Name Variations DANFORD
Father John1 b. unknown m. none d. unknown
Step-Father Thomas CALLAGHAN b.c. 1804 m. 18692 d. 18793
Mother Jane DUNFORD4 b.c. 18315 m. 1869 d. 19046
Inmate Mary Ann DANFORD b. 18537 m. 1875 (see below) d. 19328
Sister Catherine CALLAGHAN b. 18559 m. (1) 187810 (2) 189511 (1) John NORRIS (2) Isaac CARPENTER d. 193812
Brother John CALLAGHAN b. 185713 m. 187914 Mary C. McLEAN d.
Sister Ellen CALLAGHAN b. 186015 m. (1) 1892 (2) 1896 (1) Merandel McDONALD (2) Archibald TULLOCH d. 193616
Brother Thomas CALLAGHAN b. 186317 m. 189118 Emily SYMORIA d. 192519
Sister Frances Jane CALLAGHAN b. 186620 m. 188721 William TREHARNE d. 195022
Brother Patrick J. CALLAGHAN b. 186623 m. none - d. 186624
Sister Lucy Marie CALLAGHAN b. 186825 m. 189526 Henry HENSBY d. 194527
Brother William B.28 CALLAGHAN b. 187129 m. 189730 Amelia M. NICHOLS31 d. 191732
Sister Gertrude Clara CALLAGHAN b. 187333 m. 189534 Willie E. ROBINSON d. 193435
Husband (1) Stephen GREEN36 b. 185137 m. 187338 d. 191139
Husband (2) Edward DUCK b. m. 191540 d.
Son Thomas GREEN b. 1875 m. d. 190141
Daughter Anna GREEN b. 1877 m. 189842 William JOHNSON d.
Son Percy Stephen GREEN b. 1879 m. d. 194243
Daughter May Isabel GREEN b. 1882 m. d.
Son Arthur George GREEN b. 1885 m. Elizabeth M. DOUGLAS44 d. 195145
Son Cecil William GREEN b. 1887 m. d. 188946
Daughter Grace Naomi GREEN b. 1889 m. 1907 Charles DODDS d. 1962
Son Alfred E. A. GREEN b. 1893 m. d. 193247
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Thomas48 28 5' 10" brown hazel dark ruddy lost a front upper tooth; cross scar on upper lip, scar on chin; mole ball of left thumb

Mary Ann was charged under the Industrial School Act on 23 September 1868, with habitually wandering about the streets in the city and district of Sydney in no ostensible lawful occupation.49 Her parents, who were reported as alive and living in St. Leonards, had complained of her conduct and stated that they could not keep her in any respectable employment and that she frequently stayed away from home. Mary Ann was admitted to the school on 25 September,50 and was recorded in the Entrance Book as a Catholic who could read the first book and write on slate. On 6 August 1870, Mary Ann was identified as one of the carers of Margaret Hughes ELLIS during Margaret's prolonged illness and subsequent death. Mary Ann gave evidence to the coroner at her inquest.51 Eleven days after this appearance, Mary Ann's mother, Jane, wrote to the Colonial Secretary seeking her release. In response CLARKE stated

Since I have known this girl her character has been good. She is too delicate to go into service and as both her parents are alive I should think they could take charge of her.

On September 1, the Acting Sub-inspector ANDERSON from A Division Number 4 Station agreed with CLARKE and reported that Mary Ann's parents

… are respectable and in comfortable circumstances according to their station in life. Her father is a rough carpenter and is the owner of the house in which he resides; he also keeps a dairy on a small scale which is managed by his wife.

On 8 September 1870, permission was granted by the Colonial Secretary for Mary Ann's return to her mother,52 and on 27 September Mary Ann was discharged from the school into the care of her parents.53

Although another girl named Mary CALLAGHAN appeared in the Sydney courts during the time that Mary Ann was in Newcastle,54 it is believed that references to 'Mary' rather than 'Mary Ann' refer to this woman but based on the use of these given names, Mary Ann may have been the woman who was imprisoned for vagrancy on 14 March 1871. The implication of newspaper accounts of the incident were that Mary Ann's co-accused, Mary Ann SMITH, had been 'longer known,' suggesting that Mary Ann was a new vagrant.55 No details of any imprisonment can be found in Darlinghurst gaol records for this period but this trial date fits well with Mary Ann's release from Newcastle. No other gaol admissions can refer to Mary Ann other than this one so the chance that this is her is only very remote.

In August 1871, in Grafton, some months after this Sydney incident, Mary Ann CALLAGHAN, who was described by her mistress, Helen STANLEY, as a domestic servant in the Grafton area, was accused of the theft of a dress. The case was ultimately dismissed.56 It is almost certain that this reference does refer to Mary Ann. It is conceivable that her parents arranged for her to be removed from inappropriate associates in Sydney to Grafton and if the gaol reference does refer to her this would make a move from Sydney even more important. Mary Ann married the Grafton farmer, Stephen GREEN, in the Wesleyan Parsonage, Grafton, on 3 January 1873. The witnesses were Stephen's parents, William and Sarah GREEN57 Mary Ann's occupation wasn't stated but her parents were identified on the registration as Thomas CALLAGHAN, a splitter, and Jane DANFORD. This marriage was incorrectly registered on the NSW BDM Index as Green STEPHEN. Stephen's correct surname was identified in subsequent birth registrations of eight children made in Grafton to Stephen and Mary Ann GREEN. Stephen died in 1911 and four years later, again in Grafton, Mary Ann married Edward DUCK. Mary Ann DUCK died in Grafton in February 1932.58 Her parents were confirmed on her death registration. At the time of her death it was indicated that she had three sons and three daughters from her first marriage so it may be that these six children were still alive.59


Mary Ann's parents were Thomas CALLAGHAN and Jane DUNFORD. Her father was the only parent identified in the Entrance Book. He was named as Thomas CALLAGHAN and described as a fencer.60 Her mother was identified as Jane in correspondence written by her in 1870 where she requested Mary Ann's release from Newcastle.61 Mary Ann was the only child of Thomas and Jane whose birth wasn’t registered with the surname CALLAGHAN. While some online trees identify that she had been born in the Grafton area where she eventually married, it is considered almost entirely certain that her birth was registered as Mary Ann DANFORD in 1853. Her parents were recorded on this baptism as John, a miner, and Jane. There was no notation on the baptism indicating whether Mary Ann was illegitimate. This record indicated that she had been born on 9 April 1853, and baptised on 29 May by Oswald J. HOWELL at St James Church of England, Sydney. Both John and Jane were residents of the North Shore.62

While the religion differs from that outlined in the Entrance Book, the location of John and Jane was the same as that of Thomas and Jane and this baptism strongly suggested that Mary Ann was the daughter of an unknown man, probably named John, and Jane DANFORD. It must therefore be considered that she was not the daughter of Thomas, the man known as and who she identified as her father. Further support is given to this record being her baptism as in August 1870, Jane CALLAGHAN stated that Mary Ann was 'seventeen years and five months old.'63 While this age was not an exact match for a birth date of April 1853, it is very close. Additionally, no further births or deaths for any other DANFORD (or variants) children exist for this couple and this child was not the Mary A. DUNFORD who married Edwin OTTERY in 1872.

Jane DANFORD aka DUNFORD and Thomas CALLAGHAN married in St. Leonards in 1869.64 The NSW BDM Index recorded birth registrations for nine children beginning in 1855 and most of these children were registered in St Leonards. Thomas and Jane CALLAGHAN were living in St. Leonards at the time of the Mary Ann’s arrest under the act. The family were Catholic and it is expected that the baptism record for the birth of their daughter, Catherine, was recorded in a Catholic register although this baptism cannot be read.

Jane DANFORD had arrived as an assisted immigrant aboard the Thomas Arbuthnot in 1849 at the age of 18. She was a house servant who had been born in County Kildare, Ireland. Her parents were identified on the indent as Samuel and Jane.65 Jane CALLAGHAN died in 1904 at the age of 8366 at her home 36 West Street, North Sydney.67 Any appearances in Darlinghurst for a Jane CALLAGHAN are unlikely to refer to this woman as the stated ship of arrival for women of this name do not match.

While it is believed that Thomas CALLAGHAN was Mary Ann's step-father, she believed and accepted him as her father. Thomas had been born in Waterford, Ireland, in about 1804.68 He was much older than Jane and, considering this difference in age, it is considered likely that Mary Ann and her siblings were children of a second marriage. Descendants indicate that this was the case.69 It is possible but unproven that there may have been half-siblings from this earlier marriage who may have come to Australia. The Irish ancestry of the family was hinted at in the 1861 court appearance of Thomas.70

There is very little doubt but no confirmation, that Thomas had been transported to NSW.71 The details of the man who had arrived on 4 August 1837, aboard the Calcutta match known details of Mary Ann's father. Thomas CALLAGHAN had been sentenced in March 1837 to seven years for grievous assault. He had been born in Waterford, Ireland, and could read. Thomas was married at the time of his trial and transportation72 and this earlier marriage is considered likely to have contributed to the late marriage of Thomas and Jane after the birth of almost all their children. The 1837 Muster locates him at Dungog73 but this was shortly after his arrival in NSW and it cannot be known whether he remained in the Hunter Valley as he would have been free by about 1844. At five feet, ten inches tall, Thomas was taller than average for men at this period of time. When Thomas prosecuted Arthur BRISTOL or BRISTOE in March 1857, he was described in this court appearance as a 'tall, powerful Irishman.'74 A further report of this incident indicated that it occurred on the North Shore – the location of St Leonards75 so there is little doubt that the article is a reference to Mary Ann's father. A further incident between BRISTOL and Thomas occurred four years later and this time the event was clearly identified as having occurred in St Leonards.76 Thomas spent time in gaol after this incident but no record can be identified. When Thomas died in October 1979, his Funeral Notice read

CALLAGHAN. – At his residence, West St. Leonards, County Waterford, Ireland, Mr. Thomas Callaghan, aged 75 years.77

Thomas's death registration has not been viewed so it has not been possible to ascertain the number of years that he had been in the colony. If that particular record indicated that he had been a resident of NSW for about 40 years, then this would lend further support to an arrival aboard the Calcutta. No gaol records or entries in the Police Gazette have been located so it has not been possible to confirm his probable convict past from either of these sources.

Updated November 2015

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