There is no index to this work as each chapter may be searched as a PDF.

Weep Not For Them has been written not only for my pleasure alone but also in the hope that others may enjoy discovering their family too. It is not a learned biographical work delving deeply into the inner thoughts of each member of the family and psychoanalysing their actions. The amount and type of information available precludes this, so does personal choice. It is instead a chronological account of one man and the individual members of his family, and is governed by the amount of information that has survived countless spring-cleaning's over a century and more in time.
It is the trivia of life which has survived and it is the trivia which interests me the most.

This volume of Weep Not For Them is a history of the second of the family lines that I began researching almost 50 years ago (the first was set aside when success was elusive).
It is the story of my first convict ancestor, George McDonald. It seems logical to start with young George as the probability of taking his line back further generations is very remote indeed. For this reason his story has a beginning of sorts-in an Assize Court in Wiltshire England- where he was punished in a way which today would be considered grossly excessive for the crime committed. Fortunately (for me) George fell by the wayside a few more times, leaving a trail of paper work to mark his colonial existence.

Each of George's children is detailed although the amount of information available varies of course. How sad it is that a few paragraphs must sometimes tell the story of a long life. Because of the time span involved-thirty years (1832-1862)-it is possible to see the family break up into different groupings: the elder children, George and Maria Louisa, take up town life in a frontier town in which they play leading roles as publican and merchant's wife respectively; whilst some of the younger children remain in the bush environment, pioneering the back country, and gradually losing touch with their more affluent siblings. The youngest children may not even have had much contact with their older brothers and sisters!

The thirteen young colonials grew with the colony, prospered or declined according to fate and their own inherent ability to succeed, fail, or simply exist. That almost half of them continued to maintain convict connections of some description on marriage is logical when you consider the proportion of convict to free in the community; none of them seems to have become the worse for it. But whilst Catherine and Arthur seem to have failed maritally the others were either more successful in their choice of partner or cleverer at keeping up the illusion of success and harmony.

McDonald is essentially a name of Scottish origin romantically entwined in the history of that country and it seems that a least some of George's grandchildren believed that Scotland was their ancestral home.
But why? Was it because they had been told stories of their grandfather's life in the old country or because tales of Scottish heroism and valour were part of their history lessons at school?
This year, 2015 is the 195th anniversary of George McDonald's arrival in the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land which had itself been in existence for only sixteen years prior to his arrival: in fact when the last family history is written (that of William Elliott Leith) we will have covered all but six years of Tasmania's second phase of settlement.