Sunday, April 17, 2011

In the beginning (or how I became obsessed with genealogy)

After my father, Eric Henry Lindsay Tissott, passed away in 2006 I was sorting out some of his papers and came across an envelope labelled "Genealogy". Now, I had no idea that he had started to pursue an interest in his family's history. Included in this slim envelope was a letter from his sister, my Aunt Ida, describing what she knew of their grandfather Henry Tissott. 

Ida's words are:
"Dad's father was born in Wolverhampton I think he said and was sent out as a boy of eight as a convict for pinching a cow and later a rabbit. Eric I forget the name of the place where convicts were sent. Evelyn and I went & saw the jail & where convicts were put in chains etc well he was there till he was 20 odd, then went to the mainland."

These few words started me climbing around the family rosebush.

My father's family grew up in Western Australia; from Tasmania, the rest of Australia is known as "the mainland" which means that my great grandfather, Henry Tissott, had been sent to the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (now called Tasmania) sometime during the 19th century. The gaol that my aunts Ida and Evelyn had visited was Port Arthur.


  1. That is very interesting - I wish I had a convict in the tree, and how did they end up in the USA?
    Port Arthur is a sad but beautiful place.

  2. @Peter: I'm a Sydneysider, born and bred, and moved to the US temporarily many years ago. It was supposed to be the usual Aussie working holiday overseas.

    I subscribe to your blog of Sydney pictures.

  3. My father's interest in our family tree is what got me started in genealogy too. I'm a software engineer and agree that debugging skills come in handy for those elusive ancestors!


  4. Hi Kathryn, you would be astounded how many of us retired nerds are into genealogy. It's a left-brain thing, probably.

  5. It just takes that little spark to get one addicted!
    Best wishes on your genealogy quests.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  6. Welcome to genealogy blogging, Rosemary!