Thank you for this interesting posting.I tend to agree with you that there is a likelihood of John being the John LITLEY christened at St Dunstan's on 5 March 1837 - parents being James and Hannah LITLEY.However, I have not seen the actual Parish Register details - only what appears in the IGI.
The 1851 Census shows a James born Plymouth 1806 and an Anne born Portsmouth 1811 with their children including a Caroline born 1825, Anne born 1829 (actually Hannah in later Census returns), John born 1838, James born 1840, Mary born 1842, and Anne’s husband James HARVEY (shown as Hervey Littley) born 1827 with their children:James born 1848 and Edward born 1850.
I can only find the HARVEYs and Mary A LITTLEY in the 1861 Census – so I assume that James and his wife Hannah have died and that John and his brother James have migrated to Australia.Caroline has either married or died.
It is good that I now know that John’s father James was born in Devon – so he belongs somewhere on my family tree.Unfortunately, the age he has given at the time of the 1851 Census cannot be correct if he and Hannah had a child on 7 December 1817.In addition, I have checked for any LITTLEY (or variants of the name) births at Stoke Dameral in the early 1800s and not found any reference to him.The fact that he was born at Plymouth and Hannah at Portsmouth would indicate a possible maritime connection; though his occupation in the 1851 Census was “Laborer”.The family were residing at:27 Cottage Row, Poplar, Middlesex (which I believe was not too far from the East India Docks).Their son John was a “stable boy” and James a “scholar”.
Geoffrey, are you connected to the LITTLELY family?Or do you just have an interest in South Australian Ship Captains?I have been in contact with various members of the LITTLELY family over the years and have managed to assist them in bringing together their family tree.If you would like, I would be happy to pass your contact details on to them.