In addition to my great grandfather Patrick the following pages cover the lives of his brothers, Flurance (known as William) and James and his sisters Mary Ann, Catherine, and Honora.

We know little about the other children of James and Catherine Harrison.

The eldest, Elizabeth, was born 7 June 1859 and baptised at St Joseph’s soon after: her godparents were William Seery and Ann Connor. She moved to Launceston around 1875 and worked as a domestic servant. On 13 April 1879 she married a miner James Whitford in the house of the Rev William White of the York St. Baptist Church. At the time he was 27 and she 21. In January 1880 James was found to be of unsound mind and taken to the New Norfolk Asylum for the insane. He died there on 15 June 1882, aged 30. (The 1890-1 Post Office Directory records a James Whitford as living at Frankford, midway between Exeter and Devonport. Elizabeth probably lived with her sister Mary Ann after her marriage to Nathaniel Munnings in 1885 as Elizabeth registered the birth of William Munnings in 1887. After James Whitford and her parents died Elizabeth seems to have had a hard time. Between 1897 and 1905 she was found guilty of s eries of robberies resulting in periods in gaol. On two of these occasions she was referred to as Elizabeth Whitford aka Cox.

Margaret was born 29 May 1860 and baptised by Charles Woods and Bridget Cahil was her godmother. When Catherine registered the birth of her first Margaret, and Elizabeth, the clerk recorded their surname as Harris: Margaret retained this name until May 1880 when she married John Richard Hopwood. John’s father was also a transported to Van Dieman’s Land from Manchester and his mother was, like Catherine, Irish. Margaret’s life had been a mystery until Mrs Isa Hopwood,provided the vital clues and the wonderful photo shown below.

Joseph Hopwood was transported in 1845, first to Norfolk Island and then to Hobart in 1847. He was 25 when convicted for stealing handkerchiefs and clothes. He could read and write, was 5feet 5 tall, fair with brown hair. After receiving a conditional pardon in June 1853 he worked as sawyer. On 27 December he married a widow from Galway, Margaret Twohill , also recorded as Toole. She had been tried in Tipperary in August 1848 and sentenced to 7 years for stealing cotton. The transport Kinnear brought her and her young daughter Mary Anne to Hobart in October 1848. Margaret’s father was Patrick Coleman and her mother Catherine White. When transported Margaret was a 25 year-old blonde with freckles and grey eyes. She did not settle well into her life as convict at the Brickfields and later at the Female Factory and consequently was banished from Hobart. However she was granted approval to marry Joseph. When she arrived her four year-old daughter was placed in the Queens Orphan School and remained there until October 1852 when she was discharged into the care of her mother, who by then was on Ticket of Leave. Not being allowed to live in Hobart they moved to Brown’s River, now Kingston, where Joseph Hopwood had a farm; John Richard Hopwood was born there on 5 July 1854.

John and Margaret’s first child, May Alberta, known as Mona, was born before her parents were married and apparently remained in Hobart when her parents moved to Junee in New South Wales in 1881. Perhaps the baby was left in the care of her grandmother while John settled in to his new position as an engine driver in the NSW Railways. The Hopwood’s second child Margaret (later known as Aunty Moss) was born in New South Wales in 1882 and registered in Wagga Wagga not long after they arrived: so it was probably not feasible to return to Hobart for May. May married Herbert Simon in Hobart in 1898 before also migrating to New South Wales.

With the family settled in Junee nine more children arrived – Emily Ethel in 1884, John Richard II in 1886, Albert Aloyious in 1891, Myrtle Alicope in 1893, George L in 1895, Albury N in 1888, Tasman Theophilus in 1902. Apart from Theophilus all survived into adult life. Later in life Margaret and John moved to Sydney and he died in Haberfield in December 1940. Margaret must have moved back to Junee for she died there on 11 June 1943 aged 83. She was buried the next day in the Roman Catholic Section of the Junee Cemetery.

Margaret and John escaped the ‘convict stain’ by accepting a variation in her surname, by marrying and engine driver, one of the elite of the working class and moving to New South Wales. She and John founded a large and successful family built largely on his career in the New South Wales Railways.



John Richard and Margaret Ann Hopwood

There is as yet little or no evidence on the life of the third son, Michael after his early brushes with the law in Hobart. NSW records include the death of a man of the same name with parents James and Catherine. This event occurred at Balranald in 1925.