Bridget Barefoot

born 1825 Port Dalrymple, Tasmania (no record found). Bridget did not go to school, and throughout her childhood lived in very poor circumstances, saw her siblings removed and taken into care, then returned, several times. How confusing it must have been for a young chid, or perhaps we are just putting today’s values on events that happened many years ago in a world very different from our current one.

From the time she was born her mother had problems with drinking, being arrested at least 7 times before Bridget turned 5. Her father was sacked from his constable’s position, had a lover in to stay, her mother was arrested for assaulting a neighbour, and from the accounts of the magistrate, John tried to sell the girls into prostitution. In 1830, her mother left the family. Left Michael, who would have been 11, Ann, 9, Ellen, 7, Bridget, 5, William 3 and George, a year old. Who cared for the children at The Springs?


On 27 July 1838, Samuel Hockey sought and was granted permission to marry Ellen Barefoot. This did not take place.

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Then on 6 Dec 1840 permission was obtained to marry Bridget Barefoot.

So at just 15, it seems that Bridget was married to Samuel Hockey (1840). No record has been found of this marriage.

Sam Hockey was a convict, born in 1811, so almost twice her age at this point in time, transported to Van Diemen’s Land on Sir Charles Forbes, arriving Hobart 26 July 1830. Sam’s story can be found here.

In 1840, we believe a child, Isabella, was born, although she does not appear to have been registered. On 17 December 1842 another daughter was born to Samuel and Bridget. They were living at Black Forest, which is just south of Evandale, in Tasmania. This baby was registered as Ann Hockey.

Next time the Hockey family pops up is in shipping records for 1847, where Sam, with wife and ONE child, are on the Will Watch, bound for Portland Bay. On the same boat is James Hockey, wife and 3 children.

So… only one child for Sam and Bridget, which must be Isabella. What happened to Ann? Did she die as a baby or as a child?

Now another little bit of family history that I have heard from Laurel Merritt is that Sam and Bridget came overland from SYDNEY, and buried a child at the foot of the Blue Mountains. So it is unknown as yet whether Sam and Bridget went on from Portland to Sydney and then back to Melbourne at some stage, losing another child on the way.

Launceston Examiner Dec 22 1847

Some time in the next few years, Sam and Bridget parted company. Of course there are no divorce papers!

However Bridget Hockey then “married” James Clover in about 1850- 51, supposedly at Kilmore Presbyterian Church (no records found). James Clover was born 23 Aug 1818 Writtle, Essex, England as James Gladwin, son of John Gladwin and Lucy Bright.
Bridget Clover died of consumption 9 Dec 1880 aged 52 years at Mooroopna, Victoria [Vic 10879]. James Clover died 21 Jun 1881 Mooroopna, buried 21 Jun 1881 Mooroopna Cemetery.

m James Gladwin Clover 1850

DNA Proven descendants: Sue Thomson 🙂