The following is a short outline of the information I have collected regarding the BROWN / WHEELER family. If you wish to know more or would like to add some details to this family tree, please send me an Email.
Raelene Ryan.

The Brown / Wheeler Family


    The first of this family to arrive in Australia was James BROWN (a.k.a. HOBBS). He was charged with the crime of Burglary and was found guilty and sentenced to DEATH. The "Death Sentence" was repealed and instead he was given "Seven Years Transportation to the Colonies". He arrived in Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia onboard the "GENERAL HEWITT" on 7th. January 1814.

    James BROWN's future wife Jane WHEELER was also a transported convict, she was convicted in the city of Cork, Ireland of the crime of theft. She was placed onboard the "CATHERINE" and arrived in Port Jackson on the 4th. May 1814.

    Just over three weeks later she was again placed onboard the "KANGAROO" which sailed from Sydney to Hobart Town on 29th. May 1814. James BROWN was in New South Wales for about six months, then he too was placed on the "KANGAROO" taken to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). He left Sydney on the 21st. August 1814 and arrived in Hobart Town on the 14th. September 1814. On the 22nd. December 1814 Jane WHEELER was charged with "Quitting Hobart Town without a pass" she was found guilty & sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement & to be fed on Bread & Water.

    James BROWN & Jane WHEELER were married at St. David's C/E. in Hobart on 9th. January 1815. A year and one day later their first child (James BROWN jr.) was born.

    On the 15th. April 1815 James BROWN was charged with possession of two blankets stolen from Edward GUEST, which he knew had been stolen. He was found guilty and was sentenced to Twenty Lashes & kept in gaol for a month.

    On the 14th. April 1816 James BROWN jun. was christened at St. David's in Hobart Town.

    On the 7th. December 1816 James BROWN was again in trouble, this time he was charged with stealing two sheep from an Edward Garth. He was found guilty & received Two Hundred Lashes & twelve months in gaol. On the 14th. August 1817 he was charged with Neglect of Duty & absent from muster. A few days later Mrs. Jane BROWN was charged with Stealing from the dwelling house of William Healey. She was found guilty and sentence to one month hard labour in gaol.

    On the 10th. January 1818 James BROWN was again charged with stealing & was found guilty & given fifty lashes & six months Gaol. James & Jane's second child (William BROWN) was born in Hobart Town on 14th. August 1818 and he was christened at St. David's on the 31st. August 1818. On the 1st. January 1820 Mrs. Jane BROWN was charged with receiving stolen seals, she was found guilty and given six months hard labour in Gaol.

    James & Jane BROWN's third child (Agnes Jane BROWN) was born on 29th. January 1821 in Hobart Town & was christened on 19th. February 1821. Mrs. Jane BROWN was charged with being Drunk & disorderly on the 5th. February 1824 & was fined five Shilling.

    On the 11th. January 1835 James BROWN jun. married Agnes Willis CAIRNS in Pontville, Tasmania, they had 16 children. William BROWN married Bridget CAMPBELL on 28th. May 1838 at St. David's Church, Hobart, Tasmania. It is thought that they had two children but at this stage I have no details about them. Agnes Jane BROWN, sister of James & William BROWN, married twice. First to a William WELLS c. 1840 in Tasmania and they had one son "Benjamin James WELLS". Agnes' second husband was James Salter SKINNER whom she married in 1845 in New South Wales. James & Agnes SKINNER had seven children. It should be noted that she is listed as Agnes Jane BROWN on the certificate of her marriage to James Salter SKINNER & no record of her marriage to William WELLS has been found.

    Sometime prior to the end of 1840 it is thought that James BROWN & his wife Jane WHEELER parted company - the reason is not known. However we do know that by 1841 James BROWN was living with another woman called Margaret CLINTON, she was 24 years younger than he was. Margaret CLINTON was a witness to the birth of Benjamin James WELLS on 14th. June 1841 in Green point (now known as Bridgewater) son of Agnes Jane BROWN & William WELLS.It was around this time that the children of James BROWN & Jane WHEELER began to use their mother's maiden name as their surname. Though for a number of years they seemed to use both surnames.

    Jane BROWN nee WHEELER, died on 11th. July 1857 in Evandale. Her death certificate record's that she was the 80 year old widow of James BROWN, however the inscription on her grave reads Jane WHEELER died 12th. October 1841, aged 63 years.

    At this stage there is no satisfactory answer as to why these two listings are at odds. It is interesting that the year mentioned on the grave is 1841 - as that was about the time James BROWN sen. ran off with Margaret CLINTON.

    Now that his wife was dead James BROWN was free to marry Margaret CLINTON, they were wed on 13th. January 1862 at St. David's Church, Hobart.

    William (Brown) WHEELER (son of James BROWN & Jane WHEELER) died from English Cholera on 10th. March 1863 in Evandale, aged 44yrs.

    It is thought that James BROWN sen. died on the 6th. May 1878 in Richmond, Tasmania. James (Brown) WHEELER jun. died from Kidney Disease on 13th. June 1878 at his home in Tasmania, he was aged 63 years. Agnes Jane SKINNER (nee BROWN/WHEELER) died on the 8th. December 1879 in Inverell, New South Wales, Australia aged 58yrs.

For more information go to
The Family Tree