U for Umbrella Maker

Thanks to Jo Hopkins for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.

UMBRELLA MAKER is not a trade that springs readily to mind, however that is the occupation that James Jones gave when he was committed to trial in London in 1837.

James Jones was born in 1817 in Shoreditch London. On 27 June 1837, James approached John Love in the street and demanded money, making him a ROBBER.1

He was sentenced to transportation for twenty-one years and began his time as a CONVICT. He was transported on the Moffatt and arrived in Hobart on 1 April 1838. His convict record  has umbrella maker crossed out and the comment LABOURER inserted.2

James Jones was allocated to the New Norfolk area to labour in a WORK GANG, then after his probationary period he was assigned to Robert Thorne of Pitt Water. Thorne was the son of Samuel Thorne, a marine who arrived in Hobart Town in 1804.

As an ASSIGNEE Jones was required to undertake any tasks allotted by his master, and Thorne had varied business interests – coastal shipping, farms, a ferry, the Rose and Crown Inn. Thorne had a grain store on the foreshore in Lewisham and probably operated a passenger ferry from there across to 5 Mile Beach (The middle of the three ferries). James Jones is likely to have been a FERRYMAN who rowed across the channel.

James Jones received a Ticket of Leave on 25 December 1842 and married Ann Kennedy in 1843. On the birth registrations of their three children (William 1844, Harriet 1845 and James 1848), he was described as a MARINER. In 1847 he attained a Conditional Pardon.

By 1848, James Jones had acquired and was the LICENCEE of the Victoria Inn in Lewisham. (The building was extensively remodelled for a century then demolished around 1968. The Lewisham Tavern was built on the site.) 3

NS1553-1-420 Lewisham House

Ann Jones died in 1857, and James remarried to Charlotte Stacey, daughter of John Stacey and Hannah Stacey (Green).  The 1858 marriage record lists him as a LICENCED VICTUALLER. Their son Charles and their eight daughters were born in Lewisham between 1859 and 1875.

For many years James was a great SUPPORTER of the local area. Newspaper reports (found through Trove) see him on organising committees for race meetings held at Forcett and for regattas at Lewisham. The Victoria Inn was often the venue for meetings and celebrations.

In 1865 James Jones, SHIP OWNER, together with Robert Harrod launch the Lewisham Belle, a 55-foot schooner to trade between Sorell, Lewisham, the Tasman Peninsula and Hobart. Unfortunately, the new and uninsured boat sinks off Taroona
with the loss of three crew and the cargo of wheat.

James Jones continued to live in the Lewisham area where he had been assigned in 1839. By the time of his death, he was a LANDHOLDER owning 169 acres of land around the area. Much of the property was farmland – around Boathouse Hill and the hill behind and including the Rose and Crown Inn (no longer licenced). His estate included the Victoria Inn and the parcel of land immediately to the north of the inn. This block, perhaps mistakenly sold by the government, contained the local Watch House, making James a GAOL OWNER.

  1. Digital panopticon The Digital Panopticon James Jones b. 1817, Life Archive ID obpdef2-1634-18370703 (https://www.digitalpanopticon.org/life?id=obpdef2-1634-18370703). Version 1.2.1, consulted 20th April 2022.
  2. https://stors.tas.gov.au/CON27-1-7P172#  Founders and Survivors Record ID fasai37630
  3. Victoria Inn. AA Rollings photo NS1553-1-420

R for Reardons at Thorn Hill

Thanks to Judy Pearson in consultation with Bev Richardson (Descendants) for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.

Clicking on blue links will take you to original records from Libraries Tasmania.

Early settler Bartholomew Reardon was born on Norfolk Island June 1791, the first child of Bartholomew Reardon (a First Fleet arrival on ‘Scarborough’ and then to the first settlement on Norfolk Island per ‘Sirius’), and Hannah Rowney (Ronay, Rooney), who arrived in the Colony per ‘Lady Juliana’ and to Norfolk Island in August, 1790.  They had 5 children.

Bartholomew (2nd) grew up living in a thatched weatherboard hut on a small grant helping to farm the land.  His two younger brothers, Steve and Daniel, who were born 1798 and 1799, both died on Norfolk Island in 1801.    Their headstone on Norfolk Island is still legible.    Their father Bartholomew Snr. died on Norfolk Island in 1807 and daughter Ann died in the same year.   When the settlement there was to be disbanded, Hannah and eldest daughter Francis were re-located to Van Diemens Land per ‘Lady Nelson’ in November 1807.   The young Bartholomew who left N.I. several years later was recorded in 1807 as the owner of 7 acres of land on Norfolk Island and supplying produce to His Majesty’s Store.   He had also worked for Captain Piper who recommended him to receive a grant of land on arrival in Van Diemen’s Land.  This was at Iron Creek, Sorell, the property still known as ‘Thorn Hill’, and on January 1st, 1812 he married Elizabeth Nash.   Elizabeth was born on Norfolk Island in 1793, the eldest child of Robert and Ann Nash.   They left Norfolk Island in 1808 and also settled at Pitt Water.

Bartholomew and Elizabeth enjoyed prosperous years at ‘Thorn Hill’, and their home became the venue for many important visitors, including Governor Macquarie in 1821 when he named the town of Sorell.   The ‘Thorn Hill’ property included a huge barn, the venue for Musters, and gatherings including dances, weddings and church services.   Bartholomew was appointed a District Police Constable.  In 1815, a fire which destroyed his barn, and all the property’s stored crops, was deliberately lit and from this time debts were incurred when Bartholomew tried to diversify, buying more land and stock.   He suffered losses but retained his Forcett property of ‘Green Hills’ where he had built a small brick home.   This was added to in 1820 and sadly, ‘Thorn Hill’ was relinquished, being signed over to Lawyer, Mr. Bethune in 1825 to settle his debts.    

‘Thorn Hill’ photo prior to demolition in 1989

By this time, the Reardons had already moved to their Forcett property ‘Green Hills’.   Five generations of the family farmed this property and is still owned by a sixth generation descendant.

Image source:

‘Thorn Hill’ image, Judy Pearson collection

N for Nomenclature of the municipality

Many places in Tasmania are named after English towns, rivers and mountains. But let’s look at Sorell municipality to find out how places were named. I have used a few sources:

  1. Pretyman Index – found in Libraries Tasmania – can search online by clicking my link
  2. Where in Tasmania? A compilation of place names and their histories in Tasmania – in two parts A-K and L-Z
  3. Tasplaces : over 16 000 Tasmanian placenames and where to find them – reference book found in many Tasmanian Libraries
  4. Tasmanian nomenclature: the place-names of the state : record of origins and dates / compiled by ‘Nomen’. – pamphlet found in the reading room in Hobart library
  5. A dictionary of Tasmanian place-names 1993 – found in the reading room in Hobart library
  6. Australian Dictionary of Biography – found online
  7. Newspaper link from Trove


  • Sorell –  in honour of Lieutenant Governor Sorell by Lachlan Macquarie
  • Forcett – named after the home of James Gordon
  • Dunalley –  named by Captain Bayly (Army) after Lord Dunalley from whom he received his commission
  • Dodges Ferry – named after Ralph Dodge who ran a ferry in the area
  • Lewisham – named after Dr Arndell family – Norman papers
  • Nugent – originally part of Carlton Scrub, then divided into Ringarooma and Weedy Hills, then Nugent
  • Midway Point – formerly known as Middle Point
  • Orielton – Edward Lord married into the Owen family who owned property at Orielton, Wales
  • Copping – originally Coppington after Captain Richard Copping


  • Carlton River – Baudin named the place River Brue in honour of one of his officers. Matthew Flinders later mistakenly marked it as Carlton River and this named was used for the district.
  • Iron Creek – known as Iron Rivulet in Meehan’s Field Books in 1803
  • Bream Creek – black or silver bream caught there – mentioned in 1830 newspaper articles
  • Norfolk Bay – Baudin named it Port Buache, then Flinders named it Norfolk Bay after his schooner
  • Frederick Henry Bay – named Baie du Nord by D’Entrecasteaux (1792), Henshaw’s Bay by Hayes (1794) then its present name by Flinders (1798)
  • Marion Bay – named in 1802 by a member of Baudin ‘s expedition in honour of the French navigator Marion du Fresne

Many of the hills or mountains are named after early settlers of the district.

Hills: Dunbabins, Heans, Pearces, Dixons, Haytons, Steeles, Lesters, Bedelphs and Allanbys

  • Mt Elizabeth – after James Gordon’s wife
  • Gordon Sugarloaf – probably named after James Gordon
  • Ragged Tier –  between Copping and Bream Creek, named for the saw tooth look of the mountains
  • Wykeholm Hill – related to Anthony Wyke Steele owning property called Wykeholm
  • Ephraim Ridge – Ephraim Newitt – owner of property in the area
  • Wettenhall Flats – named after Lieutenant Robert Wettenhall

Readers: Do you know the origin of the following places in the municipality?

  • Mother Browns Bonnet
  • Kellevie
  • Pickety Hill
  • Spankers Hill