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Where did we come from?


As far as I am aware, the Burnell family name originated in France, moved to Great Britain, then migrated mainly to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America.

There was a convict by the name of James Burnell, aged 30 years, who arrived in Australia on the "Lady East" on 9 Apr 1825. He was granted a 'Ticket of Leave' at the Kings pleasure and was appropriated to a Captain Glover. Finally, he was granted his 'Certificate of Freedom'. Unfortunately, I have no further record of him or his immediate family. Do you have knowledge of this man?

Now some information about my direct ancestors.

It was on this day,... 17th August 1846, another man by the name of Charles Burnell aged 18 years was convicted at "The Old Bailey" in London, for being in possession of stolen watches. As a result he received a sentence of 7 years plus transportation to Van Diemans Land. After first serving two years in a Thames hulk in London, he was then transported on the ship "Anna Maria"  arriving in Hobart on 7th June 1848. He was eventually granted a 'Ticket of Leave' and in 1854 he married Margaret Purcell, who already had a son called William from a previous relationship. They then had 2 children Margaret and George, but for some unknown reason Charles and Margaret were separated - I have no evidence of a divorce. Charles then set up a relationship with Elizabeth Goldsmith, who was a 'free-settler' in 1862. So maybe Charles was granted a divorce. I understand that Charles and Elizabeth are my great-great grandparents.

It's interesting to note that Elizabeth Goldsmith's parents were both convicts (see below). Charles and Elizabeth had four children ,... Henry Charles, John, Esther Mary and William. When Charles was granted a Ticket of Leave, he found employment as a drayman with Charles Davis, an ex-convict who opened one of the largest hardware emporiums in the Southern Hemisphere. One of Charles sons, Henry Charles was also employed by Davis at the Emporium in later years. Part of his job was to take his boss to work each day in a horse-drawn buggy; then he would do deliveries around Hobart for the store. In time, he was promoted to work within the emporium. (see more at the bottom of this page).

Some more information on Charles Burnell.

Charles Burnell was born in Quainton in 1824 (baptizcirca 1826). On 17 Aug 1846 in London, he was tried and convicted of having two stolen metal watches in his possession. He was sentenced to 7 years transportation to Van Diemans Land. He left London on 13th March 1848 and arrived on the "Anna Maria" on 7 June 1848. His occupation was shown as labourer and he left behind a family ... (a mother Mary, brothers James, Tom, John, George, sisters Mary, Julia, Esther.) CON 9262
On 19/1/1852 and 14/1/1852 Charles asked for permission to marry Agnes Gordon (a Convict who arrived on the "Aurora") however I have no proof that a marriage took place.
In 1861 Charles Burnell was living at 'Dillons Yard' in Melville Street, Hobart.
Because he had a son Henry Charles Burnell b. 24/2/1862 to Elizabeth Goldsmith, I can assume they were married close to that date or lived a de- facto relationship. Charles and Elizabeth had three other children until she died in 1870 at age 32. At the time they were living at 42 Goulburn Street, Hobart.
Charles later died on 3/12/1893.
Some doubt over Charles exact Date of Birth ... Transportation records show he was born sometime in 1826, whereas his Death Certificate shows he was 62 yrs at time of death on 3/12/1893 (i.e. born1831) Yet Baptism in Quainton in 1826 shows him being two years of age at the time, so he would have been born sometime in 1824.
Other Charles Burnells ... Charles Burnell b.1832 d. 1914 married Elizabeth Atkins b.   d.1905 and had children Annie, Jack, Rose, Emily, William Charles, Charles Henry, George, Mary Ann, Susan, Frank.
Other ... Charles Burnell b. 1830 d. ... On 4/1/1854 he married Margaret Perslor b. 1826  d. ... They had children Florence Emily, George.

Reference Number: t18460817-1573
Offence: Theft > simple larceny
Verdict: Guilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > pleaded guilty; Guilty > no_subcategory; Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Transportation; Imprisonment > no_subcategory; Transportation; Imprisonment > no_subcategory
Navigation: < Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

1573. CHARLES BURNELL, JAMES TITLOW, MARY ANN STONNELL , and ELIZABETH REDDING were indicted for stealing 2 watches, value 1l. 10s.; 6 watch-cases, 10s.; the goods of Henry Puckridge; and that Titlow had been before convicted of felony.
BURNELL pleaded GUILTY . Aged 18.— Transported for Seven Years.
STONNELL pleaded GUILTY . Aged 16.— Confined Six Months. (Stonnell received a good character.)
THOMAS FISH (police-constable C 42.) I saw the prisoners Burnell, Titlow, and Redding on the morning of the 17th of July, about a quarter before four o'clock, in King-street, at the corner of Orange-street, Bloomsbury—I was coming down the street—they saw me, and they walked down Orange-street, round to the left, up Kingsgate-street, and round to Drake-street—I went round and met them in Drake-street—I stood in the middle of the pavement—they passed me, and two of them were obliged to go outside of me—I went round Kingsgate-street to King-street, and knelt down at the corner of the street—I saw Burnell and Titlow at the prosecutor's door—I then take Stonnell from over the door, through the fan-light—they then all four walked away together, laughing and joking—they turned round Bloomsbury- square—I walked after them very steadily—I then ran round another way, and called to another officer to stop them—I sprang my rattle, and then saw Burnell and Stonnell at the corner of bedford-place—the other officer followed Burnell, and took him with the property—Stonnell ran round Bloomsbury- square—I followed, and took her—another officer came up—I told him the direction the other two prisoners had gone—he went and took them.
Cross-examined by MR. PARNELL. Q. Where did you first meet them? A. At the corner of Orange-street and King-street—I had not seen any of them, to my knowledge, before—I knelt down about forty yards from Mr. Puckridge's house—his window projects beyond the door—the door goes back, but there is a bend in the street—from where I was I could see everything--Redding was then standing at the corner of the street, apparently watching—when I got to the square, Titlow and Redding were coming down by the enclosure—I knew I could not take the four of them—if I had made an alarm, they would have made off—they ran like little deers—I did not follow them to Bloomsbury-square—I went round to meet them—I took Stonnell—she gave me such a chase—they ran different ways.
Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. The part that Redding took was to go and stand at the end of the street? A. Yes—I did not see her do any-thing, but apparently wait at the end of the street.
COURT. Q. What had you seen of Redding before? A. She had been with the others for a quarter of an hour before the robbery—I have no doubt of the persons of either of the prisoners.
JOHN CROW (police-constable E 62.) On the morning of the 17th of July I saw Burnell and Stonnell come round from Bloomsbury-square to bedford- place—I stopped them, and said-, "Halloo! what is up now?"—they made no answer, but looked behind them—in the course of a minute I saw Fish coming round from Southampton row—he said, "Stop those two"—I went to them—Burnell ran to bedford-place, and Stonnell the other way—Fish stopped Stonnell—I ran and overtook Burnell—I found on him this property—I took him back, and saw him look very hard at Titlow and Redding—I pointed them out to Upfold, and he took them—they were walking from Bloomsbury- square to Southampton-row, and apparently, Titlow had his arm over Redding's shoulder.
See original Click to see original
WILLIAM UPFOLD (police-constable E 48.) I took Titlow and Redding—I had not seen them till they were pointed out, at a little before tour o'clock.
HENRY PUCKRIDGE . I keep a watchmaker's shop in Orange-street. I know nothing of Stonnell—on the morning of the 17th of July I lost some watch- cases, and two metal watches-these are them-they are mine, and worth about 2l.—on unlocking my shop door that morning I noticed a chair behind the door-the fanlight was open—it is a practical fanlight, and draws with a rope and pulley, to admit the air—I do not know whether the rope was cut—it was either cut or disengaged the fanlight would then fall suddenly-a person might get from the inside on that chair-they could not open the door when they got in.
Cross-examined by MR. PARNELL. Q. You have had a bar put up? A. Yes, but there was one before there was only eighteen inches cleat' space in the height, but I dare say it is one foot nine inches broad-the door of my house goes back about one foot six inches on the right side, and it bevils off towards Mr. Baxter's to about ten inches-his window joins my door-my shop door is perhaps about forty yards from the corner of Red Lion-square there is a slight bend, which would rather favour the view of the policeman.
Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. How high is this fanlight? A. About seven feet—I had left it a few inches open—I might have left it to a horizontal line-if a person were put in there, they would go plump in on the ground-these watches were in my window—I had seen them the night before to get into my shop you go through the doorway, and through an inner door.
FLORENCE HEALY (police-constable) I produce a certificate of Titlow's former conviction in this Court by the name of James Monk—(read-Convicted the 27th of Oct., 1844, and confined one month)—he is the person.
(Redding received a good character.)
TITLOW— GUILTY . Aged 18.— Transported for Seven Years.
REDDING— GUILTY . Aged 16.—Recommended to mercy.— Confined Three Months.


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One of their sons, Henry Charles Burnell, (and my great-grandfather) married Elizabeth Harris, who was the daughter of two convicts William Harris and Ellen Curley (nee Fitzgerald). (More details shown below) 

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John Goldsmith arrived in Van Diemans Land on board the ship "Layton" on 9th Oct 1827 at age 20 years. He had been tried in Surrey, England for burglary and transported for 'Life'.  He married Mary Ann Donovan (also a convict) in New Norfolk, Tasmania on 14 Nov 1836.


Mary Ann Donovan was born in County Kerry, Ireland in 1808. She was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Van Diemans Land for pick-pocketing (which seems a harsh sentence) and arrived on the ship 'Harmony' on 14 Jan 1829. John and Mary are my great-great-great-grandparents.


John Goldsmith and Mary Ann Donovan had nine children,...Joannes, Elizabeth, Mary Ann 1, John, Eliza, Charles William, Maria, Mary Ann 2 and Joseph.

Some further information on John Goldsmith.

On 8th December 1816, at six in the evening, John Goldsmith broke into the house of William Crowley at Lambeth. He stole a variety of clothing worth forty shillings
Date Tried: 18th December 1826, Surrey Assizes, England
Sentence: Death, later commuted to transportation for life to Van Diemans Land
(Con ID 29575). John Goldsmith left Portsmouth on 17 June 1827 and arrived on 9th Oct 1827 in Van Diemans Land on board the ship "Layton" at age 20 years. He married Mary Ann Donovan (also a convict) in New Norfolk on 14 Nov 1836.


Some further information on Mary Ann Donovan.

Mary Ann Donovan was born in County Kerry Ireland in 1808. On 29th May 1828, she was convicted and sentenced at London Gaol for 14 years transportation to Van Diemans Land for pick-pocketing (larceny of 3 sovereigns, 12 shillings and 4 sixpences) from Johnathon Wilkinson. She departed Downs on 13 Sep 1828 and arrived on the ship 'Harmony' on 14 Jan 1829. (Con ID 21376). Processed through the 'Female Factory at Cascades (Hobart)'.
MARY ANN DONOVAN, Theft > pocketpicking, 29th May 1828.

Reference Number: t18280529-255
Offence: Theft > pocketpicking
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Transportation
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See original Click to see original
1334. MARY ANN DONOVAN was indicted for stealing, on the 27th of May , 3 sovereigns, 12 shillings and 4 sixpences, the monies of Jonathan Wilkinson , from his person .
JONATHAN WILKINSON. I live near Uxbridge. On Tuesday last I was in Fleet-market with Brown; he asked me to have a glass of something; we were going to Mr. Mason's, and met the prisoner with another young woman; the prisoner asked if we would give her anything to drink; we gave her no answer; she followed us; my friend gave me a glass of gin and the prisoner one: she then asked me for one; I made her no answer - she pushed close up to me as I turned to speak to Mr. Mason, and then my purse was gone from my pocket; I said to her immediately, "You have robbed me - you have picked my pocket and got my purse and money;" she declared she had not; I said I would have her searched; I sent for an officer, and just as he came I saw the purse drop down at the counter; there was no one within a yard of her; I took it up, but the money was gone; she was taken to the watch-house; I have not recovered the money; it was all safe half an hour before, when I gave some change.
JOEL BROWN . I was with Wilkinson at half-past six o'clock in the morning; we went into the wine-vaults; he said he had lost his purse and money - the prisoner was at his side and the other young woman was close to him; they were close to him for about ten minutes; I saw the prisoner put her hand into her bosom, take out the purse, and pass it outside her linen, between her thighs; she kept it there about three minutes and then let it fall; the other woman, who was close to her, turned round, and asked if I would accept of a glass of spirits; I refused and placed myself against the door; there were seven or eight men there; some of them went out at the other-door.
BENJAMIN KIRBY . I am a patrol. Wilkinson gave the prisoner and another woman into my charge; I saw the purse at the prisoner's feet, and at the Compter we found 8s.6d. on her; she was very violent and saucy, and singing.
RICE PRICE . I took her in charge; here is the purse and 8s.6d.(Purse produced and sworn to.)
Prisoner's Defence. We were going to a coffee-shop; the prosecutor was selling water-cresses, and said he would treat us; he poured out a glass of gin and peppermint; he was drunk and said he had lost his money; he accused the other woman of it and then me; I never saw his purse till it was on the floor.
GUILTY . Aged 20. Transported for Fourteen Years .


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Another convict by the name of Walter Cleary aged 20 years was tried in Kent on 13th March 1820 and sentenced to 'Life'. He was transported to Van Diemans Land on the ship 'Maria' and was given a conditional pardon in 1836.

He married Mary Ann Glover who had been convicted for stealing a piece of print in London and was transported for 7 years. She was only 16 years at the time. She arrived on the ship 'Frances Charlotte' in 1833 and they were married in 1835. Walter and Mary are also my great-great grandparents.

Walter Cleary and Mary Ann Glover had six children,... Elizabeth, Mary Anne, Walter Thomas, Sarah Ann, James George William and William.

Some further information on Walter Cleary.

Walter Cleary came from Wexford Ireland. He was transported for 'Life' to Van Diemans Land after being tried at Kent Assizes 13 March 1820. (Offence unknown at this stage)
He was imprisoned in a hulk until he sailed from Portsmouth on the ship 'Maria' 10th Aug 1820 and arrived 1st December 1820.
Convict No: 317 (CON 31/4) CON 12855
May 12, 1821 Pretended to be ill & falsely obtained a pass from work - 14 days gaol. Absent from his masters employ - 14 days and 25 lashes
Charged with Highway Robbery on 21 July 1825 but found not guilty on 1st October 1825.
24 November 1830 Having in his posession a skeleton key for 5 weeks. He was imprisoned and kept to hard labour for 3 months and recommended to be assigned to the interior.
Was granted a Ticket of Leave and permitted to marry Mary Ann Glover (Convict) on 12 Oct 1835
Conditional pardon No: 970  31/8/1836. Extended to all parts save the United Kingdom 30/12/1851

Some further information on Mary Ann Glover.

Mary Ann Glover was a nursemaid in London, England. On April 5th, 1832 and at age 16 years, Mary was convicted of stealing 9 yards of printed cotton material from William Greenwood, linen draper of Farringdon Street on 31st March 1832. She was sentenced to 7 years prison with transportation to Van Diemans Land. She departed Downs on 15 Sep 1832 and arrived at Hobart, Tasmania on 10 Jan 1833 on board the Ship, "Frances Charlotte". She was processed through the 'Female Factory at Cascades (Hobart)'. CON 26775
At age 17 years she was then appropriated to Mr William Carter.
Charged 4 April 1834 'On the Town' - 6 months - disorderly conduct.
Mary was granted permission to marry Walter Cleary (Convict) on 12 October 1835.
Free Certificate : No 275 - 1840
(Frame: 0341/0346. Reel P2-6 Roll: CY 1278)
(Also:     0012   -   P3-6  -  CY 1241)

Reference Number: t18320405-74
Offence: Theft > other
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishment: Transportation
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869. SARAH THOROGOOD , MARY GLOVER and ESTHER HOWELL were indicted for stealing, on the 31st of March , 9 yards of cotton , the goods of William Greenwood .
JOHN ROE . I am shopman to William Greenwood , linen-draper, Farringdon- street. On the 31st of March, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, the prisoners came into the shop together; Howell asked to see some printed cottons, which Mr. Greenwood showed her, in my presence - she bought a yard, which came to 3 1/2d., and paid for it; this cotton was on the counter - I told Mr. Greenwood I had my suspicions, and he stopped them in the shop, and said he suspected they had taken something - they denied it; they were brought further into the shop, and while a person was sent for an officer, Glover dropped this piece of cotton from under her dress - she had not asked to see any thing; I took it up - she said she had not dropped it, but I saw it drop from her.
ABRAHAM CRAWLEY . I am a constable. I received the prisoners in charge.(Property produced and sworn to.)
Howell's Defence. He called us back. and asked if we had the print - I saw him pick it up between the two counters.
Glover's Defence. He went to the window as if to take something out, then came back, and took up the print from between the counters.
JOHN ROE . I was not a yard from her, and I saw her drop it.
GLOVER - GUILTY . Aged 16.
Transported for Seven Years .


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Also as mentioned previously, another convict by the name of William Harris, came from Bristol, England. He stole two sheep in 1849 . Also in 1849 he wounded a man called John Lucas with a knife in Gloucester. At age 21 on 7th Aug 1849 he was tried, convicted and transported to Van Diemans Land for 7 years. He spent two years on a hulk in the Thames and later arrived in Australia on 20 March 1852 on board the 'Aboukir'. (CON30671/2)

Ellen Curley (nee Fitzgerald) was 22 years of age when she murdered her child from a previous marriage to Peter Curley and was transported for 'Life' to Van Diemans Land. She arrived on 1 Sep 1852 in the ship "Martin Luther". Finally she was granted a pardon and gave birth to 5 more children with William Harris. William and Ellen are also my great-great grandparents. Their five children were called ,... Ann, William John, Ellen, Susan and Elizabeth.

Some more information on William Harris.

3 Nov 1852 while working at the Lunatic Assylum, New Norfolk - Drunk and resisting a constable - 14 days solitary.
9 Aug 1853 Ticket of Leave granted.
26 Sept 1853 Permission to marry Ellen Curly was granted.
25 Jul 1854 Conditional Pardon approved.

Some more information on Ellen Fitzgerald-Curley


Ellen Fitzgerald was born in Limerick Ireland in 1829 to parents James FITZGERALD and Ellen ROCHE. (James & Ellen were married on 2 March 1824 at Buttevant, Ireland.
Her siblings were John Fitzgerald b.1825; Patrick Fitzgerald b.1832 and Ann Fitzgerald b.1837.
Now, I do not know what date Ellen married Peter CURLEY (an Army officer), but there was a girl born on 1st March 1846 called Sarah Curley. 
In 1850 Ellen was living at Buttevant, County Cork.
Ellen was a laundress and whilst still married to Peter Curley, had an affair with Amos Brooks about Feb/Mar of 1849. 
Ellen gave birth to a baby girl while her husband was on overseas duty. On 8th Jan 1850 she with the help of an accomplice Catherine Hennesey murdered her 2 month old baby girl and buried her under a pile of stones in a deserted house. As a result, she was sentenced to death in County Cork. This was commuted to transportation for 'Life' in Van Diemans Land leaving Ireland on 8 June 1852 and arriving on 1 Sep1852 in the ship 'Martin Luther'. (Record No: 5089 Ireland -Australia Transportation -National Archives) CON 16580
In Sep 1853 she was given permission to marry William Harris.
On 4 Sep 1855 Ellen applied for a Ticket of Leave but was not eligible.
Finally she was granted a pardon. 
Ellen left one daughter Sarah from her previous marriage to Peter Curley with her mother in Ireland, then had 5 more children to William Harris in Tasmania.


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WOW !!!  What a background. Seven convicts in the family tree. When I think about it, if any one of these people had not committed their crime (petty or serious), I would not be alive today. It was all meant to happen.

Of course many others who are linked to the 'Burnell' family, arrived as free passengers to Australia in the early 1800's and settled in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. As time went by, a number re-located to Western Australia and the tropical, warmer State of Queensland.

The South Australian Burnells originally came from Yorkshire, and became heavily involved in the fast-growing wool industry. One man called George Burnell was extremely clever when he invented and patented the first wool-washing and drying machine in Australia. A book called "The Burnell Family" written by Fanny Lincoln explains in detail, this line of Burnells.

The Tasmanian Burnells and in particular, my grandfather Cyril Burnell was involved in the manufacture of high class, hand-made 'Victorian' era furniture and upholstery.  As mentioned before, my great grandfather, Henry Charles Burnell worked for the Charles Davis Emporium (the largest hardware and iron-monger store in Hobart) around 1900. At one time he also managed 'The Baths' (public swimming pool) which was located at the Northern most point of the city of Hobart on the Derwent River.

Later during the 1920's, my grandparents Cyril Henry Burnell and Elizabeth Bennet Cleary with their two sons Fred and Roy, re-located to Chatswood, New South Wales, where they continued their furniture business until retirement. They then moved to Narrabeen, a beachside suburb on the northern side of Sydney.

As a result, I however, grew up in Sydney and knew very little about my heritage until I paid a visit to Tasmania in 2005. This was where I discovered a wealth of information through the Archives Office in Hobart and quite by chance, a long lost relative, Judy Dixon. We both happen to share the same great grand-parents. I've since discovered other 'distant' relatives in various parts of Australia and England.

The culture of Tasmania today began with the early settlers and the convicts, who were forced to live out their lives far away from their homeland. Life was tough in those early colonial days - it was all manual labour. They built homes and businesses, then brought up their families in the best way they knew how. No doubt they made some mistakes in their lives, but haven't we all. We are all human.

So I'm very proud of all my ancestors, who arrived in Van Diemans Land many, many years ago. They played an integral part in the building and development of our wonderful country, we call Australia. 

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In October 2006 my wife and I had a very fruitful trip touring by car through England and Wales.


During this 'holiday' we were able to visit a little village called Quainton in Buckinghamshire, about 20 miles from Aylesbury. It was such a quiet and peaceful place, totally surrounded by farmlands and isolated far away from the hustle and bustle of modern day living. A pub, butcher, general store, two churches, a 'Green' in the centre of town and a windmill just about covers it.



Thatched cottages on the main road through Quainton, Buckinghamshire

The narrow streets house a population of about 1200 people, who have maintained this little village dotted with a few thatched roofs in extremely good condition. The locals made us extremely welcome and were proud to show off their town to us.


It was here just by chance, that I found at the rear of the Baptist Church, under the shade of an overhanging Willow tree, the grave of my great-great-great grandfather, William Burnell with his wife Mary, as well as, five of their fourteen children.

Headstone : William Burnell 1781 - 1851 also Mary 1782 - 1859

One of William's sons happened to be Charles Burnell, who unfortunately for him, but fortunate for me, got himself into serious trouble with the law. On 17 Oct 1846 in London, he was tried and convicted of having two stolen metal watches in his possession. As a result he was sentenced to 7 years transportation to Van Diemans Land arriving on the "Anna Maria" on 7 June 1848. He never returned to England. Had he not been transported to Australia but imprisoned in England, then I would not have been born at all. So 'thank you' Charles for your indiscretion. 


I was also fortunate to obtain more information about the 'Burnell' families, who had lived in Quainton, from the Holy Cross & St Mary Church, with baptism, marriage and burial records. From this detailed information I was then able to trace my ancestors back ten generations,... to another William Burnell, who was born at Syresham, Northants in 1605.


After looking through the list from 1605, I'm still missing a few dates and spouse maiden names, however here is the list of Burnell's so far.


William Burnell 1605-1700   wife.. (not known)

William Burnell 1650-1706   wife.. Margaret (surname unknown)

James Burnell  1682-             wife.. Alice (surname unknown)

James Burnell  1721-             wife.. Anne (surname unknown)

Robert Burnell  1746-1822    wife.. Elizabeth Griffin

William Burnell 1781-1851   wife.. Mary Hayles

Charles Burnell 1824-1893    wife.. Elizabeth Goldsmith

Henry Burnell   1862-1931    wife.. Elizabeth Harris

Cyril H Burnell  1883-1960   wife.. Elizabeth Cleary

Cyril F Burnell  1910-1982   wife.. Victoria Wray

Roy H Burnell   1938 -          wife..  Helen Millar; Robyn Stearn; Stella Mortimer (nee Doney)


This trip certainly uncovered a ton of information for me - What a discovery!


Also in our tour of England we visited the ruins of Acton Burnell Castle, a 13th-century fortified manor house, which is located near the village of Acton Burnell, Shropshire, England. It is believed that the first Parliament of England at which, the Commons were fully represented and held there in 1283.


And we were fortunate to take a few photos.


Roy Burnell the author at Acton Burnell Castle

Although at this stage, I haven't discovered a connection to the original owner Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Chancellor of England from 1274-1292, who was also confidant and advisor to King Edward I,... well, I did get a few goose-bumps and a feeling of attachment as I wandered through the remains of this once fine castle.

Acton Burnell Castle ruins


My uncle Roy (Dad's brother) visited this same site 15 years earlier than we did. Just before his death, he related his own experiences about it to me. I had the same passion to soak up those feelings as well, which gave me a closer attachment to my family 'roots' way back in England. 

A most rewarding trip that I will never forget!

If you want to find out more about Acton Burnell Castle, click this link.

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Tasmanian Interests

The Charles Davis Emporium Hobart c.1900

Charles Davis rose from a convict to a prosperous middle-class businessman. He was a well known philanthropist who never refused anyone in need and on Saturday mornings he would give money to the poor children, who would wait for him in the lane next to the store.

Charles Davis Emp2.JPG

And below, a street shot taken in 1945

Charles Davis Emp1.JPG

I just love the facade

Thanks to,... Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office: NS1231/1/45

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