Search This Blog

Total Pageviews

Thursday, November 6, 2014


My grandfather, ARCHIBALD ROBERT EVITT ("Tom") married ETHEL MAY FITZGERALD. Her mother's name was ALICE FITZGERALD (nee LANGHORNE).
The Langhorne family appear to have come from Melbourne, Victoria.
I am currently researching them.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


The grandfathers of one of my maternal great grandmothers, HARRIETT PHILIS, may have been friends.
Harriett's parents were Elizabeth McGibbon Jnr, daughter of John and Elizabeth Snr, and George Phillis Jnr, son of George Phillis Snr.
Both of their names, John McGIBBON and George PHILIS, were on a published list of contributors to the Irish Relief Fund at Port Stephens on 11 November 1846.

The Sydney Herald of 18 February 1833 records the arrival in Sydney of John and Elizabeth McGibbon, free, on the Clyde.
Their daughter Elizabeth had been born on the voyage from Scotland.
John was a rope maker but the following month he was made a constable in charge of convicts  at Port Stephens.
He later moved to Dungog and then to Stroud.

George Philis appears to have been a convict. He arrived in Sydney in 1838 with a life sentence.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


The parents of my maternal great grandmother, Harriet Philis, were George Philis and Elizabeth McGibbon.
They married in 1850 at the Church of England, Australian Agricultural Company, in the Dungog area in northern NSW.
The Australian Agricultural Company was set up as a unique agricultural entity consisting of one million acres worked by British immigrants to produce wool and crops exclusively for the British market.
It was incorporated in 1824, and the following year its first British workers arrived on two ships, the York and the Brothers.
When coal was subsequently discovered in the area, coal production was added to its agricultural arm.
By the end of 1847, three years before George and Elizabeth Philis (nee McGibbon) were married, there was a total of 472 men employed by the company.
It would appear that both George Philis and Elizabeth McGibbon may have been brought to New South Wales from England as part of this project.
I will have to check the passenger lists.

Update 24-2-12
I discovered today in a book in the NSW state library called Convicts of the Australian Agricultural Company 1825-1850 that there was a convict George Phillis.
He was born c.1812 in Hampshire, England and tried at Southampton Quarter Sessions for stealing a lamb.
Despite having no previous convictions, he was given a sentence of transportation for life.
Phillis left England on 18 October 1836 on the Mangles (8) and arrived in Sydney on 9 July 1837.
He was then assigned to the Australian Agricultural Company at Port Stephens near Newcastle.
Phillis was a single, Protestant labourer who could read and write.
He was 5 foot 6 and a quarter inches tall with a ruddy (reddish) complexion, brown hair and blue-grey eyes.
In 1850 when George Philis married Elizabeth McGibbon, the convict of the same name would have been 38.
So the one who married may have been his son.
Elizabeth McGibbon b.c.1830 came to the colony as an unassisted immigrant.


NSW State Records has revealed another Evitt convict - Joseph Evitt - who arrived in New South Wales in 1835.
He was tried at Fermaragh.


There appear to be several 'William' Evitts or Evetts.
In 1825, a William Evett, convict, arrives in New South Wales.
He was born in London and tried at Armagh.
In 1836, a William Evitt is before the Quarter Sessions court in Campbelltown.
On Friday 27 August 1847, a William EVITT is recorded as subscribing 10 shillings to the International Order of Odd Fellows - Manchester Unity, Sydney for the relief of Irish and Scotch destitute.
On Tuesday 11 September 1885, the funeral of a William Evitt took place.
 According to a newspaper report, the funeral procession was to move from his late residence in Goulburn Street to Charles Kinsela's in Goulburn Street.
In 1880, a William Evitt, labourer, died intestate (without a will) at Ben Bullen (near Litgow). [Source: NSW State Records]
In 1915, a William Evett is named as the co-respondent in a divorce case. [Source: NSW State Records]


According to the NSW State Records Index to Orphan Schools, an Edward Evitt aged 5 and his older brother William aged 7 were placed in care on 21 April 1858.
They appear to have been the illegitimate children of Emily Esther Evitt, daughter of Thomas E and Emily Esther Evitt.
Both boys were born at the Maclean near Kempsey on the NSW North Coast.
William E T Evitt was born c.1851 and his brother Edward T born c.1853.
Their births were not registered.
They were placed in the Protestant Orphan School at Parramatta, in the building formerly occupied by the Female Orphans' School, which is still standing as a heritage building.
One of them, Edward Thomas, was my maternal great grandfather.
After fathering at least nine children, he died at Balmain North on 11 December 1924.
His occupation was plumber.
His wife Harriett Evitt (nee Phillis) died at Mosman in 1948.


Today I discovered that Sydney's first burial ground, located where the Sydney Town Hall now stands on the corner of George and Druitt Streets, contained the remains of a Thomas Evett.
He was buried on 5 April 1793, five years and three months after the penal colony of New South Wales officially came into being on 26 January 1788.
According to the records of historian Thomas D Mutch, he had a headstone bearing two words: 'EVITT. Convict.'
Neither the Tasmanian Archives or the Queensland State Library have any convict record of him.
QSL has two 'Evett' convicts:
Elizabeth, arr. 1795
Samuel, arr. 1833
This information comes from the British convict transportation registers.
TA has no entries for 'Evitt' or 'Evett', but three for 'Levett':
Thomas arr.1823
Elizabeth arr.1833
John, arr.1846
The name 'Thomas' was passed down religiously in my maternal grandfather's family.
He called himself 'Tom', despite his real name being Archibald.
And his only son has 'Thomas' as one of his middle names.
Update 29-1-12
I just found Thomas Evatt, convict, on
He was convicted on 22 April 1789, Middlesex, England and tried at Old Bailey in London.
Departed England January 1791 on the 3rd Fleet and arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney) in September 1791.
Update 2-2-12
Today I found in my local library a book containing more information about Thomas Evatt/Evett, convict.
According to Third Fleet Families of Australia, Thomas was born in London and arrived on the Salamander on 21-8-1791.
He died on 4-4-1793 at Sydney Cove, and was buried at [the parish of] St Philips.
In the meantime he had married Mary Brown (GS) and had a daughter, Mary Jnr.
She was born on 21-7-1792 at Sydney Cove.
Mary Brown Snr was born in Kent and arrived on 9-7-1791 on the Mary Ann as a convict.