Tracing James Wallace has been a mystery for me and other researchers for some time. Sue Penrose put me onto some information that I believe solves the question.
A query was posted by lynbee on Rootschat.com – James Wallace-I have lost this line of the family! She posted what was known about James Wallace: his birth in Ireland in 1826, his enlistment in the 65th Regiment, guarding convicts on a voyage to Tasmania, posting to New Zealand, and discharge from the army in Wanganui in 1849. Lyn’s question – did anyone know what happened to James?
Descendants of James Wallace and Maria Brophy from Tasmania replied to the query because they thought they might be related. Their James was also from Ireland, had been to Australia before being posted to New Zealand “and fought in the war there which we believe was in Wanganui. In the 1850’s he moved to Tasmania and married.” However marriage and death registration did not have details of James’s parents.
The Rootschat.com exchange does not provide a definitive and documented link between the James Wallace in my tree and the James Wallace who died in Tasmania. There is considerable overlap of the facts though.
Discharged in New Zealand, by Hugh and Lyn Hughes, lists soldiers of the Imperial Foot Regiments who took their discharge in New Zealand between 1840 and 1870. A search of the book shows that there was only one James Wallace discharged in New Zealand. This was the brother of Arthur Wallace and John Alexander McKane Wallace who were also discharged in Wanganui.
The headstone for James Wallace in Westbury Cemetery gives his age at death as 72 years (see image below). This matches with his birth in 1826.
I believe that the story passed down to the children of James and Maria from Tasmania matches sufficiently with what was known from army records and New Zealand to conclude that this James Wallace is the the brother of Arthur Wallace and John Alexander McKane Wallace. I will be updating my tree accordingly.
Please let me know if this is an error and you have an alternative James Wallace who fits better.
NOTE – Discharged in New Zealand, by Hugh and Lyn Hughes, was published by the NZ Society of Genealogists in 1988. A pdf version is now available on CD from the Society’s website.
UPDATE (6 June) – I have now updated the tree on Rootsweb with descendants of James Wallace I have found to date.