John Peisley (aka Piesley) bushranger; can I establish that his father was 'my' Thomas Peasland?

+5 votes

Am about to extend my tree on here and want to try find some evidence that John is really the son of Thomas Peasland  and that Thomas  Peasland is really 'my' Thomas

Thomas Peasland bap 1799 Alderton Northants England s of William and Elizabeth

Damaris Peasland bap 1797 Alderton Northants England d of William and Elizabeth (my ggg grandmother so the link to my tree)

 A Thomas Peasland  was convicted for Horse theft on 19 July 1819 at Northampton Assizes and transported to NSW Australia 1820 on the Agammenon.

 He is variously recorded as Peasland, Peasley, Peisley (in NSW the indexes link back to the transportation event )

There is apparently a certificate of freedom that records  that this Thomas Peasland  came from Allerton Northamptonshire. (there are 3 certificates in the NSW index, dated July 1826, Dec 1826 and July 1828,I don't know which one has this information on it)

These certificates  are on Ancestry Australia but I don't have access (am reluctant to pay out for World membership for one person)

 Though not quite 'correct' I think that a birthplace so similar  establishes that it is the same Thomas .


Thomas Peasland  married Elizabeth Clayton in 1830 (indexed in the NSW BMD index)

He was again convicted of theft in 1845  and sentenced at Bathurst (NSW convicts index)

  Thomas and Elizabeth  apparently had several children, a few of these are recorded in the NSW BMD  index but  there is no John Peisley (or any variation)

John Peisley  was born in abt 1834 and was hung for murder in 1862 (lots of detail available about his life and crimes)

I have found a 1936 newspaper article saying that John Peisley's father had the initials TP (apparently the forged brand on the cattle he was accused of stealing )

 Many ancestry  trees say that he is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth but I can't find any proof (they mainly reference each other  )

I am wondering if there is some evidence of his parentage in  the various gaol records. Some of these are also on Ancestry Aus.

I also found a reference on   to what they describe as a family from Bathurst ; Thomas and Elizabeth Peizley withseveral children including John b 1834.

They cite : BFHG2007 Bathurst Pioneers (I gather that this is an out of print book)


So after all this

Have I established that the convict Thomas Peasland is  the same person asmy GGG uncle ?

Is anyone able to cit some evidence that  Thomas Peasland  is in turn the father of John Peisley Bushranger?


in Genealogy Help by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
edited by Helen Ford

1 Answer

+2 votes

Hello Helen John Peisley was a gang member of the Frank Gardiner - Ben Hall Gang he was hung I haven't seen any records for him but I will have a look and see what I can find–Ben_Hall_gang


by Terry Wright G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
edited by Terry Wright
Thank you, Since I wrote that. I've done a bit more research. I've found heaps in the newspapers including accounts of Thomas and Johns trials in Australia.

I've also had some help from Veronica Williams another member on here.

I did find a detailed account of Thomas's life on a Roots web tree ( Thomas Peasland on O'Brian's family history; sorry I haven't found out how to link in this reply. He has obviously had some access to original sources since he quotes a petition from Elizabeth Peasley (Thomas's wife) to the Governor of NSW. It follow's Thomas's conviction in Australia for cattle stealing and dated 11 April 1848. In it she lists the names and ages of her children, John is on it, aged 13.

I'm finding this bit of my family history fascinating. (like most people I imagine, my ancestors tended to leave very little documentary evidence beyond baptisms, burials and censuses) I knew next to nothing about this period in Australia's history and really  wish I could visit the archives in Sydney myself. Unfortunately,  it's a bit too far.
I am glad Veronica is helping you, are you Australian ?. It is a interesting time in our history ,I also have a lot of convicts and one Bushranger ,Captain Thunderbolt so I find anything about convict and bushrangers really interesting good luck and I hope you find out the info you want Terry
John Peisley shot my great great grandafther in the neck (he survived fortunately) and murdered his brother William Benyon at Carcoar in 1862. Plenty about it in the papers at the time on the NLA website.


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