HISTORY OF THE POTTER FAMILY update November 10th 2017

Put together by Maurice Potter

Through the help of several people we have been able to establish the connection between the aboriginal people from Portland Victoria and the aboriginal girl Preenerrenner.Also her name Nancy Brown) The following will cover our family connection Please read below.

Just recently I have been able to up date the aboriginal information on Preenperrener / Nancy Brown I records by N.J.B. Plomley (GSO 8/72/1642). And a girl named Fanny Cochrane.

Altogether there is little doubt that Fanny Cochrane was a daughter of TAH,E.NOO.TAIR.ER, that she was a halfcaste, and that she was born in December 1834. However, her father has not been identified; at most, some suggestions can be made as to who he was. It has already been pointed out that Fanny's father is named as Cottrel Cochrane only by implication; but it is possible that he was Fanny's true father and that Mary Ann claimed him as her father in accordance with the native custom by which the most recent parent was regarded as the true parent. Was there a man named Cochrane at the settlement or on the islands in 1834/35,? Although the names of the soldiers of the garrison stationed on the island have not been found for this period, no one of this name is known among the convict servants there, or among the sealers. There was a convict named Charles Corkham or Cochran who was one of the crew of G. A. Robinson's boat in 1832, but he seems to have been sent back to the superintendent of convicts at Launceston in November 1832: it is just possible that he was with Robinson again in 1833 on the expedition to the west coast, but very unlikely that he was with him in 1834-the convict records suggest that Corkham was employed in Launceston in 1833, 1834, and part of 1835, and was sent to Port Arthur in July 1935, after which he was probably stationed at Hobart. There being no known man named Cochrane who might have been Fanny's father, who could have been? There are two pointers to John Smith having been the man. This was the sealer to whom James Parish had sold Tibb when he stole her from her tribe. About June 1831 he began to be employed at the aboriginal settlement, and he was there on and of! until 28 July 1834, when he left finally to rejoin the sealers. His duties included those of coxswain of the settlement boat, While there Mother Brown seems to have lived with him; and probably Sarah too, because a settlement record dated June 1834 refers to the trial of one of the convicts there for assaulting Sarah Smith and taking 'indecent liberties' with her. There would have been no strangeness in both Mother Brown and Sarah living with John Smith because a plurality of native women was the rule among the sealers; and the two women had lived with him for many years. An association between Sarah and John Smith at this time not only suggests that the sealer could have been Fanny's father, but indicates the origin of the name Cochrane. The clue to the latter is to be found in a comment in Ernest Westlake's diary: during his tour of Tasmania he interviewed Mrs Flora Stanton, one of her daughters, in May 1910, who told him that' Eugene was grandfather's (mother's father's) name a coxswain at Flinders '. Here Eugene, the stepfather, is called the father according to native custom, full parentage having been transferred to the subsequent spouse. And the true father could well have been the coxswain at the Flinders settlement, 'coxswain' becoming, Cochrane' when pronounced by the natives, who could not deal with the's' sound. This somehow makes clear that John Smith was living with two wives as stated earlier in the search. See below

All this information may seem confusing, As I (Maurice Potter) having studied all the information closely can understand how many who have read this before became confused due to there being 2 Mary Ann's, one that was born to Preenperrener / Nancy Brown and the other Mary Ann that married Walter George Arthur. This Mary here as you read they could not correctly prove who her father was, although they knew Fanny Cochrane was her mother. It may have been a sealer?: or the unknown Cottre! Cochrane'. One thing we do know that Preenperrener / Nancy Brown had five Children in all 3 were drowned with the father John Brown in a boating accident while fishing. This left Nancy Brown with two children, one she took with her when she (Preenperrener) lived with another sealer named James Parish still on Hunter Island until he sold her to John William Smith. On page 1 you will see that a Captain Lucas took the other child Mary Ann Brown to Hobart and she was then adopted by the Convict William Leach. This all proved in the copies of marriage records. The explanation of the fifth child of Nancy Brown was the one fathered by Smith.

From records prepared by Jack Hutcheon 1995

(File KP/19/18) this record shows Pleenperrenner married John Brown from Tin Kettle island. They had several children three of which drowned on Hunter Island. Mary Ann was born 1815. The photo here on the right, I have been told is the mother of Mary Ann Leach (Mother Brown)

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The following is the connection of Mary and William Leach

William Leach was convicted and tried at Middlesex 1st July 1801 for stealing, one quart pewter pot, value 6pd, two pint pots value 6pd.He was sentenced to transport for seven years.He sailed on the "ALBERMALE" to Botany Bay.

The following comes from a book by Marjorie Tipping "Convicts Unbound"

Leach attended the Hobart musters in 1811,1818,1819 and 1823.He was granted 40 acres at Glenorchy by from Gov. Macquarie. He grew a variety of crops and had 257 sheep by 1819. He received 200 lashes for being involved a disturbance with the Military patrol in 1807.

It appears that Mary Brown was living with William Leach and may have been adopted as he is listed as her father when she married Thomas Stedman Potter 1836 referance mref 36/1836/3213.

They had the following children

In the marriage records of Thomas Steadman Potter to Mary Ann Leach dated 17th December 1836. Thomas was the Captain of a whaler and Mary was an aboriginal Spinster from Flinders Island, Mary Ann died at birchs Bay the home os william Lynch 5th Jan 1910 age 95 years Thomas died at his home Byron Street Sandy Bay 26th June 1876

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THOMAS 1837....>...JOHN William 1839....Maryanne 1841...Elizabeth 1843....Micheal David 1844......Letitia & William twins 1851......Jane 1855....Louisa 1858

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The Potter Family of Woodbridge.

Photo far right; Arthur, Elsie, Doris, Tom.
Michael David and Sarah (ne) Edwards

Charles & Louisa (ne) Lord.
Harry, Dinah, and Clarry

Below:...Letitia Potter with Husband William Samuel Knights and children

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Photo supplied by Barry Gange. The photo taken about 1896-7

Back row standing: Walter, Edith, Elsie, Arthur, and Jessie, Main Row Ernest, Rose, Mabel, William, Letitia, & William..The youngest Eva, and Ruby.

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The information on the right is from an advertisement in the Hobart Town Gazzette


Potter Family Tree

The list of the passengers who arrived via the "Belinda" including Master Stedman Potter 15th November 1823

Above,,John Potter and Family South Arm.

The photo above is Mary Ann nee Leach on right bottom corner with other members of her family.

Thomas Potter born Sept 16th 1837 is the son of John Potter & Elizabeth nee Alomes of South Arm.He married Sadie lived at Bicheno Tasmania. Thier Son Paul was a well known fisherman at Bicheno.

The above photo of David Potter Family and friends.

Click in this link for information on all other families.

The above link includes the relatives of South Arm and in the UK

view the Potter Family Tree from here
This is a link to all graves at St Barnabas Church South Arm

Above:David & his wife Sarah nee Edwards and below Wedding photo of Morris Lynch & Grace nee Mckay

From the time that Thomas Steadman Potter married Mary Ann his family grew up in Sandy Bay. As the years past they spread to the Woodgidge area. Their Son John first worked around the Hobart wharf area as a boatman before he moved to South Arm. It was here he had managed to purchase some land through a convict who had leased land in the area in what we now know as Goat Bluff. There son Edward and his wife Murium lived in the same house and raised their family of seven Girls and two boys. My father (Bill) was one of those two boys and as he grew up and married Kathleen Alomes and from that he went to work on the farm for his in-laws. Bill & Kathleen had two sons and a daughter (Lionel, Maurice & Joyce. I have had a long lasting life at South Arm over the last 80 plus years. I went to the South Arm State School in 1936 and later worked on the Alomes farm for some time before marring my wife Pauline Potter nee Oakes in 1954. We lived in Hobart for ten years before moving to South Arm in 1963. At that time as the Oakleigh subdivision had started we purchased our first block of land an constructed a new home. Our son Christopher was born and he went to the school at South Arm before moving to Clarence High School. Since my retirement I have taken a big following in our family history which how I have researched all the family connections both in Tasmania New Zealand and in the UK. From all this I hope that other relatives to us in the past and in the future keep the records on going.

Kind Regards Maurice Potter.