James Noakes (Sergeant) was born in 1805 in England.
He and his wife Mary Ann had a son John, then 3 infant deaths, then a daughter Mary Ann Noakes born in Ireland, when James’ regiment – the 58th – was posted there.
In 1844 the small family set sail with James the soldier, from London on the Convict Ship ‘Equestrian’.
In those days a typical voyage from London to Australia took around 100 days.
During their voyage, a son was born, and named James Equestrian Noakes.
In 1845 Sergeant James Noakes became involved in the 1st Maori War in New Zealand, during which time his family (with 3 children - John, Mary Ann, and James Equestrian) was housed in Army Barracks in Auckland.
In 1846, James left the army and the family set sail for Australia on the barque ‘Slains Castle’.
En route another son – Thomas Slains Castle Noakes was born.They settled in west Maitland NSW, and in 1848 another son – George Walter– was born.
James died in 1852 aged 46 in Maitland NSW and is buried in Campbells Hill Cemetry in Maitland together with his wife Anne (died 1860 aged 43 yrs). Her death record is under Mary Jones as she remarried William Jones and had a further son William Jones who died aged 1.  
Older brother John (never married) would have been 16 when his father died and 24 when his mother died. He worked as a teamster in his early life in country NSW. George's brother Thomas (only 2 years older than George) married in Tamworth in 1868. George's sister Mary Ann was 19 when her mother died and married Frederick Johathon Bourne in Maitland the following year - 1861  
James Equestrian Noakes and George Walter Noakes were pioneers in the sugar cane industry in Bundaberg, Queensland.