Catherine CONDON
Name Variations CONLON
Father Thomas CONDON b. m. abt. 1847 d. aft. 1859
Mother Mary McANANEY aka McINERNEY b. m. abt. 1847 d. aft. 1857
Sister Eliza CONDON b.c. 18481 m. d.
Sister Mary Ann CONDON b.c. 18512 m. d. aft. 18743
Sister Jane CONDON b.c. 1853 m. 18724 Daniel FRASER d. 18865
Inmate Catherine CONDON b.c. 18556 m. 1885 (see below) d. 19157
Sister Margaret CONDON b.c. 18578 m. 1882 Patrick REDDIN d. 1932
Husband Thomas BRADLEY b. m. d.
Twin Son Thomas BRADLEY b. 18849 m. none - d. 188510
Twin Son William BRADLEY b. 188411 m. d. aft. 1915
Son Thomas BRADLEY CONDON b. 189112 m. none - d. 189113

Three years before Catherine was admitted to Newcastle, a girl with the same name and about the same age, was apprenticed from the Roman Catholic Orphan School. Her name is relatively uncommon. It is considered almost certain that the orphan school records and the industrial school records refer to the same person as it was common at this time for inmates of institutions to move between one or another institution in search of asylum. The original admission to the Roman Catholic Orphan School has not yet been cited and it is still uncertain if this admission is available or permitted to be viewed by non-family members.14 The reference to Catherine's admission to the orphan school was recorded in the CSIL where a list identified that Kate and the fourteen-year-old Jane CONDON were apprenticed during 1866.15 Further CSIL records very strongly suggest that these two girls were admitted to the Roman Catholic Orphan School in about 1859 with three more probable sisters, Eliza, Mary Ann, and Margaret CONDON.16 None of these girls can be found on either the NSW BDM Index or in any lists of immigrants, further supporting the premise that they were members of the same family. Because the website of the Good Samaritan Archives indicated that their records didn't begin until 1877, admission or discharge records for Catherine are not thought to exist.

In February 1870 Catherine CONDON gave herself into the custody of sergeant COOK in Sydney on the Saturday before her appearance in court stating that she wished to go to the Industrial School at Newcastle. COOK brought her before the Bench on 7 February 1870,17 and stated that he had seen her in a disorderly house on Christmas Eve and on different occasions he had also seen her associating with bad characters.18 Catherine stated that 'it was better for her to go to the Industrial School than on the town.'19 She was admitted to Newcastle on 16 February 1870.20 Her admission occurred during the period when the records for the school have not survived so no information concerning her family, religious or educational background is possible using this record. If Catherine was an orphan – which may possibly be the case – her parents would almost without any doubt not have been recorded in the Entrance Book so they would have remained unidentified.21

Catherine, Jemima BURT and Catherine BANNAN absconded from the school on 22 April 1871. They climbed over the fence on the south side of the building22 but were soon recaptured by senior sergeant LANE of Newcastle police and sent back to the school23 where they were confined to the cells. Catherine transferred to Biloela on Cockatoo Island in May 1871 and the transfer list recorded that at the time of her arrest she had been a fifteen-year-old Catholic.24 She was reported by LUCAS to have been admitted to the school hospital with an undisclosed illness on 7 August 1871.25 LUCAS indicated that Catherine was apprenticed for two years to William D. Eastian ROBERTS, Esq., in Sydney, and the terms of her apprenticeship were outlined in a letter on 10 November 1871. She was to be paid two shillings a week for the first year and three shillings a week for the second year.26 LUCAS's list in April 1872 confirmed that this apprenticeship began on 14 November 1871,27 and this apprenticeship was again confirmed in his report on 20 November 1871.28

It is unconfirmed and based only on coincidence of location and the matching ages that Catherine remained in Sydney after leaving her apprenticeship. There is no doubt that the sets of records outlined below refer to the same person and not two different women with the same name. The records have therefore been attributed to her.

A woman named as Kate CONDON entered the Benevolent Asylum on many occasions commencing in 1884. Her first admission occurred at the age of twenty-five on 8 April 1884. On 30 April she gave birth to twin boys. The NSW BDM Index identified that the mother of these twins, Thomas and William, was Kate A. CONDEN. Kate, Thomas and William entered and left the asylum three times during 1884. No original Benevolent Asylum records have not yet been viewed and they may provide further information. On one occasion William, identified either as CONDON or BRADLEY, was admitted with her. The other twin, Thomas, wasn't recorded re-entering the asylum and his death was identified in 1885 at the age of eight months with no parents' names recorded on the NSW BDM Index.29

It is probably coincidence that a girl named Daisy Elizabeth CONDON also appeared in the asylum records on the same day as the birth of the twins. It is not believed that Kate delivered triplets as Daisy was registered to Arthur D. and Frances CONDON.30 Only these original records from the Benevolent Asylum will assist with an accurate identification of what occurred on 30 April 1884. No marriage can be found for Arthur and Frances CONDON so it is possible that there was a connection between the two but this possibility has not been investigated. Arthur died in 1942 at the age of 8131 putting his date of birth at around 1861. His parents were recorded as John and Ann.32

On 28 February 1885, after the birth of her twins, Catherine CONDON married Thomas BRADLEY33 at St John's, Darlinghurst. The witnesses were Joseph and Agnes DALY.34 Kate's various admissions to the Benevolent Asylum subsequently confirm her identity as CONDON, CONLON or BRADLEY. The ages on the Benevolent Asylum records are variable but it is possible to match the admissions due to the use of the dual names of her sons. The marriage registration with Thomas BRADLEY indicated that Catherine had been born in Ireland and that her parents were Thomas CONDON and Mary McANANEY. Thomas BRADLEY's parents were recorded as Johnson BRADLEY and Maria McCAW. It is believed that BRADLEY was the father of Kate's twin boys. There are no further births registered to either Thomas and Catherine or Thomas and Kate BRADLEY but Kate re-entered the Asylum in February 1891 and delivered another son, also named Thomas. His birth was registered as Thomas CONDON and his mother was recorded as Catherine but his death shortly afterwards was recorded as Thomas B. CONDON and his mother was identified as Kate. There is little doubt that this was another child belonging to Kate but it is only possible that Thomas was the father. The last discharge of Kate or Catherine BRADLEY or CONDON from the Benevolent Asylum was on 26 February 1891,35 after Thomas's birth.

No arrivals have yet been found for a possible BRADLEY family so Thomas's age is unknown. A Johnson BRADLEY can be found in the NSW gaol records in 1871 identified as having arrived on the Alert but no year of arrival was provided. He had been born in about 1812 so, if he was related, he was probably a father.36 Thomas had sisters named Charlotte BRADLEY and Mary DIXON37 and a brother, Macaw BRADLEY, who died in New Zealand in 1888.38 Macaw was 27-years-old.39

It may be that on 23 February 1886, Kate's husband was the Thomas BRADLEYS who posted an advertisement in the SMH indicating that that he would not be responsible for the debts of his wife, Kate,40 but this cannot be confirmed as another couple with these names almost certainly exists.

It cannot be that the Newcastle admission was the same Kate BRADLEY who took her husband to court for maintenance.41 The account in the Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser on 16 March 1889, stated

Wife Desertion. – Kate Bradley, sued Thos. Bradley for this offence. Mr. Williamson for the defence. The prosecutrix in her evidence said she had been told her husband had another wife living, and she did not know whether her first husband was dead. The case was dismissed.42

It may be possible that a more detailed account of the divorce appeared in an earlier paper and may provide some additional names and ages but further newspaper reports have yet been found. This does however mean that it may be possible that the woman who married Thomas BRADLEY was the woman who had married George BOWLING in 186443 although ages of the woman at the Benevolent Asylum are unlikely to indicate a woman who was ten years older so cannot be the Newcastle girl.

There are no further entries yet confirmed on Trove for Catherine as CONDON or as BRADLEY.

Catherine CONDON died of phthisis at the State Hospital and Asylum, Newington, on 18 October 1915.44 Her death was registered as Catherine BRADLEY and the informant was her son, William, who identified his father, Thomas, and stated that he had been their only child. William identified Catherine's parents as Thomas CONDON and Mary McINERNEY and indicated that Catherine had arrived in NSW from Ireland 33 years before her death. This therefore identified an arrival year of about 1872 which, while this is not correct when compared with what was known of Catherine, there is little doubt that this woman was the same person who had been admitted to Newcastle as a child. Catherine was buried in the Catholic Cemetery at Rookwood. No Family Notice to match her death has yet been located in the newspapers in Sydney.


It is believed that Catherine's family has been confirmed and that the details below are correct however verification has been difficult to locate and may never be found.

Catherine had been born in Ireland in about 1855 and arrived as a small child of about three years with her parents, Thomas CONDON and his wife, Mary McANANEY. This couple had arrived in Australia from Ireland in about 1858 with at least five daughters – Eliza, Mary Ann, Jane, Catherine and Margaret. It is believed that the family was more likely to have been an assisted arrival under one of the supported or sponsored immigration schemes rather than as unassisted immigrants where fares for such a large family would have needed to be paid. It is also thought that the family had arrived shortly after Margaret's birth but before 1859. No appropriate arrival has been identified. The difficulty in locating this family may be due to a variation in surname such as CONDRON or CONLON. No such family has yet been identified. To prove the identity of this family admissions to the Roman Catholic Orphan School at Parramatta need to be located and it is not confirmed whether they have survived for this time.

It is believed that as Kate CONDEN, Catherine was admitted to the Orphan School with four sisters, twelve-year-old Eliza, nine-year-old Mary Ann, seven-year-old Jane and three-year-old Margaret some time around 1859. No birth or baptism for any of these girls can be identified on the NSW BDM Index supporting the statement that Catherine had been born in Ireland, however it has not been possible to identify any appropriate arrival for these girls either. While the correspondence doesn't specifically identify that the girls were sisters, each girl was recorded in the letter with the notation 'father living,'45 although he was not named. These girls were almost certainly subsequently apprenticed from the Orphan School at different times. The correspondence identified that Kate and Jane had been apprenticed in 186646 and that Margaret had been apprenticed at the age of 13 on 22 January 1869 to Mr CARROLL a baker of Surry Hills.47 Another letter referring to Margaret is recorded in the CSIL Index but it has not yet been read.

All that is known of Thomas came from Catherine's death record in 1915 that identified that he was a baker.48 It may be possible to further locate him if this recollection by his grandson, William, was correct but no possible article has been located on Trove.

It is thought that Mary died either at sea or shortly after the family's arrival in Australia as a death or illness was likely to have precipitated the admission of her five daughters into the Roman Catholic Orphan School where only their father was identified as alive. Mary's maiden name was variously recorded. McANANEY, the spelling currently recorded on this page, was the spelling identified when Catherine married. At the time of Catherine's death, her son recalled that Mary's name was McINERNEY. When Margaret married she identified that her mother's maiden name was MACK.49

Catherine's sister Mary Ann CONDON had been born in about 1851. It is believed that she was the 20-year-old girl admitted to the Sydney Benevolent Asylum on 7 July 1874 and discharged on 27 August 1874. This was almost certainly to deliver the child Emily Gustine CONDON in 1874.50

Eliza CONDON had been born in about 1848 but as yet nothing further has been uncovered about her.

Jane CONDON, who had been born in about 1853, married Daniel FRASER as Jane L. CONDON in 187251 and died, at the age of thirty-four, in 1886.52

Margaret CONDON had been born in about 1857 so was only three when she entered the Orphan School. It is believed that she was the 16-year-old girl admitted to the Sydney Benevolent Asylum on 22 July 1873 and discharged on 1 September 1873. This was almost certainly to deliver the child Mary Jane CONDON in 1873.53 She possibly reentered the asylum 25 March 1884 where she stayed until 28 August 1884 and delivered the daughter Ethel May CONDON. It is thought very likely that Margaret married Patrick REDDIN in 1882 and died in Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1932. Her online tree identified that her parents were Thomas CONDON and Mary MACK and confirmed her date of birth in Ireland.54 The fact that Margaret was able to recall her mother's maiden name, albeit probably in error, strongly suggested that the sisters and possibly their father were in contact after their admission to and discharge from the orphan school. Margaret was very young when this occurred so she must have been told this fact.

The following possible baptisms and births occurred in Sydney. The baptisms will be viewed to see whether they are for this couple although this is considered unlikely in light of the Roman Catholic Orphan School information. If the records are Catholic, Mary's maiden name will be recorded. There is no indication yet that this is Catherine's family nor whether these births are for one or more couples.

Registrations have been viewed for the deaths of the children, Mary and Ellen CONDON, in Shoalhaven in 1860.55 These siblings were the daughters of Michael CONDON and Mary COURTNEY. There are letters in the CSIL referring to a Michael CONDON of Wollongong and he may or may not be connected but he did not sponsor Thomas's family to NSW.56

A Thomas and Mary CONDON arrived with their children James, Michael, Honora and Ellen in 1856 aboard the Bermondsey. No second reel exists to confirm the names of James or Mary's parents. They were sponsored by James CONDEN.57 This cannot be the family if the above siblings are correct and it is believed that they are.

Note: Catherine was not the child who had been born in 1854 and whose parents were John and Bridget CONDON58 as this baptism occurred in Brisbane.

Updated August 2017

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