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William Hastings - Grace Hewetson

Page history last edited by Michael Hicks 13 years, 4 months ago




William Hastings, son of James Hastings and Sarah Muirhead was born in Neis, Glencairn, Dumfrieshire, Scotland. He died 29th October 1838 in Spring Cove, Sydney Harbour, NSW, Australia. He married Grizzel Hewetson on Dec 1828 in Glencairn, Scotland, daughter of James Hewetson and Mary Kerr. She was born on 04 Sep 1807 in Penpont, Dumfrieshire, Scotland. She died on 24 Nov 1873 in Pyrmont, Sydney,  NSW, Australia.


Children of William Hastings and Grizzel Hewetson are:


Mary Ann Hastings, B: 1831 in Scotland, D: 04 Sep 1863 in Surrey Hills, NSW,  Australia

Sarah Hastings, B: 1832 in Scotland, D: 22 Apr 1839 in Parramatta Female Orphan School, NSW, Australia.

Nicholas Hastings, B: 6 Nov 1832 in Kells, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, D: 24 Jan  1867 in Sydney, NSW, Australia

Jane Hastings, B: 4 Aug 1834 in Kells, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, D: 16 Dec 1910  in Summer Hill, Sydney, NSW, Australia

James Hastings, B: 25 Nov 1835 in Kells, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, D: 10 Jan 1839  in Liverpool Male Orphan School, NSW, Australia.

Grizzel Hastings, B: 18 Oct 1837 in Kells, Kirkcudbright, Scotland



Children of Grizzel Hewetson and John Wood are:                      


Elizabeth Wood, B: 27 Nov 1842 in Sydney, NSW, Australia, D: 30 Dec 1895 in  Bega, NSW, Australia

Louisa Wood, B: 07 Feb 1850 in Sydney, NSW, Australia, D: 04 Jun 1907 in  Paddington, NSW, Australia




Notes for William Hastings and Grace (Grizzel) Hewetson



The actual birthplace of William Hastings is not known.  The shipping records for the William Rogers state that his native place was Glencairn Parish Dumfriesshire Scotland, so it is assumed that he was probably born at Glencairn.  Grace or Grizzel Hewetson was born at Chanlockhead in the neighbouring Parish on Penpont, also in Dumfriesshire Scotland.





Kirkland and Glencairn Kirk, Parish of Glencairn



William Hastings married Grace Hewetson by the Church of Scotland in the Parish of Glencairn, December 28, 1828.  




Extract from the Glencairn Parish Old Parochial Marriage Registers, 1828

Note that the first name of the Bride Grizzel, is missing.



The births of the first two children, Mary in 1831 and Sarah in 1832 do not appear in the Old Parochial Registers and it is unclear where William and Grace Hastings were residing at this time.  By 1833, William and Grace had moved to the Parish of Kells in the county of Kirkcudbright.  William was a shepherd working in the Galloway Hills, living in the Croft or Bothy (shepherds hut) known as the "Back Hill of Bush".










Back Hill of Bush Bothy, nearby Downies Burn



The Backhill of Bush is located in a valley between the ranges of the Rhinns of Kells to the east and the Dungeon Hills to the west.  To the south west lies the famous blanket bog of the Silver Flowe. The surrounding hills bear the names Craignaw, Dungeon Hill, Snibe Hill, Craigeazle, Meikle Millyea, Milldown, Millfire and Corserine.  Two small lochs lie to the west, Round lock of the Dungeon and Long Lock of the Dungeon.  The Bothy itself is beside Downies Burn, which would have supplied the Hastings family with drinking water.


The land being worked by the shepherd at Backhill was known as the Dungeon of Buchan, with the Ranges being the home to the Scottish Blackfaced sheep with their ability to survive and reproduce in the most adverse of conditions.


Backhill of Bush was a stone cottage with a slate roof and was known locally as the most remote house in Galloway.  A pony path led between the Millfire and Corserine which snaked back to the main road, a distance of around 6 miles and having to cross the many Burns along the way.  The pony would have been provided by the Farmer to the shepherd for this purpose.  The route was probably traveled weekly to pick up the main staples of the working classes, namely oatmeal and potatoes which would have been supplemented with mutton and bread.


William and Grizzel's third daughter Nicholas, was born in 1832 on the 6th of November at Back Hill and was christened at Carsfad on January 25th 1833.




Extract from the Kells Parish Old Parochial Marriage Registers, 1833




The fourth daughter Jean (or Jane) was born on the 4th of August 1834 and baptised at Crummie (Crummy) Park on the 12th of December by the Reverend Maitland




Extract from the Kells Parish Old Parochial Marriage Registers, 1834




The first son James, born on the 25th of November 1835 and baptised by the Reverend David Welsh at Carsphairn, the neighbouring Parish to the north of Kells.




Extract from the Kells Parish Old Parochial Marriage Registers, 1835




The last child and fifth daughter Grizzel, born on the 18th of October 1837 and Baptised at Crummie Park on the 8th of December by Reverend Maitland



Extract from the Kells Parish Old Parochial Marriage Registers, 1837




Black Faced sheep typical of the Galloway area


Stone sheep pen to the north of Back Hill





View Scotland Landmarks in a larger map


Map Notes


The red marker shows the location of the Backhill of Bush cottage, which is still in existence today.  Center the map on the red marker and zoom to the lowest detail to see the aerial view.  The pine forests and the maze of logging trails are a result of the 20th Century with the introduction of the Forestry Commission in Galloway Park.  In the 19th Century the area would have been almost bare of trees.


The blue markers show the locations of Crummy Park, Carsfad and Carsphairn, referenced in the Kells baptism registers.




William and Grizzel Hastings resided at Back Hill from the period 1832 to at least the end of 1837 based on the baptism entries.  This would have been a harsh, cold and lonely life for the Hastings family and opportunity seemed to have presented itself in the chance to emigrate by the British Government run Bounty Scheme to Australia.  The new colony needed honest and industrious labour, especially workers on the land and paid a Bounty to the family based on ages.  The Hastings family would have been offered around 76 pounds which would have provided a large incentive to make the decision.


The family traveled north to the Port of Greenock in preparation for departure on the Barque William Rogers under the command of Captain Hall.  Prior to departure the Hastings would have been inspected by the surgeon John Reid.  The William Rogers left Greenock on the 13th of May for the four month voyage to Australia.


Inflamatory fever broke out on board the ship around two weeks before the arrival of the vessel at Port Jackson, and the ship was immediately placed into Quarantine at Spring Cove when it arrived on the 27th September, 1838 after over 4 months at sea.  The vessel was released in early October, ready for the immigrants to disembark at Darling Harbour.  A fresh case of Typhus fever broke out, forcing the ship to return to Spring Cove and was again put back into Quarantine.  The immigrants were removed from the ship and moved into the huts at the station at North Head and people separated into the sick and healthy.


The fever spread rapidly amongst the immigrants, the first deaths occurring in October.  William Hastings was one of the deaths in October, his body being placed in the first cemetery at Spring Cove, located above and to the south of Quarantine Beach.  He would be one of the 41 people who would die from the ill fated William Rogers whilst in Quarantine.


Grizzel (or Grace) and her 6 children, Mary (9), Sarah (8), Nicholas (6), Jeanie (4), James (3) and Grizzle (1) finally left the station for the Emigrant barracks, Bent Street Sydney, in early January 1839, having survived the ordeal of Quarantine and over four months at sea.  Grace was engaged to be employed by John Thompson at Parramatta at five Pounds (including rations) for six months.  The middle three girls and James were placed directly from the Emigrant Barracks into the Parramatta Female Orphan School and the Liverpool Male Orphan School.  Within three weeks of being released from Spring Cove, James Hastings had died at the Male Orphan School and was buried on the 18th of January at Liverpool.


On the 1st of March 1839, with her three girls still in the Female Orphan School, Grace remarried William Stevenson by license at St James Church, Sydney.  William was a bachelor from the Vale of Clwyd (Harley Valley, Blue Mountains).   Grace prior marital status is listed as a Widow.  On the 21st of April, Sarah died at the Orphanage and was buried in the parish of St John, Parramatta.


It is unknown whether the marriage between William Stevenson and Grace lasted and it is unknown what happened to William.  Jane Hastings was finally released from the Female School in November 1839.  Nicholas remained in the School until she was apprenticed to John Brown in April 1840. 




Notes for Grace Hewetson and  John Wood



Although not recorded in the official Births, Deaths and Marriages, Grace Stevenson (nee Hewetson) had allegedly married Johh Wood a farmer from the Lachlan River.  Their first child Elizabeth Wood was born in November 1842, although she was not baptised at St Andrews Scots Church until September 1849.  The surnames of the parents being given as Wood and Hotson.


Eight years later after the birth of Elizabeth, in February 1850 a second child Louisa was born to John and Grace Wood, now living in Kent Street Sydney.


The family stayed in Kent Street until the death of John Wood.





Research Notes



Geograph images for the Back Hill of Bush

Scotland Emigration to Australia





Some notes on Scottish names



Female Celtic Names of Scotland


Grizel — "gray battle-maid"; Scottish adaption of Norse Griselda. Grisel, Grizzel, Grace (anglicized form).

Jean — "god is gracious" or "god's gracious gift"; fem. form of John. Jane, Janet, Joan.



Anglicising forenames 


It was very common for registrars in Gaelic-speaking areas of the Highlands and Western Isles to anglicise common Gaelic forenames, for instance recording Morag as Mary, Iain as John and Hamish as James. Gaelic-speaking families themselves, who migrated to urban areas, may also have anglicised their names.



Interchangeable names 


Some names are completely interchangeable e.g. Agnes and Nancy, Donald and Daniel. Jane could be recorded as Jean, Jessie or Janet.

Early spellings may vary from later ones , e.g. Jannet, Jhonet, Jonat, Jonnet or Jonet instead of Janet, Margrat or Margret for Margaret, Henrie for Henry, Andro or Androw for Andrew, Alisoun, Alesoune, Alisone for Alison.


Traditional naming patterns 


Scots often named children by following a simple set of rules:


1st son named after father's father 

2nd son named after mother's father 

3rd son named after father 

1st daughter named after mother's mother 

2nd daughter named after father's mother 

3rd daughter named after mother






References and Credits



The following images are from the Geograph website and are licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


Kirkland and Glencairn Kirk © Copyright Walter Baxter 

Backhill of Bush © Copyright Colin Kinnear

Front of the Backhill of Bush Bothy  © Copyright J Taylor

Sheep pen North of Backhill of Bush © Copyright Bob Peace






Links: FrontPageJames Hastings - Sarah Muirhead, Hastings Surname



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