Father Michael CASHEN b.c. 1802 m. 18481 d. 18622
Mother Mary HAY aka HAYES b.c. 1818 m. 1848 d. 18753
Sister Alice CASHION b. 18484 m. none - d. 18735
Brother William CASHION b. 18506 m. none - d. 18717
Sister Ann CASHEN b.c. 18528 m. d.
Brother Matthew CASHEN b. 18559 m. 188010 Margaret J. AMBLER d. 191311
Inmate Mary CASHEN b.c. 1859 m. 1883 (see below) d. 192312
Husband Thomas John13 STANTON b. m. 188314 d. 191415
Daughter Mary CASHIN b. 187816 m. 189717 Albert C. KIRBY d. 193418
Son Albert CASHEN b. 1881 m. none - d. 188219
Daughter Hannah CASHIN or STANTON b. 188320 m. none - d. 188421
Son Thomas STANTON b. 188422 m. none - d. 190023
Son Nathaniel aka Matthew Nathaniel24 STANTON b. 188625 m. none26 - d. 193927
Daughter Anastasia STANTON b. 188728 m. 191129 Henry Albert HINSBY d. 197130
Daughter Alice STANTON b. 188931 m. (1) 190832 (2) 191233 (1) Joseph HINSBY (2) Charles E. TAYLOR d. 195734
Daughter Eliza aka Liza STANTON b. 189135 m. d. alive 191536
Daughter Ella STANTON b. 189337 m. d.
Daughter Katie STANTON b. 189538 m. none - d. 189639
Daughter Mary STANTON b. 189740 m. d.
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Michael41 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 Mary42 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 William43 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 almost 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 Mary44 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 1867.45 To date no court reports for any child admitted to industrial schools after appearances at either Parramatta Police Court or Penrith Police Court have been found. It is thought that no reports were ever recorded in the local papers so no further details about the circumstances of her arrest are thought to exist. Mary was a Protestant and her educational level was described as 'alphabet.' She had 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 3rd or 4th December. 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 recorded that her surname was CASHEN and that her mother was Mary. Mary transferred to Biloela on Cockatoo Island in May 1871 as she was recorded as ‘In the Institution’ on the list compiled by LUCAS 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 as similar comments were made by him on any request for permission to arrange an apprenticeship irrespective of how the girl had been behaving. In his report on 12 August 1872, LUCAS recorded that Mary, Jane WINDSOR and Mary COUGHLAN together with four Biloela girls48 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.49

In his report a week later on 19 August, LUCAS indicated that the girls 'were released from confinement on the 15th.'50 Punishment for Mary was again recorded in the weekly report of 19 September 1871,51 when she was locked in No. 3 Dormitory on a bread and water diet for fourteen days for 'bathing in the river'.52 Three other girls were similarly punished.53 Mary continued to rebel as in his report on 20 November later that year, LUCAS recorded that Mary was one of seven girls54 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.'55 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 girls56 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.57 On 26 November 1872, Mary, Sarah HOWARD, Jane WINSOR, Phoebe WILEY, and three Biloela girls58 were later involved in an altercation with the matrons 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 received.59

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.60 The application for her apprenticeship was dated May 1872 but Mary was not discharged from the Industrial School until April the following year.61 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 River62 on 16 April 1873.63 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.64

Six years later, in 1879, at Tribbribongie about thirty miles from Dubbo,65 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.66 This child was almost without any doubt Mary, whose birth had been registered in Dubbo in 187867 and who survived this experience. A year later, on 3 August 1880, Mary senior was the victim of an assault by Thomas PATTERSON.68 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 Sessions69 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 1882.70 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.71 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.72 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.73 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.74 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 191475 and pressure may subsequently 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 with receiving a stolen purse from her 29-year-old son, Matthew.76 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 acquitted77 so nothing further can be discovered about them.

In November 1915 Mary may have been the 49-year-old78 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 fine79 so no description will be available as no gaol entry occurred.

Mary died at Manly on 21 February 1923.80 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.81 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 HAYES82 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.83 Many children for this couple were not registered as either births or baptisms.

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.84 The Michael CASHIN, born in 1802, in Tipperary, has been identified as an Irish rebel.85 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, Michael was a labourer of Wellington, near Penrith.86 Michael was a Catholic which differed from religion of his wife and this may explain why the Newcastle admission, Mary, was recorded as a Protestant in the Entrance Book and also on SELWYN's list.87 The Michael CASHEN from Penrith, a signatory supporting the election of R. T. JAMISON for the electorate of Nepean in the Sydney Morning Herald on 26 May 1859, is probably this man. Michael died in Penrith at the recorded but erroneous age of 50 in 186288 and his death was confirmed by the statement in the Entrance Book, almost certainly made by Mary to CLARKE the superintendent, at the time of her admission, that her father was dead. Michael's death placed his wife and children under pressure to survive and was almost certainly the catalyst for the admission of two of his children to the industrial schools five years later.

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 was 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 but unconfirmed 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 June 2019

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