Mary Ann BARRY
Name Variations Mary J., BERRY
Father John BARRY b.c. 18061 m. 18512 d. 18833
Mother Emma ALDRIDGE b.c. 1831 m. 1851 d. 18664
Sister unidentified BARRY b.c. 18515 m. none - d. bet. 1857 & 18666
Brother unidentified BARRY b.c. 18537 m. none - d. bet. 1857 & 18668
Brother John James BARRY b.c. 18559 m. 188010 Catherine NESS d. 192511
Sister Emma BARRY b. 185712 m. (1) c. 1875 (2) 189813 (1) John WATSON14 (2) Thomas F. MOORE d. 192915
Inmate Mary Ann BARRY b. 186016 m. (1) none (2) 1898 (see below) d. 195217
Brother Alfred Frederic BARRY b. 186418 m. none - d. 186619
Husband (1) Matthew CLARK20 b. m. d.
Husband (2) William Emanuel ALLEN b. m. 189821 d. 1926
Daughter Mary Ellen BARRY b. 188122 m. none - d. 188123
Son Alfred Joseph BARRY b. 188424 m. 191225 Gertrude COFFEY d. 195126
Son Thomas H. BARRY b. 188527 m. d.
Son Mathew Charles BARRY b. 188728 m. (1) 190929 (2) 192830 (1) Louisa HEYDON (2) Edith Violet GALLAGHER31 d. 196432
Son William James ALLEN b. 188933 m. d. 196434
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father John35 31 5' 3½" brown dark hazel fair ruddy scar top of left side of forehead; blue dot under left eye-brow; nose crooked from being broken; bald on crown of head; half-moon and seven stars on upper and scar inside lower right arm
Father John36 50 5' 3¼" grey hazel fresh medium large nose; medium mouth; round chin; a half-moon and seven stars on upper part of right arm; a mark of punishment on the back; nose broke
Brother John37 15 small fair fair dressed in dark moleskin trousers, dark Crimea shirt and black California hat

Mary Ann BARRY
Image generously provided by and used courtesy of her descendant, Gail

Just over a year after the death of her mother and at the age of eight, Mary Ann was charged with vagrancy and on 31 October 1867, appeared as Mary J. BARRY before the Police Magistrate in Goulburn.38 It may be that further information regarding her arrest will be available when the Goulburn Evening Penny Post in scanned for this date. Why Mary Ann was arrested as a vagrant is unclear as her maternal grandparents were alive at the time of her arrest and it is known that relatives were living in Goulburn39 as this was also the location of the death of Maria ALDRIDGE in 1872.40 Mary Ann was admitted to Newcastle on 15 November 1867. She was recorded in the Entrance Book as a seven-year-old. Her educational level was described as 'alphabet' and she was identified as a Protestant.41 SELWYN's list of Protestant girls in 1869 confirmed her religion.42

In May 1871, when Newcastle closed, Mary Ann was recorded as a ten-year-old when she transferred with the school to Biloela43 on Cockatoo Island. On the April 1872 list compiled by LUCAS, almost certainly from information recorded in the Entrance Book, Mary Ann was identified as 'In the Institution'.44 On 3 December 1872, at the age of about twelve, Mary Ann was discharged as an apprentice for a period of six years to David SKILL or HILL, Esq.,45 of Randwick. No confirmation has been found to indicate whether Mary Ann completed her six-year apprenticeship and no further trace of her can be confirmed after this discharge date and before the birth of her first known child in 1881. No further references to her appear in the CSIL index and as she was apprenticed by George LUCAS, it is considered likely that no further records will be found as his communication with the Colonial Secretary was poor. It is considered very doubtful that Mary Ann was the woman who was sentenced to six months for vagrancy on 26 November 1873, as by this date Mary Ann would still most likely have been in her apprenticeship.

Mary Ann's descendants accept that the twenty-year-old Mary Ann BARRY, who was admitted to the Benevolent Asylum on 27 September 1881, was their ancestor and the Newcastle admission. At the asylum Mary Ann gave birth to the child, Mary Ellen BARRY, on 30 September 1881,46 and both were discharged from the Asylum on 19 October 1881.47 Mary Ellen is believed to have died on 31 October,48 about a fortnight after leaving the asylum with her death registered as Mary E. BERRY49 but this information has not been verified by viewing her death registration. This girl was too old to have been one of the two children mentioned in the correspondence in March 1887 outlined below. On 12 February 1884, 22-year-old Mary Ann returned to the asylum to deliver her three-week-old son, Alfred, who was probably born50 about 31 March 1884. The pair was discharged on 9 April 1884. Although this was an illegitimate birth, Alfred's birth record confirmed that his father was Matthew CLARK and Mary Ann's descendants further identify that Matthew was the father to another son, Mathew Charles BARRY, who had been born in 1887.51 A third child was born to Matthew and Mary Ann as on 21 March 1887, a letter was written to the Colonial Secretary by Eliza POTTIE attempted to get the two older illegitimate children of Mary Ann BARRY into the Benevolent Asylum. The children were not identified by name but POTTIE identified that they were 'three years and 16 months old' and that Mary Ann was unable to care for them as she had:

a babe of three weeks old with whom she will have to earn her living – I am sorry to trouble you, but it is a case of great destitution and the poor little children are suffering for their parents sin.

The baby, Matthew BARRY, had been born on 28 February 1887.52 The three year old was Alfred Joseph BARRY who had been born in 1884. No other birth has been registered under the surname BERRY, BARRY or CLARKE but the registration of Thomas H. CLARK whose mother was Mary Ann and whose father was unidentified is almost certainly the missing 16-month-old child. This son has been attributed to Mary Ann. Eliza POTTIE's request was refused as the investigation undertaken by the Inspector of Public Charities and reported to POTTIE by the Principal Under Secretary stated that:

Barry refused to attend the Water Police Court in support of affiliation charge against the father of her children – she also refused to enter the Benevolent Asym.53

Additional admissions recorded on the index to the Benevolent Asylum for a woman of this name and age cannot be confirmed to be Mary Ann even though the ages of the women match and none can be identified about 16 months prior to March 1887 when Mary Ann's other child was born. Based on the 1887 letter it is considered unlikely that Mary Ann was the twenty-two-year-old Mary BARRY who entered the Benevolent Asylum on 24 April 1883, with her three-month-old daughter, Elizabeth. The pair was discharged on 10 May 1883. There has been no birth registration yet identified for Elizabeth.

Descendants have confirmed that Mary Ann was the mother of the child, William James ALLEN, whose birth was registered in Sydney in 1889. His father was recorded as William ALLEN.54 Mary Ann BARRY and William Emanuel ALLEN married in Sydney in 1898. William was Jamaican55 and was confirmed as the step-father of Mathew and Alfred BARRY in his Funeral Notice on 1 May 1926, when he and Mary Ann were residents at 106 Orange Street, Randwick. William was buried in Randwick Cemetery.56

Mary died at the age of 92 on 22 February 1952.57 Her death location was identified as Summer Hill and no parents were identified on her death registrtaion on the NSW BDM Index.58 Her final residence was identified as 33 Prospect Road, Summer Hill59 and she was also buried in Randwick60 in an unmarked grave.

On 20 September 2016, Mary Ann's great-granddaughter was interviewed on ABC radio discussing the difficulties of identifying her ancestor and also the sad lives of the girls admitted to Biloela.61


The Entrance Book identified that Mary Ann's father was John BARRY, a shoemaker from Goulburn, and indicated that her mother had died. Her mother was therefore unnamed. Mary Ann was the third daughter of John and Emma BARRY but only the second registered on the NSW BDM Index. John BARRY and Emma ALDRIDGE had been married by E. SMITH on 10 February 1851, by banns in Queanbeyan. The witnesses were A. and Maria ALDRIDGE of Queanbeyan. The birth of their daughter, Emma, the first registration for the couple, identified that she was the fourth of their children and that two brothers and a sister were living in 1857.62 Mary Ann's birth was registered in Goulburn in 1860. On 19 June 1866, after the death of their mother, Mary Ann, Emma and an older brother, John James, were baptised at St Saviour's, Goulburn.63

Emma ALDRIDGE and her four older siblings, Eliza, James, Mary Ann and William, had arrived in NSW as a five-year-old with her parents, Samuel ALDRIDGE and Maria JONES, as assisted immigrants aboard the Layton in 1838. On 5 February 1866, after the birth of five children, Emma died in Goulburn from inflammation of the bowel. The inquest into her death described her as the thirty-three-year-old wife of the Goulburn shoemaker, John BARRY.64 The witnesses on her death registration were Samuel and William ALDRIDGE who were almost certainly her father and brother. The informant was the coroner. While the name of her husband was confirmed on her death registration, no children were identified. Emma was buried in the grounds of St Saviour's Church of England, Goulburn, in an unmarked grave.65 On 26 February 1866, Emma's son, Alfred Frederic, was baptised and the following day he was taken to a doctor. Alfred died of diarrhoea seven days later and was buried in Goulburn on 3 March. His father was the informant and he stated that Alfred was 16-months-old. Alfred's death registration did not confirm that his mother was also dead.66

There is no doubt that John BARRY had been transported. He had arrived aboard the James Pattison on 25 October 1837. No age provided by him on any records for his family exactly matched the details recorded on the convict indent but his place of birth, Bristol, was identified on birth registrations. John had reduced his age, probably when he married, so that he appeared younger. The James Pattison indent identified that John had been born in about 1806.67 The James Pattison indent confirmed that he was a Protestant and this matches Mary Ann's religion identified in the Entrance Book.

It may be expected that John faced difficulties after Emma's death and, while he owned a shop in Goulburn, caring for a family and working must have been difficult. There is no evidence that he was assisted by any members of his wife's family. John seems to have abandoned his children from about the time of Mary Ann's arrest in October 1867 when she was described as vagrant. John James seems to have been apprenticed and it is reasonable to assume that the two older, unidentified, children had also been apprenticed. it is unknown where Emma, who was too young to apprentice, went. In March 1868, about two years after Emma's death and about six months after Mary Ann's arrest, John appeared in Goulburn Court charged with the theft of shoes from Mr TEECE68 and was admitted to Goulburn Gaol. He was recorded there as John BERRY who was described as a Catholic shoemaker, born in Bristol in about 1818. His ship of arrival was confirmed as the James Paterson [sic] of 1837. John was on a bond when he arrived but was free at the time he entered the gaol.69 The fact that he had been identified as on a bond at this time suggested that there may have been earlier gaol admissions but none have been identified. While John's religion does not match the religion stated when he arrived in NSW, comparisons of descriptions of John BARRY and John BERRY confirm that the convict on the James Pattison was the same man imprisoned in Goulburn in 1868. It cannot be confirmed whether the 1868 religion indicated an error or whether John had converted to Catholicism. By 1868 it was recorded that John had a mark of punishment on his back so at some stage since his arrival he had been flogged.

Any further details concerning John's life are uncertain and an identification of his death is unclear. After his release from his imprisonment it is suspected by his descendants that John went to the goldfields. It may be that he returned to Goulburn where he died in 1883 and his parents were recorded as Michael and Mary70 on the NSW BDM Index. Another very similar registration in 1883 was made in Hay where this 72-year-old man died in the locality of Groorigal.71

John was not the man admitted to Parramatta from Goulburn Gaol and for whom a deposition register exists as this man had been committed in Yass in February 1855 and he was found guilty at the Goulburn Quarter Sessions where he was sentenced to two years in Parramatta Gaol. This man had arrived on the Countess of Harcourt in 1827 and had been born in Waterford in about 1809.72

The following research has been left to avoid repetition. A connection to this family is still a possibility but this connection has not been not confirmed. The William BARRY who married Mary Ann KELLY in Goulburn in 185573 resulted in the birth of a daughter, Matilda, who had been born in 1871,74 married Francis J. McALISTER in 1899.75 A lavish gift was provided by a Jack BARRY although it is unlikely that this man was John and Emma's son76 as Jack was also a member of this family.77 Online trees indicated that this family were descended from Thomas and Ellen BARRY who had arrived on the Ayrshire in 1841. This family did have a son named John who married in 1862 and had been born in 1832. There is no doubt that this John died in Goulburn in 192578 at the age of 93.79

Another man, identified as John Irelam BARRY, was being sought by his niece, and contact could be made by writing to an Emma BARRY who was living in Sydney in June 1861.80

Emma's older brother, John James BARRY, whose baptism was not recorded until 1866 so doesn't appear on the 'V' reels, was the 15-year-old boy who had left the service of James MARTIN in Goulburn in February 1871 and had absconded to BAMBRIDGE's Farm at Queanbeyan.81 John was eventually arrested in Queanbeyan and returned to Goulburn82 where he appeared in court and all the charges against him were dropped.83 It may be that more details of his trial will be found in the Goulburn Evening Penny Post once it is scanned for this date. Elijah BAMBRIDGE had married Eliza ALDRIDGE in 184084 so John was attempting to reach his aunt's farm. Perhaps this family was responsible for the care of the sister, Emma.

There is no doubt that as John James BARRY, Mary Ann's brother married Catherine NESS in Young in 1880.85 As Jack BARRY his exploits as a Cobb and Co. driver were often reported with great flourish.86 John died in Young in 1925 as John J. BARRY87 where his death was widely reported.88 While his parents were identified in 1925 as William and Ellen, they were correctly identified when he married. This error at the time of his death does suggest that his early life was not often discussed. His obituary identified that 'Mr. J. Allsop, the Randwick trainer, [was] a cousin.'89 This trainer was John90 ALLSOP who had been born in 1856 as John ALSOP91 and who died in 1931.92 He was the child of John ALLSOP and Mary Ann ALDRIDGE, Mary Ann's aunt and her mother's oldest sister, who had married in 1845.93

Mary Ann's grandfather, Samuel died in St Peters in 1880 as Samuel ALRIDGE.94 It might be reasonably supposed that, as his daughter, Mary Ann ALLSOP, lived in Sydney, his care was being overseen by her. It must also be questioned why Mary Ann was sent to Randwick as an apprentice when her return to Goulburn would have been the most usual location of an apprenticeship. It may be that there was some communication from her aunt, Mary Ann ALLSOP, that resulted in the Randwick apprenticeship but because LUCAS was such a poor communicator, it is unknown whether this occurred. The lack of records for Mary Ann in the CSIL is typical of discharges by LUCAS.

Emma BARRY, Mary Ann's sister, had been baptised in 1866 after the death of her mother. She is very difficult to trace on the NSW BDM Index but contact by her descendants to other members of the BARRY family has provided the details of her life. Emma died in Redfern in August 1929.95 While it is clear from Emma's Funeral Notice96 that Emma remained in contact with her brother, John Joseph, it is unknown whether she was aware that her sister, Mary Ann, was living in Sydney.

Updated November 2017

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