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The Journey


As the ship made its way out of the River Thames, Isabella reflected on how they had got to this point.  She would never have voluntarily made this trip, however since the day George was transported she knew this is what they had to do. They had hoped he would be jailed in Scotland but given his previous conviction, the court had punished him harshly.  Isabella knew from the experiences of other families that he would never return.

The time spent in the hustle and bustle of London awaiting the sailing already had her missing the quiet streets of Falkirk, Scotland.  Now the cacophony on the ship from the 246 passengers onboard not to mention the shouts of the crew was already driving her mad.  How would she survive on this cramped ship for months?  The stories she had heard about the long, rough and uncomfortable trip were disconcerting.  She was worried about her children – would they be seasick, would they survive the journey.

The only reason she could find joy in this trip was the excitement of her four children to be seeing their father.  They had not seen him in nine years since he was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Australia.  The children would be unrecognisable to George given they were all aged under ten years when he was sentenced.  Maybe just maybe things would work out.

Isabella Brand was my third great-grandmother.  Her husband, George was transported to Western Australia in 1852 for theft.  I have written a number of stories about this family as having a convict in the family allows the imagination to work from all angles.  There are so many records available about convicts that a more in-depth story can be developed.

Do you have an ancestor who followed their convict spouse to a new country?  Start your search today on Findmypast by clicking the image below.

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  1. Richard
    November 4, 2017 at 12:07 am

    One can never imagine what tough times our nearest and dearest of past generations suffered. We owe them a lot. My roots are traced back to India, Java, The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and South Africa.
    It’s one gigantic melting pot. I need to document this for posterity. Your post about your ancestors was very tragic indeed and inhumane to transport convicts to another country. You have spurred me on to investigate my roots further

    • Megan
      November 4, 2017 at 2:16 am

      Hello Richard – I am so glad my story is inspiring you!  You certainly have a good mix of ethnicities there.  So far I have English, Scottish, and Welsh heritage.  I am always interested to hear about other peoples backgrounds!  Good luck in finding your ancestors and feel free to email me to ask any questions you may have.



  2. Helen Doyle
    Helen DoyleReply
    November 5, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Megan I know many were transported here, to Tasmania, and for some their lives were hell. It didn’t take many sadists to arrange that.

    However for many they ended up with a better life than they did in the British Isles.

    So I hate the society that meant they became criminals for such petty crimes but I read about the ones that made a good new life.

    Great story and now I am off to read your post that Richard refers to.


    • Megan
      November 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Helen

      It is horrid to think that such petty crimes did see people transported to a penal colony so far away from their families. However, you are right so many of them did have better lives here and some even made better lives for themselves. I haven’t found any connections to Tasmania, more’s the pity, as I am so in love with that state. Enjoy reading the other stories!


  3. Billie
    November 6, 2017 at 7:24 am

    What an interesting story! After reading this and some more of your posts, I think I’m going to do some digging to learn about my ancestry. I had never though to do it before and I know nothing beyond my parents, except for a few details. This could be a lot of fun and who knows what I may find! Thank you for inspiring me!

    • Megan
      November 6, 2017 at 8:12 am

      I am so glad I have inspired you Billie.  Genealogy is a wonderful hobby and, a word of warning, very addictive.  It is so interesting to find out information of ancestors you hadn’t know about before.  I have plenty of stories on my website about various members of my family and will continue to post more.  What is your ethnic background?  Please feel free to contact me at any time to assist you with your research.  

  4. Kate
    January 30, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Hello dear Megan!

    It’s so overwhelming to hear what people in the past had to go through in their lives. I really find very interesting what you do. When it comes to my family roots I’m from Greece, but I know that my third great-grandmother was from a royal family of France. Unfortunately, that’s all. I don’t see how I could find more about her since all my grandparents are dead and my parents know very few. How do you manage to find all those information?

    • Megan
      February 2, 2018 at 12:26 am

      Hi Kate

      I am so glad you enjoyed this post.  In regards to your family history it is not hard to research and find information.  Have you ever looked at Ancestry or Findmypast?  Both of these sites have a wealth of records to find out information about your family.  Basically you start writing down what you know, starting with yourself.  Gather up documents that you have e.g. birth, death, marriage certificates and note them.  You will be surprised how much you actually do know.  You need to prove each generation before going back a generation – so prove who your grandparents were, then you can search for your great-grandparents, then prove theirs and before you know it you will be back to the third-great-grandparents.  If you need any help please message me.



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