Josiah Hockey was the initiator of one of the Hockey lines in New South Wales, Australia, but his origins have remained somewhat opaque. The summary below is intended to give an overview of what is currently known. This line is being researched by Lyn Godden, who would very much welcome any suggestions or relevant material.

Josiah Hockey was baptised in Montacute on 24th February 1828, the illegitimate son of Sarah Hockey, who appears to have had another son, William, baptised there in 1831. The records of his passage to New South Wales on the 'Alfred' in 1857 list him as a native of Montacute, aged 27, with his father deceased and his mother Sarah living in Merriott, Somerset. Sarah hasn't been found in the 1851 or 1861 censuses for Merriott, but a search for her potential burial there remains a possibility. No Sarah Hockey was baptised in Montacute between 1780 and 1815, although there were a number of Hockeys born there during this period with no recorded baptisms, so it is still feasible that Sarah originated there. Further research in the 1841 and 1851 censuses for the parishes around Montacute may yet shed further light on her origins.

Josiah married Mary Denmead of Merriott there on 25th December 1849, at which time he was described as a labourer, bachelor, age 21, of Lower Street, Merriott, but no father's name or occupation was recorded. The witness was James Farr. Josiah and Mary are recorded in the 1851 census in Broadway, Merriott, with Josiah a 'tranter', aged 23, and this time recorded as born in Merriott. Josiah and Mary appear to have emigrated with Osborne family relatives from Merriott, and settled at Honeysuckle Point, Newcastle, NSW. Mary died in 1858 after bearing three children, two of whom died in infancy. The surviving daughter, Elizabeth, was given into the care of a neighbour by Josiah, who then disappears from the record. Family stories have him shipwrecked on his way back to England.

Sarah Hockey's origins, while probably in the Montacute area, will remain unclear until further research in the broader area has been completed. Anyone with relevant information or suggestions on potential lines of inquiry is very much encouraged to contact Lyn.

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 16 May 2007