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What do those roman numerals and numbers after a ships name mean?

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The numbering system used by Charles Bateson was used to differentiate the various voyages of the one transport and also the voyages of transports with the same name although quite a different ship. The roman numeral after a ships name means that more than one ship by that name arrived.

Eg. The following shows that there were three different ships named “Mary” arriving in the various colonies with convicts. The number in the brackets denotes the voyage number of that particular ship.

  • Mary 1 arrived in Port Jackson in 1819
  • Mary II arrived in Port Jackson in 1822
  • Mary III (1) arrived in Port Jackson and VDL in 1823
  • Mary III (2) arrived in VDL in 1830
  • Mary III (3) arrived in VDL in 1831
  • Mary III (4) arrived Port Jackson in 1833
  • Mary III (5) arrived in Port Jackson in 1835

The Indents do not provide these roman numerals….. it will note the “Mary” that arrived in PJ in 1822 as Mary (2) and the “Mary” that arrived in PJ on 1823 as “Mary” (3). There was no reason to note that the ships were different ships. The “Mary” that arrived in VDL in 1830 was probably noted as Mary (2) as that was the second time a ship named “Mary” had deposited convicts at that place.

The reason why the roman numerals are now used is because some convicts moved between colonies. A convict arriving in VDL on the Mary III (1) may, for some reason, been moved to Port Jackson, so some of the records may show her as arriving on the “Mary” (1), as that was the first voyage of that ship to VDL…… but the PJ records show that ship as arriving in 1819.

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