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Details for the convict James Ponting (1830)

Convict Name:James Ponting
Trial Place:Gloucester (City) Assizes
Trial Date:1 April 1829
Sentence:7 years
Arrival Details
Ship:Mermaid (2)
Arrival Year:1830
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There is currently one researcher who has claimed James Ponting

  • Researcher (Neil Cornish)
Claimed convict


James Ponting was transported for 7 years on the Mermaid arriving at Sydney on 1 April 1830 after trial at Gloucester Assizes for shoplifting. Granted Ticket of Leave on 9 August 1834 to the district of Patricks Plains and Certificate of Freedom 30th August 1836 after serving 7 years. Occupation: Bootcloser/Bootmaker. His name has various spellings in records: Ponting, Pointing, Poynting, Ponkins, Panting.
MC to Mary Crofton 10 March 1835 shows James Ponkins & Mary Crompton both living at “Dulwich”, the farm of James Glennie at Patrick’s Plains. They had one daughter, Martha Elizabeth b.15/11/1836 however in April 1842 Mary Pointing petitioned the Governor to admit her daughter, Martha Elizabeth, to the Orphan School declaring that her husband, ex-convict James Pointing, had deserted her 2 years, 4 months earlier (late December 1839 or early January 1840). In the petition, Mary said she believed James had returned to England but in "Coastal Passengers to Port Phillip 1840" there was "Pointing (Mr)" arrived on the Jewess on 12 February 1840 from Sydney.
In December 1839, Lydia Kemp (witness at marriage of James to Mary Crofton) and Mary Peters travelled together to Melbourne on the Orient. On 17th May 1841 James Panting (signs as Pointing) marries 'by Banns' Mary Peters in St James, Melbourne.
James and his new wife Mary (Peters) move to Hobart and are shown in the census of 31 December 1841 as James & Mary Peters – no children. They then have four children: Elizabeth Jane b.1842; Charles Edward b.1843; Louisa Letitia b.1845; (all born in Hobart) and James Frederick born at Plenty River Victoria 1847. These children are variously recorded with the surname “Peters” and/or “Pointing”.
James died in Melbourne Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria on 2nd January 1851 and his DC records him as “James Panting”

In 1851/2 Mary Poynting (n.Peters) marries William Dyer who dies in 1861. They have six children and on her DC are listed her four children from James all listed with surname “Poynting”, together with the 6 children from the marriage to William Dyer.

Mary Crofton, James’ first wife, arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney on the Palambam on 31 July 1831 having left Ireland in April 1831. She was one of 50 Irish orphan girls from the Foundling Hospital in C. Cork Ireland, sent to Australia on the ship Palambam that also carried 114 female convicts. This mainly female passenger list was part of the British Government's response to the imbalance of males to females in the colony that had resulted from the number of male convicts who were now free men as a result of completing their sentences - mainly of 7 or 14 years. Mary was 14 when she arrived.

Mary Crofton was transported to the Hunter Valley, possibly as early as 5th September 1831 and would have been put in service possibly at “Dulwich” in the upper Hunter. It’s believed that she was one of a number of girls in this incident:
SMH Monday, September 5, 1831
Two free females from the Palambam were injured on the journey to the Hunter to their place of service when the dray on which they were travelling upturned with its contents on top of the girls. One girl had her thigh bone broken.
Monday, September 12, 1831
The young woman severely injured with the overturning of the dray in the Hunter died there a few days ago of the effects of the injuries sustained by that calamitous event.

Mary Crofton had a further 2 children: Eliza (b. 14/6/1845) and Emmeline (b. 23/7/1849) and both their BCs show their surname as “Poynting” and both fathers are shown as “Unknown”.

Emmeline Poynting married Thomas Stephen CORNISH on 5/6/1872 and Mary Crofton is my 2nd Great Grandmother so while it appeared that I had James Ponting as my convict ancestor, research found that this is not so unless of course the “Unknown” father of Emmeline Poynting turns out to be a convict,] but all the searching for his identity is so far without result

Neil Crofton CORNISH
21 March 2015
Submitted by Researcher (Neil Cornish) on 21 March 2015

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Research notes

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  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/7, p.242

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