The Biographies

Each biography is divided into three sections and is an ongoing project. A fourth section is included if the inmate has not been found after her discharge from either the Newcastle Industrial School or from Biloela. As records and sources are located, the information that they hold is added to the appropriate biography. The date at which the biography was last updated is recorded before the references. If there is no updated date, the biography has not been edited since 2013. Note that sisters appear on the same page and their details are set out in a similar outline to girls with no siblings but individual sibling biographies are preceded by a general indication of the arrest details for each and the detailed information regarding their parents. Many biographies show how difficult it was for women during the nineteenth century especially if they were poor. While all girls had one parent from Europe, life may have been especially difficult if your ancestry was obviously not Anglo-Celtic.

The first section of each biography records in tabular form the names of the inmate's parents, siblings, spouse/s and children and may contain a photo. Any descriptions of any family member that has been found has also been transcribed.

The second section describes when and how each girl arrived at the school and summarises her trial, admission details and any events occurring at the school until the time of her discharge – including whether or not she transferred from Newcastle to Biloela. This account is followed by details of the inmate's life after she left the school. These events may include her marriage, marriages or liaisons, her children and her death – where they have been possible to locate.

The third section of the biography will identify a girl's family where it has been possible to do so. Her place of birth and often specific details of her baptism, her parents and the records that were used to confirm her father, mother and siblings. An aim of the project was to try to identify the maiden name of each girl's mother, so wherever possible parents have been traced to their ship of arrival. A set of statistics is being constructed reflecting the antecedents of the girls admitted to Newcastle and these statistics are beginning to indicate that a large number of girls were descended from convicts. Few were children of immigrants. Tracking siblings has often led to the discovery of very elusive family members and inmates who attempted to 'disappear'.

Generally, only the year of registration for NSW birth, marriage or death registrations of other family members has been recorded – especially if they are easy to trace. It has sometimes been possible to use online sources created by descendants to confirm or refute information that has been found. In many cases communication and liaison with descendants has been possible and has provided in-depth stories about the lives of their ancestors. To these descendants I am very grateful.

The final section, if it occurs, is conjectural and based only on supposition. This section suggests personal or family connections for girls who have not been able to be traced and details of the potential ancestry of the inmate is recorded in italics. These conjectural birth, death and marriage details are recorded in italics in the tables in some biographies. Proof may never be found that these events or names are correct but they will remain in the biography unless evidence has been uncovered to conclusively prove that the details are incorrect or unless a descendant accepts that they refer to their ancestor. Once these details are either proven or accepted the italics are removed. If these details are proven to be incorrect, they are removed from the biography. On occasion independent researchers have made contact to either confirm or refute difficult facts and for their assistance and analysis I am also truly grateful.

The final section also may contain an account of research that has been undertaken into the inmate to avoid reinvestigating a particular line of enquiry.


These biographies sometimes contain references to intimate or confronting events in a girl's history or her family's circumstance.

Family historians should be aware that they may encounter information that they may find very distressing.

A further warning appears at the beginning of any biography that contains a confronting life experience, usually sexual in nature, that had been reported in the newspapers.

The Inmates

Note 1: The number preceding each name in the alphabetical list below indicates either the admission number to the Newcastle Industrial School recorded in the letter numbered CSIL: 72/4799 [1/2176] or the admission order to the Newcastle Reformatory (R) extracted from the letter numbered CSIL: 74/5050 [1/2279].
Note 2: The spelling of each surname below was chosen with reference to how that surname appeared in official records of the time or how the surname is recorded now. This spelling is not necessarily that which appeared in the Entrance Book.
Note 3: Evidence has not yet been found to verify any family details recorded in the biographies in italics.
Note 4: A biography for each girl admitted to Newcastle appears online but numerous retrieved references from SRNSW are yet to analysed.
Note 5: The process of editing is ongoing.

Given Surname Alias born died
63 Lucy AH KIN 1855 Braidwood, NSW 1921 Bathurst, NSW
83 Mary ALLEN 1861 Parramatta, NSW 1932 Adelaide, SA
169 Louisa ARDIS ANDIS, HARDISS, OTTES 1859 Newcastle, NSW 1931 Parramatta, NSW
34 Susan ATKINS Julia CUNNINGHAM 1855 Carcoar, NSW 1881 Sydney, NSW
1081 Sarah AUBURN Margaret WHITE c.1856 Lake George, NSW 1943 Sydney, NSW
1052 Mary Ann AYLIFFE 1855 Hobart, Tas. 1913 Wallaroo, SA
4 Jane BAKER Susan Elizabeth BAKER 1852 Sydney, NSW aft.1874
121 Annie BANHAM Allie BANAM, la petite Celeste, Rose Hannah Bell, Annie PAYNE 1855 Melbourne, Vic. 1934 Redfern, NSW
167 Catherine BANNAN 1854 Sydney, NSW 1920 Sydney, NSW
45 Mary Ann BARRY 1860 Goulburn, NSW 1952 Summer Hill, NSW
46 Mary Ann BATHGATE 1861 Maitland, NSW 1933 Sydney, NSW
95 Elizabeth BERRY BAILEY 1860 Windsor, NSW aft.1875
28 Margaret BEVAN c.1853 Sydney, NSW 1940 Sydney, NSW
122 Sarah Jane BLAKE c.1855 Sydney, NSW aft.1878
143 Emily BLAMEY BLANEY c.1855 Sydney, NSW 1928 Waverley, NSW
176 Sarah BOSWELL BOSWORTH3 c.1854 Gundaroo, NSW aft.1875
82 Bridget BOURKE 1853 Sydney, NSW aft.1919
59 Mary BOYD 1863 Braidwood, NSW aft.1875
116 Mary Ann BROWN c.1855 Tasmania 1894 Sydney, NSW
15 Annie BURT (2) Hannah,4 'Newcastle Annie' 1850 Queanbeyan, NSW 1883 Sydney, NSW
155 Jemima BURT Jemma c.1855 Hexham, NSW aft.1871 NSW
39 Susan BURT 1851 Hexham, NSW 1871 Parramatta, NSW
84 Eliza Wilson CALF Elizabeth, Ellen5 1854 Sydney, NSW 1912 Marrickville, NSW
81 Mary Ann CALLAGHAN 1853 North Shore, NSW 1932 Grafton, NSW
7 Margaret CAMDEN Ann MULHOLLAND 1853 Sydney, NSW 1924 Aberdeen, NSW
48 Mary CASHEN c.1859 Windsor, NSW 1923 Manly, NSW
24 Annie CHANEY 1850 Sydney, NSW aft.1884
61 Elizabeth COE Elizabeth COLE 1861 Bathurst, NSW 1946 Wardell, NSW
60 Theresa COE Theresa COLE 1856 Mudgee, NSW 1946 Sydney, NSW
71 Caroline COLES 1857 Singleton, NSW 1922 Sellheim, Qld
18 Elizabeth Jane COLLYER c.1855 Pambula, NSW aft.1877
22 Mary Ann COLLYER 1860 Pambula, NSW 1957 Sydney, NSW
149 Catherine CONDON c.1855 Ireland 1915 Newington, NSW
11 Margaret COONEY 1856 Parramatta, NSW 1909 Sydney, NSW
152 Mary COUGHLAN c.1854 Goulburn, NSW 1904 Waverley, NSW
163 Isabella COULTER 1854 Tyrone, Ireland 1924 Sydney, NSW
52 Grace CRAWFORD c.1853 Stirlingshire, Scotland aft.1878
65 Mary Ann CREGAN KEEGAN 1851 Sydney, NSW 1900 Newington, NSW
14 Julia CUNNINGHAM 1851 Sydney, NSW 1896 Sydney, NSW
44 Fanny Caroline DARLING 1855 Sydney, NSW 1925 Canterbury, NSW
17 Jane DAVIS Jane D (unknown alias adopted) c.1852 Lane Cove, NSW aft.1915 NSW
110 Pasculine DEMARTIENE 1862 Sydney, NSW 1914 Subiaco, WA
109 Sarah Maria DEMARTIENE 1860 Sydney, NSW 1898 Sydney, NSW
80 Mary Ann DENNETT 1853 Goulburn, NSW 1883 Scone, NSW
42 Mary Ann DEVENEY 1852 Maitland, NSW 1896 Queensland
93 Sarah DICKSON DIXON6 c.1855 NSW aft.1874
183 Margaret DIXON c.1854 London, England aft.1872
175 Margaret DONOVAN 1860 Goulburn, NSW aft.1874
3 Bridget DOWNS 1850 Sydney, NSW 1876 Sydney, NSW
100 Sarah Jane DURBIN c.1854 Wales 1943 Kurri Kurri, NSW
35 Alicia EDWARDS 1853 Dunn's Plains, NSW 1902 Wallsend, NSW
36 Maria Jane EDWARDS 1859 Bathurst, NSW 1961 Bathurst, NSW
37 Sarah EDWARDS 1851 Brownlee, NSW 1937 Rockley, NSW
172 Annie ELDER c.1854 Inverness, Scotland 1945 Grafton, NSW
43 Margaret Hughes ELLIS 1854 Murrurundi, NSW 1870 Newcastle, NSW
62 Martha EVERLEY c.1853 NSW aft.1870
29 Emma FERN MARTIN c.1854 Maitland, NSW 1939 Newtown, NSW
177 Ellen FIRTH 1866 Tamworth, NSW aft.1878
178 Jane FIRTH 1864 Tamworth, NSW aft.1872
179 Mary Ann FIRTH 1860 Tamworth, NSW 1926 West Maitland, NSW
171 Harriett GARDINER c.1855 1873 Collector, NSW
50 Alice Jane GRAY 1861 Singleton, NSW aft.1879
138 Anna Maria GREENFIELD 1854 Sydney, NSW 1927 Sydney, NSW
137 Rosabel GUNNERY McGUMMERY 1854 Sydney, NSW 1928 Picton, NSW
180 Esther Maria HALL 1853 Queanbeyan, NSW 1876 Sydney, NSW
1 Eliza HANMORE Eliza MOORE 1848 Ultimo, NSW aft.1901 Sydney, NSW
12 Theresa HANMORE Theresa MOORE 1858 Ultimo, NSW 1946 Sydney, NSW
150 Catherine HARDING 1853 Sydney, NSW 1917 Bourke, NSW
153 Annie HARPUR c.1857 Sydney, NSW 1874 Sydney, NSW
54 Mary HILLSDON 1855 Parramatta, NSW 1932 Parramatta, NSW
38 Esther HOBBS EVANS 1857 Wiltshire, England 1919 Sydney, NSW
40 Mary Ann HOPKINS c.1851 Sydney, NSW 1922 Redfern, NSW
130 Annie HOWARD 1855 Bathurst, NSW aft.1873
145 Catherine HOWARD (2) Catherine SMITH c.1860 Orange, NSW 1921 Sydney, NSW
128 Emma HOWARD 1861 Bathurst, NSW 1910 Boomi, NSW
127 Lucy HOWARD 1861 Bathurst, NSW aft.1877
129 Sarah HOWARD 1858 Bathurst, NSW 1946 Portland, NSW
146 Sarah HOWARD (2) c.1859 Bathurst, NSW 1934 Sydney, NSW
173 Catherine HUDSON 1865 Parramatta, NSW 1957 Sutherland, NSW
185 Margaret HUGHES c.1865 Newcastle, NSW 1928 Woollahra, NSW
120 Amelia JOHNSON 1856 Sydney, NSW 1900 Delegate, NSW
119 Sarah Jane JOHNSON SOLOMON7 c.1854 Sydney, NSW aft.1871
165 Ellen JOHNSTON c.1852 NSW 1930 Wagga Wagga, NSW
182 Mary Jane KEARNEY 1857 Sydney, NSW 1912 Paddington, NSW
118 Sarah Ann KEELAN c.1863 Newcastle on Tyne, England 1937 Marrickville, NSW
147 Catherine KELLARD c.1854 Middlesex, England 1923 Waterloo, NSW
91 Mary Ann KINNAIRD KINNEAR 1857 Maitland, NSW 1942 Sydney, NSW
31 Annie KNOX c.1859 Goulburn, NSW 1874 Scone, NSW
85 Alice Mary LEAR Alice Corenna DARCY c.1859 Bathurst, NSW 1902 Coomboona, Victoria
13 Fanny Jane LEE 1854 Newcastle, NSW 1891 Newcastle, NSW
86 Ellen LEWIS c.1861 NSW aft.1879
1(R) Jane Amelia LORD 1855 Newcastle, NSW 1896 Camperdown, NSW
117 Emma LUCK 1855 Sydney, NSW 1890 Queensland
26 Sarah McCANN Sarah Ann EDEN c.1861 Sydney, NSW 1900 Sydney, NSW
151 Rachel E. McCURDY 1859 Bathurst, NSW 1929 Sydney, NSW
162 Charlotte MACDONALD (2) 1855 Hill End, NSW 1892 Sydney, NSW
136 Winifred MACDONALD Wentworth c.1856 at sea aft.1910 NSW
6 Ann McDONALD Hannah c.1853 Sydney, NSW 1917 Sydney, NSW
2 Eliza McDONALD Elizabeth c.1851 Sydney, NSW 1919 Katoomba, NSW
124 Sarah McDUFF 1856 Morpeth, NSW 1927 Morpeth, NSW
161 Bridget McEVOY McELROY c.1855 Donegal, Ireland aft.1875
19 Hannah McGILL Hannah SHORT, Annie Maria, GILL 1854 Hobart, Tasmania 1878 Sydney, NSW
134 Eliza McNEICE McNISH 1859 Berrima, NSW aft.1881
88 Mary Jane McNEICE Mary McKENZIE8 1851 Camden, NSW 1895 Parramatta, NSW
135 Sarah McNEICE McNISH c.1863 Berrima, NSW aft.1881
57 Anne MANLEY c.1853 Raymond Terrace, NSW 1873 Dubbo, NSW
114 Catherine MANTON c.1856 Cork, Ireland aft.1873
132 Emma MAXTED 1859 Sydney, NSW 1881 Goulburn, NSW
2(R) Mary Ann MEEHAN Emily Marion, MAYNE, DICKENSON c.1852 Maitland, NSW or Tamworth, NSW 1927 Sydney, NSW
101 Henrietta MITCHELL c.1860 Liverpool Plains, NSW 1938 Granville, NSW
186 Annie MONAGHAN 1858 Ellalong, NSW 1900 Benalla, Victoria
187 Bridget MONAGHAN 1860 Ellalong, NSW 1930 Lakemba, NSW
131 Mary MOORE c.1855 aft.1871
25 Elizabeth MORGAN c.1851 Adelaide, SA 1910 Newcastle, NSW
8 Margaret MULHOLLAND 1855 Sydney, NSW 1923 Pyrmont, NSW
170 Jane MURPHY Mary Jane c.1853 1875 Sydney, NSW
184 Mary Ann NOWLAN 1857 Chippendale, NSW 1891 Port Phillip Bay, Victoria
41 Eliza O'BRIEN c.1851 Limerick, Ireland 1876 Sydney, NSW
123 Mary Ann O'HARE 1853 Sydney, NSW 1930 Queensland
16 Elizabeth O'NEILL Eliza NEILL c.1850 Sydney, NSW 1881 Sydney, NSW
99 Rose OSWALD 1854 Ireland 1929 Wickham, NSW
9 Margaret Janet PARKER 1855 Sydney, NSW 1927 Waterloo, NSW
5 Mary Ann PARKER (2) Margaret 1856 Sydney, NSW aft.1870
64 Sarah Ann PARSONS Sarah JAMES c.1852 Bathurst, NSW 1883 Sydney, NSW
23 Emma PEISLEY 1861 Cook's River, NSW 1946 St Peters, NSW
47 Charlotte PERRY 1852 Sydney, NSW 1878 Sydney, NSW
1069 Ellen PHILBEN c.1854 Sydney, NSW 1895 Sydney, NSW
94 Elizabeth Ann PHILLIPS 1857 Maneroo, NSW 1931 Bega, NSW
20 Margaret Louisa POOLE c.1855 Cook's River, NSW 1888 Uralla, NSW
125 Margaret POWELL Alice KENT c.1854 NSW 1894 Sydney, NSW
58 Rebecca POWER CAMPBELL 1857 South Creek, Wagga Wagga, NSW aft.1878
21 Margaret PRICE c.1862 NSW 1889 Blayney, NSW
113 Mary Ann PRICE ROOKE c.1863 NSW aft.1875
5(R) Elizabeth RANDALL 1854 Hunter's Hill, NSW 1930 Newington, NSW
144 Kate REDDAN c.1855 Orange, NSW 1931 Carrington, NSW
97 Caroline M. REGAN c.1859 NSW 1954 Bondi, NSW
51 Mary RICE c.1858 NSW aft.1870
164 Jane ROBERTSON ROBINSON 1862 Maitland, NSW aft.1870
141 Jane Elizabeth ROFE 1855 Newtown, NSW 1928 Granville, NSW
133 Bridget ROURKE BOURKE 1857 London, England aft.1873
79 Catherine RUDD Kate, Charlotte c.1855 Berrima, NSW 1924 Armidale, NSW
78 Eliza RUDD 1853 Berrima, NSW aft.1870
87 Eva RUSSART 1853 Parramatta, NSW 1928 Marrickville, NSW
30 Elizabeth SAMPSON 1850 Sydney, NSW 1904 Sydney, NSW
33 Elizabeth SAYERS SEARES 1854 Carcoar, NSW 1934 Woy Woy, NSW
68 Martha SHAW c.1855 Ireland 1946 Newington, NSW
92 Mary Ann SILVEY SILVER 1853 Sydney, NSW aft.1880
103 Ann Elizabeth SMITH 1863 Eden, NSW aft.1880
102 Frances Marion SMITH Marion 1856 Victoria 1927 Newington, NSW
98 Catherine SMITH (2) Kate 1853 Sydney, NSW 1926 Emmaville, NSW
74 Ada SOLOMON 1861 Newcastle, NSW 1924 Auburn, NSW
73 Catherine A. SOLOMON 1858 Newcastle, NSW 1917 Lewisham, NSW
76 Hannah SOLOMON Annie 1866 Newcastle, NSW aft.1870 NSW
75 Martha Mary SOLOMON 1863 Newcastle, NSW 1895 Paddington, NSW
72 Rachael SOLOMON c.1858 Newcastle, NSW 1885 Woollahra, NSW
89 Mary Maria SPALDING 1858 Goulburn, NSW 1922 Paddington, NSW
157 Caroline Mary STANTON 1864 Maitland, NSW aft.1882
160 Elizabeth Mary STANTON 1857 Maitland, NSW 1909 Neutral Bay, NSW
158 Johanna Eleanor STANTON 1861 Maitland, NSW aft.1872
159 Mary STANTON 1859 Maitland, NSW aft.1884
156 Susannah STANTON 1867 Maitland, NSW aft.1891
10710 Catherine SUMMERFIELD 1851 Sydney, NSW aft.1875
4(R) Jane TAYLOR c.1861 NSW aft.1874
90 Elizabeth Esther TEASDALE 1854 Port Arthur, Tasmania 1925 Brighton-Le-Sands, NSW
115 Elizabeth Ann THOMPSON CLARKE, TRUSS, JONES 1857 Bathurst, NSW aft.1902
27 Margaret Jane THOMPSON (2) 1854 Mangrove, NSW 1911 Williamtown, NSW
112 Annie TUCKER 1863 Lake Macquarie, NSW aft.1878
111 Mary Jane TUCKER Mary Ann11 1862 Mudgee, NSW aft.1875
10 Catherine WALKER 1857 Liverpool Plains, NSW 1951 Alexandria, NSW
168 Eliza WALKER (2) c.1862 Hartley, NSW aft.1877
126 Sophia WALTERS 1851 Newtown, NSW 1939 Aberdeen, NSW
181 Emily Alice WARD WAUGH 1855 Sydney, NSW 1919 Sydney, NSW
69 Isabella WHITE 1858 Goulburn, NSW 1945 East Maitland, NSW
53 Jane WHITE (2) c.1860 Fish River, NSW 1944 Ultimo, NSW
70 Mary WHITE 1862 Goulburn, NSW aft.1876
77 Sarah WHITE (3) c.1854 Sofala, NSW 1934 Glen Innes, NSW
154 Margaret WHITTY WHITE,12 WHITTEY13 c.1852 NSW aft.1872
49 Sarah Jane WILDGUST Mary Jane LOWNEY, LOWE, WOODS, HANLON c.1852 Sydney, NSW 1929 Croyden, NSW
148 Phoebe WILEY Euphemia WYLIE WHILEY c.1856 Scotland 1948 Wollongong, NSW
104 Ann WILLIAMS GOBEY GOBY BOGEE 1854 Hindmarsh, SA 1941 Manly, NSW
174 Honora WILLIAMS (2) Henrica, Laura 1854 Sydney, NSW 1893 Orange, NSW
32 Mary WILLIAMS (3) 1853 Bathurst, NSW aft.1873
66 Rachel WILLIS c.1857 Maitland, NSW 1893 Sydney, NSW
55 Jane WINSOR Emma Jane 1857 Parramatta, NSW 1931 Tempe, NSW
56 Mary WINSOR Maud FULLER, Mary DIXON, Mary BUCKLEY 1859 Parramatta, NSW 1926 Annandale, NSW
6(R) Louisa WINTER WILSON 1859 Auckland, New Zealand 1890 Sydney, NSW
166 Lima WRIGHT 1858 Campbelltown, NSW 1897 Ballina, NSW
67 Mary Ann WRIGHT (2) c.1854 aft.1870
96 Mary Jane WRIGHT (3) Mary Ann14 1853 Belfast, Ireland 1922 Macksville, NSW
139 Charlotte YOUNG SMITH 1858 Wollongong, NSW 1938 Mt Lawley, WA
142 Charlotte A YOUNG (2) SMITH c. 1858 aft.1877
140 Sarah YOUNG SMITH 1854 Tasmania 1926 Marrickville, NSW
3(R) Ellen YOUNGMAN BAILEY 1857 Albury, NSW 1870 Newcastle, NSW

The Reformatory Girls

Girls sent to the Newcastle – and later the Biloela – Reformatory were sentenced for a specific term – usually twelve months but occasionally longer. Admissions to the reformatory were not recorded in the Newcastle Industrial School Entrance Book. Two girls known to have been admitted to the Reformatory during the period when the records for the Industrial School are available do not appear in the Industrial School Entrance Book15 and a reformatory register was almost certainly commenced when the reformatory opened in January 1869. This register has not been located and is not thought to have survived, however a letter containing the names of the first twenty inmates has been located in the CSIL.16 This letter named the inmates, recorded their trial court and trial date, and provided a discharge date. It is thought that this letter was compiled as a result of a request made in the Legislative Assembly on 1 April 1874, asking for information on the sentences passed on those in the Reformatory.17 Inconsistencies have been noted in some recorded discharge dates18 and some girls have no age recorded. so it is unclear how this list was compiled.

Agnes KING, the former matron of the Industrial School, was made responsible for the small number of reformatory admissions from the time of the establishment of the reformatory in January 1869. A letter written by CLARKE to the Colonial Secretary, on 13 January 1869, suggested that staffing for the entire school remain unchanged until the numbers in the reformatory exceeded fifteen.19 The reformatory was not completely separated from the Industrial School until at least about May 1869 due to building works.20 Newspapers reported that there were 'eight girls and a Matron' in the Newcastle Reformatory21 but the letter to the Principal Under-secretary from the Officer in Temporary Charge, John DALE, confirmed that there were only six. They were Jane LORD, Mary Ann MEEHAN, Elizabeth RANDALL, Jane TAYLOR, Louisa WINTER and Ellen YOUNGMAN.22 RANDALL, TAYLOR and WINTER transferred to the Biloela Reformatory in May 187123 with MEEHAN arriving some months after the others as she was completing a gaol sentence. It may be that the figure of eight inmates included some girls who were frequent escapees, those who had been sent to gaol from the Industrial School and who then spent time in the Reformatory after their return or girls, such as the MONAGHAN sisters who were awaiting trial for other reasons. In addition to Bridget and Annie MONAGHAN, two of these other girls have been identified – Lucy AH KIN and Annie HOWARD – and CLARKE made a request that a further girl, Mary Jane McNEICE, be sent to the Reformatory after her return from gaol. It is not known whether this request was approved by Sydney. Without already discovering the names of the Newcastle Reformatory girls, the list identifying them could not have been been located as it was not identified by subject in the CSIL index.

Tracing the Inmates

The initial decision to attempt to trace the inmates seemed like a vain hope but by compiling the information in many scattered resources it became possible to create a complete list of the girls admitted to the Newcastle Industrial School and identify the Newcastle Reformatory inmates. Once a name was uncovered, Trove24 was used to 'cast about' for possible references to the girl or her family. In most cases, the girl's family was also identified even if their particulars were not recorded in or missing or omitted from the Entrance Book. It was not surprising due to lack of privacy laws how often newspapers reported incidents involving the school and how often children were named in newspapers. Because the law was new, far more information was provided in newspapers than in the reports concerning later admissions to either Biloela and Parramatta.

The major reference used to identify the inmates was the Entrance Book, identified in SRNSW as the Register of Warrants. The two lists of inmates identified in the CSIL identified all the inmates to the two schools. The letters of the superintendent, letters relating to inmates in the CSIL, newspaper articles, the NSW Police Gazette and if relevant, the Vernon records, were also consulted to try to establish family details. An analysis of these references may be read in Sources.

Many inmates to Newcastle were born before March 1856 when compulsory registration began in NSW and whenever it was possible the pre-1856 baptism records on the NSW BDM 'V' reels were transcribed. Because the age, parents and religion of the girls admitted to the school was often recorded, it was sometimes possible to use these records to confirm or refute names. If a girl was born or remained in the Hunter Valley, the Newcastle Anglican records and the Hunter Valley Parish Register Index (HVPRI) were able to be read and for Sydney records the Mutch Index was occasionally consulted. It is a sad fact that many of the girls were imprisoned before or during their time in Newcastle and other appeared in court or gaol records after their discharge. Gaol entrance books – especially those for Darlinghurst and Maitland – contain valuable birth or arrival details and sometimes this information was duplicated in the Police Gazette.

This project identified who a girl was before she began to evade authorities but as time has passed, sometimes it is now only possible to identify who a girl wasn't – rather than who she was. Few inmates would have wished to be associated with Newcastle, Biloela or Parramatta, so after they had left the school and as adverse publicity grew, a desire to hide their past became stronger for many. In addition to the stigma of an admission to Newcastle, a very large number of girls also carried the burden of having a family member who had been transported or imprisoned. Some families were also hiding their past and so their daughters grew up surrounded by a web of deceit, often never knowing the name they had been given when, or if, they had been baptised or registered. Many girls 'disappeared' after they left the school. They either adopted an alias or used the name of the man or men with whom they eventually lived. Only descendants will be able to identify these girls by using the birth and death registrations at their disposal that can't be linked to names of the Newcastle girls on the NSW BDM Index or in the newspapers.


These girls have been listed in some document or resource as Newcastle admissions but do not appear on the list25 of inmates copied from the Entrance Book in April 1872 or on the list of the girls who transferred to Biloela.26 It is possible that letters containing more information on each girl may exist in the CSIL but these letters have not been retrieved.

Elizabeth GRIBBEN (1859 - 1882) Julia A. GROVES (1857 - aft.1871) Mary Ann JOHNSON (c.1852 - aft.1867) Bridget aka Alice KEYES (c.1851 - aft.1868) Julia Anastasia REEDY (1854 - 1907)
Susan SHAW (c.1855 - aft.1868) Mary SULLIVAN (? - ?) Annie THOMPSON (c.1858 - aft.1871) Martha THOMPSON (1863 - aft.1871) Mary THOMPSON (c.1859 - aft.1871)


Locating a birthplace for each inmate has not always been possible and the investigation into place of birth is ongoing.
Place of Birth

Australia United Kingdom
NSW 156 England 6
Tasmania 5 Ireland 6
Victoria 4 Scotland 3
South Australia 2 Wales 1
New Zealand 1 at sea 1
unidentified birthplace 8 TOTAL 193

Updated December 2019

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