Beswick Family History

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Our Beswick name was brought to Tasmania by Thomas Beswick a convict transported from London in 1823. He married Mary (Mackenzie) Peck, born in Sydney in 1813 the daughter of Ann Clarke, a convict from Liverpool, and Alexander Mackenzie a soldier who arrived with Governor Macquarie in 1809. Their descendants included the Beswick branch of North East Tasmania and Newman, Harris, McIver and James branches. Revised chapters of the history of this Tasmania family and new articles are being posted here. 

Note:- John Beswick's book Brother's Home: The Story of Derby Tasmania is now available.

For a recent update on Mary Ann Clarke see Dromore and more on Mary Ann, and family of origin of Henry Peever.

There is a new report on the burial and possible birth of Thomas Beswick the London publican father of Thomas the convict.

To search this site go to DBHome See also Family History and Genealogy links in my General Information. This page is linked with SurnameWeb and Tasmanian Genealogy Webring and with Tasmanian genealogical resources (Tasmanian Government Archives) and Victorian GUM (Genealogists Using Microcomputers) among others.

To contribute information please write and use a Family Group Sheet or email David Beswick

The History of a Tasmanian Family and Family Tree

A brief introduction:-

The North Eastern Tasmania branch of the family, into which I was born on the family farm at Derby, descended from the original convict Thomas Beswick (1805-77) and Mary his wife through their son Thomas (1839-1905) and Catherine Clarke/Peever (1845-1908), my great grandparents, who married at Westbury in 1862, and settled at Derby in 1877. We have new information on the parents of Catherine the wife of Thomas II. She was the daughter of two convicts Edward (Henry) Peever (c1815-1890, transported in 1831) and Mary Ann Clarke (also known as Ray) (1823-1888, born in Ireland, transported from Liverpool 1841, arrived 1842). For recent research see Mary Ann's Tattoo on how we found Catherine's mother, and Catherine's namesake.

Thomas Beswick I (1805-77) was born at Seven Dials in London the son of a publican also named Thomas and his wife Margaret. (We have REVISED NEW INFORMATION on his mother Margaret Hopperton and the possible families of both his parents.) When Thomas was transported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1823, he was assigned to work at first for Anthony Cottrell who had land on the Nile River, South of Launceston, and who had an interesting history in relation to the Aboriginal people and the early settlement of Victoria. On a ticket of leave, when working as a shoemaker in Launceston in 1834, 'Thomas the convict' or 'Thomas I' married a young widow Mary Peck, nee Mackenzie, who was born at Sydney in 1813, the child of Ann Clarke (c.1792-1840) who had been transported from Liverpool in 1810, and Alexander Mackenzie (c.1770-1819), a soldier in the 73rd Regiment who arrived with Governor Macquarie at the end of 1809. They lived at Paterson's Plains, near Evandale, just South of Launceston, on land left by Mary's father, where their children were born, and later at Quamby near Westbury. The story of their backgrounds and descendants is told in the family history The Family of Thomas and Mary Beswick, which was written for the reunion in 1992. That work, which is out of print, is being posted in linked pages in a revised form, including some additions. I hope to publish a new work based on the 1992 version.

The family tree is being revised and will be added later. For details contact David Beswick.

Chapter 1 Thomas the convict

Chapter 2 Mary Mackenzie, friends and family

Chapter 3 The Family of Thomas and Mary

Chapter 4 Beswicks of the North East

Chapter 5 Beswicks of Derby: Later Generations


Other Family History (see Family History index page)

My father's mother's parents (David Dick and Helen MacGregor, a descendant of Rob Roy) came to Tasmania from Scotland in 1862 and another piece of history will hopefully be written for them, on whom we have a good deal of information, at least on the MacGregor descent. I will prepare a separate page on my mother's (Jessup, Cummins, Thompson, Featherstone) side of the family, who came to Tasmania as free settlers from England and Ireland. We have found new evidence of the Featherstone origins in Somerset. [For research on Featherstone Somerset background in the 1600s see Featherstone alias Blackmore.] My late wife Joan Green and I also researched her family (Green, Dean, Barry, Heales) which can be traced back to the Marsom family of Luton, England in the 1600s. We have two manuscript books of poems written by Thomas Marsom (1743-1815), which are being transcribed and give some interesting insights into the life and religion of non-conformists in London 200 years ago.

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Last Updated 15 August 2013 by David Beswick