Mary AHERN

Earl Grey (1851)

By Helen Ménard

 

Introduction

Mary was one of seven or eight children born and raised in Cork County, Ireland whose Roman Catholic family, described as ‘once respectable and well conducted’,[1] was decimated by the savagery of the infamous Irish Potato Famine. The family was certainly not the Irish mafia. Cataclysmic circumstances forced them into a brief and possibly strategic life of crime that changed their family dynamics forever. While Mary, her mother and two of her brothers were sentenced to transportation, only Mary and her older brother Michael ever saw foreign shores.

Mary was only 18 when she was sentenced to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) in 1850 and, with a spotless record in the colony, she was granted a ticket of leave in 1853.[2] Shortly thereafter she entered the employ of Charles and Christina Colvin. At that time Christina Colvin, newly married and not yet with children, was much the same age as Mary. When Mary died in 1891[3] she was acknowledged as having been a ‘true and faithful servant of Mrs Colvin for 37 years’.[4] It seems Mary never married or had a family of her own but was an integral part of the highly respected Colvin family in Hobart.

 

The Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852)

As a result of the industrial revolution and the expansion of the Irish linen industry, by 1841 the population of Ireland was around 8,175,000.[5] Most Irish landlords were Protestants, simply because the law forbade Catholics from owning land. The Irish peasants themselves, who were both Protestant and Catholic, ate potatoes almost exclusively, since land was scarce and potatoes were an intensive crop. In 1845 a fungal disease 'phytophthora infestans' or 'potato blight' wiped out a third of the potato crop in Ireland. Those who lived near towns were better off, since they had access to other sources of food, but the situation was disastrous for those living in rural areas where thousands of people simply starved to death.[6] Many also died from typhus, scurvy and dysentery. The British set up soup-kitchens and workhouses for the poor but they drastically underestimated the scale of the disaster and many people did not receive any aid at all. The problem was compounded by landlords who evicted peasants who could not pay the rent because they had no potatoes to sell. From 1846-1851 there were over one million deaths in Ireland. Thousands more emigrated to America and by 1851 Ireland’s population had been reduced to six million.[7]

The Ahern family was one of the many victims of this tragedy.

The Great Escape

Records suggest that Mary’s husband and two of her sons died from ‘fever’ sometime before 1848 and all their property ‘was lost by a series of misfortune’.[8] The family’s plight was described by Walter Berwick Esq.[9] as follows:

I subsequently made inquiries with respect to this family & ascertained that it formed one of the most lamentable instances [of] decimalization produced by the distress of 1846 the whole family having been previous to that found in most comfortable & respectable circumstances, & the children moral & well conducted.

In consequence of the loss of crops & the death by Fever of the Father of the prisoners the Mother embarked in [sic] a system of plunder & educated her children to the same employment.[10] 

And so, Mary Ahern and four of her children – all of whom had no previous criminal history - appeared before the Cork Sessions at East Riding in September 1848 charged with several counts of burglary and robbery (supposedly over a ten month period) of the premises of Reverend Robert Halbert at Douglas, Cork (the ‘Halbert’ robberies).[11] The family reputedly lived in the lodge attached to Halbert’s residence and had allegedly robbed the house several times. When arrested, Mary and her children were found in possession of fifty pawn tickets relating to goods belonging to Halbert.[12] Mary and her son Daniel were found guilty and sentenced to transportation for 7 years. Michael, James and daughter Mary were found not guilty.[13]

Several months later, in December 1848, Michael, James and daughter Mary were again charged with several daring robberies of premises including that of the county sheriff Thomas Reeves (the ‘December 48’ robberies).[14] After being tried before the Fermoy (Douglas) Petty Sessions on 2 January 1849, Michael and Mary pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 10 years’ transportation.  James was, again, found not guilty.[15]

It was the firmly held view of Walter Berwick Esq., before whom the accused appeared, that ‘having reason to think that the Children committed the offence to which they pleaded Guilty, for the purpose of being transported with their Mother and not any predisposition to commit crime.’[16] At the time Mary’s two youngest children Catherine and Samuel (15 and 14 respectively) were inmates of the Cork Union Work House.[17] Berwick subsequently recommended that ‘the condemned Prisoners of the family should be sent out together & the remaining members of the family be granted a free passage at the same time with the Convicts.’[18]

But the plan came asunder.

The Ahern family

Mary Ahern was born in County Cork, Ireland around 1798-9.[19] Following her conviction for the ‘Halbert’ robberies Mary, then aged 50, was transferred to Grangegorman prison[20] in December 1848 awaiting transportation and was later an inmate in the Cork Gaol in February 1851.[21]

Walter Berwick Esq., before whom Mary appeared in September 1848, when asked in April 1849 to comment on the family circumstances in relation to Mary’s petition for clemency, wrote:

Their History is one of the most melancholy instances I have met with of the continued results of the present distribution & sickness to degrade a family once respectable and well conducted … the mother stole for the support of the remaining family & was at last Sentenced to transportation … Her Three elder Children committed crime for the purpose of accompanying [her]… and not any predisposition to crime…[22]

For some unexplained reason, when asked by Sir Thomas Redington K.C.B.[23] in September 1850 to advise ‘whether there is … any mitigating circumstances in her case which would render her a proper object of mercy’,[24] Berwick appeared to have hardened his view. He responded that the prisoner [mother Mary]

was sentenced to Transportation her character having at that time been represented to us on enquiry as extremely bad …

I have taken the liberty of postponing my answer to your present letter till for now the purpose of satisfying myself by further enquiry from those who assisted me in my previous investigation that I would not wrong this woman by saying that there were not any litigating circumstances in her case which would render her a fit object of mercy.

I am sorry to say that I have not been able to discover anything to make me to speak favourably of her case, but on the contrary she appears to have been a confirmed Thief and to have bred up her Family as badly as possible …[25]

The decision at that time to ‘let the law take its course’[26] was probably not helped by Constable James Browne’s statement that ‘I would not therefore consider myself discharging my duty to the Public … if I were not to give her the very worst character possible as a mother … in fact herself and family up to this very time are a terror to the honest people of this locality…’.[27] Clearly, the ‘powers that be’, including Redington, were not in agreement. Mary’s petition was resubmitted on 6 February 1851 and her transportation sentence was finally commuted to 6 months’ imprisonment from 8 February 1851.[28]

Michael Ahern was born about 1825[29] and, after five weeks in Cork Gaol pending trial for the ‘Halbert’ robberies, was found not guilty.[30] After pleading guilty to the ‘December 48’ robberies in January 1849, Michael was sentenced to 10 years’ transportation.[31] He was committed to the Smithfield Prison on 24 May 1849 and discharged to the convict ship Blenheim on 17 July 1851 which arrived in VDL on 31 October 1851.[32] He arrived during the operation of the probation system where he served 18 months’ probation, initially at the Old Wharf Probation Station, and was granted a probation pass in March 1853. With a completely clean conduct record he received a ticket of leave in November 1854 and a conditional pardon in August 1855.[33] There is no trace of him in VDL after this time and it’s possible he travelled to Sydney, NSW in 1860.[34] There’s also no record as to whether Michael ever had any contact with his sister Mary while in VDL.

James Ahern, born around 1827,[35] was found not guilty after being tried for both the ‘Halbert’ and the ‘December 48’ robberies. Following his second acquittal in January 1849, it seems he was again committed for burglary as he was in the County Cork Gaol when he died on 26 March 1849.[36] Was this his last desperate attempt to be transported with the rest of his family?

Daniel Ahern, born about 1829, was only 19 with no criminal history when he was convicted of the ‘Halbert’ robberies and sentenced, along with his mother, to 7 years’ transportation. He was transferred to the Smithfield Prison in September 1848 pending transportation.[37] A petition for his release was filed and Berwick’s recommendation seemed equivocal in stating that:

I much fear that [in] this country the Prisoner will do no good, particularly as his mother remains behind, at the same time there is much in his case to excite pity, & commiseration, in consequence of the misconduct & bad teaching of his mother. His conduct has been, as far as I am informed uniformly good while in Cork Gaol & he was never found Guilty before.[38]

So, after 3 years in prison, Daniel was ultimately discharged in April 1851.[39]

Catherine (c. 1834) and Samuel (c. 1835) Ahern were both recorded as being in the Cork Union Work House in 1849.[40] There are no recorded deaths for either of them[41] despite a comment (possibly incorrect) by Berwick in 1851 that ‘her [the mother] whole family of seven children all except the prisoner [Daniel] are dead or transported’.[42]  Mary’s transportation records in May 1850 had Catherine listed as a sibling but not Samuel.[43] The same records for Michael in October 1851 only had Daniel and Mary listed as siblings.[44] Did Catherine and Samuel die in the workhouse?

And so, the great escape was not! James died in prison in March 1849; Mary (daughter) left for VDL in December 1849 and there appears to be no record of her ever having returned to Ireland; Mary senior’s sentence was commuted to six months’ imprisonment in February 1851; Daniel was discharged from prison in April 1851; after two years in prison Michael sailed for VDL in July 1851; and what happened to Catherine and Samuel is unknown.

What about Mary?

Mary Ahern (junior) was born about 1830 and, following her acquittal in the ‘Halbert’ robberies, was convicted of the ‘December 48’ robberies (with her brother Michael) in January 1849 and sentenced to 10 years’ transportation.[45] Aged 18, she was received into Grangegorman Prison on 1 March 1849 where she was held for nine months before being discharged to the convict ship Earl Grey on 6 December 1849.[46]

In the interim, a petition for commutation of her sentence was under consideration when Walter Berwick Esq., as was his custom, sought the advice of the Roman Catholic Chaplain of County Cork Gaol who said of Mary:

In my experience I have not met one who deserves more compassion, the simple history of her brief career and a faithful portrait of her character would seem more like the fictions of romance than reality.

           

… this beautiful convict possesses as heroic a spirit and as generous impulses as dignifies any of her estimable and opulent sex – filial affection and fraternal love burns as pure and as strong in her youthful […]. her name had never been associated with shame or crime and she possess ennobling traits of character which would make her an ornament in place of being a curse & an outcast on society… 

           

In the course of this inquiry … I was deeply affected by the touching narrative of the misfortune of this girls family, for whom she was & is willing to endure every privation & suffering & obliging - everything except the loss of chastity & their living and her own she would forfeit rather than become what herself expressed “an outcast on the streets”…[47]

Despite the recommendations of both O’Regan and Berwick that all the family be sent out together,[48] this did not happen nor was Mary’s sentence commuted. Mary, along with 240 female convicts, 81 children and 10 free settlers departed Dublin aboard the Earl Grey on 17 December 1849 and sailed into Hobart on 9 May 1850.[49] While on board Mary was treated for the minor condition of catarrh (excess mucous in the airways)[50] and the ship’s surgeon recorded her behaviour as ‘very good indeed’.[51]

The early years

Mary arrived in VDL towards the end of the probation period when women were required to undergo probation (moral and religious instruction and domestic skills training) for at least six months before being sent into service. Mary was allocated to J. M. Singer, Argyle Street, Hobart on 27 October 1850.[52] She was obviously close to being the perfect employee, with an unblemished conduct record, and was granted a ticket of leave in September 1853. She was recommended for a conditional pardon in July 1854 which was approved in June 1855.[53]

The Colvin family

Around this time Mary went to work with Charles and Christina Colvin[54] who were living in Bathurst Street, Hobart – just around the corner from Argyle Street. Was there any connection between the Singer and Colvin households? Christina Metzger was born in Hobart in 1831[55] and would have been almost the same age as Mary. Christina married Charles Colvin in September 1849[56] but they didn’t have their first child until thirteen years later. The couple eventually had four children – John Metzger (1862-1919); Elizabeth Hope (1866-1944); Christina Scott (1868-1941); and Agnes Jessie (1872-).[57] Elizabeth and Christina never married and Agnes married, went to live in Perth, WA and had two daughters.[58] John married in 1885, had seven children, was a partner in his father’s business and died in Argyle Street, Hobart.[59]

In 1861 Mary’s presence in the Colvin household was confirmed when she was called to give evidence in relation to the theft of two bunches of grapes from the Colvin’s Bathurst Street garden.[60] The accused, Henry Richardson, pleaded not guilty but did not present any defence and was fined 5 shillings or 7 days’ imprisonment.[61] Mary described her interaction with Richardson as follows:

Prisoner knocked at the door of Mr Colvin's house where I reside, and asked if we wanted any wood chopped? I said—"No, thank you, Sir." He then asked if he could do anything else for us, I said— "No, thank you," and closed the door, and walked away. There are grapes growing near the door similar to the ones now produced.[62]

Charles Colvin died on 13 October 1878, aged 59, at his home in Davey Street after having been ill for several months suffering from liver disease.[63] Seemingly, he was a highly respected member of the community for whom a glowing obituary was written and a large number of businesses were closed the day after his death in commemoration.[64] Born in Scotland, he came to VDL as a young boy and initially worked in a general store before eventually becoming a partner in a ship chandler’s business at Franklin Wharf. Interested in politics he could not be persuaded ‘to stand for municipal and legislative honors’ and was described as ‘a man of uprightness and integrity in business … never behindhand in doing a liberal thing in answer to appeals for public or private objects’ and a ‘sympathising benefactor’.[65]

Sometime before 1872 the family moved from Bathurst Street to Davey Street which was where Christina died on 13 July 1891 from apoplexy (cerebral haemorrhage or stroke)[66] – just eight weeks after Mary.

The final chapter

Mary Ahern, born in Ireland and a servant, died in the Hobart General Hospital on 20 May 1891, aged 65, from heart disease.[67] Her last known address was recorded as Melville Street.[68] Was she no longer living in the Colvin home in Davey Street or was this a recording error? Christina and Charles Colvin were both buried in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery in private vaults.[69] Mary was buried in the pauper section.[70] But, at least there was a place in the earth that marked her existence. When Christina died her estate was valued at £1132[71] and her will, executed in 1886, devised £100 to her son and the residue to her three daughters.[72] There was no legal recognition of Mary’s 37 years of servitude. Was this the everyday face of the ‘convict stain’?

Mary’s loyalty to the Colvin family was indeed admirable and exceptional. Was it founded on a bonded friendship between two young women formed in those years before Christina had her first child? Having been separated from her own family, did Mary feel the same ‘filial affection and fraternal love [that] burns as pure and as strong’[73] for Christina as she had for her own siblings? When the Cork Gaol chaplain Reverend O’Regan described Mary – then an 18 year old prisoner -  as ‘willing to endure every privation & suffering & obliging - everything except the loss of chastity’[74] was he foreshadowing that her ‘ennobling traits of character’ would see her dedicating herself to the lives of others with religious fervour and a life of celibacy? Mary never married or had children of her own and perhaps derived all the fulfilment she needed from an almost reclusive existence serving the family who had given her a new opportunity in life. In the end, maybe Mary’s story was one of ‘from sinner to saint’.

 

Thank you to Colleen Arulappu for the Petition transcriptions of Mary Ahern and her mother.  Often, the only time we hear the voice of convict women and learn about their families is in their petitions.

 

[1] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick, 21 April 1849

[2] LIB TAS: Names Index: CON41/1/26 DI 5

[3] LIB TAS: Names Index: RGD35/1/13 N378 DI 48

[4] TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 - 1954), Thursday 21 May 1891, page 1, Deaths.

[5] https://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/history/18001877.html

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick, 21 April 1849

[9] Walter BERWICK was born in Leixlip, County Kildare in 1800, the son of Reverend Edward Berwick, the Vicar of Leixlip. He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and Gray’s Inn. In 1826 Berwick was called to the bar and in 1840 he became Queens Counsel. Berwick then went on to become Bencher of Kings Inn in 1856. On the 12th of July 1849 an Orange Order march at Dolly’s Brae in south Down descended into a riot which resulted in several deaths. It has gone down in history as The Battle of Dolly’s Brae which saw Orange men clash with Nationalists. Berwick chaired the inquest that followed and he was highly critical at the lack of law enforcement on the day. Berwick’s inquest resulted in the removal of three magistrates and the enactment of the Party Processions Act of 1850 which prohibited open marching of sectarian organisations such as the Orange Order. However, the act was repealed in 1872. During this time Berwick was made assistant barrister for east Cork, in effect making him a Judge of the county. His thorough fairness earned him the respect of the people of the rebel county. In 1859 when he was made Judge of the Irish Court of Bankruptcy in Dublin thousands of Cork people paid him a plethora of tributes. In return Berwick commissioned a fountain for the Grand Parade in Cork city “in remembrance of the great kindness shown to me by all classes in Cork.” He died in a train crash in Abergele, Wales in 1868.

https://headstuff.org/culture/history/1750ad-1900ad/cork-berwick-fountain/

[10] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick to Sir Thomas Redington, 19 April 1851

[11] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; statement Constable James Browne (prosecutor) 26 Aug 1850

[12] Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier - Saturday 19 August 1848, p2, Arrest of Burglars

[13] Ibid

[14] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from F Lloyd Governor, Cork County Gaol to T. N. Redington Esq., 28 April 1849; Other premises included that of Mrs Bayley, Mr Lane and Major Beamish.

[15] Cork Examiner - Friday 05 January 1849, p3, Fermoy Sessions; Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier - Saturday 23 December 1848, p3, Douglas Petty Sessions.

[16] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick, 21 April 1849

[17] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; Although government run poor relief was in existence in Cork City from the 1735, the Cork City Poor Law Union was not officially declared until 1839. The Workhouse was opened in 1841 at a cost of £20,800. It was built to house a maximum capacity of 2,600 inmates. https://www.irelandxo.com/ireland-xo/history-and-genealogy/buildings-database/cork-workhouse

[18] Ibid

[19] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; Grangegorman Depot; County of Cork Gaol 19 Aug 1850; County of Cork Gaol 28 April 1849

[20] Grangegorman Female Convict Depot opened in 1836 as the first exclusively female prison in the British Isles.  It housed females with imprisonment sentences as well as those sentenced to transportation.  The prison's main function with respect to convicts was to provide employment training for them so that they might satisfy the ever increasing demands of the Australian authorities that they be fit to earn their living on arrival. https://irelandxo.com/ireland-xo/history-and-genealogy/buildings-database/grangegorman-female-convict-depot

[21] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10

[22] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick, 21 April 1849

[23]  Sir Thomas Nicholas REDINGTON KCB (2 October 1815 – 11 October 1862) was an Irish administrator, politician and civil servant. He succeeded William Sharman Crawford as the Member of Parliament for Dundalk, serving in the Whig interest from 1837 to 1846. On 11 July 1846 he was appointed under-secretary of state for Ireland, in 1847 a commissioner of national education, and ex officio an Irish poor-law commissioner. As a member of Sir John Burgoyne's relief commission in 1847 he rendered much active service during the famine, and in consequence of his services he was on 28 Aug. 1849 nominated a knight-commander of the civil division of the Bath, soon after Queen Victoria's first visit to Ireland. He served as secretary to the board of control from December 1852 to 1856, when he accepted the post of commissioner of inquiry respecting lunatic asylums in Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Nicholas_Redington

[24] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; letter from Berwick to Redington 13 Sept 1850

[25] Ibid

[26] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; 20/9/50 C

[27] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; statement Constable James Browne, County of Cork ER, Douglas, 26 August 1850

[28] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, Petition Mary Ahern (mother of the above Mary Ahern, aged 20) CRF 1851 A10; letter from F Lloyd, Governor County of Cork Gaol, to Sir Thomas N Redington, 9 March 1851. There appears to be an incorrect reference in the letter from Berwick to Redington K.C.B., 19 April 1851 stating that Mary (Snr’s) sentence was commuted to two years’ imprisonment.

[29] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; County Cork Gaol Report, 28 April 1849; Michael’s transportation records have him as 28 on arrival in VDL in 1851 (c. 1823); LIB TAS: Names Index: CON31/1/104 DI 4; CON14/1/42 pp350-351

[30] LIB TAS: Names Index: CON31/1/104 DI 4

[31] Cork Examiner - Friday 05 January 1849, p3, Fermoy Sessions; Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier - Saturday 23 December 1848, p3, Douglas Petty Sessions.

[32] Dublin Smithfield Prison General Register 1844-1849, Book no 1/14/1, item 6; LIB TAS: Names Index: CON31/1/104 DI 4

[33] LIB TAS: Names Index: CON31/1/104 DI 4;

[34] A Michael Ahern went to Sydney via the Tasmania on 19/9/1860; TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 - 1954), Thu 20 Sep 1860, p2, Shipping

[35] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; County Cork Gaol Report, 28 April 1849

[36] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; County Cork Gaol Report, 28 April 1849

[37] Ibid

[38] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick to Sir Thos Redington K.C.B, 19 April 1851

[39] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from John Lamb, Governor Smithfield Government Prison to T. N. Redington K.C.B., 28 April 1851

[40] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick, 21 April 1849; letter from F Lloyd, Governor County Cork Gaol to T.N. Redington Esq., 28 April 1849

[41] https://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/; https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/

[42] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Walter Berwick to Sir Thos Redington K.C.B, 19 April 1851

[43] LIB TAS: Names Index: CON15/1/6 pp102-3 DI 106; this same record has James as a brother but he died in Cork Gaol in March 1849. As Mary was in prison herself at this time did she know?

[44] LIB TAS: Names Index: CON14/1/42 pp350-351

[45] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; LIB TAS: Names Index: CON41/1/26 D I5; CON15/1/6 pp102-3 DI 106

[46] Grangegorman Prison Register p 166, Pris. No 1650

[47] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Revd Mn O’Regan to W. Berwick

[48] Ibid

[49] https://www.femaleconvicts.org.au/docs3/ships/SurgeonsJournal_EarlGrey1850.pdf

[50] Ibid

[51] LIB TAS: Names Index: CON41/1/26 DI 5

[52] Ibid

[53] Ibid

[54] TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 - 1954), Thursday 21 May 1891, page 1, Deaths.

[55] Christina MEZGER born 26/7/1831, Hobart Fa John Mezger, licensed victualler, Mo Ann Mezger;  LIB TAS: Names Index: RGD32/1/1 N3883 DI 201

[56] Charles COLVIN (above 21, ship chandler, married Christina MEZGER (under 21/minor) at Hobart on 27 Sep 1849; LIB TAS: Names Index: RGD37/1/8 N438 DI 173

[57] LIB TAS: Names Index

[58] For further information on this family see FCRC database/Mary Ahern/research notes

[59] Ibid; LIB TAS: Names Index

[60] TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: Hobart Town Advertiser: Weekly Edn (Tas.: 1859 -1865) Sat 30 Mar 1861 p3 Police Office Wednesday

[61] Ibid

[62] Ibid; even though the article referred to ‘Mary Ann Aherne’, Mary Ahern (Earl Grey) was the only female convict by that name. There were none named Aherne, Ahearn, Ahearne or Mary Ann Ahern. There were two by the name of Margaret Ahern – Blackfriar 1851 and Lord Auckland 1849.  See FCRC database.

[63] LIB TAS: Names Index: RGD35/1/9 N1460 DI 163; TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 -1954) Tue 29 Oct 1878 p3 Obituary

[64] TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 -1954) Tue 29 Oct 1878 p3 Obituary

[65] Ibid

[66] LIB TAS: Names Index: RGD35/1/13 N493 DI 62

[67] LIB TAS: Names Index: RGD35/1/13 N378 DI 48; Mary’s age was more likely to be closer to 61 than 65 based on her court records etc.

[68] LIB TAS: Names Index: AF35/1/1 (BU8218); this could have been an incorrect entry.

[69] Christina: LIB TAS: Names Index: AF35/1/1 (BU 8285); this record incorrectly states her last residence as Macquarie St; AF70/1/17 (BU 8285); this record incorrectly states Christina as having been born in England instead of Tasmania and her denomination as Church of England instead of Church of Free Scotland; Cornelian Bay, Free Scotland, private vault, Section D Number 5; Charles: AF35/1/1 (BU 2208); AF70/1/5 (BU 2208); Cornelian Bay, Free Scotland, private vault, Section D Number 5; at the cost of £12.2.0 

[70] LIB TAS: Names Index: AF35/1/1 (BU8218); (AF70/1/17 (BU 8212); Cornelian Bay, Pauper, section A, Number 208

[71] TROVE: Newspapers & Gazettes: Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas.: 1883-1911), Mon 31 Aug 1891, p2, Local and General

[72] LIB TAS: Names Index: AD960/1/18 Will No. 4080 DI 1-2

[73] Irish Transportation Records National Archives Ireland, AHERN Mary CRF 1851 A3; letter from Revd Mn O’Regan to W. Berwick

[74] Ibid

 

 

 


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For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed [date].

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