Thanks to Jo Hopkins for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.
Blue links will take you to the digitized images from Libraries Tasmania website.
Hannah Green’s story in Sorell begins around the time the small settlement at Pitt Water became Sorell, and her tale would mirror that of many early settlers of the district. While she is not a noted figure, she is a piece of the patchwork.
In September 1819 in London, Hannah Green was arrested carrying a forged £1 bank note. She was convicted and sentenced to be transported to Australia for 14 years. After a brief time in Newgate Prison, she sailed on the Morley, departing on 20 May 1820. The Morley arrived in Hobart Town at the end of August 1820 and Hannah was one of the 50 convict women to be offloaded and assigned. The remainder of the convict women sailed on to Sydney.
Hannah was assigned to Thomas Lascelles who was at that time the secretary to Lieutenant-Governor Sorell. Lascelles had properties in Hobart Town and in the Pitt Water district. Could Hannah have worked at Pitt Water?
When Governor Macquarie visited the Pitt Water settlement on 20 June 1821 and renamed the township Sorell, was Hannah present? It would be lovely to imagine her in the small crowd, sharing the excitement of the vice-regal visit.
On 7 January 1822, Hannah married free settler John Stacey who resided at Sorell. Just 15 months after her arrival and assignment and just 27 months since her arrest, Hannah is re-assigned to her husband and is effectively free. She only needed to attend muster and be of good behaviour to keep out of officialdoms eyes and serve out her sentence.
While minimal documentation is available for Hannah – her marriage registration, some musters, the baptism records of her children – it does show her living in Sorell going about her life.
As the family grew, so did Sorell. The family had a house in Arthur Street across the paddock from where the mill was built. The children were baptised at the newly built St Georges Church and were attenders at the Sorell School. For a few years John was a Constable and would have worked with Alexander Laing at the new watch house. John was also a licenced ferryman who plied the route from the Pitt Water Bluff (around where the causeways now span the two arms of Pittwater). Could John have even rowed the official party across when Macquarie visited?
Many local families can connect back to Hannah Green and John Stacey, and their story at the founding of Sorell.
Jo Hopkins is descended through the Jones line from Hannah and John’s daughter Charlotte.