How did the website begin?
This site was published to the internet in March 2002 and intended to bring together a central store of information on the life of an English convict, Thomas Hawkless (originally Hawkley) - transported from England (Kent) to Australia (Sydney) in 1829.
Since early 2001, my sister Pamela and I have delighted in uncovering snippets of "family" history. Our initial focus was on the union of our paternal great-great-grandparents, Thomas Hawkless and Eliza Sloan (who married in 1843), but during our research we stumbled on broader family connections in the Australian state of Victoria and in New Zealand through children from Thomas' first marriage (prior to his transportation) to Mary Ann Wraight in England. He married second wife and fellow convict, Hannah Knott, in Bathurst NSW in 1838 but Hannah died in 1842.
Two surviving children (of four) from his first marriage migrated to Australia from England as adults. The first was John Hawkless, who arrived in Sydney in August 1842 aboard the ship Florentia followed (at John's encouragement) by his sister Mary Ann who arrived with her husband James Bartlett and seven children in June 1861 aboard the ship Lincolnshire. They selected land at St Helen's and one of Mary Anne and James' descendants, grandson Thomas Bartlett, built his first home on the site and named it "Manunda" - after the ship on which he met his wife Irene.
Modern technology has revolutionised communication and now many of Thomas' descendants have been in contact via the internet. Long-lost and newly-found relatives visit with each other and are in contact via phone, email and normal mail.
Email addresses of descendants who would be pleased to learn more (or share what they know) of Thomas and his families are listed on the Contacts page.
Information and contact names come to hand regularly and as more information on the family history is uncovered, this will be shared via the website. At this stage, we have only published names of people not living or born earlier than 1920. Descendants named on this site are provided for contact purposes and have consented to their inclusion.
Click on the links down the left hand side of this page: Additional links on other pages lead to successive generations and several have links with stories and photographs. Mary Anne Wraight was Thomas' first wife, Hannah Knott his second and Elizabeth Sloane (my ancestor) was his third wife (who, after his death in 1881, survived another 21 years).
The Descendants page has many generations in a long list.