Breamlea, Victoria

Breamlea, Victoria

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bounty immigrants; not the other kind of Bounty

I don't know about you but when I hear the word "Bounty" my mind leaps to "Mutiny on the".  The brain then skirts around with Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian, and finally lands in a 1970's ad for a chocolate bar with a coconut centre and waving palm trees in the background.

That's NOT the kind of Bounty I discovered today.

Today I discovered that my 4x great grandfather and grandmother and their four children were Bounty immigrants.  My understanding of a Bounty immigrant is that a company pays for their passage to Australia, who then work for the company.  The price of the passage determines the length of time the immigrants are obliged to work for the company.

This is a rough understanding only.  I guess my definition of a Bounty immigrant will get more precise as I learn more.

The ancestors I am referring to are the Tainton family, from Gloucestershire in England.  On 19 April 1841, Phillip and Jane Tainton and their four children, Richard, Hannah, Eliza and William boarded the ludicrously named barque Burhampooter at Plymouth in England.

They arrived in Sydney on 7 August 1841.  The "Bounty" for Phillip and Jane was 19 pounds each, for the 16 year old Richard it was 15 pounds, for 10 year old Hannah, ten pounds, and for Eliza aged 6 and William aged 2, they were 5 pounds each.  The grand total of their Bounty as recorded on the ship's log is 73 pounds.  I make the presumption that the bounty is based upon age for this reason, and might be why Phillip fudged his age by a few years, to save a few pounds.

Of course type of behaviour by your ancestors can cause havoc with your research if you don't keep to a high standard of evidence. Phillip said he was 39 on the voyage when he was actually about 44 according to his death notice.

Lots of other information is recorded on that document too.  The company that imported them was called William Walker & Co. I will have to research more to find out what business the business did.

The occupation for Phillip is listed as "Shepherd", and for Jane as "Factory Woman", so they had working mothers in 1841 too.  Their religion was also listed as Protestant.

A quick look at Trove has gained all sorts of insights into the Taintons.  For one thing, they moved to Geelong in Victoria, which is where I was raised. Electoral rolls say they lived in a place called Ashby in Geelong, which I have never heard of .

A Mr. Tainton who was a milkman from Ashby was robbed while out on his rounds.  It was an inside job - some money was hidden in a cup in a cupboard, and some more was inside a locked chest.  Six or seven pounds was stolen; in 1849, a fortune.  What a blow to them that would have been.

Phillip's death notice published in the Geelong Advertiser in 1875 claimed he was "highly esteemed by all who knew him." His daughter Hannah marries one James Lucas and eventually I am born.  Cue the "Circle of Life" music...
Article identifier
Page identifier
APA citation
Family Notices. (1875, September 15). Geelong Advertiser(Vic. : 1859 - 1924), p. 2. Retrieved June 11, 2015, from
MLA citation
"Family Notices." Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1924) 15 Sep 1875: 2. Web. 11 Jun 2015 <>.
Harvard/Australian citation
1875 'Family Notices.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1924), 15 September, p. 2, viewed 11 June, 2015,
Wikipedia citation
{{cite news |url= |title=Family Notices. |newspaper=[[Geelong Advertiser |Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1924)]] |location=Vic. |date=15 September 1875 |accessdate=11 June 2015 |page=2 |publisher=National Library of Australia}}



  1. In 1854 in Victoria Philip TAINTON married Mary WILSON
    (see index to Victoria marriage registrations)
    Do you know anything more about Mary?


    1. Hi Alastair,
      I didn't know Philip remarried so that is wonderful to find out. What happened to his first wife Jane Brinkworth? Perhaps she died on the voyage to Australia?