As I meander the headstones, I am seeing more and more of these plaques. Frequently, they are erected by descendents of 'fleeters', but not exclusively. However, they ARE left by descendents who are proud of their forbears and who wish to pay homage to their efforts and their grit.
The plaque for John Hill was erected in Camperdown Cemetery, beside a heavily weathered stone where one could JUST make out his name. He was done for having a counterfeit note in his pocket, and given 14 years for his troubles. He was 38 and left behind a wife with 6 children ranging in age from 11 to 1. All up, he married four times, but ... he was buried by his eldest son.
Rebecca Oakes was born Small, the daughter of two First Fleeters, born the year after the colony was founded. Rebecca married Francis Oakes, and bore him 14 children, Samuel died at birth, and Lucy died aged 9. That is a much lower proportion than I have seen in many other families. Rebecca's father died in 1850,aged 88, the last remaining FFer to die in the colony. Rebecca became a 'grande dame' of early Parramatta and is interred at Rookwood'
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