Mary Ann AYLIFFE
Name Variations AYLIFF, ALIFF, EYLIFFE1 OYLIFFE2
Father John AYLIFFE b.c. 1821 m. 18543 d. 18964
Mother Mary Ann EVERETT b.c. 1827 m. 1854 d. 18755
Inmate Mary Ann ALIFF b. 18556 m. 18727 (see below) d. 1913
Sister Harriett ALIFF b. 18578 m. 18719 Hugh James MACALISTER d. 194210
Husband William Patterson BUCK b. 184411 m. 187212 d. 1922
Son John Henry BUCK b. 187313 m. Fanny Lillian WHITE d. 193014
Son William BUCK b. 187515 m. none - d. 187516
Daughter Janet aka Jennette Mary Ann BUCK b. 187617 m. none - d. 189118
Daughter Maria BUCK b. 187819 m. none - d. 188020
Daughter Florence May BUCK b.188021 m. 191322 Michael HEHIR d.
Daughter Mary Jane BUCK b. 188323 m. 190224 William Lyons BUCK d. aft. 191325
Daughter Harriett Maria BUCK b. 188526 m. d. 193727
Son William Paterson BUCK b. 188828 m. d. 191929
Daughter Bertha Maud BUCK b. 189030 m. d. 197231
Son Robert James BUCK b. 189332 m. d. 191933
Son William George BUCK b. 189434 m. d. 197935
Daughter Ivy Myrtle BUCK b. 189536 m. 191537 James Ritchie MILTON d.
Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Grandfather John38 36 5’ 6½” dark brown grey fair large, long head; long nose, wide mouth, large chin; dark brown whiskers; oval visage and dark brown eyebrows; right forefinger crippled; slight scar on right cheek; face freckled
Father John39 27 5’ 3” light brown hazel fair stout medium head, forehead, mouth, nose and chin; light brown whiskers; oval visage and brown eyebrows; cast in eyes; scar left side of nose; woman inside right arm, ring second finger left hand
Mother Mary Ann40 26 4’ 11¾” brown grey fresh medium head, forehead and mouth; oval visage and black eyebrows; mole left arm

Mary Ann’s was recorded in the Entrance Book41 as fifteen years old when she was arrested under the Industrial Schools Act42 and admitted to Newcastle on 31 July 1869. Mary Ann had arrived at the same time as Sarah AUBURN so the two girls had probably travelled from Goulburn to the Newcastle school together. Mary Ann had appeared in Araulen court after being arrested by constables BRENNAN and LENIHAN for residing with and associating with prostitutes. The prostitute was her mother, Mary Ann, who had been arrested and appeared in court at Braidwood charged with keeping a brothel on 5 July 1869.43 Unfortunately the page in the Entrance Book recording Mary Ann's personal details is the first page of the missing section of the register so her level of education, parents, religion, and discharge details are missing as the following page is lost from the record.

Mary Ann was confirmed as a Protestant in CLARKE’s letter on 1 August 1870, and her mother, who CLARKE described as a prostitute of intemperate habits, was confirmed as Mary Ann AYLIFFE.44 The circumstances of the family would have been known to the local constables because, on 9 June 1869, about two months before Mary Ann’s arrest, Mary Ann senior was summoned by sergeant BRENNAN of Araluen Police45 and listed for trial at the Quarter Sessions at Braidwood for keeping a common and disorderly brothel. She appeared in Braidwood Court on 5 July 1869, and was found guilty and fined £1.46 A deposition remains for this appearance.47 An appearance at Braidwood for the same offence had occurred the previous year when she had also received a £1 fine. CLARKE’s letter to the Colonial Secretary on 1 August 1870, recorded that Mary Ann was apprenticed for two years to James SMITH, Esq., P.M., at Maitland on 18 June 1870,48 where she was to be paid four shillings a week. CLARKE also stated that 'Mrs CLARKE had a letter from this girl today (28 July 1870) and she is doing well.' Although no record has yet been located, this apprenticeship was likely to have been short-lived and Mary Ann was returned to the school. In a letter written on 5 April 1871, Mrs SELWYN,49 the wife of the minister at Christ Church, Newcastle, wrote on behalf of Mrs ARNOLD, of Stradbroke, Paterson, requesting that Mary Ann and Annie BANHAM be apprenticed to her. Then on 23 April 1871, about a fortnight later, LUCAS wrote to the Colonial Secretary stating that

Mr. George Eyliffe [sic], residing at Lambton, has made application for his niece, Mary Ann Eyliffe, as servant. She is about seventeen years of age and now an inmate of this Institution. Mr Eyliffe appears to be a respectable person and they will take the girl as an apprentice until the expiration of her time. They would like the matter arranged as soon as possible. The conduct of the girl has been good and she is very anxious to go to her uncle. She has been in this institution since July 31st 1869.

No police report into George AYLIFFE's character was included in the correspondence. It may be that none was completed as this letter was written less than a week before the girls transferred to Biloela so Mary Ann's discharge may have been rushed to avoid an unnecessarily transfer to Biloela. Additionally, LUCAS was new in his position, overwhelmed with the rioting and ultimately, one of the reasons for his eventual dismissal as superintendent was his poor communication record.50

Mary Ann married William Patterson BUCK in Newcastle on 11 June 1872.51 Children were subsequently born in both South Australia and NSW and birth registrations indicated that the couple travelled between the two states until a permanent move to South Australia was made sometime after 1893. Mary Ann, the wife of William Patterson BUCK died on 29 May 1913,52 in Wallaroo, South Australia.53 Her death was registered in Daly, South Australia.

Family

Mary Ann's parents were John AYLIFFE and Mary Ann (X) EVERETT who were married by John B. SEAMAN in the United Church of England and Ireland at New Norfolk, Tasmania, on 18 September 1854. Both were of full age and John was recorded as a widower. Permission to marry had been considered on 9 August 1854, providing that the clergyman was satisfied, and subsequently permission was granted on the 23 August. Mary Ann was their first child and was born in New Norfolk, Tasmania, on 4 October 1855. Her baptism was recorded with the spelling Mary Ann ALIFF. Her mother registered her birth and made her mark on the register and her father was recorded there as a blacksmith. A younger sister, Harriett, was born in 1857.

The Tasmanian Permission to Marry identified that John AYLIFFE was the convict who had been transported for 15 years aboard the Mount Stewart Elphinstone in 1848. Another convict of this name, who had arrived on the Asia (4), was his father. Both men had been born in Highgate, Wiltshire, although John junior's description identified his birthplace as Isleworth. John senior's first wife, and John's mother, was named as Harriet on the Asia conduct report. It was identified that John senior had three children and was living in Highworth, Wiltshire.54 The conduct report also recorded that on 11 October 1849, John junior was punished for '[?] gross misconduct in eloping with his father’s wife.'55 Elizabeth RILEY had arrived on the Rajah and had married John senior in 1847. She was almost certainly the wife referred to in this report but it is unknown if she was the deceased 'wife' referred to by John when he married Mary Ann EVERITT as a widower.

It is unknown when John and Mary Ann AYLIFFE and their daughters left Tasmania for mainland Australia. It is also unknown whether they travelled together – although it is likely that they did do so. It is considered likely that John and Mary Ann separated some time after they left Tasmania. By 1869, John was working as the blacksmith at Nerrigundah near Araluen, NSW, where he was the victim of a robbery on 10 November.56 It is considered almost certain that the John AYLIFFE who appeared in Newcastle court on 2 January 1878,57 charged with being a dangerous lunatic was John. His admission warrant, dated 8 January 1878, was received by the Colonial Secretary and remained with his discharge assessment made on 28 May 1878. The correspondence, recorded with the spelling OLYLIFFE, indicated no age but an investigation of Gladesville records would almost certainly provide further details that may confirm whether this was Mary Ann's father or her cousin.58

By 1891, John was confirmed to be residing in Newcastle, NSW, when he was identified in the Funeral Notice of his granddaughter, Jennette M. A. BUCK,59 Mary Ann's daughter. In March 1892, he was identified at the time of the death of his brother, George, the man to whom Mary Ann had been released from the Newcastle Industrial School.60 It cannot be explained why George's father was recorded as William on his death registration in the NSW NDM Index61 when the two men were identified as brothers. It is possible that this was an error on the registration made by the informant. It may also have been an attempt to break yet another contact with John's convict past. John had moved to South Australia with his daughter, Mary Ann, sometime after George's death as his death was recorded at the age of 74 in Wallaroo, South Australia, on 13 June 1896. His father’s name was erroneously recorded as John BUCK. Tasmanian conduct reports noted that on 25 March 1904, a personal inquiry into both John and his father, John, was made by a Mr McALISTER of Darlington Point, NSW. McALISTER was almost without any doubt Harriett's husband and John's son-in-law.

At least one other son of the first AYLIFFE transportee, John, arrived in Australia. Mary Ann's first master, George AYLIFFE, arrived on 10 June 1857, with his wife and family into Melbourne aboard the Castilian. It may be that the William AYLIFFE who drowned near Goulburn in 1870 was also a member of the extended AYLIFFE family. At the time of his death his father was recorded as John on the NSW BDM Index and Araluen and Goulburn are not far from each other. This man has not been investigated further.

The Tasmanian permission to marry identified Mary Ann EVERITT as the woman transported for ten years aboard the Sir Robert Seppings in 1852. She was described as a housemaid who had been born in Whitechapel in 1827. An earlier permission for her to marry William WARNER had been made but no marriage has been identified and was unlikely to have occurred as she was recorded as a spinster when she married John AYLIFFE and her conduct report identified no marriage. No further trace of the elder Mary Ann AYLIFFE has been confirmed after her appearance in Braidwood Court for keeping a brothel on 5 July 1869, and her resulting £1 fine.62 It is considered likely that the 1875 death of Mary AYLIFFE at the documented age of thirty and registered in Sydney may refer to her death but only if the '30' is a transcription error for '50'. Descendants have accepted that this was her death but this registration has not been viewed.

Updated December 2015

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