What happened to Jack’s family?

Did Jack’s family ever find out about his fate, his time on the prison hulk or on the convict ship, or his death? It is not known, but probably unlikely.

So, what happened to Jack’s mother, Mary, as well as his brothers (Nathanael, William and Samuel) and his sister, Susannah?

Because of the limited records available it is not easy to discover their full movements, but this is what I have discovered,

MARY: Jack’s mother died in 1824 (at age of 95) and was buried in Blean church on 8 December 1823 (which means she was born 1729)


NATHANAEL: Jack’s older brother (born 1759) married Anne Darby (1770) in Hackington, Kent on 7 June 1791. This was 6 months after Jack’s transportation.

They had 4 children: Mary Ann (Jul-Sep 1791), Sarah (1792-), Nathaniel (1795-1882) and William (1798-1800)

Nathaniel died in 1801 Hackington, Kent (age 41). Anne died in 1805 (age 35).


WILLIAM: Jack’s younger brother (born 1766) is not found in any records until 1839 when he enters the Blean Workhouse (age 73).

As noted earlier, prior to 1834, each parish took care of its own poor, including collecting a rate to cover costs and administering relief. Known as “parish relief). The New Poor Law and its records began in 1834 and continued until 1948 when it was replaced by the National Health Care system. . The Blean Union Workhouse had been built on four acres south of Herne Common.

The only record of the death of a William Kirby to be found is in 1864 which would have made him 98 years old, so this is probably unlikely but not impossible.


SUSANNAH: Jack’s sister (born 1769) married William Ansell on 12 November 1792 and they had 3 sons, William (1793-1850), Henry (1796-) and James (1799-1867).

Susannah’s husband, William, died in 1805 (age 40) and she died in 1858 in Eastry, Kent aged 89.


SAMUEL: Jack’s brother (born 1764)

Jack’s brother (born in 1764) is an intriguing case. According to the UK, Naval Officer and Rating Service Records, from 1793 (age 28) and shortly after Jack’s transportation until 1808 Samuel Kirby served as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. This is Samuel’s service record.

Samuel first served on HMS Success. According to Wikipedia the ship had undergone a refit in 1783.

“… she was recommissioned in February 1793 under the command of Captain Francis Roberts, and was ready for sea by April  ..On 25 August she sailed for the Caribbean, where Roberts died the following year, and on 1 September 1794 the notorious Captain Hugh Pigot was appointed to command her.  She captured the French brig Poisson Volant on 30 September 1795.”

The last ship Samuel served on was HMS Cruizer. According to Wikipedia

“HMS Cruizer (often Cruiser) was a Royal Navy Cruizer-class brig-sloop built by Stephen Teague of Ipswich and launched in 1797. She was the first ship of the class, but there was a gap of 5 years between her launch and the ordering of the next batch in October 1803; by 1815 a total of 105 other vessels had been ordered to her design. She had an eventful wartime career, mostly in the North Sea, English Channel and the Baltic, and captured some 15 privateers and warships, and many merchant vessels”.

What Samuel did after he left Navy service is not clear. There are no further records until  1836 when he is admitted to the Bridge Union Workhouse.  This had opened for new inmates in October 1835, so he was one of the early ones.

The 1841 census records him living in the Workhouse (age 75, a  labourer), where he died in July 1841 (age 80).


> Joseph Kirby and Anne Clements 


Last updated: March 11, 2022 at 12:23 pm