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"Catherine Sullivan b. May 1821 baptised 26 Aug 1821 Wesleyan Mission - William Sullivan (1777-1860) & Mary Hayes (1782-1830)."

Petition Aug 1830 by a sister Margaret Parker stating Mother dec & father believed in Newcastle unable to support - wants her admitted to Orphan school.

27 Dec 1832 Application by Francis & Catherine Morrison to remove Catherine & brother John - Francis Morrison & Catherine's father were in the 73rd Reg together.


There is no baptism in NSW index for Catharine/Catherine as Sullivan or Morrison.

No marriage in the NSW index for William Sullivan to Mary Hayes.

No burial in NSW index in 1830 for Mary Sullivan.
NSW Deaths

So, Margaret is a sister who married a Parker ?


No baptism in NSW index for Margaret if parents are William & Mary.
Last edited:
NSW Marriage V184063 24B/1840 BRUCE EDWARD - SULLIVAN CATHARINE - CA= CofE Sydney, St Philip's

Page 32
Marriages solemnized in the Parish of St. Philip Sydney in the County of Cumberland in 1840
No. 133
Edward Bruce of this Parish Carpenter, a Bachelor
Catharine Sullivan of this Parish, a Spinster
married in this Church by Banns with consent of Father
this Third day of August 1840 (forty) By me William Cowper
Parties signed: Edward Bruce, Catharine Sullivan her x mark
Witnesses: Charles Hollowell of Sydney, Ann Hollowell her x mark Sydney
NSW Bap SULLIVAN JOHN 700/1824 V1824700 125 WILLIAM - MARY - LD= RC St. Mary's Sydney
1822 muster
William Sullivan FS indicates free by servitude with wife Mary & children Patrick 12, Mary 7, William 4 and Catherine 2 all BC – the eldest daug Margaret had married convict George Parker in 1820

from Les Sullivan’s research paper – William and Mary Sullivan – North Coast NSW Pioneer family.
In 1808, a muster or census of all the people in the Colony gave a very complete description of the soldiers and there was Private William Sullivan with sufficient information to enable me (Les Sullivan) to identify him, despite a large ink blot obscuring part of the original entry, and confirmed that he was indeed the right William Sullivan. He was described as being of dark complexion with hazel eyes, black hair and round visage (face). He was originally from the parish of Canbirk, town of Westport in County Mayo, Ireland.

His son on registering his fathers death in 1860 had given his birthplace as Cork, Ireland and his age as 90 years. In the Return of Men who volunteered to transfer from the 102nd to the 73rd Regiment his age was given as 33 (in 1810) and the term of military service as seven years. Thus we have two possible dates for his birth: 1770 if he was 90 when he died;1777 if he was 33 in 1810. The last appears the most likely correct date.

Research by a professional researcher in London has provided additional information on Private William Sullivan prior to 1808 which shows that he was not a model soldier. In the Army quarterly muster rolls for the 28th Regiment of Foot for June-July 1807 there is a note "Confined by Civil Power in Chelmsford Gaol 16th July" and for the period July-September 1807, "Transferred to service abroad for life". (end of extract)

{Note :- Some of the N.S.W Corps were transferred directly from the Savoy Prison as deserters, but it looks as though William had broken a civil law and he probably had the choice of facing trial or 'volunteering' for service abroad.
War Office records show the following in relation to William Sullivan:-

-Enlisted to the 73rd Regiment,Isle of Wight from the 28th Regiment 5th August,1807.
-Arrived "Recovery" July,1808 ....WO25/642

-Description list (1st September,1808) Age,height& service indecipherable.

-Born: Canlurk, Cork, Ireland Dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair,round visage WO25/642

-1809...June 10..Received rations from Hawksbury Stores July ..Discharge from Hawkesbury stores as going to Sydney Col. Sec. Index.

-To 73rd Regiment, 25th March,1810 Age: 33
-Service: 7 years 149 days WO17/2295

{The above notes were supplied by Janet Robinson, Soc. of Gen.}

Pay records of the military in the period 1808-1810 show William Sullivan as a private on the strength of the N.S.W Regiment of Foot between:-

25th June and 25th September,1808,
25th December,1808 and 24th January,1809
25th January,1809 and 24th March,1809
(two occasions listed as sick)
25th June,1809 and 25th September,1809
24th October,1809 and 24th November,1809
24th February,1810 and 24th March,1810

On the muster list of 27th June,1810 his name is missing.
(the above dates supplied by L. Sullivan)

The Army Pay Lists - London Public Records Office (P.R.O)
P.R.O Microfilm Roll 3869 ,Mitchell Library shows:
Starting page 137.... Lists of Transferees

Page 137 ......William Sullivan
Company No. 8 Volunteered from 102 Regiment
Pay Period 25/3/1810 - 24/6/1810 (92 days)
Amount Paid....Pound 3.12.10

Page 145.......William Sullivan
Date Volunteering - 25/3/1810

Paid : Pound 3.3.0

The pay list has three columns as soldiers received extra pay for length of service:- 14 years service (pound 4.0.6), 7 years and under 14 years (pound 3.12.10), under 7 years (pound 3.5.2). As Williams appears in the second column he must have been in the army between 7 & 14 years, therefore joining the army between 1796 and 1803. {War Office records calculate this at 1802}

William Sullivan left with the 73rd Regiment for Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on 24th March, 1814 after embarking either in the "General Hewitt" and the "Windham" or as a member of the rear party of the Regiment sailing from Sydney, January,1815 in the "General Brown" and the brig "Kangaroo".
The next record of William has him being transported back to Australia as a convict. According to the Muster papers of the "HUNTER", William Sullivan was found guilty of receiving stolen goods.
(Micro roll A.O. 2422 Section 2/8263 ...page 246)

"Written 14/4/1817 by his own report.. AGE: 37 HEIGHT: 5'3"

Tried by Civil Power in Colombo about two years ago."

page 255.... "By sentence of the Supreme Court of Indicative on this Island, hearing date 6/10/1815.John Harrison and John Miller convicted of robbery and WILLIAM SULLIVAN for receiving stolen goods."

page 259....letter from "KINGS HOUSE", Colombo to Gov. Macquarie 2/3/1816. " I have caused to embark on the Honorable Companies Cruiser 'NEARCHUS' bound for Calcutta, 3 European prisoners.....John Harrison, John Miller and William Sullivan late soldiers of H.M 73rd regiment under sentence...for transportation."

(The Honorable Company was the East India Company)

Page 244...."Goal deliveries at Fort William, Bengal. 1816 - the 2 soldiers will also be embarked 'HUNTER'"

( A military guard was to be provided for the convicts on the voyage and the the guard to be returned. The "HUNTER" was not a convict ship and on this voyage carried 18 horses, muslin, piece goods and cargo from Calcutta. It seems that it also carried Mary Sullivan and her children Margaret, Patrick and Mary Jnr. This however can not be verified as the passenger records of the "HUNTER" have been lost.)

WILLIAM SULLIVAN - the years between 1828 - 1860

William Sullivan died at Austral Eden, on the Macleay River on 7th January,1860, aged 90, {see Note (1) over page}.

The 1828 Census had shown that he had indeed moved from Sydney to the North Coast of N.S.W and was no longer with his wife as can be seen by the following extract.

This reference(Ref 52767) for 106 Kent Street, more than likely supplied by Mary Sullivan as the responsible member of her family is as follows (in part) :-

WILLIAM SULLIVAN - Freed of servitude AGE - 50
ARRIVED - 1817...."HUNTER" (see letter at bottom of page then Note (4) on 1817 arrival)
SENTENCE - 7 yrs
RELIGION - Catholic
RESIDENCE - Wallis Plains (in the Maitland area)

AGE - 45
RELIGION - Catholic
OCCUPATION - Laundress
RESIDENCE - Geo Parker, Kent Street, Sydney.

An earlier (1822) Muster/census for William Sullivan recorded:

William Sullivan (I) "HUNTER" Ticket of Leave
Householder, Sydney.
Mary (nee Hayes) - Wife - Came Free (see Note(2) over page)

Children - Patrick BORN: Came free AGE: 12
- Mary (jnr) BORN: Came free AGE: 7
- William (II) BORN: Colony AGE: 4
- Catherine BORN: Colony AGE: 2
(see Note(3) over page)

Margaret/Martha would have been 18 during this 1822 Muster and would have been married and registered as residing with George Parker. Child Patrick Sullivan does not appear in the 1828 Census as he would have been 18 years old and may have died or left home. There were no children older then Margaret Sullivan as can be seen in a letter written from Gov. Sec J. T. Campbell to C.M. Ricketts, Fort William, Bengal, dated 15/10/1816 reads as follows:

{Ref .. Colonial Secretaries Letters..Archive office 4/3521}
" Wife and three children granted passage on ship 'HUNTER' but now leaving on ship 'MARY' 25/7/1817"(see Note(4) over page)
(The children referred to must have been Margaret, Patrick & Mary)

NOTE (1): This would make his birth year 1770 and not 1777 as previously deduced so we should assume this age is in error. The witness, William (II) states that children still living at time of death were William (II), aged 40 and John, aged 30. According to the 1828 census William (II) should have stated that he was 42 years old (b.1818) and John was 36 (b.1824). The four deceased children reported on the death certificate by William (II) may be Margaret (d.1853), Patrick, Mary and Catherine.}

NOTE (2): According to L.Sullivan, when William (II) died in 1879 the second informant was his son John George who gave his grandmothers name as Mary, nee Hayes.

NOTE (3): According to L.Sullivan, Mary is listed in the records of baptism at St Phillips Church, Sydney as having been born on 12th July,1813 and baptised 25th July,1813. William (II) is said to have been born on 16th May,1818 and baptised 27th September,1818. Therefore Mary should have been 9 and not 7 at this muster.

NOTE (4): The Sullivan women claimed they arrived on the "HUNTER" and not the "MARY" so passage must have been found for them on the "HUNTER" after the letter was written by Cambell in Bengal.

The 1828 Census information was taken from the people themselves rather than compile
The 1828 Census information was taken from the people themselves rather than compiled by documentation so it must be assumed that the Sullivans did arrive on the "HUNTER" as they have stated in both census collections however the Muster Papers of the "HUNTER" on A.O Micro roll show the arrival date of the "HUNTER" to be 13/4/1817 so the arrival date of 1816 stated in these census results may prove the mother and daughter in error of arrival date. Why didn't the Sullivans state that they arrived in 1808 on the "RECOVERY" as was the case.

William Sullivans death certificate states that he died primarily of natural decay and secondarily of gangrene after an illness lasting eight months. He had been attended to by Dr C.L. Gabriel who last saw him on 12th November,1859 and was buried at Christmas Creek on 8th January, 1860 by William Dunkley and performed by Rev. F.R. Kemp of Port Macquarie. The location of this cemetery is not certain.

Further information on the decendants of William Sullivan can be made by obtaining a copy of the family history entitled:-

" William and Mary Sullivan - A North Coast NSW Pioneer Family" written by Les Sullivan, Wg Cdr RAAF (Retd).


George Parker, born in Hertfordshire in 1798 was arrested at the age of 18 and bought before the Old Bailey on the 21st of June, 1815. He was indicted for stealing shoes from a basement courtyard window of No. 5 Duchess Street, in the the Piccadilly area of London on the 22nd of May, 1815. The shoes were the property of Mr Robert Branch, a butler, who was in the service of George Burchell Esq. George Parker had scaled down a ladder to the courtyard area and removed the shoes that had been placed on the window sill ready for cleaning. As he was climbing the ladder to escape he was detained by Ralph Agar, a passing servant who forced George to return down the ladder and subsequently be arrested. George Parker was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation.

George Parker arrived in Sydney (24/3/1817) on the "Shipley" having already served eighteen months of his seven year sentence in Middlesex Gaol. The ship left England on the 18th of December,1816 and sailed directly to Australia (67 days) which, in that time, was uncommon.

The next record of George Parker has him marrying Margaret Sullivan at St Phillips Church, Sydney, 12th August,1820. He was 22, she 16.

** Background history of Margaret Sullivan **

Margaret/Martha Sullivan was the daughter of an Irish father who had joined the Army in 1802. Margaret and her brother Patrick arrived in Australia with their parents, William and Mary Sullivan on the "Recovery" in 1808. Her father had arrived in Australia as a member of the Regiment of Foot following a civil conviction in England that had him 'volunteer' for service abroad for the rest of his life.

William Sullivan transferred from the 102nd Regiment in 1810 to the 73rd Regiment which remained in Australia until it was transferred to Ceylon in March of 1814 . During this period William and Mary had another daughter, Mary Jnr (b. 1813)

No documentation exists as to how the family followed William to Ceylon ,however, according to Martha Sullivan in 1828 and her mothers (Mary) report in the 1822 census, both claim that they arrived in Australia aboard the "HUNTER" which sailed from Calcutta.

William Sullivan was arrested in Ceylon for receiving stolen property on 6/10/1815. After being arrested, William Sullivan , now aged 35, was detained in the Colombo jail undertaking hard labour , then transferred to Fort William, Bengal for shipment via Calcutta to Australia. All in all, a year of detention in India and Ceylon before being transported in late 1816, arriving in Australia 13/4/1817 aboard the "HUNTER".

Another son was born to William and Mary in 1818, William (II) born in Sydney. A further daughter, Catherine born in 1820. William Sullivans sentence was for seven years which would have him freed in 1822, so it appears the family was maintaining contact whilst he was serving his time.