Ellen Donovan
Convict - 'Hector' 1835
- part two -
continued from page one

Marriage:  William Smith and Ellen applied for and were granted permission to marry on
1st September, 1838. Willaim also worked for Mr Parker. Permission was granted provided
that the Clergyman was satisfied that William's first wife was dead. Census records for 1841
reveal that Susan Smith was alive and still living in Sydling with her children. On 14th
November 1838 Ellen and William were married according to the rites of the Church of
England, in the Parish Church at Longford.  R.R.Davis was the presiding minister. The
witnesses were Joseph Berry and R Harrison. William signed his name, Ellen made her mark.

The Children of William Smith and Ellen Donovan:
There is a gap of 5 years between William's and Ellen's marriage in 1838 and their first
recorded child, Mary Ann in 1843. As Mary Ann's birth only appears in the Longford
Baptismal registers, it is possible that more children were born in the intervening years,
although checks of the Longford baptism registers has failed to find any. It is possible they
were baptised elsewhere.  Subsequent births are recorded in the Tasmania BDM records.

Their children found so far are:

Smith, Mary Ann, born 12th February 1843, Longford; Baptised 2nd April, 1843, Longford,
Tasmania. The family's abode is given as Little Hampton. [b] Married
George Burgess jnr.

Smith, Henry, born 19th June, 1845 Little Hampton, Longford District [reg600 RGD33]

Smith, Ellen, born 15th July, 1847, Little Hampton, Longford District.[reg838 RGD33].

Smith, Nancy,  born 17th September 1850, Little Hampton Longford.[reg 1167 RGD33] [h]
Mother's name is difficult to read and has been incorrectly transcribed as 'Dawson'. Married  
Ambrose Picket 17th September, 1872, Chudleigh [a] [Deloraine [Reg 54 RGD37] DNA
match has been confirmed for this family line

Smith, Harriet, born 30th September, 1852, Bishopsbourne, Longford District [reg328
RGD33] Married
John King, 1873, Deloraine. DNA match has been confirmed for this
family line

Smith, Selina, born 2nd March, 1855 Woodlands, Westbury District  [reg 1539 RGD33] [h]  
'Woodlands is a property at Lemana Junction. Married
Patrick McVeigh, Sydney NSW 1882.

Death: William Smith, farmer, aged 45 died on 17th September 1856 at Westbury District
reference 314. Cause of death was disease of the heart.

After William's death, Ellen married John Speight     

Second Marriage
: Ellen Smith widow married John Speight on 18th June 1859 at
Deloraine, Tasmania. John Speight was a bachelor labourer when he married Ellen Smith,
adult widow, who signed with an x. The marriage took place at the house of Ellen Smith,
Woodlands under Church of England rites. Witnesses were William Styler and Mary Ann
Bennett. RGD 37/1/18 1859/696 Deloraine. Could witness be Mary Ann nee Bonney?

John Speight was born about 1827 according to details given at the time of his death. As yet
I have not confirmed a birth record or details of his arrival in Tasmania. I have found
reference to a man named John Speight 2nd class sailor arriving in Hobson's Bay Victoria on
the ship Eagle from New York on 21st June 1853.

After her second marriage Ellen began using the maiden name of Raycroft/Roycroft and
other variations.


Eliza Speight:
born 5th August 1859 Deloraine. Father a farmer of Woodlands. Mother
Ellen's maiden name not shown. Informant is father John Speight. Married
James Dick
10th October 1883 Launceston.
DNA match has been confirmed for this line

John James Speight:  born 9th September 1860. Mother Ellen Raycroft was the informant
and made her mark. Father a farmer.  Married
Ann Mary Bennett 8th February 1882
Deloraine [as Spaight in index] Died 8th March 1923, Deloraine [daughter of James Bennet
and Mary Ann Bonney?]
DNA match has been confirmed for this family line
Children: All at Deloraine
Walter John Speight January 1882
Ellen Speight October 1883
Alma Speight September 1885. Married Patrick Donohoe
William Henry Speight April 1888
Eliza Speight July 1890
Leslie Thomas Speight November 1892. Married Mabel Jane Skipper
Martha Speight: born 12th July 1862 Deloraine. Mother 'Hellen' Raycroft.  Father John a
labourer was the informant. Married
David Peebles 4th January 1888 Port Sorrell

Emma Speight: born 8th March 1865 Deloraine. Mother Hellen Roecroft. Father a labourer.
Informant was George Clarke, farmer Red Hills. Married
Michael Beston 22nd October 1884

Cornwell Chronicle dated 14th July 1860 reported:
In re John Speight, of Woodlands, near Deloraine, Farmer. Meeting on application for
discharge. Mr Campion and Mr Rocher for insolvent Mr Adye Douglas on behalf of the
creditors opposed insolvent's discharge, and called and examined several witnesses.
Insolvent had married a Mrs Smith. Mr Bennett valued the property he saw at one time on
insolvent's premises at 750[pounds? Unclear] most of which had been cleared away or
concealed before Speight became insolvent. It consisted of one mare worth 75pounds, one
worth 60pounds, two yearlings, 60pounds, two foals 30 pounds., black mare saddle and
bridle, 10pounds, another 8pounds., about 18 horned cattle, 100pounds., 1300 bushel oats
260 pounds  wheat £45, with peas, ploughs, harrows, potatoes, geese, and other sundries,
worth upwards of £50 more. This witness was cross-examined by Mr Rocher, and stated :—
That he wanted Speight to give him two of the horses for his claim. If Speight had done so
witness would have been satisfied ; knew most of insolvent's horses from about the time they
were foaled; did not know that they belonged to insolvents wife’s children; only knew that
the grey mare had belonged to the boy; heard Insolvent say they were all his property, that
he would sell them and put the money in his pocket. Charles Littler sworn : — I was
employed by the  assignee in this insolvency to proceed to Speight’s premises near Deloraine
; I found a man named Patrick McGuire there who said he was Speight’s servant and
demanded wages, I referred him to the assignee ; I searched the barn and found a quantity
of oats there; the barn is divided into three compartments, and in one of them, bidden under
some straw, I found the oats; unquestionably they were concealed under five or six feet of
straw which reached as high at the eaves of the barn ; I found the oats from Information I
received ; I found eight head of cattle on Joseph Tibble’s ground and Tibble admitted that he
had some cattle formerly belonging to Speight, but that he had purchased them from
Speight. This case occupied the Court until half-past 4 o'clock.  Mr Douglas said as it would
be necessary to have Mr Houghton’s evidence he must apply for an adjournment.
Commissioner then adjourned the meeting for a fortnight.

Launceston Examiner dated 21st July 1860 reports:
INSOLVENT COURT. THURSDAY, JULY 19. (Before Mr. Commissioner Sams.)  In re JOHN
SPEIGHT, of Woodlands, near Deloraine, farmer. Meeting adjourned to 26th Instant.

The Tasmania [Launceston] Dated 10th February 1883:
Breach of the Railway Regulations. — Richard. W. Lord, manager of the L. and W. Railway,
proceeded against John Spaight [sic] for having travelled in a first-class carriage on a second
class ticket from Deloraine to Launceston. Mr. Lord stated that he was informed the
defendant was too unwell to appear. The case was therefore heard exparte. The evidence
showed that the defendant, who was a farmer in fair circumstances residing at Deloraine,
travelled in a first-class carriage with a second-class ticket, and refused to pay the difference
when requested to do so. The Police Magistrate said the case was a bad one, and the Bench
inflicted, a fine of 40s with, costs.

Unsound Mind: On 9th May 1883 John Speight aged 56 was admitted to gaol charged with
being of unsound mind. He was discharged the f
ollowing day. His place of birth was recorded
as being England but 'ship' was left blank. He was 5 foot 8 inches tall with grey hair.


Ellen Speight
farmers wife aged 67 died of old age - natural causes on 12th August 1883
Deloraine ref 158. Death cert in name of Ellen.

The Daily Telegraph [Launceston] dated 30th August 1883 carried the following notice:
DEATHS: SPEIGHT. — On the 15th August, at Bengeo,
Mary Ann, wife of John Speight.
[Sydney and Melbourne papers please copy.]
This would suggest that Ellen also went by
the name Mary Ann, yet another alias!

New Norfolk Hospital [for the insane]: John Speight, a widower aged 56 and a farmer of
Bengeo was admitted to the New Norfolk Hospital on 20th August 1883 following a Justices
Order For The Reception Of An Insane Person. Son John's statement dated 18th August
reports 'it was very evident that for the last nine months he was becoming insane" The cause
was unknown.  A doctor observed that he was  "continually talking to himself, hallucinations,
singing snatches of hymns, very irritable, imagining people after him." The doctor noted
John Speight had been brought before the bench 3 months ago and remanded for a
fortnight. He was getting worse every day. His sons-in-law [not named] that he is getting so
much worse that they fear something serious may arise from his conduct and language.
[Libraries Tasmania Online Collection]
NOTE: John Speight's admittance occurred just days after Ellen had died.

John Speight aged 56, labourer died 1st November 1883 New Norfolk ref 594 DOB 1827.
Cause of death was brain and heart disease and general debility. Informant was the
Superintendent of the New Norfolk Hospital for the Insane.