My fifth great-grandmother was Mary Low (1768–1850), born in 1768 in Perthshire, Scotland. The names of her parents appear to have been David and Isabella.

In Abernethy, Perthshire on 24 March 1791 Mary Low married a man named George Taylor (1758–1828). The parish register states that they were both ‘of this parish’. They had eight children:

  • Robert Taylor (1791 – 1861)
  • Isabella (Taylor) Hutcheson (1794 – 1876)
  • David Taylor (1796 – 1860)
  • Christian (Taylor) Buist (1798 – 1895)
  • George Taylor (1800 – 1826)
  • John Taylor (1802 – 1850 )
  • Mary (Taylor) Davidson (1806 – 1868)
  • Jean (Taylor) Alston (1807 – 1863).

On Friday 10 January 1823, after a voyage of almost four months, George and Mary Taylor, accompanied by four of their eight adult children, arrived in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land.

With forty other free emigrants, they had sailed on the Princess Charlotte from Leith, the port of Edinburgh, departing in October 1822.

For the first few months, before receiving their grants of land, George and Mary Taylor lived at the Macquarie Hotel, Hobart Town. On 30 June 1823 he was granted an 800 acre block of land about 30 miles south of Launceston, on the Macquarie River near Campbell Town . George Taylor named his property ‘Valley-Field’. George and Mary’s three sons, George, David, and Robert, each received 700 acre grants of land nearby.

George Taylor died on 19 April 1828 in Campbell Town, Tasmania, Australia aged 69, and was buried in Kirklands Presbyterian Cemetery, Campbell Town.

His death was reported in the Colonial Advocate, and Tasmanian Monthly Review and Register 1 May 1828:

On the 19th April, Mr. George Taylor, Settler, of Valley Field, Macquarie River, leaving a disconsolate widow and large family to bewail his loss. The deceased was the father of the young Gentleman, who formerly lost his life in taking a bushranger.

On 3 January 1839, eleven years later, Mary Taylor married a Campbell Town builder named Henry William Gage. She was about 70; Henry, 40, a widower, was a former convict.

On 30 July 30 1850 Mary died in Campbell Town and was buried next to her first husband.

 From The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.) 3 August 1850:

At her residence, Campbell Town, on Tuesday last, Mrs. Gage, mother of Robert and Daniel Taylor, Esqs., aged 85 years

Her grave inscription reads:

Sacred to the Memory of
Who Died 30th July 1850
Relict of the Late
George Taylor Senr.
Kirklands Church and Manse near Campbell Town from the Weekly Courier 13 March 1919

I know nothing about Mary’s second marriage. It seems rather surprising that a comfortably-off widow with adult children to support her would choose to marry a man 30 years younger.

Henry William Gage, was a carpenter, born in 1798 in Gloucestershire. In 1830 he had been convicted in for stealing substantial quantities of cheese, butter, bread, tobacco, candles, and a cloth. Sentenced to be transported for seven years, he arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 26 March 1831 with 167 other convicts on the ‘Red Rover‘. After five years he gained a ticket of leave; a document which allowed convicts to work for themselves provided that they remained in a specified area, reported regularly to local authorities and attended divine worship every Sunday, if possible. They could not leave the colony. In 1837 he was given a Certificate of Freedom; this document was issued at the completion of a convict’s sentence, as proof he or she was a free person. They were free to travel anywhere, and could return to the United Kingdom (if they could afford it!).

Early in 1836, Henry Gage and other convicts were sent to Campbell Town, sixty-odd miles north of Hobart, to construct a bridge (known as Red Bridge) to span the Elizabeth River there. When he gained his freedom Gage settled in Campbell Town and built several houses known as ‘Gage’s Row’ in Pedder Street. He owned three of these and several other properties in Campbell Town. Some are still standing.

Red Bridge over the Elizabeth River at Campbell Town. It is the the oldest surviving brick arch bridge in Australia. Photographed in 1977 by Johnn T Collins (1907 – 2001) in the collection of the State Library of Victoria
No. 20 Pedder Street, Campbell Town was built by joiner and carpenter Henry Gage. Photo from the Facebook page Campbell Town, Tasmania and used with permision.
A sketch from 1859 “Pedder Street, Campbell Town” showing some of the buildings known as Gage’s Row.

After Mary’s death Henry Gage married again, to Alice Lugg, an ex-convict from Cornwall. They had seven children. Most died in infancy.

Henry Gage died in 1867. From the Launceston Examiner (Tas.) 18 July 1867:

The removal by death of Mr. William Henry Tindal Gage occurred this morning, at Campbell Town, at an advanced age. Mr. Gage's name has for many years been before the public as an aspirant for Parliamentary honors. Although somewhat eccentric, he was just and honorable in his dealings.



I am descended from the Taylors through: