Born in 1836 in Hobart Town, he was the son of a convict George PATTERSON and a free immigrant Mary HINGERTY. He had an infant sister when his father was killed in an accident in 1839. Their mother remarried in 1841 to George LUCAS, but she died in Hobart in 1850. George had probably gone out to work by then. He was working as a sawyer in the Sorell area , where he married Emily RICHARDSON in 1860 at Sorell. They were living at Cherry Tree Opening on land belonging to William HODGSON when their first children were born. Their first child, who died in infancy, was named after his sister who had moved to Victoria. They had six children but three died.
They later moved to Midway Point where he was employed in the construction of the Sorell causeway, then they moved across the Derwent to Southport in about 1876. Much of the timber for the causeway came from here. He later bought about 208 acres of land at Snake Plains and his three surviving sons worked as sawmillers.
He died in 1890 and was buried near his house.

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