The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records


Australian immigrants

We are looking for the ancestry of early immigrants to Australia.

Location: Australia
Members: 20
Latest Activity: Jul 17, 2018

Early arrivals

Many Australian families can be traced back to early arrivals in Australia, but making the connection back to Britain is often not so straight forward.

I am keen that we should use this forum to identify those key people, and then work together to trace their ancestors back to Scotland (or Ireland, or England).

A starting point is the list in The Douglas Archives of 'Australian arrivals', and 'Douglas convicts shipped to Australia'. Suggestions for additions to these lists would be very welcome.

Please make your contributions as full as possible, with dates and places included, as appropriate.

Discussion Forum

Bombay Douglas.

Started by stephen light. Last reply by William Douglas Mar 20, 2018. 4 Replies

John Charles (convict) Douglas

Started by Sue Burville. Last reply by Alison Christine Hodgkiss ( born Jan 23, 2018. 3 Replies

Clan Douglas Society of Australia

Started by William Douglas Dec 2, 2016. 0 Replies

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Comment by Tammie Arundell Foster on October 22, 2012 at 23:38

Just letting you all know that the DNA test is done and posted, for Convict Joseph Douglass sent from Scotland to Sydney Cove on the Baring in 1815. I have been looking for a male from Josephs line for over 6 years, talk about hard work. But i did it....found Orrs (My Line) Brother James GGG Grand son to take the test for me....Thanks so much Cousin Jason. I will let you know the out come of the test  as soon as i get it in my hot little hands.

Comment by Kelly Hinds on May 27, 2012 at 6:13

My husband is a 5 x great grandson of Lady Janet Douglas of Glenbervie c1740, a descendant of the Douglases of Angus & the Black Douglases. Who are heavily connected to the royalty of Scotland & England & many others. Her daughter Janet Mackenzie married Rev John Snodgrass, they lived in Renfrewshire. They're daughter Margaret married Major Benjamin Sullivan, & moved to Portugal around the time of the Napoleonic wars where they had 3 children, including Margaret Isabella Sullivan. The Sullivan's arrived in Sydney in 1828, but immediately moved to Port Macquarie where the Major became Australia's 1st civil magistrate. By 1836 the family moved to Wollombi where the Major was also a magistrate, coroner etc. I would love to know how Margaret Isabella met a convict named John James Andrews,  but they married & had 7 children. He died within 8 years of the marriage. She never remarried. But in later years left Wollombi & followed some of her children to Northern NSW where she lived out her life. Her son Charles was my husbands great grandfather. This branch of the family became everyday folk of little means. I don't know if Margaret kept in contact with her well-to-do family after her marriage to a convict. Janet Mackenzie & Rev Snodgrass' son Colonel Kenneth Snodgrass also migrated to Australia from Portugal with his family. His son the Hon Peter Snodgrass was elected to the first Victorian Legislative Council. Peters daughter Janet Snodgrass married Sir William Clarke. She is associated with the creation of the Ashes Trophy.

Comment by Kim Douglas-Reid on September 10, 2011 at 6:48

Hi, My GGGGfather was transported from inverness to Dungog as a convict on the Hive in 1834.  His son who he had left behind in Lanarkshire Scotland was John Black Douglas who immigrated with wife and family to Sydney in 1851. His father is listed as a relative in the Colony on the ships records and my Great Grandfather Buchanan Douglas was born in Maitland. John Black Douglas lists his religion as Socialist on the ships records and ran for a parliamentary position in east sydney in 1888.  it is believed Hugh Douglas remarried although we aren't sure whether he actually divorced his first wife Euphemia black in scotland, but he didn't return to scotland after he obtained his ticket of leave.


Comment by Grant McDuling on July 7, 2011 at 9:43
Hi, By way of introduction, my family and I arrived in Brisbane from Dublin, Ireland in 1994. My mother's grandfather, William Allen Douglas Russell, was born in Oct 1854 in Airdrie, Scotland. He was married to Elizabeth Cummings in Wallsend, NSW, date unknown. The family's surname used to be Allen-Douglas-Russell and today the eldest son is always named Allen Douglas Russell. I'd be interested in finding out if there is any other information known about this branch of the family.
Comment by William Douglas on October 28, 2010 at 15:41
I thought it about time I added some detail to the Douglas Archives about the very early arrivals in New South Wales.

No sooner had I done so, than I received a copy of an 'essay' written by Carol Baxter entitled 'The Douglas Controversy'.

She writes: The Douglas Controversy deals with one such situation (uses of "circumstantial evidence"). The controversy centres around three fathers and two sons and raises the question of "who begat who". The three fathers were convicts who arrived in the colony in its early years: William Douglas on the Alexander in 1788, Thomas Douglas on the Canada in 1801 and William Douglas on the Coromandel in 1804. They were the only men in the colony with the surname Douglas who appear to have been fathering children prior to 1810. .... The two sons were born in the colony prior to 1810, ... Thomas Douglas and William Douglas.

A key finding is that William Douglas, arr 1788, married Mary Groves and only had one child, Elizabeth.

Answering Francene's question (below), it appears William, arr 1804, did have as his 11th child, Henry, b13 March 1835 in Pitt Town. He appears on his wife/partners.

Looks like lots more work is needed!
Comment by Lyndon Todd Douglass on July 11, 2010 at 6:36
My great Grand father John James Douglass was born on 29/03/1859 in Sunderland, England. He died on 19/10/1928 in Ardrossan, South Australia, Australia.

He was married Margaret Jane Storey. They had 10 children, the last child to be born in England was Mary Storey Douglass born 06/11/1888 and the first child to be born in Australia was Jane Graham Douglass born 03/11/1890 in Ardrossan, South Australia, Australia.

I am interested as to when they arrived in Australia, where and how. Any help would be appreciated.
Comment by William Douglas on May 20, 2010 at 15:13
Tammie's ancestor, Joseph Douglas, is the subject of an article in the Douglas Archives.
Comment by Tammie Arundell on May 20, 2010 at 14:08
My family descended Joseph Douglass was sent from Scotland on the Baring to Sydney Cove 1815. Wife Mary Orr Burgess and Joseph were both born in Country Down Ireland 1782 Both died at Kurrajong NSW,Married 1803 County Down Ireland, children Mary Jane 1806 Ireland or Scotland, Orr 1808, Eliza 1810, James 1812, Margaret 1813,all born in Scotland. 3 children born in Australia Joseph 1824 in Windsor John Burgess 1826, Sarah 1829 in Kurrajong..........My family line is from Orr Douglass........Need help to find any info back in Scotland or Ireland as they lived in both places....Thanks
Comment by Francene Thompson on April 18, 2010 at 6:41
Thank you Daryl, will have a look @ William.regards Francene
Comment by Daryl John Douglass on April 18, 2010 at 2:48
hi Francene,
Sorry, but no mention of your Margaret or Henry in the data I have (descendants of William George Douglass, Convict, arrived in Sydney 1804), regards
Daryl Douglass

Members (20)


Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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