James Jordan Last Journey

Extracts from my book:


James Jordan Last Journey

Norfolk Island to Norfolk Plains 1813

(c) Irene Schaffer

Thomas Jordan  -  Page 32


Thomas Jordan was born on Norfolk Island in 1807 and was only six years old when he arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on the Minstrel in 1813.

(He was the son of James Jordan, who was convicted for theft in Dublin in 1798, under the name of James Sheridan)[1]

Thomas received his grant of 60 acres in 1822, the same time as his brother James. There is not a great deal to be found on Thomas’s early life, he does not seem to have farmed to the extent that his older brothers did.

His name is mentioned on an application from Mr Dyball as having property at Norfolk Plains , south of William Saltmarsh (his half brother) in 1827 . In1829 he came before the Supreme Court charged with stealing 2 bushels of wheat , valued at 12/- and 1 bag valued at 1/-, the property of John Stevens. He was found not guilty and discharged.

There was a Thomas Jordan listed as one of the whaling crew on the Elizabeth Taylerson, bound from Launceston for the Cape of Good Hope on the 14 April 1835.  It is not known if this the same Thomas, he does however seem to be a wanderer.

On the 18 October 1839 at the age of 30 as a free settler he married Abigail Hanlon, aged 19, in the Evandale school house.  His brother Richard was Richard’s daughter Susannah Howard were the witnesses.

Thomas appeared at the Quarter Session in February 1842 in an Insolvent Court; the case was adjourned to the 25th of February for proof of debt.

Twelve children were born to Thomas and Abigail: Richard in 1840, Thomas 1842, Catherine 1846, Daniel 1847, Miriah Sarah 1848, Adam 1840, Edwin 1855, Alice 1857, Fanny 1858, James 1860, and George 1862.

The 1860  census records Thomas in the Westbury District living in a wooden dwelling belonging to Charles Arthur, with:

1 single female under 2 years

1 single male between 2-7 years

1 married male between 21- 45 years

1 married female between 21 – 45 years

The children were all born in the Colony. Married couple both arrived free. All were of the R.C. faith.

Thomas decided to take his family to Victoria about 1862 – 3, and settled in St Kilda, where in 1863 Abigail gave birth to her last child George. She died on the 18th December 1866 and her death certificate showed that George had already died by then.

From the time Abigail died until Thomas died in 1888 at the Benevolent Asylum at Beechworth Victoria nothing is known of him or the rest of the family except Edwin who went north to NSW and then on to Queensland.

The book has a profile of all the children of James and Mary Jordan and followes Edwin on his travels north into NSW and Queensland, where he settled and had his family at Inglewood.   His son Charlie recored his own story before he died and this can be found as he wrote it in the book.  


Extract from:  James Jordan’s Last Journey Norfolk Island to Norfolk Plains 1813    &   James Jordan Trial.


See book list.



[1] James Jordan’s Trial Dublin 1879.