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Robert Redfern (1769?-1853) a saddler was arrested in Belfast 1797 under the suspicion of being a United Irishman. He was taken under guard to Kilmainham prison where he wrote letters to petition for his release, and for himself and his wife (Margaret Unknown) plus their 3 small children (unknown names) to be shipped to America. Robert's name appears in the the Irish Legislature Banishment Act, and was known to be a member of the Belfast divisional miltary committee.

In April 1801 he was bailed before the afternoon and then transported, but to where and by what means of transport is a mystery.

Robert's next known where about is 1817 in Philadelphia, his name is recorded on the census. In 1819 Robert made US infantry caps. In 2009 one of his caps sold for $13,000 AU. 

Robert and his son William (1810?-1895) arrived in Australia on the ship the Phoenix in 1825, as free settlers. Sarah Redfern nee Willis (1796-1876), Dr William Redfern (1774?-1833) wife had wriiten to Lord Bathurst vouching for Robert's character. Robert received a land grant for 2000 acres at Campbells Creek near Bathurst. The picture above is Robert and William's headstone located in the old Roman Catholic portion of Bathurst Cemetery, NSW Australia. 

I have many questions that I'm searching the answers for! Who where Robert's parents? Who was Robert's wife and their children in Ireland? Where was Robert's whereabouts for nearly 16 years (there is a possibility he was in Portugal)? Where was Robert from before Belfast and was he born in Canada or England? Where was he educated and how many wives and official offspring did he have?

Robert's story, like many fellow Irishman is worth the effort to piece together and to be told. I would love his story to become alive and to be told and retold. A legacy telling of his strengh, resilence and survival. I would be very grateful for help with his story.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1769  
Date of Death 3rd Sep 1853  



Communities Associated with this Ancestor