Friday, July 28, 2017

Baptism of James Gough

The Baptism register from St Giles in the Fields, Middlesex London, records that James Gough, son of Alexander and Mary, was baptised on 16 July 1790. This record has been copied at London Metropolitan Archives. This is the same church where his parents Alexander Gough (1749 - 1831) and Mary Ann Booty (1764 - 1815) were married in 1786. Alexander was a carpenter and rate book documents record that the family lived near St Giles in the Fields. Details about the family and their history, including evidence from several family wills, are recorded in my book.

James Gough (1790 - 1876) was not born in Weobley, Herefordshire and is not related to the Alexander Gough and Mary Johnson family who lived there. This is an error that has been copied into many family trees on Ancestry.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

8 March 1842

In early March 1842, James Gough finally received an Absolute Pardon, thirty years after his original life sentence at the Old Bailey Courts, London. This pardon had been signed in England by Queen Victoria the previous year, and restored his full rights of freedom. (The complete document and all details are included in the James Gough book)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

On this day: 11 February 1817

St John's Church, Parramatta (unsigned watercolour 1820s) State Library of NSW

In January 1817, Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted James Gough and Ann Traits (nee Cain)  permission to marry. On 11 February 1817 they were married at St John's Church at Parramatta by the Reverend Samuel Marsden. By then they had a son James born in 1815, and their daughter Mary would be born later that year. Another five children, Alexander, Louisa, Ann, Elizabeth and Phoebe would complete the family. Ann had previously married the sailor George Traits in November 1813, but it was a brief liason as he left the colony within three months.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Stephen Gough is not James Gough's son

Some people on Ancestry and other sites online, have added a Stephen Gough to the James Gough/Ann Cain family. In the 1825 NSW Muster, Phoebe Gough, aged 2 years, is recorded living with her mother Ann at Windsor. In the 1828 NSW Census, Phoebe, then aged 5 years was incorrectly recorded as Stephen. This is an error as this person did not exist. (The 1828 Census contains a number of errors, particularly with names)

In August 1824, James Gough sent a letter to Governor Brisbane requesting a land grant. In the letter he stated he had six children to support. (These children were James, Mary, Alexander, Louisa, Elizabeth and Phoebe.) (SRNSW  Col Sec, Fiche 3090; 4/183 7B, no.387, p.479)

The Stephen Gough who died in Hobart, Tasmania in 1863 was an Irish convict and was not related to this family. He was tried in Dublin 2 March 1841, for the theft of two tablecloths and was sentenced to 7 years transportation. He arrived on 12 September 1841 on the Waverley (1). All his records are available online in the Tasmanian Convict Database.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fiddling & Dancing, November 1825

James Martin, a colonial born carpenter who worked with James Gough in Sydney, was the son of the notorious Irish ex-convict Arthur Martin, and his equally infamous wife, Caroline Cochrane. In June 1808 Arthur Martin had been found guilty for receiving some bags of gunpowder that John McNeale had stolen from Robert Campbell. McNeale was sentenced to death and Martin received 500 lashes, and was sentenced to work in a gaol gang. Despite this he was later made a constable at the Rocks, but was later dismissed. 

In November 1825, Caroline Cochrane was sentenced to twelve months at the Female factory and fined 20 pounds for keeping a disorderly house ''open for the reception of loose characters at unseasonable hours, and with encouraging fiddling and dancing therein.'
(Sydney Gazette 14 Nov 1825)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Family Wills


More than any other family documents found when researching the James Gough story, two old English wills written 58 years apart, by a grandfather and his granddaughter, have provided the family details that were required to make the correct connections, and tell the story. Without this information it was impossible to make the links, but now the contents of these wills explain the family descent over several generations, and provide many answers. 


The details of the wills are fully documented in the James Gough book.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The James Gough story

A reminder to the many researchers who visit this site each day that the information included here is only a fraction of the full story about this interesting man - his family history in England; his early story and his long life and achievements in NSW. The James Gough story was researched and recorded over many years and has been fully recorded in my book that includes documents, extensive photos and biographies. It also includes the personal stories of his family. Please contact me for all details about how to order your signed copy. Cost of the book is $35 plus $9 postage within Australia. If you have an interest in his life or a family link, this book tells his full story.


Monday, May 11, 2015

John Richards (c.1790 -1838) & Ann Hollis

Have just revisited the lovely old inn Riversdale at Goulburn, (National Trust of Australia (NSW), that was built by the ex-convict John Richards (1816 Mariner) after he bought land there in 1837 from Matthew Healy. Richards was James Gough's partner in the 1834 contract to build the Berrima Gaol that failed in 1836, and was an ambitious entrepreneur who was involved in several inns and a number of coaching businesses. When he died in 1838, his capable wife Ann, continued to run his several enterprises, including Riversdale, the brewery at the inn, and the coaching business. 

As Ann Hollis, she was no stranger to being a publican, and in 1828 had taken over the management of The White Hart inn on Windsor Road, (owned by William Cox) that had been built by James Gough about 1826 and managed by him until the end of 1827. Widowed, with three small sons, her partner was John Richards, who was still bonded and assigned to Cox. By 1833, Richards was offering a full coach service from Sydney to Windsor in his new coach, The Currency Lad, that ran three days a week.

Sydney Gazette 15 December 1838    

John Richards full biography is included in the James Gough book

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Escape 1815

Exactly 200 years ago in the first week of April 1815,  James Gough escaped from the Parramatta Lumberyards where he had been working on the new extensions to Government House. He managed to hide from the authorities for about a month until he finally surrendered to the Superintendent of Convicts at Sydney. How did he manage this escape? Where was he hiding during this time? Did Ann Cain help him? He certainly managed to meet with Ann and spend some time with her as their eldest son James was born later that year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Parramatta Lumberyard

Richard Rouse (1774-1852)

Richard Rouse (of Rouse Hill) was the supervisor of the lumberyard, and was in charge of all government works in the Parramatta district. When James Gough arrived at the Parramatta Lumberyard 200 years ago, in early 1815, there were 100 men listed working there. He was one of six men in the team of carpenters, and was one of the two joiners. Extensive renovations were underway at Government House and two new wings were being added to the original building, to provide a more comfortable residence for Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his family. 

(Photos of the interior of Government House and full details of the work undertaken by Gough and his team, are all included in the James Gough book)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day 26 January 1821

In 1818, Governor Lachlan Macquarie declared that the 26 January would be called Australia Day to commemorate the founding of the British colony. The Sydney Gazette recorded the celebration of the event on the 31 January:

"On Monday last His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR review[ed] the 48th Regt, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel ERSKINE, and we learn expressed himself much pleased with the military appearance of this distinguished corps.
The same day a dinner was given at Government House to the Civil and Military Officers at Head Quarters, in commemoration of the Establishment of this Colony, which on that day had attained its thirtieth anniversary. We understand that His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR, in celebrating an event in which all present necessarily felt much interest, was pleased to pay a handsome tribute to the memory of the late Admiral PHILLIP.
In the evening a Ball was given by Mrs. MACQUARIE to a numerous party, which was continued with spirit to a late hour. We were particularly gratified with a likeness of GOVERNOR PHILLIP (executed by Mr. Greenway, who felt much pleasure in this opportunity of celebrating the memory of the Vice Admiral, who had ever been his steady friend and patron), suspended at one extremity of the room, in a wreath, supported by two banners; one being that of Vice Admiral, and the other containing the following inscription. "In Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Colony of New South Wales, established by ARTHUR PHILLIP, whose virtues and talents entitle him to the grateful remembrance of his Country, and to whose arduous exertions the present prosperous state of the Colony may chiefly be ascribed."

Australia Day 26 January 1821 was a very special day for James Gough, as on that day Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted him a Conditional Pardon. Having served nine years of his sentence, this meant that, although he could not return to England, he was now FREE within the colony. This was the start of a new chapter in his life...



Thursday, October 9, 2014

James Gough book order


If you have read Dicken's ''Bleak House'' or seen the BBC series of  the same name, you will be familiar with the High Court of Chancery in London. In Dicken's story it was the fictitious case of  Jarndyce v. Jarndyce that concerned the settling of an inheritance case, and was a central part of the story.

In the James Gough story, this was a reality. In 1856 on his behalf, his younger brother John Gough brought a case before the High Court of Chancery in London, to settle an inheritance from an old will that had been written in 1796. He won the case and it is fully detailed in the book.

This book covers his life in NSW in detail from his arrival in 1813; his colonial crime; work at the Parramatta Lumberyard and Old Government House; marriage and children with Ann Cain; the Old Supreme Courthouse, Sydney; patronage from William Cox at Sydney and Windsor; managing the White Hart inn; work on the church schools at the Hawkesbury (including his original tenders); the Berrima Jail fiasco with John Richards; life at Sutton Forest with Mary Allen (nee Sherwin) and their children; a brief stay at Cockatoo Island and an Absolute Pardon in 1842. Evidence given by Gough in a number of NSW court records provides contemporary information and confirms his business relationships with William Cox, and Dr. William Sherwin. 

Intriguing details of his English ancestry not previously known are also revealed after a chance discovery in an old newspaper of a legacy. 
*** New proof of his birth in London in 1790. 

208 pages; 16 pages of illustrations containing 29 images, (including photos inside the roof of the Old Supreme Courthouse, a collection of 19th century tools, and a letter from James Gough); bios of family members; 313 reference sources. 

Price: $35 plus $9 postage within Australia

Payment by direct bank deposit or cheque
Contact Marion Starr to order 

Welcome to all recent visitors from New Zealand! Yes, James Gough was the elder brother of John Gough. Their UK story is included in the book. 

*** This book is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the author. This particularly applies to copying information or images to the internet.***

Comments about the book:

J.P. ...''A wonderful book. New information for all Gough family researchers. Very well researched. What an achievement. I didn't want to put it down.''

L.Mc ... ''I am impressed by how much research must have gone into writing this. You have  done a great job.''

R.H. ..."The coloured photos are fantastic!"

N.P. ... "I appreciate greatly all the time and effort you have put into this book. It is an excellent resource.'' 

S.O. ... "I found the UK details very interesting."

F.S. ... "I loved reading about Gough's family origins in England - it all adds a special twist to his story!'' 

 J.P. ...  "Congratulations on such a wonderful book. You have done a great job and I am so grateful to have all these interesting details."

M.S. ... "This book has been well researched and has a number of surprises to be found. Marion has published other historical books, great if you want true facts for your family.''