George Hapgood and Hannah Sims, Marksbury to Ulladulla 1854

So far this blog has focussed on my direct ancestor, Thomas Hapgood b1817 who is my 3rd Great grandfather. He emigrated from Marksbury Somerset in 1854, sailing on the Lady Ann to New South Wales, Australia, with his wife and 4 children, and settled in Milton-Ulladulla area. He didnt sail alone though – he travelled with his younger brother George Hapgood b1833, and his wife Hannah Hapgood (nee Hannah Sims) b1831. Its about time I added a little of their story to this blog.

George Hapgood was born in Marksbury, Somerset in 1833 and was baptised at St Peters in Marksbury on Christmas Day, December 25th 1833.

Baptism of George Hapgood, son of John and Elizabeth Hapgood, on Dec 25th 1833, St Peters, Marksbury, Somerset. Source: [1] and Ancestry

In the 1851 census George Hapgood is 17 and was living at “29 Marksbury” with his older brother William Hapgood, his wife Susannah (nee Payne, b1818) and their 5 children. These were his last couple of years as a single man – he married Hannah Sims b1831 on 21st August 1853 somewhere in the local area (I need to order a copy of the marriage certificate to get the full details).

Hannah Sims was born in 1831 in Timsbury, Somerset, to Edward and Jane Sims. The baptism record shows that her father, Edward Sims b1795, was a coal miner. Timsbury is about 2.5 miles south of Marksbury, so George and Hannah presumably met locally. Timsbury had a number of coal mines in the 1850s, but coal mining is a hard occupation and Edward died in 1843, 10 years before Hannah married George Hapgood.

Baptism record of Hannah Sims, Timsbury 1831, daughter of Edward Sims a coalminer, and Jane Sims. Source: Ancestry and also [2]

Not long after they were married, they boarded the “Lady Ann” in June 1854 and emigrated to Australia as assisted immigrants. The arrived in New South Wales on 29th September 1854 (see earlier post) . All the Hapgoods are listed as followers of the Church of England, and all are listed as being able to read but not being able to write. Once they arrived in Sydney, they made their way south along the coast to Milton Ulladulla area,

Lady Ann passenger list, showing George and Hannah Hapgood, arrival in Australia 29 Sept 1854 [3]

The first mention of George and Hannah’s family is in the paper on 7 July 1860, where she is being congratulated on the successful birth of 2 children in the settlement – quite a big deal at the time.

Hannah Hapgoods accomplishment of having 2 children after arrival in Milton Ulladulla, 7 July 1860 [4]

George and Hannah Hapgood had nine children, all in Milton Ulladulla region, between 1854 to 1873. Their eldest daughter Jane Ann, was born on 1st November 1854, only 2 months after arrival in Australia, which means poor Hannah made the 3 month journey on the Lady Ann whilst pregnant. Janes middle name is “Ann” which I would guess reflects the name of the “Lady Ann” ship that they travelled on.

  • Jane Ann Hapgood 1854-1908
  • Elizabeth Hapgood 1856-1924
  • Ellen Hapgood 30 Sept 1858-1889 (twin)
  • George Hapgood 30 Sept 1858 – 1899 (twin)
  • Edward Hapgood 1860-1932
  • Henry Hapgood 1863-1932
  • Nussio (Norris) Hapgood 1865-1939
  • Eliza Hapgood 1870-1941
  • Susannah Hapgood 1873-1883 (died of typhoid)

In 1903, the census shows George Hapgood living in East Milton, and working as a labourer [7]. Hannah Hapgood is listed too – this is the first year that women can also vote – and she is shown as home duties [7]. There is one photo of Hannah Sims, shared by her descendant Alison ORourke on Ancestry (shared with permission). The photo is faded and appears green in this version, but its quite clear. She is wearing a brimmed hat with feathers and flowers, with a beautiful beaded shawl around her shoulders, with a white lace collar. I am not sure if the date of this photo is known, but I would guess from the hat and white collar its about 1880 plus or minus 10 years, although this makes Hannah about 50 years old, and she looks younger to me in this photo. (Let me know if you know the date, or have a better estimate based on her clothes?)

Hannah Hapgood nee Sims. c1900 [5]

Hannah passed away on 18th July 1907, aged 72 years old, of heart disease. There was a small notice in the paper to mark her passing. By this time her twin children Ellen and George had passed away, and also her youngest Susannah Hapgood had also passed away of typhoid.

Death certificate for Hannah Hapgood (nee Sims) 1907 [5]

After Hannah’s death, her bereaved husband travelled to Maleny Queensland, where his eldest living son, Edward was living. There is a “Matheson studio, Brisbane” photo which is believed to be George Hapgood, taken in Brisbane, after Hannah had died. He is wearing a black mourning armband over a lighter coloured three piece suit with a dark tie, carrying a walking stick and sitting in a cane chair. This dates the photo between 1907-1914, possibly quite close to 1914. Alison O’Rourke gave permission to share this photo with this disclaimer:

The photo of George is a copy I made from the original owned by G, the great grand daughter of George. After George’ wife Hannah died, George came to Maleny to live with his son Edward, and so his possessions remained with Edward after George’s death. …… There is nothing written on the back of the photo, however due to several good reasons, we are sure it must be George (who else could it be?) but without proof, I have added the ‘maybe’. My grandfather is Elizabeth Hapgood’s son and I can see a resemblance in the photo.- Alison O’Rourke

Presumable photo of George Hapgood, taken about 1908, Brisbane, wearing a mourning armband See italic disclaimer – there is no name on the photo but it has been passed down through the family. [5]

George stayed in Maleny Queensland until his death in 1914, when there was a small obituary notice in the paper which notes that he had been in Maleny for 8 months, visiting his son and appears to have had a heart attack after being out and about in the Maleny main street in the morning….


He was buried in Witta Cemetery (in the Blackall Ranges, near Maleny) in an unmarked grave, although it seems in recent years a simple wooden stick cross has been erected on his plot [8]. For both George and Hannah Hapgood had amazing lives, emigrating across the ocean to an unknown future in Australia, and finding their way to build a new Australians family and a better life.


[1] George Hapgood Baptism Marksbury 1833

[2] Hannah Sims Baptism 1831 Timsbury

[3] Hapgoods on Lady Ann records.

[4] Ulladulla Correspondent –

[5] Photo of Hannah Hapgood and death certificate of Hannah Sims, and presumed photo of George Hapgood shared by Alison ORourke (direct descendant of George and Hannah) on Shared on blog with permission.

[6] George Hapgood Obituary Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (Qld. : 1903 – 1922) Fri 30 Jan 1914 Page 5

[7] Milton Electoral Roll 1903 Index.

[8] George Hapgoods grave


    • Hi Gwenneth. Always happy to update the blog as more information comes to light. Please feel free to share what you know about George Hapgood and would like to see corrected. Best wishes, Karen


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