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John Atkins (1795-c.1851) and Sarah Jane Harris (1815-1853)

John Atkins and Sarah Jane Harris were married 9 April 1845 at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Bathurst NSW Australia. Reverend Kirkpatrick Dickson Smythe, the first Minister of the church since it opened in July 1835, presided.

John Atkins

John was illiterate having signed the marriage register with his mark, X, held communion with the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and was a Farmer/Grazier at Lachlan River NSW. John's convict record states he was twenty three years old on arrival at Port Jackson, Sydney NSW 5 May 1818 aboard the convict ship 'Neptune'. He was born 1795 Leicestershire, England, a Labourer by trade, a Protestant and illiterate. He was tried at Leicester Assizes 30 July 1817 and sentenced to death for stealing a cow and several bank notes from the Bishop's Fee. However, his sentence was commuted to fourteen years to be served in the Colony of New South Wales. On 1 September 1831 he obtained his Certificate of Freedom and remained in Bathurst.

Sarah Jane Harris

Sarah, also a convict, was born 1815 Staffordshire, England. On arrival in 1833 aboard the female convict ship 'Fanny', she was eighteen years old, single, a Protestant and illiterate. Her calling was a house maid and charged with housebreaking and larceny by a servant. She was tried at Warwick Assizes 24 March 1832 and sentenced to seven years transportation to the Colony of New South Wales. Her first marriage shortly after arriving was to George Allen, a free convict. She obtained her Certificate of Freedom while married to him 15 April 1839 at Bathurst NSW. She was also in a defacto relationship with William Faulkner in 1842 and he is the suspected father of Sarah's daughter, Eliza. George divorced Sarah by selling her to John Atkins for a bullock and a few bushels of wheat. By the time Sarah married John in 1845 she had learnt to write and signed the parish register, Sararh Hares.

Sarah always recorded her maiden name as Harris. However, she is also recorded with maiden names of Cox and Huggett by Eliza and her childen. Eliza was only eleven years old when her mother died, John six years old, so it's not surprising they didn't know their mother's maiden name.

Eliza Ann Byrne(s) nee Atkins

Eliza is recorded as being born in 1845 at her baptism with her half brother, John Joseph on 8th April 1849 at Lachlan River NSW. Eliza was in fact born about 1842 and it has been discovered that William Faulkner was suspected to be her father. However, John Atkins is recorded as her father at her baptism and her death.

Peter Thomas Byrne and Eliza Ann Atkins were married 1860 at Carcoar NSW. Eliza's father is not recorded and her mother, Sarah's maiden name is recorded as Cox. Peter and Eliza were both residing at Waugoola near Carcoar NSW. Peter was born in Ireland, aged 27yrs and his occupation was a Shepherd. Eliza is recorded as 18years old. She states that she was born near Orange NSW. Peter's father isn't stated, only his occupation as Labourer.

Eliza died in 1917 at Haberfield NSW. Her birthplace is stated as Bumbaldry NSW. Her father recorded as John Atkins and his occupation as Grazier. Her mother is stated as Sarah Jane Huggett. Eliza's son, Peter Bernard Byrne was the informant.

John Joseph Atkins

John Joseph Atkins was born 1846 at Bumbaldry NSW. He is my great great grandfather. Unfortunately, everyone thought he was dead by 1908. His daughter, my great grandmother, Lauretta Jane Atkins married Henry Smith in 1908 at Cowra NSW. John is recorded as Died on her marriage certificate. John did not die until 1925 at Haberfield NSW.

John Joseph Atkins married Catherine Theresa Adelaide nee Jones, widow Martin in 1879 at Cowra NSW. Catherine's previous husband, John Francis Martin died in 1878 at Cowra NSW. The only information John provided was his occupation as a Blacksmith and he was a bachelor.

Catherine Teresa Adelaide Atkins died on 18th December 1921 at Cowra NSW. Her Obituary states Her second husband was the late John Atkins, by whom she had a family of five. Again, John is incorrectly stated as deceased. An early family legal document reveals that Catherine Atkins (aka Kitty) had one child since her husband left her. I believe he left her when he found she was pregnant. Catherine had a son to Edward Bath at Harden NSW in 1892. Catherine registered him as Arthur Herbert Atkins and incorrectly recorded his father as John Joseph Atkins. Edward Bath's father was African and there is incorrect family information about his identity including Aboriginal and Mexican hertitage.

At John's death in 1925, his niece, Elizabeth Ann (Byrne) Beirne, was the informant. She records his father as John Atkins, occupation Grazier, and his mother as Sarah Huggett.

Generation 1: John Atkins
b1795 Leicestershire, UK
died c.1851 Lachlan River, NSW Australia
Wife: Sarah Jane Harris
born 1815 Staffordshire UK
d1853 Sandy Creek Station, Kikiamah, NSW Australia

Generation 2: John Joseph Atkins
b1846 Bumbaldry NSW Australia
d1925 Ashfield Sydney NSW

Wife: Catherine Theresa Adelaide nee Jones Widow Martin
b1848 Bathurst NSW Australia
d1921 Cowra NSW Australia

Generation 3: Lauretta Jane Atkins
b1887 Cowra NSW Australia
d1967 Sydney NSW Australia

Husband: Henry Smith
b1886 Young NSW Australia
d1973 Sydney NSW Australia

Generation 4: Daphne May Smith
b1910 Young NSW Australia
d1998 Randwick Sydney NSW Australia

Relationship: Payne
Generation 5: Smith
b1936 Young NSW Australia
Husband: 1st marriage
William Henry Carpenter
b1935 Kensington Sydney NSW Australia
d1976 Carss Park Sydney NSW Australia
Husband: 2nd marriage
Generation 6: Lisa Anne Carpenter
b1958 Marrickville Sydney NSW Australia

Husband:1st marriage
Sokolowskyj aka Ischenko
Husband: 2nd marriage:
Timothy Paul Koch
b1961 Maitland South Australia

Contact Lisa:

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I Descend - tracing ancestors through descendants - family research assistance