Our Watson-Waters Family Timeline 1808 – 1890

Under Construction

For a while I had considered that Charles “Watson” Waters I (c. 1812 – 1888) might be the convict who arrived in Van Dieman’s land in 1836 on the Henry Porcher (3), and then somehow made it to mainland NSW.

On his 1888 death certificate, son Charles Waters II, had stated that he had been in the Colony for 51 years and that his name was Charles Watson Waters. Some like our Waters family member Glenys Canning have queried where “Watson” came from ?

Then nearly a year ago Glenys found information that the Charles Waters on Henry Porcher (3) had only made it to the Mainland in 1852 – too late for our Charles Waters I. As Glenys said , “it was a nice theory while it lasted”.

Since then I have periodically re-looked at the information and wondered and wondered.

And then a light bulb moment .. thinking laterally – what if he arrived as Charles Watson and then became known as Charles Waters ? It wouldn’t be the first time that a transcription error occurred or an alias alternative name given ? Last year I curated a museum exhibition about another convict of that era – Thomas Childerley aka Chidley aka Chilby – ultimately the family became known as the Chilby’s.

So were there any Charles Watson’s that might fit some of what we know – arrived in the Colony around 1837 – 1838 ish – born some where around 1810 – 1820 ? And who had been assigned to the Hunter area during the 1840 – 50’s ?

Well there was one – Charles Watson, born about 1813 – 1815 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, convicted at the Devon Assizes in 1837, originally sentenced to death for Housebreaking  / Burglary, but acquitted of Larceny – Death Sentence commuted to transport for life and sailed on the Lord Lyndoch (4) in 1837 and arriving April 1838. And he was a troublesome fellow too.

Could he be our Charles (Watson) Waters I (1812ish – 1888), in the colonies for 51 years ?

It would certainly explain why we could not find him in the 1837 Muster ? I  was  unable to locate any of the appropriate  Watson’s, Waters or MacDonald’s on the 1841 Census – but genealogy buffs have told me that there are holes in the records from the Hunter Valley – and that some of the records may have been lost in a fire or flood.

And did they marry in Maitland in 1841 ? There was no  record of a convict application to marry between Jane/Jean McDonald in the early 1840’s – nor in the NSW BDM’s. Again the Hunter Valley old records conundrum, plus I have also sometimes found  Church of Scotland records patchy – in the days before civil registration of the 1850’s. Alternatively, they may have never married  – simply become life partners ? Yet 1841 is a possible year for a Waters – MacDonald wedding in Maitland – sourced from daughter Jane’s death and Maitland is given as the place of marriage on  Charles I’s death certificate.

Well – what information exists on Charles Watson from the Lord Lyndoch (4) who arrive in 1838 ?

  • 22.7.1837 at Devon Assizes – Charles Watson –  Convicted and sentenced to life transportation – Source Claim a Convict 22.7.1837 at Devon Assizes departed England on the Lord Lyndoch – Convicts Records
  • 8.8.1838 – Charles Watson sentenced at Devon Assizes arrived Sydney on the Lord Lyndon – Convict Records
  • 8.8.1838 – Charles Watson aged 23 years,  Indoor Servant, convicted for housebreaking and sentenced to life – this would mean a year of birth about 1814 – 1815 ? Though some of the other records place his year of birth as being 1813.
  • 1838 – Charles Watson sentenced to life at Devon Assizes on 22.7.1837 included on the NSW  Australian Ship NSW Convict  Muster Rolls 1790 – 1849  for Lord Lyndoch 1838 & Australian Convict Transportation Registers 1837 – 1838
  • 17.1.1839 – Charles Watson, Servant, Protestant of Bristol, England who arrived on Lord Lyndoch in 1838, was sent to the Gang at Parramatta on 1.2.1839 – with 2 others – James Wood (Labourer, Lady Harewood – 1832 ) and Patrick Kilcoole (Shoemaker, Blenheim – 1834) – NSW Australia Gaol Description Entrance Books, Sydney Gaol
  • 5.2.1840 – in trouble … to be sent from Sydney to the Interior – Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser via Trove which could see him sent out of the Sydney Parramatta area into the interior from early 1841 … if he hadn’t re-offended .. and aligning with a meeting with his future wife/life partner ?
    CHARLES WATSON, life. assigned to Mr. Thomas Ryan, Chief Clerk of the Superintendant of Convicts’ office was charged by his master with having on Saturday evening, refused to answer the bell when rung for him, and after he had been sent for, came into the room in a state of intoxication, and afterwards attempted to leave the premises. He also struck his master-of which the marks were exhibited in court. His master also accused him of robbing his premises. ‘This the prisoner denied, asserting that he had not robbed him since he had re-
    turned from the ironed gang, in which he had been worked for six months for plundering Mr. Ryan’s cellar. The prosecutor also gave evidence of the prisoner having, after night call. absented himself from the premises ; he broke a lamp insulted all the members of Mr. Ryan’s family, and had given spirits to the female servant. who had, until Saturday been well-hehaved. The prisoner made no defence to these charges, and was sentenced twelve months to an ironed gang, and ordered to be afterwards retained in government service, and to be
    removed to such a distance in the interior as would likely prevent him from having any intercourse in future with his Sydney associates.
  • 1846 – 1849 Convict Ticket of Leave records includes Charles Watson who was sentenced on 22.7.1837 at the Devon Assizes to life and arrived on the Lord Lyndoch in 1838
  • 17.10.1846 – From butt of Ticket of Leave Passport – Charles Watson who was sentenced on 22.7.1837 at the Devon Assizes to life and arrived on the Lord Lyndoch in 1838  – granted a Ticket of Leave for Patricks Plains area till 10.1.1849
  • 1.2.1847 – From butt of Ticket of Leave Passport – Charles Watson who was sentenced on 22.7.1837 at the Devon Assizes to life and arrived on the Lord Lyndoch in 1838  – granted a Ticket of Leave for 12 months for the Singleton area and allowed to travel between Morpeth and New England in the service of Henry Dangar – more on Henry Dangar Surveyor and Pastoralist of Neotsfield (a 300 acre land grant) near Singleton – granted another 700 acres, Baroona near Morpeth, purchasing many other properties, a Magistrate,  and a Member of the NSW Legislative Council 1845 – 1851, – 1, 2, . He was also associated with aspects of the Myall Creek massacre of 1838 – 3,
  • 7.4.1852 – Singleton Bench – Charles Watson, Lord Lyndoch – Ticket of Leave cancelled for being absent from his area – Jen Willetts “Free Settler or Felon” – sourced from the Maitland Mercury via Trove – NSW Government Gazette 2.4.1852 via Trove – note it would have been 14 years since he arrived in the Colony by the time his Ticket of Leave was cancelled. Was he a troublesome convict – the Hunter Valley was also a place of secondary punishment for problem convicts, from what my genealogy buddies have told me.

Perhaps he may have been the father of Charles Waters II ? We may never know  for sure?

And of course there is Jean / Jane McDonald – it has seemed the best fit for her details is the Jean/Jane/Janet McDonald/MacDonald who arrived on the Planter in 1839, and who was allocated to the Hunter Valley. Jean was a Protestant kitchenmaid who had several previous convictions, and spent short intervals in prison, her native place was Renfrewshire – and she was sentenced at the Glasgow Justiciary on 25.4.1838.

  • 1808 – Birth of Jean/ Jane McDonald in Scotland – Sourced from Transcript of her 1870 Death Certificate NSW BDM (6210/1870)
  • 1811 – Jean McDonald’s Certificate of Freedom has her birth in 1811
  • 1812ISH  – Birth of Charles Waters I in England, father’s and mother’s names are unknown but his father’s occupation was given as Carpenter – Sourced from Charles’ Death 1888 Certificate  (1888/1170)
  • 1838 – 1839 – Possible arrival of Jean (Jane/Janet) MacDonald (McDonald) in Australia as a
    • Convict eg Jean MacDonald on the “Planter”on 9.3.1839 – Sourced via Free Settler or Felon OR
    • Free Immigrant eg on the “British King” – Sourced via FamilySearch and  State Records NSW (Janet MacDonald – daughter of John MacDonald and Ann McGillivray from Island of Mull, Scotland) in 1839;
  • 1839 – Jean McDonald of the Planter 1839 issued with a Ticket of Leave for the Maitland area – Sourced from State Records NSW (43/1198 – [4/4176; Reel 948])

Could this be the mother of Charles Waters II ? I am more sure about Jean/Jane McDonald  …   Again we may never know for sure ?

  • 1840 – Birth of Samuel McDonald, son of Jane McDonald, in Parramatta – Sourced from NSW BDM (749/1840 V1840749 24A)
  • 1840 – Baptism of Samuel McDonald on  October 11 1840 at St Johns Parramatta – Sourced from Family Search
  • 1841 – possible Marriage year of Charles Waters and Jean/Jane MacDonald at Maitland  –  place is  sourced from Jane’s death certificate & Charles I’s death certificate
  • 1843 – Birth of Charles Waters I and Jean/Jane MacDonald’s first child, Charles Waters II – January 1840 in Singleton – Sourced from Charles Waters I’ death certificate  transcript from NSW BDM (1888/1170) – where Charles Waters II, the Informant, was listed as being 45 years old – this is considered to be the most reliable year for his birth
    • Note 1 – no birth certificate has located. 
    • Note 2 – this is inconsistent with the age of 76 years  6 months (ie inferring a birth year 1840) – similarly it is inconsistent with an age of 25 years at his marriage in 1866 (inferring a birth year of 1841) – these details were on the Death Certificate of Charles II where an informant was his daughter Matilda Adams nee Waters. 
  • 1844 – Birth of Charles Waters and Jean/Jane McDonald’s second child, Jane E Waters – Sourced from – note no birth certificate available
  • 16.12.1845 – Jean MacDonald of the Planter is granted Certificate of Freedom
  • 1850 – Birth of Charles Waters and Jean/Jane MacDonald’s third child, John Charles Waters in Glendon Brook Singleton – Sourced from his 1887 Death Certificate (NSW BDM 1887/9056)
  • 1864 – Marriage of Charles Waters I & Jean/Jane MacDonald’s second child Jane Waters and George Robinson in Wee Waa in 1864 – Sourced from NSW BDM (3280/1864)
    • 1865 – Birth of George Robinson and Jane Waters’ first child, George Robinson in Collarenebri – Sourced from (NSW BDM 13434/1865 ?) – he was raised in Anna Bay by Blanch in-laws of his Uncle James Waters after the 1868 deaths of his parents
  • 1866 – Marriage of Charles Waters II, resident of Bucklebone, and Mary Robinson, resident of Bucklebone,  in Wee Waa – Wellingrove – Narrabri – witnessed by George Robinson – Sourced from Transcript of NSW BDM Marriage Certificate (1866/3275) and Charles’ Death Certificate  (Queensland BDM 1916/2019 822)
    • Note – the death certificate for Charles Waters II in 1916 states that the marriage took place in Singleton, which is inconsistent with the transcript of their 1866 marriage in Narrabri (NSW BDM 1866/3275)
  • 17.8.1867 – Death of Jane MacDonald’s son Samuel (McDonald) Waters, a stockman in Weetalibah near Walgett – causes unknown – buried at Weetalibah –  “father” Charles of Urie Urie Station was  given as the informant Sourced from NSW BDM (8179/1867)
    • 1867 – Birth of Charles Waters II & Mary Robinson’s first child, Elizabeth Waters in Wee Waa – NSW BDM (17295/1867 )
      • Note – her death is uncertain however she was listed as being age 20 years on the death certificate of her mother Jane/Jean Waters nee McDonald/MacDonald in 1870 – however she is not listed on Charles II’s Death Certificate in 1916 as being a living child and where it noted that 2 female children had died – ie perhaps Elizabeth and Emily -so did she die pre 1916 ?
    • 1867 – Birth of George Robinson and Jane Waters’ second child, Joseph Robinson, in Wee Waa Bucklebone – Sourced from ….. – following the 1868 deaths of his parents, he may have been raised by his maternal grandfather, Charles Waters I, as well as his Aunt Mary Waters and Uncle Charles Waters II, in the Walgett – Collarenebri area
  • 27.6.1868 – Death of Jane Elizabeth Robinson nee Walters (Waters), (second) child of Charles Walters (Waters I)  (a shepherd) and Jane MacDonald at Bangeet Station in  Warialda District – due to inflamation of the lungs which she had been suffering from for 10 days – buried at Bangeet Station – informant was her husband George Robinson of Terry Hi Hi – Sourced from Transcript of NSW BDM (6886/1868 & 6895/1868) – this is not consistent with death from a sulky accident which also involved her husband and led to his death about 5 months later
  • 3.12.1868 Death of George Robinson husband of Jane Walters (Waters) & son of Joseph Robinson (a carpenter) & Elizabeth Stern at Bundiwerthdi nee Warialda  due to tetanus & concussion of the brain – suffering for 4 days – buried at Bundiwerthdi – sourced from transcript of his death certificate (NSW BDM 1868/6895) – note this could be consistent with death arising from a sulky accident
    • 1869 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s second child, Jane Waters Jnr in Terry Hie Hie – Sourced from Transcript of her 1929 NSW BDM Death Certificate 2908/1929)
  • 1.11.1870 – Death of (Jean) Jane Waters nee McDonald/MacDonald age 62 years wife of Charles Waters I in Bingera (Bingara)  near Warialda – buried at Bangheet – Sourced from Transcript of her death certificate NSW BDM (6210/1870) – so not at Collarenebri at that time
    • 1870 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s third child Alice Waters in Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (18197/1870)
    • 1871 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s fourth child Charles Waters in Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (18717/1871 )
    • 1873 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s fifth child Matilda Waters at Uri Uri (Euri Euri) Station – Sourced from NSW BDM (19967/1873) – also a  transcript of Matilda’s Marriage Certificate to Arthur Adams  (NSW 1893/ 2917) where she was stated to be 20 years of age & also Charles Waters II’s  10.6.1916 Death Certificate (Queensland BDM 1916/2019  822) where she was listed as an informant and she was stated to be 43 years of age inferring a birth year of 1873 – this is considered to be more reliable than the following –
      • Note – Matilda’s Death Certificate for her 22.6.1924 passing (Queensland BDM 1924/2588 1167) – where the informant was A Harrod of the Border Hospital Goondiwindi, Queensland who was not related to Matilda’s family
        • gives her age at Death as being 52 years – would thus infer a birth year of 1872
        • gives her age at her Marriage as being 19 years
        • thus noting  Matilda’s 1.4.1893 Marriage to Charles Adams  this would place her birth in  late 1873 or early 1874) 
    • 1875 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s sixth child, Emily at Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (20982/1875)
      • Note – she is not listed as a living child on Charles Waters II’s Death Certificate in 1916 as she had died about 1907
    • 1878 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s seventh child, Frederick at Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (23664/1878 )
      • Note – he is not listed as a living child on Charles Waters II’s Death Certificate – despite his death believed to be in 1945
  • 1880 – 1889 – Charles Waters II ‘ Licenced Publican of the Traveller’s Rest in Collarenebri – Sourced from NSW Police Gazettes of 1880, 1881 & AUS-NSW – West Mailing List
    • 1881 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s eighth child Ethel Waters in Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (22817/1881 )
  • 1882 – Marriage of John Charles Waters to Ellen Elizabeth Jones in 1882 in Spring Creek Warialda – Sourced from NSW BDM 4693/1882 – – informant of his death was his wife Elizabeth Waters nee Jones – note his 1887 Death Certificate states the place of the marriage was at Sugar Loaf, Bingara
    • 1882 – Birth of John Charles Waters and Ellen Elizabeth Jones’ first child, John Charles Waters II in Bingara – Sourced from NSW BDM (17868/1882)
  • 4.10. 1882 – alleged theft of a horse from Charles Waters II by Joseph Scills – sourced from NSW Police Gazette of 4.10.1882
    • 1883 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s ninth child John/ Joseph Alfred Waters in Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (26047/1883)
    • 1884 – Death of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s ninth child John/Joseph in – Sourced from NSW BDM (11828/1884)
      • Note – he is not listed on Charles Waters II’s Death Certificate
    • 1885 – Birth of Charles Waters II and Mary Robinson’s tenth child, Walter Waters in Walgett – Sourced from NSW BDM (28106/1885 )
    • 1885 – Birth of John Charles Waters and Ellen Elizabeth Jones’ second child, Edwin/Edward Power Waters in Bingara – Sourced from NSW BDM (21607/1885 )
  • 7.3.1886- an attempt to burn down Charles Waters II’s hotel at Collarendebri – listed in NSW Police Gazette of 10.3.1886
    • 1887 – Birth of John Charles Waters and Ellen Elizabeth Jones’ third child, Emma Jane Waters in Bingara – Sourced from NSW BDM (23090/1887)
  • 24.5.1887 – Charles Waters II, a publican, and nephew Joseph Robinson acquitted of theft – sourced from Trove (1, 2, 3,)
  • 27.5.1887 – Death of Charles Waters I and Jane McDonald’s second child John Charles Waters in Bingara – Sourced from copy of NSW Death Certificate (NSW BDM 1887/9056)
  • 1888 – Possible Marriage of widow of John Charles Waters, Ellen Elizabeth (Helen)to John Collins – Sourced from NSW BDM (1888/5243)
  • 26.5.1888 – Death in Collarendabri in District of Walgett of Charles Waters II’s wife Mary Waters nee Robinson, Occupation Hotel Keeper – Sourced from Transcript of NSW BDM (11683/1888) – Obituary in Trove
  • 12.11.1888 – Death of Charles Waters I in Collarendabri (later known as Collarenebri), District of Walgett – Sourced from copy of NSW Death Certificate (NSW BDM 1888/1870)
  • 5.12.1888 – Charles Waters II and John Brasen are appointed Trustees of Cemetery at Collarindabri – Trove – see also 8.12.1888
  • 19.12.1889 – Charles Waters II appointed Trustee of the School of Arts at Collarendabri – Trove 

Note in 1894 – Charles Waters II sold his Bridge Hotel in Collarenebri and was leaving the district – had remarried to Emily Read and in 1895 they had an unnamed daughter, who also died in 1895

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One Response to Our Watson-Waters Family Timeline 1808 – 1890

  1. Glenys Canning says:

    Great work Kerrie Anne

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