James Robinson

James Robinson or Jimmy Holt, either/or……..the same person, our Grandfather and Great Grandfather! He is well-known by the two names and I often use both. Dad only ever uses Jimmy Holt as this is the history handed down to him by his father Horace also known as Horace Holt for a fair period of his life. We only ever heard stories about Jimmy Holt and his mother was always Meg Youl. A decision to photo copy James Masters Mariners Ticket – along with a few other documents as Christmas gifts last year, evolved into our family research and hasn’t stopped since!!

The tricky subject of James birthdate –  what’s written on his Masters ticket and Masters application doesn’t fit  with the 1858 birth certificate. IMG_5247 IMG_5248 Naturally I thought this was Jimmy’s original ticket – all became clear in the Hobart History Room, finding it was a duplicate and reissued in 1891 and has fold marks, probably kept in his wallet. (The original (and duplicate) application and examination was signed by James Riddle, great-uncle of Bill Riddle Senior who bought the Robinson home at Badger Corner in 1930’s.) IMG_0063 References for these documents – certificate No 52.

This information is direct from Jimmy Holt himself……… birth date, place and address…… Little Dog Island in Badger Strait. (Interesting…… Badger Strait) The specifications of the Elizabeth (built by William Brown, Cape Barren Island) the other boats he had been employed on.

Thank you Jimmy for this information. When I first read like others before me, a son had been born in Georgetown  24/9/1858 to Samuel Robinson and Mary Devine, thought it possible the registrar (registered 6/10/1858) may have mis heard Dwyer and why we see Devine.

The baptism certificate for this same child on November 3rd 1858 states the child’s name was ‘David’ parents named as Samuel and Mary Robinson, no reference to maiden name. As the dates fitted this would suggest the child was James Robinson.

However when I was examining his Home Trade Ticket, the glaring inconsistency was DOB, 1851, the dates didn’t fit with his parents history. Was James was the eldest of the brothers not the youngest. Did Samuel Robinson have another son in Georgetown with another woman called Mary and possibly the crux of his sudden departure in January 1859.

A trip to Carr Villa to photograph the headstone.

James died in February he hadn’t turned 75, taking this into account he was born in 1851. IMG_5222

Elizabeth Prest’s Will names James first, although William and John are around the wrong way. Again James marriage certificate – states in 1881 he was 29 years of age, again 1851. There is a variable of 7 years working on 1851 and 1858. James applied for his Home Trade Ticket in January 1875 –  James Holt states he started working on the ‘Blackbird’ in 1866, making him 15 or 16 as a boy and worked for 8 years in the trade, bringing his age to 23. James and his mother Elizabeth Holt owned the ‘Elizabeth’. If he had been born in 1858 – he would have started working at 8 and applied for his masters ticket at the age of 16. In this case he would have become the Master of the ‘Blackbird’ when he was 10. My youngest nephew has just turned 10…… ludicrous to consider he could be employed as a Master or even as a boy at this age, (no offence, Will, I think your parents would agree). The book Mission to the Islands published by Stephen Murray Smith also supports the 1852 theory – Smith researched and presents information about the local identities from Cannon Brownrigg’s work.

The answer I suspect is with Meg his mother who arrived in the Colony in 1853. I wonder if James chose his brothers, did Meg leave 2 boys at the orphanage and 12 months later leave with 3 boys. Would love to hear other ideas about this……..

One thought on “James Robinson

  1. Pingback: William and Ellen Holt – Golden Wedding Anniversary 1925 | Flinders Island: Badger Corner and Samphire River

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