Left London 15th August 1833, arrived Australia 17th Dec 1833.

Vessel details -







born 1816 in Surrey (now London), England
died 4th June 1887 at Croydon, Victoria, Australia
©   Kurt Müller 2019
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Grace Duncan

Caroline Franklyn

John Humphreys continues: "So Alexander and Caroline had evidently migrated to Australia, married, had two daughters, returned to England, had a third daughter and crossed the Atlantic; Grace was their fourth daughter; then they travelled the relatively modest distance to Pennsylvania, where their first son and fifth daughter were born

(when and where exactly their last two daughters, Margaret and Florence, were born is unknown)

. It is easy to imagine Caroline as typically pregnant, at sea and constantly looking round in case small children disappeared overboard.
After Alexander Duncan's death in 1857 Caroline probably sailed back from New York to Hobson's Bay, Victoria in July 1857 on board a ship called 'Continent', on 20 Oct 1857, with her probably 8 children. A newspaper article says 'Mrs Duncan and family' were cabin passengers there. Nothing more is definitely known until Caroline re-married in 1864. She married David Fermaner (1816-1893), harbour master at Port Albert, New South Wales. She died 4th June 1887 at Croydon, Victoria, and is buried under the surname Duncan."

Caroline Franklyn and Alexander Duncan were married at St James' Church, King Street, Sydney in November 1836. It was an Anglican church, and had been consecrated 12 years previously (1824); it is now the oldest church in Sydney still in existence. Also this information and all the information below was found by

John Humphreys.

Picture below: St James Church, Sydney, designed by the New South Wales Government Architect Francis Greenway. In the collection of the National Library of Australia (Lithograph by Robert Russell, C.1836).
The Church is at the western end of King Street.

St James parish lies to the east of St Philip; it includes Sydney Opera House; Royal Botanic Gardens, The Domain, the part of Hyde Park north of Park street [all open parkland]; Circular Quay, and Martin Place. The parish is bounded by the area which was originally the Tank Stream (now Pitt Street near Circular Quay), and George Street in the west. It is bounded by Park Street and part of William Street in the south, and Young Crescent and Woolloomooloo Bay in the east.

According to The Times, insufficient care was taken to select suitable women. Some were said to be from prisons, some were immoral and too many came from towns; the unmet requirement was for sturdy countrywomen who had some idea how a farm worked, not seamstresses for the towns like Sydney.
However the paper's real venom was reserved for the superintendent, who supplied insufficient food and clothing and was unsympathetic to the womens needs. The ships master and paying passengers helped in some instances, but women died on the voyage. Two babies were born on the voyage and half a dozen women were pregnant when the ship arrived."

"… I have further to acquaint you, that three ships, with about 200 young women in each, will be dispatched to New South Wales during the present year; the first of which will leave England on the 30th of April, and the periods fixed for the departure of the other two will be about the 10th of August and the 28th of October respectively. And I request that all necessary arrangements may be made for securing to the young women who may arrive by these successive opportunities every possible comfort and accommodation, from the period at which they may arrive in the colony until that at which they may succeed in obtaining suitable situations ..."

"In the selection of suitable ships for the conveyance of the emigrants, in their equipment and provisioning, and in ascertaining the character, competency and fitness of the commander, surgeon and officers, the most anxious care has been exercised to promote the comfort and best interests of the emigrants. In the case of the Layton, however, as already stated to you, the committee have to regret that the result did not fulfil their just expectations; and, to an unfortunate difference between the superintendent and surgeon, the committee attribute, in a great degree, the unsatisfactory state in which some of the females by that ship arrived."

But what was a girl of this age doing on board? Parents were not listed. The vessel carried 301 people, 10 of them called "Mary Anne" with no surname and something like 30 just "Mary", overwhelmingly female and typically born 1805-1817.
It turns out that there was a government initiative to find women of marriageable age and ship them out to colonise Australia:

(Despatch from the Earl of Aberdeen to Sir R. Bourke; dated Downing-street, 17 Feb. 1835)

Caroline Franklyn

Estimated Birth Year:   abt 1816     
Age:    17
Port of Departure:      London
Port of Arrival:          Port Jackson, New South Wales
Voyage Arrival Date:    17 Dec 1833
Vessel Name:    Layton

Background of Caroline Franklyn

The marriage registration says nothing about parents or origins. However increasing amounts of data about immigration to Australia have become available through the World Wide Web. New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922

Average age was said to be 20, and diligent efforts made to ensure they were of good character; any of them under 30 had an assisted passage of sorts. This makes me wonder again about the status of Caroline.
The presence of some 40 women who managed to travel without giving surnames also makes me wonder about the supposed guarantee of good character.
It seems that Caroline and her fellow emigrants were wretched, ill-fed and poorly treated by their tyrannical superintendent (The Times ran sizeable articles about this in the summer of 1834, and spoke harshly of the Emigration Committee). The Committee had to take due note:

(Emigration Committee Room, 30 Dec 1834)

Free inhabitants in West Philadelphia in the County of Philadelphia,
State of Pennsylvania […] 16th Day of September 1850

Alexander Duncan


37  M   Bookkeeper   1600      Scotland

Caroline Duncan          32   F                         England

Caroline Duncan          10   F                         N.S.Wales     /
Agnes         9   F                         N.S.Wales     /
Eliza         8   F                         England         /
Grace         6   F                         New York


Franklin         5   M                         Pennsylvania  /
Kate         2   F                             Pennsylvania

"1600" is the "Value of real estate owned", presumably dollars. The oblique strokes belong to a column "Attended school within the year". Free presumably means the census excluded slaves.

The US 1850 Census (16 Sep 1850) allows a reconstruction of the family's movements in the following years, via the order of the children's birthplaces. In New York births, marriages and deaths were not recorded at the time. However John found them in the Pennsylvania Census data:


# New South Wales Government. Inward passenger lists. Series 13278, Reels 399-560, 2001-2122, 2751. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
# New South Wales Government. Reports of vessels arrived (or Shipping reports). Series 1291, Reels 1263-1285, 2851. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
Unassisted immigrants are individuals whose passages were NOT subsidized or paid for by another person or through another agency. This collection is composed of two different series of records. They are:    (1) Inward Passenger Lists, (2) Reports of vessels arrived (or Shipping reports); however (1) did not start until 1854.
Port Jackson contains Sydney Harbour.

Details of the Layton:

Caroline Franklyn

died 4th of June 1887

in Croydon, Victoria, Australia.



Alexander Duncan

on 21 October


in Sydney, Australia; they had (at least)
8 children, among them

Grace Duncan


Grace Robertson

's mother

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Family history Müller - Humphreys


:  As John Humphreys found out, a baptism record at St Mary's Church,


(then in


, now very much London) shows Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund and Caroline Franklyn,

baptised September 15th 1816


born "Jany 30th"

; abode of the family was given as Locksfield and the father's "quality, trade or profeffion" was "mefsenger". Caroline's parents

Edmund Franklyn


Caroline Perry

were married at the Church of St George the Martyr in Southwark on 24th April 1815 "by consent of Wm Perry her father"

Wedding advertisement in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tue 29 Nov 1836:

At St. James's Church, by the Rev. R. Cartwright, Mr. Alexander Duncan, of Sydney, to Caroline, eldest daughter of the late Mr. Edmund Franklyn, London.

Picture below:
St James Church, Sydney,
designed by the New South Wales Government Architect Francis Greenway.
In the collection of the National Library of Australia (Lithograph by Robert Russell, C.1836).
The Church is at the western end of King Street.