Convicts, Names of Interest

George Brand: A Convict Success Story – Part 5

Freedom or Something Like It

On 3 April 1856 George received his Ticket of Leave, after only 11 months in the Swan Settlement, and he went to work for Charles Crowther in the Greenough area.1,2,3,4  The below register shows the money that came to George on his release to start the next stage of his life as a ticket of leave man.4

Convict Establishment – Receipts and Discharges

Ticket of Leave men were allowed to send for their families if they had enough money and on 6 April 1859 his family arrived in Albany on board the Hamilla Mitchell and they went on to Greenough to join him.1,5,6  By the time they arrived in Western Australia Isabella was now aged 39 years, David 18 years, Isabella 16 years, Andrew 14 years, and George 9 years.1,7  Isabella, Isabella, and Andrew were all listed as farm servants, and David a ploughman, obviously all forced to work to keep the family going when George was imprisoned.1,7  One can only imagine how excited they all would have been to see each other again after seven long years of separation. In 1861 the family welcomed their fifth child, John, their only Australian born child.8,9

‘Ironbarks’, Greenough, Western Australia

It appears that coming to Australia and the subsequent move to Greenough was the best thing to have happened to George and his family.  He was given his Conditional Pardon on 8 August 1859 and went on to become a successful farmer in the district.1,2  In 1861 George built “Ironbarks” (which still stands today) on 40 acres of land that he leased from Charles Crowther.1,9 In 1864 he applied for land at Bootnal Reserve near Dongara and in 1867 purchased a further ninety acres.1





1867 Isabella Brand’s Wedding, ‘Ironbarks’

Over time each son became a successful pastoralist or farmer with his son George eventually being elected to the local Board of Education.1. Each of his children married free settlers, an unusual happening in the era as most people did not marry outside their social class.1 The picture shows the family in 1867 outside ‘Ironbarks’ when Isabella married free settler Henry Fletcher Waldeck.  Clearly the family was very well regarded in the community for them to have made this transition. An interesting aside is that George Brand’s great grandson, David, was to later become Sir David Brand, Premier of Western Australia from 1959-1971, with the Brand Highway, named after him, passing “within a kilometre of ‘Ironbarks’ “. 9,10 Highway, named after him, passing “within a kilometre of ‘Ironbarks’ “.9,10




George Brand – Death Notice

George died, aged 52, on 3 September 1872 in Greenough, Western Australia a few days after he was injured in an accident.1,11,12  George was travelling with his wife and son, John to a party being held at Woodman’s Hotel, when the trap he was driving crashed and they were all thrown out.1,11,12  Fortunately Isabella and John only received minor injuries, however George did not fare so well and succumbed to his injuries a couple of days later.11  It is interesting to note that the article called him “a well-known settler” with no allusion to his previous convict status, such was the esteem he was held in his community.  George Brand is clearly a convict success story.

George Brand: A Convict Success Story – Part 1

George Brand: A Convict Success Story – Part 2

George Brand: A Convict Success Story – Part 3

George Brand: A Convict Success Story – Part 4


Do you have a convict ancestor?  Click on the below image to start searching for your convict ancestors at Findmypast today.





Image Credit: ‘Ironbarks’, Greenough, Western Australia. Accessed 15 June 2016.

Image Credit: 1867 Isabella Brand’s Wedding at ‘Ironbarks’. _phsrc=gqo97&usePUBJs=true. Accessed 10 June 2016.


1. Erickson, Rica. The Brand on his Coat: Biographies of some Western Australian Convicts. Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press, 1983
2. ‘Convict Database’. Accessed 16 May 2016.
3. Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846­1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original Data: Convict Records. State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Convict Department, Registers: Reference Number: ACC 1156/R18. Accessed 16 May 2016.
4. Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846­1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original Data: Convict Records. State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Convict Establishment, Receipts and Discharges: Reference Number: ACC 1156/R&D1-R&D2. Accessed 16 May 2016
5. ‘History: The Convict Era’. Accessed 10 June 2016.
6. Western Australia, Australia, Convict Records, 1846­1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original Data: Convict Records. State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Reel Number: 8309, Reference Number: ACC 115. Accessed 16 May 2016.
7. Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Source Citation: SRO of Western Australia; Albany Passenger list of Assisted Emigrants showing names of emigrants and from which countries selected; Accession: 115; Roll: 214. Accessed 5 June 2016.
8. ‘Searching Western Australian Online Indexes’. Registration: Number: 6111, Victoria District, 1861. Accessed 10 June 2016.
9. ‘Ironbarks Old Forge’. Accessed 12 June 2016.
10. ‘Sir David Brand’. (link is external). Accessed 10 June 2016.
11. Trove. ‘Herald’. (1879, September 21). Fremantle, Western Australia (Fremantle, WA: 1867 – 1886), p.3. Accessed 31 May 2016.
12. ‘Searching Western Australian Online Indexes’. Registration: Number: 6325, 1872. Accessed 10 June 2016.

8 thoughts on “George Brand: A Convict Success Story – Part 5

  1. Wow what a colorful history Mr Brand had. I read that this was your great great great grandfather? This story is very cool and to know that this is where you came from (or part or the story anyway), awesome. I have tried to dig into my own family background but information is limited. My family seemed to be nomads way back when. Maybe I am a gypsy. I wish I was able to find information about my family in the same detail that you have with regards to George Brand. Very cool.

    1. Hi Jason

      I am so lucky that there is a wealth of information about George because he was a convict and the records the government kept on them was quite intricate. I am sure there would be a way to trace your history as there are so many records around. It would be cool to be a gypsy! Thank you for reading and feel free to ask me questions at any time.


  2. What a fascinating life your great great grandfather had. His family would have to be his best accomplishment and legacy.

    It’s wonderful that you have been able to research and trace his life story and learn so much detail about him and your ancestors.

    I greatly enjoyed reading your series and learned a lot not only about George but about the lives of the convicts who contributed to the development of the colonies. Thankfully Governor Philip recognized the need to put the education and skills of convicts to good use.

    I knew about Sir David Brand but did not make the connection that George Brand was his great grandfather until you mentioned it. By discovering this you now know that your family is also part of political history…lol.

    Thank you for sharing your family history with us. It is a great read.


    1. Hi Jude

      I am so glad you enjoyed the story of George Brand. It was amazing how he turned his life around from a criminal transported from his homeland forever, into a respected member of his community in his new country. I am glad that you enjoyed the other information about the convict system that George became a part of. You are so right that the government did learn to use the convict’s skills to build the country.

      I always knew about Sir David Brand being part of the family as mum grew up visiting “Uncle Dave” and his family. However, it took a while for me to discover the convict connection as my grandmother was from an era where it was a shame to have a convict in the family. I have instead embraced my convict past and am so proud of what George and his family achieved.

      I hope to share more with you on my website in coming months. Please come back and join me.


  3. I love a good redemption story, and it’s so great that he was able to achieve good standing and respect of his community and the convict thing was distant history. Sad that he died at 52. I’m always so stunned when I hear life stories where so much happens, and the person dies so young. I wonder wha’s more dangerous, the horse buggy or the automobile?

    1. Hi Penelope

      It is such a great story of the human spirit especially given the way Australian convicts were treated in many instances. He was of good behaviour so was quickly released upon arrival in Australia and chose to grab this opportunity with both hands. It is a credit to him and his family that the forged ahead in such a harsh climate and made a real go of it. The legacy they have left behind in their descendants stands as a testament to that. It is sad he died so young, especially given the hard work he did to change his life. It is hard to say which is more dangerous, although I would probably say horse as they are an animal and can be unpredictable. A car is the responsibility of the person driving it. However, I think an automobile does much more damage! Thanks again for reading.


      1. In some ways, these past convicts had an easier time than today’s felons. At least in the US, they are stripped of their right to vote and basically no one will hire them for a job. I wish there were more second chances in our culture, especially after reading such an impressive redemption story.

        1. Hi Penelope

          You are right, it is clear from this story, that some people can be rehabilitated if given the right opportunity. I believe that there should be more support of ex-prisoners to help them assimilate back into society. If more was spent on rehabilitation than on punishment, maybe the crime rate would reduce.


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