Children in the district

NS1553-1-10 Children in field

The One Place Studies blogging prompt for the month of May is  Children

A few hints for what to research are included:

  • Are there any patterns to fertility or infant mortality in our places?
  • Did the first child tend to arrive ‘prematurely’?
  • How were children educated in our places?
  • What were the modes of entertainment for children?
  • What were the patterns of child employment?

For this post, I decided to check out the births and deaths of children using the Tasmanian names index filtered for Sorell as the registration district. The early data may also include what we now call Richmond.

Between 1806 and 1835

There were 266 children born/baptized in the district and amazingly it was equal numbers of male and female.

I then looked at the deaths and recorded the number of males and females dying under the headings of days, weeks, months and under 5 years.

  • Days: 6 males, 2 females – two males were twins
  • Weeks: 2 male, 2 female
  • Months: 6 male, 8 female
  • Under 5: 2 male, 4 female – one male was through burning accident

This gave a total of 16 males and 16 females.

The death records up to 1835 don’t mention the cause of death.

But once I started looking at further years, I found there was missing data.

Births none for 1841-1855, deaths none for 1841-1847 and marriages none for 1839-1848 and none 1851-1855

I did find some mentioned under the registration district of Richmond and some at Prossers Plains. I could assume some might also be under Port Sorell registration area.

I have just sent a request to Libraries Tasmania to see if I can get a spreadsheet of BDMs of Sorell (all years), Richmond, Prossers Plains and Port Sorell for those years that are missing from the Sorell registration district.

If I do get that spreadsheet, I will then need to look at each individual to find out if the informant lives in the Sorell municipality or if it is a family I recognize as being in the district.

Looks like a lot of work ahead of me to be able to answer the prompt for this month.

6 thoughts on “Children in the district

  1. That’s quite a project! I wonder if some of those blank years are from the local community not accepting Rev Norman after Rev Robert Knopwood’s death? Or, more likely, damp ruining ledgers back in the day.

  2. Hi, I have collated a list of children deaths in this district but only from 1843. Can I help with anything? Cheers Lynne

    • Hi Lynne,
      I’ll see what happens with my request from Libraries Tasmania first, otherwise I will get back to you. It might mean checking church registers etc.

  3. My 3x great grand parents convicts Joseph Pullen and Ann turner had 5 children from 1829-1836 in Port Sorrell George, William,John,Thomas (my 2x great gf )and a little girl Ewa and I think Ann and baby Ewa died in childbirth 1836

  4. Hi Sue,
    This is a very difficult challenge! Defining the Sorell “district” is practically impossible with parish boundaries changing over the early years, along with the names and boundaries of government administration areas also varying. Spring Bay was recorded as the place of birth of children whose parents were living in the Pittwater/ Coal River area in the 1850s, as well as Prosser’s River. So BDM data gives a very blurry picture of where people actually were at the time of registration.

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