Name Variations EVELY, EVERLY
Father unknown EVERLEY b. m. d. bef. 1868
Mother unknown b. m. d. bef 1868
Sister unknown EVERLEY b.c. 1850 m. d. aft. 1868
Inmate Martha EVERLEY b.c. 1853 m. (see below) d. aft. 1870

At the time of her arrest, Martha's surname was recorded as EVELY in the SMH1 and the Police Gazette2 and as EVERLEY in the Empire.3 She was identified as 15 years old when she was charged in the Sydney court on warrant, on 15 June 1868, with being in the company of known prostitutes. Her unnamed sister, who had probably taken out the warrant, gave evidence in court and confirmed this charge at her trial. Martha entered the school at Newcastle on 17 June 1868, and KING confirmed her admission in her report on 23 June.4 The Entrance Book recorded that Martha was a Protestant and she was also identified on SELWYN's list of Protestant girls.5 While Martha's age was recorded as fifteen in the Entrance Book, the age sixteen was pencilled in beside it. It is unknown whether this was the age stated by Martha but it is thought that this was the case and that she had therefore been illegally arrested under the terms of the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children. Martha was able to read the third book and write in a copy book. Few girls had attained this level of education and Martha therefore had one of the highest educational levels recorded in the Entrance Book for any girl admitted to Newcastle.6 It must be noted that this level of education would have ensured that she was aware of how to write her surname but it is uncertain whether this was the spelling used in any of her court appearances or in the Entrance Book.

Six months after Martha's admission, at about 6 o’clock on the evening of 8 July 1868,7 Martha escaped in company with nine other girls.8 They were all recaptured by the Newcastle police – some at Borehole and some at Waratah – before ten o’clock that night and returned to the school.9 This escape occurred the night before the first riot but Martha was not interviewed as one of the ringleaders of that disturbance so it is unknown whether she was involved. In her report on 26 October 1868, KELLY, the teacher, recorded that she had appointed Martha as a monitor in the classroom replacing Hannah BURT (2).10 On 20 November 1868, Martha again absconded with six other girls and a further two girls made a separate escape shortly afterwards. KING named the escapees in her report on the incident to the Colonial Secretary on 21 November 1868,11 stating that all except one12 were returned by two constables at eleven o’clock that night – half an hour after they had escaped. The girls had:

forced open the windows of No. 4 dormitory, they then climbed over the fence near Mr Scott’s residence … [they were re-captured] and placed in the cells.13

In a letter to the Colonial Secretary on 1 April 1869, the new superintendent, CLARKE, requested permission to apprentice Martha as a general servant to James B. R. ROBERTSON, Esq., of Oakhampton House, West Maitland, stating that Martha was of good character and was seventeen.14 This appointment did not occur as a second letter on 10 April, explained that ROBERTSON found that he didn’t need Martha so CLARKE, stressing that he wished to place Martha in the country, requested permission to allow her to remain in the school until he could locate a suitable position for her. On 13 November 1869, Martha was apprenticed to Helenus SCOTT, Esq., P.M.15 This apprenticeship almost without doubt meant that Martha remained on the site of the school, as the Newcastle Police Magistrate lived in the adjacent building to the industrial school. At this stage it was unlikely that SCOTT had any other property. On 10 December 1869, CLARKE outlined to the Colonial Secretary details of Martha's apprenticeship as a domestic servant. She was to be paid five shillings a week for the first six months and six shillings a week for the last twelve months.16 This payment compared very favourably to apprenticeship payments made to other girls and it could be argued that Martha was a very desirable apprentice due to her reading and writing abilities. It could also be argued that the SCOTT family had willingly taken an apprentice to help provide Martha with employment and to help CLARKE. In his list to the Colonial Secretary, compiled on 1 August 1870, CLARKE confirmed Martha's eighteen month apprenticeship and reported that she was doing well.17 This apprenticeship would have concluded in early to mid 1871.

No further trace of Martha has yet been confirmed and without the knowledge of the names of her parents and no evidence yet found of a marriage or death, she is virtually impossible to trace. There have been no references found on the NSW BDM Index that could possibly refer to her. Two further letters from 1868 have been located at SRNSW for Martha. One is on order but as it contains the names of three other inmates, it is considered unlikely that any family details will be disclosed on it. The other was not in the box when an attempt was made to retrieve it but eventually it will be tracked. It is considered likely that this letter was the original written by CLARKE that matched the copy18 in his letter book. The original bundle may however expand on CLARKE's reasons for wishing to apprentice Martha to the country.


The Entrance Book indicated that Martha had an older sister and was an orphan at the time of her admission to Newcastle. Because both her parents were dead they were not named or identified in any way in the Entrance Book which only stated 'father dead mother dead'.19 No confirmation of their identities has yet been found on either the NSW BDM Index, gaol records, or in any possible arrivals – other than the one outlined below, which cannot be confirmed and which is becoming increasingly unlikely. No confirmation of any potential family member, including Martha's unnamed sister, has been found in Australia. This sister, who appeared in court at the time of Martha's trial, had almost certainly applied for the warrant for her admission to Newcastle. This then very strongly suggested that this sister was older than Martha. It is also considered unlikely that this sister was the prostitute with whom Martha had been associating. No further evidence of, or the identity of, this sister has been confirmed and any suggestions below are conjecture only. No letters concerning Martha's family have yet been located on the CSIL index which needs to be further searched under the names AVERY, EVELLY, EAVELY and EVERY to see if any details of Martha's family or her stay at Newcastle may be found under that spelling.

Who was Martha?

It is possible, but is unable to be verified, that the following couple were Martha's parents. It must also be considered that Martha was not an orphan as stated in 1868. Neither suggestion can be confirmed. Based on the relative scarcity in NSW of Martha's surname, it may be that her parents were the James and Martha EVERLEY who had arrived on 9 June 1849, on board the Emma Eugenia as assisted immigrants. Much about this family matches what is known of Martha but the only way for them to be the parents of the Newcastle admission would be if the informant at James' death in 1857 had identified his second daughter incorrectly. This is not impossible nor is the possibility that Martha adopted the given name Martha after the death of her mother. It is likely that these possibilities may never be proved. The tracking of the EVERLEY family continues.

Father James EVERLEY b.c. 182420 m. 1848 d. 185721
Mother Martha HINTON b.c. 182922 m. 184823 d. aft. 1858
Daughter Frances EVERLEY b. 185124 m. d. aft. 1857
Daughter Mary EVERLEY b. 185425 m. d. aft. 1857
Son Albert EVERLEY b. 185626 m. d. aft. 188427

The Emma Eugenia indent in 1849 indicated that James and Martha were both members of the Church of England. Neither had any relatives in the colony and no children accompanied them.28 The marriage of James EVERLEY and Martha Pike HINTON was registered in Yeovil, Somerset, in 1848.29 The couple had had three children by 1857 but no births or baptisms for any of these children were recorded on the NSW BDM Index.

James was twenty-five and had been born in Hatsbury, Wiltshire, in about 1824. He was a tailor and woolsorter. His father, Robert, who was still alive in 1849, was living in Hatsbury. His mother was identified on the indent as Rachael but it was not recorded if she was still alive.30 Between 1851 and 1852, James EVERLY had a dwelling house in Riley Street, Sydney.31 He doesn't appear on any other electoral roll and was not recorded in Sand's Directory. It is believed that he returned to England around this date as a man of this name and age appeared on the 1851C living with Edward and Amelia HINTON, his wife's parents. The census indicated that this man had been born in Heytesbury, Wiltshire. This same man can't be found in England in 1861. If this was James, he had returned to NSW almost certainly by December 1856 when he was almost certainly the man who advertised the sale of a horse, saddle, harness, spring van and set of harness in the SMH.32 James died on 12 February 1857 in Palmer Street, Woolloolooloo. The registration stated that his father was James, who had been a farmer. By law the informant was John HATTON, who was the householder at 21 Woolloomoolloo Street. The witnesses to the death were M. EVERLEY, almost certainly James' wife, Martha, and the as yet unidentified James PIKE. Even though the wrong father was recorded, there is no doubt that this was the registration for the man who arrived aboard the Emma Eugenia.33 The three children from the marriage were identified as Frances, Mary and Albert. Mary was an appropriate age to have been the child, Martha, and this may have been another error made by the informant. No further trace of James can be found on either the NSW BDM Index or SRNSW.

Martha's parents were recorded on the Emma Eugene indent as Edward and Amelia HINTON who were living in Preston, Somerset.34 The same couple with whom her husband, James, was staying two years after his emigration to NSW while Martha and her eldest child, Frances, remained in Sydney. After James's death it is believed that she was the Martha EVERLY who had rented a house and shop at 79 Palmer Street, Sydney, in 1858.35 Because she was recorded as the tenant there is little doubt that by this stage this woman was a widow. It is further believed that if Martha was Martha's mother, she was the reason for the Newcastle admission having attained such a high standard of reading and writing.

It is possible that Martha had remarried or had begun to live with another man in the time after James’ death and before Martha’s arrest. The only possible registration may be the 1867 marriage between Martha EMERY and George ROLLINGS in Sydney.36 No registration has yet been located for a death of Martha although the 1868 death of Martha EVERS whose father was recorded as Robert W. occurred in Sydney37 the same year as Martha's arrest. It is also quite possible that Martha and her family returned to England and were not connected in any way to the Newcastle admission.

Tracking of Martha EVERLEY née HINTON and her three children, Frances, Mary and Albert, is ongoing as is the identity of the James PIKE who was a witness when James EVERLEY died. Albert EVERLEY appeared in court in 187238 and this is likely to be the son of James and Martha. No trace of him can be found in either the NSW Police Gazette or the NSW gaol records.

James PIKE, the witness at James' death, had almost certainly arrived with his wife, Ann, aboard the Kate in 1855. The indent identified his parents as Shadrack and Rebecca. This man did not identify any relatives in the colony but had been born in Somersetshire in about 1820. Ann had also been born in Somerset and her parents, who were both dead, were recorded as John and Mary.39 No appropriate death has been identified in NSW for James. Ann may have died in St Mary's in 1905.40 James and Ann were unlikely to have been the James and Anastasia PIKE who were storekeepers at Parramatta.41

While James and Martha arrived aboard the Emma Eugenia in 1849 a check of gaol records for this ship further coincidentally disclose the man named variously as John aka Joseph whose surname was recorded variously as EVELY, EMBLEN, EVERTEY and EVERLEY. His age varied from born in 1804 to 1818 but was consistently stated that he had arrived in 1839. He may be connected as he had also been born in Wiltshire but had probably been transported.

Note: Two men of approximately the same age, both named James EVERLEY, appeared on the 1851C in Somerset, England. The Emma Eugenia indent clearly identified the parents of the man of this name who came to NSW. The James EVERLEY, whose wife was Mary Ann, did not emigrate. This couple were together in 1851 and the record indicated that this James EVERLEY had been born in Lutton Veny. He and his wife are easily traceable on every census after 1851. While this man's age was very similar to that of the man who came to NSW, Mary Ann and Martha cannot be the same woman.

Martha AVERY born in 1851,42 whose parents were Paul Thomas AVERY and Elizabeth FUKE who had arrived on the Lord Stanley in 1850 and were Protestant may also suit the scant admission details of the Newcastle admission. This family also had no relations in the colony. Martha had a younger brother named Thomas who had been born in 1852 and another brother, William G. who died in 1882.43 Her mother, Elizabeth, had died in 186744 and her parents recorded on the NSW BDM Index matched those identified on the Lord Stanley indent. Paul Thomas, however, did not die until 1889. The baptisms may eventually be read but they will only confirm the religion of the family and provide addresses and possibly occupations as maiden names were rarely identified on Church of England baptisms. The Lord Stanley indent identified that Paul was a coachman. There are not enough matches with what is known of Martha to be certain that this is the Newcastle admission but this family is another strong possibility.

Where has She Gone?

An apprenticeship to the SCOTT family would almost certainly have been a positive and possibly even a nurturing experience. Martha would have been treated well and it is considered very likely that she would have been assisted in finding a suitable future for herself once her apprenticeship ended.

To date the only explanation for the inability to locate Martha is due to an historical error in the recording of her surname. While the name EVERLY and its variations is rare, the surname EVERY was relatively common at this time. Both names would sound similar when spoken and could potentially sound even more similar when spoken with an accent. Even though Martha's reading and writing abilities were comparatively high for children at this time and she would know the correct spelling of her surname, it may vary from her baptism or arrival surname, depending on the time her parents died.

The Martha AVERY who married George SMITH in Newtown in 188145 is a strong possibility. No children appear to have been recorded on the NSW BDM Index. An online tree has indicated that this woman was the daughter of James AVERY (1801 - 1878) and Margaret HEALEY (1806 - 1872) and had been born in 1844. The tree identified a sister, Sarah (1840 - 1898), and a brother, James (1839 - 1904). The NSW BDM Index however further identified the children of this family as Elizabeth (V1837146 60/1837), James (V1839147 60/1839), Sarah (V1840148 60/1840), Martha (V1844149 60/1844) and James (V18594308 142B/1859). The tree is extremely questionable as there is no indication that the 1881 marriage was verified with either a registration or a church record. The tree identified Martha's death in Ashfield in 1906. The death registration on the NSW BDM Index indicated that Martha had a middle name beginning with L. and only identified her father, James.46 This is not the correct death for their ancestor as a Funeral Notice remained for this woman that identified her as Margaret Lemon SMITH who in 1906 was 92-years-old47 so she cannot be the wife of George SMITH. Her death registration has also clearly not been viewed. This marriage is therefore worth investigating although, if these were her correct parents, marriage and baptism, this cannot be the Newcastle admission as she was too old.

Martha or her unknown sister was possibly the mother of the child named Ernest EVERLEY who entered the Sydney Benevolent Asylum on 23 September 1888, and who was discharged on 10 October 1888. This child was possibly abandoned as his birth record indicated that he had been born on 9 September 1888,48 so had been admitted some two weeks later. The records suggest that he was admitted again on 31 October 1888, aged four weeks but Ernest actually died on 10 October 1888.49 The asylum didn't record the name of any mother and neither did the NSW BDM Index. An investigation of these original records, held at the Mitchell Library, may help to identify if anyone entered the asylum on the same day as Ernest and what is actually written for any entry on 31 October. There are no marriages for any surname with a spelling which would suit EVERLEY. There are some for the surname EVELEIGH but none for Martha.

No suitable surnames can be found in the NSW gaol records for admissions of women named Martha born in about 1854. There are no other records of the name in the Benevolent Asylum or the Randwick Asylum. There are no marriages for a woman named Martha with a similar surname in the Newcastle area until 1900. Because her master was the local Police Magistrate, it is very likely that she would have behaved well but nothing can be found in the Newcastle newspapers.

None of the surnames associated with James and Martha EVERLEY have helped to locate any of their children even though their given names are now known. There are no entries for Martha EVELY or EVELEY or EVELIE or EVERLEY or EVLEY or EVERLYN or EVELEIGH in the newspapers. The NSW BDM Index indicated no marriages for any of these surnames. The very strong chance – based on nothing but a total inability to locate anything about this girl before her admission or after 1870 – exists that Martha's surname was similar to but was not EVERLEY. The surname may further begin with an 'A' or 'H' or Martha was born with another surname. No baptisms of a Martha whose mother was Martha has been recorded in the NSW BDM Index.

Martha is very unlikely to have been the Martha AVERY, who had been born in Grafton in 1857. She was not an orphan as her father, Daniel, almost certainly died in 1895.50 Two women with this name, Martha J. AVERY who married Henry Hannan SAUNDERS in Grafton in 188151 and Martha AVERY who married Ebenezer L. EVERINGHAM in Taree in 189052 have not been investigated as they probably had family in the North Coast area and had lived there all their lives.

The baptism of Sarah EVELLY on 28 June 1846, by Rev. Mr FARRELLY, indicates a family to consider. Sarah had been born on 17 November 1845. Her parents were Edward EVELLY and Elizabeth O'DONNELL who were residents of Parramatta Street, Sydney, in 1846.53 This couple had married as Edward W. EVERLEIGH and Elizabeth McDONALD in 1841.54 A bother named Alexander was baptised in 184255 as EAVELY so the spelling of the surname is extremely variable. Alexander E. EVELEIGH died at Gulgong in 191156 at the age of 68.57 There was no indication that he had ever married. The only death of an Elizabeth EVELEIGH or any variations also occurred in Gulgong in 1887 at the age of 7358 so it is believed that this family moved to Gulgong. There is no appropriate death for Edward between 1844 and 1899. No trace of Sarah has yet been found. Because Elizabeth was not dead before Martha's arrest, this family is conisdered unlikely. This cannot be the family of Edwin EVERLEIGH and Elizabeth LOMAS from the Hunter Valley as this couple had married in 1855.59

The death of the 28-year-old labourer, Samuel EVERLY, occurred in Sydney on 12 February 1857. It was a Church of England burial by G. KEMP. Samuel was a resident of Palmer Street, Sydney.60 It may be that he was connected.

A Sarah EVERLEY who contributed money for flood relief lived in the Coonabarrabran area cannot be connected.61

The EVELEIGH families in Paterson in the Hunter Valley are considered unlikely because not only do they not have a child named Martha, parents of both families having children in the 1850s were alive after 1868.

Updated December 2016

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