The DEMARTIENE Sisters
Name Variations DE MARTINI, MARTINI, D’MARTINI, DAMARTIENI, DE MARTINE1
Father Joseph aka Guiseppe De MARTINI b.c. 1822 m. none d. 18872
Step-father unknown BALLS3 b. m. none d.
Mother Annie Maria HEDGER or HEDGES b. 18394 m. 1859 d. aft. 1880
Inmate Sarah Maria DAMARTEINI b. 18605 m.c. 1890 (see below) d. 18986
Inmate Pasqualina aka Pasculine aka Lena DA MARTIENI b. 18627 m. 18918 (see below) d. 1914

Note: Many variations of the DEMARTIENE family surname have been found and used so the spelling adopted here is the one used by Annie in her letters to the Colonial Secretary.

Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Grandfather Joseph HEDGER9 19 5' 7¾" flaxen grey pale pitted and freckled
Mother Annie10 27 & 38 5' 0¼" & 5' 0½" brown blue medium (by 1879) nose disfigured

The sisters, Pasculine DEMARTIENE and Sarah Maria DEMARTIENE, were described as ‘two little girls’ when they appeared in West Maitland Police Court on 2 August 1869.11 Their mother, Annie, had been convicted the day before of using obscene language and had been fined twenty shillings with the alternative of going to gaol for seven days.12 Reports in the Police Gazette added that Annie was a prostitute.13 Annie was admitted to Maitland. The Newcastle Entrance Book recorded that Pasculine and Sarah were admitted to Newcastle on 3 August 1869. Their admission appeared on the final page of the first section of the book before the missing pages so the family page is missing therefore no family, education levels, discharge details or religious information can be confirmed from this source. Both girls transferred to Biloela in May 1871 and were recorded on the transfer lists as Protestants14 The sisters were recorded on LUCAS's April 1872 list as 'In the Institution.'15 Because their mother was a Protestant,16 they were also likely to be Protestant.

Family

The sisters were the daughters of Joseph DEMARTIENI and Annie HEDGER. The couple married as Annie HEDGES and Gosepe DEMARTINI in Maitland in 1859.17 It may be that more information on this marriage may be found in the HVPRI which is yet to be checked.

Little is known of Joseph's life and the reasons he travelled to Australia. It may be that he had decided to seek gold. It is considered very likely that he was the man who was living in Twofold Bay when he was robbed in November 1858.18 In light of statements made by his wife, Annie, at the time of her gaol admissions, it is considered likely that Joseph had arrived in either 1851 or 1852 aboard the Vimeira. By 1863, four years after his marriage, Sands Directory recorded that Joseph was working as a musical instrument maker at 141 Clarence Street, Sydney. This occupation was confirmed on his daughter's death registration where it was recorded that Joseph had been a pianoforte maker. Joseph was almost without any doubt the same man as Guiseppe DAMARTIENI, recorded in Sands Directory in 1865 and identified as a musician of Mitchell Street, Glebe. No other suitable entries have been located in Sands for a man with a similar name. It is known that Joseph abandoned his wife and children and this abandonment must have occurred before 1868 when court appearances for Annie begin to appear in the Sydney courts. In 1870, the year after the sisters' arrest, Guiseppe De MARTINI, of Melbourne, published his first piece of music entitled Ah un Finale Dell 'Amore19 and further compositions followed.20 By 1872 Joseph was advertising in attempts to have his music published and was living in Carrington Street, Adelaide, opposite the Horse and Jockey public house. There is very little doubt that Joseph's death at the age of fifty, was registered as Guiseppe DEMARTINI in Coonamble in 1887. He had been travelling around the country tuning pianos and repairing musical instruments.21 It is unknown but considered unlikely that he was ever reunited with his children even though Lena had attempted to find him through advertisements in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Annie HEDGER is difficult to locate and identify. Her maiden surname has been variously recorded as EDGES22 or HATCHES and while her gaol descriptions remain consistent, they are contradictory concerning the location of her birth. Gaol records confirmed that Annie had been relatively young when she had her daughters. In 1879 Annie stated that she was a native of the colony who had been born in Kelso but ten years earlier she identified that she had been born in Somerset and that her ship of arrival was the Viemera, arriving in either 1853 or 1858. It is likely that this ship was the Vimeira which had arrived on voyages in both 1851 and 1852 and it is believed that this was in fact, Joseph's ship of arrival as Annie is known to have been born in NSW.

Annie had been baptised as Ann HEDGES near Bathurst in 1839 and was the daughter of Joseph and Maria HEDGER.23 Her older siblings, were recorded in the NSW BDM Index as Edward HEDGES24 and Sarah HEDGER.25 Annie's father, Joseph HEDGER, had been transported for Life aboard the Countess of Harcourt in 1824. He had been tried in Newcastle on Tyne. He received a ticket of leave and applied to marry Maria FLAHERTY and permission was granted by Rev. KEANE in Bathurst in late 1834. Maria had arrived free at the age of twenty aboard the Red Rover in August 1832.26 The couple married late in 1834.27 It is possible but unconfirmed that Maria died as Mary HEDGES in Maitland in 1880 where her parents were recorded as Matthew and Mary.28 Joseph's death may have died as Joseph HEDGES in Victoria in 1875 at the age of seventy29 after possibly leaving NSW with his son on 29 March 1848, aboard the Dorset.30 Joseph's son, Edward HEDGER, very probably died in Ballarat, Victoria, in 191531 although no death registration has yet been identified. Joseph had been admitted to Kew Lunatic Asylum suffering from dementia and gangrene in both feet.32

On 12 November 1868, after their abandonment by Joseph, Anne DE MARTINI and her daughters were living in Pitt Street, Sydney, when she prosecuted her boarder, Rachel ALBION,33 for assaulting her with a tomahawk.34 Annie stated that ALBION, a woman ‘of the town’, rented a room from her.35 No evidence has been found indicating whether, at this time, Annie was also ‘of the town'. By 1869 the DEMARTIENI and ALBION families had moved back to Maitland where it is likely that Annie still had extended family. She and Rachel were again living in the same house in Horse Shoe Bend36 and by this stage both women were almost certainly earning a living as prostitutes. It was from this location that Lena and Sarah were arrested and admitted to Newcastle and Rachel’s son, George, was admitted to the Vernon. Once the sisters were in Newcastle, Annie became a frequent communicator to the Colonial Secretary and visitor to the school. On 18 August 1869, shortly after the girls' admission, Annie wrote to and received permission from the Colonial Secretary to visit Pasculine and Sarah. Admission was refused by CLARKE and Annie subsequently made a complaint to the Colonial Secretary who requested an explanation from CLARKE.37 CLARKE responded to the Colonial Secretary’s letter by stating:

Referring to your letter … authorizing Mrs. DE MARTINI to see her two children. I have the honor to state for the information of the Honbl the Colonial Secretary that the reason I did not allow Mrs DE MARTINI to see them when she called here was that the gatekeeper reported to me that Mrs DE MARTINI was in an excited state when she came. 2nd That she is described in the record of the children’s committal as being a Common Prostitute. 3rd The children have only been in the Institution since the 3rd of this month, and in my humble opinion interviews with such a parent has a tendency to unsettle the children and to dissipate their minds.38

Annie moved to Newcastle from Maitland to be close to her two daughters. In May 1871, shortly before the transfer to Biloela, she was living in the Royal Hotel, Newcastle and after this date she began to appear in the Newcastle Police Court by 1871.39 From the Royal Hotel Annie again wrote to the Colonial Secretary. She complained that on her last visit, 'the older girl' complained that she had been beaten and had a sore back.40 LUCAS refuted this statement explaining that Sarah had been examined and no marks had been found and when questioned about the incident stated that:

she was hit by one of the children in play and only in play. I am quite unable either from the girl's statement or any evidence of others to ascertain instance of illusage to the child.

In a further letter written on 13 November 1871, Annie again complained that she had been denied access by LUCAS when she had visited the school on the 24 May six months previously and that she was willing and able to support her daughters but that no answer had been received from Sarah and Pasculine to a letter she had sent them. LUCAS stated:

that on visiting this institution on the 24th of May last at Newcastle she was not permitted to see her two children … [as] Mrs A. Demartiene on presenting herself on the occasion above referred to was under the influence of liquor and I did not consider her in a fit state to see her children. I am not aware of any letter addressed here to the children of Mrs Demartiene.

Annie's letters were reasonably well-written, contain few errors and there was no indication that English was anything but her first language. Her hand was smooth, fluent and not laboured so she must have achieved a reasonable level of education during her early life.

By January 1872, Annie was reported to be living with a man named BALLS in Wolfe Street, Newcastle,41 although it is unclear whether this surname should have been reported in the newspaper as FALLS as in a further newspaper report in August 1872, Eleanor HORRICKS, the mother of the ZANONI sisters and another woman working as a prostitute in Newcastle, was reported to be living with a George FALLS.42 A further communication from Annie to the Colonial Secretary occurred in August 1876. Her address at this time was care of Mrs WILLSON in Blane Street, Newcastle. Annie again complained that Sarah was not writing to her. She wrote:

Mr Parks
Sir I Mrs De Martini am the mother of a young girl that at one time an inmate of the Industrial School Bellillo Parramatta River She will be of age on the 20 of next January I have wrote different times to her but got no answer it appears to me that her Mrs will not let her wrote to me and I think it very hard that she cannot write to her mother I have enclosed her stamps but got no answer I have got another daughter from the same school and I get a letter from her every month I am very very anxious [for] her She is living with Mrs Fisher Darling Road Balmain
I am Sir your obediant Servant Annie Deamartini the girl is named Sarah Maria De Martini43

WALKER responded to the Colonial Secretary that:

Mrs di Martini bears a bad character, and has been very troublesome and interfering about her children, at the same time I beg to forward a letter from the mistress of Sarah di Martini in which she states that the girl had not replied to her mothers letters, she having full permission to write when she chooses.44

No further trace of Annie DE MARTINI has been verified but it is considered very likely that she was the 40-year-old Annie DE MARTINI arrested under warrant for selling spirits without a license in Parramatta in 1896.45 The newspaper report from May 1896, identified that Annie DE MARTINI was the wife of Pietro ZANETTI. The couple weren’t married but she had been living with him 'as his wife' for fourteen years – or since about 1882.46 By this date Annie would have been in her late fifties and perhaps could have passed as 'about forty' but it cannot be verified that this is a reference to her.

Annie, or perhaps this same woman, may have been living in Western Australia by May 1898 when she was charged in the Fremantle Court with theft.47 Peter ZANETTI may also have moved to WA by 1902 and it is possible but unproven that in 1900, as Antonietta MARTINI, Annie married Carlo GENONI in Menzies, Western Australia.48 By December 1911 Antonietta and Carlo had separated and Carlo applied for divorce.

Between CARLO GENONI, Petitioner, and ANTONIETTA GENONI, Respondent.
To ANTONIETTA GENONI, late of Niagara or elsewhere. In the State of Western Australia.
TAKE NOTICE that a Citation has been issued in this Court citing you to appear and answer the petition of CARLO GENONI, of Kojonup, in the said State, laborer, praying for a dissolution of marriage ; IN DEFAULT of your so appearing you will not be allowed to address the Court, and the Court will proceed to hear the said Petition proved, and pronounce sentence in respect thereto ; AND TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that for the purpose aforesaid you are within sixteen days after the date of this publication to attend in person or by your Solicitor at the Central Office, Supreme Court House, Perth, and there enter an appearance in a book provided for that purpose.
Dated the 2nd day of December, 1911. F. A. MOSELEY, Registrar. S. B. DURSTON, Solicitor, South British Chambers, Perth.49

Annie was not the Annie HEDGES who died in Manly in July 1921 at the age of 80, as in July 1922, this woman's daughters, Annie SLATTERY and May WILSON, placed an In Memoriam in the Sydney Morning Herald.50

Pasculine DEMARTIENE

Husband Archibald Douglas OGILVIE b. 186451 m. 1891 d. 1921
Son Sydney A. OGILVIE b. 189552 m. d.
Son Jack OGILVIE b. 189853 m. none - d. 189954
Son Wesley OGILVIE b. 190055 m. d.
Son Cecil R. OGILVIE b. 190056 m. d.
Daughter Ethel Pasculine OGILVIE b. 190257 m. d.
Son Wallace James OGILVIE b. m. d.
Son Alexanda58 OGILVIE b. 190559 m. d.

Pasculine's birth was registered as Pasquelina DA MARTIENI, whose parents were Annie M. and Geoseppe, was registered in Sydney in 1862.60 She was seven when she was admitted to Newcastle on 3 August 1869,61 and transferred to Biloela in May 1871. Pasculine was discharged as an apprentice to Mr Robert DOWNES or DOWNIE of Orange on 5 August 1874.62 Pasculine adopted a shortened version of her name because in 1888, Lena de MARTINI, placed an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald appealing to her father, Joseph de MARTINI, to contact her at 71 Bathurst Street, Sydney.63 Sadly, by this stage, Joseph was dead. Three years later, on 10 November 1891, Lena married Archibald Douglas OGILVIE. Her marriage registration indicated that she had been born in Sydney.64 A birth announcement for Archibald and Lena's son was placed in the papers during 1895 and at this time the family was living at 432 Kent Street, Sydney.65

The OGILVIEs moved to Western Australia although they probably travelled between the two states for some time as two of their children were registered in NSW. Lena died in Western Australia in April 1914 and two days after her death Archibald attempted to cut his throat. He appeared in court on charges of attempted suicide but his case was eventually not prosecuted. Pasculine OGILVIE was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery,66 Subiaco, WA, on 20 April 1914.67 An In Memoriam two years later transcribed her given name as Questlen.68

Sarah Maria DEMARTIENE

Husband William SMITH b. m. d.
Son William SMITH b.c. 189169 m. d. aft. 189670
Daughter Mary Ann SMITH b. 1892 m. d. 195271
Daughter Ruby aka Gertrude SMITH b. 1893 m. d. aft. 191572
Daughter Ida Clara SMITH b. 1894 m. d. 1972
Son Edward SMITH aka O'NEIL b.c. 1895 m. d.
Daughter Eva Marie SMITH b. 1896 m. none - d. 189973

Sarah’s birth was registered in Sydney in 1860 as Sarah M. DAMARTIENI. Correspondence from her mother, Annie, to the Colonial Secretary in August 1876 identified that Sarah had been born on 20 January and that she would be of age – 21 years – in 1877.74 Without viewing Sarah's actual birth registration this birth date cannot be verified as Annie was incorrect concerning Sarah's year of birth. It is unknown whether this error was deliberate or inadvertent.

Sarah was nine at the time of her admission to Newcastle.75 Two months prior to her admission, Sarah had been injured in an incident between her family and the ALBION family who were residents of the same house in Maitland. Annie MARTINI and Rachel ALBION had been drinking when a quarrel arose and ALBION 'took up stones, and stoned the whole of them out of the house.' Among the missiles thrown was a half brick, which struck Sarah on the head, inflicting a cut about an inch and a half long. The wound was not deep and when she appeared in court in connection to the assault, it was reported that the wound seemed to be almost healed. ALBION denied that she had thrown stones and stated that Sarah had scratched her little boy, George, on the face and that he had thrown the stone. ALBION was found guilty.76

Sarah transferred to Biloela with her sister in May 1871. On 24 September 1874, DALE, the temporary officer-in-charge, requested permission from the Colonial Secretary to apprentice Sarah from Biloela to Mr George FISHER, who had asked for an apprentice and whose request was supported by James MULLINS, J. P. MULLINS confirmed that Sarah's religious instruction would be undertaken by Mrs FISHER.77 This apprenticeship to Balmain was confirmed by DALE in his report on 5 October.78 Sarah was to be paid a shilling a week for the first year, two shillings a week for the second year and three shillings a week for the remaining period of one year and four months.79 No further correspondence has been found to add details to Sarah's life after her discharge from Biloela and although she was alive, there is no mention of her in the advertisement seeking their father placed by Lena in April 1888.

Sarah was living at 66 Bathurst Street, Sydney, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 28 August 1898. The informant was the householder, William SMITH, with whom Sarah had been living. She was recorded as thirty-three years of age but was actually closer in age to thirty-eight. Both her parents were recorded on the registration but Annie's maiden name was recorded as HATCHES. The registration identified that Sarah had never married and identified no children. Sarah was buried at the Church of England Cemetery at Waverley on 30 August 1900, but there has been no headstone located on the Waverley and South Head General Cemeteries Transcriptions CD.

Sarah's descendants have confirmed that Sarah and William SMITH had been in a relationship and that their relationship had resulted in children. They identified that two sons and two or four daughters were placed in orphanages after Sarah died and tracing these children is still being undertaken by Sarah's descendants. It may be that because there had been no marriage between Sarah and William, he had very little control over what happened to his children after his de facto wife had died. Stories passed down through the family recount the trauma that was experienced by those children at the enforced separation from their father. They have no knowledge of the fate of the two boys, William and Edward, but record that Edward was a boxer who used the name Eddie O'NEIL. William may have died early and no known contact was made after the family was split up. Ruby aka Gertie's last known address in about 1915 was 123 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills. Mary Ann was not placed into care in the convent as she was 14 when her mother died. She died on 7 June 1952 as Mary Ann BENNETT.80 Two other possible sisters were Josie O'Neil and Marjorie SMITH who was identified by family members and who called herself 'sister'. Nothing more is known of these two women and they may have been foster or adoptive sisters of Edward, Ruby or Ida, most especially Josie, as she and Edward had the same surname.81 Contact between Sarah's children occurred as images of Sarah and her sister were successfully retained within the SMITH family. Her descendants have very generously given permission to use these images of Sarah and Lena on this site.

Updated July 2017

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