|Age when admitted:||7yrs|
|Date admitted:||24 Mar 1835|
|Date discharged:||27 Jul 1842|
|Institution(s):||Queens Orphan School|
|Discharged to:||Dr Parke, Oatlands|
|References:||SWD28, CSO5/86/1885, CSO5/93/2074|
On the 24 May 1835, Catherine Simpson aged 7 years was admitted to the King’s Orphan Schools in New Town, Tasmania.
The little girl had been taken there by her father, Thomas Simpson. Thomas had been convicted at Middlesex in 1819 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He arrived in Van Dieman’s Land on the Countess of Harcourt.
Thomas then disappears from the pages of history as I have been unable to trace him after this event. Perhaps he changed his name and went to the Mainland or New Zealand like so many others before him.
Catherine’s mother, also Catherine Simpson (nee Porter) had married Thomas in 1827 when she was just 14 years old. Her daughter was born about a year later. However, by 1834 she had formed a relationship with a Thomas Blackhall and in 1835 she gave birth to the first child of this new relationship. Although she married Thomas Blackhall in 1842, she never took back her first born.
It is easy to speculate that Susan Porter (nee Mortimer/O’Brien) who was Catherine’s grandmother had been looking after her, because Catherine was taken to the Orphanage just 17 days after Susan died.
Catherine survived this place; so much so that she was apprenticed to Dr F J Park and left the Orphanage on the 27 July 1842. Dr F J Park was the Assistant Colonial Surgeon and lived at Oatlands in Tasmania’s Midlands.
Catherine married John Hunt on 9 September 1844 at the private home of Dr F J Park. She was a ward of the state and required her Guardians’ consent to marry as she was under 21 years of age. John had been convicted at Gloucester in 1836 and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He arrived in Van Dieman’s Land on the Eden.
John’s occupation was brick maker. In a young and growing colony, he was much in demand. Catherine was a midwife, well respected in the District and much in demand.
Together they prospered.
Their first child Mona was born in 1844, then followed Ellen in 1846, Catherine in 1848, Anne in 1850, Charles in 1853, Harriet, and Ruth in 1861.
John Hunt died in 1865 at Campbell Town, Tasmania.
Catherine married again to James Johnson on 4 July 1866 at the private home of James Johnson. There were no children from this relationship and James died in 1881.
Catherine died on the 27 August 1921 at the home of her grandson, John Harding at Ross, Tasmania. She was 93 years old.
Catherine Simpson was my 3G-Grandmother