family photo strip - John
John Coates' Family History Pages

The information and photos on this page are from many sources. We have done a lot of research ourselves, especially searching through old newpapers and records and visiting places of interest. The assistance of other Barley/Barlow descendants, including John Lindsey and Bev Bisaro, has been invaluable. Please contact me if you have additions, corrections or questions. I would particularly like to hear from you if you are related to our branch of the Barlow/Wilson family

Barley / Barlow

John Barley (1759-1841) was most likely the son of Mary Barley, father not stated, who was baptised on 23 Sep 1759 at Cratfield, Suffolk, England. He married Sarah née Meadows (1763-?) on 15 October 1783 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England. John was a farm labourer and he died on 06 May 1841 at Depwade Union Workhouse, Pulham Market, Norfolk, England, aged 82. Sarah was the daughter of John and Susannah Meadows, baptised on 23 Jan 1763 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England. John and Sarah Barley had seven children:

  • Letty Barlee
    She was baptised 25 March 1787 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England.

  • Mary Barley
    She was born 2 June 1789, baptised 6 September 1789 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England, and died 24 September 1789.

  • John Barley
    He was born 1 March 1791 and baptised 13 June 1791 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England.

  • Mary Barley
    She was born 3 October 1793 and baptised 8 June 1794 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England.

  • Samuel Barley
    He was born on 12 May 1797 and baptised on 3 Jun 1798. He married Mary Pinfold (born c.1785 at Harthill, Yorkshire, England) on 9 April 1823 at Saint Botolph Bishopsgate, London, England. In the 1841 census he was a bricklayer; in the 1851 census he was a builder employing 5 men. They had 5 children:
         Mary A Barley born c.1826 in Middlesex, England;
         Matilda Barley born c.1829 n Middlesex, Englan);
         James Barley born 1830 at Stoke Newington, Middlesex, England; married Elizabeth Caroline Crisp (1831-1876); they had 7 children;
         Caroline Barley born c.1833 at Newington, Middlesex, England;
         Amelia Barley born c1835 at West Hackney, Middlesex, England.

  • William Barley (1801-1873) my great-great-great grandfather, see below

  • Joseph Barley
    He was born on 14 March 1804 and baptised on 3 June 1804 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England. He married Mary Styles (c.1792-?) at 1833 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England. In the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census records he was a chimney sweep in Kelsale. He died in 1862 in Suffolk, England. Joseph and Mary had 2 children:
         William Barley born c.1834 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England; married Emily Jane Johncock (1849-1907) on 14 November 1875 at Walworth, England;
              died 1877 at St Saviour, London, England; they had 5 children;
         Elizabeth Barley born c.1836 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England; married Richard Fitch (1846-1922) on 8 January 1870 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England;
              died 1903 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England.


William Barley (aka William Barlow) my great-great-great grandfather

William Barley was born at Rendham, Suffolk, England on 4 January 1801 and was baptised on 8 February 1801 in Suffolk. On 9 April 1823 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England he married Mary Ann Manning. She was born on 4 January 1801 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England, the second of six children of Thomas Manning and Mary Underwood; she was baptised on 10 September 1802 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England.

At the Ipswich, Suffolk Sessions on 16 January 1829, William Barley was sentenced to 7 years transportation for stealing a coomb of wheat and a sack, the property of Mr John Gooda, of Kelsale. [The Bury and Norwich Post, January 28, 1829] The date of the offence and his arrest is not stated, but he was convicted 6 days after the birth of his third surviving child, Sarah Ann Barley.

He was transferred to the prison hulk Leviathan in Portsmouth. At the end of each quarter of each year, the overseer of each prison hulk was required to submit to the Home Office a return listing each convict under his charge, recording name, age, details of conviction and sentence, and observations as to "bodily state and behaviour". The hulk report for January-March 1829 for William Barley records his bodily state: Good  and his behaviour: Orderly. However, three months later the report for April-June 1829 records his bodily State: Phthisis Pulm. (pulmonary TB) and his behaviour: Good. No further record of this diagnosis has been found, so he either recovered or it was inaccurate.

On 29 August 1829 he was apparently considered well enough to sail on the convict ship Sarah out of London. The Master was Henry C Columbine and the Surgeon Alick Osborne. The journey took 100 days and they arrived in Sydney Cove, New South Wales on 7 December 1829.

In a convict muster, William Barley is described as five feet, five and a half inches tall with a ruddy and pock pitted complexion, dark brown hair and ight hazel eyes. His distinguishing features were a large diagonal scar under the left side of his mouth, the big toe on his left foot inclined inwards, and he had a blue scar on the third finger of his right hand. He is notes as not able to read or write and his skills were recorded as "ploughs, milks and reaps".

On arrival in NSW, William was assigned to Mrs Harriet Lethbridge King, the wife of Captain Phillip Parker King (who was the son of NSW Governor Phillip Gidley King), to work on their farm Dunheved in the South Creek District, New South Wales (the district was later named St Mary's after the church the Kings built there). Mrs King had been left to manage the farm and educate her five remaining sons while her husband as away for five years charting the coastline of South America.

On 26 July 1834, William Barley was granted a Ticket of Leave, the first step towards gaining his freedom. He appears to have continued to work for the Kings, but could now be paid. On 22 July 1834 he had applied to Governor Richard Bourke for his wife and 3 children to join him in NSW. This might suggest that he had remained in contact with his wife, was aware of her destitute state and her dependency on the Suffolk Parish poor funds, although it is not clear how he did this as he was illiterate. It was not uncommon for convicts to petition towards the end of their sentence for a their family to be brought to the colony at government expense, but not many were successful. It may be that William had been an exemplary assigned convict servant and that Mrs King supported his petition.


In 1836, William was convicted of stealing an ox, the property of Sir John Jamison, on the evidence of Edward Beacroft and Joseph Ettel.  He was recorded as William Barlowe (arrived on the Sarah in 1829) when he was admitted to gaol on 4 May 1836 to stand trial on 26 July. He was released on 2 September 1836. He is described as "free" on admission to gaol.

On 21 October 1836 William Barley  was given his Certificate of Freedom; he had served 7 years and 9 months.

No record has been found of how Mary Ann Barley and her children travelled to New South Wales, but they are likely to have been steerage passengers on a ship carrying convicts. They appear to have arrived early in 1837 (based on the statement on Mary Ann's 1890 death certificate that she had been "53 yrs in NSW"; also that her next child was born in New South Wales in December 1837). This makes the convict ship John the most likely ship they travelled on, as it is one of only two convict ships that had departed from England (not Ireland) and arrived in New South Wales in early 1837. The John is also more likely as there is a record of her having brought six unnamed women and five children as passengers; she had departed Dartmouth on 21 October 1836 (coincidentally the date of William Barley's Certificate of Freedom) and arrived in Port Jackson on 7 February 1837 after a voyage of 130 days, with more rain and moist weather than the surgeon had ever encountered before on any previous voyage. For further details of this voyage, see Convict Ship John 1837.

ARRIVALS FEBRUARY 7. — The ship John, Dixon, master, from Dartmouth the 21st of October, with 255 male prisoners. Surgeon-superintendent, Dr. Inches, R.N. Passengers — D. A. C. G. Goodsir, Mrs. and Master Goodsir, 6 women and 5 children. The Guard consists of Lieutenant Dickson, 17th Regt., and Lieutenant Chester, with 29 rank and file of the 80th Regt. [The Australian, 10 February 1837].

Mary Ann Barley arrived with four children, not the three that William had left behind and petitioned to be brought to New South Wales. Another child, Henry William Barlow, had been born in October 1831, more than two years after William Barley had been transported. Henry's father is unknown, but thought possibly to be a local man who provided Mary Ann with some employment or financial support. William Barley appears to have treated Henry as one of his own children. See An 1837 Family Reunion for a historic fiction short story of Mary Ann's arrival in New South Wales.

At about this time, William Barley changed his and his family's name to Barlow. Many former convicts made a change to the spelling of their surnames, usually to help them make a fresh start. 

William Barley/Barlow and Mary Ann née Manning had 9 children:

  • Jane Caroline Barlow
    She was born Jane Caroline Barley on 14 November 1823, baptised on 14 December 1823 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England, and died in 1823 in Suffolk, England.

  • Mary Ann Barlow
    She was born on 26 Jan 1825  baptised on 6 February 1825 (recorded in the Bishop's transcripts for the Archdeaconry of Norwich, Norfolk; Mary Ann dau of William Barlow and Mary Ann Manning - Suffolk was then under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Norwich); she married George Bolton (1814-1897) on 11 November 1841 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Windsor, New South Wales. She died on 31 October 1879 at Bathurst, NSW, Australia. Mary Ann and George had 10 children:
         George Henry Bolton (1842-1916); Henry Bolton (1845-1881); Mary Ann Bolton (1847-1938); Elizabeth Lily Bolton (1851-1882);
         Sarah Jane Bolton
    (1854-1919); Emma Caroline Catherine Bolton (1856-1943); Hannah Bolton (1858-1944); William Bolton (1860-1892);
         Blanche Dinah Bolton
    (1863-1945); Robert Bolton (1868-1954).

  • William Barlow Jnr.
    He was born William Barley on 17 December 1826 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England; and baptised on 14 January 1827 in Suffolk Country. He married Sarah A Frost (1828-1924) in 1851 at the Church of England, Penrith, New South Wales. He died in 1898 at Penrith, NSW, Australia. William and Sarah had 6 children:
         Sarah Ann Barlow (1853-1929) who married George Henry Knight in 1876 at Penrith; they had 5 children;
         Mary J Barlow (1855-1859);
         George William Barlow (1859-1929) who married Emily Cribbs (1862-1936) in 1885 at East Macquarie NSW; they had 4 children;
         Emily Australia Barlow (1862-1910) who married William Charles Fulton (1862-1931) in 1882 at Sydney; they had 5 children;
         Edwin Thomas Barlow
    (1865-1941) who married Margaret Florence Ingram (1870-1962) in 1888 at Dubbo; they had 11 children;
         Alice Maud Mary Barlow (1867-1974).

  • Sarah Ann Barlow
    She was born Sarah Ann Barley on 10 January 1829 (6 days before he father was convicted) and baptised on 1 March 1829 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England. She married Henry Moon (1822-1864) on 30 June 1846 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Windsor, New South Wales. She married John Harris Lindsay (1835-1889) on 10 May 1866 at Windsor, New South Wales. She died on 22 July 1883 at Windsor, NSW, Australia.
    Henry Moon and Sarah had 8 children:
         William F Moon (1847-1924); Mary Ann Moon (1849-1924); Susanna Moon (1851-?); John Moon (1853-1924); Henry Moon (1856-1941);
         Charles Moon
    (1858-1917); James Moon (1861-1862); James Thomas Moon (1863-1935).
    John Lindsay and Sarah had 2 children:
         John Lindsay (1867-1956); Albert Hugh Lindsay (1870-1943).

  • Henry William Barlow
    He was born Henry William Barley on 11 October 1831 and baptised on 17 June 1832 at Kelsale, Suffolk, England; father not stated. He married Harriett Eliza Dew (1852-1944) in 1876 at Murrurundi, New South Wales. He died in 1918 at Penrith, NSW, Australia. They had 9 children:
         John James Barlow (1873-?); he was Harriet's illegitimate child with John James Robertson (1851-1958) of Murrurindi;
         William Henry Barlow (1877-1956);
         George Frederick Barlow (1880-1937); he maried Mary Elizabeth Ritzrow; they had 4 children
         Gertrude Blanche Barlow (1883-1978); she married John F Sinclair; they had 2 children;
         Sidney Leonard Barlow (1885-1967); he married Caroline Foster;
         Murial F Barlow (1888-1890);
         Edith M Barlow (1891-1984); she married Thomas Joseph Cody; they had one child:
         Essie Lochardt Barlow (1893-1984); she married Harry J Baker; they had 3 children;
         Thelma M Barlow (1895-1896).

  • Elizabeth Barlow (1837-1924) my great-great-grandmother; see the Wilson page for more information
    She was born on 23 December 1837 at South Creek, New South Wales and was baptised on 21 January 1838 in the Parish of St Peter. She was the first of the Barlow children to be born in Australia. She married Edward Gribben Wilson (1814-1890) on 9 January 1857 at Penrith, New South Wales.  She died on 19 March 1924 at Orange, NSW, Australia. See below for more details.

  • John Barlow
    He was born on 7 January 1840 in New South Wales. He married Susan Niblett (c.1841-1913) in 1861 at Sydney, New South Wales. He died on 28 January 1914 at Penrith, NSW, Australia. They had 9 children:
         William H Barlow (1862-1930);
         Frederick Barlow (1864-1941);
         Rebecca E Barlow (1866-1935); she married David Hendren ((1860-1930); they had 5 children;
         Annie Barlow (1870-1975);
         Samuel Barlow (1872-1957?);
         John Walter Barlow (1874-1905);
         Grace Marian Barlow (1876-1903);
         Ernest Edwin Barlow (1880-1905);
         Joseph H Barlow (1882-1906).

  • Charles Barlow
    He was born on 25 May 1842 in New South Wales. He married Catherine Taylor in 1865 at Hartley, New South Wales. He died in 1911 in Annandale, NSW, Australia. He died in April 1911 at Annandale, NSW, Australia. They had 2 children:
         Elizabeth A Barlow (1876-1868);
         Mary A Barlow (1869-?).

  • James Barlow
    He was born on 17 May 1844 in New South Wales. He married Susannah Hewitt (1842-1931) at Parramatta, New South Wales.
    They had 7 children:
         Arthur W Barlow (1867-1937 NZ); married Catherine (Kate) Anderson (1864-1950) in 1900 at Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.
              They had 2 children:
              Stanley James Barlow (1901-1990 NZ); married Holly Muriel Williams (1901-1951); they had 5 children;
                   they have living descendants in New Zealand;
              Annie Susan Barlow (1904-?); married Edward Charles Harris;
         Alfred J Barlow (1869-1942 NZ); married Betha Rose Cowan (1883-1942); they had 4 children;
         Amy M Barlow (1872-?); married William B Caird in 1800 at Sydney, NSW, Australia;
         Alice Mary Barlow (1874-1877);
         Frank Hewitt Barlow (1877-1948); married Fanny Esther Neave (1880-1949); they had 3 daughters;
         Ada Mabel Barlow (1879-1913); married Isaac W Hayes in 1906 at Helensburgh, NSW, Australia; they had at least one child
         Unnamed Barlow (1880-1880).

In the 1841 Census for the Penrith and Castlereagh area, the Barlows are recorded as living in a house of wood, number of persons 8: 4 males, 4 female.

Dunheved NSW 1837 by Conrad Martens

William was employed by Captain Philip Parker King on Dunheved; he is recorded as a stockman on his daughter Elizabeth's birth certificate in 1838. He later purchased land in the Upper Castlereagh area from his employer over a 4 year period: 20½  acres in 1852, 11 acres 32 perches in 1853 and 21 acres 32 perches in 1855. He is recorded as a farmer on his daughter Elizabeth's marriage certificate in 1859 and on his death certificate. The Barlows were active members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Castlereagh.

William Barlow lived in the Upper Castlereagh area till his death on 14 May 1873 at Kingswood, NSW. He is buried in the cemetery of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Upper Castlereagh with his wife Mary Ann Barlow née Manning who died on 25 November 1890 at Penrith, NSW.

The inscription reads: "Sacred to the memory of William Barlow - Born Jan 4 1801 - Died May 14 1873. Also Mary Ann beloved wife of the above - Died Nov 25th 1890 aged 82 years. At rest."


William & Mary Ann Barlow's headstone,
Methodist Church, Upper Castlereigh

William Barlow Jnr (born 1826)
son on William and Mary Ann Barlow

Elizabeth Wilson née Barlow with son Wlliam Wilson c1861.