The First Fleet
For those of you that may not know, parts of Australia were used as prison colonies in which when a convict committed any type of crime in the UK, they didn’t just get a slap on the wrists, they were sentenced to Australia. So convicts were transported from Great Britain to Australia by the only possible means of transportation back then – boats.
The First Fleet of Ships from Great Britain to Australia sailed on May 13, 1787. As you can imagine, it wasn’t like taking a cruise in the QE2. It took a hard, long 8 months to arrive to Australia under some horrid conditions.
Why the history lesson?
Apparently, my husband is a direct descendant from one of the convicts that sailed on the First Fleet. MJ is the great, great, great-grandson of a female First Fleeter. Her daughter married a second fleeter (MJ’s great, great-grandfather) who then had MJ’s great-grandfather who then had his grandfather who then had his father!
There are many descendants out there but it’s rare to find a direct descendant (plus we still carry the second fleeters surname). We won’t get any money or be asked to sign authographs but it’s still pretty cool and it is a big deal for all history lovers, like me. Whenever I have a spare minute or two here, I try to research the family tree by looking online and through old documents and by visiting cemeteries! I know I’m a nerd but I have always believed you won’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.
By the way, I’m not too sure what MJ’s great, great, great-grandmother did to be sentenced to Australia but apparently MJ’s great, great-grandfather was sent to Australia because he stole a hankerchief.
The First Fleet