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McCurdy/Richards search

I am hoping someone can assist me in finding information about my early ancestor James McCurdy; apparently claimed to be a convict on the ship "Tottenham" 1818, but there is no record of him aboard this ship and no convict indents can be found. he died at Berrima NSW Australia buried August 2 1844 aged 44 therefore asssume birth yr to be about 1800 not certain he was English; and his wife Rachel a transported convict aboard the "Lord Wellington" 1820 she came as Rachel Richards. She applied to the governor for permission to marry one John Haslam and then James McCurdy - James claimed on this document to have come free to the colony but on everthing else states he was a convict. Rachel died aged 72 (1873) at Lane Cove Rd NSW Australia. Her father stated to be Richard Williams (we guess that his Surname was first then christian name), mother unknown. We believe Rachels place of birth was Birmingham England, death certificate states she had been in the colony 52 yrs. If anyone could help me with either James McCurdy or Rachel Richards UK background I would be most appreciative as I have come to a 'double brick wall!' where they are concerned and can go no further back with the English ancestry until I solve this problem :( thank you in anticipation. Sharon
Hi Sharon,

Are you outside the UK? This is significant for access to the record sources and just how much help you need.

Do you know of any place that James McCurdy may have come from in the UK? This information would be necessary to try and pin him down. Any and all persons transported to Australia would, of course, have been convicted in a court. The processes of the court were recorded and are known as Quarter Session Returns. In these are listed all the people convicted in that court for that period, their crime and their sentence. It also gives the vessel they were transported on and the date of the voyage. Finally, there will be the report of the ship's surgeon.

If no other way can trace them, they most definitely will show up in these returns if they were convicted and transported. To trace them, it will be necessary to have literally every piece of potentially relevant to that individual.

Keith thank you for that information, my sincere apology for not replying before this; my research was put on hold as my daughter had several trips to hospital last yr and a few operations.
Re Rachal/Rachael Richards born 1801; trial place Warwick UK 28/3/1818; 19yrs when transported on "Lord Wellington" Women's convict ship.
Re James McCurdy I have not been able to find any new information to what I posted earlier.
I did receive an email from a member of this forum on Jan 22 this yr I would really appreciate it if this person would contact me again - I had difficulty accessing the site after my registration and that's why I could not make contact with them.
Keith I live in Australia, I will continue to try various websites for info on him. Thanks for replying. Sharon

I hope you have progressed with the search on James McCurdy in 2005. We are starting work on a project to capture the profiles of people listed on the 1841 Census for Berrima Township - one of whom was James with his wife and ten children. If you have any further information on either James or his wife, please let me know.


There may be a little confusion re., James McCurdy aka John Haslam, Anc. has this:
Name: John Haslam
Vessel: Tottenham
Convicted Date: 1 Apr 1817
Voyage Date: Jan 1818
Place of Conviction: Warwick, Warwickshire, England.

There are a couple of trees suggesting this alias.

Apologies for delay in acknowledging your help, Geoff. Many thanks. The Berrima 1841 project continues and I found McCurdy in our local cemetery, clearly exhausted after producing so many children (link via googling Berrima Cemetery).

I hope to get the basic outline of the project (what we know about the people in the 36 households living in Berrima in 1841) onto the Harper's Mansion website in the next month or so - www.harpersmansion.com.au - and will let you know when it's up and running.

Regards, Chris (Harper)