From Strange Seeds We Grow


“Why John?” I find myself asking again.

“Here I am back in the same predicament I faced at nineteen. Sitting in the docks charged with a crime of stealing. This time I can’t protest my innocence and blame my misfortune on others leading me to this fate.”

At thirty six John had led a colourful life and it was clear that this jury would without doubt come to one conclusion. This moment in time would bring John to a major turning point in his life. His crime and his standing in the community would leave him with only one clear choice, reinvention.

“Why did I think that taking from another would have any better outcome? I know it’s wrong to think that something good could come of this but I promise, whether found guilty or not, I will start a new life.” He pondered.

The stigma of being a criminal, a convict and a man of low social standing had until this point pushed John to drinking and feelings of low self-esteem. This crime would see him moved north to Greenough, to see out his sentence and bring him face-to-face with another chapter in his life.

Meeting a wife of half his age and starting a family under an assumed name, the then to be Frederick Brady would without knowing become the figurehead of a uniquely Australian-Irish extended family. 130 years after his death he would be able to claim over 550 direct descendants, with more than a few having his roguish nature.

“We find you guilty!”



Trove Digitised Newspapers: CRIMINAL SESSION. (1871, April 14). The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times (WA: 1864 – 1874), p. 3.

Brady Family Tree in Western Australia: John Brady


HAA004 Writing Family History
Week 5 E-tivity – Finding a Treasure Trove
Length – 250 words
University of Tasmania
Darryl Brady
Student ID: 425182

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