Researching the municipality

In 2008, when students were using the internet to research their municipality to add to their interviews and images, they were given the following list of useful websites to use:

If you are looking for information on the internet, try some of the following pages.

Sorell Council
Tasmanian archives – you will need to write them an email if using any pictures from here
Tasmanian History links – information about families and land grants
National archives – use the record and photo search sections
Tasmanian Genealogy – great site with lots of useful links on Tasmanian history
Australian War Memorial – if the person has been an Aussie soldier, check it out here
Picture Australia – some great images but you must ask permission to use – check out the FAQs
Trove – check out the scans of original newspapers from all around Australia
Arch Rollings photos of Sorell district – need archive permission to use on this wiki.

Remember to use the Sorell Heritage Study books found in the school and local libraries.

Transport in the municipality

The municipality ranges over a large area of south eastern Tasmania. The early settlements were only able to be visited by horse and cart via Richmond. This trip could take many days. Eventually ferries were used to cart goods and people, roads were built, causeways linked land and water and there was also a fairly short lived railway system.

Sorell Council

Sorell was the eighth municipality created in Tasmania.

Sorell was lucky to have some important men with great ideas and good visions for the future. They believed they could do something with the place and had a pretty good view of it all and what it would be like. Some of these men were Mr. Alec Hean, Mr. William Dunbabin, Col. A. C. Blacklow and the president Warden, Mr. E. C. Iles.

The first council was elected on 30th June 1862 and they had their first meeting on the 1st of July 1862.
The first councillors were Messrs. John Dunbabin, Robert Blyth, Francis Allison, Edward Moore, Robert Doctor and Charles Hazell. Dr.Robert Blyth was elected warden and Mr.R.Fitzsimmins was the first council clerk. They were paid a salary of $150 a year.

Sorell Barracks

The Sorell Barracks is a colonial Georgian terrace that was built in 1827. It is the oldest standing building in Sorell.


The address of the Sorell Barracks is 31 Walker Street, Sorell, Tas and is situated 10 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Hobart city. It is also just a 1 hour drive to the historical Port Arthur and a 15 minute drive to the history packed Richmond.

The Sorell Barracks supplies a wide range of accommodation, including a family cottage with one double bedroom and one bedroom with two single beds making it an ideal for newly weds or a small/young family. There are also two upstairs loft apartments.

The Sorell Barracks has stacks of features including: Free video library, Barbeque, Refrigerator, Microwave, T.V reception, Spa Bath and LOADS more.

One guest reviewed the Sorell Barracks and said that it was a little further out than she had expected. She also thought that it was fairly small for three adults yet it was nice and cosy.

Written by David and Keelan.



The small town of Sorell is situated 26 km from Hobart and 15km away from the Hobart International Airport. The Blue Bell Inn is a famous and historical place in the town of Sorell.

There are several beaches nearby including Seven Mile Beach, Five Mile Beach, Carlton Beach and Park Beach.

The local school, called Sorell School, is the oldest school in Australia which is still on the same place. The school was built in 1821. Below is a picture of the main street in Sorell.

 Picture from:

South East Basketball Association (SEBA)

21 tenth ave Dodges Ferry 7173

SEBA started in 1990 to get some kids active and also have some fun.S EBA will last along time and getting some new things to keep it running for instance they are getting new training boards. No one yet has stepped up to be a new chairmen but someone will. There has been no accidents so far but we like to keep it that way. There are many age groups to under 7’s and up. The chairmen used to play for a long time. SEBA has never be close to shutting down never have never will we hope.

South East Basketball association Inc (SEBA) is based in Dodges Ferry, approx. 40 kms south of Hobart. they cater for children aged from 7 years through to Women and Mens competitions. All games are played at the Dodges Ferry Community Recreation Centre, next to the Primary School. We welcome anyone who wishes to be involved in basketball as a player, coach, umpire or administrator.

We interviewed down at SEBA to get information.

Early schooling

Sorell had two schools for both sexes operating as early as 1820 said Mr John Wade before giving evidence to the Imperial Parliamentary Commissioner, Mr J.T. Bigge.

The first school in the municipality was built in Sorell in 1821 and was on the site between the present school building and the headmaster’s residence. Charles Edward Hippesley Cox was the first headmaster and he received £20 per annum as well as having a convict servant with a ration and a half from stores. It was a very fine stone building. There were 57 pupils at this time.

By November 1888, the school consisted of two rooms and the old building was used as a residence until it was demolished in 1921. In 1926, the front room was reconstructed on a larger scale and an iron roof replaced the original shingles. Further sections were added in 1935, 1947 and 1952 and in 1955 a new room was built. In 1939, the schools at Cherry Tree and Wattle Hill amalgamated with Sorell, as did Forcett in 1949 and Cambridge seniors and Nugent in 1950.

Some highlights in the school’s development include:

  • 1930 introduction of Agricultural training
  • 1931 presentation of a century old bell by Mr Charles Birchall
  • 1933 presentation of a 300 year old sundial by Mrs G.R. Davis
  • 1936 introduction of home arts training for girls
  • 1947 introduction of trades classes for boys

In 1827, a children’s census was taken of the lower settlement and upper settlement at Pittwater and Carlton area and below are the names of children in the district, their age and whether attending school. There is also a section about children with special family needs. The information was gathered from microfilm at the Archives Office of Tasmania. Children could attend school from age 3 to age 15.

Children at lower settlement Pittwater

Name of child Age (in years) Attends school
Rawlings, James 8 Yes
Rawlings, Alfrede 7 N
Buckingshaw, Mary 12 N
Buckingshaw, Eliza 2 N
Buckingshaw, Sarah 3 N
Kennedy, Ann 5 N
Kennedy, Harriett 15mo N
Arnsow, Mary ? 9 N
Hursy, Eliza ? 2 N
Evans, James 7 N
Gangil, John 9 N
Gangil, Jacob 7 N
Gangil, Mary 5 N
Gangil, Alice 3 N
Gangil, Isaac 10mo N
Patterson, Sarah 9 N
Patterson, William 7 N
Patterson, Mary 5 N
Patterson, Thomas 4 N
Patterson, Emma 15mo N
Pross, Charles 2 N
Reilley, Thomas 8 N
Reilley, George 5 N
Reilley, Eliza 2 N
Bingham, George 17 can read and write
Bingham, James 15 cannot read or write
Bingham, Robert 13 N
Patterson, Eliza 15 can read and write
Wade, Lewis 9 Yes
Kemp, Richard 5 N
Kemp, Mary 3 N
Kemp, Ann 2 N
Howell, Thomas 3 N
Howell, Nancy 18mo N
Newport, Mary 4 N
Newport, Joseph 10mo N
Kane, Ellen 6 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Kane, Eliza 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Kane, Sarah 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Newport, Mary 13 N
Reardon, Susan 15 can read and write
Reardon, Sarah 12 Yes
Reardon, Bartholomew 10 Yes
Reardon, Robert 8 Yes
Reardon, William 5 Yes
Reardon, Edward 1 N
Roustey, William? 9 Yes
Young, Henry 13 Yes
McCandrew, Ann? 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McCandrew, Mary 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McNamara, Ann 14 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McNamara, Mary 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Dolan, James 1 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Coggins, Margret 12 Roman Catholic can read & write
Coggins, Catharine 10 Roman Catholic can read & write
Cunningham, Ann 17 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Mary 14 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Patt 11 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Cunningham, Margret 2 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
McGowan, Honorah 15 Roman Catholic can read & write
McGowan, John 13 Roman Catholic can read & write
McGowan, James 3 Roman Catholic cannot read or write
Wolley, George 9 N
Wolley, William 4 N
Wiggins, Charles 5 N
Walker, Thomas 2 N
Walker, Susana 6mo N
Wiggins, Martha 4 N
Wiggins, Samuel 8mo N
Gill, Esther 5 N
Gill, Mary 3 N
Gill, Elizabeth 1 N
Gatehouse, Charles 8 Yes
Gatehouse, Mary Ann 7 N
Gatehouse, Harriett 3 N
Gatehouse, George 2 N
Allemby, Jane 3 N

 Children at upper settlement Pittwater

Name of child Age (in years) Attends school
Downward, Joseph 20 can read or write
Downward, Frances 17 can read or write
Downward, Edward 15 can read or write
Downward, Frederick 14 N
Downward, Jaimes 11 N
Downward, Alice 10 N
Downward, Ellen 8 N
Downward, Thomas 5 N
Downward, Margret 3 N
Downward, John 2 N
Hayton, George 3 N
Hayton, James 1 N
Glover, Eliza 15 can read or write
Glover, Henry 13 N
Glover, Charles 5 N
Billett, George 16 can read or write
Billett, James 18 can read or write
Billett, John 4 N
Billett, Walter 4mo N
Willice, John? 6weeks N
Kidner, Thomas 5 Yes
Kidner, Eliza 3 N
Kidner, Jean 1 N
Kidner, Ann 6 Yes
Allums, Emma 18 can read or write
Allums, Eliza 16 can read or write
Allums, William 13 N
Allums, Jacob 11 Yes
Allums, Mary 9 N
Allums, Robert 7 N
Allums, John 6 N
Allums, Edward 4 N
Birchell, James 17 can read or write
Birchell, William 15 can read or write
Birchell, Charles 12 Yes
Birchell, John 10 Yes
Birchell, George 8 Yes
Birchell, Eliza 6 Yes
Birchell, Susan 4 Yes
Birchell, Henry 2mo N
Kimber, Edward 21 can read or write
Kimber, John 19 can read or write
Kimber, William 15 cannot read or write
Kimber, Maria 10 N
Kimber, Thomas 8 N
Kimber, Jane 4 N
Laing, John 11 Yes
Laing, Alexander 9 Yes
Laing, James 7 Yes
Laing, Susan 4 Yes
Laing, Helen 2 N
Stacy, Susan 6 Yes
Stacey, John 2 N
McQuire, Mary 3 N
Fittiss, John? 21 can read or write
Fittiss, William? 14 N
Foreman, Jane 6 Yes
Foreman, James 2 N
Foreman, Daniel 1 N
Anglum, Elizabeth? 11 Yes
Wood, Jean 7 Yes
Wood, John 5 Yes
Wood, William 3 N
Wood, Joseph 1 N
Duncomb, Sophia 17 can read or write
Duncomb, Jean 13 N
Hambley, Lucy 11 N
Dogherty, Elizabeth 9 Yes
Dogherty, James 7 Yes
Dogherty, Mary Ann 5 N
Dogherty, John 2 N
Steers, George 8 N
Larsom, Mary Ann 15 can read or write
Larsom, Richard 12 N
Larsom, Jemima 9 Yes
Larsom, Elizabeth 7 N
Larsom, Jean 4 N
Gatehouse, Mary 18 can read or write
Gatehouse, Grace 14 N
Gatehouse, Sarah 13 N
Gatehouse, John 12 N
Gatehouse, Charles 7 N
Gatehouse, George 9 N
Walker, Helen 2 N
Cox, Mary 2 N
Cox, Samuel 1 N
Wade, Ann 17 can read or write
Wade, Mary 15 can read or write
Wade, John 13 N
Wade, Henry 11 N
Wade, George 10 N
Wade, Margaret 6 N
Garrett, H. Maria 3 N
Green, Caroline 11 N
Green, Jean 8 N
Green, John 6 N
Ganard, George S.? 1 N
Culliford, George 4 N
Culliford, Ann 3 N
Culliford, Susan 1 N

 Children in the Carlton district of Gloucester

Name of child Age in years Attends school
Cooper, Eliza 12 No
Cooper, Elizabeth 9 No
Cooper, William 7 No
McGinnis, Sarah 5 No
McGinnis, Susan 3 No
McGinnis, Kesiah 18mo No
McGinnis, Emily 2 No
McGinnis, William 7mo No
Smith, William 17 Can read or write
Smith, Eliza 15 Can read or write
Smith, Abigail 10 No
Morris, Robert 17 Can read or write
Morris, Henry 14 No
Dodge, Sarah 2 No
Vallely, Mary 11 No
Vallely, Charlotte 8 No
Vallely, Francis 5 No
Vallely, Sarah 3 No
Steele, Edward Sampson 12 No
Steele, Joseph Sampson 11 No
Steele, Anthony Wylie 10 No
Steele, Richard 7 No
Steele, Mary Ellen 5 No
Steele, James Gordon 3 No
Steele, Elizabeth Ann 1 No
Brown, James 5 No

 Children with special family conditions

Orphans, male and female

Morris, Henry 14 years Carlton Good character Father has been a constable of the Carlton, destroyed himself by hanging; an Inquest taken at the hollow tree.
Morris, Robert 17 years Carlton Good character


Ormon, Mary 9 years lower settlement Pittwater In charge of a single man at the lower Ferry, no relation. Recommended to His Excellency – from her tender years and sex, that she be provided for else where.

Males and females having a father living

Evans, James 7 years Pittwater Good character Father had been free, tried for sheep stealing and sent to Macquarie Harbour.
Routley, WIlliam 9 years Pittwater Good character Mother dead, father an outlaw in the woods, charged with being concerned in the murder of Mr Simpson.
Young, Henry 13 years Pittwater Good character Father gone to England, has been an assistant Surgeon on this establishment.
Green, John 6 years Sorell Good character Mother died, father Constable at Sorell holding a ticket of leave.
Green, Caroline 11 years Sorell Good character
Green, Jane 8 years Sorell Good character

Males and females having both parents living but in distress

Rose, John 2 years Richmond Illegitimate, mother’s name Dwyer a convict, child adopted by John Rose, blacksmith
Kimber, John 19 years Pittwater Good character Father holds a ticket of leave, mother and six children sent out from England by Government, industrious but distressed.
Kimber, WIlliam 15 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Thomas 8 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Jane 4 years Pittwater Good character
Kimber, Maria 10 years Pittwater Good character
Evans, James 7 years Pittwater Father transported to Macquarie Harbour stealing sheep from Mr Gordon
Newport, Joseph 10 months Pittwater Illegitimate, mother free, a bad woman
Newport, Mary 4 years Pittwater
Kennedy, Ann 5 years Pittwater Father had been Scoolmaster at one time in the District, sometimes cracked, inclined to be drunken when he can get it, unfit for labour, wife daughter to an old Marine – distressed
Kennedy, Harriett 15 months Pittwater
Harry, Eliza 2.5 years Pittwater Father found guilty of killing a beast the property of Mr Lewis, sentence Death, transported to Macquarie Harbour.
Gould, Catharine 5 years Jerusalem Illegitimate, mother free, bad woman
Lynch, Ellen 6 years Coal River Father free by servitude, left the country, mother free, a bad woman in Hobart Town
Perryman, Zilda 4 years Coal River Mother a prisoner assigned to Mr Pevor, father in England

Males and females having a mother living and father deceased

Patterson, Eliza 15 years Pittwater Good character Native of Hobart Town, father had been wharfinger, living with sister.
Judge, Catharine 6 years Coal River Living with James Stynes on charity, mother a bad character living at the black brush
Cooper, Eliza 12 years Carlton Father dead, mother married to Hugh McGinniss Constable of the Carlton – opulent
Cooper, Elizabeth 9 years Carlton
Cooper, William 7 years Carlton
Vallely, Mary 11 years Carlton Father dead, drowned at the Carlton, mother married to Bernard Quinton – opulent
Vallely, Charlotte 8 years Carlton
Vallely, Francis 5 years Carlton
Vallely, Sarah 3 years Carlton
Cobb, William 12 years Tea Tree Brush Father killed by a tree falling on him at New Town, mother a very bad woman living at the Tea Tree Brush
Cobb, Hanna 8 years Tea Tree Brush
Cobb, John 6 years Tea Tree Brush