Rebecca Seymour’s father Thomas was a convict, transported for life for stealing a horse. A butcher by trade he was tried on July 15th 1809 at the York Assizes and was sentenced to death which was then changed to transportation. He was transferred to the Prison Hulk Captivity which was moored in Portsmouth Harbour, where the fit and healthy prisoners were employed in the dockyards and if they worked well, received the dock-yard allowance of one biscuit, one pint of small beer and a half-penny worth of tobacco each day, he remained there until 16th March 1811 when he was transferred to a transportation vessel. The Admiral Gambier left England on May 12, 1811, with 200 male convicts on board, three of whom died on the voyage. He arrived on September 29 1811. He was described as 5’10” tall, with black hair, hazel eyes, with a dark ruddy complexion.
He was assigned to Soldier Robert Higgins whose eldest daughter Mary he married on 15th March 1814 at St John’s Parramatta by the Reverend Samuel Marsden. Thomas signed the register and Mary made her X mark in the presence of John Eyre who signed the register and Sarah Higgins who made her X mark.
Thomas and Mary had 10 children between 1813-1832.
Thomas received a ticket of leave in 1828 and was granted a conditional pardon on 1st October 1839. In the 1830s Mary Seymour left her husband and lived with William Ryan, convict (‘Surrey 1’ 1816) in the Illawarra district and they had 4 children. Mary remained married to Thomas Seymour and did not marry William Ryan.
Thomas Seymour died at The Oaks NSW in 1865. Mary died at Dapto NSW in 1867.
Mary Higgins’ father Robert arrived on the Queen, a ship of the Third Fleet. He received a land grant on August 25, 1812, at Minto on the same day as John Hore and John Love received their land grants in the same area. Their land was on the banks of the Nepean River in the area then and now called Cowpastures. Robert was not married when he arrived in Australia and on July 9, 1810, he married Lydia Farrell at St Phillip’s Church Sydney.
Lydia Farrell’s origins and place of birth are unknown, but in 1790 she was living with an itinerant gang in the English Midlands. In 1790 she stole seven shawls from a shop and was tried at Stafford Assizes on 21 July 1790. She was transported on the Pitt in 1792, sentenced for seven years. After she was assigned to Robert Higgins she travelled with him, on the Kitty on February 11 1793, to Norfolk Island. They returned to Sydney Cove on the Daedalus on November 6, 1794.
Their first child, Mary, was born in 1795 and when they married in 1810 they had four children already: Mary, Elizabeth, aged 13, who married Thomas Campbell and together ran a sly-grog business, John, aged 12, who went on to become the local police constable in the area, and Sarah, aged 10.