Joan Lois Adams (nee Callcott) was a member of the Fellowship of the First Fleeters  (FFF) for 25 years prior to her passing on November 5th, 2012. Her collection of “Founders“, the magazine of FFF was quite extensive. Joan and other descendents of Louis Russell Freeman Callcott, are also the descendents of John Small, Mary Parker and James Bradley, who arrived as convicts on the First Fleet from the UK to Australia. John Small and Mary Parker had married in Sydney on October 12 1788.

In 1987, Joan Adams‘ daughter, Kerrie, and her husband,  David Christian, travelled to the UK and visited Portsmouth which had celebrated the Bicentenary of the Departure of the First Fleet in May 1787. They also visited the London locality frequented by  Mary Parker, and also John Small’s former home area in Birmingham, which had been subsumed intoThe Spaghetti Junction.

At the Portsmouth Museum, the First Fleet Display featured John Small and Mary Parker as typical convicts of the First Fleet. The  images below are from the Pamphlets issued for the May 1987 Celebration at the Portsmouth Museum, obtained by Kerrie and David Christian during their 1987 visit.

UK 1st Fleet – Portsmouth Pamphlet 1987 featuring John Small Mary Parker

A book called “The Search for John Small” was written by Mollie Gillen, a professional writer and historian,  and was published in 1985. It documented her research in determining that John Small had been a UK Marine in the American War of Independence. On return to the UK he had been demobbed and through poverty, had become a Highwayman – an unsuccessful one in that he was transported as a convict on the Charlotte, with his partner in crime, John Herbert.

Dustcover for The Search for John Small by Mollie Gillen 1985

In October 1988, another book “The Small Family in Australia 1788-1988“, was launched. It had been edited by William John Pollock, and the launch was  at Ryde Town Hall, as one of the official 1988 Bicentennial Year Civic events. This also coincided with the 200th anniversary of the wedding of John Small and Mary Parker in Sydney.

The John & Mary Small Descendents Association had formed in 1971, and was behind the book’s creation and launch. The book was updated in 1995, being further updated as a CD in 2007 and again in 2012.

The Small Family in Australia 1788-1988 updated 1995

Samuel Small was born in 1804, the youngest of John Small and Mary Parker‘s seven children. He married Rachel Rebecca Bradley, daughter of fellow First Fleeter James Bradley and Sarah Barnes, a convict on the Third Fleet from the UK.

Samuel Small and Rachel Rebecca Small nee Bradley – children of  UK First Fleet convicts – source “The Small Family in Australia 1788-1988”

Samuel Small – claimed to be a painting of  Samuel Small – youngest son of John Small and Mary Parker

Rachel Rebecca Bradley – claimed to be a photograph of Rachel Rebecca Bradley . Daughter of James Bradley and Sarah Barnes. Also wife of Samuel Small youngest son of  John Small and Mary Parker

Their daughter Charlotte Small married William Midson, whose family had escaped the grinding poverty of the Risbridge Workhouse near Steeple Bumpstead in Essex, England- emigrating to Australia as Assisted Immigrants on the HMS Constitution in 1855.

Source : “The Small Family in Australia 1788-1988”

Charlotte and William Midson had ten children, with the eldest being Lucy, who married Alfred Freeman Callcott, known as Alf. Lucy was thus the great granddaughter of the three UK First Fleet convicts, John Small, Mary Parker and James Bradley, as well as of Third Fleet Convict, Sarah Barnes.

However Lucy Callcott was seemingly unaware, or in denial, of the convict origins of four of her great grandparents at the time of her mother Charlotte Midson nee Small‘s death. Back in the 1940′s it was still not socially acceptable to acknowledge that one had “Convict Blood“, let alone that all of your grandparents came out as convicts, especially if you were married to a member of the Church clergy and a Local Council Alderman ?  Hence, in Charlotte‘s death notice in 1940, no mention of the convict stain! Instead, Charlotte  was claimed to be the granddaughter of John Small, a Military Officer on the HMS Sirius, with the First Fleet.

Lucy and Alf Callcott had two daughters,  Marjorie Lou and Clarice, and also a son, Louis Russell Freeman Callcott, known as Russ or RussellRussell Callcott married Mary Constance Joy, (a member of the Northern Illawarra Pioneering Hicks Family), in 1929. They were to have five children, Ian McKenzie, Joan Lois (Adams), Enid Josephine (Gorton), John Alfred and Joy, who in turn were the great great great children of these three UK First Fleet convicts – John Small, Mary Parker and James Bradley.

Lucy Callcott nee Midson and Alf  Callcott

Wedding of Russell Callcott and Mary Constance Joy – St Augustine’s Bulli 1929

Mary Constance Callcott with her three older children Joan, Enid (“Bubby”) and Ian – 1935

Mary Constance Callcott’s younger children – Joe and Joy Callcott early-mid 1940’s

Joan Lois Adams (nee Callcott), prior to her death in late 2012,  had long been a member of the John and Mary Small Descendents Association, as well as The Fellowship of The First Fleeters.

First Fleet Convict Tapestry completed by Kerrie Christian in 1988

First Fleet Convict Needlework completed by First Fleet Descendant Kerrie Christian in 1988

It has since been found that we have wider  Hicks Family First Fleet Convict connections, viz two other First Fleet Convicts, John Herbert and his wife Deborah Ellem. John Herbert was also a partner in crime with John Small, which saw both of them escape hanging, and instead be Transported to the Colony. And also in our Small Family tree are First Fleet Convicts James Squire and Elizabeth Mason.

Also, Katrina Elise Christian, a granddaughter of Joan Adams (nee Callcott), is a descendent of UK First Fleet Naval Able Seaman Peter Hibbs on her father’s side, as well as being descended from John Small, Mary Parker and James Bradley, on her mother’s side. Other First Fleet Convicts in her father’s family tree include Matthew Everingham, Anne Forbes, William Dring and John Ramsey.  A very extensive book called “Sailing on the Hibbs Line” has been written by Allen Maunder. Katrina’s Peter Hibbs Family Tree also includes other First Fleet Convicts –  Ann Forbes, Matthew Everingham and John Ramsay.

Sailing on the Hibbs Line

Sailing on the Hibbs Line

And in 2012, the year of the 225th  Anniversary of the Departure of the UK First Fleet from Portsmouth, a Small-Parker-Bradley Family member headed towards Farm Cove in Sydney under Escort. Katrina Christian, Joan Adams‘ granddaughter, and a 7th Generation Descendent of First Fleet Convicts John Small, Mary Parker & James Bradley, plus First Fleet Sailor, Peter Hibbs, was welcomed to NSW Government House by the NSW Governor, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir.

Katrina Christian was one of 15 NSW Girl Guides to be presented with the Queens Guide Award for 2012 by the NSW Governor Her Excellency,  Professor Marie Bashir, at NSW Government House on November 24 2012. Katrina was accompanied by her mother, Kerrie, another Small – Parker – Bradley Family descendent, as well as father, David, and aunt, Barbara Starke (nee Christian), – both Hibbs descendents. Katrina has a very extensive First Fleet and Convict heritage through all of her grandparents, Joan Lois Callcott, Cyril Ross Adams, John Godfrey Christian (Tiearney) and Eunice Adele Green.

More information on the Small Family can be found at the following :

John & Mary Small Descendents Association Inc http://sites.google.com/site/smallfamilyda/

John & Mary Small Archives on Rootsweb – http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/surname/s/small.html#SMALL-JOHN-AUSTRALIA


15 Responses to About

  1. A very interesting account of the Small family. I knew Joan Adams and used to play tennis with her about 40 years at the tennis courts adjacent to Thirroul Railway Station. It is a small world. Robyn Stanford

  2. Thanks Robyn – The Northern Illawarra is that kind of place – very interconnected

  3. Julie Chapman says:

    I am interested in what information you have on the bradley side as James Bradley and Sarah Barnes are my great x7 grand parents through Rachel Rebecca’s brother Job Joesph Bradley.

    thank you in advance

  4. Val Patfield says:

    Hi I have an inquiry into the Small family, would you have any information on David Newton SMALL and his wife Robina ? His grandson David SMALL Jnr has asked me if he would be related to our SMALL Family. I am married to George &Sarah PATFIELD nee SMALL 4xGrandson.As my research has been on the Patfield family I promised him I would try and find out as he hasn’t got a computer.

    • hi
      I will see what I can do – have you seen the John Small and Mary Parker Book – my family call it the yellow book also – Molly Gillen’s The Search for John Small – these are the starting points for any research on the Small Family

      Kerrie Christian

  5. Peter Bradley says:

    Hi Kerrie, congratulations on your website, it is fantastic.
    I am a descendant of James Bradley, via Joseph (Job).
    My father, Phillip has researched the family tree, and we have quite a bit of information too.
    I would be interested to know the sources of your information on James Bradley, so I could build more of a picture of his background.
    Peter Bradley

  6. Charles Bradley says:

    CharlesBradley105 has been attempting to contact all of Kerrie Anne Christian, Julie Chapman and Peter Bradley. My email system is still out of wack but I can reply with more detail if you drop a line to ccdecon@zipworld.com.au .I believe that this site may de a suitable one to develop; Kerrie Anne’s writing is engaging – certainly more than mine; Philip Robert Orton’s insights will be extremely valuable with his painstaking work before the WEB developed, just for starters.
    Looking forward to growing the James Bradley-Sarah Barnes network, Charlie Bradley, Glebe (96920005.}

    • Charles – I have sent an email to you last night. I am keen to learn more of the James Bradley families’ stories. I am also President of the NSW South Coast Chapter of the Fellowship of First Fleeters – so it would be great to add more to the knowledge about First Fleeter Families. I am also descended from First Fleeters John Small and Mary Parkers with family connections to other First Fleeters Peter Hibbs, Deborah Ellam and John Herbert. I always pondered on what there was on James Bradley. cheers KAC.

  7. June Henderson says:

    I’m looking for Cathy Hill who has researched this family. I am a descendant of Lucy Bradley and James McManus. My email address is: junehenderson@iinet.net.au If anyone has Cathy’s email address could they please either email my address to her or the other way round as we have lost contact over the years. Thank you. June

  8. June Henderson says:

    due to a fault on my computer I cannot reply to the email sent to me with reference to receiving emails from this site. I wish to confirm that I would like to continue receiving emails from you.
    Thank you, June ie: junehenderson@iinet.net.au

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