Helping hands helping one another with our family history & genealogy research.
My First Fleeter convicts were James Walbourne and Sophia Lewis.
I have had some success with details for James and going back to his parents and family.
However with Sophia I havent been able to find out anything of who her parents were or where she was born.
Her inquest in 1816 doesnt even say where the inquest was held or where she could be buried. I have had suggested to me the outside of Sydney Burial Ground or worse still a book I just read on the first Hangman in the colony Mr Green. Bodies were also just dumped to rot in a tip!.
Any suggestions on how to go about finding out about Sophia's parentage would be greatly appreciated as I am at a total standstill
I have looked at her trial on Old Bailey site and it doesnt show anything that I can see. Sophia was a woman of the streets and just details the crime, area and who she was I assumed pimped out by.
If you want to have a look her is the link and maybe a fresh set of eyes will see something I missed.sophia lewis trial
I have had a look at the trial records and the only thing that struck me was the absolute stupidity of the man who was robbed, he was a law clerk, and must have been aware of the type of things that could happen to him, and I wonder if his descendants know about his past? It would be interesting to find out, but it would not be at all easy to find them!
I could not find anything much on her but there is a message at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/AUS-NSW-SURNAMES/2006... posted I am not sure when. I noticed that it mentioned Norfolk Island so I have had a look at what I could find on deaths there and also the Tasmanian Archives as many from NI went there.
All the best with your hunt!
Thanks Bleggy, How did you find out he was a law clerk?
Sohia as you probably know committed suicide on Nov 4th 1816 in Cockle Bay. As I have said before there is a copy of the coronial enquiry (?) but doesnt mention where the body was taken too and there is no death certificate nor a reference on Trove I can find regarding it.
It is in Sophias trial And his closing statement.
Before Bray took you into the room, did he tell you for what purpose he took you there? - He told me he had stopped Cox the prisoner with my coat; and he told me what money he had let him have upon it; my friend let me have the money; Mr. Jordon and Mr. Kirshaw were subpoened; they neither of them were before the Grand Jury; and another publican whom Cox took the coat to, before he took it to Bray; he kept the Cheshire Cheese in the same lane, he was subpoened.
Court. What is your business? - I am clerk to Mr. Newby, an attorney; I believe the house belonged to John Dell , from what I heard.
Oh dear as the court decided that she killed herself she would not have a funeral nor would she be buried in "consecrated ground" basically land given to the church for burials, she was either buried in a mass grave or not buried at all, but sometimes if she had a friend and they found where she was they may have thrown some dirt over her, sometimes the coroner decided that any death perhaps where the person was fishing and slipped in or was even murdered and pushed into water by persons unknown, if money was a bit light on they declared it suicide and if no one was there to object that is what it was recorded as, that way they didn't have to pay the grave digger a penny, as his services were not needed. There is somewhere proof that a murder using what was probably a sword was declared a suicide, the man could not have killed himself his right arm was lame his one friend said, the magistrate asked his friend if he wanted to join his friend. So the grave digger was not needed neither was a blanket nor a wooden box, but he was snuck into the cemetery late at night and was buried, on top of another person. anything to save the Gov of the day money.
All the best Bleggy
Thanks for that Bleggy. Seems finding anything about who Sophia was before she came to Australia will be dificult as there seems to be no record anywhere of even who her parents were. Shame she has to remain unresearched. Cheers Louotter