Jim's genie jottings

A history of the Fleming, Jolliffe, Kessey and Murphy families of New South Wales - and their forebears

23/06/2020 - Descent article - Thomas Kessey's origins

The cover of the June 2020 issue of Descent

Last year was the bi-centenary of Thomas Kessey's arrival in Sydney as a convict aboard the General Stewart. Most family historians have concluded that he was born Thomas Casey in 1795 to James Casey and Alice Langford, but I contend that this is incorrect. I propose that he was born Thomas Cassey in 1794 to Michael Cassey and his wife Mary.

The Society of Australian Genealogists has just published my article Thomas Kessey's Origins in the June 2020 issue of its journal, Descent. This is my second Descent article, after The Waples Roadblock was published in March last year.

The new Kessey article outlines the reasons why I have debunked the old theory (Casey/Langford) and provides the evidence for my conclusion that his parents were actually Michael and Mary Cassey.

This case is a classic example of the perils that can await the family historian who accepts other people's research without question. While this is an easy thing to do, it really does pay to check original sources for yourself.

Click the picture to see a copy of the article.