Forum Comments

The Australian Connection
In New Member Introductions
Greg Sproule
Dec 17, 2018
Thank you Joe and Glen for your warm welcome. I look forward to swapping information with everyone here where I can :) Lizzy your note deserves a bit more work and attention from me! My ancestor Adam was born in 1810 in Paisley, Scotland, and found himself transported to VDL in 1842. He'd been a soldier guard in the NSW militia and got himself arrested for stealing rum. This was not uncommon as prisoners generally had better conditions than the soldiers supposedly guarding them. After receiving his pardon he became a policeman you are quite correct which was also not uncommon. Adam finished his working days as the Gatehouse Keeper at the Female Factory and may well have known your Ann. The spelling of the family name varies in early documents for a couple of reasons: 1) there was a fair degree of illiteracy back then and 2) a lot of people liked to muddy up their convict origins once they became free settlers by slightly changing things. Adam and his wife Maria had many children and many of them chose their own versions of the the Sproul(e) spelling as well. These days it is quite a thing to have Australian Royalty in your background and some families are spending a fortune get the records amended whereas once upon a time they spent a fortune to blur them. Ann Crawford is yet just another scandalous woman in our large and colourful Australian tribe Lizzy. It's likely that Ann was abandoned in Tasmania by James due to her employment choices - this was fairly easy to do back then as you really only had to move a couple of towns away and you were able to reinvent and restart your life let alone moving states. You are distantly related to my GG Aunt, the notorious Minnie Costain (Google "High Jinx In Jolimont" for a good laugh), and my own Great Grandmother Harriett, who not only learnt her trade from Minnie but also ran her own quaintly termed "Traveler's Hostel" in Hobart for decades where you could rent rooms by-the-hour. I have had some contact with our Australian Irish cousins who all descend from the same set of Sproule brothers who left Renfrewshire in Scotland for Ireland sometime in the 18th Century I believe. I have made an attempt to delve into this a bit more, as we also have a strong Irish interest as Maria Sproule was an Orpen by birth and from the Emerald Isles, however the self-proclaimed leader, or "Fuehrer " of the Irish connection apparently believes that the Sproule family consists only of doctors, solicitors (of the legal kind), and academics - not of scallywags, thieves, and scarlet women. I'm more than happy to share what I have with you Lizzy.

Greg Sproule

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