In late December/early January just gone, I spent two weeks wandering around in the footsteps of my ancestors. Starting in Hobart, where it all began in 1830, visiting exciting places including Southport, Ida Bay, Richmond, Queenstown, Strahan, Zeehan, back to New Norfolk and returning to Hobart. All the places my ancestors pioneered and were well known.

Ancestors - Sarah Island, Strahan
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Sarah Island via Strahan on the west coast of Tasmania

Tracing My Ancestors in Tasmania

by Jennifer Rose Molloy (nee Bell)

My journey took me many miles through breathtaking scenery and landscape. I even travelled along the winding, partly unsealed road down to Trial Harbour on the west coast where the Bell family arrived on their way to Zeehan from Hobart Town in the late 1880s. Trial Harbour is a small holiday spot and apparently very popular with the locals now.

Ancestors - Trial Harbour
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Trial Harbour where the Bell family arrived on their way to Zeehan from Hobart Town in the late 1880s

One of my favourite spots would have to be Richmond: a quaint little English-type village only 20 minutes from Hobart and steeped with history. One of my ancestors served time in Richmond Goal for stealing a pair of boots. He married an Irish immigrant in St. John’s Church, and baptized his children there. Alongside his wife, he is buried in the churchyard.

Ancestors - Richmond Church
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St. John’s Catholic Church in the village of Richmond in Tasmania

Richmond: Rich in Tasmanian History

Richmond has a lot to offer with it’s famous convict-built bridge, the Richmond Goal, quaint little accommodation cottages, lots of trendy cafes and restaurants, gift shops and also a pub. My two nights and three days in Richmond were filled with surprises.

Ancestors - Jennifer Molloy (nee Bell)
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Jennifer Molloy (nee Bell) traces her ancestors in Tasmania

The miniature village has to be seen. It was all hand-made and depicts Hobart back in the 1830s. It was constructed using original blue prints of the time and was special to me because that is what Hobart would have looked like when my ancestors arrived.


 

The church in this picture was exactly how it looked back in 1843 when my first Australian ancestor was baptized after the arrival of the Bell family in 1842.  At least four of their children were baptized in that church. The original St. David’s was rebuilt again with some changes.

Ancestors - Hobart Miniature Village
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Richmond ~ Miniature Village depicting Hobart Town in the 1830s

Ancestors - Richmond Tas
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Richmond in Tasmania is full of surprises

Elizabeth Bell: A Memory of My Ancestors

Last but not least, below is a photograph of part of the Memory Wall in St. David’s Park in Hobart, where you’ll find the headstone of Elizabeth Bell, my Great, Great, Great Grandmother. You can read the full story of my Bell Ancestors in Tasmania*

Ancestors - Hobart Memory Wall
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Elizabeth Bell ~ Memory Wall in St. David’s Park in Hobart

Jennifer Molloy (nee Bell) is an avid follower of Think Tasmania and sent us
this guest article. She is passionate about her ancestors, having written 900
pages about her 100-year Tasmanian family history. One section (follow link
provided above*) has snippets from The Mercury: obituaries for Tasmanian
pioneers. Jennifer’s first ancestor came to Tassie in 1830 but her grandfather
had to move his family from Zeehan in the early 1940s for work. This is
just a short version of her two-week trip to Tassie starting Boxing Day.

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