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James McGee - The 14 Year Old Convict

From Lancashire England to Tasmania Australia

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Our names are Heather Lowry (nee McGee) and Janice Mc Cormack (nee McGee) and we are searching for records of the birth or christening of our great, great, grandfather James McGee and information about his parents. Contact us at the above email addresses to share information on James and his descendants.

James McGee also known as James Dedman McGee, James Magee and James Mac Gee, was transported to Van Dieman's Land now Tasmania, Australia on the David Lyon which departed London, England on the 2 May 1830 and arrived in Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania, Australia) on the 19 Aug 1830. On his convict record it states his name as Gee, Mac James and his native place Liverpool, Lancashire, England and that he was 14 years old when convicted for stealing two gowns and a shawl. He was convicted twice before.

Recent investigations by Janice found that James McGee appears in Order Book 1829, General Quarter Session of Peace Holden at Lancaster, Monday 12th Jan 1829.

"Whereas James Magee late of the township of Toxteth Park in the said County, labourer hath at this session been convicted of felony and of having before the time of convicting the said felony been convicted of another felony. This court doth therefore order and adjudge that the said James Magee shall be sent and transported to some part beyond the seas for a space of 14 years next, pursuant to the statute in such case made and provided".

In 1837 James applied for permission to marry Eleanor Elizabeth Presnell. Eleanor was the daughter of free settlers, John Presnell and Eleanor Skelton Approval was granted and they were married on 24 Sep 1838 at Oatlands, Tasmania. He received a conditional pardon on the 30 July 1840 and a free certificate 771 in 1845. James died on 8 February 1899 in the district of Ross, Tasmania. He is buried at the Methodist Cemetery, Ross, Tasmania. The death certificate states his name as James Dedman McGee and that he was 82 years old, if his age was correct he would have been born in 1816. The International Genealogical Index - British Isles, has a James Mc Gee christened on 14 August 1814 at St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

Why was Dedman added to the name? Most of James' nine children were given the middle name of Dedman. The following generation dropped Dedman from name and have been known as McGee since.

Convict Details

Record ID:              49684
Conduct Record:         CON31/16 or CON31/30
Description List:       CON18/2
Appropriation List:     CSO1/444/9891 P227, CON27/4
Surgeons Report:        Adm. 101/19 Reel 3192
Miscellaneous Records:  CSO1/472/10492, MM33/3

1. James Dedman McGee (AKA James Mac Gee, James McGee and James Magee)

Birth:     abt 1816, Liverpool, Lancashire, England?
Death:     8 Feb 1899
Father:    Unknown
Mother:    Unknown

Spouse:    Eleanor Elizabeth Presnell
Birth:     6 Jun 1819, St Lukes Old Street, London, England
Death:     21 Aug 1891
Marriage:  24 Sep 1838, Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia

Children:  James Dedman McGee (1838-1839)
           Eleanor Elizabeth McGee (1840-1891)
           John Dedman McGee (1842-1929)
           Caroline Dedman McGee (1844-1908)
           Henry Dedman McGee (1846-1885)
           William Dedman McGee (1848-)
           Jane Dedman McGee (1851-1854)
           James Dedman McGee (1853-)
           Mary Isabella McGee (1860-)

2. James Dedman McGee

Birth:     27 Oct 1838, York Plains, Oatlands, Tasmania
Death:     14 Jan 1839

2. Eleanor Elizabeth McGee

Birth:     12 Jan 1840, Oatlands, Tasmania
Death:     26 Aug 1891

Spouse:    William Smith
Birth:     abt 1832
Marriage:  20 Feb 1873

Children:  Elizabeth Mary Smith
           Ellen Rose Smith
           William Arthur Smith (1879-
           Peter Smith b. (1882- 

2. John Dedman McGee

John Dedman McGee and Granddaughter
Birth:     24 Apr 1842, Salt Pan Plains, Oatlands, Tasmania
Death:     18 Aug 1929 
Spouse:    Mary Green 
Mary Green
Birth:     2 Apr 1848, Oatlands, Tasmania
Death:     30 May 1895
Marriage:  12 Dec 1867

Children:  Mary Ellen McGee (1868-1871)
           Harriet McGee (1870-1875)
           John James McGee (1872-1947)
           Albert William McGee (1874-1954)
           Percival Charles McGee (1876-1952)
           Frances Amy McGee (1878-1884)
           Ada May McGee (1880-1961)
           Frederick Arthur McGee 1882-
           Leslie Rochester McGee (1884-
           Everline Emma McGee (1885-1970)
           Lewis McGee b 13 May 1888, d 12 Oct 1917, Ypres, Belgium
           Lewis McGeeAwarded the Victoria Cross
 Sergeant Lewis McGee
40th Battalion 
Australian Imperial Force 
Awarded the Victoria Cross, 30 Nov 1917.
For most conspicuous bravery in action East of Ypres, Belgium on 4 Oct 1917
In the advance to the final objective, Sgt McGee led his platoon with great dash and bravery though strongly opposed 
and under heavy shell fire. His platoon was suffering severely and the advance of the company was stopped by machine 
gun fire from a "Pillbox Post". Single handed Sgt McGee rushed the post armed only with a revolver. He shot some of the 
crew and captured the rest, and thus enabled the advance to proceed. He re-organised the remnants of his platoon and 
was foremost in the remainder of the advance, and during consolidation of the position he did splendid work. 
His coolness and bravery was conspicuous and contributed largely to the success of the company's operations. 
Sgt McGee was subsequently killed in action on 12 Oct 1917.
Extract from "The London Gazette" 26 Nov 1917.

2. Caroline Dedman McGee

Birth:     11 May 1844, Oatlands, Tasmania
Death:     28 Jul 1908   

Partner:   Richard William Ingle Fryer

Children:  Rose Ellen McGee (1863-1886)

Spouse:    John Presnell
Birth:     30 Apr 1843, Launceston, Tasmania, 7250     
Death:     7 Aug 1893, Campbelltown, Tasmania
Marriage:  21 Apr 1870

Children:  Elizabeth Emma Presnell (1871-1962)
           Harriet Amelia Presnell (1873-1943)
           Caroline Mary Presnell (1875-
           John William Presnell (1877-
           Fanny Louisa Presnell (1879-1969)
           Ann Presnell (1881-1894)
           George Presnell (1883-1883)
           Grace Presnell (1886-1886)              

2. Henry Dedman McGee

Birth:     25 Jun 1846, Oatlands, Tasmania
Death      13 Feb 1885
Spouse:    Ann Appleyard
Birth:     30 Jun 1851, Oatlands, Tasmania
Marriage:  1 Jan 1869

Children:  William Henry McGee (1870-1937)
           James Edward McGee (1871-
           Charles McGee (1874-1942)
           Eleanor Ann McGee (1876-
           Albert John McGee (1878-1878)
           Rose McGee (1879-
           Mary McGee (1881-
           Robert McGee (1883-           

2. William Dedman McGee

Birth:     28 Nov 1848, Salt Pan Plains, Oatlands, Tasmania

2. Jane Dedman McGee

Birth:     10 Jan 1851, Ross, Tasmania
Death:     13 Jan 1854, Campbelltown, Tasmania

2. James Dedman McGee

Birth:     12 Dec 1853, Ross, Tasmania

2. Mary Isabella McGee

Birth:     28 Feb 1860, Ross, Tasmania

Spouse:    John Kerr
Birth:     abt 1859

Marriage:  20 Jan 1892, Campbelltown, Tasmania

Children:  Isabella Rose Kerr (1892-
           Ruby Kerr (1898-
           James Kerr
           May Kerr

Last update - 24 June 2005

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