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Can you help increase our knowledge of the descendants of EDWARD and ELIZABETH FIELD?

If you have further information that will add to the family's collective knowledge of the family in this website, please let Colin Field know. Click here for his contact details

 

Notes on EDWARD and ELIZABETH FIELD

EDWARD FIELD was enlisted as a Private in the 102nd Regiment of Foot, the New South Wales Corps, on 27 July 1789, some 7 weeks after its formation. He came to the Colony of New South Wales with the second fleet, arriving in Sydney on the Scarborough on 28 June 1790. On 13 December 1794 EDWARD, along with a number of other "lesser ranks", received from Major Grose a grant of 25 acres on the west side of Iron Cove Creek, an area which is now Fivedock. That grant, which would have been heavily timbered at that time and quite poor quality farm land, was subsequently revoked, and on 30 June 1803 EDWARD received in its place a grant of 100 acres of land at Castlereagh. He received a further grant of 100 acres at upper Cranebrook (now submerged as part of the Nepean Lakes complex) on 10/5/1809. On 8 August 1801 he was granted his discharge from the New South Wales Corps. In addition to his farming, he is recalled for his skills as a blacksmith. In particular, he is recorded as having provided blacksmithing services and sold produce to William Cox's team that constructed the first road over the Blue Mountains.

There are stories to the effect that EDWARD had a brother in Australia. These stories usually claim this brother was William Field, a convict on the first fleet, and that it was in effect to join William that EDWARD enlisted in the New South Wales Corps. Certainly there was a William Field residing in the Castlereagh area at the same time as EDWARD. Those who undertook the basic research for this site know of no evidence that EDWARD FIELD had a brother in the the Colony of New South Wales and wonder how it would be possible to prove any such connection. If any researcher believes they have evidence supporting the Edward/William relationship Colin Field would be pleased to have the opportunity to review it.

Other notes on EDWARD FIELD, as summarised from Michael Flynn's book The Second Fleet (Flynn, M., The Second Fleet, Sydney, 1993) are as follows:

ELIZABETH (SARAH) MITCHELL, known as Betty Mitchell, was convicted on 6 March 1790 at the Assizes. Her crime was aiding and abetting in breaking into a dwelling in Studley, North Wiltshire, and the stealing of 5 cheeses and sundry other articles. Though recorded details differ on this question, her trial was most likely at Salisbury. She was sentenced to 7 years transportation. ELIZABETH was transported on the Mary Ann, arriving Sydney 9 July 1791.

ELIZABETH (SARAH) MITCHELL's first child, a daughter named SARAH, was born 19 May 1792, the father being one JAMES WILSON. It seems likely that about that time ELIZABETH (SARAH) was assigned to EDWARD FIELD. The first four children of ELIZABETH and EDWARD were born out of wedlock, a not uncommon occurrence in the very early days of the Colony of New South Wales. In early 1805, they married at St John's Church at Parramatta.

ELIZABETH (SARAH) is sometimes recorded as Elizabeth (or Betty) Dixon, and it is sometimes claimed that this was her maiden name. Those who undertook the basic research for this site know of no evidence that ELIZABETH's maiden name was Dixon, and indeed the evidence is otherwise. The name Dixon as it applies to ELIZABETH MITCHELL comes to us from Thomas Davies Mutch, the compiler of the "Mutch Index". Where Mutch got it from is not known. A likely source of the name is either an alias or an early association of ELIZABETH's.

Though troubled by serious flooding, the farm at Castlereagh was obviously a success. In The Gazette of 5 February 1809 it was advertised for sale. The advertisement describes it as "a capital farm at the Nepean ... in praise of which too much cannot be said (including) upwards of an acre ... laid out in an orchard containing some of the best trees any where to be procured, of the orange, lemon, peach and other kinds (as well as) a public pound".

Both EDWARD and ELIZABETH are buried in the old Castlereagh cemetery, which is located near the junction of Church Street and East Wilchard Road, Castlereagh.

ELIZABETH used the name SARAH from time to time, but no evidence has been found that it was ever formally one of her names. Throughout this website the name SARAH, as it applies to ELIZABETH FIELD (nee MITCHELL), has therefore been placed in brackets.