Message from Melbourne

20th May 2018, 08:06
Hello to all, this is my first post. My great great grandfather Robert Robertson was a Private with the 99th Regiment of Foot, who married in Chatham then sailed from UK with his new wife Janet Page, to Australia, I guess Dec. 1842 to early 1843. Their first son Robert was born at sea and Christened in Sydney Sept 1843. So far all possible ships passenger records I have found list the convicts names in some detail, but the troops guarding them are simply 'other ranks'. Is there some way I can find the name of the ship they sailed on, the regiment seems to have come out in groups, not all together. One possibility is the 'North Briton', and the ship may well have stopped at Fremantle and Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania, probably Hobart Town).

jg grant
20th May 2018, 11:21
Hello and welcome from NZ. A fascinating story I hope unfolds for you on this site. Regards.

21st May 2018, 08:21
Hello, the ongoing story about this particular relative is that I have a letter written by him back to his father in Scotland. I brought it with me from Scotland back in 1962, when I came out to Australia on my own, aged 17. I had no idea who he was, we always assumed some distant cousin, but it turned out he was my own gg grandfather. The text of the letter is on the Australia Post website, I think its titled 'A soldiers letter to his father', or something like that, and he talks about his immediate posting to Norfolk Island, and then some of the regiment (not him) going to NZ under their Colonel Despard to 'fight the Maori', a particular source of chagrin for me, as my eldest grand-daughter is half Maori heritage!

21st May 2018, 11:33
Mr Boomeranger, is this what you refer to?

22nd May 2018, 00:50
Yes, that is the Australia Post link I was referring to. The first letter I still have, the second one I was sent a scan by the Philately Auction people, prior to it being sold, for over $6000, so I wasn't bidding! How that letter came back from Scotland and ended up being auctioned a few kilometres from me in Melbourne was very odd! Another interesting link I cam across a few weeks ago was to google 'Convict Ship Maitland 1844', which lists passengers etc., including a couple mentioned by Robert in the letter, so I am pretty sure this was the ship he was on going from Sydney to Norfolk Island. Once again, there is little information about run of the mill soldiers, but he does refer to 'his position' preventing him to fight, so I wonder just what that means! And did he take his wife and new born child with him to Norfolk? Might they be listed somewhere? Another challenge!

22nd May 2018, 01:24
from Wikipedia:

During its early years, the 99th spent much of its time in the Pacific. The first detachments of the 99th Regiment arrived in Australia with transported convicts aboard the transport ship North Briton, destined for Tasmania, in 1842.[3] The rest of the 99th arrived on with successive shipments of convicts.