View Full Version : Esther Dunn Wicklow Gr Gr Grandmother Convict

12-06-2012, 3:48 AM
Esther/Etty Dunn/Dunne -- Wicklow b. c 1821. My Gr Gr Grandmother Etty Dunn was transported to Tasmania on the John Calvin in 1847 for stealing mutton and wool. Her convict record records her mother as Mary and four brothers, James, Patrick, Thomas and William. The record indicates she was catholic. I am presuming here that she was held at Wicklow prison prior to transportation. In Swansea, Tasmania where she served her sentence, she married fellow convict John Webster from Yorkshire. They had eight children and the family went on to become useful citizens. Heaps of info available in Australia but can't locate her in Wicklow. Are there any descendants still in the area?? There is an illegable note on her con. record that appears to be a regiment of some kind. Did the women of that era, in Ireland participate in any military activities?? Could be an important lead to locate her. Hope someone can help. Wendy Ross

12-06-2012, 7:56 AM
Her convict record records her mother as Mary and four brothers, James, Patrick, Thomas and William.

Hello Wendy

I've had a look at the indent here


and think you've missed out one brother, Tim. In the column headed 'Relations - Apprenticeship - where last residing' I think it says 'M[other] Mary B[rothers] Jas Thos. Tim. Pat. & Wm. (Timy. in 1(st?) Royals - Patk in 98th')'

There is an illegable note on her con. record that appears to be a regiment of some kind.
These are the regiments of two of the brothers, Timothy and Patrick.

(For others looking, Etty has been transcribed as Effy Dunne in the index to Tasmanian convicts.)

12-06-2012, 10:41 AM
Hello Coromandel,
Thank you again. I didn't expect you to be doing more work for me already!! I have a paper photocopy of Etty's convict record here sent from the Tas Archives 30 years ago. It was difficult to read when new and what was on those convict records is often misleading and/or confusing to say the least. Yes, I did miss Tim. Someone was discussing that Image Viewer some time ago and I was left scratching my head. Now that I am connected to the net, I am catching up slowly. Those regiments could help, if any trace of Wicklow records remain in some dark corner. And yes, we have all had words with the Archives about "Effy". It is the only place her name appears spelt that way. Most believe it has been mis-transcribed from the old script, where double "tt" looks like double "ff". Our old handwritten "Ross" records look like "Roff" and have sometimes been overlooked so hopefully your warning will be heeded. No idea what the "Apprenticeship" was. She was apparently a great help onboard the John Calvin but no details given. Wendy

12-06-2012, 10:23 PM
She was apparently a great help onboard the John Calvin but no details given. Wendy
Hi Wendy,
Tasmanian records are wonderful but the abbreviations are just horrendous!

You may find something on TNA concerning the Surgeon's Journal for the John Calvin. The following website indicates that there was a journal and has 4 links to TNA. I am a member of this site but didn't log in so I hope that you are able to go to 'convict ships' in the lists on the RHS and scroll down to the John Calvin.

w w w. femaleconvicts.org.au/


15-06-2012, 1:40 AM
Thank you for that info. A cousin checked that Journal for Etty some time back. She was not recorded in it so she must have been lucky healthwise. Now that it has been transcribed, it is much easier to read. Etty served a part of her sentence on the "Anson", a hulk that was moored in the Derwent but not much available about that either. I have copies of all the relevant records that now appear on line. I go back to the days of paying for documents from Tas Archives!! What I have just found are the photos of the front covers of the record books so they are a bonus. Two "new" 2011 lists have turned up on National Archives (UK). One is just a list of all Female convicts to Van Diemen's Land, on which her name appears; the other is a list of Female Convicts on the John Calvin which states: "List incomplete" and there are no "Dunnes" recorded. There was also a Catherine (abbreviated) Dunne on the John Calvin on the 1847-48 voyage to Australia and I believe it is that record that confused some family researchers who did not know her details.
Thanks again for your input. It is much appreciated. Wendy.

PS. If Coromandel is still watching, I do have that "Apprenticeship" heading on my original copy. Must revise everything here.

15-06-2012, 2:33 AM
Hi Wendy,
I guess that you have found this site "female convicts research centre inc" on femaleconvicts.org, but in case you haven't, there is a great deal about the "Anson" if you click on "convict institutions" at the top of the page. A great insight into the way they lived onboard during their 6 month probation before going into service.


16-06-2012, 4:24 AM
Hello lawsue,
Yes, I have seen that site but have just printed the info about the "Anson". Very interesting material. I thought it would be a good idea to register there in case anyone already registered has any further details. Etty Dunne is not on their "incomplete list" of female convicts on the Anson. Also sent - femaleconvicts.org - an email as "a descendant of a female convict". The first record I have of Etty actually employed is after her marriage to John Webster in 1849 when they were both proprietors of E.C. Shaw's General Store in Swansea, where they also lived and raised a family. A baptismal record has also turned up in Co. Wicklow for an Etty Dunne but it is a couple of years too early; 1819 where she would have been born 1821-22, if her age on convict record is correct. I am still a bit puzzled as to why these documents are appearing now, when Ireland has been telling us for years that most early records, with the exception of Dublin, were destroyed in the Civil War. A couple of other Irish sites simply state "No Records for Wicklow Available". There is obviously more work to be done to find any trace of her and her family in Ireland. The latest Aussie info is helpful and it is worth checking any new leads that turn up. Many thanks for advice; it all helps.


16-06-2012, 5:21 AM
Hi Wendy,
I wouldn't worry too much about the correctness of convict records and birth dates etc. I have a Tasmanian convict born in 1816, indicted in 1839. Age on Old Bailey record has her as 20 at the time.Three years out. So I was thrown off the trail for a while. Indicted again 11 months later but her age on 2nd Old Bailey has her as correctly being 23. Age on transporation is again 23. Age at marriage to another convict on Tasmania Family Links and Ancestry has her as 25 when she would have been 29. The only correct age, I believe, is on her death certificate.
Lots of luck with your convicts. I have found following their journey through life to be very rewarding.


17-06-2012, 4:23 AM

Funny you should say that. Etty Webster remarried a John Spaulding after the untimely death of her convict husband John but when Etty died 1884 in Deddington, way out of her area, which (after Swansea) was Hobart, she was described in the newspaper obit. as aged 63 years and widow of the late John Webster of Swansea. Her official death certificate contains extra details including "Spinster"!! Etty had another daughter by John Spaulding and he was still living at the time of her death so what happened there is anyone's guess. We assume the Websters took over the funeral arrangements. Unless she was buried with J. Webster at Swansea and her name not inscribed on the stone, no burial site has ever been located!!

If anyone else is following this thread, some new info has come to light about her two (there was a fifth brother, Tim) brothers, Timothy and Patrick who were in Military Regiments. It requires confirmation but the 1st Royals apparently is "The Royal Regiment of Foot" with that name from 1821-1871 with two battalions and both served in Ireland on more than one occcasion, while the "98th Regiment of Foot" served in Ireland for five months in 1841, which is a bit "iffy" if Patrick was still enlisted when Etty arrived in Aus. in 1848. There is a Patrick Dunne of this regiment, recorded as receiving the India Medal 1847-1863 for services on the NW Frontier. Discharged 9 March, 1860. All still speculation at this stage --- .

To be continued! Cheers, Wendy

07-08-2012, 1:27 AM
Hello all,

Great news this side of the equator!! For anyone reading this and is undertaking the same Dunne research, I have just found a couple of Etty Dunne's brothers. Not Timothy and Patrick but Thomas Dunne and James Dunne!! Both were tried charged and convicted at Wicklow, 22 June, 1847 for stealing a sheep and transported together for 7 years to Australia on the "Blenheim" and arrived 2 February, 1849 (Tas.Archives) Item CON14-1-40. Thomas, 21yrs: No. 21563 and James, 17 yrs: No. 21564. At least James was sent to Swanport (Swansea) Tas. where their sister was sent a year or so earlier. I have confirmed absolutely that these are Etty's brothers. Their record lists their mother, Mary, all the other brothers names and mentions that Etty had already been transported!! How lucky were they to meet up with Etty again ---or was it all planned?? There is some evidence that Thomas married in Stratford, Victoria in 24 January, 1856 To Catherine Hosn--? but the certificate is barely legible and no mention of his Wicklow birthplace therein. Two deaths back in Blessington, in 1907 and 1910 in Tassie, near the locality where Etty died but the spelling is Dunn in these records so all yet to be confirmed.

So the family can now proudly say, we have two more convict gr.gr. uncles to add to the tree!!

Cheers, Wendy