The Fortnam family as discussed here is believed to be comprised of two sisters that each married into other familes being tracked on this site. Ann Fortnam married John Nichols in 1832 in Hobart, and Mary Fortnam married John Rider in 1833, also in Hobart. The two women were almost certainly sisters, and a good match for their family is found with William Fortnam, labourer and widow, who married Ann Timms, spinster, on 23 November 1802 in Banbury, Oxford, England.1 William and Ann had the following children:
|Name||Birth or Baptism||Marriage||Notes|
|c. 7 Sep 1800,
Feckenham, Worcester, England2
|c. Jun 1802,
Feckenham, Worcester, ENG3
|c. 21 Jan 1805,
Feckenham, Worcester, ENG4
|m. 10 Dec 1932, NICHOLS, John
|Ann Fortnam and John Nichols had a son
Charles Albert Nichols who married Agnes Robina Easton.
|c. 28 Jun 1808,
Feckenham, Worcester, ENG6
|m. 05 Aug 1833, RIDER, John
|Mary Fortnam and John Rider had a son
Henry Fortnam Rider who married Emma Wheatley.
|c. 2 Nov 1811,
Feckenham, Worcester, ENG8
|c. 14 Jul 1813,
Feckenham, Worcester, ENG9
Ann and Mary Fortnam travelled to Van Diemen's Land on the Princess Royal, the first immigrant ship of its kind, taking a large number of free women to the colony under the Bounty system. The ship sailed from London on 12 April 1832 and arrived at Storm Bay on 24 August 1832. Unfortunately the Master mistook the mouth of the Derwent and entered Frederick Henry Bay. On realising this the ship was anchored but later a gale sprang up and she started to drag, then the cables parted. Ralph Dodge, settler, directed her off the entrance to Pittwater, but without any anchors left the Princess Royal soon grounded at Tiger Head.10. Ralph Dodge wrote to the Hobart Town Courier with a record of the event:
About 2 o'clock, P. M., on the 25th August last, I saw the ship Princess Royal in great danger, dragging her anchors in Frederick Henry Bay, off the Whale rock, and sent to Mr. Gordon acquainting him therewith, and that I was sure that she would come on shore if the gale continued. I then went to Mr. Thorn's farm opposite Spectacle island; and requested his men to go with me, and make fires on the Bluff point at the entrance of Pit water, to guide a ship in distress. This I did from a conviction that if she went elsewhere, she must endanger the lives of all on board. One of the men went with me willingly and assisted in making two fires. The smoke of which was directly seen on board of the ship. He then went for a bed-tick, which we hoisted on a pole but could not keep it up, so violent was the wind. About 4, P. M., three men and two boys of Mr. Gordon's came to me, the ship being off Spectacle reef, and still dragging her anchors towards the seven mile beach, seeing that as night was coming on, danger was increasing, we made a third fire and sent the boys back to Mr. Gordon about 5 o'clock, acquainting him that the ship must go on shore if the gale did not abate, and that she was not more than half a mile from the sandspit. About 6 P. M., the gale being S by E, they hoisted their fore topmast stay sail, and bore round to the westward, just clearing the sandspit, and steered direct for the fires, bearing N E. and a half N, I let them come as close as I thought safe, and then hail- ed them, shouting ' starboard', they answered, and she wore round, I next told them 'port', they did so, this I repeated, aud they again answered, I then told them to let go their anchors, they replied that they had lost them-then said I, 'hard a port and round her to in the bay', they did so, and I got on board with the men, (the man from Mr. Thorn's and Mr. Gordon's men), and I described the localities of the place to the Captain, about 2 o'clock A. M., on the 25th Aug., the rapidity of the tide caused me to fear that she might be forced on the sandspit on the west side, I therefore requested that she might be hardened on, which was done accordingly. When I first went on board, seeing that there was not any possibility of keeping her for any considerable time afloat, I requested that she might be kept on the east shore on a mud fiat, where she would be sheltered from the gale.11
The Courier reported the subsequent actions to remove the passengers to shore:
The Princess Royal, with the free females on board, unfortunately got aground near Pittwater on Saturday last, and though not much damaged we believe she has not yet been entirely disentangled. Mr. Grant, the agent for Lloyd's, has been on board ever since. His Excellency the moment he heard of the accident, went down in a government vessel to direct as to the management of the emigrants and afford assistance. As it was desirable that the females should not be removed from the vessel until she had reached the harbour, they were not brought up till yesterday when Mr. Thomson's steam vessel and the Tamar conveyed them up to New town, where they are for the meantime placed, in the Orphan School which has been fitted up temporarily to receive them.12
- 1. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N2BY-DXW : accessed 06 Jan 2014), William Fortnum and Ann Timms, 23 Nov 1802 and Rootsweb: OXFORDSHIRE-L Archives; http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/OXFORDSHIRE/2000-04/095695...
- 2. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5JC-1D4 : accessed 06 Jan 2014), Wm. Fortnam, 07 Sep 1800.
- 3. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5JZ-S9H : accessed 06 Jan 2014), John Fortnam, Jun 1802.
- 4. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5JZ-MHL : accessed 06 Jan 2014), Ann Fortnam, 21 Jan 1805.
- 5. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1832/1914
- 6. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5JZ-ZJJ : accessed 06 Jan 2014), Mary Fortnam, 28 Jun 1808.
- 7. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1833/2147
- 8. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5JZ-HNL : accessed 06 Jan 2014), Elizth. Fortnam, 02 Jan 1811.
- 9. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5JZ-WSG : accessed 06 Jan 2014), Henry Fortnam, 14 Jul 1813.
- 10. Rootsweb: Tasmanian Immigrant Ships; http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~austashs/immig/imgships_p.htm
- 11. "TO THE EDITOR OF THE COURIER." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 28 Sep 1832: 2. Web. 6 Jan 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4197170.
- 12. From the Courier, Friday, August 31, 1832 and reproduced in "Van Diemen's Land News." The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) 20 Sep 1832: 3. Web. 6 Jan 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2208637.
- 13. AOT Index to passengers & ships arrivals - 19th Century CUS30/1/1 P134
- 14. Rootsweb: Women of the Princess Royal; http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~austas/princeroyal.htm