Shortland is the surname of a British naval family, members of which served in Australia and New Zealand during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Since I was young, I remember being told that my family are descendants of Lieutenant John Shortland, who discovered the first coal in Australia whilst taking prisoners to Botany Bay and also discovered and named the Hunter River.
I have a collection of photographs, cuttings and notes about the Shortland family from by great aunt Dorothy, both my direct ancestors and the naval Shortlands. Slowly I am gathering my own collection of information which seems to point to there being some truth in the story I have been told.
The photo below was given to me by my great aunt Dorothy. It was taken in 1947 and shows the re-enactment of the landing of Lieutenant John Shortland in New South Wales in 1797.
The re-enactment was part of two months of celebrations which included a special issue of stamps, however the stamps showed the image of the wrong Lieutenant John Shortland.
- A naval family
- Shortland naval family
- Lieutenant John Shortland – Hunter’s River 1797
- Saw Shortland landing in 1897