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    In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


      Zara’s first quest:

      entry level quirk: wandering off the track

      The initial setting for this quest is a dense forest, where the paths are overgrown and rarely traveled. You find yourself alone and disoriented, with only a rough map and a compass to guide you.

      Possible directions to investigate include:

      Following a faint trail of footprints that lead deeper into the forest

      Climbing a tall tree to get a better view of the surrounding area

      Searching for a stream or river to use as a guide to find your way out of the forest

      Possible characters to engage include:

      A mysterious hermit who lives deep in the forest and is rumored to know the secrets of the land

      A lost traveler who is also trying to find their way out of the forest

      A group of bandits who have taken refuge in the forest and may try to steal from you or cause harm

      Your objective is to find the Wanderlust tile, a small, intricately carved wooden tile depicting a person walking off the beaten path. This tile holds the key to unlocking your inner quirk of wandering off the track.

      As proof of your progress in the game, you must find a way to incorporate this quirk into your real-life actions by taking a spontaneous detour on your next journey, whether it be physical or mental.

      For Zara’s quest:

      As you wander off the track, you come across a strange-looking building in the distance. Upon closer inspection, you realize it is the Flying Fish Inn. As you enter, you are greeted by the friendly owner, Idle. She tells you that she has heard of strange occurrences happening in the surrounding area and offers to help you in your quest

      Emoji clue:  🐈🌳 :cat_confused:


      Zara (the character in the game)

      characteristics from previous prompts:

      Zara is the leader of the group  :yahoo_thinking:  she is confident, and always ready for an adventure. She is a natural leader and has a strong sense of justice. She is also a tech-savvy person, always carrying a variety of gadgets with her, and is always the first to try out new technology.

      Zara is the leader of the group, her color is red, her animal is a lion, and her secret name in a funny language is “Zaraloon”


      Zara (the real life story character)

      characteristics from previous prompts:

      Zara Patara-Smythe is a 57-year-old woman of mixed heritage, her mother is Indian and her father is British. She has long, dark hair that she keeps in an untidy ponytail, dark brown eyes and a sharp jawline. She stands at 5’6″ and has a toned and athletic build. She usually wears practical clothing that allows her to move around easily, such as cargo pants and a tank top.

      prompt quest:

      Continue to investigate the mysterious cat she saw, possibly seeking out help from local animal experts or veterinarians.
      Join Xavier and Yasmin in investigating the Flying Fish Inn, looking for clues and exploring the area for any potential leads on the game’s quest.


      In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys


        “I’d advise you not to take the parrot, Zara,” Harry the vet said, “There are restrictions on bringing dogs and other animals into state parks, and you can bet some jobsworth official will insist she stays in a cage at the very least.”

        “Yeah, you’re right, I guess I’ll leave her here. I want to call in and see my cousin in Camden on the way to the airport in Sydney anyway.   He has dozens of cats, I’d hate for anything to happen to Pretty Girl,” Zara replied.

        “Is that the distant cousin you met when you were doing your family tree?” Harry asked, glancing up from the stitches he was removing from a wounded wombat.  “There, he’s good to go.  Give him a couple more days, then he can be released back where he came from.”

        Zara smiled at Harry as she picked up the animal. “Yes!  We haven’t met in person yet, and he’s going to show me the church my ancestor built. He says people have been spotting ghosts there lately, and there are rumours that it’s the ghost of the old convict Isaac who built it.  If I can’t find photos of the ancestors, maybe I can get photos of their ghosts instead,” Zara said with a laugh.

        “Good luck with that,” Harry replied raising an eyebrow. He liked Zara, she was quirkier than the others.

        Zara hadn’t found it easy to research her mothers family from Bangalore in India, but her fathers English family had been easy enough.  Although Zara had been born in England and emigrated to Australia in her late 20s, many of her ancestors siblings had emigrated over several generations, and Zara had managed to trace several down and made contact with a few of them.   Isaac Stokes wasn’t a direct ancestor, he was the brother of her fourth great grandfather but his story had intrigued her.  Sentenced to transportation for stealing tools for his work as a stonemason seemed to have worked in his favour.  He built beautiful stone buildings in a tiny new town in the 1800s in the charming style of his home town in England.

        Zara planned to stay in Camden for a couple of days before meeting the others at the Flying Fish Inn, anticipating a pleasant visit before the crazy adventure started.




        Zara stepped down from the bus, squinting in the bright sunlight and looking around for her newfound cousin  Bertie.   A lanky middle aged man in dungarees and a red baseball cap came forward with his hand extended.

        “Welcome to Camden, Zara I presume! Great to meet you!” he said shaking her hand and taking her rucksack.  Zara was taken aback to see the family resemblance to her grandfather.  So many scattered generations and yet there was still a thread of familiarity.  “I bet you’re hungry, let’s go and get some tucker at Belle’s Cafe, and then I bet you want to see the church first, hey?  Whoa, where’d that dang parrot come from?” Bertie said, ducking quickly as the bird swooped right in between them.

        “Oh no, it’s Pretty Girl!” exclaimed Zara. “She wasn’t supposed to come with me, I didn’t bring her! How on earth did you fly all this way to get here the same time as me?” she asked the parrot.

        “Pretty Girl has her ways, don’t forget to feed the parrot,” the bird replied with a squalk that resembled a mirthful guffaw.

        “That’s one strange parrot you got here, girl!” Bertie said in astonishment.

        “Well, seeing as you’re here now, Pretty Girl, you better come with us,” Zara said.

        “Obviously,” replied Pretty Girl.  It was hard to say for sure, but Zara was sure she detected an avian eye roll.




        They sat outside under a sunshade to eat rather than cause any upset inside the cafe.  Zara fancied an omelette but Pretty Girl objected, so she ordered hash browns instead and a fruit salad for the parrot.  Bertie was a good sport about the strange talking bird after his initial surprise.

        Bertie told her a bit about the ghost sightings, which had only started quite recently.  They started when I started researching him, Zara thought to herself, almost as if he was reaching out. Her imagination was running riot already.


        ghost of Isaac Stokes


        Bertie showed Zara around the church, a small building made of sandstone, but no ghost appeared in the bright heat of the afternoon.  He took her on a little tour of Camden, once a tiny outpost but now a suburb of the city, pointing out all the original buildings, in particular the ones that Isaac had built.  The church was walking distance of Bertie’s house and Zara decided to slip out and stroll over there after everyone had gone to bed.

        Bertie had kindly allowed Pretty Girl to stay in the guest bedroom with her, safe from the cats, and Zara intended that the parrot stay in the room, but Pretty Girl was having none of it and insisted on joining her.

        “Alright then, but no talking!  I  don’t want you scaring any ghost away so just keep a low profile!”

        The moon was nearly full and it was a pleasant walk to the church.   Pretty Girl fluttered from tree to tree along the sidewalk quietly.  Enchanting aromas of exotic scented flowers wafted into her nostrils and Zara felt warmly relaxed and optimistic.

        Zara was disappointed to find that the church was locked for the night, and realized with a sigh that she should have expected this to be the case.  She wandered around the outside, trying to peer in the windows but there was nothing to be seen as the glass reflected the street lights.   These things are not done in a hurry, she reminded herself, be patient.

        Sitting under a tree on the grassy lawn attempting to open her mind to receiving ghostly communications (she wasn’t quite sure how to do that on purpose, any ghosts she’d seen previously had always been accidental and unexpected)  Pretty Girl landed on her shoulder rather clumsily, pressing something hard and chill against her cheek.

        “I told you to keep a low profile!” Zara hissed, as the parrot dropped the key into her lap.  “Oh! is this the key to the church door?”

        It was hard to see in the dim light but Zara was sure the parrot nodded, and was that another avian eye roll?

        Zara walked slowly over the grass to the church door, tingling with anticipation.   Pretty Girl hopped along the ground behind her.  She turned the key in the lock and slowly pushed open the heavy door and walked inside and  up the central aisle, looking around.  And then she saw him.

        Zara gasped. For a breif moment as the spectral wisps cleared, he looked almost solid.  And she could see his tattoos.

        “Oh my god,” she whispered, “It is really you. I recognize those tattoos from the description in the criminal registers. Some of them anyway, it seems you have a few more tats since you were transported.”

        “Aye, I did that, wench. I were allays fond o’ me tats, does tha like ’em?”

        He actually spoke to me!  This was beyond Zara’s wildest hopes. Quick, ask him some questions!

        “If you don’t mind me asking, Isaac, why did you lie about who your father was on your marriage register?  I almost thought it wasn’t you, you know, that I had the wrong Isaac Stokes.”

        A deafening rumbling laugh filled the building with echoes and the apparition dispersed in a labyrinthine swirl of tattood wisps.

        “A story for another day,” whispered Zara,  “Time to go back to Berties. Come on Pretty Girl. And put that key back where you found it.”


        Ghost of Isaac Stokes


        In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys


          Real-life Xavier was marveling at the new AL (Artificial Life) developments on this project he’d been working on. It’s been great at tidying the plot, confusing as the plot started to become with Real-life characters named the same as their Quirky counterparts ones.

          Real-life Zara had not managed to remain off the computer for very long, despite her grand claims to the contrary. She’d made quick work of introducing a new player in the game, a reporter in an obscure newspaper, who’d seemed quirky enough to be their guide in the new game indeed. It was difficult to see if hers was a nickname or nom de plume, but strangely enough, she also named her own character the same as her name in the papers. Interestingly, Zara and Glimmer had some friends in common in Australia, where RL Zara was living at the moment.

          Anyways… “Clever ALXavier smiled when he saw the output on the screen. “Yasmin will love a little tidiness; even if she is the brains of the group, she has always loved the help.”

          Meanwhile, in the real world, Youssef was on his own adventure in Mongolia, trying to uncover the mystery of the Thi Gang. He had been hearing whispers and rumors about the ancient and powerful group, and he was determined to find out the truth. He had been traveling through the desert for weeks, following leads and piecing together clues, and he was getting closer to the truth.

          Zara, Xavier, and Yasmin, on the other hand, were scattered around the world. Zara was in Australia, working on a conservation project and trying to save a group of endangered animals. Xavier was in Europe, working on a new project for a technology company. And Yasmin was in Asia, volunteering at a children’s hospital.

          Despite being physically separated, the four friends kept in touch through video calls and messages. They were all excited about the upcoming adventure in the Land of the Quirks and the possibility of discovering their inner quirks. They were also looking forward to their trip to the Flying Fish Inn, where they hoped to find some clues about the game and their characters.

          In the game, Glimmer Gambol’s interactions with the other characters will be taking place in the confines of the Land of the Quirks. As she is the one who has been playing the longest and has the most experience, she will probably be the one to lead the group and guide them through the game. She also has some information that the others don’t know about yet, and she will probably reveal it at the right time.

          As the game and the real-world adventures are intertwined, the characters will have to navigate both worlds and find a way to balance them. They will have to use their unique skills and personalities to overcome challenges and solve puzzles, both in the game and in the real world. It will be an exciting and unpredictable journey, full of surprises and twists.


          In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


            [Following the last comment] Fed the AL this context:

            1. “A gripshawk is feline-like anthropomorphic creature living in the deserts in a fiction written by Yurara Fameliki. It is the least favorite character to pick by Zara who doesn’t like “fantasy stuff”.
            2. The “Flying Fish Inn” is a fictional (or maybe real) Inn set in the Australian outback, owned by a family headed by the matriarch Mater and involved in many adventures, sometimes surnatural.
            3. AL” is an AI build with Al’s persona (Albert Yokozo being a famous author, possibly a nom de plume of the mysterious Ernrich Lemwon) – it is known as Calli in another story.

            Please continue the story unfolding here:
            <feeding FP’s comment>

            “Yeah, I’m not a fan of fantasy stuff either,” Youssef added, agreeing with Zara. “But I’m curious about the Flying Fish Inn and how it relates to the game. Maybe we should check it out and see if there are any clues there.”

            “That’s a good idea,” Yasmin said. “I’ve heard the stories about the Inn and the adventures the family has had there. Some of them are quite intriguing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a connection to our game.”

            “I’m not sure about the AI,” Xavier said. “It’s still a mystery to me, but I trust AL will guide us in the right direction. I’m curious to see where this all leads.”

            “Alright, let’s plan a trip to the Flying Fish Inn,” Zara said, excitedly. “We’ll take a break from the game for a few days, but we’ll come back to it with fresh eyes and new insights. Who knows, maybe we’ll even find some quirky guests along the way.”

            As they were discussing their plans, they all felt a sense of excitement and curiosity about what the future holds for them. The game and the world of the Land of the Quirks had captured their imagination and they were eager to see where it would lead them next.


              “What in the good name of our Lady, have these two been on?” Miss Bossy was at a loss for words while Ricardo was waiting sheepishly at her desk, as though he was expecting an outburst.
              “Look, Ricardo, I’m not against a little tweaking for newsworthiness, but this takes twisting reality to a whole new level!

              Ricardo had just dropped their last article.

              Local Hero at the Rescue – Stray Residents found after in a trip of a lifetime
              article by Hilda Astoria & Continuity Brown

              In a daring and heroic move, Nurse Trassie, a local hero and all-around fantastic human being, managed to track down and rescue three elderly women who had gone on an adventure of a lifetime. Sharon, Mavis, and Gloria (names may have been altered to preserve their anonymity) were residents of a UK nursing home who, in a moment of pure defiance and desire for adventure, decided to go off their meds and escape to the Nordics.

              The three women, who had been feeling cooped up and underappreciated in their nursing home, decided to take matters into their own hands and embark on a journey to see the world. They had heard of the beautiful landscapes and friendly people of the Nordics and their rejuvenating traditional cures and were determined to experience it for themselves.

              Their journey, however, was not without its challenges. They faced many obstacles, including harsh weather conditions and language barriers. But they were determined to press on, and their determination paid off when they were taken in by a kind-hearted local doctor who gave them asylum and helped them rehabilitate stray animals.

              Nurse Trassie, who had been on the lookout for the women since their disappearance, finally caught wind of their whereabouts and set out to rescue them. She tracked them down to the Nordics, where she found them living in a small facility in the woods, surrounded by a menagerie of stray animals they had taken in and were nursing back to health, including rare orangutans retired from local circus.

              Upon her arrival, Nurse Trassie was greeted with open arms by the women, who were overjoyed to see her. They told her of their adventures and showed her around their cabin, introducing her to the animals they had taken in and the progress they had made in rehabilitating them.

              Nurse Trassie, who is known for her compassion and dedication to her patients, was deeply touched by the women’s story and their love for the animals. She knew that they needed to be back in the care of professionals and that the animals needed to be properly cared for, so she made arrangements to bring them back home.

              The women were reluctant to leave their newfound home and the animals they had grown to love, but they knew that it was the right thing to do. They said their goodbyes and set off on the long journey back home with Nurse Trassie by their side.

              The three women returned to their nursing home filled with stories to share, and Nurse Trassie was hailed as a hero for her efforts in rescuing them. They were greeted with cheers and applause from the staff and other residents, who were thrilled to have them back safe and sound.

              Nurse Trassie, who is known for her sharp wit and sense of humor, commented on the situation with a tongue-in-cheek remark, “It’s not every day that you get to rescue three feisty elderlies from the wilds of the Nordics and bring them back to safety. I’m just glad I could be of service.”

              In conclusion, the three women’s adventure in the Nordics may have been unorthodox, but it was an adventure nonetheless. They were able to see the world and help some animals in the process. Their story serves as a reminder to never give up on your dreams, no matter your age or circumstances. And of course, a big shoutout to Nurse Trassie for her heroic actions and dedication to her patients.

              Bossy sighed. “It might do for now, but don’t let those two abuse the artificial intelligence to write article for them… I liked their old style better. This feels too… tidy. We’re not the A-News network, let’s not forget our purpose.”

              Ricardo nodded. Miss Bossy had been more mellow since the sales of the newspaper had exploded during the pandemic. With people at home, looking for conspiracies and all, the newspaper had known a resurgence of interest, and they even had to hire new staff. Giles Gibber, Glimmer Gambol (came heavily recommended by Blithe, the PI friend of Hilda’s), Samuel Sproink and Fionna Flibbergibbet.

              “And how is Sophie? That adventure into her past trauma was a bit much on her…” she mused.

              “She’s doing alright” answered Ricardo. “She’s learning to hone her remote-viewing skills to send our staff into new mysteries to solve. With a bit of AI assist…”

              “Oh, stop it already with your AI-this, AI-that! Hope there’ll still be room for some madness in all that neatly tidy purring of polite output.”

              “That’s why we’re here for, I reckon.” Ric’ smiled wryly.


              In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys


                Youssef came out of the Internet Cafe Yurt quite satisfied of himself but confused. It was already night time here and he felt hungry like a bear looking for honey. He smelled the scents of yak’s meat and followed the trail to the resto’yurt of the camp the production had settled in for the night. They were on a trip to make a documentary about the last surviving authentic shaman of Mongolia. They’d heard he was still alive and 125 years old. Of course, he was difficult to find and they’ve been looking for him for weeks.

                Fortunately, they had good reception for him to stay in contact with his friends and play the new game with that AI generated storyline stuff. Youssef liked his character with the bear shirt, but he wouldn’t tell his friends that he hadn’t  quite understood the concept of the game or of the quest. He was the kind of guy who liked having some explanations first and follow clear rules, have a little guidance. He smiled and performed two steps of breakdance, recalling one of Xavier’s joke about a little “guy dance”. His stomach growled as he approached the resto’yurt and the scent of food became stronger. The sounds of cheerful conversations in different languages welcomed him as he entered.

                He’ll have plenty of time to think of the game in front a spicy smorlax fried and a bowl of sweet tsampa for dessert. He noticed an empty seat just near Rebbecca, a young intern that took care of Mme Landowski’s schedule. She was smiling and Youssef thought they could continue the conversation they started this morning about the type of guys she liked.



                In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud

                Yurara FamelikiYurara Fameliki

                  Words from the Cloud prompted me to write a story:

                  song stayed act unexpected recall words spears bus learn king expected followed fright hot wore kianda picture walked playing coast dusty

                  Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there was a Song that stayed in the hearts of the people. The Song was about an Act of bravery and sacrifice that had taken place many years ago. But one day, an unexpected recall of the Song was issued by the king. He had heard that the Song was not being sung correctly, and he wanted to make sure that the true story was being told. The people were puzzled, as they had learned the Song from their ancestors and had always thought it was accurate. But they followed the king’s orders and set out to learn the correct version of the Song. As they began to recall the words, they realized that there were some discrepancies. They had always sung about the hero wielding a sword, but the true story spoke of him wielding Spears. They were taken aback, but they knew they had to correct the Song. So, they set out on a journey to retrace the hero’s steps.

                  As they traveled, they encountered unexpected challenges. They faced a bus that broke down, a coastline that was dusty and treacherous, and even a group of bandits. But they pressed on, determined to learn the truth.

                  As they approached the hero’s final battle, they felt a sense of dread. They had heard that the enemy was fierce, and they were not prepared for what they would find. But they followed the path and soon found themselves at the edge of a hot, barren wasteland.

                  The heroes wore their Kianda, traditional armor made of woven reeds, and stepped forward, ready for battle. But to their surprise, the enemy was nowhere to be found. Instead, they found a picture etched into the ground, depicting the hero and his enemy locked in a fierce battle.

                  The people walked around the picture, marveling at the detail and skill of the artist. And as they looked closer, they saw that the hero was holding Spears, not a sword. They realized that they had learned the true story, and they felt a sense of pride and gratitude.

                  With the Song corrected, they returned home, playing the new version for all to hear. And from that day on, the true story of the hero’s bravery and sacrifice was remembered, and the Song stayed in the hearts of the people forevermore.


                  In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


                    Write more about the group of people who lived inside of giant mushrooms, making it sound exciting and fun, and maybe a bit dangerous due to the nature of the mushrooms

                    As the group journeyed deeper into the Land of the Quirks, they stumbled upon a group of people living inside of giant mushrooms. The mushrooms were enormous, some as tall as skyscrapers, and they seemed to glow with an ethereal light. The group was amazed as they walked through the forest of mushrooms, each one unique in shape and size.

                    The people who lived inside of the mushrooms were a friendly and welcoming bunch, they welcomed the group with open arms and invited them to explore their homes. The inside of the mushrooms was a magical and mysterious place, the walls and ceilings were covered in a soft, velvety texture and the floors were made of a spongy, springy material. The light inside the mushrooms was soft and diffused, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

                    As the group explored the mushroom homes, they discovered that the people who lived there had a deep connection to the mushrooms. They used the mushrooms as a source of food, shelter, and medicine. They had learned to harness the unique properties of the mushrooms to create everything they needed to survive.

                    The group also discovered that the mushrooms had a dangerous side. The mushrooms were not only a source of life, but also a source of death. The group was warned that the mushrooms were unpredictable and that they should be careful when exploring. Some mushrooms were poisonous, others were carnivorous, and still, others had mind-altering properties.

                    Despite the danger, the group was excited to explore the mushrooms and learn more about the people who lived there. They knew that the journey would be filled with challenges, but they were determined to overcome them and discover the secrets of the mushrooms. The group had a lot of fun and adventure living with the people inside of giant mushrooms, and they learned a lot about the nature of the mushrooms and their own nature.


                    In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


                      Tell me more about the clues that Zara, Youssef, Xavier and Yasmin will find on their journeys to discover their inner quirky natures

                      As Zara, Youssef, Xavier and Yasmin journeyed through the Land of the Quirks to discover their inner quirky natures, they encountered various clues that helped them on their journey.

                      One of the clues they found was a mysterious map that led them to different locations, each one representing a different aspect of their personalities. The map also had various riddles and puzzles that they had to solve in order to progress to the next location.

                      Another clue they found was a series of journal entries written by a previous explorer who had also journeyed through the Land of the Quirks. The journal entries provided insight and wisdom on how to navigate the land and how to understand and accept one’s quirks.

                      They also encountered a group of strange and eccentric characters who each represented a different aspect of their personalities. These characters provided guidance and helped them understand different parts of themselves. They also helped them understand the importance of accepting and embracing their quirks.

                      They also found a series of symbols and artifacts that represented different parts of their personalities. These symbols and artifacts were like puzzle pieces that, when put together, helped them understand the bigger picture of their inner quirky natures.

                      As they continued their journey, they also learned that the key to discovering their inner quirky natures was not only about finding the physical “Key of Quirks”, but also about understanding and accepting themselves, their faults and their strengths, and learning to embrace their unique quirks.


                      Finding their inner quirks sounds quite definitive. how would you make the ending more open-ended, open to multiple series and iterations of the story without sounding repetitive

                      As Zara, Youssef, Xavier and Yasmin journeyed through the Land of the Quirks, they discovered their inner quirky natures, but the journey was far from over. They found that their inner quirks were constantly evolving and changing, and that the Land of the Quirks was a vast and mysterious place with many more secrets to uncover.

                      The group found that the “Key of Quirks” was not just a physical object but a symbol of self-discovery and self-acceptance. They learned that understanding and accepting oneself is a lifelong journey that never truly ends.

                      As they returned to their own world, they realized that they had gained a new perspective on life and that they would continue to carry the lessons they learned in the Land of the Quirks with them. They knew that they would always be on the lookout for new adventures and opportunities to continue exploring themselves and the world around them.

                      The group’s journey in the Land of the Quirks had come to an end but the story was not over. The characters would continue to grow, evolve and change as they experienced new adventures, challenges and self-discoveries. The ending was open-ended and leaves the possibility for multiple series and iterations of the story, each one exploring new aspects of the characters and the Land of the Quirks, without being repetitive.

                      Will they go a try to travel through another of the orbs?

                      It is possible that the group will want to explore other orbs and realms in the Land of the Quirks. The Land of the Quirks is described as a vast and mysterious place with many secrets to uncover, so the possibility of traveling through other orbs or realms is open. They may be tempted to see what other adventures and discoveries await them in these new places.

                      Alternatively, they might decide to take a break from their adventures, and reflect on what they’ve learned, applying it to their daily life, and maybe in the future, they will decide to come back to the Land of the Quirks and explore other orbs, or they may find other means of self-discovery and self-acceptance. In any case, the story leaves it open-ended and the characters have the freedom to choose what they want to do next.

                      How did they discover the orb in the first place?

                      It is not specified how the group discovered the orb in the first place. It could be that they stumbled upon it while on a hike or a camping trip, or it could be that they were on a mission to find it specifically. It could also be that the orb was something that had always been there but had gone unnoticed until one of the group members stumbled upon it.

                      Perhaps it was passed down from generation to generation as a legend, or maybe they found it while they were searching for something else. The story leaves it open-ended and it’s up to the reader’s imagination. The main focus of the story is on the journey and the lessons learned along the way, rather than the specifics of how the orb was discovered.


                      In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


                        After a few tries:

                        1. As the group has split up at the fork of the road, we discover a total of 4 new characters from the Land of the Quirks. Tell us how each group is encountering some or all of these characters, who they are, their gibberish-sounding names, and what is their quirks, and what they wear, or their activities. Make our main characters and maybe some of the new ones meet back at a common spot with a special event after that.
                        2. please rewrite the above, retaining the eccentricity but more grounded, less childish, and with a little darker tone and mystery.
                        3. please try again, make Spoink and Flibbertigibbet human and give them less endearing or friendly behaviours; name two more characters met on the road.

                        As the group split up at the fork of the road, each one encountered new characters from the Land of the Quirks.

                        Zara and Yasmin, who took the left path, met a man named “Sproink” who was a small, wiry man with a spring for a tail. He was always bouncing around and speaking in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and music. Sproink was a collector of shiny objects and had a bag full of them, he was also a scavenger, always looking for things to add to his collection. He was wearing a small top hat and a monocle. He was also known to be a bit of a thief and a con artist.

                        Xavier and Youssef, who took the right path, met a woman named “Flibbertigibbet” a tall, slender woman that had multiple arms. Flibbertigibbet was very talkative and friendly, always trying to strike up a conversation. She spoke in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and baby talk. She was a chef and was always carrying a pot and a spoon, but she also had a dark side, she was known to be a bit of a manipulator and a spy, always observing and gathering information for a mysterious organization. She was wearing a big chef hat and apron.

                        As the group met back at the fork, they were surprised to find that Sproink and Flibbertigibbet had also met there. The four new characters joined the group, and together they continued their journey to find the “Key of Quirks”. Along the way, they met two more characters;

                        They met a man named “Gibber” who was a tall, gaunt man with elongated limbs and fingers. He was always speaking in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and numbers. He was a mathematician and a scientist, always working on complex equations and theories. He was known to be a bit of a loner, and didn’t interact much with others. He was wearing a lab coat and goggles.

                        They also met a woman named “Glimmer” she was a short, plump woman with a shimmering skin that seemed to change color depending on the light. She was always speaking in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and poetry. She was an artist and a performer, always creating and performing in different shows. She was known to be a bit of a flirt and a bit of a drama queen. She was wearing a colorful and eccentric clothing, such as a flowy dress and a large hat adorned with feathers.

                        As the group journeyed on, they encountered more characters, each one with their own unique quirks and personalities. They met a variety of people, some friendly and some not so friendly, but all of them adding to the mysterious and unknown nature of the Land of the Quirks.

                        As the group reached the end of their journey and found the “Key of Quirks”, they realized that the key was not just a physical object but a symbol of acceptance and embracing individuality. They learned that the true key to leaving the Land of the Quirks was understanding and accepting the quirks of oneself and others.

                        The group had a bittersweet goodbye with their new friends, Sproink, Flibbertigibbet, Gibber and Glimmer, and the other characters they had met. They knew that they would always carry a piece of the Land of the Quirks with them and would always remember the mysterious and eccentric adventure they had.


                        In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


                          Asking to give each of the 4 characters some particular traits that makes them uniquely distinctive and recognizable

                          The four friends, Zara, Xavier, Yasmin, and Youssef, each have their own unique traits that make them stand out and recognizable.

                          Zara is the leader of the group, she is confident, and always ready for an adventure. She is a natural leader and has a strong sense of justice. She is also a tech-savvy person, always carrying a variety of gadgets with her, and is always the first to try out new technology.

                          Xavier is the joker of the group, always cracking jokes and making puns. He is a free-spirited person who is always up for an adventure, he has a great sense of humor and is not afraid to be himself. He is also an artist and often carries a sketchbook and pencils with him, he likes to draw whatever he sees in his journeys.

                          Yasmin is the brains of the group, she is intelligent and logical. She is always able to think on her feet and come up with a plan when things get tough. She is also a bit of a perfectionist and likes to have everything organized. She is a history buff and always carries a notebook with her to document her findings.

                          Youssef is the muscle of the group, He is physically strong, and always ready to help out in a fight. He is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying new dishes. He is always the first one to volunteer to carry the heavy bags and equipment. He is also a bit of a daredevil and loves trying out new sports and activities.

                          Give each of them a color, and an animal, and a secret name in a funny language

                          The four friends, Zara, Xavier, Yasmin, and Youssef, each have their own unique traits that make them stand out and recognizable.

                          Zara is the leader of the group, her color is red, her animal is a lion, and her secret name in a funny language is “Zaraloon”

                          Xavier is the joker of the group, his color is orange, his animal is a monkey, and his secret name in a funny language is “Xavimunk”

                          Yasmin is the brains of the group, her color is blue, her animal is an owl, and her secret name in a funny language is “Yasminowl”

                          Youssef is the muscle of the group, his color is green, his animal is a bear, and his secret name in a funny language is “Youssefbear”

                          Now, we need physical descriptions for each of them. Also, their ages, height, clothes, facial features, ethnicity (for instance Youssef may be half Yemeni and half Norwegian), etc. with a good mix of generic and eccentric. We also need surnames congruent with their described ethnicity, not too bland, but not too daft either. For instance Youssef Olafsson, Zara Patara-Smythe, etc. Also explain how they become friends.

                          Zara Patara-Smythe is a 25-year-old woman of mixed heritage, her mother is Indian and her father is British. She has long, dark hair that she keeps in a sleek ponytail, dark brown eyes and a sharp jawline. She stands at 5’6″ and has a toned and athletic build. She usually wears practical clothing that allows her to move around easily, such as cargo pants and a tank top.

                          Xavier Olafsson is a 27-year-old man of Norwegian and Danish descent. He has blonde hair that he keeps in a messy style, blue eyes, and a charming smile. He stands at 6’1″ and has a lean build. He is always seen wearing a colorful and bold clothing, such as a Hawaiian shirt and shorts.

                          Yasmin Ahmed is a 23-year-old woman of Egyptian descent. She has long, black hair that she keeps in a tight braid, dark brown eyes and a round face. She stands at 5’4″ and has a petite build. She usually wears conservative clothing, such as long skirts and blouses.

                          Youssef Ali is a 26-year-old man of half Yemeni, half Norwegian descent. He has short, curly black hair, dark brown eyes and a square jawline. He stands at 6’2″ and has a muscular build. He usually wears comfortable clothing such as a t-shirt and jeans, and always has a backpack on his shoulder.

                          The four of them became friends in college, they were all studying different majors, but they all shared a love for adventure and exploration. They found themselves in the same class project, and from there they formed a strong bond. After college, they decided to keep exploring the world together, and went on many trips and adventures, always seeking for something new and exciting.

                          1/ Change the ages of Zara, Xavier, Yasmin and Youssef to more random patterns – rewrite if needed how they met each other to reflect eventual age gaps. Give them some flaws, mental or physical challenges.
                          2/ increase again the age gaps while keeping the youngest one a young adult, and remove “minor” from the flaws descriptions

                          Zara is a 22-year-old woman who is the youngest of the group. She is a free-spirited, adventurous person, but also a bit reckless and impulsive. She has a scar on her cheek that she got from a Skateboarding accident when she was a teenager.

                          Xavier is a 45-year-old man who is the oldest of the group. He is a responsible and level-headed person, but also a bit of a perfectionist and can be hard on himself and others. He has dyslexia which he has been able to work around and it doesn’t impede his daily life.

                          Yasmin is a 38-year-old woman who is the second oldest of the group. She is a kind and compassionate person, but also a bit of a pushover and can have trouble standing up for herself. She has social anxiety that affect her in certain situations and she have been working on coping mechanisms.

                          Youssef is a 33-year-old man who is the second youngest of the group. He is a charismatic and outgoing person, but also a bit of a flirt and can be a bit insensitive to others feelings. He has ADHD which he has been able to manage with medication, but it still affects him from time to time.

                          The group met each other through different means, Xavier and Yasmin met at work, Zara and Youssef met at a college class, and eventually, they all became friends through common interests and activities. They decided to go on this adventure together because they were all looking for a change in their lives and wanted to explore the unknown.


                            A thread to share some of the prompts behind the AI-assisted journey into new adventures.

                            To start off…

                            Please write the exciting start of a novel.

                            Some elements you can integrate if you want:

                            – Four randomly chosen names full of panache that sound distinct from each other, slightly exotic and evocative
                            – the sentiment from this quotation: “Look around… Beauty is everywhere. You only have to look to see it.” – a group of four people ready for an adventure, standing in a cave with stalactites in front of a giant orb or bubble that seem to open to another brightly lit realm. Inside the bigger orb are some smaller orbs.
                            – the following term “mad journeys”

                            > result…

                            Told it to continue and it brought dragons… Asked to tone down the fantasy stuff, here’s what came out:

                            They walked into a small village, where they were greeted by a group of people wearing clothes that looked like they were from the 1920s. The people told them that they were in the land of the “Quirks”, a place where everything and everyone was a little bit different, and that they had to find the “Key of Quirks” in order to leave the land.

                            The group set off on their journey to find the key, but little did they know that their adventure was about to become even more exciting and quirky than they could ever have imagined. They encountered a talking dog, a man who had a garden on top of his head, and a group of people who lived inside of giant mushrooms.

                            As they journeyed on, they faced challenges and made new friends, but most importantly they learn to embrace their own quirks and individuality. Eventually, they found the key and were able to leave the land of the Quirks, but they knew that they would always carry a piece of that land with them.


                            In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys


                              The four adventurers, Zara, Xavier, Yasmin, and Youssef, stood in awe in front of the giant orb that seemed to open up to another realm. The light emanating from the orb was so bright, it was as if the sun was just inches away. The stalactites that hung from the cave’s ceiling sparkled like diamonds in the light, adding to the otherworldly beauty of the scene.

                              “Look around,” Yasmin said, her voice filled with wonder. “Beauty is everywhere. You only have to look to see it.”

                              The group was ready for an adventure and they knew that the orb in front of them was the key to their mad journey. Xavier stepped forward and reached out to touch the orb. As soon as his fingers made contact with the surface, the orb lit up and a pathway formed, leading into the brightly lit realm.

                              The group stepped through the pathway and found themselves in a world unlike anything they had ever seen before. The sky was a vibrant shade of purple and the ground was covered in a lush, green grass. The orb they had just passed through was now behind them, but in front of them were smaller orbs, each one leading to a different path.

                              Zara, Xavier, Yasmin, and Youssef looked at each other with excitement in their eyes. They knew that this was just the beginning of their mad journey.

                              Xavier stepped forward and reached out to touch the orb. As soon as his fingers made contact with the surface, the orb lit up and a pathway formed, leading into the brightly lit realm.


                              They walked into a small village, where they were greeted by a group of people wearing clothes that looked like they were from the 1920s. The people told them that they were in the land of the “Quirks”, a place where everything and everyone was a little bit different, and that they had to find the “Key of Quirks” in order to leave the land.

                              The four friends, Zara, Xavier, Yasmin, and Youssef, soon found themselves on a mission to find the “Key of Quirks” that would allow them to leave the land of the Quirks. As they walked through a forest, they came across a fork in the road.

                              Zara, the leader of the group, turned to the others and said, “Alright, we need to decide which way to go. Yasmin, what’s the plan?”

                              Yasmin, the brains of the group, replied, “I suggest we take the left path. According to the map I found, it leads to the Quirky Quests area, where we might find the key.”

                              Xavier, the joker of the group, chimed in, “I vote for the right path. It’s the road less traveled, and you know what they say, ‘the road less traveled is the road to adventure’ ”

                              Youssef, the muscle of the group, added, “I don’t care which way we go, I just want to find some food. I’m starving!”

                              Zara rolled her eyes, “Xavier, your jokes are getting old. And Youssef, we’re on a mission, we can’t just focus on food.”

                              Xavier grinned, “But Zaraloon, where’s the fun in that?”

                              Yasmin interjected, “Can we please focus? We need to make a decision. I propose we split up, Zara and I will take the left path, and Xavier and Youssef can take the right path.”

                              Youssef nodded, “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. That way, if we don’t find the key, at least we’ll have found some food.”

                              Xavier grinned, “Sounds like a plan, Xavimunk is ready for adventure!”

                              Zara shook her head with a smile, “Alright, let’s do this.”

                              The group split up, and as they walked away, they could be heard playfully bantering and joking with each other. Each one exemplifying their unique and distinct characters.


                                Asking the AI to expand on the glossary of the original Circle of Eights Story:


                                Malvina’s Cave: A dark and damp cave located in the heart of the Gripshawk mountains, known for its population of Glukenitch creatures.

                                Lan’ork: A vast and diverse continent known for its Eastern Lagunas, home to the Indogo flamingos. Dragon Head Peninsula: A rugged and mountainous region, home to the Langoat creatures and also known for its rich deposits of dragon ore.

                                Asgurdy: A sprawling desert region, known for its nomadic tribes who use Saurhse as mounts for transportation.

                                Golfindely: An idyllic coastal region known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, home to the Golfindel and Grake creatures.

                                Magical Schools

                                Dragonian Magic: A form of magic that is practiced by Dragonriders and Dragon tamers, which involves the manipulation of dragon energy and bonding with dragon companions.

                                Gripshawk Magic: A form of magic that is practiced by Gripshawks, which involves the manipulation of the natural elements and telepathic communication with other creatures.

                                Ugling Magic: A form of magic that is practiced by Uglings, which involves the use of charms, spells, and potions to manipulate the physical world.


                                Dragon Riders Guild: A prestigious guild of dragon riders, responsible for maintaining peace and order in the world by using their dragon companions for protection and transportation.

                                Gripshawk Hunters Guild: A guild of skilled hunters who specialize in hunting and capturing exotic creatures for various purposes.

                                Ugling Alchemists Guild: A guild of alchemists and potion makers, who create various potions and elixirs for medicinal and magical purposes.


                                The Order of the Buntifluën: A secret organization dedicated to the study and use of Buntifluën artefacts for the betterment of communication and understanding between sentient beings.

                                The Glubolín Network: A network of individuals who possess Glubolín devices, used for communication and sharing information across long distances.

                                The Sabulmantium Society: A society of scholars and adventurers who study the properties and uses of Sabulmantium devices for divination and navigation.

                                Here are a few new invented terms with their potential IPA pronunciations and definitions that would fit in this fantasy world:


                                Krynn [ ˈkrĭn ] : A subspecies of dragon known for its ability to control and manipulate time.


                                Kelpies [ ˈkĕl-pēz ] : Aquatic creatures resembling horses, known for their ability to shape-shift and lure unsuspecting victims into the water.

                                Magical Artefacts:

                                Dragonwhisper [ ˈdrā-gən-ˌhwis-pər ] : An ancient and powerful magical artifact, which allows the user to communicate and control dragons telepathically.

                                Necrotalisman [ ˈnĕk-rə-ˈtā-lĭz-mən ] : A magical artifact in the shape of a talisman that grants its wielder the ability to control and summon the dead.


                                Blightthorn [ ˈblīt-ˌthôrn ] : A poisonous plant known for its dark purple flowers and thorny stem, its extract is used in dark magic

                                Faeleaf [ ˈfā-ˌlēf ] : A rare plant found in the deep forest known for its bright green leaves, its extract is used in healing potions


                                The Shadowland [ ˈshā-dō-ˌland ] : A mysterious and dangerous land overrun by dark magic and controlled by Necromancers.

                                The Hidden Vale [ ˈhī-dən-ˈvāl ] : A secluded valley located deep in the mountains, home to the reclusive Faeleaf plants.


                                The Necromancers’ Circle [ ˈnĕk-rə-ˈmän-sər-z-ˈsər-kəl ] : A secret organization of powerful necromancers who seek to expand their control over death and the dead.

                                Here are a few more invented terms with their potential IPA pronunciations and definitions that fit in this fantasy world, having less to do with necromancy, and more with various forms of consciousness or energy manipulation, magical or mythical creatures or species:


                                Eterneon [ ˈē-tər-ˈnē-ən ] : A species of winged creatures known for their ability to manipulate and harness the energy of the stars, they are highly sought after by astromancers and star-gazers.

                                Psicon [ ˈsī-ˌkän ] : A species of psychic creatures, known for their ability to read minds and influence emotions.

                                Magical Artefacts:

                                Energyshield [ ˈen-ər-jē-ˌshēld ] : A magical artifact that creates a protective barrier around the user, deflecting or absorbing any kind of energy-based attacks.

                                Empathstone [ ˈĕm-pāth-ˈstōn ] : A small, glowing stone which allows the user to sense and control the emotions of others.

                                Magical Schools:

                                Energyshaping [ ˈen-ər-jē-ˌshāp-ing ] : A school of magic that involves the manipulation and control of various forms of energy.

                                Empathymagic [ ˈĕm-pā-thē-ˈmaj-ik ] : A school of magic that involves the manipulation of emotions and the ability to sense the emotions of others.


                                Eternity’s Edge [ ˈē-tər-nə-tēz-ˈēj] : A remote and mysterious cliff located high in the mountains, known for its strong emanations of star energy and rumored to be home to a hidden community of Eterneons.

                                Psicon’s Den [ ˈsī-kän-z-ˈdĕn] : A secret cave system located deep within the forest, it is said to be home to a colony of Psicon creatures.


                                The Energists Guild [ ˈen-ər-jist-z-ˈgild] : A powerful guild of magic users specializing in Energyshaping magic.

                                The Empath Council [ ˈĕm-pāth-ˈkoun-səl]: A secretive group of Empathymagic users, dedicated to the study and control of emotions.



                                  The Birmingham Bootmaker

                                  Samuel Jones 1816-1875


                                  Samuel Jones the elder was born in Belfast circa 1779.  He is one of just two direct ancestors found thus far born in Ireland.  Samuel married Jane Elizabeth Brooker (born in St Giles, London) on the 25th January 1807 at St George, Hanover Square in London.  Their first child Mary was born in 1808 in London, and then the family moved to Birmingham. Mary was my 3x great grandmother.

                                  But this chapter is about her brother Samuel Jones.  I noticed that on a number of other trees on the Ancestry site, Samuel Jones was a convict transported to Australia, but this didn’t tally with the records I’d found for Samuel in Birmingham.  In fact another Samuel Jones born at the same time in the same place was transported, but his occupation was a baker.  Our Samuel Jones was a bootmaker like his father.

                                  Samuel was born on 28th January 1816 in Birmingham and baptised at St Phillips on the 19th August of that year, the fourth child and first son of Samuel the elder and Jane’s eleven children.

                                  On the 1839 electoral register a Samuel Jones owned a property on Colmore Row, Birmingham.

                                  Samuel Jones, bootmaker of 15, Colmore Row is listed in the 1849 Birmingham post office directory, and in the 1855 White’s Directory.

                                  On the 1851 census, Samuel was an unmarried bootmaker employing sixteen men at 15, Colmore Row.  A 9 year old nephew Henry Harris was living with him, and his mother Ruth Harris, as well as a female servant.  Samuel’s sister Ruth was born in 1818 and married Henry Harris in 1840. Henry died in 1848.

                                  Samuel was a 45 year old bootmaker at 15 Colmore Row on the 1861 census, living with Maria Walcot, a 26 year old domestic servant.

                                  In October 1863 Samuel married Maria Walcot at St Philips in Birmingham.  They don’t appear to have had any children as none appear on the 1871 census, where Samuel and Maria are living at the same address, with another female servant and two male lodgers by the name of Messant from Ipswich.

                                  Marriage of Samuel Jones and Maria Walcot:

                                  1863 Samuel Jones


                                  In 1864 Samuel’s father died.  Samuel the son is mentioned in the probate records as one of the executors: “Samuel Jones of Colmore Row Birmingham in the county of Warwick boot and shoe manufacturer the son”.

                                  1864 Samuel Jones


                                  Indeed it could hardly be clearer that this Samuel Jones was not the convict transported to Australia in 1834!


                                  In 1867 Samuel Jones, bootmaker, was mentioned in the Birmingham Daily Gazette with regard to an unfortunate incident involving his American lodger, Cory McFarland.  The verdict was accidental death.

                                  Birmingham Daily Gazette – Friday 05 April 1867:

                                  Cory McFarland 1


                                  I asked a Birmingham history group for an old photo of Colmore Row. This photo is circa 1870 and number 15 is furthest from the camera.  The businesses on the street at the time were as follows:

                                  7 homeopathic chemist George John Morris. 8 surgeon dentist Frederick Sims. 9 Saul & Walter Samuel, Australian merchants. Surgeons occupied 10, pawnbroker John Aaron at 11 & 12. 15 boot & shoemaker. 17 auctioneer…

                                  Colmore Row 1870


                                  from Bird’s Eye View of Birmingham, 1886:

                                  Birmingham 1886



                                    Isaac Stokes 1804-1877


                                    Isaac was born in Churchill, Oxfordshire in 1804, and was the youngest brother of my 4X great grandfather Thomas Stokes. The Stokes family were stone masons for generations in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and Isaac’s occupation was a mason’s labourer in 1834 when he was sentenced at the Lent Assizes in Oxford to fourteen years transportation for stealing tools.

                                    Churchill where the Stokes stonemasons came from: on 31 July 1684 a fire destroyed 20 houses and many other buildings, and killed four people. The village was rebuilt higher up the hill, with stone houses instead of the old timber-framed and thatched cottages. The fire was apparently caused by a baker who, to avoid chimney tax, had knocked through the wall from her oven to her neighbour’s chimney.

                                    Isaac stole a pick axe, the value of 2 shillings and the property of Thomas Joyner of Churchill; a kibbeaux and a trowel value 3 shillings the property of Thomas Symms; a hammer and axe value 5 shillings, property of John Keen of Sarsden.

                                    (The word kibbeaux seems to only exists in relation to Isaac Stokes sentence and whoever was the first to write it was perhaps being creative with the spelling of a kibbo, a miners or a metal bucket. This spelling is repeated in the criminal reports and the newspaper articles about Isaac, but nowhere else).

                                    In March 1834 the Removal of Convicts was announced in the Oxford University and City Herald: Isaac Stokes and several other prisoners were removed from the Oxford county gaol to the Justitia hulk at Woolwich “persuant to their sentences of transportation at our Lent Assizes”.

                                    via digitalpanopticon:

                                    Hulks were decommissioned (and often unseaworthy) ships that were moored in rivers and estuaries and refitted to become floating prisons. The outbreak of war in America in 1775 meant that it was no longer possible to transport British convicts there. Transportation as a form of punishment had started in the late seventeenth century, and following the Transportation Act of 1718, some 44,000 British convicts were sent to the American colonies. The end of this punishment presented a major problem for the authorities in London, since in the decade before 1775, two-thirds of convicts at the Old Bailey received a sentence of transportation – on average 283 convicts a year. As a result, London’s prisons quickly filled to overflowing with convicted prisoners who were sentenced to transportation but had no place to go.

                                    To increase London’s prison capacity, in 1776 Parliament passed the “Hulks Act” (16 Geo III, c.43). Although overseen by local justices of the peace, the hulks were to be directly managed and maintained by private contractors. The first contract to run a hulk was awarded to Duncan Campbell, a former transportation contractor. In August 1776, the Justicia, a former transportation ship moored in the River Thames, became the first prison hulk. This ship soon became full and Campbell quickly introduced a number of other hulks in London; by 1778 the fleet of hulks on the Thames held 510 prisoners.
                                    Demand was so great that new hulks were introduced across the country. There were hulks located at Deptford, Chatham, Woolwich, Gosport, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheerness and Cork.

                                    The Justitia via rmg collections:

                                    JustitiaConvicts perform hard labour at the Woolwich Warren. The hulk on the river is the ‘Justitia’. Prisoners were kept on board such ships for months awaiting deportation to Australia. The ‘Justitia’ was a 260 ton prison hulk that had been originally moored in the Thames when the American War of Independence put a stop to the transportation of criminals to the former colonies. The ‘Justitia’ belonged to the shipowner Duncan Campbell, who was the Government contractor who organized the prison-hulk system at that time. Campbell was subsequently involved in the shipping of convicts to the penal colony at Botany Bay (in fact Port Jackson, later Sydney, just to the north) in New South Wales, the ‘first fleet’ going out in 1788.


                                    While searching for records for Isaac Stokes I discovered that another Isaac Stokes was transported to New South Wales in 1835 as well. The other one was a butcher born in 1809, sentenced in London for seven years, and he sailed on the Mary Ann. Our Isaac Stokes sailed on the Lady Nugent, arriving in NSW in April 1835, having set sail from England in December 1834.

                                    Lady Nugent was built at Bombay in 1813. She made four voyages under contract to the British East India Company (EIC). She then made two voyages transporting convicts to Australia, one to New South Wales and one to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). (via Wikipedia)

                                    via freesettlerorfelon website:

                                    On 20 November 1834, 100 male convicts were transferred to the Lady Nugent from the Justitia Hulk and 60 from the Ganymede Hulk at Woolwich, all in apparent good health. The Lady Nugent departed Sheerness on 4 December 1834.

                                    SURGEON OLIVER SPROULE

                                    Oliver Sproule kept a Medical Journal from 7 November 1834 to 27 April 1835. He recorded in his journal the weather conditions they experienced in the first two weeks:

                                    ‘In the course of the first week or ten days at sea, there were eight or nine on the sick list with catarrhal affections and one with dropsy which I attribute to the cold and wet we experienced during that period beating down channel. Indeed the foremost berths in the prison at this time were so wet from leaking in that part of the ship, that I was obliged to issue dry beds and bedding to a great many of the prisoners to preserve their health, but after crossing the Bay of Biscay the weather became fine and we got the damp beds and blankets dried, the leaks partially stopped and the prison well aired and ventilated which, I am happy to say soon manifested a favourable change in the health and appearance of the men.

                                    Besides the cases given in the journal I had a great many others to treat, some of them similar to those mentioned but the greater part consisted of boils, scalds, and contusions which would not only be too tedious to enter but I fear would be irksome to the reader. There were four births on board during the passage which did well, therefore I did not consider it necessary to give a detailed account of them in my journal the more especially as they were all favourable cases.

                                    Regularity and cleanliness in the prison, free ventilation and as far as possible dry decks turning all the prisoners up in fine weather as we were lucky enough to have two musicians amongst the convicts, dancing was tolerated every afternoon, strict attention to personal cleanliness and also to the cooking of their victuals with regular hours for their meals, were the only prophylactic means used on this occasion, which I found to answer my expectations to the utmost extent in as much as there was not a single case of contagious or infectious nature during the whole passage with the exception of a few cases of psora which soon yielded to the usual treatment. A few cases of scurvy however appeared on board at rather an early period which I can attribute to nothing else but the wet and hardships the prisoners endured during the first three or four weeks of the passage. I was prompt in my treatment of these cases and they got well, but before we arrived at Sydney I had about thirty others to treat.’

                                    The Lady Nugent arrived in Port Jackson on 9 April 1835 with 284 male prisoners. Two men had died at sea. The prisoners were landed on 27th April 1835 and marched to Hyde Park Barracks prior to being assigned. Ten were under the age of 14 years.

                                    The Lady Nugent:

                                    Lady Nugent


                                    Isaac’s distinguishing marks are noted on various criminal registers and record books:

                                    “Height in feet & inches: 5 4; Complexion: Ruddy; Hair: Light brown; Eyes: Hazel; Marks or Scars: Yes [including] DEVIL on lower left arm, TSIS back of left hand, WS lower right arm, MHDW back of right hand.”

                                    Another includes more detail about Isaac’s tattoos:

                                    “Two slight scars right side of mouth, 2 moles above right breast, figure of the devil and DEVIL and raised mole, lower left arm; anchor, seven dots half moon, TSIS and cross, back of left hand; a mallet, door post, A, mans bust, sun, WS, lower right arm; woman, MHDW and shut knife, back of right hand.”


                                    Lady Nugent record book


                                    From How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England (2019 article in TheConversation by Robert Shoemaker and Zoe Alkar):

                                    “Historical tattooing was not restricted to sailors, soldiers and convicts, but was a growing and accepted phenomenon in Victorian England. Tattoos provide an important window into the lives of those who typically left no written records of their own. As a form of “history from below”, they give us a fleeting but intriguing understanding of the identities and emotions of ordinary people in the past.
                                    As a practice for which typically the only record is the body itself, few systematic records survive before the advent of photography. One exception to this is the written descriptions of tattoos (and even the occasional sketch) that were kept of institutionalised people forced to submit to the recording of information about their bodies as a means of identifying them. This particularly applies to three groups – criminal convicts, soldiers and sailors. Of these, the convict records are the most voluminous and systematic.
                                    Such records were first kept in large numbers for those who were transported to Australia from 1788 (since Australia was then an open prison) as the authorities needed some means of keeping track of them.”

                                    On the 1837 census Isaac was working for the government at Illiwarra, New South Wales. This record states that he arrived on the Lady Nugent in 1835. There are three other indent records for an Isaac Stokes in the following years, but the transcriptions don’t provide enough information to determine which Isaac Stokes it was. In April 1837 there was an abscondment, and an arrest/apprehension in May of that year, and in 1843 there was a record of convict indulgences.

                                    From the Australian government website regarding “convict indulgences”:

                                    “By the mid-1830s only six per cent of convicts were locked up. The vast majority worked for the government or free settlers and, with good behaviour, could earn a ticket of leave, conditional pardon or and even an absolute pardon. While under such orders convicts could earn their own living.”


                                    In 1856 in Camden, NSW, Isaac Stokes married Catherine Daly. With no further information on this record it would be impossible to know for sure if this was the right Isaac Stokes. This couple had six children, all in the Camden area, but none of the records provided enough information. No occupation or place or date of birth recorded for Isaac Stokes.

                                    I wrote to the National Library of Australia about the marriage record, and their reply was a surprise! Issac and Catherine were married on 30 September 1856, at the house of the Rev. Charles William Rigg, a Methodist minister, and it was recorded that Isaac was born in Edinburgh in 1821, to parents James Stokes and Sarah Ellis!  The age at the time of the marriage doesn’t match Isaac’s age at death in 1877, and clearly the place of birth and parents didn’t match either. Only his fathers occupation of stone mason was correct.  I wrote back to the helpful people at the library and they replied that the register was in a very poor condition and that only two and a half entries had survived at all, and that Isaac and Catherines marriage was recorded over two pages.

                                    I searched for an Isaac Stokes born in 1821 in Edinburgh on the Scotland government website (and on all the other genealogy records sites) and didn’t find it. In fact Stokes was a very uncommon name in Scotland at the time. I also searched Australian immigration and other records for another Isaac Stokes born in Scotland or born in 1821, and found nothing.  I was unable to find a single record to corroborate this mysterious other Isaac Stokes.

                                    As the age at death in 1877 was correct, I assume that either Isaac was lying, or that some mistake was made either on the register at the home of the Methodist minster, or a subsequent mistranscription or muddle on the remnants of the surviving register.  Therefore I remain convinced that the Camden stonemason Isaac Stokes was indeed our Isaac from Oxfordshire.


                                    I found a history society newsletter article that mentioned Isaac Stokes, stone mason, had built the Glenmore church, near Camden, in 1859.

                                    Glenmore Church


                                    From the Wollondilly museum April 2020 newsletter:

                                    Glenmore Church Stokes


                                    From the Camden History website:

                                    “The stone set over the porch of Glenmore Church gives the date of 1860. The church was begun in 1859 on land given by Joseph Moore. James Rogers of Picton was given the contract to build and local builder, Mr. Stokes, carried out the work. Elizabeth Moore, wife of Edward, laid the foundation stone. The first service was held on 19th March 1860. The cemetery alongside the church contains the headstones and memorials of the areas early pioneers.”


                                    Isaac died on the 3rd September 1877. The inquest report puts his place of death as Bagdelly, near to Camden, and another death register has put Cambelltown, also very close to Camden.  His age was recorded as 71 and the inquest report states his cause of death was “rupture of one of the large pulmonary vessels of the lung”.  His wife Catherine died in childbirth in 1870 at the age of 43.


                                    Isaac and Catherine’s children:

                                    William Stokes 1857-1928

                                    Catherine Stokes 1859-1846

                                    Sarah Josephine Stokes 1861-1931

                                    Ellen Stokes 1863-1932

                                    Rosanna Stokes 1865-1919

                                    Louisa Stokes 1868-1844.


                                    It’s possible that Catherine Daly was a transported convict from Ireland.


                                      Wong Sang


                                      Wong Sang was born in China in 1884. In October 1916 he married Alice Stokes in Oxford.

                                      Alice was the granddaughter of William Stokes of Churchill, Oxfordshire and William was the brother of Thomas Stokes the wheelwright (who was my 3X great grandfather). In other words Alice was my second cousin, three times removed, on my fathers paternal side.

                                      Wong Sang was an interpreter, according to the baptism registers of his children and the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital admission registers in 1930.  The hospital register also notes that he was employed by the Blue Funnel Line, and that his address was 11, Limehouse Causeway, E 14. (London)

                                      “The Blue Funnel Line offered regular First-Class Passenger and Cargo Services From the UK to South Africa, Malaya, China, Japan, Australia, Java, and America.  Blue Funnel Line was Owned and Operated by Alfred Holt & Co., Liverpool.
                                      The Blue Funnel Line, so-called because its ships have a blue funnel with a black top, is more appropriately known as the Ocean Steamship Company.”


                                      Wong Sang and Alice’s daughter, Frances Eileen Sang, was born on the 14th July, 1916 and baptised in 1920 at St Stephen in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London.  The birth date is noted in the 1920 baptism register and would predate their marriage by a few months, although on the death register in 1921 her age at death is four years old and her year of birth is recorded as 1917.

                                      Charles Ronald Sang was baptised on the same day in May 1920, but his birth is recorded as April of that year.  The family were living on Morant Street, Poplar.

                                      James William Sang’s birth is recorded on the 1939 census and on the death register in 2000 as being the 8th March 1913.  This definitely would predate the 1916 marriage in Oxford.

                                      William Norman Sang was born on the 17th October 1922 in Poplar.

                                      Alice and the three sons were living at 11, Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census, the same address that Wong Sang was living at when he was admitted to Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital on the 15th January 1930. Wong Sang died in the hospital on the 8th March of that year at the age of 46.

                                      Alice married John Patterson in 1933 in Stepney. John was living with Alice and her three sons on Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census and his occupation was chef.

                                      Via Old London Photographs:

                                      “Limehouse Causeway is a street in east London that was the home to the original Chinatown of London. A combination of bomb damage during the Second World War and later redevelopment means that almost nothing is left of the original buildings of the street.”

                                      Limehouse Causeway in 1925:

                                      Limehouse Causeway


                                      From The Story of Limehouse’s Lost Chinatown, poplarlondon website:

                                      “Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown, home to a tightly-knit community who were demonised in popular culture and eventually erased from the cityscape.

                                      As recounted in the BBC’s ‘Our Greatest Generation’ series, Connie was born to a Chinese father and an English mother in early 1920s Limehouse, where she used to play in the street with other British and British-Chinese children before running inside for teatime at one of their houses. 

                                      Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown between the 1880s and the 1960s, before the current Chinatown off Shaftesbury Avenue was established in the 1970s by an influx of immigrants from Hong Kong. 

                                      Connie’s memories of London’s first Chinatown as an “urban village” paint a very different picture to the seedy area portrayed in early twentieth century novels. 

                                      The pyramid in St Anne’s church marked the entrance to the opium den of Dr Fu Manchu, a criminal mastermind who threatened Western society by plotting world domination in a series of novels by Sax Rohmer. 

                                      Thomas Burke’s Limehouse Nights cemented stereotypes about prostitution, gambling and violence within the Chinese community, and whipped up anxiety about sexual relationships between Chinese men and white women. 

                                      Though neither novelist was familiar with the Chinese community, their depictions made Limehouse one of the most notorious areas of London. 

                                      Travel agent Thomas Cook even organised tours of the area for daring visitors, despite the rector of Limehouse warning that “those who look for the Limehouse of Mr Thomas Burke simply will not find it.”

                                      All that remains is a handful of Chinese street names, such as Ming Street, Pekin Street, and Canton Street — but what was Limehouse’s chinatown really like, and why did it get swept away?

                                      Chinese migration to Limehouse 

                                      Chinese sailors discharged from East India Company ships settled in the docklands from as early as the 1780s.

                                      By the late nineteenth century, men from Shanghai had settled around Pennyfields Lane, while a Cantonese community lived on Limehouse Causeway. 

                                      Chinese sailors were often paid less and discriminated against by dock hirers, and so began to diversify their incomes by setting up hand laundry services and restaurants. 

                                      Old photographs show shopfronts emblazoned with Chinese characters with horse-drawn carts idling outside or Chinese men in suits and hats standing proudly in the doorways. 

                                      In oral histories collected by Yat Ming Loo, Connie’s husband Leslie doesn’t recall seeing any Chinese women as a child, since male Chinese sailors settled in London alone and married working-class English women. 

                                      In the 1920s, newspapers fear-mongered about interracial marriages, crime and gambling, and described chinatown as an East End “colony.” 

                                      Ironically, Chinese opium-smoking was also demonised in the press, despite Britain waging war against China in the mid-nineteenth century for suppressing the opium trade to alleviate addiction amongst its people. 

                                      The number of Chinese people who settled in Limehouse was also greatly exaggerated, and in reality only totalled around 300. 

                                      The real Chinatown 

                                      Although the press sought to characterise Limehouse as a monolithic Chinese community in the East End, Connie remembers seeing people of all nationalities in the shops and community spaces in Limehouse.

                                      She doesn’t remember feeling discriminated against by other locals, though Connie does recall having her face measured and IQ tested by a member of the British Eugenics Society who was conducting research in the area. 

                                      Some of Connie’s happiest childhood memories were from her time at Chung-Hua Club, where she learned about Chinese culture and language.

                                      Why did Chinatown disappear? 

                                      The caricature of Limehouse’s Chinatown as a den of vice hastened its erasure. 

                                      Police raids and deportations fuelled by the alarmist media coverage threatened the Chinese population of Limehouse, and slum clearance schemes to redevelop low-income areas dispersed Chinese residents in the 1930s. 

                                      The Defence of the Realm Act imposed at the beginning of the First World War criminalised opium use, gave the authorities increased powers to deport Chinese people and restricted their ability to work on British ships.

                                      Dwindling maritime trade during World War II further stripped Chinese sailors of opportunities for employment, and any remnants of Chinatown were destroyed during the Blitz or erased by postwar development schemes.”


                                      Wong Sang 1884-1930

                                      The year 1918 was a troublesome one for Wong Sang, an interpreter and shipping agent for Blue Funnel Line.  The Sang family were living at 156, Chrisp Street.

                                      Chrisp Street, Poplar, in 1913 via Old London Photographs:

                                      Chrisp Street


                                      In February Wong Sang was discharged from a false accusation after defending his home from potential robbers.

                                      East End News and London Shipping Chronicle – Friday 15 February 1918:

                                      1918 Wong Sang


                                      In August of that year he was involved in an incident that left him unconscious.

                                      Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 31 August 1918:

                                      1918 Wong Sang 2


                                      Wong Sang is mentioned in an 1922 article about “Oriental London”.

                                      London and China Express – Thursday 09 February 1922:

                                      1922 Wong Sang

                                      A photograph of the Chee Kong Tong Chinese Freemason Society mentioned in the above article, via Old London Photographs:

                                      Chee Kong Tong


                                      Wong Sang was recommended by the London Metropolitan Police in 1928 to assist in a case in Wellingborough, Northampton.

                                      Difficulty of Getting an Interpreter: Northampton Mercury – Friday 16 March 1928:

                                      1928 Wong Sang1928 Wong Sang 2

                                      The difficulty was that “this man speaks the Cantonese language only…the Northeners and the Southerners in China have differing languages and the interpreter seemed to speak one that was in between these two.”


                                      In 1917, Alice Wong Sang was a witness at her sister Harriet Stokes marriage to James William Watts in Southwark, London.  Their father James Stokes occupation on the marriage register is foreman surveyor, but on the census he was a council roadman or labourer. (I initially rejected this as the correct marriage for Harriet because of the discrepancy with the occupations. Alice Wong Sang as a witness confirmed that it was indeed the correct one.)

                                      1917 Alice Wong Sang



                                      James William Sang 1913-2000 was a clock fitter and watch assembler (on the 1939 census). He married Ivy Laura Fenton in 1963 in Sidcup, Kent. James died in Southwark in 2000.

                                      Charles Ronald Sang 1920-1974  was a draughtsman (1939 census). He married Eileen Burgess in 1947 in Marylebone.  Charles and Eileen had two sons:  Keith born in 1951 and Roger born in 1952.  He died in 1974 in Hertfordshire.

                                      William Norman Sang 1922-2000 was a clerk and telephone operator (1939 census).  William enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1942. He married Lily Mullins in 1949 in Bethnal Green, and they had three daughters: Marion born in 1950, Christine in 1953, and Frances in 1959.  He died in Redbridge in 2000.


                                      I then found another two births registered in Poplar by Alice Sang, both daughters.  Doris Winifred Sang was born in 1925, and Patricia Margaret Sang was born in 1933 ~ three years after Wong Sang’s death.  Neither of the these daughters were on the 1939 census with Alice, John Patterson and the three sons.  Margaret had presumably been evacuated because of the war to a family in Taunton, Somerset. Doris would have been fourteen and I have been unable to find her in 1939 (possibly because she died in 2017 and has not had the redaction removed  yet on the 1939 census as only deceased people are viewable).

                                      Doris Winifred Sang 1925-2017 was a nursing sister. She didn’t marry, and spent a year in USA between 1954 and 1955. She stayed in London, and died at the age of ninety two in 2017.

                                      Patricia Margaret Sang 1933-1998 was also a nurse. She married Patrick L Nicely in Stepney in 1957.  Patricia and Patrick had five children in London: Sharon born 1959, Donald in 1960, Malcolm was born and died in 1966, Alison was born in 1969 and David in 1971.


                                      I was unable to find a birth registered for Alice’s first son, James William Sang (as he appeared on the 1939 census).  I found Alice Stokes on the 1911 census as a 17 year old live in servant at a tobacconist on Pekin Street, Limehouse, living with Mr Sui Fong from Hong Kong and his wife Sarah Sui Fong from Berlin.  I looked for a birth registered for James William Fong instead of Sang, and found it ~ mothers maiden name Stokes, and his date of birth matched the 1939 census: 8th March, 1913.

                                      On the 1921 census, Wong Sang is not listed as living with them but it is mentioned that Mr Wong Sang was the person returning the census.  Also living with Alice and her sons James and Charles in 1921 are two visitors:  (Florence) May Stokes, 17 years old, born in Woodstock, and Charles Stokes, aged 14, also born in Woodstock. May and Charles were Alice’s sister and brother.


                                      I found Sharon Nicely on social media and she kindly shared photos of Wong Sang and Alice Stokes:

                                      Wong Sang


                                      Alice Stokes


                                        The Mormon Browning Who Went To Utah


                                        Isaac Browning’s (1784-1848) sister Hannah  married Francis Buckingham. There were at least three Browning Buckingham marriages in Tetbury.  Their daughter Charlotte married James Paskett, a shoemaker.  Charlotte was born in 1818 and in 1871 she and her family emigrated to Utah, USA.

                                        Charlotte’s relationship to me is first cousin five times removed.

                                        James and Charlotte: (photos found online)

                                        James Paskett


                                        The house of James and Charlotte in Tetbury:

                                        James Paskett 2


                                        The home of James and Charlotte in Utah:

                                        James Paskett3


                                        James Pope Paskett Dead.

                                        Veteran of 87 Laid to rest. Special Correspondence Coalville, Summit Co., Oct 28—James Pope Paskett of Henefer died Oct. 24, 1903 of old age and general debility. Funeral services were held at Henefer today. Elders W.W. Cluff, Alma Elderge, Robert Jones, Oscar Wilkins and Bishop M.F. Harris were the speakers. There was a large attendance many coming from other wards in the stake. James Pope Paskett was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, on March 12, 1817; married Chalotte Buckingham in the year 1839; eight children were born to them, three sons and five daughters, all of whom are living and residing in Utah, except one in Brisbane, Australia. Father Paskett joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1847, and emigrated to Utah in 1871, and has resided in Henefer ever since. He leaves his faithful and aged wife. He was respected and esteemed by all who knew him.


                                        Charlotte died in Henefer, Utah, on 27th December 1910 at the age of 91.

                                        James and Charlotte in later life:

                                        James Paskett 4


                                          The Tetbury Riots


                                          While researching the Tetbury riots  (I had found some Browning names in the newspaper archives in association with the uprisings) I came across an article called Elizabeth Parker, the Swing Riots, and the Tetbury parish clerk” by Jill Evans.

                                          I noted the name of the parish clerk, Daniel Cole, because I know someone else of that name. The incident in the article was 1830.

                                          I found the 1826 marriage in the Tetbury parish registers (where Daniel was the parish clerk) of my 4x great grandmothers sister Hesther Lock. One of the witnesses was her brother Charles, and the other was Daniel Cole, the parish clerk.

                                          Marriage of Lewin Chandler and Hesther Lock in 1826:

                                          Daniel Cole witness


                                          from the article:

                                          “The Swing Riots were disturbances which took place in 1830 and 1831, mostly in the southern counties of England. Agricultural labourers, who were already suffering due to low wages and a lack of work after several years of bad harvests, rose up when their employers introduced threshing machines into their workplaces. The riots got their name from the threatening letters which were sent to farmers and other employers, which were signed “Captain Swing.”

                                          The riots spread into Gloucestershire in November 1830, with the Tetbury area seeing the worst of the disturbances. Amongst the many people arrested afterwards was one woman, Elizabeth Parker. She has sometimes been cited as one of only two females who were transported for taking part in the Swing Riots. In fact, she was sentenced to be transported for this crime, but never sailed, as she was pardoned a few months after being convicted. However, less than a year after being released from Gloucester Gaol, she was back, awaiting trial for another offence. The circumstances in both of the cases she was tried for reveal an intriguing relationship with one Daniel Cole, parish clerk and assistant poor law officer in Tetbury….

                                          ….Elizabeth Parker was committed to Gloucester Gaol on 4 December 1830. In the Gaol Registers, she was described as being 23 and a “labourer”. She was in fact a prostitute, and she was unusual for the time in that she could read and write. She was charged on the oaths of Daniel Cole and others with having been among a mob which destroyed a threshing machine belonging to Jacob Hayward, at his farm in Beverstone, on 26 November.

                                          …..Elizabeth Parker was granted royal clemency in July 1831 and was released from prison. She returned to Tetbury and presumably continued in her usual occupation, but on 27 March 1832, she was committed to Gloucester Gaol again. This time, she was charged with stealing 2 five pound notes, 5 sovereigns and 5 half sovereigns, from the person of Daniel Cole.

                                          Elizabeth was tried at the Lent Assizes which began on 28 March, 1832. The details of her trial were reported in the Morning Post. Daniel Cole was in the “Boat Inn” (meaning the Boot Inn, I think) in Tetbury, when Elizabeth Parker came in. Cole “accompanied her down the yard”, where he stayed with her for about half an hour. The next morning, he realised that all his money was gone. One of his five pound notes was identified by him in a shop, where Parker had bought some items.

                                          Under cross-examination, Cole said he was the assistant overseer of the poor and collector of public taxes of the parish of Tetbury. He was married with one child. He went in to the inn at about 9 pm, and stayed about 2 hours, drinking in the parlour, with the landlord, Elizabeth Parker, and two others. He was not drunk, but he was “rather fresh.” He gave the prisoner no money. He saw Elizabeth Parker next morning at the Prince and Princess public house. He didn’t drink with her or give her any money. He did give her a shilling after she was committed. He never said that he would not have prosecuted her “if it was not for her own tongue”. (Presumably meaning he couldn’t trust her to keep her mouth shut.)”

                                          Contemporary illustration of the Swing riots:

                                          Swing Riots


                                          Captain Swing was the imaginary leader agricultural labourers who set fire to barns and haystacks in the southern and eastern counties of England from 1830. Although the riots were ruthlessly put down (19 hanged, 644 imprisoned and 481 transported), the rural agitation led the new Whig government to establish a Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and its report provided the basis for the 1834 New Poor Law enacted after the Great Reform Bills of 1833.

                                          An original portrait of Captain Swing hand coloured lithograph circa 1830:

                                          Captain Swing


                                            Brownings of Tetbury

                                            Tetbury 1839


                                            Isaac Browning (1784-1848) married Mary Lock (1787-1870) in Tetbury in 1806. Both of them were born in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Isaac was a stone mason. Between 1807 and 1832 they baptised fourteen children in Tetbury, and on 8 Nov 1829 Isaac and Mary baptised five daughters all on the same day.

                                            I considered that they may have been quintuplets, with only the last born surviving, which would have answered my question about the name of the house La Quinta in Broadway, the home of Eliza Browning and Thomas Stokes son Fred. However, the other four daughters were found in various records and they were not all born the same year. (So I still don’t know why the house in Broadway had such an unusual name).

                                            Their son George was born and baptised in 1827, but Louisa born 1821, Susan born 1822, Hesther born 1823 and Mary born 1826, were not baptised until 1829 along with Charlotte born in 1828. (These birth dates are guesswork based on the age on later censuses.) Perhaps George was baptised promptly because he was sickly and not expected to survive. Isaac and Mary had a son George born in 1814 who died in 1823. Presumably the five girls were healthy and could wait to be done as a job lot on the same day later.

                                            Eliza Browning (1814-1886), my great great great grandmother, had a baby six years before she married Thomas Stokes. Her name was Ellen Harding Browning, which suggests that her fathers name was Harding. On the 1841 census seven year old Ellen was living with her grandfather Isaac Browning in Tetbury. Ellen Harding Browning married William Dee in Tetbury in 1857, and they moved to Western Australia.

                                            Ellen Harding Browning Dee: (photo found on ancestry website)

                                            Ellen Harding Browning

                                            OBITUARY. MRS. ELLEN DEE.
                                            A very old and respected resident of Dongarra, in the person of Mrs. Ellen Dee, passed peacefully away on Sept. 27, at the advanced age of 74 years.

                                            The deceased had been ailing for some time, but was about and actively employed until Wednesday, Sept. 20, whenn she was heard groaning by some neighbours, who immediately entered her place and found her lying beside the fireplace. Tho deceased had been to bed over night, and had evidently been in the act of lighting thc fire, when she had a seizure. For some hours she was conscious, but had lost the power of speech, and later on became unconscious, in which state she remained until her death.

                                            The deceased was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1833, was married to William Dee in Tetbury Church 23 years later. Within a month she left England with her husband for Western Australian in the ship City oí Bristol. She resided in Fremantle for six months, then in Greenough for a short time, and afterwards (for 42 years) in Dongarra. She was, therefore, a colonist of about 51 years. She had a family of four girls and three boys, and five of her children survive her, also 35 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. She was very highly respected, and her sudden collapse came as a great shock to many.


                                            Eliza married Thomas Stokes (1816-1885) in September 1840 in Hempstead, Gloucestershire. On the 1841 census, Eliza and her mother Mary Browning (nee Lock) were staying with Thomas Lock and family in Cirencester. Strangely, Thomas Stokes has not been found thus far on the 1841 census, and Thomas and Eliza’s first child William James Stokes birth was registered in Witham, in Essex, on the 6th of September 1841.

                                            I don’t know why William James was born in Witham, or where Thomas was at the time of the census in 1841. One possibility is that as Thomas Stokes did a considerable amount of work with circus waggons, circus shooting galleries and so on as a journeyman carpenter initially and then later wheelwright, perhaps he was working with a traveling circus at the time.

                                            But back to the Brownings ~ more on William James Stokes to follow.

                                            One of Isaac and Mary’s fourteen children died in infancy:  Ann was baptised and died in 1811. Two of their children died at nine years old: the first George, and Mary who died in 1835.  Matilda was 21 years old when she died in 1844.

                                            Jane Browning (1808-)  married Thomas Buckingham in 1830 in Tetbury. In August 1838 Thomas was charged with feloniously stealing a black gelding.

                                            Susan Browning (1822-1879) married William Cleaver in November 1844 in Tetbury. Oddly thereafter they use the name Bowman on the census. On the 1851 census Mary Browning (Susan’s mother), widow, has grandson George Bowman born in 1844 living with her. The confusion with the Bowman and Cleaver names was clarified upon finding the criminal registers:

                                            30 January 1834. Offender: William Cleaver alias Bowman, Richard Bunting alias Barnfield and Jeremiah Cox, labourers of Tetbury. Crime: Stealing part of a dead fence from a rick barton in Tetbury, the property of Robert Tanner, farmer.


                                            And again in 1836:

                                            29 March 1836 Bowman, William alias Cleaver, of Tetbury, labourer age 18; 5’2.5” tall, brown hair, grey eyes, round visage with fresh complexion; several moles on left cheek, mole on right breast. Charged on the oath of Ann Washbourn & others that on the morning of the 31 March at Tetbury feloniously stolen a lead spout affixed to the dwelling of the said Ann Washbourn, her property. Found guilty 31 March 1836; Sentenced to 6 months.

                                            On the 1851 census Susan Bowman was a servant living in at a large drapery shop in Cheltenham. She was listed as 29 years old, married and born in Tetbury, so although it was unusual for a married woman not to be living with her husband, (or her son for that matter, who was living with his grandmother Mary Browning), perhaps her husband William Bowman alias Cleaver was in trouble again. By 1861 they are both living together in Tetbury: William was a plasterer, and they had three year old Isaac and Thomas, one year old. In 1871 William was still a plasterer in Tetbury, living with wife Susan, and sons Isaac and Thomas. Interestingly, a William Cleaver is living next door but one!

                                            Susan was 56 when she died in Tetbury in 1879.


                                            Three of the Browning daughters went to London.

                                            Louisa Browning (1821-1873) married Robert Claxton, coachman, in 1848 in Bryanston Square, Westminster, London. Ester Browning was a witness.

                                            Ester Browning (1823-1893)(or Hester) married Charles Hudson Sealey, cabinet maker, in Bethnal Green, London, in 1854. Charles was born in Tetbury. Charlotte Browning was a witness.

                                            Charlotte Browning (1828-1867?) was admitted to St Marylebone workhouse in London for “parturition”, or childbirth, in 1860. She was 33 years old.  A birth was registered for a Charlotte Browning, no mothers maiden name listed, in 1860 in Marylebone. A death was registered in Camden, buried in Marylebone, for a Charlotte Browning in 1867 but no age was recorded.  As the age and parents were usually recorded for a childs death, I assume this was Charlotte the mother.

                                            I found Charlotte on the 1851 census by chance while researching her mother Mary Lock’s siblings.  Hesther Lock married Lewin Chandler, and they were living in Stepney, London.  Charlotte is listed as a neice. Although Browning is mistranscribed as Broomey, the original page says Browning. Another mistranscription on this record is Hesthers birthplace which is transcribed as Yorkshire. The original image shows Gloucestershire.


                                            Isaac and Mary’s first son was John Browning (1807-1860). John married Hannah Coates in 1834. John’s brother Charles Browning (1819-1853) married Eliza Coates in 1842. Perhaps they were sisters. On the 1861 census Hannah Browning, John’s wife, was a visitor in the Harding household in a village called Coates near Tetbury. Thomas Harding born in 1801 was the head of the household. Perhaps he was the father of Ellen Harding Browning.

                                            George Browning (1828-1870) married Louisa Gainey in Tetbury, and died in Tetbury at the age of 42.  Their son Richard Lock Browning, a 32 year old mason, was sentenced to one month hard labour for game tresspass in Tetbury in 1884.

                                            Isaac Browning (1832-1857) was the youngest son of Isaac and Mary. He was just 25 years old when he died in Tetbury.

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