Browse an alphabetical list of First Fleeters whose burials were registered in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta.
Transcribed and compiled by Michaela Ann Cameron.
Please note: names marked with an asterisk (*) are tentative inclusions. Refer to the explanatory NOTES at the bottom of this page for a brief discussion of why these individuals are currently unverified burials in the parish. Notes 12–17 discuss individuals that other researchers have identified as St. John’s First Fleeters but for which I have found no evidence to confirm their burials in the parish and/or have viewed evidence to the contrary, and have, therefore, not included in the dataset below.
For the collection of biographies on “St. John’s First Fleeters” funded by the Royal Australian Historical Society (2015), City of Parramatta (2016) and Create NSW (2019–2021), CLICK HERE.
Richard CARTER per Friendship (1788)
William DAVIS per Friendship (1788) * [see Note 5]
William DOWLING per Lady Penrhyn (1788)
Andrew FISHBURN per Alexander (1788)
William HATFIELD per Alexander (1788)
William HAYNES per Friendship (1788) and HMS Supply (1788)
David JACOBS per Scarborough (1788)
William KING per Charlotte (1788)
Charles MILTON per Alexander (1788)
Jessie MULLOCK per Alexander (1788)
Mary NEWLAN per Prince of Wales (1788)
Samuel PIGOTT per Charlotte (1788)
John RICHARDS per Scarborough (1788)
Elizabeth SCOTT per Prince of Wales (1788)
Isaac TARR per HMS Sirius (1788)
Ann TYRELL per Lady Penrhyn (1788) * [see Note 11]
John WESTWOOD per Scarborough (1788)
James WHITE per Scarborough (1788)
Michaela Ann Cameron, “St. John’s First Fleeters Dataset,” St. John’s Online (Version 1.0, 2018), https://stjohnsonline.org/burials/dataset/first-fleet/, accessed [insert current date]
 JOSEPH BISHOP’s burial at St. John’s requires a lot more research to be able to confirm, but it seems likely that the man recorded as “John Bishop, age 65” in St. John’s burials in August 1825 is the First Fleeter. As Mollie Gillen notes: “By 1806 Bishop was living alone on 44 acres at The Ponds. Five were sown in grain, two in orchard and garden, 24 as pasture and 13 fallow. He owned a female hog and had six bushels of maize in store. Subsequent musters record him as a labourer at Parramatta in 1822, and marked dead there in 1825. No burial record has been found for Joseph. A “John” Bishop whose identity is uncertain, aged 65, died in August 1825 at Parramatta and is buried at St. John’s.”
 THOMAS BRAMWELL is probably the person incorrectly recorded as a convict named “Thomas Brammer” who arrived per Lady Tambareen and was buried, aged 62, at St. John’s on 31 August 1815. Mollie Gillen notes: “As no ship or convict of this name came to NSW it is possible that these burial details were, in fact, an incorrect rendering of Thomas Bramwell per Lady Penrhyn, the former marine.” If so, First Fleeter Thomas Bramwell lies in an unmarked grave, the location of which is unknown.
 While there is already a confirmed First Fleeter named THOMAS BROWN included in this dataset, Mollie Gillen mentions that there is potentially a second First Fleeter named THOMAS BROWN, also tried at the Old Bailey, also buried at St. John’s – on 29 November 1791. However, this could have been a non-First Fleeter named Thomas Brown. As Gillen notes: “The First Fleeter [Thomas Brown c.1762–] and two Third Fleet men of this name (per Active and Atlantic) are not accounted for in later records.” See Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989) p. 54. Further research may confirm there are two First Fleeters named Thomas Brown buried at St. John’s, but for now, only one is listed above.
 CHARLOTTE COOK alias SARAH HARRIS is possibly one of St. John’s First Fleeters. COOK was convicted at the Old Bailey as “SARAH HARRIS” and transported per Lady Penrhyn (1788). A “SARAH HARRIS” did die at Parramatta and was buried in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta on 25 March 1798, aged 32. (Note, though, that COOK had only been given a seven-year sentence, which means her sentence should have expired in 1794, yet “Sarah Harris” was still listed as a convict when she died in 1798. Such errors were, admittedly, typical in the parish register, as the majority of burials were of convicts under sentence, and the clerk may have recorded burials as such, purely out of habit.
 WILLIAM DAVIS (c.1731–c.1795?) per Friendship (1788) may be buried at St. John’s but may just as easily not be buried there. Gillen notes: “There is confusion in colonial records between this man [convicted and sentenced to death at Shrewsbury, Salop on 4 August 1785 for theft of a wether sheep] and another First Fleeter named William Davis aka Brecknock, and later arrivals of the same name. A William Davis is reported at Norfolk Island from December 1792. One came out [with the Second Fleet] by Scarborough (1790). One was buried at Parramatta on 30 January 1793. One is reported dead on 7 March 1795 at Parramatta.” See Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 100. The two Parramatta burials Gillen referred to actually occurred under the name WILLIAM DAVIES on both occasions, and the date given for the second one was incorrect: it was 29 March 1795. See the 1793 burial of Wm. DAVIES here and the 1795 burial of a William DAVIES here. Further research may disentangle these individuals but, until then, William Davis cannot be counted among St. John’s First Fleeters.
 JOHN GOULD may be the First Fleet convict transported per Charlotte (1788). However, there were other convicts by the name of JOHN GOULD in the early years of the colony, including Third Fleet convicts JOHN GOULD per Admiral Barrington (1791) and JOHN GOULD per Albemarle (1791). There are records indicating the latter per Albemarle was still alive in the colony as late as 1821 (See Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania). But as JOHN GOULD per Admiral Barrington is difficult to trace, it is not possible to state with absolute certainty that the “John Gould – Convict” who was buried 15 September 1792 in an unmarked grave in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta was the First Fleeter. Further research required.
 EDWARD MacCLEAN may be one of St John’s First Fleeters. He was transported as a convict per Scarborough (1788) and is thought to have been the individual buried on 7 February 1794 as “JAMES McLANE.” Gillen reinforces the theory by noting that his widow “Phebe McLain” [sic] married a “John Guiat” [sic: John Guyatt per Admiral Barrington (1791)] at Parramatta on 8 October 1794.
 There were many convicts and colonists named JOHN RYAN, so it has proven difficult for researchers to disentangle them. Further research would be necessary before John Ryan per Friendship (1788) could be included as one of St. John’s verified First Fleeters with any confidence.
 ANN SEYMOUR (aka ANN DALY aka ANN WARBURTON) may be one of St. John’s First Fleeters. She married her fellow First Fleeter JOHN SEYMOUR at Parramatta, so it is possible they continued to be based there and that she was, therefore, the “Ann Seymour – Convict” whose burial was registered in the parish Parramatta on 21 April 1798. On the other hand, her sentence was only for seven years transportation, and, since she was convicted in 1786, she would have been an expiree from April 1793 and, thus, no longer a “convict” in April 1798. As noted in the case of CHARLOTTE COOK aka SARAH HARRIS above, though, such errors were, admittedly, typical in the St. John’s parish register, as the majority of burials were of convicts under sentence, and the clerk may have recorded burials of free people as such, purely out of habit.
 ROBERT TIMBRELL aka RICHARD TIMBRELL is a tentative listing. There is a possibility that the man buried as “Richard Timbrell” at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta on 14 November 1790 was a First Fleeter named Robert Timbrell, though other First Fleet researchers, including Mollie Gillen, have never apparently included him in their work to date. The burial was the sixth burial recorded at the cemetery overall and the man’s status was recorded as “convict.” However, the burial was dated five months after the arrival of the Second Fleet, which makes it difficult to confirm his identity. A “Robert Timbrell” is recorded on this list of First Fleeters [New South Wales Government, Indents First Fleet, Second Fleet and Ships, Series: NRS 1150; Microfiche: 620–624], which states that the man in question was tried at Warminster, Wiltshire in July 1786 and sentenced to seven years transportation per Scarborough (1788). Manually flicking back to the first page of the source confirmed that Timbrell’s name appears on the list of First Fleeters specifically, as it states that pp. 1–40 “cover all First Fleet transports,” which includes the page containing Robert Timbrell’s name (page 7) [New South Wales Government, Indents First Fleet, Second Fleet and Ships, Series: NRS 1150; Item: [SZ115]; Microfiche: 620, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia). Researching many of the other names immediately surrounding Robert Timbrell’s reinforces the individuals were all First Fleeters. His trial details are confirmed in a newspaper article dated Thursday 20 July 1786 in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette that incorrectly records his name as “John Timbrell”: “COUNTRY NEWS…At the General Quarter-Sessions of the Peace for this county, held at Warminster, John Timbrell, for breaking into the dwelling-house of Samuel Andrews, of Charlton, and stealing half a flitch of bacon, and several other things, was sentenced to be transported for seven years.” [“John Timbrell” in “Country News,” Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, Thursday 20 July 1786, p. 2, The British Newspaper Archive, https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/, accessed 2 March 2018]. This evidence certainly proves Timbrell’s trial was early enough for him to have been included on the First Fleet, but is not in and of itself proof that he definitely was, since convicts often waited a long time in prisons and hulks before being transported while others were picked for a particular ship sooner rather than later. However, it does confirm that this Timbrell sentenced to transportation for seven years for this crime did end up being transported to New South Wales at some point. Another thing we must take into account is that the ship Scarborough sailed in both the First and Second Fleets, raising the possibility that a Second Fleet Scarborough convict may have gotten mixed in with the First Fleet Scarborough convicts as a result of human error during the compilation of the list. There is, at it turns out, a “George Timbrell” who was convicted at Gloucester and transported with the Second Fleet per Scarborough. [See New South Wales Government, Indents First Fleet, Second Fleet and Ships, Series: NRS 1150; Item: [SZ115]; Microfiche: 621, (State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia)]. However, the convict named George Timbrell had completely different trial details (28 March 1787 at Gloucester). Warminster, Wiltshire, where Robert (or John) Timbrell was convicted, is a considerable distance from Gloucester. Furthermore, “George Timbrell” per Scarborough (1790) convicted at Gloucester 28 March 1787 and transported for fourteen years appears in the same lot of Convict Indents as Robert Timbrell but clearly under the Second Fleet, proving at least that there were two individuals named Timbrell in the colony’s earliest years and leaving no cause to believe that it may have been the same person using an alias. TIMBRELL was not included in the list of First Fleet convicts from Governor Arthur Phillip’s The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay (1789).
 The inclusion of ANN TYRRELL (also spelt Terrill / Terrell / Ternell) alias ANN WARD per Lady Penrhyn (1788) on the St. John’s First Fleeters list is potentially controversial. Ann Tyrrell does not appear on the St. John’s Parish burials for 1804, (although the records that have survived are very patchy in the early 1800s). The argument in favour of Tyrrell being one of St. John’s First Fleeters is that she died at Eastern Farms on 22 June 1804 and, according to the Australian Death Index, was buried the following day in “Parramatta.” The Australian Death Index records her name for this burial record as “Ann Ternell.” On the other hand, C. J. Smee states that Tyrrell was buried at St. Phillip’s (Old Sydney Burial Ground), yet her name does not appear in the Old Sydney Burial Ground Inventory of Burials, so St. John’s Online has been unable to corroborate Smee’s claim at the time of publication.
 As historian Caitlin Adams’s research for “Lives Left Behind: The Forsaken Families of First Fleeters” has revealed, Mollie Gillen implied the First Fleeter WILLIAM GLOSTER was buried at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta, by stating in the First Fleeter’s biography that “The burial of a William “Glister” was recorded at St. John’s, Parramatta on 31 July 1792.” See “Burial of WILLIAM GLISTER.” However, it is now apparent that this was definitely not the First Fleeter but a convict named WILLIAM GLISTER who arrived per Pitt (1792). The First Fleeter’s movements are unknown after the victualling records noted that he left Norfolk Island per Britannia on 2 November 1793. See New South Wales, Commissariat, Norfolk Island Victualling Book, 1792–1796, A1958, Microfilm CY3467, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales and “GLOSTER, William (c1749–1792?)” in Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989), p. 143.
 Mollie Gillen and Ron Withington have both recorded that First Fleet convict JANE MARRIOTT per Prince of Wales (1788), was buried at Parramatta. However, she does not appear in the St. John’s parish burial register; moreover, C. J. Smee and St. John’s Online have found Jane Marriott (alias Jane Merrit / Merritt / Marriott) per Prince of Wales (1788), has only appeared in the Australian Death Index as being buried in “Sydney” in 1793 yet does not appear in the Old Sydney Burial Ground Inventory of Burials. If there is further evidence linking MARRIOTT to a burial in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta, it was not available to me at the time of publication.
 Mollie Gillen notes that JOHN MOLLANDS was recorded as a labourer and a pauper at Windsor and that he was likely the “John Mullins” buried at Parramatta 25 April 1827. However, there is no record of such a burial at St. John’s, Parramatta for that date, and a search of the Australian Death Index for 1827 reveals “John Mullins” died at Windsor. So, it seems he is not buried at St. John’s.
 JOSEPH MORLEY had land at Prospect near Parramatta, but there is no record of him being buried at St. John’s or, indeed, anywhere – he does not appear in the Australian Death Index. There is only a newspaper article dated 2 August 1822 indicating that he had recently died. Subsequently, other researchers have stated Morley was buried at St. John’s (see Withington). Significantly, St Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery was established by the time of his death (the earliest memorials are dated 1822) and Morley was evidently a devout Catholic since he was among those who signed a petition on 30 November 1792 asking the governor to arrange for a Roman Catholic priest to be sent to the colony. Though St. John’s was not an exclusively Anglican cemetery but a general cemetery, the fact that there was a dedicated Catholic cemetery nearby the year Morley died and the lack of a record for him at St John’s suggests he could have been among the earliest burials at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Parramatta, but we cannot be certain of this, given the inconsistent record-keeping of the St. John’s parish register.
 Mollie Gillen states that RICHARD RICHARDSON was buried at St. John’s 31 March 1820, with a recorded age of 57 years. The St. John’s Burials do not record any Richard Richardson for that year or any other. His death does not appear in the Australian Death Index either. It seems this was a guess based on the fact he had a land grant at Toongabbie. There is no direct evidence to support him being buried at St. John’s and I have not been able to ascertain the origin of the burial date Gillen provided.
 Mollie Gillen and Ron Withington have both recorded that First Fleet convict MARY WHITING (alias Mary Williams) per Lady Penrhyn (1788) was buried at Parramatta. However, she does not appear in the St. John’s parish burial registers; moreover, C. J. Smee and St. John’s Online have found records indicating that MARY WHITING (alias Mary Williams) per Lady Penrhyn (1788) was buried at St. Phillip’s (Old Sydney Burial Ground) on 13 July 1801. [Source: Old Sydney Burial Ground Inventory of Burials]. If there is further evidence linking WHITING to a burial registration in the parish of St. John’s, Parramatta, it was not available to me at the time of publication.
- Parish Burial Registers, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
- Australian Death Index, 1787–1985.
- John Cobley, The Crimes of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Halstead Press, 1970).
- Cathy Dunn, “‘First Fleeters buried at Old Sydney Burial Ground,” Australian History Research, http://www.australianhistoryresearch.info/first-fleeters-buried-at-old-sydney-burial-ground/ accessed 15 February 2018.
- Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989).
- Thomas D. Mutch Index, Mitchell Library CY377–378.
- C. J. Smee, First Fleet Families of Australia: Containing Genealogical Details of Four Hundred & Fifty Six First Fleeters, Their Children & Grandchildren, (Artarmon, NSW: Woolnough Publishing, 1988).
- Ron Withington, Dispatched Downunder: Tracing the Resting Places of the First Fleeters, (Woolloomooloo, NSW: The Fellowship of First Fleeters, 2013)
- Old Sydney Burial Ground Inventory of Burials (1 February 2008) accessed online at “Old Sydney Burial Ground,” City of Sydney (www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au), 9 March 2017.
© Copyright Michaela Ann Cameron 2015–2018