Name Variations BOSWORTH1
Father unknown b. m. d.
Mother unknown b. m. d.
Inmate Sarah BOSWELL b.c. 1854 m. d. aft. 18742
Husband unknown b. m. d.
Son William BOSWELL b. 18733 m. d. aft.18754
Son William James BOSWELL b. 18745 m. d.

Sarah BOSWELL was admitted to Newcastle on 22 November 1870.6 Her admission details appeared in the section of the Entrance Book that has not survived so her family, religion, education and discharge details cannot be confirmed using this record. Even Sarah's surname was initially uncertain. The April 1872 list7 compiled by LUCAS, already containing other identified transcription errors,8 incorrectly recorded her surname as BOSWORTH but both the transfer list9 and LUCAS’s communication to the Colonial Secretary of 26 December 1871, where he was reporting on only four girls, confirmed that her surname was BOSWELL.10 Sarah's arrest and court appearance are still unknown and she remains one of only two inmates in the school whose trial location remains unidentified. She wasn't recorded in the Police Gazette for either 1870 or 1871. CLARKE wrote no communication regarding her admission in his report for the particular week of her arrest in November so these records also cannot be used to identify either her arrest location nor her place of trial.

Sarah transferred with the school to Biloela in May 1871. The transfer list named the older girls who made this transfer to the island and identified that Sarah was a Catholic who had been born in about 1855. It is significant that she appeared on this list as it identified that she was one of the older admissions. Whilst suffering from a severe toothache, on 26 September 1871, Sarah accidentally set fire to Number 5 Dormitory on Biloela. LUCAS reported the incident to the Colonial Secretary and declared that he believed Sarah's account that the incident was accidental.11 On 12 December 1871, after spending about six months at the school in Newcastle and a further six months on Biloela, Sarah was discharged to Mr. W. TULLY of Gundaroo.12 Further details of her apprenticeship were contained in the letter written by LUCAS when requesting permission to make the appointment. TULLY of Newington, Gundaroo, agreed to pay Sarah a shilling a week for her first year and this pay was to increase by one shilling a year for each subsequent year of her apprenticeship. LUCAS stated that Sarah's conduct had been uniformly good.13 His letter did not identify Sarah's initial arrest location but confirmed that she had been in the school since November 1870. Sarah was almost certainly still working for TULLY when she appeared as a witness in a court case in May 1873.14 Her apprenticeship with TULLY would have ended in about December 1874 but it is unknown whether this apprenticeship was completed and if it was, whether Sarah remained in the area around Gundaroo after about 1874.

There is little to no doubt that the Newcastle admission was the mother of two illegitimate sons whose births were registered at Queanbeyan in 1873 and 1874 and these births have been attributed to her. Sarah's first son, registered as William BOSWELL, had been born in 1873. On 26 December 1874, another son, registered as William James BOSWELL, was subsequently born. His birth registration specified that he had been born at Newington, Gundaroo – an exact match for the apprenticeship location of the Newcastle admission. Sarah was nineteen years old and her birth year was calculated to 1855 – an exact match for the birth year of the Newcastle admission. The 1874 registration confirmed that William James had an older brother who was still alive although this older child was unnamed on the record. Sarah stated on the registration that she had been born in Gundaroo. While this location may be an error made when she registered her son, this location can't be proved to be incorrect and must therefore be considered to be the truth.

The fate of Sarah BOSWELL and her sons may be solved if her initial trial location can be verified, as reports may help to accurately identify a parent or her family. No confirmation of the Newcastle admission has been made after December 1874. It is unknown whether she remained in the Gundaroo and Queanbeyan area after that date.


Sarah's family, their original location and her birth and trial locations remain unconfirmed. All that is known for certain is that she was a Catholic who was sent from Newcastle to Biloela and from there was apprenticed to the Gundaroo area. There she was the mother to the two boys named William born in 1873 and 1874 and where she had also been born in about 1855. She was specifically living on the property Newington. Sarah had been born before compulsory registration and no appropriate baptism for her has been found on the NSW BDM Index using any variation of the surname BOSWELL. It is uncertain whether a baptism was recorded on the NSW BDM Index under another surname and if Sarah's birth was illegitimate then this is possible.

It was common for the government to return a girl to the same, a nearby or a similar location to that where she had been arrested and tried so it is possible that Sarah's 1870 trial had been in Cooma, Goulburn, Campbelltown or even other localities in far western Sydney. It is significant that to date no reports of any admissions to Newcastle have been located for any girl arrested and tried in the Parramatta or Penrith police courts, nor have any admissions from this area been documented in the Police Gazette. It may be that Sarah was one of these children. All letters referring to Sarah and recorded on the CSIL index have been read but some references that have not been indexed can only be located using correspondence tracking. This has not been undertaken. Unfortunately George LUCAS was less concientious in his placement of apprentices than his predecessor had been so it may be that the Gundaroo apprenticeship was just coincidence and was unconnected to Sarah's place of trial.

Who was Sarah Boswell?
Extensive searching has failed to locate anything that would assist in the clarification of the identity of either Sarah BOSWELL or her family. The only accurate link to Sarah occurred with the births of her two sons in Newington, Gundaroo, after her discharge from Newcastle. The following information outlines potential families. and eventually some proof may be found that one of the links suggested below is correct, or not.

It is also conceivable that the BOSWELL families outlined below were connected by extended family ties and that Sarah was a child of the couple in Family 1 who went to live with extended family in the Queanbeyan area or who had actually been born in Gundaroo before returning with her family to Parramatta. It is possible that further information or connections will be made as more papers from this area are scanned into Trove or if further records are located.

Family 1:

Step-father Joseph DURDEN b.c. 181115 m. (1) 183816 d. 185417
Father William BOSWELL b.c. 181118 m. (2) 1857 d. 188519
Mother Mary SWEENEY b.c. 1817 m. (1) 1838 (2) 185720 d. 188821
Half-brother William DURDEN b. 183922 m. d. 189823
Half-sister Martha DURDON b.c. 1842 m. none - d. 184324
Half-brother James DURDEN b. 184525 m. d.
Half-brother Joseph DURDON b. 184726 m. none - d. 184827
Half-sister Mary Jane28 DURDON b. 185029 m. 187330 Joseph NORFORD d. 187631
Half-sister Martha E. DURDAN b. 185232 m. d.
Inmate Sarah Margaret BOSWELL b. 185733 m. 189134 (see below) d. aft. 187435
Husband Thomas TIBBETT b. m. 187836 d.
Daughter Gertrude aka Mary Gertrude TIBBET b. 188437 m. 189938 Sydney SHERWOOD d. 196039
Son unnamed TIBBET b. 188740 m. none - d.41
Daughter Daisy May TIBBETT b. unknown m. none - d. 191042
Son William Thomas Leslie TEBBITT b. 189443 m. 191644 Esther E. PASKIN d.

If the Newcastle admission had originally been arrested in Parramatta or the western Sydney area, then it would seem very likely that she belonged to Family 1. She may have then returned to Parramatta from Gundaroo after the birth of her two sons and subsequently married and settled.

There are compelling reasons that this Sarah BOSWELL from Family 1 may have been the Newcastle admission and the coincidences below are compelling.

Firstly, frequent court appearances and gaol admissions for one or both parents of an industrial school admission was a common indicator in the lives of other children who had been admitted to Newcastle, Biloela or the Vernon. Sarah's parents were alive at the time of her admission and this pattern of earlier arrests is observable with her mother in particular.

Secondly, significant circumstantial evidence that the Newcastle admission was the child living in Parramatta can be found in the Parramatta church record for the marriage of Sarah BOSWELL and Thomas TIPPETT. This record identified that her father was a gold digger and the closest locations for prospecting to Parramatta were the gold mining areas in the Monaro. The auriferous leases are yet to be viewed to see if a lease remains for William BOSWELL in the Monaro area.

Thirdly, Sarah was almost certainly the nine-year-old45 child, Sarah46 aka Mary47 BOSWELL, who in 1866 was 'under the age of ten' when she was assaulted by James BURNS in Parramatta.48 BURNS was found not guilty.49 No parents or siblings were named in any newspaper reports but accounts did identify that Sarah had an older sister.50 This older 'sister' was almost certainly Sarah's half-sister, Mary Jane DURDEN, who was to eventually marry Joseph NORFORD.

There is little doubt that this Sarah's mother was Mary BOSWELL née SWEENEY who had often appeared in the Parramatta courts for various offences prior to this attack. Mary SWEENEY had been transported for seven years aboard the Margaret. In 1838, at the age of 21, she married Joseph DURDEN.51 Joseph had a Ticket of Leave, was 27 and had been transported for seven years aboard the Heroine. Permission to marry for this couple was granted by Henry BOBART on 17 August 1838, with the provision that:

[t]he consent of the Visiting Justice is necessary which must be obtained before the ceremony is performed.

The baptisms of four children were subsequently registered. Joseph probably died in 1854 at the reported age of 36.52 At Parramatta in 1857, Mary DURDEN remarried William BOSWELL. William's surname was erroneously transcribed in the NSW BDM Index as BOUVILL.53 Sarah Margaret BOSWELL was their only child and her birth was registered in Parramatta in 1857 as Sarah M. BOSWITH. In June 1865 Mary BOSWELL alias DURDEN, appeared in court charged with stealing oranges.54 She was admitted to gaol in 1868 and the Darlinghurst Gaol records confirmed that her ship of arrival had been the Margaret. No trial details have yet been located for this gaol admission. It is possible to track Mary SWEENEY through the NSW BDM Index and by compiling other records. Mary died at the age of 68 in Parramatta in 1888.55

Little is known of William BOSWELL. He died in Parramatta on 3 October 1885.56 His death registration has not been viewed and the NSW BDM Index recorded that his parents were William and Elizabeth. These parents match those of the man who arrived in Port Phillip in 1849 but this may just be coincidence. His burial record at St John's Church, Parramatta, indicated that he died at the age of 74 years so had been born in about 1811. He was buried on 5 October 1885.57 A Charles BOSWELL, who may be William's brother, also settled in NSW. It may be coincidence that these two families frequented the area around Parramatta but there may also be some connection – although none has been found.

While this Sarah BOSWORTH's birth was registered in 1857, by the time of her death as Sarah TEBBET in Blacktown on 10 May 1895,58 it was recorded that she had been born in 185559 in Parramatta. Sarah was buried in the Church of England section of Prospect Cemetery.60 Thomas died in 192561 as Thomas TEBBET and his obituary confirmed that he had outlived his wife.62

There are three complications with attributing this family to the Sarah BOSWELL who was admitted to Newcastle. But what happened to the two sons if this occurred is unknown. This girl is definitely two years younger than the Newcastle admission. The Newcastle admission was Catholic and many records for this family are Church of England.

Firstly, although at this time period in NSW two years is a small age difference, the age of Sarah BOSWELL, the daughter of William and Mary, is younger than the age recorded for the Newcastle girl.

Secondly, Thomas and Sarah had a son, named William Thomas Leslie TIBBETT who had been born in 1894. If Sarah TIBBETT is the Newcastle girl, two older half-brothers, also named William had been born and no trace of these men has been confirmed. While they do not appear on Sarah TEBBET's death registration, this does not confirm that they were not her sons as children of first relationships are occasionally omitted from the registration made by a connection to the family of the second relationship.

Thirdly, the Newcastle admission was identified as a Catholic but this family in most cases used the Church of England and while this does not discount them does make it less likely.

Family 2:
If Sarah had been arrested in 1870 in the Queanbeyan area it is considered likely that she belonged to Family 2. Family 2 is undefined and has been based only on supposition.

The BOSWELL name was important in the area around Gundaroo. The Goulburn papers reported that man named William Alexander BOSWELL had moved to the Gundaroo area near Queanbeyan sometime before 186563 when he married Martha Matilda ELLIOTT.64 Online trees indicated that William had been born in Parramatta in 183765 to George BOSWELL and Emma Jane aka Jane née SCULLY.66 George had been transported on the Hercules and Emma Jane had been born in NSW.67 Emma Jane can't be located on the 1828C but it may be that she was in fact recorded there as the thirteen-year-old Jane SCULLY who stated that she had arrived free aboard the Matilda. George BOSWELL had been born and tried in London68 and had died in 1843.69 Jane aka Emma Jane died in Parramatta in 1878 – well after her son had moved from the Parramatta area.70

Might Sarah be William Alexander BOSWELL's daughter, the daughter of one of his siblings or a child of John BOSWELL?71 Could it be that she was illegitimate and born to an unidentified woman with one of these men as the father? It is interesting that while William died in Queanbeyan in 1900,72 his widow, Martha, died in Parramatta in 1934.73 There was no indication in Martha's Funeral Notice74 that there was any connection to the BOSWELL family of Parramatta outlined above.

It may be that the following BOSWELL family was also connected. In 1849 a BOSWELL family from Norham, Scotland,75 arrived in Port Phillip, Victoria, aboard the Andromache. They were William (b. 1806) and Elizabeth BOSWELL (b. 1806) who arrived with their children Anne (b. 1828), John (b. 1830), William (b. 1832), Robert (b. 1834), Charles (1836 – 1905), Margaret (b. 1849) and George (b. 1846). PROV records for the Andromache indicated that the three older boys were planning to work at Barrabool Hills76 west of Geelong. There were no relatives in Australia mentioned on any of the PROV records.

Where has She Gone?

Sarah BOSWELL and her two sons disappear after December 1874. It is likely that Sarah went on to form a de facto relationship with a parter and either never registered a birth or the registration did not reach NSW BDM. It is believed that the two boys adopted the surname of the man with whom Sarah lived, thereby losing the surname BOSWELL. This man may even hae been the father of Sarah's two sons. Only descendants of these men will have access to registrations relevant to their ancestry and unavailable to everyone else.

The difficult, extensive and very well-documented research undertaken by descendants of William James BOSWELL and Ada HODGES who married in Cowra in 1905, have identified their ancestor as William James BOSWELL. They clearly state that he had been born in Albury and that his parents were George and Sarah BOSWELL née ARNOLD. William's marriage certificate confirmed that his mother's maiden name was ARNOLD. He documented that his mother was alive when he married even though Ada's mother was marked as deceased. Because Sarah was alive and known to the family, her fate is clear and the difficult tracing of their ancestor is correct however, the attribution of the 1874 birth of William James BOSWELL the son of the Sarah BOSWELL who was at Newington, Gundaroo, to their family is not. While similarities do exist between and have been attributed to the two women named Sarah BOSWELL and Sarah ARNOLD, as well as the two men named William James BOSWELL, there is no connection even though Sarah BOSWELL and her two sons have not been traced.

Descendants identify that Sarah ARNOLD had been born at Jindera near Albury in 1859.77 Her parents were the forty-year-old Robert ARNOLD and the sixteen-year-old Caroline KEENS who had married in Albury in 1858. At the age of fourteen on 20 January 1873, Sarah married George BOSWELL in Yackandandah, Victoria. She clearly identified her parents on the marriage record. This marriage eventually failed and Sarah went on to marry Peter Daniel TUOHY or TOUHY as TUSHEY at Nymagee, NSW,78 at the age of twenty-seven. While this marriage registration stated that Sarah was 27, which was five years younger than her actual age, her parents Robert and Caroline, were again confirmed and this age discrepancy can be easily explained. Peter and Sarah had no children. Sarah ARNOLD died as Sarah TUOHEY in 1944. Her death registration identified that she and George BOSWELL had had three children, William (b.c. 1878 or 1876), identified only as William and Mary (b.c. 1878) and an unidentified son who had died by 1944. Every record for both Sarah and her son William James, confirmed that they had been born in Albury.

It is not possible for Sarah BOSWELL to be Sarah TUOHEY formerly BOSWELL née ARNOLD for the following reasons.
1. No registrations for births or deaths of any of the children of Sarah ARNOLD as BOSWELL or ARNOLD have been found. There is no registration for a daughter Mary in about 1876 or the unidentified son in either NSW or Victoria. There is no registration for the death of a child with the surname BOSWELL with parents named George and Sarah. There is no registration for William James BOSWELL around the time that records relevant to him state that he had been born - ie. between 1876 and 1878. It has been assumed that the 1874 registration belonged to the child of George BOSWELL and Sarah ARNOLD.
2. The birth registration for Sarah BOSWELL's son on 26 December 1874, clearly identified a birth at Newington, Gundaroo, for both William James BOSWELL and for his mother Sarah BOSWELL. Any records for these two people should reflect the location of Gundaroo or its environs rather than Albury. These two locations are over 300km apart. While it is not impossible that Sarah and George BOSWELL travelled this considerable distance, it is considered extremely unlikely.
3. What was missing from the 1874 birth registration is what identifies that it is not that of their ancestor. The registration of William James BOSWELL records an illegitimate birth registered by Sarah BOSWELL. It identified no father and clearly indicated that Sarah's maiden name and 'married' name were both BOSWELL. This registration occurred after Sarah ARNOLD and George BOSWELL married so why when William was legitimate was he not recorded as such? Why did Sarah neglect to provide a maiden name or ARNOLD?
4. The 1874 registration further indicated that one other boy had been born before 1874. This 1873 birth registration is also for an illegitimate son that Sarah BOSWELL named William. Even if George had abandoned Sarah shortly after their marriage, it is considered highly unlikely that she would record the birth of his first child as illegitimate and provide herself with the major stigma of being an unmarried mother when this was not the case.
5. Because there is no birth or death registration for the unidentified son, there is nothing to identify his name. It has been assumed by the ARNOLD/BOSWELL researchers that it was William and this is considered very unlikely.
6. A further inconsistency is the difference of nearly five years between the stated ages of Sarah BOSWELL (b.c. 1855) and Sarah ARNOLD (b. 1859). It is easier for ages of children to be more accurate than those of adults. The age of the mother on the 1874 birth registration was 19 but Sarah ARNOLD would only have been 15 and this age was in agreement with the age recorded on the BOSWELL/ARNOLD marriage.
7. Even if the Newcastle admission had initially appeared in an Albury court in 1870, Sarah ARNOLD was not married at this date and therefore had the surname ARNOLD and not BOSWELL.

Sarah was not the daughter of James and Rebecca BOSWELL of Mudgee as this child died in 1861.

Sarah was not the woman who was frequently admitted to gaol between 1874 and 1904 as her first gaol admission of six month's hard labour occurred on 15 December 1874 two weeks before the Newcastle admission's son was delivered at Gundaroo.

Sarah can't have married Charles WALL in Wagga Wagga as well as been the mother to illegitimate sons in 1873 and 1875. Additionally, Sarah WALL née BOSWELL had family in the Wagga Wagga area. One online tree indicated that she was working as an apprentice in 1871 in an unlocated79 infirmary,80 further indicating that she was not the woman admitted to Newcastle. Online trees and family researchers81 of Charles and Sarah WALL identify that this Sarah had been born in England and her parents were Eli and Sophia BOSWELL.//^^

Updated March 2020

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