Author Topic: 48th Regiment of Foot  (Read 4263 times)

Offline elricks

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48th Regiment of Foot
« on: Sunday 23 September 12 07:24 BST (UK) »
I am hoping someone can recommend some next steps in my research into my 4th Great Grandfather.

I found 2 christening in St Phillip's Sydney 27th May 1821. The children were a son and a daughter of John PURCELL and Ann <unknown>. The daughter was born in Hobart Town in 1818, and the son in Sydney in 1820.

I have found John in pay records of the 48th, in George Town, which fits in with what I know of the 48th. After that I discovered his discharge papers. He was from Kilcommon Co Mayo, but he signed up in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, 28th Nov 1813. He was around 31 at the time - all of which fits in with other data. HOWEVER - his papers show only that he was in 'East or West Indies' between 11th June 1824 and 8th June 1825. No other overseas service is mentioned. This of course does NOT agree with all the other data. John could not read nor sign his name, so I guess it was possible he did not know if it was wrong? Or maybe service in Australia was not specifically mentioned, as the whole regiment were there at the time?  See image

The son who was born in Sydney is the man who is in Norfolk records as William POSTELL. In 1851 in Great Yarmouth his birth place was New South Wales, which was the clue to looking for his birth - etc.

So far I have not found any records, other then the pay ledger, that names any of the privates, or their families. I have little experience in research of army personnel and records back this far. I am hoping someone with more experience can give me clues on where I can look

Thanks

SHIRLEY

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Offline km1971

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 23 September 12 09:23 BST (UK) »
Hi Shirley

I would not worry about the lack of details about the service in NSW. The East and West Indies is only mentioned because men received a 50% bonus towards their pensionable service for time spent in these places. This was due to the high death rate from some exotic disease. The East Indies covered Aden to Burma. Other overseas service was not recorded in this period as it did not affect their pension.

The 48th Regiment left Ireland in May 1817 and spent seven years in NSW before moving to India in 1824, as it says on his record. Do you know when he sailed to NSW?

8th June 1825 is when he arrived back in the UK. Overseas service includes time at sea. The regiment stayed in the East Indies until 1835, so he was probably invalided back, and discharged a year later when he did not fully recover.

The army were not really interested in their families. There are no suitable entries in the regimental BMDs. So all you can really do is look for other births and deaths in the church records of the places he served.

Ken

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Offline majm

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 23 September 12 10:11 BST (UK) »
Hi there,

Two of my forebears came to New South Wales with the 48th Regiment of Foot, arriving August 1817. May I recommend you seek out a very well researched book that covers the regiment, as it covers their service during the Peninsula War in the Prologue and then addresses their service in NSW and VDL. Its Bibliography (pages 179 to 192 incl) details the many sources that the Author examined. The late Clem Sargent was the Author, and he was a well recognised and very highly regarded Australian Military Historian.

The Colonial Garrison
1817-1824
The 48th Foot
The Northamptonshire Regiment
In the Colony of New South Wales.

by T C Sargent.

ISBN 0 646 25612 2
ISBN 0 646 25578 9 (Paperback)

I understand that the ships that carried the 1817 contingent from Cork to Sydney included : HMS Lloyd, HMS Dick, Pilot, Matilda, Almorah.  Some of these ships departed as early as February 1817 after receiving orders in December 1816 to prepare to transfer to NSW.

I have had a quick look in the Index of this book and I can see your chap mentioned at page 76

“As there was no coinage available locally the troops were paid in commissariat notes issued by the Deputy-Assistant-Commissary-General at Port Dalrymple against bills on the paymaster of the regiment in Sydney.  In the Hobart Town Gazette of 26 February 1820, Private John Purcell advertised theft from his hut at George Town of ‘…. A consolidated Bill dated 30th Dec, 1819, for the sum of £15 15s Sterling, drawn in my favour by Lieutenant Vander Meulen on Terrance Murray Esq. Paymaster of the 48th Regiment at Sydney, on account of the subsistence of the Troops at this Station…’  The inference of the amount involved is not clear but it appears that Purcell was one of the literate soldiers selected to act as a company pay clerk, in this case for the company at Port Dalrymple”

 I note this company was one of those of the 48th obviously stationed in Van Diemen’s land.   Here is an online link to the newspaper article mentioned in that extract from that book. 
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/657649  The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, page 2 of 2, Sat 26 Feb 1820.

You mention you have two christenings from St Phillips, Sydney.   While that was obviously recorded in the C of E registers, you may not be aware that St Phillips was designated by the NSW Governor as the place where all records for baptisms and for burials were to be recorded.  So while at first glance you may think those two christenings were C of E and also conducted within St Phillips Church, it does NOT in fact confirm that, and it does NOT confirm the birth occurred in Sydney….  Many of the 48th were in fact practising Roman Catholics, and YES, their church records can be found within the St Phillips records, along with other denominations as well. 

There are substantial references in the book, including UK references for records at Kew from the War Office (Pay Lists, Musters among the topics covered in those references).

May I commend the book to you, it is definitely available through several public libraries, and at the National Library of Australia.    I have often posted details about this book at Rchat. 

Cheers,  JM
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Offline majm

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 23 September 12 10:27 BST (UK) »
Here's a link giving you some info about the VDL experiences for the regiment.  Note it shows the ship they travelled on to India.

http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~garter1/van.htm

" On the 7th of April 1824, the 48th regiments service was ended in Van Diemen's land .On return of
the regiment ,from Macquarie Harbour, 1 Captain ( Major) [ Brevet Major Bell ] 1- Ensign , 5-Sergeants, 5- Corporals, 1- Drummer , 132- privates, with 32 wives and 72 children departed on the "Tritan" for India , The 48th had done their duty in Van Diemen's Land.
 
Excerpt from Clem Sargant's book THE COLONIAL GARRISON 1818-1824 published 1996 "

Cheers,  JM
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Offline majm

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 23 September 12 10:29 BST (UK) »
Here's a similar link giving you some references to help your searches

http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~garter1/48thfoot.htm

"This section is from confirmed records. Pay Muster's of the 48th , PRO England, Reference Books Records of the 48th . Mitchell Library Sydney, The Colonial Garrison 1817-1824 ( Clem Sargent ) published 1996, Wellington's Military Machine ( Philip J. Haythornthaite) published 1995"

Cheers,  JM
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Offline majm

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 23 September 12 10:42 BST (UK) »
Elizabeth Purcell, born 22 May 1818, Hobart Town  baptised 27 May 1821
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XT6H-2JY

William Purcell, baptised 10 January 1821, Tasmania
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XTXW-DYV

The NSW Governor (Lachlan Macquarie) had issued general orders in Sept 1810 that records of all baptisms and burials were to transmitted to the NSW Chaplains.  While many Rev’ds either paid little heed (afterall, that was a civil order, and NOT a Church order, and Macquarie made NO provision for the additional clerical workload to be funded) the Principal Chaplain for NSW was the Rector of St Phillips.   He received transmittals from throughout the realm that was the then Penal Colony of NSW, so he received transmittals from Norfolk Island, VDL, and from the other penal settlements in NSW, eg  Port Macquarie, and elsewhere, eg Bathurst, The Hawkesbury, etc.  Sometimes the clergy (various denominations eg Wesleyan) sent their transmittals to Rev Marsden at Parramatta.  Marsden would then record the details in the St John’s Parish registers.  But usually they were sent to Rev Cowper at St Phillips.

Cheers,  JM
PS, (adding) the main purpose behind Macquarie's general order governing Baptisms and Burials was to determine the stats for the population, so that he could determine the future needs for clothing, food, and other items issued by the Commissariat.   Without that general order it is unlikely that many of the baptismal and burial records of the various clergy would have survived
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Offline majm

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #6 on: Monday 24 September 12 05:52 BST (UK) »
Hi there,

I have other offline resources re the 48th in the penal colonies, please let me know if you are looking for further info.

Cheers,  JM
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Offline elricks

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Re: 48th Regiment of Foot
« Reply #7 on: Monday 24 September 12 06:43 BST (UK) »
Thank you all for responding.

I was aware of the book, and I keep an eye on the on line book shops in the hope I will find a copy in Melbourne somewhere (to pick up, trying to save on postage). I did think of having a look at it in a library, but as this man is a direct ancestor, I would rather like a copy to shuffle over to the family when I shuffle off.

km1971 asked for date of sailing - this is what I have 'deduced'. The Matilda sailed on 28th March 1817 from the Cove of Cork, landed in Port Jackson 3rd August, 1817. (John was in Fermoy in Dec 1816 and in NSW in 1817). If anyone can say the ship is wrong, please let me know. I have never found his name on a shipping list, and he did end up with Major Gilbert Cimitiere who sailed on the Dick. Does any one know if a ship's log exists for any of the ships?

majm - I will follow those links, thank you. I had eyeballed the parish register of St Phillips, but I had NOT realised that was 'centralised records management' at work. I had assumed that there was no parson in George Town, and they were chr when they got to Sydney. Now I realise that they may never have been there at all.  I know some of the story of the northern settlements in Tasmania, and I am surprised they had their wives with them. Especially the privates.  I also had found the mention in the Hobart Town Gazette of the missing Bill. In fact this was my first real hint of John in Australia. I confirmed from his army papers and the payroll records later.

I believe that John may have sailed to India - The following Persons leaving the Colony in the Brig Wellington, requests Claims to be presented :- John Conner, Robeit Smith, William Savory, John Purcell, Thomas Dnrkin, Isaac Clevell, James Goulding, John Oliphant, Richard Sisemore, Thomas Ralph, Charles Renfells, John Thompson, William Jones, Joseph De Silva, and Abraham De Silva. This is from the Sydney Gazette 2nd October, 1823.  HOWEVER - there were other men named John PURCELL in the colony at the time. If all the other men were from the 48th, then I could be more certain.


I believe that John was buried in Great Yarmouth 19th Dec 1833.  He was 50 and this fits his correct DOB, but there is nothing else in the Parish Rgeister that links him to other members of the family. Later members of the family are also buried in Great Yarmouth.

His son William POSTLE was in prison for debt (which makes a headstone less likely, methinks) in 1841, and died in Yarmouth in 1854. His death was witnessed by a George POSTLE, and he had a 7 year old son named George at the time. I doubt a seven year old would be listed as a witness to a death!, so I am seeking a relative with this name in Yarmouth. Not found as yet.

I am inclined to think that John's wife, Ann, is from Yarmouth, as this is where the family ended up after John's demob, and William (the boy born in Tasmania) was a fish dealer there before he died. As I have yet to find a marriage, I do not know her family name. John was 31 when he enlisted and he was living in Yarmouth at the time, according to his discharge papers. Does anyone know if enlistment papers were kept for these soldiers?

John has taken up a fair amount of research effort, as the family after him were knows as POSTLE. Once instance a certificate was in the name of PARCEL, but as I come from Yarmouth myself I know how we drawl out PURCEL, POSTLE and PARCEL. All would sound like parrcll.  To give you an idea the town of Happisburg is pronounced haysbru. NO hard consonants ever get 'said'. Butter is, and always will be, bu-er. No wonder some of the parish clerks got it wrong.

It is funny how things turn out. When I married in 1968, my husband was from Tasmania, very Australian, and I had been in Australia some 11 years, a Pommie immigrant.

Now it turns out my ancestors were involved in settling Tasmania some years before his even arrived!!

Thanks for all the help - SHIRLEY