Who do you think you are?

Last night on SBS was a TV show about AFL announcer Dennis Cometti. He and I share a great great great grand-mother – the convict Hannah Stanley. She is our direct line maternal grandmother. So all of my relatives, descended from Lorna Marks, are also cousins of Dennis.

We went down to Sutton Forest for a family reunion last year, as reorganised by SBS TV. Hannah is buried in the cemetery there. It was quite an interesting affair and I got to meet many people who I had previously only encountered online, while doing the family tree. I took lots of photos. A flash was not allowed as it mucks up the light sensors on the video equipment. Also I signed a non-disclosure agreement and promised not to tell people or publish my photos until after the show had aired. I have now put the photos on flickr.

Finally a plug for the people at SBS. I was very impressed by their organisation skills and professionalism for the small part of the shows production that I was involved with. I was a bit concerned when I saw the TV shows that were produced in England with their general approach to the topics, but I think that the Australian version is a significant improvement on the originals and look forward to seeing the rest of the shows.


  1. Just finished off one side of my family history, back to Hannah Stanley through my mother’s side and Hannah Clarke Jnr., only to find that my father’s line also goes back to Hannah Stanley and Daniel Clarke through Elizabeth Clarke. Unbelievablely, Hannah Stanley Snr, is my G G G G Grandmother on both sides! I think that I am my own fifth or sixth cousin.
    My mother was invited but didn’t attended the “Family Gathering” but it was certainly a great show.
    I can’t help but think that Hannah Stanley is responsible for half the population of NSW!

  2. Ian, thanks for the comment. People being related to themselves is quite common given that there were only a few family’s and that they had so very many children. There are more than a few stories of children finding the family tree on the internet and announcing to their parents that they are distant cousins! 🙂

  3. Hi Ian
    Saw your comments online. My husband Jim Adams is descendent from Elizabeth Clarke also. We also were at the reunion but found only one other couple from our line. So you were there and we didn’t meet. Fancy that you descend back down both sides?! Please let me know how you come down the Elizabethe line. She was married to Henry Adams.
    Regards Caron Adams
    in Toowoomba by the way

  4. Caron,
    This is my line:
    George Henry Adams + Elizabeth Clarke
    Themio Laundess + Louisa Maria Adams
    George Walter Marjoram + Seymour Louisa Laundess
    ? + Annie Marjoram
    Percy Marks + Lorna (Dorothy Marjoram)

  5. Dear Caron / Brian,
    My Dad’s side is:
    Hannah Stanley + Daniel Clarke – Elizabeth Clarke
    George Henry Adams + Elizabeth Clarke – George Adams Jnr
    George Adams Jnr + Mary Clarke – Elizabeth Adams
    Elizabeth Adams + Robert Hill – Dorothy Hill
    Dorothy Hill + Thomas Gordon – Kenneth Gordon
    Kenneth Gordon + Joan Hinchley – ME!
    I think we have been in touch before, but I’d love to hear from you. My email is gordoni@wideband.net.au

  6. Hi there, I stumbled upon this site, which is fascinating. I too am a descendant of Hannah Stanley and Daniel Clarke on my fathers side.
    My tree:
    Daniel Clarke + Hannah Stanley
    Henry Clarke + Mary Murphy
    Francis Clarke + Lillian Maud Pitt
    Frank Henry Clarke + Myrtle Hanby
    Frank Clarke + Esma Simpson
    Me (Scott Antony Frank Clarke)
    Would love to hear from any Clarkes or descendants of Daniel and Hannah

  7. Dear Brian,
    Sorry to be using this page as a Chatline, but would really like you, Scott and Caron to have a look at my new “Hannah Stanley – Convict” Facebook page. It might work if a lot know it’s there!

  8. Dear Brian
    My apologies also for using your page to communicate. Ian, would love to look at the page, how do I access it? I have searched Hannah Stanley on Facebook, with no luck.

  9. Scott,
    Simply type in “Hannah Stanley – Convict” in the search box next to Log Out. If that fails, look me up. I’m the Ian Gordon proudly walking his daughter to the alter on her wedding day.

  10. above, 3rd post, CARON ADAMS! I have been looking for Jim & Caron Adams. Jim and I were friends and lost touch. We have spoken on the phone and I wrote and received a letter from Caron. I live in Canada and met Jim in Europe and then again when I was in Australia. If this is you, please contact me at raebtty@yahoo.ca.

  11. Can we get one thing straight. There was no George Henry Adams. There were two brothers George & Henry Adams, sons of John Adams & Sarah Ly(i?)dimore of Suffolk. I am descended from George Adams and most of these people seem to be descended from his brother Henry Adams. This mistake appears on several websites. I have thoroughly researched George Adams and have recently completed a book on his life which includes some details on Henry.The book is about to go to print and will be availably via my email address. I would be pleased to exchange information and photos with any one who is interested.

  12. On my Fathers side:
    Hannah Stanley + Daniel Clarke = Mary Anne Clarke
    Benjamin Matthews + Mary Anne Clarke = Daniel Matthews
    Daniel Matthews + Mary Buckman = Mary Jane Matthews
    Mary Jane Matthews + Joseph Fleming = Arthur Thomas Fleming
    Arthur Thomas Fleming + Flora Guihot = Thomas Fleming
    Thomas Fleming & Patricia Kelleher = (Me) Kim Fleming
    Any pictures of Hannah Clarke nee Stanley anybody??
    Kind Regards,
    Kim Fleming
    Glenorie NSW

  13. Hi Brian,
    I recently had communication with you by e-mail in regards to my family. I too have just stumbled across this web site on Hannah Stanley. My connection is
    Hannah Stanley + Daniel Clarke = Elizabeth Clarke
    Elizabeth Clarke + Henry Adams = Matilda Henrietta J Adams
    Matilda H J Adams + Albert Joseph Cheney = Minnie Verhena Cheney
    Minnie V Cheney + William Keen.

  14. Belinda,
    Check out the “Hannah Stanley – Convict” Facebook page and join the others who share your ancestory.

  15. Got a real surprise when Who do You think You Are turned up in Sutton Forest. Was totally elated when Dennis Cometti found he was was related to Hannah Stanley and Daniel Clarke. She is also my GG Grandmother. My line is as follows:
    Hannah Stanley (Convict)+ Daniel Clarke = Elizabeth Clarke
    Elizabeth Clarke + Henry Adams (Convict)= Henry Daniel Adams
    Henry Daniel Adams + Eliza Bradley = James William Adams
    James William Adams + Annie May Ferguson = Mervyn William Adams
    Mervyn William Adams + Ariel Dorothy Adams (yes mum was also an Adams)
    If you are related, you are welcome to join our new Facebook group, “Henry and George Ädams – The Convict Brothers.” There is already a great deal of family history available on the site if you are interested. You may like to join and contribute.

  16. I am descended from Hannah (4×G) via Charlotte following Hanna’s affair with John Dixon on the outwards voyage. I was the only rep at Sutton Forest of Charlotte, but very proud to be so, and so pleased to See Hanna’s headstone.

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