POTENTIAL FUTURE RESEARCH - ORIGINS OF JOHN HOCKEY the convict (d. 1878, Nowra, Australia)

John Hockey was born in 1803, married Mary Lovell in Montacute on 14th March 1824, had three children including Samuel (1825) and Enos (1826) in Montacute. He was tried twice in Somerset and then deported to New South Wales, Australia in 1830, leaving his wife and family behind. There is evidence that Samuel and Enos (at least) joined him in Australia during the 1840's. He died in 1878, and his death certificate, signed by Enos, lists his parents as Thomas and Mary Hockey. Enos was living with a Thomas and Mary Hockey in Montacute at the time of the 1841 census.

Previous research has connected this John Hockey to John, son of William and Catherine (nee Bool), baptised in February 1803 at Montacute. A potential alternative connection is to John, son of Thomas and Mary (nee Wetherall), baptised on 6th November 1803 in Stoke sub Hamdon. Mary's brother Lazarus Wetherall and his wife were witnesses at the marriage of John Hockey and Mary Lovell, so it seems on the basis of this connection and the other evidence (above) supporting a link to Thomas and Mary that this latter baptism may be the correct one. Thomas Hockey the father was probably the first cousin of William, so the two alternatives still reconnect in Samuel (1712-1783) and Grace Hockey.

The Somerset Record Office website includes an online index to the registers of Ilchester Gaol [Q/AGi 15/1-4] which includes 13 Hockey entries, of which 6 relate to Montacute and 3 appear to be this John Hockey. It may be that further analysis of these entries or the related Quarter Sessions records will shed further light on John's origins. Similarly, further investigation of the property or wills (if extant) of the prospective parents and grandparents may also be useful. It may also be that there are others out there who already have additional evidence for one or other connection. Since this link is fundamental to the ancestry of the many descendants of the New South Wales Hockey lines, it seems an area where the pooling of past and future research efforts may yield benefits.

Much of the original research on this line was carried out by Max Laidley, who organised an Australian family reunion and compiled a book on John and his family : Laidley, Max (comp). 1993. John Hockey 1803-1878 of Montacute, Somerset & Illawarra, NSW and his three wives, children, ancestors and related families. Max is no longer actively involved in family history research, but has proved an inspiration to many other Antipodean researchers.

Other, so far unrelated, New South Wales Hockey lines also originating in Montacute are those of Josiah Hockey, Thomas Hockey, Francis Hockey and a second Thomas Hockey.

Any information, comments or suggestions related to this project would be welcomed by the coordinator of this page, Ian Hall.

This page was last updated 07 October 2008