Norfolk Island Van Diemens Land Group List

Van Diemen’s Land and Norfolk Island Interest Group 1986-1999

(and its rebirth on Website in 2005)

© Irene Schaffer


In 1985 I became interested in Norfolk Island while doing my stepfather’s family history I discovered that he was the great grandson of James Jordan, Queen 1791 (3rd fleet) and Mary Butler, Lady Juliana 1790 (2nd fleet). James had arrived in the Tamar River on the Minstrel in 1813) (James Jordan Last Journey Norfolk Island to Norfolk Plains 1813) After completing the research I found I could not let go and so began an interest in those who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land from Norfolk Island between 1807-1813.

The passenger’s list for those who had arrived on the Lady Nelson I, II, III, Porpoise, Estramina City of Edinburgh, and the Minstrel was almost unreadable and would take hours every time I tried to find a name.  In the end I began to write the names out, this took about 6 months and when I had finished I asked Thelma McKay to check it for me.  This was my first attempt at putting a book together and printing it, (Bruce Woods did most of setting out and printing) but it was well worth the effort and I still use it myself. (Norfolk Island Embarkations to Van Diemen’s Land 1807-1813)

During this time I had met a number of people who were descendants, at the then Tasmanian Genealogical Society and decided to have one day a month at my flat to discuss and talk about the Norfolk Islanders.

During this time I began a list of names relating to those who had arrived between 1808-1813 and those who were descendants.  In the next ten years I recorded 200 members and many, many names of the Norfolk Islanders.

I also started to record stories I found and printed them in small books. Some of the members were encouraged to write down their findings and they too were printed.  Over this period there were over 50 books printed. We also had a Newsletter from 1990 till 1997. 

About this time I began taking the group on excursions, first by cars and later by bus. To me this was a wonderful way of discovering where the Norfolk Islanders settled. We had great fun and at first did three excursions a year. I also produced a book about the places we were going to on the day. Over these years I watched our committee’s children up as many of them brought them to the meetings with them. As I recall we had the same committee for the life of the group.

After fourteen excursions I decided to call it a day, as I was becoming more involved in the Lady Nelson and after taking my bus group on an all day sail on the Lady Nelson, realized that they were not as keen on sailing as I was. They still have not forgiven me for this.

I closed down the VDL & NI group in 1999 but still keep in touch with many of the members and help them and others who are interested, as often as I can.

Since closing down the group I have been busy on the Lady Nelson recording the places she visited where she sailed before bringing the first group of Norfolk Islanders to Hobart in 1808. Books were also written about the Lady Nelson and her voyages.

This has been very exciting as I had written the profiles of those who came on the first two ships the Lady Nelson and the Porpoise (with the help of my co-worker Thelma McKay) and not long after it was published heard that a replica of the Lady Nelson was to be built at the  River Derwent. (Exiled Three Times Over)

To be able to watch the ship taking shape was very exciting and in late 1987 she was launched from Ray Kemp’s ship-yard.  I did not dream that in a few years I would become a member of her crew and sail to many places over rough and smooth seas for the next ten years. And what is more wonderful I still do, not as the purser anymore but as her historian. How lucky can a person be who did not see a ship or the sea until she was 7 years old.

I have made some wonderful friends since I started on this historical adventure and hope to add more as we continue together on this project.

If you would like to add your ancestors that came from Norfolk Island to Van Diemen’s Land between 1808-1813 send their details to me by using the "contact me" link below in the format of: -Name, Spouse Ship and Contact.

I hope that by revisiting the work I started over 20 years ago, those who came to our shores over 200 years ago will continue to take their place in our history.

Settlers who came to VDL from Norfolk Island 1807-1813
NAME SPOUSE SHIP CONTACT
ANSTER, Mary William Stanley Lady Nelson 1808 Hayley Poynton
BAKER, Samuel   Minstrel 1813 Gwyneth Daniel
BELLETTE, Jacob Ann Harper City of Edinburgh 1808 Alison Wilson
BRUCE, Elizabeth Francis Flexmore City of Edinburgh 1808 Rose Martin
BRUCE, Elizabeth Francis Flexmore City of Edinburgh 1808 Marion Kelso
BURROWS, Richard Elizabeth Cole City of Edinburgh 1808 Alison Louttit
CAVENAUGH, Mary Edward Kimberley City of Edinburgh 1808 Judi Hurst
CHAFFEY, Thomas Maria Israel Porpoise 1808 Sonia Hickman
CHAFFEY, Thomas Maria Israel Porpoise 1808 Irene Defina **
CHRISTMAS, Mary Thomas Restell Crowder Porpoise 1808 Ann Belmont
CLAYTON, William Sarah Sunderland Minstrel 1813 Tas Browning
COLE, Elizabeth Richard Burrows City of Edinburgh 1808 Alison Louttit
CROWDER, Thomas Restell Mary Christmas Porpoise 1808 Ann Belmont
FLEXMORE, Francis Elizabeth Bruce City of Edinburgh 1808 Marion Kelso
FLEXMORE, Francis Elizabeth Bruce City of Edinburgh 1808 Doreen McFarland
FREE, Samuel Elizabeth Smith Porpoise 1808 Louise Leslie
FREE, Samuel Elizabeth Smith Porpoise 1808
FREE, Samuel Elizabeth Smith Porpoise 1808 Lee Chamber
FREE, Sarah George Munday Porpoise 1808 Wynnette Ford
GARTH, Edward Susanna Gough Porpoise 1808 Alison Wilson
GOODWIN, Andrew Lydia Munro Porpoise Margaret Nichols
GOUGH, Susanna Edward Garth Porpoise 1808 Alison Wilson
HAMBLY, William Mary Springham Porpoise 1808 Sarah Peacock
HAMBLY, William Mary Springham Porpose 1808 Rose Martin
HARPER, Ann Joseph Bellette City of Edinburgh 1808 Alison Wilson
HIGGINS, Mary James Triffitt City of Edinburgh 1808 Joan Birtles
HOPWOOD, George Ann Sherburd City of Edinburgh 1808 Margaret Nichols
HOWARD, Ann Thomas Lucas City of Edinburgh 1808 Judi Hurst
ISRAEL, Maria Thomas Chaffey Porpoise 1808 Irene Defina**
ISRAEL, Maria Thomas Chaffey Porpoise 1808 Sonia Hickman
JORDAN, James Mary Butler Minstrel 1813 Irene Schaffer
JORDAN, James Mary Butler Minstrel Christopher Riley
JORDAN, Thomas Abigail Hanlon Minstrel 1813 Irene Schaffer
KIMBERLEY, Edward Mary Cavenaugh City of Edinburgh 1808 Judi Hurst
LUCAS, Thomas Ann Howard City of Edinburgh 1808 Judi Hurst
MCCLOUD, John Mary Potter City of Edinburgh 1808 Marion Kelso
MORTIMER, Susannah Thomas O’Brien City of Edinburgh 1808 Gwyneth Daniel
MUNRO, Lydia Andrew Goodwin Porpoise Margaret Nichols
O’BRIEN, Thomas Susannah Mortimer City of Edinburgh 1808 Gwyneth Daniel
PILLENGER, James Elizabeth Wood City of Edinburgh 1808
PILLENGER, James Elizabeth Wood City of Edinburgh 1808 Louise Rainbow
PRESNELL, William Ann Fowler City of Edinburgh 1808 Trudy Cowley
SHERBURD, William Esther Thornton City of Edinburgh 1808 Trudy Cowley
SHERBURD, William Esther Thornton City of Edinburgh 1808 Margaret Nichols
SPRINGHAM, Mary William Hambly Porpoise 1808 Sarah Peacock
STANDLEY, William Mary Anster Lady Nelson 1808 Hayley Poynton
SUNDERLAND, Sarah William Clayton Minstrel 1813 Tas Browning
SYDES, Richard Ann White Lady Nelson 1813 Chris Woods
TRIFFITT, James Mary Higgins City of Edinburgh Joan Birtles
WESTLAKE, Edward Ann Wood City of Edinburgh 1808
WESTLAKE, Edward Ann Wood City of Edinburgh 1808 Louise Rainbow
WHITE, Ann Richard Sydes Lady Nelson 1813 Chris Woods