This orphan has been claimed by: Jo-Anne Simpson
Henry Laskey is my great-grandfather and was the son of English convict Henry Laskey and Irish convict Catherine Bryan. The dates he and his sister were admitted to the Queen's Orphan School in November 1857 coincide with the death of his father in a ploughing accident at New Norfolk. I am told his mother worked as a cook at Government House, so was possibly not able to look after him and his younger sister Mary.
They spent two years in the School before being discharged into the care of their mother. Henry went on to forge a successful career as a skin dealer and he and his wife Hannah Wild (also the daughter of convicts) had eight children. One of their sons, my grandfather Henry Joseph Laskey, was a prominent New Norfolk councillor and trotting identity, with the first public car park there named after him.
Among his other direct descendents is a former mayor of Devonport, a Rhodes scholar, an award-winning journalist and an author.
His father spent time at both Norfolk Island and Port Arthur penal settlements and was involved in a number of court cases reported by the local papers. I grew up just down the road from St John's Park being unaware of its connection with my family history.
By Jo-Anne Simpson
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