Invite to Dinner

Which of my Ancestors would I invite to dinner?  Well I have finally found my convict ancestor.  I knew there had to be one lurking around somewhere.  But this is a recent discovery as I learn more about the biological family of my grandfather.

Public Domain,

He obviously wasn’t invited to dinner when he was arrested for housebreaking in March 1845.  But I would love to sit down to a meal with him to learn his story.  What led to him being sentenced to 10 years transportation to Van Dieman’s Land?

Richard Austin Stronnell, my great, great, great grandfather, was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England in 1825 to William and Pleasant Stronnell.  He was one of 9 children.

His first misdemeanor appears to have been larceny in 1840 when he was whipped and sent to prison for 2 days.  He was only 15.  Then in 1844 he was again arrested for larceny before being convicted of felony and was imprisoned for 6 months.

Housebreaking was a serious offence and he was transported to Van Dieman’s Land aboard the ship, Marion, with a 10 year sentence.

He must have mended his ways because he was granted a ticket of leave or a pardon, I am not sure which, in 1852 after only serving 7 years of his sentence.

He married  Mary Ann Carter in 1857 in Castlemaine and they had nine children.

This is all I have managed to find out about him so far so I am looking forward to finding out more of his story.  If only we could sit down together……………..


    1. Definitely. I am amazed at all the information that is available for convicts. Also it is possible that his father died in an asylum which may have contributed to this story. Looking forward to investigating further.


  1. Great post Pauline. It is very satisfying researching Convicts, especially if they are in Tasmania as there seems to be so much readily available information. You have great groundwork here for your Convict units in the Diploma. One typo I picked up on…. should Richard’s birth be 1825 instead of 1925?


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