Father Michael CASHEN b.c. 1802 m. 18481 d.c. 1866
Mother Mary HAY aka HAYES b.c. 1818 m. 1848 d. 18752
Sister Alice CASHION b. 18483 m. none - d. 18734
Brother William CASHION b. 18505 m. none - d. 18716
Sister Ann CASHEN b.c. 18527 m. d.
Brother Matthew CASHEN b. 18558 m. 18809 Margaret J. AMBLER d. 191310
Inmate Mary CASHEN b.c. 1859 m. 1883 (see below) d. 192311
Husband Thomas John12 STANTON b. m. 188313 d. 191414
Daughter Mary CASHIN b. 187815 m. 189716 Albert C. KIRBY d. 193417
Son Albert CASHEN b. 1881 m. none - d. 188218
Daughter Hannah CASHIN or STANTON b. 188319 m. none - d. 188420
Son Thomas STANTON b. 188421 m. none - d. 190022
Son Nathaniel aka Matthew Nathaniel23 STANTON b. 188624 m. none25 - d. 193926
Daughter Anastasia STANTON b. 188727 m. 191128 Henry Albert HINSBY d. 197129
Daughter Alice STANTON b. 188930 m. (1) 190831 (2) 191232 (1) Joseph HINSBY (2) Charles E. TAYLOR d. 195733
Daughter Eliza STANTON b. 189134 m. d. alive 191535
Daughter Ella STANTON b. 189336 m. d.
Daughter Katie STANTON b. 189537 m. none - d. 189638
Daughter Mary STANTON b. 189739 m. d.
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Michael40 25 5' 3½" brown light brown florid scar of cut outside left eye; scar near centre of upper lip right side; left little finger crooked
Mother Mary41 20 5' 1¾" brown dark grey ruddy and much freckled hairy mole on right side of upper lip; another on right cheek; scar back of left thumb
Brother William42 15 4' 8½" brown hazel fair ulcer mark on right side; scar inside right wrist; scar on left breast; mole back of neck; 1st and 2nd joint of large toe left foot, much marked with ulcers; ulcer mark inside ball of left foot; ulcer mark on right arm near elbow; limps on left leg believed from hurt to hip

Note: This biography conflicts with every Ancestry tree for Mary CASHIN and Thomas STANTON of Dubbo. These trees state that Mary was born in 1856 in Sunbury, Victoria, to parents Daniel and Catherine CASHIN. No appropriate birth has been found in Victoria for Mary43 but it appears to have been recorded in Sydney – not Penrith – NSW, in 1856. While it is possible that the following biography is wrong, no evidence has been found to prove that the Ancestry Trees are correct. It must be considered that Mary's past was something that she strongly wished to hide so any statement made by her to her family may have been a fabrication to hide this past.

Mary was recorded as an eight-year-old when she was admitted to the school from the Penrith court on 7 December 1867.44 She was a Protestant and her educational level was described as 'alphabet.' Mary almost certainly appeared in court on the same day as her brother, ten-year-old Mathew CASHEN, who was admitted to the Vernon on 4 December 1867. Taking into account the time it would have taken Mary to travel to Newcastle, this date indicated an almost identical court appearance date which was probably either 3 or 4 December.45 Records for both children identified the same mother. Matthew's Vernon record stated:

Mathew Cashen was found living in company with his mother Mary Cashen on the 26th day of November at Penrith in the Colony of New South Wales. She being a reputed thief having no visible lawful means of support.
Sullen and disagreeable in temper but improved in conduct and earned a good conduct stripe. Learning to be a shoemaker, improving in school.

Whilst at the school much of the correspondence connected to Mary has been indexed under the name CASHER, or variants, but the Entrance Book coupled with the arrest details of Matthew CASHEN, unequivocally records that her surname was CASHEN and that her mother was Mary. Mary transferred to Biloela on Cockatoo Island in May 1871 as she is recorded as ‘In the Institution’ on the list compiled in April 1872.46 LUCAS described Mary’s conduct in May 1872 as good47 but this good behaviour was either short-lived or, more likely, a standard statement made by him on all correspondence.48 In his report on 12 August 1872, LUCAS recorded that Mary, Jane WINDSOR and Mary COUGHLAN together with four Biloela girls49 were involved in an arson attempt on the building on Biloela. LUCAS wrote

after their Captain attempted to set fire to the door of the Dormitory in which they were confined – by procuring a few matches from a girl named Sarah Auburn – thro a small slit in the window taking off their stockings and lighting them they created a great [?]tle – which was at once discovered and their mischievous designed were frustrated.50

In his report a week later on 19 August, LUCAS indicated that the girls 'were released from confinement on the 15th.'51 Punishment for Mary was again recorded in the weekly report of 19 September 1871,52 when she was locked in No. 3 Dormitory on a bread and water diet for fourteen days for 'bathing in the river'53 with three other girls who were similarly punished.54 Mary continued to rebel as in his report on 20 November later that year, LUCAS recorded that Mary was one of seven girls55 who were 'confined in No. 3 Dormitory for the remainder of the day for holding conversation with some men in a boat cruising off the island.'56 A year later, on 16 September 1872, LUCAS again reported some difficulty in No. 5 dormitory when one of the beds was found to be on fire. Mary was one of four girls57 required to give evidence. Her report of the incident, written by LUCAS, was attached to his letter. Mary stated that she had reported the existence of the fire to Mrs LUCAS and had no idea how it had begun.58 Mary, Sarah HOWARD, Jane WINSOR, Phoebe WILEY, and three Biloela girls59 were further involved in an altercation with the matrons on 26 November 1872, when they blocked the door of No. 3 dormitory with their bedsteads and refused admission at lights out at 9 o’clock. They remained barricaded in the dormitory until the morning of 28 November when they voluntarily removed the blockage. LUCAS doesn’t elaborate on any punishment the girls may have received.60

Almost all correspondence in regard to Mary was recorded by LUCAS, using the spelling CASHER, but his request to apprentice her, made to the Colonial Secretary on 28 May 1872, confirmed her date of admission to Newcastle.61 The application for her apprenticeship was dated May 1872 but Mary was not discharged from the Industrial School until April the following year.62 There is no indication yet found to explain why so much time elapsed before she was discharged. The delay may have had something to do with her behaviour although it was unusual that she did not leave the school in May or June 1872. A clerical error in the date is not considered a possibility as the letter was stored within the boxes of letters received by the Colonial Secretary in 1872. Mary was eventually discharged from Biloela as an apprentice to George COLLIS, Esq., of the Bourke, Calga River63 on 16 April 1873.64 She was to be apprenticed for four years at a rate of one shilling a week for the first two years, two shillings a week for the third year and three shillings a week for the final year.65

Six years later, in 1879, at Tribbribongie about thirty miles from Dubbo,66 Mary was almost certainly the Mary CASHIN who was reported in the Police Gazette and charged on warrant for 'deserting her illegitimate female child, aged about three months, by leaving it exposed in the bush, near Timbribongie.' She was arrested by constable McBRIEN of Dubbo police and committed for trial at Dubbo Quarter Sessions.67 This child was almost without any doubt Mary, whose birth had been registered in Dubbo in 187868 and who survived this experience. A year later, on 3 August 1880, Mary senior was the victim of an assault by Thomas PATTERSON.69 In late 1881, as Mary CASHEEN, Mary was arrested by constable McBREEN of Warren police charged with 'inflicting grievous bodily harm on Thomas STANTON.' She was again committed for trial at Dubbo Sessions70 but was imprisoned until this trial in Bathurst with her two children, Mary and Albert, whilst awaiting trial. Albert died in Bathurst gaol on 12 January 1882.71 Mary and her daughter, Mary, were discharged from Bathurst on 15 February 1882, and forwarded to Dubbo to face trial for the assault. Mary was tried on 17 February 1882, where she was sentenced to fourteen hours imprisonment in Dubbo Gaol.72 A deposition from Mary CASHEEN, tried at Dubbo for inflicting grievous bodily harm at Warren on the 29 November 1881, can be found in the Deposition Register but hasn't been viewed.73 The court case for this appearance will be good to locate once the Dubbo papers are online as Mary eventually married Thomas STANTON. It is however unknown whether the assault was on the man who would eventually marry her or a different man of the same name. Unfortunately the records for Bathurst gaol do not include a description and those of Dubbo gaol are not extant for this period of time as those that remain recommence in 1889 so no background information can be sourced from either gaol admission.

After this incident a second illegitimate daughter, who was very probably the child of Thomas STANTON, and who was registered in 1883 as Hannah CASHIN, died as Hannah STANTON in 1884. Mary CASHIN, a general servant, married Thomas John STANTON on 19 August 1883, at Cathundril, Nevertire, NSW. Cathundril was about five miles from Nevertire.74 No ages or parents were recorded for either participant and no occupation for Thomas was recorded. The marriage was Catholic and the minister was John Milne CURRAN. The marriage registration hasn't been completed from the original register so it is possible that this church record – if it can be located – may provide further information not available through the marriage registration.75 Attempts to locate the record have to date not been successful as there has been no clear reference to Nevertire found in the SAG reels. Searching near the towns of Nyngan and Narromine may locate the church which may possibly have been in the records for St Patrick's at Nyngan.

Thomas and Mary STANTON went on to have at least seven more children and the family moved back to Sydney in about 1888. Thomas died in February 191476 and pressure may have been placed on the family as it is likely that Mary was the Mary STANTON who was arrested and appeared in court charged with theft in September 1914. Mary was charged that she had received a stolen purse from her 29-year-old son, Matthew.77 No birth registration has been found for Matthew but due to the name he was referred to at the time of his death, it is believed that Matthew was the boy whose birth was registered at Nathaniel. Both Matthew and Mary were acquitted78 so nothing further can be discovered about them.

In November 1915 Mary may have been the 49-year-old79 woman charged with selling liquor without a license in Newtown. She was fined £50 or was to go to prison for six months. She appealed and received a six-month extension to pay the fine80 so no description will be available.

Mary died at Manly on 21 February 1923.81 Her death registration on the NSW BDM Index recorded that her maiden name was CASHAN and that her mother was also named Mary. Her age of sixty-four exactly matched the age shown in the Newcastle Entrance Book in 1867.

Additional letters concerning Mary held in the CSIL are still being analysed.


Mary’s mother, Mary, was named in the Entrance Book at the time of her daughter's admission. Mary was described as a needlewoman from Penrith. No father was named and he was recorded as dead. The family of the Newcastle admission has been identified by using the birth registration of Mary's brother, Matthew. Ages in this period may vary but Mary was recorded in the Newcastle records as younger than Matthew. The Vernon records indicated that he was about ten or eleven when he was admitted to the Vernon.82 Matthew CASHEN was born on 30 April 1855, and was baptized by Michael BRENNAN in the Catholic church at Penrith on 3 June 1855. Because this was a Catholic record, Matthew's parents were recorded as Michael CASHEN, a labourer of Regentville, and Mary HAYES83 aka HAY. Michael CASHIN and Mary HAY had received Permission to Marry on 11 March 1848, from Rev. KEATING in Penrith. On 7 May 1848, Michael (X) CASHION was married to Mary (X) HAYES by Jerome KEATING in the Catholic Church, Penrith. The witnesses to their marriage were Patrick (X) WARD of Mulgoa and Johanna (X) DOLAN of Penrith.84 Many children for this couple were not registered.

Michael CASHEN was a Catholic who had been born in Tipperary, Ireland, in about 1806. He had been tried on 25 March 1831, and transported for seven years aboard the Norfolk (3) in 1832 for stealing a goose.85 The Michael CASHIN, born in 1802, in Tipperary, has been identified as an Irish rebel.86 Michael was 46 at the time he married. At the time of the baptism of his son, William CASHION, who had been born on 17 July 1850, and baptised on 8 December 1850, indicated that Michael was a labourer of Wellington, near Penrith.87 Michael was a Catholic which differed from Mary’s religion and this may explain why their daughter, Mary, was recorded as a Protestant in the Entrance Book and also on SELWYN's list.88 The Michael CASHEN from Penrith, a signatory supporting the election of R. T. JAMISON for the electorate of Nepean in the SMH on 26 May 1859, is probably this man. Michael seems likely to have died or abandoned his family some years before Mary and Matthew's arrest as the family was certainly under pressure by the mid to late 1860s. There is however, no guarantee that the Entrance Book statement, almost certainly made by Mary to CLARKE, the superintendent, at the time of her admission, that her father was dead is correct or whether it was her belief. No death registration can be found in NSW for Michael.

Mary HAYES was thirty when she married and had been transported for fourteen years as Mary HAY on the Henry Wellesley in 1837. Mary was a Methodist who had been born in Pembrokeshire in about 1817.89 Mary’s mother is almost certainly the woman referred to as Mary CASHEN living in the Penrith district and suspected of a robbery from Catherine BIRTLES shortly after Mary's admission to Newcastle. The Police Gazette reported that no warrant had been issued but that Mary CASHEN was well-known to the Penrith police.90 There is no reference yet found for this robbery on Trove and it is unknown whether Mary’s mother was imprisoned or whether she abandoned Mary. Mary senior died in Penrith in 1875 so it is very likely that mother and daughter never met again.

Neither Mary nor her mother is likely to be the woman who was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment in the hospital ward in gaol for being a ‘girl’ and a ‘dangerous lunatic’91 as this person had been born in about 1845.

A sister, Ann, born in Penrith, was identified in the Darlinghurst Gaol records in 186792 and was also identified in some online trees. She was sent from Darlinghurst to Tarban Creek on 8 February 1868 and no further trace of this girl has been confirmed.

Updated September 2017

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