About the Whitfields: from convict days « Ninglun’s Specials

This page has had a major update, thanks to an email received yesterday. There has been a steady if not spectacular following of the page since it went to Ninglun’s Specials in April 2008, 288 views, often by interested Whitfields or their relations.

The gist of the update is as follows:

UPDATE July 2008

I received the following email on 15 July:

The Whitfield pedigree tree seems to be wrong.

I had looked up 3 years ago that Jacob Whitfield “ploughman” transported on the Isabella is out of Thomas Whitfield and Elizabeth Marshall — not out of John Whitfield and Susanna Pearson.

The Jacob Whitield of MAY 1774 Of Ballyhagen, Kildare, Ireland from both Bob Starling and the Leslie family tree appears wrong. The Jacob Whitfield of the Isabella should be from Grange MM*, Tyrone, Ireland born Feb 1759.

The listing of the convict in the 1822 Isabella ship’s log is below from online records:-

Surname Whitfield
First Name Jacob
Ship Isabella I (2) [1822]
Tried 1820
Trial Place Tyrone Co
Term Life
DOB 1760
Native Place Tyrone
Death Place
Remarks Ploughman

Had a phone call from Bob Starling to Colin Whitfield in Perth a couple of weeks ago…which prompted me to look it up again.

– John Van Luyn

*Does “reb” mean rebel? If so, it the first clue about the nature of his crime that I have ever seen. It would certainly fit into the troubled times in Ireland. A life sentence was serious, even in those days. This new information still makes his age seem quite extraordinary, especially if he is, as we have assumed, the father and not the grandfather of William and Mary, and there is still the 1832 marriage certificate below, giving his age as “60 years” which would fit better with the 1770s scenario. It is still a bit of a mystery; we are on firmer ground from William onwards…

Anyone know any more?

*You can find a Google map of Grange and surrounds here. It is in Northern Ireland.

Jacob was certainly not a Quaker, but Grange features in Irish Quaker history. See Grange Meeting: a Historical Sketch. It’s very interesting.

I don’t think, as you may see, that the matter of my convict ancestor is fully settled.

I also took the opportunity of clarifying a few sections further down the page. That text has been around, first on Angelfire, then on my other WordPress blog, and now here, since 2002, so it did need a little attention.

I hope people continue to find it interesting — not just relatives, but also anyone interested in Australian history.

Tom Roberts

The modest banner that used to accompany these pictures was:


… based on Tom Roberts, “Shearing the Rams”.


Hyperlinked image.

“The painting showed a view of the shearing sheds which was not in some cases realistic. Shearing would probably have been much messier; for instance the shearer on the left has picked the ram up to move it, when normally it would have been dragged backwards.”