From Slave to Convict?

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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby bimjim » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:59 pm

The IGI provides 235 Phipps records for the entire Caribbean Islands region (Antigua, S. Kitts, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Vincent, Jamaica, Dominican Republic), but just one George Phipps ...

GEORGE BARCLAY PHIPPS
Male
Birth:
Christening: 24 SEP 1784 Saint Michael, Barbados, Caribbean
Parents:
Father: JOHN PHIPPS Family
Mother: ELIZA

This George Phipps appears to have been born in the same year... so I think that either...

a. This is the same George Phipps, and you have the birth location wrong, or
b. These are two different families who may be related somehow, but are living in different islands that are over 350 miles apart and - in those days - were a minimum four days sailing (Barbados and St. Kitts), even if the trip were direct (the ships usually stopped at other islands, and would probably have stopped at Antigua, which held the seat of Government for the northern Leeward islands).


i think more research is necessary, if that is possible, to determine that fact.

If he was sent away as a convict there should have been a term which he had to fulfill. But my understanding is that the Crown did not provide return passage and most transported convicts never left their destination country. Whether a convict could become a slave I can't say.

Even if he worked for a master mariner - and even of the same surname (and you say he died in Tasmania) - it is still unlikely he ever got the chance to visit either Barbados or St. Kitts again, for the simple reason that in Tasmania they are a full continent away on either side - ship access was via the mortally dangerous wreck-infested passages south of Africa or South America. I'm not sure even a master mariner would take such risks so that a convict servant (or slave) could pay his people a visit.
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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby bimjim » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:03 am

It's such an unusual name and there are so many of them around the Caribbean islands that is is very probably they were all related. From Chris Codrington I understand that a family strategy was to surround oneself with family and others who had strong mutual interests, so it could well be that a family member in St. Kitts asked for him to be sent there.

But this is assuming that he was white and free... take away either quality and life became exponentially harder in those days. It would certainly have made travel to St. Kitts a very dim possibility. As a black man it is also a possibility that the other Phipps are white... and that perhaps he was born in St. Kitts and named after one or more whites.

It's a puzzle, for sure, one that you need to keep after. And I think this is one of the few places you will find a solution - from someone who knows out of their family history, written or oral, not from dry records which may have already been lost to time and/or insects.

Good luck in your quest...

Jim
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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby bimjim » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:32 pm

I guess I should have said this before... when you see the word "black", "coloured", or any of the other shades of description, it is worth pausing for consideration. In the days before Emancipation in English territories when those who made the records were English and white (Colonial Secretaries and Clergy), it was normal for the record-keeper to write down whatever he heard. Hence the many mis-spellings, bastardisations and variations on names and descriptions.

One of those anomalies was that the record-keeper could also label someone anything he wanted - since very few people could read what he wrote - and it was common for anyone who was not both English and white to be labelled black, coloured or something else merely because they were not English and white. A Portugese with olive skin, for example, could easily be labelled black or coloured, or even mulatto, and that would go into the records without further comment (possibly because there was nobody to check and then challenge it). I am sure some people may have been so labelled because of a poor relationship with the scribe - or simply because the scribe took a dislike to them on sight alone).

Just out of interest, the practice of noting someone's description ceased about the time of Emancipation - which legally occurred around the year 1835 but only occurred in practice some years later in many of the English territories.
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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby Jude » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:46 am

I wonder if it is only coincidence that my George Phipps is allocated to a Captain Andrew Barclay in Tasmania, before his release from convict status, to work on Barclay's allocated acreage. If my George Phipps is the George Barclay Phipps that was born in Barbabos, it could well be a link, although he does state on his convict records that he was born on St Kitts. Maybe he moved there as a child.

George was tried in London in 1816 for stealing a watch and clothing and then sent to Australia as a convict.

He had an accomplice, one William Sherwood listed as a stowaway during his trial at the Old Bailey in London, born in Jamaica he died at sea on the way to Australia.

It would appear that George was in England legitimately as he was listed as a carpenter. He could have been working on a ship.

I often wonder who was the leader of these two "criminals"?

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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby Brad » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:52 pm

Hello,

I am also looking for information on the same George Phipps.

George Barclay Phipps born 1784 listed in IGI database is about 16 years too young to be the same one.

George Phipps died in Tasmania in 1844 aged 80, some documents state birth as 1769

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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby Jude » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:42 am

Brad, The info on George's death certificate was given by his son-in-law James Joseph McGuiness and he could well have guessed his age as being 80 years old.
Are you searching through John or Elizabeth Phipps line?
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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby Brad » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:07 am

I am a descendant through James Joseph Maginnis' oldest son George McGuiness, but I am also in contact with descendants of his younger son Edward. We are also of the opinion that the death age is possibly wrong as we have about 3 different birth years.

We are researching the old family tales of possible part Aboriginal, West Indian / Barbados & Bengalee connections. So we are looking for more information on George Phipps, Mary Robinson & Ann Penny. Also whether Elizabeth Phipps remarried Issac Morris from Barbados and moved to Daylesford, Victoria with George & Edward prior to 1851.

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Re: From Slave to Convict?

Postby Jude » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:24 am

Well Brad, we come from the same line then! We have contacted most relatives from George McGuiness line, but are still trying to track down Julie Lewis (nee McGuinness) and Leonie and Brian McGuinness - are you related to this line?

Our research shows that George Phipps was made a convict in the UK and was born in St Kitts or Barbados. He married Ann Penny in Tasmania who was listed as "a Bengalee", so we assume she was from Bengal. We also think that Mary Robinson may have been his first wife, but haven't followed this through. Elizabeth did move to Victoria in 1849, but then moved back again, only to return to victoria later with Issac Morris.

Maybe you could email us and we could talk more as there is quite a lot to talk about.

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