. Wood, Privately Published, 2005, 169 pp

53. THOMAS WILLIAMS (Marine)
Warts and All – the history of a Williams Family, Leonard Gregory Williams, Gundaroo NSW, 2006.
Note: As of April 2013, there is now some doubt that the father of Ann Davis's children was this man.

PLUS - AUSTRALIAN DICTIONARY OF BIOGRAPHY (ADB) ENTRIES
As well as profiling most of the First Fleeters whose journals, letters and published accounts of their experiences are listed separately below, the following First Fleeters are profiled in ADB

54. JAMES BLOODSWORTH (Convict), by Morton Herman

55. JOHN BAUGHAN (Convict), by A.J. Gray

56. WILLIAM EDWARD ELLIOTT (Convict), by B.H. Fletcher

57. GEORGE GUEST (Convict), by E.R. Pretyman

58. NATHANIEL LUCAS (Convict), by Morton Herman

59. MARY MARSHALL (Convict), see Robert Sidaway

60. ROBERT SIDAWAY (Convict), by Vivienne Parsons, with brief mention of Mary Marshall

PLUS, WEBSITES
The St John's Cemetery Project is progressively publishing biographies of the First Fleeters buried at St John's, Parramatta. Most of the biographies listed below can be viewed on that website. The Charles Peat biography is on another website.

61. AUGUSTUS ALT (Surveyor-General), The Baron, by David Morgan

62. ELIZABETH BIRD (Convict), Elizabeth Eccles, The Dairy Maid, by Michaela Ann Cameron

63. FRANCES HANNAH CLEMENTS (Child), The Convict's Child, by Michaela Ann Cameron

64. HENRY DODD (Seaman), The Faithful Servant, by David Morgan

65. THOMAS ECCLES (Convict), The Swine Connoisseur, by Michaela Ann Cameron

66. EDWARD ELLIOTT, The Husbandman, by Danielle Thyer

67. THOMAS FREEMAN, Coming soon on St John's Cemetery Project

68. DEBORAH HERBERT, Coming soon on St John's Cemetery Project

69. JOHN HERBERT (Convict), From Felon to Farmer, by Penny Edwell

70. HUGH HUGHES, The Wheelwright Made Right, by Danielle Thyer

71. MARY KELLY (Convict), The First Lady of Kellyville, by Michaela Ann Cameron

72. DAVID KILLPACK, (Convict), The Merry Mutineer, by Michaela Ann Cameron

73. ISAAC KNIGHT, (Marine), The Trusty Sergeant, by Benjamin Vine

74. JOHN MARTIN, (Convict), The Self-Freed Slave, by Michaela Ann Cameron

75. CHRISTOPHER PALMER, Coming soon on St John's Cemetery Project

76. JOHN PALMER, (Naval officer), The Purser, the P.O.W, by Benjamin Vine

77. RICHARD PARTRIDGE, (Convict), The Left-Handed Flogger, by Michaela Ann Cameron

78. CHARLES PEAT, (Convict), The First Fleet Peat Family, by Carol Baxter

79. JANE POOLE (MCMANUS), (Convict), The Maid Freed from the Gallows, by Michaela Ann Cameron

80. JAMES WRIGHT, (Convict), The Highwayman, by Michaela Ann Cameron

PLUS, FIRST FLEETERS ON NORFOLK ISLAND
Cathy Dunn has researched the lives of First Fleet convicts, marines and civilians sent to Norfolk Island, with details published in a number of her books and ebooks. For more details, see her website

PLUS, CONTEMPORARY JOURNALS
Several persons on the First Fleet kept journals, including those accessible online through the State Library of NSW:
• Arthur Bowes Smyth (Surgeon, Lady Penrhyn)
• William Bradley (Naval officer, Sirius)
• Ralph Clark (Marine Officer, Friendship)
• John Easty (Marine private, Scarborough)
• Philip Gidley King (Naval Officer, Sirius)
• John Hunter (Naval Officer, Sirius)
• Jacob Nagle (American, Seaman on Sirius)
• James Scott (Marine sergeant, Prince of Wales)
• George Worgan (Surgeon, Sirius)

PLUS, CONTEMPORARY LETTERS
Letters home were written by the following First Fleeters:
• An Officer (possibly Lachlan Ross, Marine Officer, Scarborough)
• David Blackburn (Naval officer, Supply)
• James Campbell (Marine Officer, Lady Penrhyn)
• John Campbell (Crewman?, Lady Penrhyn)
• William Dawes (Marine officer, Scientist, Sirius)
• Newton Fowell (Naval officer, Sirius)
• Rev Richard Johnson (Chaplain, Golden Grove)
• Arthur Phillip (Commodore, Sirius)
• Daniel Southwell (Midshipman, Sirius)
• Henry Waterhouse (Naval Officer, Sirius)

PLUS, CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHED ACCOUNTS
Books about their experiences with the First Fleet were written by:
• David Collins (Marine Officer & deputy judge advocate, Sirius)
• John Hunter (Naval Officer, Sirius)
• Arthur Phillip (Commodore, Sirius)
• Watkin Tench (Marine officer, Charlotte)
• John White (Naval surgeon,
• Richard Williams (Second mate, Borrowdale)

PLUS, BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
• Brief profiles of every known First Fleeter are contained in The Founders of Australia – a Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, Mollie Gillen, (Library of Australian History, North Sydney, 1989)
• Additional notes for selected First Fleeters are catalogued at the National Library of Australia

5 comments:

  1. Excellent compilation - thank you Louise.

    ReplyDelete
  2. After Nell: Descendants of Ellen Register First Fleeter, Part I: Eleanor, William, Mary, and William, by Clare Stapleton Concord, 1996. New version due out in 2017

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Clare - Ellen has now been added to the list.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Clare - Ellen has now been added to the list.

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