The Johnson side of the family is linked to William Boggis, a convict who arrived on the First Fleet on board the Scarborough. He was born in London on 09 Jun 1766. A descendant of his, Gillian Doyle, has written about him and his family - see the her entry in the Fellowship of First Fleeters, and the book Where Honour Guides the Prow she co-wrote with Elisabeth Curtis.

This is a brief summary of what Gillian wrote; there is more detail in the link above.

William Boggis was arrested in 1782 for stealing bed sheet and was flogged; arrested in 1784 for a felony and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to transportation to America. That practice ceased when America refused to accept any more convicts. Boggis remained incarcerated until departing for NSW, aged 21. In the ensuing early years of the Sydney colony he reoffended on a number of occasions before being transported in 1790 to Norfolk Island.

Elizabeth Smith, born in about 1749, was a convict sentenced to 7 years transportation for theft. She arrived in NSW in June 1790 on board the Lady Juliana but in October was sent to Norfolk Island. By 1791 William Boggis had completed his 7 year term and was granted 10 acres; Elizabeth was assigned to him as a housekeeper. Their daughter, Elizabeth Boggis, was born on 03 Feb 1792. She attended a school for orphaned girls in Norfolk Island and later in Sydney. Elizabeth Smith died on 21 Aug 1820, aged 71.

Elizabeth Boggis married Charles Tompson on 08 Jun 1806 when Elizabeth was just 14. In these early days of the colony that was the legal age that a person could be married.

Charles Tompson was born in 1784 in Warrickshire, England, his parents being Charles Tompson (b. 1748) and Martha Louisa Webster (b. 1755). Charles was a convict transported on the Coromandel which arrived in Sydney in 1804. He was an educated man whose crime was to steal two books. For four years was employed in the office of Commissary John Palmer; later he kept a shop at the corner of Pitt and Hunter Streets and about 1819 bought a 700-acre (283 ha) farm, Clydesdale, near Windsor. [Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography.] Leading up to their marriage he had also been involved in the education of the girls in the orphanage that Elizabeth was in.

clydesdale Clydesdale in 1995, © Blacktown City Council; click here for a full history

The following images are reproduced from Where Honour Guides the Prow courtesy of Gillian Doyle.

Elizabeth Tompson nee Boggis Charles Tompson Charles Tompson
Elizabeth Boggis in 1806, sketched by Charles Charles Tompson, a self portrait Charles Tompson at about 50

Elizabeth and Charles had seven children:

01. Charles (b. 1807, d. 1883)

02. Martha Louise (b. 1810, d. 1826)

03. Frederick (b. 1812, d. 1812)

04. Frederick Anslow (b. 12 Dec 1814, d. 1884)

05. Eliza Harris (b. 21 May 1817, d. 1879)

06. Edwin Harvey (b. 1818, d. 1893)

07. Alfred Fulton (b. 1820, d. 1889)

Elizabeth died in 1822 aged just 30.

The Sun Herald published the following account, written by Bob Murray, based on these three generations on Sun Jan 17 1988:

MYSTERY MAN WHO LIVED WITH THE WHIP

THE tale of William Boggis is an unlikely success story, if ever there was one.

He never seemed to be able to steer clear of trouble and received:

* Seven years' jail at Kingston, Surrey, for felony in 1783.

* Fifty lashes in August 1788 for gambling with cards contrary to regulations.

* One hundred lashes the following month for an assault on a lass returning from swimming - an assault that might have been rape except that he was caught in the act.

* Two hundred lashes in 1789 for entering a hut and stealing a shirt.

Boggis is one of the many First Fleeters who soon afterwards disappeared from the records and may have died or left the colony. Before that, he married former shoplifter and mantua (gown) maker Elizabeth Smith.

Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born at Norfolk Island orphanage in 1792 - and that was just about the bottom of the world social heap then.

On the face of it, Elizabeth didn't have much of a life. She married an ex-convict named Charles Tompson when she was 14, bore him five sons and two daughters and died at 30.

But Tompson was a "goer". He had been educated to white-collar level, was transported from Warwickshire for stealing a book and got a clerk's job in the commisariat (government store) when he arrived in Sydney in 1803.

He made his way through owning stores and pubs in Sydney to a landed estate near Richmond when he re-married after Elizabeth's death.

He was poised there, ready for the pastoral boom, and by the early 1840s was a wealthy squatter with extensive "runs" along the Murrumbidgee.

Tompson lost heavily in the economic crash of 1843 but remained comfortably middle class.

Charles Tompson Jr, eldest son of Charles and Elizabeth, received a classical education at the Castlereagh Academy, near Penrith, joined the public service and became Clerk of the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1860. [See also his Wikipedia entry.]

He was the first Australian-born poet, with his Wild Notes From The Lyre Of A Native Minstrel published in 1826, before he was 20.

PROLIFIC

The literary historian H.M. Green commented that Tompson's youthful poems were "so polished and urbane that their appearance in such a place and time is something of a marvel".

Charles Jr continued to be a prolific writer but most of his subsequent work has not been published other than in contemporary magazines and papers.

Another of old William Boggis' seven Tompson grandchildren, Frederick, followed his father's sheep down the Murrumbidgee and stayed there to become "father of Wagga", businessman, grazier and first town clerk.

Some of Charles Tompson Jn's poetry can be read on line - for example, 15 of them are available on the Australian Poetry Library. The entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography contains one stanza from a poem he wrote celebrating the thirty-sixth anniversary of the foundation of the colony:

Peace lifts her olive sceptre high,
Brown Industry assumes the plough,
Commerce expands her canvas wings,
Wealth points where honour guides the prow;
These, happy Australasia, these
Proclaim thee “Queen of Southern Seas”!

Following Elizabeth's death Charles Tompson Sn married Jane Morris (1794-1871), a woman who had had three children with Charles Armytage (Charles Alexander, 1817-1871; Jane Ann, 1818-1892; George James, 1819-1871). A further eight children were born:

08. Emma Hannah (b. 1823, d. 1860)

09. Ferdinand Macquarie (b. 1825, d. 1908)

10. Elizabeth Henrietta (b. 1827, d. 1895)

11. Hannah Louisa (b. 1829, d. 1903)

12. Martha (b. 1831, d. 1915)

13. Theodore Lachlan (b. 1833, d. 1910)

14. Selina Maria (b. 1835, d. 1918)

15. Rebecca Harriet Septima (b. 1838, d. 1915) married Frederick Robert Bode, died in Harden, NSW

The marriages of these Tompson children (apart from Rebecca's) can be viewed on their Australian Royalty webpage.

In a discussion of the accuracy of the 1828 census returns Charles Tompson is used as an illustration. His holdings read as follows:

One of the major items of information not transcribed to the Lists was the property name and its location. In almost all cases where a householder held land and even just livestock on another person’s land, the property was named. It was also recorded who owned that land and in many instances, particularly in the Bathurst District, it described where the property was e.g. “125 miles north of Bathurst”.

Even more importantly, a Return records which people were where in the so-called household. An example is T0936 Charles Tompson whose PRO [Public Records Office] Listing indicated he had 2565 acres, 365 cattle, 1043 sheep & 18 horses, all at Bathurst the Less (near the Nepean River). However the Return tells the true story, 700 acres at Clydesdale Farm, South Creek, 70 acres at Upton’s Farm, 35 acres at Palfreys Farm, 60 at Loder’s Farm, along with 300 cattle, 795 sheep and 14 horses, 600 acres at Alfred’s Retreat, East Bargo, Co. Camden, 800 acres at Drummond’s Farm, Van Diemens Land and 100 acres at Leyland Park, Battery Point held as trustee for Charles Armitage a child of 12 years, and 200 acres, 65 cattle, 250 sheep and 4 horses at Goulburn Plains, Co. Argyle held by Charles Tompson Junior by grant. In addition, seven named men are not at Bathurst the Less at all, they are on a property named Binbingine at Argyle. In other examples, servants are divided between as many as five different properties, some great distances apart.

Charles Tompson's fortunes declined and in 1849, after discovering that a close friend had been defrauding him for some years, he became insolvent. He lost Clydesdale in 1850 and he was forced to take work as a clerk. He purchased a semi-detached house in 1864 at 18 Church St (now Arthur St) Surry Hills, which he named Clydesville. He died at home on 10 Jan 1871. His wife Jane died on 29 Oct 1871.

The Johnson family

Eliza Harris Tompson married William Jonathan Johnson on 21 Jul 1838 at Richmond, NSW. William arrived in Australia from England with his brother James a couple of years after his parents, Richard Johnson (b. 31 Jul 1770 in London, d. 28 Feb 1844 in West Maitland) and Elizabeth Phillips (b. 1780, d. 1861 in Sydney). A descendant, Ruth Fielding, wrote in her book A Johnson Family History:

Richard and Elizabeth arrived in Australia on 15th August 1833 aboard the ship Layton. The family did not all come at that time. Richard was a chronometer, watch and clock maker. They lived at a house called “The Grange” in Newtown. On the 18th August 1835 he was made Superintendent of Government Clocks.

The depression of the early 1840’s severely restricted Government expenditure and Richard Johnson was apparently superannuated at this time and went to live at Maitland. The Maitland Mercury, 2nd March 1844, records the death “at his residence, West Maitland on 28th February 1844 aged 69 of Mr Richard Johnson, Watchmaker much and deservedly regretted”.  Elizabeth, his wife died in 1861 in Sydney.

They had thirteen children:

01. Anna Maria (b. 10 Nov 1801, d. 10 Feb 1802)

02. Edward (b. 1803, d. 1893)

03. James (b. 1803, d. 13 Apr 1860)

04. Isabella (b. 1804, d. 1838) drowned at sea in a shipwreck between Sydney and Newcastle

05. Elizabeth (b. 1804, d. 1861)

06. Richard (b. 1807, d. 1814)

07. William Jonathan (b. 09 May 1811, d. 03 Oct 1866)

08. Robert Ebenezer (b. 27 Dec 1812, d. 06 Nov 1866)

09. Phillip (b. 13 Sep 1814, d. 26 Jul 1869)

10. Mary Anne Cole (b. 1816, d. 1884) her death notice has her as Mary Ann Cole

11. Richard (b. 1819, d. 1878)

12. Hannah (b. 1820, d. 1880)

13. Anna Maria (b. 1822, d. 30 Dec 1887) her marriage record has her as Anne, her death record as Anna

Using NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages records we can outline the families of these children and their descendants. If anyone can provide any assistance we would be pleased to hear from them (email mick@oneillfamily.id.au).

03. James Johnson and 07. William Jonathan Johnson were both church musicians. The australharmony page on the University of Sydney website has a number of references relating to their musical life. The following information is quoted from that site:

03. James Johnson

... James appears to have worked mainly as a musician, as organist of St. James, member of the Cecilian Society, founder of the Sydney Choral Society, and later involved with the Sydney Vocal Harmonic Society. Barnett Levey mentioned a Johnson as being among his theatre musicians in March 1837.

MESSRS J. AND W. J. JOHNSON. Organists of St. James's Church, BEG to remind the Inhabitants of Sydney that they give Lessons on the Practice and Theory of Music, the Organ, Piano forte, Flute, Singing, &c ...

Sydney Choral Society. On Wednesday evening last, visitors were again admitted to the practice of this Society, being the second time within the last two months. The programme consisted chiefly of the compositions of the great masters, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, and Mozart. There was also a judicious selection from the cathedral services of Smith, of Dublin, which, consisting of alternate verse, and chorus, formed a pleasing contrast with the more ponderous choruses of the Messiah. The whole was executed in a manner that would have done credit to musicians much more experienced than the members of the Sydney Choral Society. The organ accompaniments were by Mr. James Johnson, the indefatigable conductor...

St. James's Church is a building of considerable dimensions, the foundation of which was laid on the 7th October, 1819 […] There is a well toned and powerful organ, and an excellent choir under the direction of Mr. James Johnson, to whom the Colony is indebted for the first introduction of this branch of music. The Choral Society, mentioned above, owes its origin to the meetings originally held for practice for the service of this Church.

Obituary: We are sure that our readers will learn with deep regret, that this universally esteemed gentleman died yesterday afternoon, at his residence in Pitt-street. On Wednesday, the 4th instant, he was riding a vicious buck jumping horse, which was let out for hire at Manly Beach, when he was thrown violently over the head of the animal, and fell upon his elbow. Being a stout, heavy man, he suffered a compound fracture of the arm, which, from the first, assumed a serious aspect. Inflammation rapidly set in, rendering it impossible to set the fractured limb; ultimately the wounds suppurated, and the virus becoming absorbed into his system, caused his deeply lamented death. It is superfluous to say that Mr. Johnson had the best medical aid that the colony could afford [Charles Nathan], and that the sympathy and condolence of an unusually large circle of attached friends alleviated his last illness. He had filled the situation of organist at St. James's Church for twenty-four years, and conducted the important part of public worship which fell to his charge, with most becoming reverence, great musical ability, and undeviating punctuality. By the congregation at St. James' he will, we are sure, be much regretted. He also held the office of assistant secretary at the Benevolent Asylum for many years, a position where his business habits, his long experience, and unflinching rectitude, were of great public service. The musical circles of Sydney have lost a warm supporter in Mr. Johnson, who was the founder of the Sydney Choral Society, and lost no opportunity of promoting the art of which he was an enthusiastic admirer, and a sound and skilful professor. Indeed, it may be said that he had the high honour of being the father of choral singing in Australia.  

The late Mr. James Johnson, for many years organist of St. James's church, composed a hymn for Christmas Day, "High let us swell our tuneful notes", which, however, he never published; and the approach of this "joyous time" has been taken advantage of by Messrs. W. J. Johnson and Co. to give it publicity. The hymn is arranged for four voices, with an organ or pianoforte accompaniment. The subject is set in A sharp with a symphony in C natural. The composition is in the style of the old church music, full, extremely harmonious, and well adapted for all places of worship where the congregations join in the singing. Mr. Johnson was devoted to that part of his profession pertaining to choral music, and the respect in which his memory is held will, no doubt, induce many to possess themselves of this unpretending but meritorious "Hymn for Christmas Day".

It appears that James did not marry.

07. William Jonathan Johnson - see separate webpage

05. Elizabeth Johnson married Josiah Parker on 25 July 1834 at St James' Church, Sydney (V18341299 18). She died in Bathurst in 1860 (2958/1860). There are eight children registered that match this couple:

01. Elizabeth J (b. 1834, d. ?)

02. Isabella (b. 1835, d. ?)

03. Joseph (b. 1837, d. 1922)

04. Elizabeth J (b. 1839, d. ?)

05. Josiah (b. 1841, d. 1914)

06. Mary A (b. 1843, d. ?)

07. Charlotte E (b. 1848, d. 1901)

08. Fanny N (b. 1856, d. ?)

It's probable that the first of their children died and another daughter was given the same name; we haven't found a death record however. There is a death record for a Richard Johnson Parker (20271/1938) whose parents were Josiah and Elizabeth Parker, but we to date haven't located a birth record.

08. Robert Ebenezer Johnson married Elizabeth Byrne on 30 Oct 1834. They had five children:

01. James William (b. 30 Oct 1836, d. 1910)

02. Ellen Elizabeth (b. 18 Sep 1838, d. 1927)

03. Charles Leicester (b. 04 May 1841, d. 1883) did not marry

04. Elizabeth Maria (b. 27 Jul 1845, d. 1927)

05. Robert Byrne (b. 11 May 1849, d. ?).

Robert Ebenezer Johnson became a lawyer and Member of the Legislative Council. He died of a heart attack. Newspapers carried various obituaries, of which two can be viewed here.

09. Phillip Johnson lived in Victoria but when he moved there we are not sure. There was a Phillip Johnson who arrived in Melbourne from London in 1852 and was listed among the passengers who published a letter of appreciation to the captain (The Argus, 11 October 1852). We believe that he became an attorney (The Argus, 08 July 1859). He was chairman of the Richmond Cricket Club (Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle, 28 September 1867), chairman of the Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company (The Age, 01 November 1859) and was active in the Richmond Municipal Council for nearly 10 years, serving as Mayor in the 1860s (The Age, 20 November 1863). Probate was granted in 1869. An earlier report indicated some sickness at home, but we have not found any marriage at this stage.

10. Mary Anne Cole Johnson we know nothing about; other family websites state that she was the owner of a boys' school, but no records have been found to date. The announcement of her death suggests she never married; from The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 25 February 1884:

JOHNSON.—February 22, at Hilton, Homebush, the residence of her sister, Mrs. Way, Mary Ann Cole Johnson, in her 68th year

13. Anna Maria Johnson married Richard Henry Way (b. c1817 , d. 31 Jul 1883) in 1842. They had ten children:

01. Richard C L (b. 1843, d. 1925)

02. Senester J W (b. 1845, d. ?)

03. Harmsworth Robert (b. 1846, d. 16 Dec 1909)

04. Francis Freeman (b. 1849, d. 1926)

05. Sydney H (b. 1851, d. ?)

06. Isabell H V (b. 1854, d. ?)

07. Florence E M (b. 1856, d. 1857)

08. Melbourne H P (b. 1858, d. 1903)

09. Constance M H (b. 1864, d. 1875)

10. Mary E (b. 1866, d. ?)

Richard Henry Way became a solicitor (The Australian, Tuesday 20 February 1844) working in Bulli and Bombala. The Manaro Mercury, and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser reported on Wednesday 8 January 1879 that he'd fallen into financial difficulties (the cause of the sequestration is elsewhere stated as falling off of business as a solicitor and pressure of judgment creditors):

Insolvency.
That's the Way. - Richard Henry Way, solicitor, of Bulli, is insolvent.
Liabilities, £1001 2s. l0d.; assets, £200 18s. 9d.

Francis Freeman Way married Florence Amy Saper on 28 Nov 1874 at Christ Church, Sydney.

Harmsworth Robert Way, who lived at Kennalvale, Mowbray-road, Chatswood, became a solicitor (The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 17 December 1909).

The website familytreecircles has some information of the next family. The facts quoted below are from that site.

11. Richard Johnson also became an solicitor, practising at Mudgee and Wellington: he appeared in a list of new attorneys reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday 10 November 1845. He married Jane Frances Morris on 27 Mar 1847 at Newtown. They had seven children:

01. Emily F (b. 1848, d. 1852)

02. Alice Elizabeth Sarah (b. 1849, d. 1903 in Mosman)

03. Herbert Richard (b. 1851, d. 21 Dec 1911 in Manly)

04. Mary Emilie (b. 1853, d. 1925 in New Plymouth, New Zealand)

05. Reginald J R (b. 1854, d. 1855)

06. Leslie C B (b. 1857, d. 1926)

07. Lucy Frances (b. 1859, d. 1935 in Chatswood)

02. Alice Elizabeth Sarah Johnson married John Vials Bayly on 19 Jul 1871 in the Holy Trinity Church, Sydney. John was born in 1838 in England, died in 1920 in Mosman and was a painter who exhibited his paintings with the Art Society of New South Wales during the 1880s.

03. Herbert Richard Johnson married Eliza Jane St Clair on 02 Jul 1872 at Gundagai. Eliza was born on 17 Apr 1853 and died on 17 Aug 1914 in Manly. There were two daughters born in Gundagai: Alice May in 1873 and Gertrude in 1874. There were several births registered to Herbert Richard and Eliza Jane Johnson in subsequent years: one in Grafton in 1877 and five in Maclean: Elsie Kathleeen St Clair in 1879 and four unnamed births (1880, 1881, 1883 and 1885) and one last back in Grafton, Eleno M St Clair in 1890. According to familytreecircles Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's brother married Herbert and Eliza's daughter.

04. Mary Emilie Johnson married Neil Kerr MacDiarmid in 1875 in Mudgee. Neil was born in 1850 in Carcoola, NSW and died in 1899. Neil was a bank manager and a Freemason. They had five children while living in Dubbo: Campbell Larnach in 1876,   Archibald in 1878, Alexander Morris in 1880, Elsie Lucy in 1881 and Donald N in 1886.

07. Lucy Francis Johnson married Sydney Glanville Fielding in 1886 in Dubbo. Sydney was born in 1856 in Parramatta and died in 1930 in Newtown. The collected letters, papers and photographs of the Fielding family can be viewed in the State Library. Quoting from the biography:

Sydney Glanville Fielding became an Anglican minister in 1882 and was Rector of St Matthias' Church (Paddington, N.S.W.), 1907-1923. He wrote novels, verse, sermons and tracts on masonry, some of which were published. In 1886 at Dubbo he married Lucy Frances Johnson, youngest daughter of Richard Johnson, a solicitor at Mudgee and Wellington. The Fieldings had six surviving children, five daughters and a son. Una Lucy Fielding [b. 1888] was a distinguished neuroanatomist who went to work in England in 1923; she was Acting Professor of Histology and Neurological Anatomy at the American University of Beirut, 1927-1928. Erica Fielding [b. 1890] was a teacher, family housekeeper and President of the N.S.W. Women's Hockey Association. Morris Glanville Fielding [b. 1892] was educated at the King's School, Parramatta, before going onto study at Oxford. He served with the 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant during World War I. Ordained deacon in 1919 and priest in 1920, he was Rector of St Aidan's, (Longueville, N.S.W.), 1924-1954. Daisy Irene Fielding [b. 1894] was a teacher, mainly in England. Enid Frances Fielding [b. 1896] worked in advertising and travelled to London, where she lived after marrying Henry Izod Rogers in 1926. Winifred Ruth Fielding [b. 1900] was a teacher and dietitian. Further biographical information can be obtained in 'A Johnson Family History' by Ruth Fielding located at MLMSS 5582/5.

Una Fielding

Una Lucy Fielding.
See also the Australian Dictionary of Biography and a Wiki entry.