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 both 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 very probably taken out the warrant, gave evidence in court and confirmed this charge at her trial. Martha was admitted to the Newcastle school on 17 June 1868, and KING confirmed her admission in her report to the Colonial Secretary on 23 June.4 The Entrance Book recorded that Martha was a Protestant and she was further named on SELWYN's list of Protestant girls.5 While Martha's age was recorded as fifteen in the Entrance Book, the age of sixteen was pencilled in beside it and it is believed that sixteen was the age stated by Martha at the time of her admission. It may be that this age was correct however the age of sixteen would have meant that Martha had been illegally arrested under the terms of the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children and the warrant had probably been applied for based on a lie. 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 well aware of how to write her surname but it is uncertain whether the spelling of her surname recorded in any of her court appearances or in the Entrance Book was the spelling that she used.

Six months after her 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 identified as one of the ringleaders and subsequently interviewed by Frederick CANE concerning that disturbance so it is unknown how or if she was involved. In her report on 26 October 1868, KELLY, the teacher, indicated 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 years of age.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 near the school as the Newcastle Police Magistrate lived in an adjacent building and within the same enclosure of land as the school. At this stage it was unlikely that SCOTT possessed any other property so the only location for Martha was likely to be in Scott's residence.16 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.17 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 provide Martha with employment so avoiding her return to Sydney and to also help CLARKE keep Martha 'in the country'. 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.18 Martha's apprenticeship would have concluded in early to mid-1871.

No trace of Martha has been confirmed after 1 August 1870 and without knowing the identity of either her parents or her older sister and no evidence yet found of a marriage or death, Martha is virtually impossible to trace. There have been no references under any variation of her surname yet found on the NSW BDM Index that could possibly refer to her. Two further letters have been indexed in the CSIL at SRNSW for Martha. One contains the names of three other inmates so 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 very likely that this letter was the original written by CLARKE that matched the copy19 in his letter book and the original bundle may expand on CLARKE's reasons for wishing to apprentice Martha to the country and perhaps identify her sister.


At the time of Martha's admission to Newcastle the Entrance Book recorded that Martha was an orphan. An older sister was reported but not identified in the newspapers. Because both her parents were reported to be dead they were not named or identified in any way in the Entrance Book which only stated 'father dead mother dead'.20 This was the routine response in the Entrance Book for any records of admissions with deceased parents.21 No confirmation of the identity of either parent 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 Martha's admission to Newcastle and this then very strongly suggested that the sister was older than Martha. It is also considered unlikely that the sister was the prostitute with whom Martha had been associating. No further evidence of, or the identity of, Martha's 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?
The possible families identified below are conjecture only and are roughly placed in order of probability although there is little indication for any family to belong to Martha. It should also be considered that Martha was not an orphan as was stated at the time of her arrest in 1868 but this cannot be confirmed.

Family 1:
One potential family with the spelling of their surname quite different to the name the Martha was admitted to the industrial school. The family of James and Sarah IVORY baptised a daughter named Martha in 1852.22 The NSW BDM Index shows that she had two brothers. John IVORY who was baptised in 185023 and William IVORY, whose birth was registered in 1858.24 This couple had married as James IVORY and Sarah S. McDONOUGH in the Maitland district in the Hunter Valley in 1850.25 The 'S' most likely stands for the name Stewart and by about 1854 the couple had separated and Sarah was in Sydney.26 They seem to have reconciled for the birth of their son William, in 1858. Sarah almost certainly died in Melbourne in 1862 at the age of 28.27 although no death registration has been located. James may have been the man who was imprisoned in Maitland Gaol in 1865 for whom a description survives. He was described as both born and arriving on the Alexander in 1832. He almost certainly died in Copeland near Gloucester in the Hunter Valley in 1886 at the age of 60.28 The Sarah IVARY who married Richard MORTON in Sydney in 1869 was the daughter of Mary Ann IVORY.29 The Sarah IVORY who married Joseph YEOMAN in Sydney in 188230 is probably not connected as online trees identify that her parents were Charles and Agnes.

Family 2:
Based on the relative scarcity in NSW of Martha's surname it may be that her family was the family of Edward and Elizabeth EVERLEIGH aka EVELLY. The spelling of this surname is very variable so accents may have influenced the various transcriptions so is a family to consider.

Father Edward EVERLEIGH b. m. 1841 d.
Mother Elizabeth MACDONALD b. m. 184131 d. 1886
Brother Alexander E. EAVELY b. 184232 m. (see below) d. 191133
Sister Sarah EVERLEY b. 184534 m. d.
Inmate Martha EVERLEY b.c. 1853 m. (see below) d. aft. 1870

Sarah EVELLY had been baptised in Sydney on 28 June 1846, by Rev. Mr FARRELLY. She had been born on 17 November 1845. Her parents were Edward EVELLY and Elizabeth O'DONNELL who were residents of Parramatta Street, Sydney, in 1846.35 This couple had married as Edward W. EVERLEIGH and Elizabeth McDONALD in 1841.36 Sarah may be Martha's confirmed older sister. A brother named Alexander EAVELY had been baptised in 1842.37 This man died at Gulgong in 1911 as Alexander E. EVELEIGH38 at the age of 68.39 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 7340 so it is believed that this family moved to Gulgong. There are no appropriate deaths for Edward between 1844 and 1899 and no trace of Sarah has yet been found. Elizabeth was not dead before Martha's arrest but other errors have been identified in the Entrance Book41 and it may be that this is another.

Note: This cannot be the family of Edwin EVERLEIGH and Elizabeth LOMAS from the Hunter Valley as this couple had married in 1855.42

Family 3
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, aboard 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 error is not impossible as many errors were made reguarding this death nor is the possibility that Martha adopted the given name 'Martha' after her mother died. It is likely that these possibilities will never be verified. The tracking of this EVERLEY family continues.

Father James EVERLEY b.c. 182443 m. 1848 d. 185744
Mother Martha HINTON b.c. 182945 m. 184846 d. aft. 1858
Daughter Frances EVERLEY b. 185147 m. d. aft. 1857
Daughter Mary EVERLEY b. 185448 m. d. aft. 1857
Son Albert EVERLEY b. 185649 m. d. aft. 188450

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 James EVERLEY who came to NSW. The James EVERLEY, who had been born in Lutton Veny and whose wife was Mary Ann, did not emigrate and this couple was together in 1851. 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.

The Emma Eugenia indent in 1849 recorded that James and Martha were both members of the Church of England. Neither had any relatives in the colony and no children accompanied them.51 The marriage of James EVERLEY and Martha Pike HINTON was registered in Yeovil, Somerset, in 1848.52 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.53 Between 1851 and 1852, James EVERLY had a dwelling house in Riley Street, Sydney.54 He doesn't appear on any other electoral roll and was not recorded in Sand's Directory. It is believed that James returned to England around 1850 or 1851 as a man of this name and age appeared on the 1851C living with Edward and Amelia HINTON, Martha Pike HINTON's parents. The census documented that this James had been born in Heytesbury, Wiltshire. This same man can't be found in England in 1861. If this was the immigrant James EVERLEY, and it is believed that it is, he had returned to NSW 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.55 James died on 12 February 1857. By law the informant was John HATTON, who was the householder at 21 Woolloomoolloo Street where James had died. The death registration stated that James lived in Palmer Street, Woolloolooloo, and that his father was James who had been a farmer. Even though the wrong father was recorded on the registration there is no doubt that this was the registration for the man who arrived aboard the Emma Eugenia as the marriage to Martha HINTON was confirmed on the record. The witnesses to the death were M. EVERLEY, almost certainly James' wife Martha, and the as yet unidentified James PIKE.56 James was buried by G. KEMP as Samuel EVERLEY and his burial57 was recorded in the records of St Stephen's Church of England, Newtown.58 Details from the burial record match details on the death registration. He was 28 years old, a resident of Palmer Street, Sydney, and he died on 12 February 1857. The three children from the marriage were identified on his death registration as Frances, Mary and Albert. While none of these children was identified as Martha, it should be considered that after the death of her mother one of the daughters adopted or was given this given name. Mary was an appropriate age to have been the child, Martha but Frances was barely old enough to be the older sister known to have appeared in court in 1868. There has been no indication yet found that Mary adopted the name Martha. No other 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.59 This was the same couple with whom James EVERLEY was staying in 1851, two years after his emigration to NSW. At this time it is likely that Martha and her eldest child, Frances, remained in Sydney. Although it was 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 1858.60 Because she was recorded as the tenant there is little doubt that by this stage she was a widow. It is further believed that if this woman was Martha's mother, she was the reason that the Newcastle admission had attained such a high standard of reading and writing. No deaths for Martha have been confirmed between 1857 and 1870 as any variation of EVERLEY or as PIKE or HINTON.

It is possible that after James's death and before her daughter's arrest that Martha remarried or began to live with another man. The only possible marriage registration may be the 1867 marriage between Martha EMERY and George ROLLINGS in Sydney.61 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 Sydney62 the same year as Martha's arrest. It is also possible that Martha and her family returned to England, perhaps with the unidentified James PIKE, and they were not connected in any way to the Newcastle admission. Identifying James PIKE and tracking Martha EVERLEY née HINTON and her three children, Frances, Mary and Albert, is ongoing.

None of the surnames associated with James and Martha EVERLEY have helped to locate any of their children even though their given names are known. There are no entries for any of the children as EVELY, EVELEY, EVELIE, EVERLEY, EVLEY, EVERLYN or EVELEIGH on the NSW BDM Index. An Albert EVERLEY appeared in court in 187263 and he may have been 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.64 No appropriate death has been identified in NSW for James. Ann may have died in St Mary's in 1905.65 James and Ann were almost certainly not the James and Anastasia PIKE who were storekeepers at Parramatta.66

While James and Martha arrived aboard the Emma Eugenia in 1849 and a check of gaol records for this ship disclosed the man named variously as John aka Joseph whose surname was recorded variously as EVELY, EMBLEN, EVERTEY and EVERLEY. His year of birth varied between 1804 to 1818 but records consistently stated that he had arrived in 1839. This connection is probably coincidence although he may be connected distantly as he had also been born in Wiltshire but had probably been transported.

Family 4 is probably not connected but these details remain to avoid investigating them again.
A Martha AVERY born in NSW in 1851.67 Her parents were Paul Thomas AVERY and Elizabeth FUKE who had arrived on the Lord Stanley in 1850 and were Protestant. She cannot be the Newcastle admission as this child died at the age of seven months in 1851. Her burial was recorded in the Sydney Church of England registers and on the NSW BDM Index as Martha AVARY.68 At this time the family was living at Millers Point.69 The other children in the family were a brother named Thomas who had been born in 1852 and another brother, William G. who died in 1882.70 Their mother, Elizabeth, died in 186771 and her parents recorded on the NSW BDM Index matched those identified on the Lord Stanley indent. Paul Thomas did not die until 1889. The Lord Stanley indent identified that Paul was a coachman. Even if another child also called Martha was born, it is considered very unlikely that this was Martha's family as there are not enough matches with what is known of Martha from the scant records in the Newcastle Entrance Book.

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 possible explanation available for the inability to locate Martha is due to an historical error in the recording of her surname. While the surname 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 it is considered that she would know the correct spelling of her surname, this spelling may vary from her baptism or arrival surname, depending on the time her mother died. The very strong chance – based on nothing but a total inability to locate anything about Martha 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', 'I' or 'H' or Martha was born with another surname entirely.

There are no entries for Martha as EVELY, EVELEY, EVELIE, EVERLEY, EVLEY, EVERLYN or EVELEIGH in the newspapers. The NSW BDM Index indicated no illegitimate births, deaths or marriages for any of these surnames. No baptisms of a Martha whose mother was Martha has been recorded in the NSW BDM Index.

The Martha AVERY who married George SMITH in Newtown in 188172 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 more fully identified the children of this family as Elizabeth (V60 1837/146), James (V60 1839/147), Sarah (V60 1840/148), Martha (60 V1844/149) and perhaps James (V142 1859/4308). 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 erroneously identified that Martha died 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.73 This 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-old74 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 1888,75 so had been admitted some two weeks later. The records suggested that he was admitted again on 31 October 1888, aged four weeks but Ernest actually died on 10 October 1888.76 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 but these records are difficult to access for those who are not descendants. 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. As a Police Magistrate SCOTT would have been empowered to give permission for Martha's marriage if she was under the age of 21.

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 1895.77 There were two women with this name, Martha J. AVERY who married Henry Hannan SAUNDERS in Grafton in 188178 and Martha AVERY who married Ebenezer L. EVERINGHAM in Taree in 189079 have not been investigated as they probably had family in the North Coast area and had lived there all their lives.

A Sarah EVERLEY who contributed money for flood relief lived in the Coonabarrabran area cannot be connected.80

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

The 1855 baptism of James AUVETT whose parents were James and Martha is unusual but is not known to be connected although it will eventually be viewed.81

Updated November 2018

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