Hugh Rogers (1821-1904) and Frances Sadler (1830-1914)

Our Great Great Great Grandparents

Hugh Rogers was born in Letterboy County Fermanagh in 1821, the third child and son of Hugh Rogers and Ann Breen.

Frances ‘Fanny’ Sadler was born in Kilronan townland County Roscommon in 1830, the third child and second daughter of Edward Sadler and Eliza Powell.

Hugh Rogers came to New South Wales as an assisted immigrant aboard the Glenswilly, which departed Plymouth on 25 November 1840 and arrived at Port Jackson 104 days later on 11 March 1841. Hugh was shown as being 20 years of age and a farm labourer. He was a Roman Catholic and could neither read nor write. His siblings James (with wife and child), Alexander and Mary were also aboard the Glenswilly and were among the 310 passengers who disembarked in Sydney.

An account of the voyage of the Glenswilly and initial impressions of Sydney written by Samuel Marwell, a cabin passenger, survives.

Marwell did not write about the attitude to the immigrants by at least some elements of Sydney’s population:

IRISH IMMIGRATION.—The Glenswilly, one of Mr. Marshall's bounty ships, that arrived from London and Plymouth so recently as the 11th March, 1841, had on board about 310 emigrants, who, as the vessel had sailed from on English port, are all entered, of course, in the Government Lists, I mean the Custom House Returns, as natives of England. But the fact is, that there was scarcely an Englishman on board, in the capacity of a bounty emigrant; the whole number having been collected from the South and West of Ireland, and carried over, like so many pigs, by the Cork and Dublin steamboats, to meet the Glenswilly in Plymouth Sound; the proportion of Protestants to Roman Catholics by that vessel, as well as by another of Mr. Marshall's ships, in reference to which I have been enabled to ascertain the fact from indisputable authority, having been one only for every eighteen!! A large proportion of this valuable accession, forsooth, to the intellectual, moral, and religious character of this unfortunate Colony, were from the county of Tipperary, the most infamous county in all Ireland for deeds of violence and blood; not fewer than three of these hopefuls as was credibly reported, having been concerned in a murder in their native land! The whole corps consisted of persons in the most abject poverty, and in the lowest stage of moral debasement.1

The man who brought Hugh out from Ireland, John Marshall, had previously arranged for bounty immigrants to be placed in the Bathurst district, and Hugh also apparently went there straight after arrival and stayed there until his death.2

Frances Sadler came to New South Wales aboard the Champion, which sailed from Liverpool on 27 October 1841 with 290 immigrants aboard, arriving in Sydney on 12 February 1842. Frances was aged 12, and was accompanied by her parents, Edward (a smith) and Eliza (a house servant), both aged 38, and her siblings Thomas (a smith, aged 20), Jane (aged 16), Edward (aged 15) and Margaret (aged 10). We have found a journal written by another passenger on that same voyage, giving an insight into the brutal nature of voyages in these times.

Frances also seems to have settled in the Bathurst region immediately after her arrival in New South Wales. At her death in 1914 it was reported that she had lived in the Bathurst district for 72 years. It was also reported that she had been “…at Mulgunnia when the bushranger Blue Cap and his gang held the station up.”3 Mulgunnia Station is one of Australia’s oldest colonial holdings, located near Trunkey Creek about 56 kilometers southwest of Bathurst. The incident at Mulgunnia does not seem to have been reported in contemporary newspapers, and the current owners of Mulgunnia are unaware of such an event in the station’s history. A bushranger known as Blue Cap (possible real name Murphy) was active around Bathurst in 1840, and while some of his gang were captured in October of that year, Blue Cap himself escaped. He may well have continued bushranging around Bathurst beyond 1840, but there are no contemporary newspaper reports of this. By 1846 Blue Cap had shifted his activities to the Canterbury district in New Zealand. There was another bushranger, Robert Cottrell, who was also known as Blue Cap, but he was active in the Wagga Wagga and Riverina districts in the 1860’s and there is no report of him bushranging near Bathurst.

Hugh Rogers and Frances Sadler are claimed by other researchers to have married in Bathurst on 11 April 1846, but no record of this has been found. Hugh’s death record says that he married Frances at Rockley, New South Wales (34½ kilometers south of Bathurst) when he was 25 years of age, so the 1846 date of marriage is probably correct. At the time of marriage Frances was aged only 15 and Hugh was 25. They had ten children together:

  1. Alexander (1846-1927) – married Lucy Glass at Bathurst in 1873. They had eight children, all born at Bathurst: Mary Jane (b.1874), Frances (b.1876), Henry James (b.1882), William (b.1885), Felix Thomas (b.1888), Lucy (b.1879), Joseph Cyril (b.1891) and Hugh (d.1904). Alexander died at Bathurst aged 81.
  2. Elizabeth Jane (b.1848) – no marriage or death record has been found.
  3. Sarah (1850-1901) – married Patrick Cummins at Bathurst in 1868. They had nine children: Thomas (b.1868, Bathurst), Albert (b.1871, Bathurst), Mary Alice (b.1874, Bathurst), William (b.1876, Orange), Patrick (b.1878, Orange), James (b.1881, Wellington), Ernest (b.1883, Dubbo), Joseph (b.1891, Parkes) and Walter (b.1897, Parkes). Sarah died at Dubbo aged 51.
  4. Hugh (1852-1926) – no marriage record has been found. He died at Liverpool New South Wales aged 74.
  5. Margaret (1855-1894) – did not marry and died at Bathurst aged 39.
  6. Thomas Henry (1857-1919) – married Sabina Agnes Wilcox at Bathurst in 1885. They had eleven children, the first four born at Bathurst, and the others at Oberon, New South Wales: Frances (b.1885), Barbara May (b.1886), James Edward (b.1888), Hugh Alexander Thomas (b.1890), Ethel (b.1891), Albert (b.1893), Leonard Harold(b.1895), Daisy Ellen (b.1897), Robert Eric (b.1899), William John (b.1901) and Herbert George (b.1905). Thomas died at Oberon aged 62.
  7. James Edward (our ancestor - 1859- 1921)
  8. Fanny (1861-1883) – married Albert Mitchell at Bathurst in 1883, but died the same year aged only 22. Death was possibly due to complications arising from the birth of her son Albert who also died in 1883.
  9. William (1864-1901) – no definite marriage detail has been found. He died at Bathurst aged 37 years.
  10. Mary (1867-1949) – married Percival Minns at Bathurst in 1892. They had six children, all born at Bathurst: Ethel (b.1893), Winefride (b.1895), Percival (b.1896), Frederick William (b.1898), Sarah (b.1901) and Thomas Joseph (b.1906). Mary died at Newtown New South Wales aged 82.

Hugh came to New South Wales as a farm labourer, and ‘farmer’ was recorded as his occupation at death.

Hugh died at 118 Piper Street, Bathurst on 1 May 1904. The cause of death was recorded as “ulcerated leg of long standing, heart failure”. His age at death was recorded as 86, but this does not quite fit with his birth year of 1821 implied by Hugh’s shipping record. He was buried at Bathurst Cemetery on 3 May 1904, but no marker has been found. Hugh’s death record shows his father’s name as Alexander Rogers, but this is probably an error on the part of the informant, his son James who would never have known his grandparents. A report of Hugh’s death was published in the Sydney Freeman’s Journal, Saturday 21 May 1904:

A very old resident of Bathurst died last week in the person of Mr. Hugh Rogers. Deceased had reached the advanced age of 86 and had resided in the district for the past 63 years. The remains were interred in the Catholic cemetery, and the Rev. Father O’Dowd officiated at the mortuary chapel and at the grave.

Frances Sadler died at 35 Lambert Street, Bathurst on 15 July 1914, aged 84 (although her death record says 86), and was buried on 17 July 1914 at the Bathurst cemetery, but no marker has been found. Her cause of death was recorded as “cancer of hand, senile decay”, and was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald of Friday 17 July 1914:

BATHURST, Thursday
Mrs. Hugh Rogers, one of the oldest residents of the Bathurst district, has died at the age of 86 [sic.] years. Deceased was at Mulgunnia when the bushranger Blue Cap and his gang held the station up.


1 The Sydney Herald, Wednesday 28 April 1841, p.2.

2 A report of his death in 1904 (Freeman’s Journal, Saturday 21 May 1904) said that he had been in the Bathurst district 63 years.

3The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 17 July 1914.


<< Previous page | Next page >>