The BRILLIANT brought Scottish Bounty Immigrants including :
JESSIE(JENNET, JANET) MCLEAN MOTHER OF MARY ANN MCNEIL( later to become known as GRANNY BELL of LAURIETON, wife of the Invalid Mr John Bell. ) Janet was born in 1831 so she was only a child of 6-7 when she came. Her parents were JOHN MCLEAN and GRACE MCINNES(McGuiness)

The John Bells during the 1880s are said to have had a house at Palm Vale on the Tweed and the accident which invalided him. apparently rendering him unable to walk and preceding their removal to LAURIETON, took place in the sugar industry on the Tweed near CONDONG and TUMBULGUM.

Mary Ann married John  in 1878 in Taree.   



immigration article4168774-3-001The Hobart Town Courier, Friday 17 November 1837, page 2
The Hobart Town Courier Friday 17 November 1837 Supplement: Supplement to the Hobart Town Courier., page 2.

The Hobart Town Courier, Friday 5 January 1838, page 2
With the BRILLIANT due later in JANUARY.

BUNMORAH article4167785-3-001The Hobart Town Courier, Friday 5 January 1838, page 2



Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), Saturday, October 14, 18372 EMBARKATION BRILLIANT

Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), Saturday, October 14, 1837; Issue 18331.

Ships to Australia 1837-39

From the British Parliamentary Papers of 1839 II – Respecting Emigration to the Colonies

The Brilliant, a sailing ship of 428 tons, left Scotland for the Australian Colonies on September 27, 1837 and carried some 300 Scottish
people who were leaving their homeland under the bounty immigration system.

The selection was made by a selecting officer. 320 people embarked on the BRILLIANT and there was only one death recorded. The BRILLIANT was built in MONTREAL in 1834 and was 429 tons. She was taken up by the EMIGRATION DEPARTMENT on August 19 1837 in LEITH . The emigrants embarked in the HEBRIDES. The name of the owner was S PATERSON and she was hired at the rate of 4pounds 17/6 per ton.  A. Campbell was the Surgeon Superintendent on the voyage. The BRILLIANT departed on the 27 Sep 1837 and arrived in NSW on 27 Jan 1838. 126 days at sea with a touching at the Cape on 29 Nov 1837.
74 males.
84 females.
59 children between 14 and 7.
103 children under 7.
320 in total with 2 children born on the voyage.
The 1 death was that of a child.

"They Came in the Brilliant: A History of the McLaurin, McMee" Author: J. O. Randell

Title: They Came in the Brilliant: A History of the McLaurin, McMeekin and Paton Families
Publisher: Brown Prior Anderson Location: U.S.A.

From Log Of Logs, Vol.2. By Ian Nicholson
Brilliant, ship 428t, Gilkinson; Tobermory, Mull, 27/9 with 318 Highland
1837-1838 immigrants for Sydney.
+ Account of departure published in *Inverness Courier,
reproduced in
*Australian Biography & General Record, No. 15. (Sydney July


Watterson Family

McLeod Family of Ulmarra

  • Letters published in Sydney Morning Herald in January 1838 regarding the voyage of the "Brilliant"

NSW State Records film # 1288 SCOTTISH BOUNTY MIGRANTS.



John, Elizabeth and their young family came to Australia in 1838 on the ship "Brilliant" and settled in the Williams River area. They later moved to the Clarence River district where John and Elizabeth resided for the remainder of their lives.

John McGregor died 28th August, 1888 at Ulmarra, NSW, and Elizabeth on 25th August, 1869, also at Ulmarra.

MAY HOLS 08 006


Meanwhile  Queen Victoria was being crowned as per following article



Obituary notice.

Donald Cameron.

The death of Mr. Donald Cameron of Port Stephens of which the usual Obituary Notice was inserted in the "Empire" of Friday last deserves a more extended notice than it then and there received.

Mr. Cameron was a native of Ardnamurchan, Argyleshire, Scotland and was upwards of sixty years of age when he emigrated with his family to the colony per ship "Brilliant" which sailed from Tobar Mory in the Isle of Mull in the year 1838, being ninety years of age when he died on the 12th instant. READ ON




Allan McLean and Janet McFarlane

Inverness Courier Index 1837, p212

A large body of emigrants sailed from Tobermory on the 27th of September for New South Wales. The vessel was the Brilliant, and its size and splendid fittings were greatly admired. “the people to be conveyed by this vessel are decidedly the most valuable that have ever left the shores of Great Britain; they are all of excellent moral character, and from their knowledge of agriculture, and management of sheep and cattle, must prove a most valuable acquisition to a colony like New South Wales.” The Rev. Mr Macpherson, of Tobermory, preached a farewell sermon before the party sailed. The total number of emigrants was 322, made up as follows:—From Ardnamurchan and Strontian, 105; Coll and Tiree, 104; Mull and lona, 56; Morven, 25; Dunoon, 28; teachers, 2; surgeons, 2. A visitor from New South Wales presented as many of the party as he met with letters of introduction, and expressed himself highly gratified with the prospect of having so valuable an addition to the colony. A Government agent superintended the embarkation.

THERE are a lot of MCLEANS on this BRILLIANT trip of 1838.
Some of them include:

MCLEAN Allan 49
Brilliant 24/01/1838
Wife 40; boat builder

MCLEAN Allan 28
Brilliant 24/01/1838
Wife 20; shepherd

MCLEAN Allan 19
Brilliant 24/01/1838
Unmarried; farm servant

MCLEAN Anne 18
Unmarried; country servant

MCLEAN Anne 15
Brilliant 24/01/1838
Unmarried; country servant




MCLEAN Archibald 22
Brilliant 24/01/1838
Unmarried; farm servant

MCLEAN Archibald 16
Brilliant 24/01/1838
Unmarried; farm servant

MCLEAN Bell 25 Brilliant
Unmarried; housemaid

MCLEAN Charles 36
Brilliant  24/01/1838 

Wife 35; farm servant


MCLEAN Donald 28 Brilliant
Wife 30; mason

MCLEAN Donald 30
Wife 28; farm servant

MCLEAN Dugald 30
Unmarried; fam overseer

MCLEAN Ellen 20
Unmarried; country servant

MCLEAN Hugh 23
Unmarried; shepherd

MCLEAN Isabella 20
Unmarried; housemaid

MCLEAN James 16
Unmarried; farm servant

MCLEAN Janet 18
Unmarried; country servant

MCLEAN Janet 29
Unmarried; housemaid

MCLEAN John 32
Wife 28; farm servant

MCLEAN John 32
Wife 27; farm servant

MCLEAN Marion 68
Widow; farm housekeeper

MCLEAN Mary 27
Unmarried; housemaid

MCLEAN Roderick 35
Wife 35; farm servant

MCLEAN Roderick 30
Wife 22; farm servant

article2550732-3-001The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 27 January 1838

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 27 January 1838

brilliant article2550113-3-001The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tuesday 30 January 1838, page 3
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tuesday 30 January 1838, page 3




The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 3 February 1838, page 4




  1. Hi Lynne, your site was passed on to me by James O’Brien. I have been looking into my mums family, the McLeans from Lismore and have gone back as far as a young John McLean ..born in Argyleshire Scotland in 1835 but whose family moved to the Island of Mull. When he was nearly 3 he arrived with his parents and other family members on 20/1/1838 on the “Brilliant”. You can look on James’ site to see the whole bit but I dont seem to be able to find out who the young Johns parents were and if he had any other siblings besides a brother called Donald. The lists above mention married males and females etc but I cant read the side….does it mention the children as well?? It wouldnt surprise me to find out his father was called John too as he also produced a son by the same name and the first born were often called after their parents…its his mothers name and perhaps any brothers or sisters that i seem to be coming to a standstill with. Plus the fact that there are so many of the males in the family called John!! Anything you could suggest to shed any light? Happy to hear from you either on this or by email….thanks heaps…Kim

    1. HI Kim, The McLeans are new to me and I am just sorting it in my head. The common christian names do make it difficult. I don’t know James O’Brien’s site but am ver interested. I shall see what the side reading says. Bear with me and I shall see what I can find or recall. Yrs Lynne.

  2. Found a site that had a passenger list for the Brilliant. Have found two McLean was father Donald 30, Euphemia 28, Donald 3 and John 2 and also another John 32, Catherine 28, Marion 5, Donald 4 and John 2. Both of these would fit the bill of my ancestor John and his brother far have no reference to them having a sister. I think James gave me your site because of the reference to a Janet McLean above the newspaper article on the Brilliant. I started researching some of this this morning and am still going from site to site. Its quite fascinating. Thanks for your help…

  3. Just noticed also that under your article “Inverness Courier Index 1837” on the right hand side there is reference to some McLeans…unfortunately it cuts off the right hand side so the entire line cant be read. It looks as if the Donald and John I found on another list are mentioned there but it’s a bit hard to tell. Do you have a hard copy? Cheers…

  4. HI Kim, I don’t have a hard copy. If you are in NSW you can join the NSW State Library and access the Gale Force database of UK newspapers online. You can join online as well and its free.Wish I could be of more help but the names are difficult to prove or disprove for lineage. I looked at James’ site. Wish I had such an orderly mind. Its really good. yrs lynne.

    1. Hi again…No I live in Brisbane..mum and dad moved up from Lismore when I was little….I actually went onto one of the NSW Library sites and some of the information on people aboard the Brilliant was pretty scant. Out of 300 odd though at least 50 were McLeans!! I am going to try to find out more on probably Euphemia because it is one of the rarer names as opposed to Catherine, but one article I was reading said that proper registraion of births, deaths and marriages didnt really come to the fore until about 1855, and in a lot of cases females were just mentioned as wives etc. and not names! Found a list of the Duke of Argyll’s landdwellers and there were heaps of McLeans there as well… it’s really interesting once you get started on it isnt it? I remember going to a family reunion when I was little…Dads side are all Welsh. Am going to try to track down that side as well. Will let you know how I progress. Thanks.

      1. Hi Kim with thanks to Lynne,
        There is some anecdotal evidence that Donald and Euphemia(nee McLean)moved to Tower Hill in the Warrnambool area of Victoria after arriving per Brilliant from the Isle of Coll. A few of us have been looking hard at this family and are still befuddled by the similarity of names and first cousin marriages which really confuses the issue. We are also looking for a John McLean and his wife Mary (nee McLean also) plus children Neil and another Euphemia and whereas the children have generated some further history in Victoria the parents have disappeared on us. I am currently working on the assumption that Mary and Euphemia (Donalds wife) were sisters. Would love to hear how you are getting on Chris

  5. Hi Kim,
    Have a look at the detailed research on our McLEAN family on my website which will answer some of your questions.
    Note that Jessie / Janet / Jennet McLEAN (later MCNEIL) (of LYNNE BELL SANDERS) is a brother of your John McLEAN who died in Lismore.

  6. Hi Kim,

    Did you receive a copy of my post from Lynne Bell Sanders’ page which offers to answer your questions which you posted about our McLEAN family? If you have, please click on my name at the beginning of this post and it will take you to my website where your questions will be answered. My e-mail link is placed at the bottom of each of my website pages… I would love to hear from you and answer further questions.

    In the possibility that Kim is not in contact with this page, could anyone help with her e-mail address?

    Look forward to a contact,


    1. Hi Philip….I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and just check out all the sites for ages so have just seen your post until now….I finally came to the conclusion that I am descended from John McLean and Grace McInnes who emigrated aboard the Brilliant in 1837 with Mary 7, Jessy/Janet 3, Alexander 5 mnths, and John 5 ( born 1832). John later married Mary Gibson (daughter of Samuel Gibson)…their son Samuel (Sam – born 1870 and who ran McLeans Dept store in Lismore) married Charlotte Brown (of Brown and Jollys stores)…Sams son James (Jim) was my mother Ann’s father….making John McLean from Isle of Mull my great great great grandfather? my email address is

  7. Hi Kim,

    I am the daughter of Edward Welford Carroll who is the brother of Lily Mavis Carroll who married James Brown McLean of the General Store family in Lismore. I was also born in Lismore and remember the house of the McLeans in Ballina Road, Lismore. It have been interesting reading about all the McLeans from the sight. I believe that we may be cousins if your mother is the daughter of James and Lily McLean.

    Kind regards,

  8. Hi Pam…..Yes we are related….do you mean uncle Teddy? I remember Aunty Silvie, Uncle Bobby, Aunty Nancy….it was the five siblings wasn’t it?? We used to have our holidays at 119 Ballina Street…we would have all played together at family get togethers….I was really close to Louise and Suzie but have lost touch over the years….please email me…… I live in Brisbane but would love to hear from you……

  9. Thanks to Philip I now have one side of the family quite organised (i.e. John McLean) but I would love to get in touch with Pamela above as she is my only contact to now look at the Carroll side of mums family….apart from knowing there are Hamptons in the family I think we are English? if anyone could get some info to me at would be great …..

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