History of our Blyth Family

Our earliest known Blyth ancestors were father and son, James and Robert Blythe who were convicted for larceny and sent from their homes in Norwich, Norfolk, England to Van Diemens Land in 1842. James' wife Ann was left behind in England and as far as I know she never came to Tasmania.

Family history questionnaire

I am busy collecting family stories spanning the 1940's to the present and am hoping to get some help from family members. Here is a set of questions which I am using as a basis to gather information. If you would like to help me, please download this document and fill out what you can. Of course if you would like to add more, please do so!

~~~Historic video footage~~~

This minute of precious footage was given to me by Kay Heazlewood. It includes Grandad (Alf) and Grandma (Elsie) Blyth, Vin, Margaret, Ann, Kerrie and Michael, Auntie Phyll and Gail and Brum and Lynne Imlach - oh and I almost forgot Grandad's beloved "Cocky". How fantastic it is to have in our possession now, thanks to Kay.

Blyth video clip c1966 at Myrtle Bank 

Kerrie Blyth (1958-)

I was born in the middle of a heat wave that hit the Murray River area of Victoria in November 1958, to Vin and Margaret who were living with the rest of our tribe on a sheep station near Barham, NSW.
My work involves researching and advising about technology in education. With my partner Jim, I run a family history business called TasGenes.

Vincent Alfred Matthew Blyth (1914-1980)

My father was born in the back of a cart on the road from Myrtle Bank to Launceston on 7th Sept 1914 to Alfred Ernest Albert Blyth and Irene Elsie Towns. He married my mother, Margaret Ewart, at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Launceston on 15th Feb 1947. During his life Vin worked at many types of jobs from driving school buses and delivering mail, to installing milking machine plants along the East Coast of Australia. Around the time I was born he was a station hand for The McDonald Brothers at "Glencoe" NSW. Vin died in Launceston in March 1980 after fighting a two year battle with cancer. He had only just retired and had been looking forward to a little bit of fishing and relaxation after a lifetime of struggling to make ends meet.

Alfred Ernest Albert Blyth (1889-1984)

My grandfather was the eldest child and only boy in a family of 7 children born to Alf Blyth and Bridget Corkery. He spent most of his life in the bush in North Eastern Tasmania. He worked with the Public Works Dept untill his retirement when he and his wife Elsie moved to Launceston. Both Young Alf and his father who was also Alf, were famed for their accordion playing at dances and parties in the districts surrounding Myrtle Bank, Patersonia and Nunamara.

In 2016 we found a biscuit tin filled with hand written letters between Alf and his "dear old girl" Elsie during the years 1911-1938. They are now transcribed and stored here for you to download. The PDF file is 10mb and there are 190 pages. Blyth Family Letters 

Alfred Blyth (1868-1956)

My great-grandfather was, according to all who can remember him, a kind and popular little man who was greatly loved by his large family. He was the son of Robert Blythe and Louisa Kaufmann. His mother died when he was just four and he was brought up by his elder sister Lizzie. He was a keen sportsman and participated in chopping, running and shooting events. Alf was remembered for his immaculate sense of dress in the later years of his life when retired in Launceston. He wore a suit and tie and a gold fob watch hung from his waistcoat. Some of the older cousins in my generation remember him fondly as "Money Grandad".

Robert Blythe (1818-1898)

Born in Norwich, Norfolk, England c1818 to James and Ann Blythe, my great great-grandfather Robert was transported (together with his father James) to VDL in 1842 for theft. From the government records, newspaper reports and family stories, it seems he was an unsavoury character. He was convicted in Launceston of theft and sent to Norfolk Island during its infamous Second Settlement. It seems he spent most of his life in Tasmania working as a shepherd, roaming the Midlands, Highlands and North East Tasmania. He died in the General Hospital in Launceston and was buried in the Cypress St Cemetery, Launceston.

James Blythe (1787-1855+)

Another generation back is my ggg grandfather James who was 54 years old when convicted of larceny and transported to Van Diemens Land. The convict records show he was married to Ann and was the son of Timothy Blyth and a native of Norwich, Norfolk. The last record I have of James is when he received his Free Pardon in Longford, Tasmania in 1855. He would have been 68 years old so I very much doubt he would have had the means or the health to return to England.

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