Emily Magdalene BLAMEY
Name Variations BLANEY, BAMY
Father Thomas BLAMEY b.c. 18191 m. 18472 d. 19053
Mother Anne BURNS b.c. 18284 m. 1847 d. 19165
Sister Margaret BLANEY b. 18516 m. none - d. 18607
Brother William BLANEY or BLAMEY b. 18538 m. none - d. 18629
Inmate Emily Magdalene BLAMEY10 b. 185611 m. 187312 (see below) d. 192813
Sister Elizabeth BLAMEY b.c. 1857 m. unknown William14 NORRIS d. 192515
Brother Dennis John16 BLANEY b. 185917 m. 1872 Hanora MURRAY18 d. 193519
Sister Cordelia BLANEY b. 186220 m. 188021 Richard WHITE d. 195822
Sister Harriett BLANEY b.c. 1865 m. 189323 Thomas WELLFARE d. 194424
Sister Sarah BLANEY b.c. 1870 m. 189825 Michael McENCROE d. 195326
Sister Margaret Madeline BLAMEY b. 187227 m. none - d. 191428
Husband Henry Joseph FITZSIMMONS b. m. 187329 d. 188930
Son Henry James FITZSIMMONS b. 187331 m. none - d. 187532
Daughter Louisa Mary FITZSIMMONS b. 187533 m. 189534 William H. BARTLETT d. aft. 192835
Daughter Ada (aka Ader or Ida) Mary Ann FITZSIMMONS b. 187736 m. none - d. 196537
Daughter Violet May M. FITZSIMMONS b. 188038 m. none - d. 188939
Daughter Lilly Gertrude FITZSIMMONS b. 188340 m. d.
Son Harry R. V. FITZSIMMONS b. 188641 m. (1) 190642 (2) 192843 (1) Edith Ada C. DAVID (2) Gladys GARLAND d. 192844
Son Robert Aaron. V. FITZSIMMONS b. 188845 m. none - d. 188946
Son Cyril Joseph Victor FITZSIMMONS b. 189047 m. none - d. 192148

Emily BLAMEY was reported in the Police Gazette on 2 February 1870, as a child under sixteen who was arrested by constable GRIFFIN of Newcastle Police for vagrancy.49 Because she was admitted to the school in the period where the records are missing, no confirmation of parents, religion, education or discharge details can be identified using this source. No report of her trial has been found in either the Newcastle Chronicle or the Newcastle Pilot and surviving records for these newspapers at this time are irregular. Emily transferred to Biloela in May 1871 and was identified by LUCAS on 23 June 1871, in his list of girls eligible for apprenticeship.50

On 24 April 1871, just days before the school transferred to Biloela on Cockatoo Island, Thomas BLAMEY wrote from Newastle, although no more detailed address was provided, to the Colonial Secretary requesting that Emily be returned to him.

I take the liberty of writing to you about a child of mine now in the industrial school Newcastle and from all I can learn from the Superintendent she has behaved herself in every way that is satisfactory so much so that I consider it my duty with your permission to take her to her home as I believe she will be in every way correct she is now fifteen months in the school and has behaved herself well. [unclear][unclear] [unclear] With profound respect
Thomas Blamey

Thomas' application was supported by a letter from M. H. RYAN, a Catholic Clergyman. A further letter, not identified in the index is referred to in the notes on this correspondence. The Colonial Secretary requested that the police investigate Thomas' character and one Edward FOSBERY responded stating:

Thomas Blaney is a respectable man in a good situation. The girl also has a good character. I therefore recommend compliance with application.

During the intervening weeks Emily did get involved in some misbehaviour but no details other than the notation appear on this correspondence. The incident referred to did not affect her release to her father. The Inspector of Public Charities, referred to in a pencil note on later letters, approved her discharge on 20 June 1871, and it was confirmed by the Colonial Secretary two days later who directed LUCAS to arrange her release on 30 June.51 On 4 July LUCAS informed Thomas, recorded in the correspondence as Thomas BLANEY, that Emily would be kept at the school until he was able to collect her52 and she was recorded in the April 1872 list as having been discharged to her parents on 5 July 1871.53

Emily married Henry Joseph FITZSIMMONS in Newcastle in 1873. The marriage registration is confused as erroneous details have appeared on the NSW BDM Index and is registered in Newcastle in 1873 as the marriage of the man, Emily BLAMEY, and the woman, Mary FITZSIMONS but is correctly recorded on the original handwritten fiche of pre-1900 NSW marriages. This registration shares its number with the marriage of Richard HEDS and Mary Ann BENNETT - also in Newcastle. The Newcastle records will be investigated to see if further details can be located for this marriage and the researcher for the FITZSIMMONS family has ensured that the online NSW BDM Index has been corrected.54 By 1873 Henry and Emily, were registering children in the Newcastle area. One was registered in Wallsend while the rest were recorded in either the Maitland district or in Tamworth. A 1874 court case involving Emily's father, identified his son-in-law, as FITZSIMONS.55 At this stage Emily's father, Thomas, was living in Wallsend. Henry FITZSIMMONS died in Maitland in 1889 before the birth of his last child.56 'Mrs. and Miss IDA and Mr Henry FITZSIMMONS' were also identified in the Funeral Notice of Emily's sister, Margaret BLAMEY, in 1914.

Emily M. FITZSIMMONS died in Waverley on 13 April 1928, at the age of 68.57 Her parents on the NSW BDM Index were confirmed as Thomas and Annie.58 Her son, Harry, died three months later.59 Emily and her son share the same grave at South Head Cemetery.60


Although Emily’s father was identified in the CSIL, there was no official verification by location or registration of her mother. It is, however, almost certain that her mother was Anne BURNS, as Emily's mother was confirmed as Ann when she died in 1928. Anne (X) BURNS was married to Thomas BLAMEY by J. P. ROACHE at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sydney on 13 September 1847. The witnesses were William CARDS (?) and Johanna SHIELS. Thomas and Anne began having children in the 1850s. Their first recorded child, Margaret, was born on 30 May 1851, while the family was living in Essex Street, Sydney. Ann's surname in this baptism is recorded as BRYANS.61 Emily's baptism was recorded with the name Emily BAMY in 1856 but is recorded on a reel that cannot be read on microfilm. This age indicated by this baptism was confirmed as she was recorded in the Police Gazette in 1870 as 'under sixteen' so had to have been born between the births of William and Dennis in 1853 and 1859 respectfully. Emily also had to have been over twelve to have been eligible for apprenticeship in 1871. There are no birth registrations for Emily's sisters Harriet, Sarah and Elizabeth who had daughters named Annie Maria, Elizabeth and Florence.62

Thomas and Ann were the same couple having children in 1872 in Newcastle as funeral notices in 1914 for Margaret Madeline BLAMEY,63 who was born in 1872 in Newcastle, identify her mother, siblings, nieces and nephews. The family can be further identified through newspaper articles. The NSW BDM registrations of Emily’s siblings are most frequently made using the surname BLANEY but the family name was almost certainly spelled BLAMEY and this was the spelling of the signature on the letter apparently written by Thomas held in the CSIL.64

Thomas BLANEY, a soap and candlemaker, operated the Belmore Soap Works in Whyte's Paddock, Newcastle65 and had previously operated a soapmaking business in a partnership in Sydney66 with Denis BYRNES.67 Thomas was living in Wallsend near Newcastle in 1874 when he unsuccessfully sued the Hunter River New Steamship Navigation Company.68 Thomas BLAMEY died at the age of eighty-six on 26 June 1905, in Sydney.69

Emily’s mother, Annie BLAMEY, was identified on an Ancestry tree as born in 1828. It is likely but unconfirmed that Denis BYRNES was the man who, with Thomas BLAMEY, was supporting the election of William THURLOW in 1853.70 Annie BLAMEY died in 1916 and her Death Notice identified her as the relict of the late Thomas BLAMEY.71 Her parents were recorded on the NSW BDM Index as Denis and Margaret, names which matched those of registered children in Emily's family.72 Only her death registration is likely to identify her children and their ages if they were known by the informant.

Updated February 2016

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