The Jacobs Family

by Dr Dianne Snowden (1999)
with additions from Cynthia Walker’s research (2019)

The Jacobs family has had a long association with the township of Richmond.

Benjamin Jacobs

Benjamin Jacobs was tried in Surrey, England, on 27 December 1828, for housebreaking and was sentenced to transportation for life. He arrived in Van Diemen’s Land aboard the Thames in November 1829. A forty-two year old baker, he was married with two children; his religion was recorded as Protestant, but he was possibly Jewish (1) and could read and write (2). In September 1831, Benjamin Jacobs applied to the government to have his wife and family sent out from England. His application was approved, and was forwarded to England in a despatch dated 14 January 1832 (3). A possible arrival for his family in the colony is that of Mrs Sarah Jacobs and two children who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land from London on the William Bryan in October 1833 (4). The two children were Mary Jane Jacobs b.1824 and Philip Jacobs b.1827. Another child, Benjamin Jacobs Parker, was born in London before their marriage; it is assumed that he died in infancy. The family lived with Benjamin’s sister, Sarah Parr, after Benjamin was transported (5).

According to family historian, Mrs Judith Stichbury of New Zealand (great-great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Jacobs), Benjamin Jacobs joined the Field Police in order to save enough money to bring his family out. In his early years at Richmond, he lived in what is now Czegs’ in Bridge Street, and later moved to this cottage in Bathurst Street. 

he cottage where Benjamin Jacobs lived in Bathurst Street, Richmond
Photo: M Harris Collection

By the end of his life he had a 100 acre property on Risdon Road (6).

Children born to Benjamin and Sarah Jacobs in Van Diemen’s Land included:

  • Benjamin Jacobs born 20 March 1835, baptised 3 May 1835, St George’s Church, Sorell (7).
  • James Joseph Jacobs born 6 January 1837, baptised 6 March 1837 St Luke’s Church, Richmond (8).
  • Sarah Elizabeth Jacobs born 1 April 1839, baptised 20 May 1839 St Luke’s Church, Richmond (9).
  • George Benjamin Jacobs born 19 February 1843, baptised 19 March 1843 St Luke’s Church, Richmond (10).
  • John Thomas Benjamin Jacobs born 29 October 1845, baptised 30 November 1845 St Luke’s Church, Richmond (11).

On the birth and baptism records of his children, Benjamin Jacobs was recorded as a constable in 1835 and 1837; a ‘prisoner holding a ticket-of-leave’ in 1839; and a carrier in 1843 and 1845.

Benjamin Jacobs died on 19 April 1862, possibly at his home in Bathurst Street (12). Sarah Jacobs, seventy-seven year old widow of a farmer, died of ‘phthisis’ on 19 September 1876. The informant for the registration of her death was her son, John Jacobs, of Richmond (13). She is buried with her husband at St Luke’s Church of England Cemetery.

Benjamin and Sarah Jacobs restored headstone
at St. Luke’s Cemetery, Richmond
Photo: M Harris Collection

Mary Jane Jacobs b.1824

One of the children who came out to join her father, Benjamin, was Mary Jane Jacobs, born in London in 1824 (14). At the age of twenty-one she married Joseph William Nichols, a twenty-six year old carpenter, on 12 July 1841. Witnesses were Adelaide Blackburn and George Blackburn (15). The Nichols family at one stage lived at what is now Prospect House (16).

Joseph William (or Joseph Henry) and Mary Jane (Jacobs) Nichols had at least nine children:

  • Samuel Charles Nichols b. 22 May 1842 (17)
  • Emma Nichols b. 18 July 1846 (18)
  • Mary Anne Nichols b. 9 October 1848 (19)
  • Joseph William Philip Nichols b. 15 May 1852 (20)
  • James Benjamin Nichols b. 5 May 1854 (21)
  • William Henry Nichols b. 9 May 1857 (22)
  • Arthur John Nichols b. 10 September 1859 (23)
  • Alfred Josiah Nichols b. 2 December 1861 (24)
  • Alice Elizabeth Nichols b. 3 April 1865 (25)

Philip Jacobs b. 1827

Philip Jacobs, a farmer aged twenty-eight, and Sarah Ann Graham, aged twenty-two, were married by license by T Gellibrand in the Parish of Richmond on 24 February 1855. Witnesses were S Jacobs and Joseph Graham (26).

Philip and Sarah (Graham) Jacobs had at least nine children:

  • Louisa Elizabeth Ann Jacobs b. 1856 (27)
  • Emily Amy Jacobs b. 1858 (28)
  • Sarah Jane Jacobs b. 1861 (29)
  • Thirza Emma Jacobs b. 1863 (30)
  • Ester Ann Jacobs b. 1866 (31)
  • Jane May Jacobs b. 1869 (32)
  • Benjamin William Henry ‘Harry’ Jacobs b. 1872 (33)
  • Philip Walworth Jacobs b. 1873 (34)
  • Lidia Maude ‘Maude’ Jacobs b. 1876 (35)

Only one marriage record has been located for the nine children (36): Jane May Jacobs, aged twenty-one, married forty-three year old prospector and bachelor, Thomas Currie, on 17 March 1890. Henry Walker Hugill married them in a Church of England ceremony in the dwelling house of Mr Philip Jacobs, Richmond. Witnesses were Philip Jacobs and Sarah J Jacobs (37).

Three of the children, Emily, Thirza and Esther, died within days of each other early in 1874. Emily Jacobs, fifteen year old child of a coachman, died on 4 February 1874 from typhoid fever (38). The following day, 5 February, Thirza Emma Jacobs, eleven year old child of a coachman, died of the same disease (39) and Esther Ann Jacobs, seven year old child of a coachman, died of ‘debility following typhoid fever’ on 10 March 1874 (40). The three sisters were buried at St Luke’s Church of England Cemetery (41).

Sisters Louisa, Sarah (Sally) and Maude Jacobs ran a guesthouse, known as Victoria House. It was located on the corner of Henry and Bathurst Streets, Richmond, in the building which was originally the Richmond Hotel (42). Coaches ran from the Richmond Hotel to Hobart Town in 1845, the Restdown (Risdon) Ferry connecting the two (43).

Three members of the family died in 1946: Louisa Jacobs died on 25 February 1946 aged eighty-nine; Harry Jacobs died on 1 August 1946 aged seventy-five; and Philip Jacobs died on 12 December 1946 aged seventy-three. They were buried at St Luke’s Church of England Cemetery, Richmond, with Sarah, who died on 12 December 1955, aged ninety-five, and Maude, who died on 25 October 1960 aged eighty-four (44). There is a photograph and memorial to Harry Jacobs in St Luke’s Church, commemorating his work as Rector’s Warden (forty-five years); Sunday School teacher; Choir Member and Sexton.

Richmond Brass Band c 1919
Photo: Jacobs Family History Collection

Benjamin Jacobs b. 1935

Benjamin Jacobs was born on 20 March 1835 and baptised in the Parish of Richmond and Sorell on 3 May 1835 by James Norman, chaplain. On the baptism record his father, Benjamin, was described as a constable of Richmond (45).

Benjamin Jacobs, farmer, and Mary Ann Curry were married on 2 November 1859 in All Saints Church, Hobart Town, by T Gellibrand. Both were of full age. Benjamin Jacobs signed his name and Mary Ann Curry made her mark. Witnesses were Evan Jones and Elizabeth Corry (46).

Benjamin and Mary Ann (Curry/Currie/Currey) Jacobs had at least ten children:

  • Benjamin George Jacobs b. 1860 (47)
  • James Henry Jacobs b. 1862 (48)
  • Charles Thomas Jacobs b. 1864 (49)
  • Philip Jacobs b. & d. 1867 (50)
  • Arthur Ernest Jacobs b. 1868 (51)
  • Philip George Jacobs b. & d. 1870 (52)
  • Walter Edwin Jacobs b. 1870 (53)
  • Amy Elizabeth Jacobs b. 1873 (54)
  • Alfred Frederick Jacobs b. 1876 (55)
  • Minnie Amelia Jacobs b. 1881 (56)

At the time of the registration of the birth of his eldest child, Benjamin George, Benjamin Jacobs was described as a farmer (57). At the time of the registration of his youngest, Minnie Amelia, he was described as a butcher (58).

Two children died as infants. Philip Jacobs, a butcher’s child aged five days, died of convulsions on 6 February 1867. His death was registered by his father, Benjamin Jacobs (59). Philip George Jacobs, a butcher’s child aged four months, died of dysentery and convulsions on 15 August 1870. J Nichols, grocer, Richmond, registered his death (60).

Benjamin George Jacobs, aged thirty-six, and Amelia Mary Amott (Arnott), aged twenty-six, were married on 1 February 1897 in Richmond (61). They had at least one daughter who was born in Richmond in 14 April 1898 (62).

James Henry Jacobs, aged twenty-three, and Kate Kennedy Brock, aged twenty-one, were married in Hobart on 14 June 1886 (63). They had one son, James Jacobs, who was born on 29 October 1887 at Richmond (64). Roy James Jacobs, a butcher’s child aged one year eleven months, died on 25 September 1889 from bronchitis. The death was registered by Charles Jacobs, butcher (65). James Henry Jacobs, a twenty-seven year old butcher, died on 3 November 1889 from ‘phthisis pulmon’. Charles Jacobs, butcher, registered the death (66). James Henry Jacobs and his only child, Roy James, were buried together in St Luke’s Cemetery.

Arthur Ernest Jacobs was a butcher in Richmond in 1913 (67). No marriage for him has been traced to 1900.

Amy Elizabeth Jacobs did not marry. In partnership with Miss May Bentley, she ran a general store in the building originally owned by William Ashmore, on the corner of Bridge and Henry Street. 

The store in which Amy Jacobs worked and lived
Photo: M Harris Collection

Miss Jacobs and Miss Bentley lived above the shop until about the 1950s, when they moved further down Henry Street to Fernville. Amy Jacobs died on 27 March 1968 and was buried at St Luke’s Cemetery. A plaque at St Luke’s Church commemorates her as a ‘faithful member’ of the congregation (67).

Charles Thomas Jacobs, Walter Edwin Jacobs, Alfred Frederick Jacobs and Minnie Amelia Jacobs have not been traced; they are not in the 1913 Electoral Roll for Richmond.

Benjamin George Jacobs died on 4 March 1911 aged seventy-five years. Mary Ann Jacobs, his ‘relict’, died on 20 October 1921 (68).

James Joseph Jacobs b. 1837

James Joseph Jacobs moved to New Zealand, where, at the age of sixty-five, he married seventy-year-old Mary Elizabeth Robinson (born Sydney c1833) in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland. Mary Elizabeth Robinson had previously been married to John Painter, a soldier in the 59thRegiment; he left her, and their three young daughters, to fight in the Maori Wars. James Joseph and Mary (Robinson) Jacobs had a large family and there are many hundreds of descendants in New Zealand today.

Sarah Elizabeth Jacobs b. 1839

Sarah Elizabeth Jacobs married John Brooks in St Luke’s Church of England on 28 August 1862. Both were of full age. No occupations were given. Witnesses were J W Nichols and Sarah Jane Nichols (69). No children have been traced.

There is a death for a John Brooks, a farmer aged sixty-five, who died at Richmond on 19 February 1889 from cancer of the stomach (70). Sarah Brooks, sixty-three year old daughter of Ben Jacobs of Richmond, and widow of John Brooks, died of ‘paralysis of the spine’ on 24 September 1899 at Buckland. Her death was registered by E J Reardon by telegram (71).

George Benjamin Jacobs b. 1843

George Benjamin Jacobs, a bachelor of full age, married Anne Baker, a spinster of full age, at St Luke’s Church of England, Richmond, on 21 September 1866. Witnesses were S E Brooks and John T B Jacobs (72).

George Benjamin and Annie (Baker) Jacobs had at least ten children (73):

  • Alice Elizabeth Ann Jacobs b. 1867 (74)
  • Caroline Mary Jacobs b. 1868 (75)
  • Alfred John Jacobs b. 1871 (76)
  • Windermere Ernest Jacobs b. 1876 (77)
  • Edward James Jacobs b. 1876 (78)
  • Jeanette Jacobs b. 1879 (79)
  • George William Jacobs b. 1881 (80)
  • Ernest Leslie Jacobs b. 1884 (81)
  • John Benjamin Jacobs b. 1887 (82)
  • Olive May Jacobs b. 1890 (83)

Windermere Jacobs died in 1853 and was buried at St Luke’s Cemetery with his wife, Marie Rose d. 1936 (84). Ernest L Jacobs died on 4 March 1908 aged twenty-four years and was buried at St Luke’s Cemetery. Caroline Jacobs died on 3 April 1962 and was buried at St Luke’s Cemetery.

Ann Jacobs died on 14 November 1905, aged 61 years. George Jacobs died on 26 October 1926. Both were buried at St Luke’s Cemetery (85).

John Thomas Benjamin Jacobs b. 1845

John Thomas Benjamin Jacobs, a coachman aged twenty-four, married Jane Nuttall, a spinster aged twenty-two, on 23 March 1871 in Hobart, in the residence of Mr J T B Jacobs, Elizabeth Street, Hobart. They were married by John Wilkes Simons in a Congregational ceremony. Witnesses were Sarah Elizabeth Brooks, John Brooks and Elizabeth Garlick (86).

John Thomas Benjamin and Jane (Nuttall) Jacobs had at least six children:

  • Adah Medora Jane Jacobs b. 1872 (87)
  • Emily Ethel Jacobs b. 1874 (88)
  • Albert John Jacobs b. 1875 (89)
  • Annie Louisa Jacobs b 1877 (90)
  • Florence Gertrude Jacobs b. 1880 (91)
  • Isabella Mary Jacobs b. 1881 (92) d. 1883
  • Silas Albert Thomas Jacobs b. 1870 d. 1930*

Ada, Emily, Anne and Florence Jacobs all married. Albert Jacobs, who is thought to have had both legs amputated, did not marry (93). Silas married Sarah Anne Alice ‘Alice’ Smith/Lord on 27th December 1897*(94).

John Thomas Benjamin Jacobs, a thirty-eight year old coach proprietor, died of ‘phthisis’ on 13 December 1883 and was buried on 17 December 1883 at St Luke’s Church of England Cemetery. The undertaker was Thomas Wright of Richmond (95). Isabella Mary Jacobs, two-year-old daughter of a coach proprietor, was buried the same day; she died of ‘acute hydroencephalitis’ on 12 December 1883 (96). A possible death for Jane Jacobs is the forty-nine year old Tasmanian-born widow of that name who died on 25 May 1895 in the General Hospital, Hobart, of ‘peritonitis (pulmonary)’ (97).

In 1913 the Electoral Roll for Richmond records the following voters named Jacobs:

  • Amy Elizabeth: domestic duties
  • Arthur Ernest: butcher
  • Benjamin William Henry ‘Harry’: farmer
  • Caroline Mary: domestic duties
  • George Benjamin: veterinary surgeon
  • Louisa Elizabeth Ann: domestic duties
  • Lydia Maud: domestic duties
  • Mary Ann: domestic duties
  • Phillip: no occupation
  • Phillip Walworth Vernon: coach driver
  • Sarah Ann Alice: domestic duties
  • Sarah Mary Jane: domestic duties
  • *Silas Albert Thomas: labourer
  • Windermere: labourer
Silas Albert Thomas was the son of John Thomas Jacobs.
*For further information see the Jacobs Family folder at Oak Lodge.
Photo: Jacobs Family Collection

(1) Information from Mrs Judith Stichbury, New Zealand
(2) AOT CON 31/23; CON 18/21; ML9; AOT Correspondence File: ‘Benjamin Jacobs’
(3) CSO 1/377/8578; GO 33/10 p. 279
(4) MB 2/39/1
(5) Stichbury
(6) Ibid
(7) RGD 32/2 1835 Richmond and Sorell No. 6661
(8) NS 493/1 St Luke’s Church of England (Richmond) Baptism Register
(9) Ibid
(10) Ibid
(11) Ibid
(12) Stichbury
(13) RGD 35/45 1876 Richmond No. 632
(14) Stichbury
(15) RGD 37/2 1841 Richmond No. 1079
(16) Stichbury
(17) RGD 33/28 1842 Richmond No. 839 [father = Joseph William]
(18) RGD 33/28 1846 Richmond No. 940 [mother = Jane]
(19) RGD 33/28 1848 Richmond No. 1059 [mother = Mary Anne]
(20) RGD 33/30 1852 Richmond No. 596
(21) RGD 33/32 1854 Richmond No. 1123
(22) RGD 33/35 1857 Richmond No. 1907 [father = Joseph William]
(23) RGD 33/37 1859 Richmond No. 2012
(24) RGD 33/39 1861 Richmond No. 1464
(25) RGD 37/43 1865 Richmond No. 1470
(26) RGD 37/14 1855 Richmond No. 1144
(27) RGD 33/35 1857 Richmond No. 1876 born 7 December 1856
(28) RGD 33/36 1858 Richmond No. 1899
(29) RGD 33/39 1861 Richmond No. 1899
(30) RGD 33/41 1863 Richmond No. 1397
(31) RGD 33/44 1866 Richmond No. 1397
(32) RGD 33/47 1869 Richmond No. 1400
(33) RGD 33/50 1872 Richmond No. 1511
(34) RGD 33/51 1873 Richmond No. 1569
(35) RGD 33/54 1876 Richmond No. 1537
(36) There is a Sarah Jacobs, mother to four Kelly children, whose father was James Kelly, labourer: Edward Charles b. 1880; William James b. 1883; Ella Eva May b. 1884; and Oban Tasman Kelly b. 1888. There is no marriage record for James Kelly and Sarah Jacobs, although there is one for James Kelly, aged twenty-six and Sarah Pace, aged twenty-one, in St John’s Richmond in 1879. Witnesses: Richard Hanslow and Mrs R Hanslow. At this stage, it is not known which Sarah Jacobs was the mother of the Kelly children.
(37) RGD 37/49 1890 Richmond No. 212
(38) RGD 35/43 1874 Richmond No. 647
(39) RGD 35/43 1874 Richmond No. 648
(40) Grave #114
(41) The original licensee of the Richmond Hotelwas Laurence Cotham, whose brother, James, was priest at St John’s Church, Richmond.
(43) National Trust Excursion Notes 1970
(44) Grave #158
(45) RGD 32/2 1835 Richmond and Sorell No. 6661
(46) RGD 37/18 1859 Hobart No. 203 Curry/Jacobs
(47) RGD 33/38 1860 Richmond No. 2059
(48) RGD 33/40 1862 Richmond No. 1507
(49) RGD 33/42 1864 Richmond No. 1678
(50) RGD 33/45 1867 Richmond No. 1433; RGD 35/36 1867 Richmond No. 436
(51) RGD 33/46 1868 Richmond No. 1455
(52) RGD 33/48 1870 Richmond No. 1561 & 1569 (registered twice); RGD 35/39 1870 Richmond No. 514
(53) RGD 33/48 1870 Richmond No. 1536
(54) RGD 33/51 1873 Richmond No. 1603
(55) RGD 33/54 1876 Richmond No. 1579
(56) RGD 33/60 1882 Richmond No. 2548 b. 25 December 1881
(57) RGD 33/38 1860 Richmond No. 2059. The birth was registered by M A Jacobs (nee Corry), mother.
(58) RGD 33/60 1882 Richmond No. 2548
(59) RGD 35/36 1867 Richmond No. 436
(60) RGD 35/39 1897 Richmond No. 832
(61) RGD 33/85 1898 Richmond No. 2036. Mother’s name Arnott
(62) RGD 37/45 1886 Hobart No. 217
(63) RGD 33/66 1887 Richmond No. 2981
(64) RGD 35/58 1889 Richmond No. 1171
(65) RGD 35/58 1889 Richmond No. 1172
(66) Electoral Roll: Richmond 1913
(67) CRVHS Family File: Jacobs; Grave #184
(68) CRVHS Family File: Jacobs
(69) NS 493/4 St Luke’s Church of England (Richmond) Marriage Register; RGD 37/21 1862 Richmond No. 599
(70) RGD 35/58 1889 Richmond No. 1162
(71) RGD 35/68 1899 Spring Bay No. 896
(72) NS 493/4 St Luke’s (Richmond) Marriage Register; RGD 37/25 1866 Richmond No. 529
(73) There is also a birth for a child, George Henry, born in 1862 to George Jacobs, a farmer’s son, and Elizabeth Corrie. The birth was registered by the mother, Elizabeth Corrie, of Richmond. [Ref: RGD 33/40 1862 Richmond No. 1502] It is not yet known which George Jacobs this is.
(74) RGD 33/45 1867 Richmond No. 1444
(75) RGD 33/46 1868 Richmond No. 1486
(76) RGD 33/49 1871 Richmond No. 1520
(77) RGD 33/51 1873 Richmond No. 1595
(78) RGD 33/54 1876 Richmond No. 1603
(79) RGD 33/57 1879 Richmond No. 2274
(80) RGD 33/59 1881 Richmond No. 1972
(81) RGD 33/63 1884 Richmond No. 2834
(82) RGD 33/66 1887 Richmond No. 2930
(83) RGD 33/70 1890 Richmond No. 2803
(84) Grave #141
(85) CRVHS Family File: Jacobs
(86) RGD 37/30 1871 Hobart No. 220: Nuttall/Jacobs
(87) RGD 33/50 1872 Richmond No. 1521
(88) RGD 33/52 1874 Richmond No. 1569
(89) RGD 33/53 1875 Richmond No. 1627
(90) RGD 33/58 1880 Richmond No. 2331
(91) RGD 33/59 1881 Richmond No. 2549
(92) CRVHS Family File: Jacobs
(93) RGD 35/52 1883 Richmond No. 773
(94) RGD 37/1/58 No. 836
(95) RGD 35/52 1883 Richmond No. 772
(96) RGD 35/15 1895 Hobart No. 125