Monday, May 4, 2015

Forrester Update & Paul Bushell's Grave Restoration Project

Family stuff, an operation, work on the Bushell grave restoration project mentioned below and the writing of another book have all conspired to stem my flow of Forrester news in 2015. Luckily, 'breaking news' about the Forrester family has been scarce this year. If only I could announce that Robert Forrester's origins have been discovered, allowing us to connect into a traceable family tree.

As intimated in Robert Forrester, First Fleeter, page 324, the best prospect for further research into his origins seems to be the border areas north of Carlisle in Cumberland. The parish registers of Kirk Andrews Upon Esk are suggested as a starting point. My 'things to do' list remains daunting, SO this could be a fascinating project for some other Forrester descendant. Any takers? The process would be similar to that used to trace Isabella Ramsay and described in Appendix 5 of the Forrester book. Her parents and siblings were traced through their entire life cycle in various parish records in England, but Isabella disappeared, thus connecting her pretty conclusively to the Isabella Ramsay who turned up in Australia. Close and systematic examination of parish records where the name Robert Forrester appears might only serve to eliminate possibilities, but narrowing the search zone is always helpful.

The Forrester book continues to sell slowly but steadily, through BookPOD, the Hawkesbury Regional Museum at Windsor and the Museum Bookshop at Norfolk Island. If you are helping to spread the word about this book, I thank you. Being very time poor at present, I'm no closer to publishing the book about the Forrester children except that Ann's story was told in my 2012 book Southwark Luck, also available through BookPOD. Ann's husband Charles Homer Martin had more going for him than first appeared. Similarly, I'm keen to reveal lots of positive stories about Ann's siblings.

Perhaps the main item of real 'news' is the project currently underway at the Wilberforce Cemetery, restoring the grave of Paul Bushell and other members of Paul's family, As you know, Paul Bushell and his first wife Jane Sharp raised Isabella Forrester from infancy, following the death of the child's mother Isabella Ramsay. The picture shows the surviving grave stones spread out for sorting & planning the necessary work. A new foundation slab has now been poured. To stay informed about progress with the restoration and the forthcoming ceremony to 'unveil' the grave, you'll need to visit the Facebook page Paul Bushell and David Brown Heritage Grave Restoration Project and 'Like' it. Pressing the 'Like' button near the top of the page will enable you to receive the regular updates.


  1. I spent a year at Art College doing the Foundation Course in Art and Design in 1972/73. Interesting to think I may have observed what my ancestor also observed if indeed from that area. The wall and castle are still there. A cold place to live. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there for a while, I believe.
    Lyn Arden

    1. Thanks Sasha, I looked up your reference and discovered that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Carlisle Castle for a few months in 1568. The closest I've been to Carlisle is the Lakes District, in summer time. It was very pleasant then.