My children have fifty-one direct ancestors who were immigrants to Australia. It has been quite a job to gather and arrange this information about them.

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was my fifth great grandfather George Taylor (1758 – 1828). He came to Tasmania in 1822 with wife Mary née  Low (1765 -1850) and his family. His descendants still run Valleyfield near Longford, the property he and his sons farmed.

“Valleyfield” Epping Tas. The “Taylors” have lived here for over 100 years. , about 1914 – about 1941 Photograph in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. Accession number H22546. A.C. Dreier postcard collection. Retrieved from

Were there any convicts? There are no convicts on my side. On my husband Greg’s side we know that Caroline Clarke, his great great grandmother who married George Young, was born in New South Wales about 1835. We haven’t been able to trace her parents, so perhaps they were convicts.
Where did our ancestors come from? Twenty-six from England, seven from Scotland, two from Wales, eight from Ireland, and four from Germany.  One of our English forebears was born in India. There are at least four immigrants in the list of fifty-one that I know nothing about.

Did any of our ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? Many paid their own passage, and there were some assisted immigrants.  Only one seems to have worked his way to Australia. This was John Plowright, who stated when admitted to Maryborough Hospital in 1873 that he had arrived in the colony on the Speculation from London about 1853 and his occupation was mariner.  He wasn’t listed as a deserter but perhaps he signed off to go to the goldfields.
How many ancestors came as singles? couples? families? Thirty-two of the fifty-one immigrants, or sixty percent, came as families. Thirteen came as single immigrants and there was only one couple without children: John and Sarah Way.
Did one person lead the way and others follow? There are quite a few instances of this. 

  • The de Crespignys probably came because Charlotte’s brothers had been given jobs by Governor Latrobe. 
  • The Edwards probably came because Mary’s sister Sarah and her husband Francis Tuckfield were already in Australia. 
  • Philip Chauncy followed his sisters, who had arrived in Adelaide two years previously. 
  • The Plaisteds followed Ann’s sister and brother, who had arrived twelve years earlier in Adelaide. 
  • Isabella Hutcheson née Taylor followed her parents and brothers to Tasmania in about 1833 after the death of her husband.  She came with five young children.
  • My grandfather came first after the war and his wife and daughter joined him ten months later. My grandfather was the only immigrant to arrive by air.
Which state(s)/colony did our ancestors arrive? Eight arrived in Tasmania, eighteen in Victoria, fifteen in South Australia, two in Western Australia and four migrated to the Australian Capital Territory.

Forty-two, or ninety percent, of our forty-seven immigrant ancestors arrived before 1855, one arrived in 1888, and the remaining four arrived in the middle of the twentieth century after World War 2.

Number of arrivals by year of arrival:

1822 1833 1835 1836 1838 1839 1840 1849 1850 1852 1853 1854 1888 1949 1950 1960
2 2 3 1 2 2 3 6 3 3 6 9 1 1 2 1
Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? No, for example

  • the Ways moved from South Australia to Victoria and then to New South Wales
  • the Ralphs moved from Victoria to South Australia
  • the Plaisteds and the Hughes moved from South Australia to Victoria
  • the Cudmores and Nihills moved from Tasmania to South Australia
  • the Hutchesons moved from Tasmania to Victoria
  • Philip Chauncy moved from South Australia to Western Australia to Victoria
Did any of our ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? William Snell Chauncy visited his children in South Australia for only twelve months before returning to England. Gordon Mainwaring and his wife Mary née Hickey both died in England as did their son-in-law, Wentworth Cavenagh-Mainwaring. My grandparents and mother visited Germany.

generated by inspired by the image by Sharon at who also responded to the challenge