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Bits and Pieces about WA
The first settlers in WA were the Aborigines, (Noongars), some 40,000 years ago and it wasn’t until the 17th century that Europeans started to show interest in the land. The first to land here was Dirk Hartog in 1616 on the Eendracht, followed by the Batavia in 1629, the New London with John Daniel in 1681, William Dampier in 1688, and Willem de Vlamingh in 1696. If you haven’t seen the partly restored Batavia in Fremantle, it is well worth a visit.
In 1826 New South Wales, established a convict settlement in King George Sound, which later became Albany, (at that time New Zealand was part of NSW), then in 1829 Captain Stirling arrived in WA on the “Parmelia”, with the first pioneers. This was followed by many more ships with pioneers aboard, and in 1850 the first of some 9,721 convicts arrived on the “Scindiian”. There were 43 convict ships that came to WA the last in 1868 being the “Hougoumont”.
The fifth pioneer ship to arrive on 23 August 1829, the “Marquis of Anglesea”, later became the first prison hulk in W.A.
For those of us who came to WA on the 10 pound pom scheme, our names are on the welcome wall at the Maritime Museum in Fremantle, if you submitted the information that is. This monument also includes the names of some Pioneers and Convicts.
I know that most of you probably understand all this but I try to also cater for new members who may not be as savvy about our country’s history. It is worth remembering as there is so much rich ethnic background to our population that shouldn’t go ignored, even the convicts. Some of these were sent here on trivial charges and most received their tickets of leave soon after landing so that the working population was available to work the land across the State.
Of course, we have vital records available to us for W.A., Births from 1841 to 1932, Marriage 1841 to 1936 and Deaths 1841 to 1971. They can be searched for at: https://bdm.justice.wa.gov.au/_apps/pioneersindex/default.aspx