Archive for the ‘Australia/New Zealand’ Category

Colony # For some time I’ve puzzled over Clara Inskip (nee Heathorn) from Guildford , who,  in every census from 1841 – 1881,  is listed as a sole name: to whom was she wed?  Now, thanks to a story by Lisa Truttman of the Avondale Historical Society in New Zealand,  light has been shed on poor Clara’s story.

Gardener’s daughter Clara married widower William Inskip between 1835 and 1837: she was in her late 20’s, he was a few years older.  William , a baker and pastry chef, had originally hailed from Hitchen, Hertfordshire,  the son of John Inskip, a wheelwright ,and Jane Mason.  He had been sent to Guildford in1817 as an apprentice to baker and confectioner John Drewett.    His first wife, Ann Green, whom he’d married in Lambeth in 1824, had sadly died in 1835, and he’d been left with two boys to care for –  9 year old John William, and 6 year old Thomas: third son, William Green Inskip having died as a baby in 1828.

Then,  in early 1837, tragedy knocked for the second time:  William stole a keg of butter from a Mr Austen.  Apprehended for this misdeed, he was sentenced at Guilford in 3rd April 1837 to 7 years transportation in Australia.  One can hardly imagine how newly married Clara felt.

Two weeks later, William found himself in London on the prison hulk Justitia,  moored in the Thames at Woolwich.  These stinking, ex warships,  were unpleasant, unhygienic  places, where shaven headed prisoners were stripped of their individuality and frequently chained.  One wonders if Clara ever managed to visit William before he was loaded on to the convict ship Neptune and taken to Tasmania in October 1837.   (more…)


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I have been invited to provide little titbits of information on Inskipology from Australasia. As a new migrant here I’m not sure of my credentials. I’ve only been in Australia for 18 months. I live in the outer eastern fringes of Melbourne,Victoria with my wife and three children. Prior to this I spent 8 years in Dunedin on south island New Zealand. I left the UK over a decade ago now.

I am a family doctor but since moving to Australia have become a full time docotr in Skin Cancer Medcine (Australia has the highest incidence in the world)

Originally I am Staffordshire Inskip.  I have traced my ancestors back through the south Staffordshire 19th century industrial boomtown of Bilston to the rural village of Dilhorne in north Staffordshire.

Now one of the first things that intrigued when I first moved south was the geographical place name of Inskip Point in Queensland. I have found out how it was named and even been there.

This will be my first   ‘ Tale from the Billabong ‘

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image In February 1844 William Inskip and his wife Maria Carter from Maulden, Bedfordshire, arrived in Australia, aboard the Neptune. They had gone to Australia as much needed farmers on an assisted package.

There is a very good list of all their descendants on the Monaro Pioneers website.

William was one of 11 children. He was 5ft 4in, had brown hair, grey eyes and a mole on his chin. He had not had an easy time in Maulden, and in his teenage years had been to jail for assault; his brother George was also jailed for injuring a tree!! In 1842 William was a sexton in the village.

My own gx grandparents were William’s brother John and, possibly Maria’s sister, Elizabeth Carter. In 2000 I had the pleasure of meeting up with Gina Meyers (nee Inskip) one of William and Maria’s great x grandaughter in Monterey, California. It did feel quite epic for the two parts of the family to be meeting again after 150years. But the strangest twist in the tale was how similar current family names were – Gina and I both have a father John, a brother Nicholas, and a son Mark. Well they do say blood is much thicker than water !!!

PS (Gina has done a lot of excellent research on the family in Australia – maybe that’s in the blood as well)

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Yet again the odd way life works out amazes me. Coming back from holiday I had two emails about Inskips waiting for me. One was from a lady in Canada who was enquiring about some information I’d sent her. The other was from ebay alerting me to the sale of a sword belonging to Sydney Hope Inskip and given to him in 1917 by his father.

A little bit of digging proved this to be Sydney Hope Inskip who had died aged 22 at the Raid on Zeebrugge on the 23rd April 1918. He was a Lieutenant in the marines and had been given the sword by this father, Herbert Inskip, harbour master at Ramsgate, the year before. Sadly Herbert had died later in 1917 as well.

How nice, I thought if the sword and its sad story could be returned to the family. Herbert and his wife Gertrude, an Australian, had only had Sydney (who was born in Sydney, Australia) and he had not married – so there were no direct descendents. But I soon found that my Canadian lady correspondent was actually a first cousin once removed !!

I have no idea if she does want the sword, but I do hope it finds a home with its poignant provenance attached.

NB – The family are descendents of Harry Inskip born around 1809 in Old Warden, Bedfordshire and his wife Jane Albin from Spalding. Harry was a seed oil merchant and one time Mayor of Hertford.

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