George Romans

Male 1814 - 1900  (86 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name George Romans 
    Born 1814  [1
    Christened 13 Feb 1814  York, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Address:
    Saint Denis 
    Gender Male 
    _UID A0848A7CFF004F6B8406261E1A4943429930 
    Died 1900  Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I3165  Treefive
    Last Modified 4 Oct 2018 

    Father Benjamin Romans,   b. Abt 1768, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jan 1852, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 84 years) 
    Mother Mary Smith,   b. Abt 1778, Sowerby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1863, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years) 
    Married 6 Dec 1808  Sowerby By Thirsk, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7
    Family ID F933  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Mary Jackson,   b. 20 Jan 1815, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 16 Dec 1833  Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 9, 10, 11
    Children 
     1. Anne Romans,   b. Abt 1834, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Mary Romans,   b. 1836, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Mar 1836, Cawood, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F2654  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary Ann Bailey,   b. Abt 1808, Cheddar, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Sep 1884, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 76 years) 
    Married 26 Jun 1858  Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [12, 13, 14
    Children 
     1. Henry George Romans,   b. 9 Feb 1851, Avoca, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1945, Arrowtown, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F910  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 


    • George Romans and Mary Jackson married on 16 Dec 1833. They had 2 daughters - Ann, baptised on 29 Jun 1834 at Cawood, and Mary, baptised on 14 Feb 1836 at Cawood. But only Ann survived - Mary died 31 Mar 1836.

      On 27 Feb 1836, 2 weeks after Mary's baptism, George Romans, farm labourer, and 5 others were tried at the County Assizes at Beverley, Yorkshire. George was found guilty of highway robbery and was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to transportation for 14 years to Van Dieman's Land, dated 22 May 1837. His prison report said that he was "industrious, sober, good disposition, and character. Believed to be his first offence. His friends are of good character" .

      George was received on the prison hulk "Fortitude" at Chatham, Kent on 19 May 1836. He was transported to Tasmania as a convict on the ship Recovery on 1 Jun 1837, along with 283 other convicts. The surgeon's journal recorded him simply as "good". The ship arrived on 8 Oct 1837.

      On 5 Feb 1838, he was convicted of disorderly conduct and using abusing (sic) language to a Constable, and was sentenced to 25 lashes.

      On 9 Jul 1838, he was again convicted, this time for drunk and disorderly conduct and striking the Constables in the execution of their duty. The punishment was hard labour on the "T Wheel" for 14 days.

      On 14 Mar 1839 his sentence was "repd" for being drunk.

      In 1840, he was sentenced twice:
      - on 6 Aug, for insolence and disobedience of orders (48 hours Cell and retd to his service at the ...more;
      - on 12 Nov, absent without leave and gross misconduct (14 days solitary confinement).

      In 1841, there were 2 offences:
      - on 1 Jun, out after hours and dwelling ina public house (Cell on "B&W" 4 days);
      on 15 Sep, larceny under the value of ... (existing sentence of transportation extended 2 years and recommended to be worked on the roads on ...more).

      Also in 1841, he was recorded as a convict, working for W. Smith at Campbell Town, Tasmania.

      His last recorded offence was in 1843 - he was sentenced on 12 Apr for gross disorderly conduct and insolence to his overseer. The sentence was 14 days solitary confinement.

      George was on a list (1849-1851) of "Convict Pardons and Tickets of Leave". The list's column headings are missing, but it appears that he had served 11 years 10 months of his sentence, and had 2 years and 2 months still to serve. The Launceston Examiner of 11 Sep 1852 had a list of expired sentences, from the Hobart Town Gazette of 7 Sep 1852. George Romans (Recovery) was on the list. The expiration is approximately 16 years (i.e. 14 plus 2 years extension) from the date of his trial at Beverley, Yorkshire (27 Feb 1836).

      Family sources say that George had a wife in Australia named Ann Gillingham. Convict records give Ann Gillingham's arrival in Tasmania in 1839. An Ann Gillingham aged 23, married a Robert Williams aged 36 on 16 Oct 1843 (source: findmypast.com.au, record set Australian Marriages 1810-1980) and they had 3 children:
      Robert born in Hobart district on 12 May 1844;
      George born in Hobart district on 29 August 1846 (George Randolph Williams was a miner at Georgetown, Kennedy Qld from 1903 to 1919);
      Maria born in Hobart district on 6 January 1850.

      Ann's husband Robert died in 1882, so unless they divorced, Ann Gillingham could not have married George Romans, although it is certainly possible that they got together after Robert died. No second marriage for Anne has been found under either Gillingham or Williams.

      "Ann Gillingham" may have been Mary Ann Bailey, under her first married name Gilligan. It appears that George and Mary Ann started living together about 1850 at her property Clifton Lodge, near Avoca. Mary Ann's husband James Gilligan had died in 1847, leaving Mary Ann with several young children - 2 daughters and one or more sons. One of the sons was born in 1847, not long after James died, but nothing more is known of this child.

      A son, Henry George Romans, was born to Mary Ann Gilligan and George Romans (labourer) in 1851. Mary Ann was the informant, her address was Clifton Lodge. George and Mary Ann had another son , but nothing is known of him.

      George and Mary Ann married by license on 26 Jun 1858 at St Thomas' Church (the parish church at Avoca) according to the rites of the United Church of England and Ireland. The celebrant was William Richardson, Chaplain of Avoca, and the witnesses were Eliza Goff and John Urio. George was 43, a farmer, and a bachelor (no doubt his own description - there was no mention of his wife Mary at Cawood, Yorkshire). Mary Ann was 48, a widow and a landholder.

      George and Mary Ann continued to live at Clifton Lodge until Mary Ann was committed to the New Norfolk Hospital for the Insane in 1860. There is more detail on the people and events in George and Mary Ann's lives in her narrative.

      An article in the Launceston Examiner on 20 Aug 1868 shows another side of George Romans.
      'AVOCA POLICE COURT
      August 15.
      (Before C. A. Parker, Esq., J. P.)
      George Romans was charged with unlawfully and maliciously inflicting bodily harm on June Bishop at Avoca, on 9th August inst, Mr Smith, Superintendent of Police, conducted the prosecution. Prisoner was undefended.
      The woman Bishop deposed that prisoner broke into her house in the middle of the night, dragged her out of bed, and inflicted the injuries complained of by kicking her on the back, on the hip, and striking her in the face. The prosecutrix admitted that he had been with her on several occasions, and that he had given her plenty of money ; and from her own testimony there is no doubt that she is thoroughly depraved. The medical testimony described the injuries referred to, and the presiding justice committed the prisoner for trial.'

      The outcome of the trial is not known.

      Marie Romans, granddaughter of George, left some recountings with the family. They included her father (George Henry) being sent to school in Launceston at a young age, his not getting on with his new step mother and his new siblings, and leaving to work mainly in shearing gangs in Australia and NZ at about seventeen years of age. This poses some interesting points:
      - George Henry may well have been told his Mother had died, rather than being institutionalised;
      - could this new woman / wife of George Romans be Ann Gillingham? No marriage (or divorce of George from Mary Ann) has been found, and in any case Ann's husband Robert was alive until 1882, well after the departure of Henry George as a 17 year old in about 1868. Perhaps the "stepmother" was June Bishop.

      In 1887 at Bothwell, George was tried for the offence of uttering and was sentenced to 1 month in prison. A Tasmania Police Gazette of about Oct 1887, page 167, records some details about George in a table headed 'Prisoners discharged from H.M. Gaols and Houses of Correction, Hobart and Launceston, during the Week ending 19 October 1887; Country Districts for the Week ending 15 Oct, 1887' :
      Name: Romans, George
      Ship: Recovery
      Where Tried: Bothwell
      When: 14 Sept. '87
      Offence: Uttering
      Sentence: 1 mth
      Native Place: England
      Age: 72
      Height: 5ft 9 in
      Hair: Grey
      Remarks: F.S. Scar back left hand

      There is currently no information on the later years of George's life, although the death of a George Romans was registered at Tasmania in 1900, and this is assumed to be the same George Romans.

      It is unlikely that the reason for George committing robbery in 1836 will ever be known. It certainly blighted his life, and no doubt the life of his first wife Mary and their daughter Ann. At the trial, he was described as sober and industrious. As a convict in Tasmania, he was in trouble a number of times, often relating to being drunk. Although there is no evidence of this behaviour continuing when he was with Mary Ann, she had a serious alcohol problem, which contributed to her being committed to New Norfolk Hospital for the insane, and languishing there for 24 years. During that period, it seems that George got into trouble again, being charged for assault and later (at age 72) spending a month in prison for the offence of uttering.

      Just one mistake, and such a harsh penalty ...

  • Sources 
    1. [S2380] BAC Tasmanian convict biographies, 26 July 2014; biographical details of George Romans, Tasmanian convict.

    2. [S2393] ancestry.com England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, 13 Feb 1814 York, Yorkshire: George Romans.

    3. [S986] ancestry.com Australia Death Index, 1787-1985, 1900/1585 Hobart, Tasmania: George Romans.

    4. [S2391] TRE Family tree - Polly's Family Tree Hughes/Howard/Pollard (owner MaryPollard69) on ancestry.com accessed 1 Aug 2014, Benjamin Romans.

    5. [S2402] ancestry.com England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973, 6 Dec 1808 Yorkshire: Benjamin Romans and Mary Smith.

    6. [S2469] MAR Origins.net York Marriage Bonds and Allegations Index 1613-1839, Benjamin; Romans; 40; Middlesex; Cockfosters; Mary; Smith; 30; Yorkshire; Sowerby, Thirsk; 6 December 1808; Sowerby Chapel, Thirsk.

    7. [S2319] BUR Burial - findagrave.com, Mary Smith Romans; 1 Oct 1863; All Saints Churchyard, Cawood; 115813984.

    8. [S2391] TRE Family tree - Polly's Family Tree Hughes/Howard/Pollard (owner MaryPollard69) on ancestry.com accessed 1 Aug 2014, George Romans and Mary Jackson.

    9. [S2402] ancestry.com England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973, 16 Dec 1833 Cawood, Yorkshire: George Romans and Mary Jackson.

    10. [S2430] MAR366 Marriage George Romans and Mary Jackson, George Romans and Mary Jackson.

    11. [S2465] TRE143 Rootsweb message - Robert Romans, TRE143., accessed; 28 August 2014; message on descendants of Robert Romans born abt 1740.

    12. [S983] ancestry.com Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950, 26 Jun 1858 Tasmania: Mary Ann Gilligan and George Romans.

    13. [S2484] MAR Marriage Romans, George and Gilligan, Mary Ann.

    14. [S2517] MAR412 Marriage Romans, George and Gilligan, Mary Ann, 26 Jun 1858 Fingal, Tasmania: George Romans and Mary Ann Gilligan.