Peter McALPIN was a blacksmith by trade taught by his father from a young boy and joined the army at a young age.
Peter enlisted as a sergeant in the Princess Louise Argyllshire Regiment 1794 - 1802 in Stirling, Scotland.
Peter McALPIN met his wife Elisabeth ELTON when the storeship HMS "Buffalo" arrived in Cape Town Sunday 13 October 1798 to leave stores and pick up cattle for Sydney Cove - Elisabeth had sailed from Deptford, England with her mother Sarah ELTON (nee not known) and step-father Francis WHEELER, a carpenter who had been given passage with five other families of tradesmen on condition that they would work on Norfolk Island upon arrival in the Colony.
The ship "Buffalo" stayed moored in Table Bay until it sailed on Tuesday 5 February 1799 for Sydney Cove, where it arrived on Friday 3 May 1799.
Peter McALPIN & Elisabeth ELTON were married 16 December 1798 whilst Sarah's parents were still in South Africa and they lived in Cape Town until Peter returned to the army barracks on 25 March 1801.
Peter & Sarah remained at the barracks until 24 April 1802 when he was discharged - they remained in Cape Town until 9 December 1802 when they sailed back to Portsmouth and returned to Killin, Scotland - they settled in Stirling where 3 children were born.
The family moved to London November 1810 immediately after their third child (William Glas McALPIN) was christened - whilst in London the family were strongly encouraged by letters from Elisabeth's mother Sarah to join her in the NSW colony as Francis WHEELER had died - they eventually gained a free passage to the colony after letters to the Governor of NSW.
The ship "General Graham" sailed from England via Rio de Janiero to Sydney Town - The family arrived from London as free settlers on the ship "General Graham" 29 January 1812 with their 3 children to find that Elisabeth's mother Sarah ELTON had died a few months prior to their arrival.
Peter McALPIN, as a free settler, received 2 cows from the Government on credit in June 1814.
In 1818 Peter had received a grant of 2 acres in the town of Richmond. This land was situated on the corner of Francis and West Market Streets, Richmond, and there Peter built a house with a blacksmith's shop, where he lived until his death on 23 February 1850.
Eleanor BLAKE was assigned from the female factory compound at Parramatta to Peter McALPIN to help out in his home and care for his 4 young children following the premature death of his wife Elisabeth ELTON.
Eleanor BLAKE was a convict - trial at Middlesex Assizes for stealing a watch and money from one Phineas TAYTASAC, a merchant and sentenced to transportation for 7 years, sailed on the ship "Emu" which was captured by the American privateer "Holkar" - after being freed by the Americans the female convicts were landed on the island of St Vincent - one of the Cape Verde Islands - and sent back to England, eventually arriving on the ship "Broxburnbury" 28 July 1814.
They married in 1820 and Eleanor was granted her freedom - however this was a disaster as it was apparently a marriage of convenience for Eleanor simply to obtain her freedom - she absconded in 1821 - returned - and left again in 1823.