Breamlea, Victoria

Breamlea, Victoria

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Weird ancestries unite

I tell my kids they are a great mixture of two types of ancestry.

On my side of the family, we have traced back to First Fleet royalty.  A pair of convicts called NATHANIEL LUCAS and OLIVIA GASCOIGNE, who were the first to marry on Norfolk Island.

On my husband Jon's side of the family, we have Commander WILLIAM MORIARTY who is his great great grandfather.  William Moriarty was Port Officer at Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land.

According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, (  Jon's great great grandfather was a coroner, grazier, magistrate and public servant. A high ranking official in charge of convict life.

It could only happen in Australia where people with such polar opposite ancestries would get married and have kids. I love Australia for that.

William Moriarty was an Irishman like Jon, well liked by one and all, including all the convicts. He settled in Hobart in 1829 after a long and illustrious career in the Royal Navy.   William's daughter Ellen Moriarty was born in Hobart in 1846, and she is Jon's paternal great grandmother.

When William died in 1850, there was a huge emotional procession around Hobart Town to his burial place, and the Hobart Town Advertiser described everything in detail,  including a map of the position of his pall bearers.   A military band from the 99th Regiment played funeral music and Ellen's brother broke down under the weight of the grief surrounding him and could not continue.

There is a marble monument to William Moriarty erected in St. George's Church at Battery Point. Part of the inscription includes " the discharge of his public duties he obtained the marked approbation of the Government, whilst by the frank and manly generosity of his character he secured the cordial esteem of all ranks of society."

William has passed those qualities down to my husband and kids, that is for sure.

Citation details

Jill T. Hansen, 'Moriarty, William (1792–1850)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 9 April 2015.
This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

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