William PITTS

Male 1812 - 1877  (~ 64 years)


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  • Name William PITTS 
    Born Wiveslicomb, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 27 Dec 1812  Wiveslicomb, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID 921E6355E8E24895A44D56B160F03EE378A3 
    Died 14 May 1877  Watt St, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 15 May 1877  Christchurch Cathedral, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I249  The Path to Our Future
    Last Modified 24 Apr 2013 

    Father William /Pitt PITTS,   b. 1776, Lydeard, St Lawrence, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Mar 1840, Union Workhouse, Wellington, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Mother Mary WARR,   b. 1777,   d. Mar 1834, Wiveslicomb, Somerset, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years) 
    Married 31 Aug 1807  Tolland, Somersetshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Witness: Simon Kebby and George Davis.
      At the time of marriage William was of Lydeard Street, Lawrence.
    Family ID F92  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Bridget MCGUIRE,   b. Abt 1834, Glenow, County Tyrone, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Dec 1919, Murray Ave, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years) 
    Married 10 Jul 1857  St.Johns C Of E, Old Sturgen St, Raymond Terrace, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Mary Ann PITTS,   b. 1855
     2. William PITTS,   b. 8 Jun 1858, Raymond Terrace , New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Dec 1948, State Hospital and Home, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years)
     3. Sarah Ann PITTS,   b. 12 Jun 1860, Raymond Terrace , New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1929, Rockdale, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     4. John Joseph PITTS,   b. 11 Jun 1862, Longbright, Raymond Terrace, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 May 1942, Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     5. Charles PITTS,   b. 16 Aug 1864, Longbright, Raymond Terrace, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jun 1901, Maitland St, Stockton, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
     6. Lawrence PITTS,   b. 10 Nov 1867, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Aug 1957, Dudley, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
     7. Alice PITTS,   b. 14 Feb 1869, Stockton, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jul 1896, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     8. James PITTS,   b. 25 Aug 1871, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 May 1938, Hamilton, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
     9. George Thomas PITTS,   b. 1875, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1955  (Age 80 years)
    Last Modified 8 Mar 2012 
    Family ID F489  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • ?b??i?WILLIAM PITTS & BRIDGET MCGUIRE?/b??/i?
      110810

      William was born at Wiveliscombe in Taunton, Somersetshire, England, c.1822, son of William Pitts and Mary nee Ward.

      William was transported to Australia as a convict, arriving in Sydney on 18th December, 1838 aboard the "Portsea". He was first tried on 13th August, 1832 at Wells Assizes for stealing three half crowns, etc., of Thomas Rogers, convicted and sentenced to be transported for 7 years. He was removed to the General Penitentiary, Millbank, London, and it is not known whether he was actually transported. At the time he was described as William Pitts the younger and stated to be aged 17, 5 ft 0?ins. (1.54m) tall, slight person, fresh complexion, round visage, dark hair, grey eyes, mole in corner of right eye, labourer, born and living at Wiveliscombe, could read but not write.

      On the second occasion he was convicted on 31st March, 1838 at Taunton Assizes of stealing 5 ducks and 4 fowls from James Williams and 5 fowls from Robert Dawe, being sentenced to transportation for life. He was removed to the York Hulk at Gosport on 26th April, 1838. On this occasion he was variously described as aged 21 or 23, 5ft 3ins (1.60m) tall, stout person, fresh complexion, round visage, dark hair, hazel eyes, mole in corner of right eye, labourer living in Wellington, born Wiveliscombe, single, could read but not write.

      The Wilveliscombe parish registers record the baptism of William son of William and Mary Pitt (not Pitts) on 27th December, 1812. The couple had seven other children baptised there:

      John, 28th December, 1808
      Mary Ann, 28th December, 1810
      George and Ann, 29th December, 1816
      Elizabeth, 13th December, 1818
      Susanna and Sarah, 13th October, 1822

      the father was described as a higgler (a travelling pedlar) 1816-22, and his surname was spelt 'Pitts' in 1822. Although William's year of birth is a little earlier than would be expected from the age that he gave at his trials, there is no other possible entry in the Wiveliscombe registers.

      The parents were not married at Wiveliscombe and the only marriage which corresponds in West Somerset is that at Tolland between William Pitt of Lydeard St Lawrence and Mary Warr of Tolland on 31st August, 1807. The Lydeard St Lawrence registers record the baptism of William son of William and Susanna Pitt on 24th March, 1776. The same parents has two earlier children baptised there:

      Mary, 25th December, 1770
      George, 20th May, 1774

      The parents were not married in the parish but can be identified with William Pitt, bachelor, and Susanna Wensley, spinster, married at Stogumber on 9th October, 1768.

      The Stogumber registers include the baptism of William 'bastard child of Susannah Pitt of Burpitt (in Stogumber) on 5th July, 1734. Susannah has an earlier illegitimate child Jane, baptised 17th July, 1724. In neither case was the putative father named.

      A bastardy bond for Thomas Daw of Taunton St Marys, sergemaker, dated 5th July, 1726 indicates that he was the father of Jane, however, no similar document could be found for William Pitt's father. The accounts of the Stogumber overseers of the poor are missing for the period around 1734, so that his identity is unlikely to be traceable.

      Susan daughter of William Pitt of Burpit and Wilmot his wife was baptised at Stogumber on 16th January, 1702/3. The same couple had the following other children baptised there:

      Mary, 1st April, 1689
      William, 26th August, 1690
      George, 23rd April, 1692
      Elizabeth, 20th July, 1694
      Wilmot, 16th April, 1697
      Jane, 3rd May, 1701

      the father was described at 'in Town' in 1692 and as of Burpit again in 1701. The parents were not married in Stogumber.

      Upon his arrival in Sydney, William was described as 5ft 2ins (1.57m) in height, had a ruddy and freckled complexion, brown hair, grey eyes with eyebrows partly meeting and having several small moles and scars on his face, neck and hands.

      William was granted a "Ticket of Leave" on 23rd June, 1847 which required him to remain in the Parramatta District. This was altered to Newcastle on 26th June, 1847 and to Maitland on 21st June, 1850.

      On 24th June, 1853 William was recommended for a Conditional Pardon but on 24th July, 1853, before the pardon was approved, he was convicted of pig stealing in Maitland quarter Sessions and sentenced for two years on the roads. As a consequence his Ticket of Leave was cancelled and torn up. His Conditional Pardon was withheld until he had "regained and held a Ticket for Imperial Sentence for twelve months".

      William's Ticket of Leave was restored on 27th November, 1854 and he was to remain in the Parramatta District.

      William's movements in the colony are then unknown until his marriage to Bridget McGuire on 10th July, 1857 in the Church of England Raymond Terrace. He was aged 35 a labourer from Cabbage Tree and she was a general servant from Raymond Terrace. She made her mark when signing.

      Bridget was 23 and was newly arrived in the Colony from Glenow, Tyrone, Ireland. She was born c 1834.


      William and Bridget had nine children:

      William, born 1858
      Sarah Ann, born 1860
      John, born 11th June, 1862
      Lawrence, born 1866
      Terrance, born 1867
      James, born 1871
      George, born 1875

      there was two additional girls born. One male (Lawrence ) and two females were deceased at time of Bridget's death.

      At the time of John's birth, Bridget was aged 28 and William, aged 40, was farming at Longbight.

      Sarah Ann Russell nee Pitts, William's sister, and her husband had come to Australia aboard the "Emma Eugenia" arriving in Sydney in 1849. The shipping lists reveal that Sarah had indicated she had no relatives in the colony. It would appear that she was not keen to admit that her brother was a convict in the colony. The Russell family also settled in the Newcastle area.
      ?i?( Sarah Russell nee Pitts, William's sister, and her husband had come to Australia aboard the "Emma Eugenia" arriving in Sydney in 1849. The shipping lists reveal that Sarah had indicated she had no relatives in the colony. It would appear that she was not keen to admit that her brother William and their older brother John Pitts who also arrived on the "Emma Eugenia" in 1838 as a convict in the colony. The Russell family settled in Nundle area and also later the Newcastle area. (Notes Christine Frater) )
      ?/i?
      William suffered an accidental death on 9th May, 1877 and a report in the "Newcastle Morning Herald" detailed the circumstances.

      During the inquest Michael Marooney a blacksmith gave evidence that he had known the deceased for 5 or 6 years and that William's horse, spring cart and harness were in his possession.

      Evidence was given that William, well known as a carter, lived in a rented house, was aged upwards of 60 years and of very intemperate habits. For the proceedings three weeks he had been constantly drunk.

      William had been separated from his wife and family for abut six months.

      William's body was found on his hands and knees at the foot of a steep slight of stairs in the house in a lane off Watt Street at the rear of Heppel's Hotel. His head was jammed in the sharp angle of the stairs.

      A doctor who examined the body considered that William's death must have been instantaneous. The post-mortem examination found that there was a wound across the forehead abut 4" (100mm) long, stripping the scalp, and another on the upper part of the nose fracturing the nasal bones.

      The inquest found that William's death was accidental "caused by falling against the stairs while under the influence of drink".


      In 1835 Bridget, then aged 52, married Harry De Potter in Sydney. They had no children.

      Bridget De Potter died on 9th December, 1919 while living at her son John's home in Murray Avenue, Newcastle and is buried at Sandgate Cemetery along with John and Frances.
      (The above notes and research is from Neil Hausfeld, via email on 6 Mar 2012)

  • Sources 
    1. [S624] Somerset Archive and Record Office, copy of marriage entry for William Pitt and Mary Warr 1807.