Wednesday, August 8, 2018

B1 Branches of the Jillett/Bradshaw Family in Australia

It has been a Long Journey over time, from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 to the present day.

This is a story about the different branches of the Jillett family, and the interesting life they led, from their arrival in Australia, some as First Fleeters, crammed within the hulls of convict ships to become part of the fabric of modern Australia.

While the key players in this family story are the descendants of Robert Jillett and Elizabeth Bradshaw, their early life was intertwined with many other convict and free settlers.

The journey from England in 1788 to current time, is a long one, and one that winds around many roads from the exquisite beauty of Norfolk Island and the sheer hell of it's early settlements, to the treacherous waters and lives of the early whalers, to the beginnings of Hobart.

Battles with the bushrangers, droughts, the harsh climatic conditions of the central plains of Tasmania, to the wide expanse of inland Australia.

To the killing fields of  World Wars, beginning with the Boer War, and to the vast sheep stations of Central Queensland, and the feat of driving over 12,000 sheep between Victoria and Queensland.

In researching the different families, it is quite remarkable that so many traits have been passed down through the generations.

Their love of horses, their interests in whaling, their commitments to serving the community in many different elected positions.  That followed with engineering, music, mining, exploration, and generally pioneers, writers and professionals in many different fields.

Many followed medicine,  so many enlisted in War, often many sons from the same family signing on the dotted line.

There are so many stories which have been unearthed about this fantastic journey, and the stories are dedicated to their memories. 

Hardships they had a plenty, children they had in abundance, sorrow there was a plenty, battles fought and won, through sickness and drought, they carried on.

Their family expanded to include many others, but this story is concentrated on the lives of Robert, Elizabeth and their children.

The last of the children of Elizabeth and Robert Jillett, their son Thomas, died 1892.

There are some amazing stories relating to the different branches of the family tree.  Some are quite sad, and highlight just how hard life was for our ancestors.

One thing that stands out, was the high number of deaths of young children, and their mothers in childbirth.

The story of the Jillett Family involves delving into history from the Victorian Times in the 18th Century in England, to the early settlement of both Australia and Norfolk Island as penal settlements, early life in Van Diemen's Land Tasmania, settling in New Norfolk, Oatlands and York Plains.

To bring the stories of these times and voyages to life, many interesting historical facts are included.  Alongside those facts are personal anecdotes of the various locations, from our own personal travels, and stories researched over the years by various people, including excerpts of diaries of so many different family members.  Extensive research has also been compiled from information readily available on the internet.

The Extended Branches of the Jillett/Bradshaw Family in Australia

The children married, and very often they married siblings of the same family.  There are some amazing stories to be found in those extended relationships.

Robert and Elizabeth had 10 children together, with one of them apparently dying at birth, in 1811.  No records can be found for Frederick.

Robert had already 5 children that he left behind in England, as he had told the court officials at his trial.  Nothing is known of those children or his wife.

He and Elizabeth would have met on the Hillsborough. She was given permission to travel on the Hillsborough as a free settler, with her husband Thomas Bradshaw.

She also brought with her their daughter Mary Ann.  They had another daughter Elizabeth baptised 26th July 1796 at Coventry, Warwickshire.  She died in England before the voyage.

What a remarkable woman was Elizabeth.

Research indicates that Robert and Elizabeth had at least 67 grandchildren!  Sadly many of them died from the scarlet fever and other epidemics that flourished in the poor conditions.

Children with Thomas Bradshaw:

Elizabeth Bradshaw     B 1796 in Warwickshire and died either in England or on the Hillsborough 1799

Mary Ann Bradshaw    B  30/1/1797 - 1818 (Elizabeth Bradshaws daughter with Thomas Bradshaw)  Robert Jillett assumed the role of her father.
                                            M 24/03/1812 to Charles Horne (Horam or Houran)  Maybe 2 Children

Children with Robert Jillett:

William Bradshaw   B. 2/09/1800 - 6/10/1859    (christened Bradshaw as the parents were not married)  m. Mary Gunn   (had 9 children)

James Bradshaw     B 11/10/1802 - 18/01/1858 (christened Bradshaw as the parents were not married) m. Jemima Lydia Gunn   (had 7 children)

Susannah Jillett     B 1/8/1805 - 1852   (Christened Bradshaw as the parents were not married)  m. Charles Dowdell 21/01/1822  (had 3 children)
He was cannibalised by the Maoris during a whaling expedition in 1832.m William Garth 3/10/1846

Rebecca  Elizabeth Jillett  B 1807 - 14/2/1879  (christened Bradshaw as the parents were not married) m William Young 27/7/1825  (had 11 children)

Elizabeth Jillett    B 1808 - 2/11/1862  m John Bowden 10/10/1827  (4 children)   (Kincraig SA)

Frederick Jillett   B 1811

Robert Jillett        B 25/9/1812 - 29/9/1860   m Te Kaea Etara (common law wife)  (had 8 children) all in NZ

Charlotte  Daisy Jillett     B 25/08/1815 - 4/8/1852   m. William Henry Smith

Thomas Jillett      B 23/9/1817 - 30/10/1891  m Mary Ann Shone  (had 12 children) (Granddaughter of Edward Westlake)

John Jillett           B 28/10/1819 - 20/11/1868                  m Phoebe Triffett 4/8/1840   (13 children)

(That means that of the recorded history Robert and Elizabeth Jillett had 67 grandchildren)

Nowhere are the hardships of life 160 years ago more evident than in the St Peter's Cemetery in Oatlands in Tasmania. 

There are two Jillett crypts in St Peter's Anglican Church Cemetery in Oatlands Tasmania, one built by John Jillett and another by his brother Thomas.

These memorials were built in honour of 7 of their children who all died within a 6 week period in 1859, from scarlet fever.  John lost 4 and Thomas lost 3.

In addition another of John and Phoebe's daughters died in 1854, and is buried there.  As too are two of their grandchildren.

So many children who never had a chance in life.

What makes Elizabeth even more remarkable, is that she came free.  Did that mean she boarded the Hillsborough and lived in those conditions for weeks before the ship sailed?

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