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The Australian Connection
In New Member Introductions
Lizzy Leahy
Dec 07, 2018
Hi Greg, GGGGrandparents were also convicts arriving VDL Tasmania around 1825. He was James Sproul b Londonderry and she was Ann Crawford or Mary Ann Crawford b Dublin. Their son, Robert was born in Tasmania in 1832 and somehow Robert ended up near Woodford/Port Fairy, Vic marrying an Irish girl, Mary Melican and farming in that area Until his death around 1903. Despite a lot of effort we can’t work out what happened to James Sproul. His wife Ann died in Tasmania 1870 which seems odd when her son was established in Victoria. James was born in Londonderry and is likely to have moved to Liverpool where he worked as a Stevedore. He was sentenced to 7 years and arrived on ‘The Lady East’. We think his father was Robert Sproul who worked on the Railways in Liverpool after moving from Ireland. Of interest is a report that described tattoos on James’s arms featuring a Thistle/Sickle, maybe he considered himself more Scottish than Irish? Ann Crawford was sentenced to life for stealing a gold pin, she arrived on ship, ‘Provdence 11’. She was often in trouble in the Colony for absconding to find James and drinking. She is named in a book, ‘ Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls, Convict Women in Van Dieman’s Land 1803-1829’. She was often sentenced to time in The Factory and put on bread and water rations... We wonder if she had never left Tasmania at all and whether James took his son to live in Victoria. It’s also unusual for those days that they only had the one child. Do you know when and where your Adam Sproul was born? I have across a family headed by an Adam Sproul who was a Policeman in Tasmania and quite a large family. Would that be that your Adam? The spelling of the surname in our family was changed in the next generation to Sprole and then Sproules, probably to hide the convict past perhaps? If you have any info not mentioned above please feel free to comment? Regards, Lizzy Leahy, Victoria Australia

Lizzy Leahy

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