Dear Lynne
I also am descended from John Curtis and Ann Moran through their daughter Catherine and George Eccleston. I am their third great-grandson.
In two weeks, my wife and I will be visiting Ireland and I am hoping that I might be able to do a bit more research on the ground about Ann as she certainly seems to have been a remarkable woman.
I am trying to resolve a number of discrepancies between various items of information in my possession.
The best information seems to indicate that she was convicted in Trim in Co Meath in 1797 (coincidentally the year that John arrived in Sydney)in connection with political activities and that she was held in jail in Ireland for five years before being transported to Australia on the Hercules in November 1801, arriving here on 26 June 1802. One record in the State Library implies that the prisoners on the Hercules were convicted for offences in the “late rebellion” which can only mean the United Irishmen in 1798 from the context.
I should be grateful for any information you can provide that might assist with my research in Ireland.
While visiting my son and his family in London after Ireland, I intend to return to Bristol to undertake more research into John Curtis. I obtained a lot of information 18 months ago including records of the marriage of John Curtis and Jane Purrier and of the baptisms of all 11 of their children in St Philip and St Jacobs Church in Cheese Lane, Bristol. From these records, I managed to visit the three streets in which they lived at the times of the births of different children. For most of their married life they lived in Cheese Lane, near the Church. I suspect that as his accountancy practice failed and he got into financial difficulties, the family was forced to move to less salubrious accommodation.
I also managed to obtain copies of one press report of John’s conviction and death sentence at Gloucester Assizes for coining. The judge must have been feeling sympathy for John because another man convicted and sentenced to death at the same sittings was immediately taken for “execution of the sentence” but the judge commuted John’s sentence to transportation for life.
After returning to Australia in April 2008, I managed to locate descendants of John’s and Jane’s youngest child in New York.
Paul Fergus


  1. I am researching the Curtis family from Bristol and wonder if you could let me know if your John Curtis was Father to Cornelius Curtis B Bristol 1797 Cornelius was a Baker as were his eight sons one of which was my GG Grandfather.

  2. Julia asked whether John Curtis had a son, Cornelius, born in Bristol in 1797.
    Cornelius was not the son of the John Curtis, accountant and coiner, that I and others are interested in. John Curtis boarded the convict ship “Ganges” late in 1796 in England and arrived in Port Jackson on 2 June 1797.
    Paul Fergus

  3. I am also a 3rd-great-grandchild of John Curtis + 2nd-great-grandchild of George Eccleston! I came across this page doing a Google search on John Curtis. Would be interested in hearing more. Greg Eccleston (Sydney, Australia)

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