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Waterson, Elizabeth (c. 1766–1835)

Elizabeth Thomas (c.1766-1835) was found guilty on 11 January 1787 at the Preston Quarter Sessions, England, of the theft of a printed cotton gown. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Sydney aboard the Prince of Wales in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Elizabeth Thomas married William Connelly at Sydney Cove on 19 October 1788; their son William, who was baptised on 5 July 1789, lived for only three months.

Elizabeth and William were sent to Norfolk Island on the Sirius in March 1790. By March 1791 they were living on a one acre Sydney Town lot. William Connelly left Norfolk Island on the Sugar Cane in October 1793 for India. Elizabeth, who was pregnant, remained on the island. By 1794 she was living with the Third Fleeter, Thomas Hill. Hill returned alone to Port Jackson on the Reliance in February 1796.

By 1797 Elizabeth was living with James Waterson; they had four children.

Elizabeth (who was listed as owning 16 acres of granted land on Norfolk Island), James Waterson and five children left Norfolk Island for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Estramania in May 1808 and settled on 36 acres at Clarence Plains.

Elizabeth married James Waterson at Hobart on 13 April 1812. She died at Hollow Tree and was buried (as Elizabeth Warterson) on 28 June 1835 at Clarence Plains; her age was given as 68.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 354
  • HMH Sirius 1786-1790 — accessed 20 August 2020

Citation details

'Waterson, Elizabeth (c. 1766–1835)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 November 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Thomas, Elizabeth
  • Connelly, Elizabeth
  • Hill, Elizabeth

c. 1766
Chipping, Lancashire, England


27 June 1835
Rokeby, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Key Events