Notes Contributed by John Garth Tevelein


John lives in Victoria, along with many contributions to this site, writes:


I am a descendant of John Tevelein, Son of James and Lucy Marie Lamberton who was born in Canterbury in 1804. He was a saddler and married Margaret Lamer in ???? and they had several children.

In 1836 things get interesting. In December that year the colony of South Australia was settled as a commercial enterprise, the only one which did not have convicts sent to it. John was there although he is not listed on the manifest of any of the settling fleet first ships. In 1837 he had had enough of the hard conditions in this new colony and took a working passage on one of the original fleet ships the Tam O'Shanter to Sydney. This ship had been damaged on arriving in South Australia and was temporarily patched up to sail to Sydney for repair. In passing through Bass Straight between the mainland and Tasmania, the ship founded in a storm and was washed ashore in what became Tam O'Shanter Bay in NE Tasmania. Having found himself unexpectedly in Tasmania, John settled in Launceston on the Tamar River and plied his saddlery trade. The ship was sold for timber to a timber merchant who is still in business.

John became a good citizen of Launceston. He was superintendent of the Sunday school and secretary of the Temperance Union for many years. There is a plaque in his honour in the Anglican cathedral in Launceston. His life story and good work was included in a major obituary in the local press at the time.

However, it is not clear to me that his wife accompanied him. In Tasmania he had many children with another woman Prudence Garth but did not marry her until 1850, 15 years after arriving. I cannot locate it now but I recall that was the year his original wife (LAMER) died.

All boys of the line direct line have had Garth as a middle name ever since. My son Hugh Garth is the last. I have a hunch that Prudence Garth may have been a direct descendent of a First Fleet Convict named Garth who settled in Hobart and became a substantial landowner after his 7 year incarceration. That is something for another time. Having a first fleet convict in ones linage is now quite something in Australia.

Of interest also is that John Tevelein brought with him a longcase (grandfather) clock which presumably was salvaged from the founded Tam O'Shanter. It was made by WARREN in Canterbury and has a silvered dial and moon phase. The dial itself has the name of another Canterbury clock maker BRADSHAW etched on the reverse. The clock is not particularly distinguished but it would date to the period 1770 - 1790 when silvered dials were in fashion on these clocks. I speculate that it may have been a wedding present for James and Lucy Marie when they married in 1788 and given to John when he departed for Australia. The clock has ever since been passed down to the eldest son of the eldest son. I received it from my uncle Alan who died over thirty years ago having fathered only girls. My son Hugh will in-turn receive it one day and hopefully also pass it on.

John Garth Tevelein of Victoria