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More on James Hammond

September 13, 2011

An earlier post outlines how I discovered that my GGG grandfather, James Hammond, may have been a convict in Tasmania, before moving to Victoria and marrying my GGG grandmother, Rosina Ealden nee Lynch in Melbourne on 13 March 1858.

I have been doing a bit more research.

Given that a few months has passed since I made these discoveries, and I’ve been busy doing other things in the intervening time, I’ve been able to take a bit of a ‘fresh’ look at the evidence.  I had some questions.

For a start there are anomalies – as there often are – in the certificates I have.  James Hammond claimed to be 39 years old on the 13th March 1858, when he married Rosina.  That would make his year of birth about 1819.  Rosina’s age on their marriage certificate is 35, making her year of birth about 1823.  She was 20 years old when she arrived aboard “Himalaya” in 1840, which would have made her year of birth about 1820.  So perhaps they were both fudging a bit.  Rosina is interesting for a number of reasons – she is recorded as being literate on her arrival, and yet over the years she alternates between signing her name and making her mark.  She also changes her name from Rosanna to Rosina and on her marriage certificate with James Hammond, she is recorded as Rosina, but signs Rosana.

So perhaps they were not being entirely truthful when they got married.  Rosanna/Rosina married Elijah Ealden a few weeks after her arrival in Port Philip.  She had a daughter in about 1852 – 12 years after her arrival/marriage.  On Rosanna/Rosina’s death certificate, the informant, who I suspect was Marion (who was 39 years old by then) recorded the name of Rosina’s first husband as ‘John Philips’.  Further research shows that Marion married John Lawrence, and at that time and at the births of her children subsequently, she variously calls her self (or is called by her mother who was sometimes the informant) Marion Hammond or Marion Philips as her maiden name, but Marion’s father is always John Philips.  However when Rosina married James Hammond, she was Rosina Ealden.  The informant on James Hammond’s death certificate says that he married Martha Bourke, and then married Rosina Eldol.  I believe James Hammond’s first wife to be Martha King. Another close look at my James Hammond’s death certificate, finds that his age at death is 74, making his date of birth about 1808.

I have been unable to locate Elijah Ealden, John Philips or Marion Philips/Hammond/Ealden’s birth record.

I’m looking forward to visiting my daughter in Melbourne, in November, where I hope to be able to visit Brighton Cemetery and a few other places to see if I can find out a bit more by ‘being there’.

Back to James Hammond.

As my previous post details, I discovered from his death certificate that he had spent some time in Tasmania (about 14 years according to the death certificate) before moving to Victoria.  The death certificate says that he married Martha Bourke in Launceston.

My research in Victoria has not turned up any trace of James Hammond’s arrival from Canterbury, Kent, where he said he was from.  Tasmania turned up a couple of possible contenders (as detailed previously), which I narrowed down to one, who I called James Hammond 1.

When I went looking this time, I pondered whether I’d got a bit keen back then, and had a close look at both the contenders (and in fact looked again to see if there were others).  There was a James Hammond who arrived in Tasmania aboard ‘Strathfieldsay’ – he was ‘James Hammond 2’ in my previous post.  There was another who arrived later than the other two, aboard ‘Candahar’.  And there was one who was transported to NSW.  That is, assuming James Hammond really was from Kent.  I’m assuming for now that he was.

There were other James Hammond’s, transported around the same time from Lincolnshire and a few other places.  But this time, as previously, I focussed on the Kent James Hammonds.

James Hammond who arrived in Van Dieman’s Land aboard ‘Neptune’ was convicted of Larceny on 13 March 1837 at the Kent County Assizes, ‘before convicted of felony’ sentenced to transportation for seven years.  I found a previous conviction for Larceny at the Maidstone Borough Sessions on 2 July 1836, where he was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.  He was also listed as ‘before convicted of felony’.  I found previous court appearances in Kent for a James Hammond – in July 1824, October 1825 and July 1826, but on each of these occasions ‘he’ was acquitted.  I am not 100% sure this was ‘my’ James Hammond as there was at least one other – ‘James Hammond 1’ ‘active’ (and older) during the same period, in Kent.

Following his sentence for transportation, James Hammond began his voyage aboard ‘Neptune’ on 4 October 1837.  He appears in the annual muster of convicts in February 1838.

When they appear listed in notices in newspapers in Tasmania, convicts are listed by their name and their ship.  So it’s a fairly simple matter to distinguish between them.

James Hammond ‘Neptune’ had the following entries in Government Notices in Tasmanian newspapers:

1842 February Received a Ticket of Leave

1843 May Received a Conditional Pardon

1844 13 March – Certificate of Freedom (completion of sentence)

Thats all very well.  As my previous post points out, he was listed as ‘dairyman’ or dairy worker when he was convicted/transported.  How did he become a plasterer?

He is listed in the Victorian electoral roll in 1856 – before he married Rosina – as Plasterer, Freehold, Brighton.  He lived in Brighton the rest of his life.  He was living there when he married Rosina.  He was living there when their daughter – my GG Grandmother – Rosina was born.  He died in hospital or a nursing home in Prahran, but Rosanna/Rosina was still living in Brighton when their daughter Rosina married Frederick Greer Hanna ‘at the home of Mrs Hammond, Bay St Brighton’ and Rosina and James are buried together in Brighton cemetery.  On every certificate as well as in the electoral roll, he is listed as ‘Plasterer’.  How does your average dairy labourer/convict become a plasterer?

This question is interesting – because it’s all very well – I can link backwards to James Hammond from myself.  I know who my parents were and their parents.  My grandfather’s mother, Marion Hanna, died when he was small, so we lost contact with her side of the family, with him.  As far as I know, my father never had contact with any of the Hanna’s, although my grandfather did maintain some contact.  I know who my grandfather’s parents were, and I can track back from Marion to her mother, Rosina Hammond, and from her to Rosanna/Rosina and James.  Going back further – to discover more about James is the object of this search.  I have found ‘a’ James Hammond who seems to fit the bill, by place of birth and age.  I have the death certificate (which is not 100% accurate) to point me to Tasmania, and that’s as good as anywhere, given that I cant locate his arrival in Victoria. So now I have ‘two’ James Hammonds – ‘mine’ in Brighton, Victoria, and another, who may or may  not be the same person, in Tasmania, a few years earlier.  ‘Plasterer’ – his occupation was the key.  If I could find that link, I would be a lot closer to conclusive proof that ‘my’ James Hammond and James Hammond ‘Neptune’ were the same person.  But how to do that?

And that’s when I found an 1849 convict muster entry that recorded that James Hammond ‘Neptune’ had been convicted of Larceny in Kent (7 years) and in Hobart, 1844 (2 years).  Hello?  The newspaper search helped me out there.  I found a court report.  James Hammond ‘Neptune’ received his certificate of freedom on 13 March 1844.  He was a free man.  On 19 September the same year, he was convicted once again of Larceny – for stealing two handkerchiefs, the property of Duncan Campbell.  Another article, in the Launceston Examiner, Saturday 21 September 1844 carried more detail.

James Hammond was indicted for stealing on the the 28th June two handkerchiefs, the property of Duncan Campbell. The prosecutor deposed that he left his house about the 28th June, and on his return missed two handkerchiefs, one of which he afterwards saw on the neck of the prisoner; could not particularly identify it, but believed it to be the same, by comparison, and the maker’s number. In reply to questions from a juror, he added that he only purchased three handkerchiefs, and could not say what became of the remainder of the piece; a piece consists of seven handkerchiefs. John Smith, in the employ of prosecutor, who keeps a butcher’s shop at Campbell Town, recollected the prisoner coming to the shop during Mr. Campbell’s absence; had seen the handkerchiefs on the side board immediately before, and missed them about ten minutes afterwards; prisoner might have had access to the sideboard. Constable Jones apprehended the prisoner, and took the handkerchief produced from his neck, The prisoner said nothing in his defence, but called Robert Warren, plasterer, Campbell Town, who deposed that Hammond was in his employ, and that two or three months before he was apprehended the handker chiefs were brought to his (witness’) house by the prisoner; believed the handkerchief produced to be the same; had seen some of the same pattern since. Verdict, guilty.

Robert Warren, plasterer, Campbell Town, who deposed that Hammond was in his employ!!  So he was working for a plasterer in Tasmania.  James Hammond ‘Neptune’ is definitely the same James Hammond in the newspaper item.  The 1849 muster confirms that.  And the James Hammond in the newspaper item is, or is working for/with, a plasterer! Is that the link I was looking for?  I’d like to think so.

So if he was convicted in September 1844, and went to prison for two years, he would have been released around September 1846.  Another newspaper article records that a James Hammond departed Tasmania aboard the brig “William” on 8 October 1846, for New South Wales.  James Hammond married Martha King in Melbourne New South Wales (Victoria was part of NSW until 1852) on 7 September 1847.  But he was (back?) in Tasmania in 1849, to be entered in the muster!!  Perhaps my Hammond/King marriage is not as rock solid as I first thought. More research required.

As I was starting to write this post, I recorded that James married Rosina on 13 March 1858 – 21 years to the day from when he was convicted, and 14 years to the day from when he became a ‘free’ man (although there were a couple of years of non freedom immediately thereafter!).  I wonder if the date of their marriage was his idea?  Too much of a coincidence?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2011 5:10 pm

    Mmmmmmm… you have been busy writing and researching on all angles. You may have found the answer to your James Hammond. You are inspiring me to get back into the realms of Tasmania to find my James Anderson. Thank you once again for motivation and inspiration. I love reading your posts.

    • Michelle permalink*
      September 17, 2011 9:06 pm

      But as always, I end up with another question… the dates don’t entirely add up, if he’s (back) in Tasmania for the 1849 muster. However, while searching for something else to do with James Hammond in Victorian newspapers, i found a James Hammond who was found to be from Tasmania (a convict) and was returned there… could they have made a mistake and force a free man back to Tasmania thinking he was a convict, only to have him return again? Were convicts who were given full pardons allowed to leave the colony (I know lots of them did – but were they allowed to?) So many questions, so little time. I’m glad I motivate you 🙂 Off to read your new post now.

  2. karen williams permalink
    April 20, 2012 9:27 am

    Your article above mentions a John Phillips, in an earlier post you mention not being able to find any information on Jack Phillips. I haven’t crosss refrence the post to check out dates but could these two be related or even one and the same??

    • Michelle permalink*
      April 20, 2012 6:31 pm

      Hi Karen – Thanks for commenting. You certainly have an eagle eye! I checked it out and the Jack Philips you saw is an entry in my grandmother’s birthday book – possibly made in New South Wales in the 1890’s (as a child, if he was a contemporary of my great-grandmother, which is what I was hypothesising). The John Phillips in this post is a generation or two older, I think, being old enough to father a child born in 1852. However, this John Phillips could have been in New South Wales (as Jack Philips also may have been). The John Phillips I’m looking for belongs in my paternal grandfather’s family tree, Jack Philips is an entry in my paternal grandmother’s birthday book, possibly in relation to her mother (if the book was previously owned by her mother as I suspect it may have been). If there is a connection (wouldn’t it be amazing if there was!!) it would be even more coincidental for being in relation to both parties of a marriage that happened generations later!

      All that aside, you have a great eye for detail. I had never noticed the name similarity. Thanks for raising the query!

  3. Carolyn Ford permalink
    July 12, 2012 1:45 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    My great great grandfather was also called James Hammond. I don’t know that much about him except that he and (wife?) Mary Ann Quinn had my great grandmother baptised in 1865 in Hobart. I wonder if there is any link to your James Hammond?

    • Michelle permalink*
      July 12, 2012 7:06 pm

      Hi Carolyn
      I’d love more information about your James Hammond. I’ll email you.


  4. chris smith permalink
    November 14, 2012 6:05 pm

    I too have a mysterious james henry hammond tasmania who I can’t track down. His son was Alfred William Hammond my great grandfather….I can’t find any record of Great grandfather’s birth in 1869 under the name Alfred William Hammond. I can see your search is frustrating… that makes me feel better…..

    • Michelle permalink*
      December 31, 2012 12:34 pm

      Hi Chris My James Hammond was married (poss in Tasmania) before he married my ggg grandmother. I have wondered whether he had a family I haven’t yet discovered. Although it’s frustrating, I’ve discovered more than I could have imagined in the last year or so. It wouldn’t have happened in pre-internet days. I’m pretty happy about that. Good luck with your search. Michelle ps. Sorry it took so long to reply!!


  1. Robert Warren, Plasterer of Campbell Town « Michelle's Heritage

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