Father Thomas KINNEAR b. 18242 m. 18543 d. 19074
Mother Mary Ann MANTLE b. 18355 m. 1854 d. 19236
Sister Sarah A. KINNAIRD b. 18557 m. none - d. 18558
Inmate Mary Ann KINNAIRD b. 18579 m. 188710 (see below) d. 194211
Brother Charles KINNAIRD b. 185912 m. none - d.c. 1860
Brother Alexander James13 KINNEARD b. 186214 m. 189115 Mary Emily16 LANESBURY d. 194817
Brother Thomas Matthew KINNEARD b. 186518 m. 189519 Sarah Ann SPOWART d. 195520
Sister Isabella E. KINNEARD b. 186821 m. 1887 John (Richard) GRAHAM22 d. 189723
Brother Charles KINNAIRD b. 187124 m. 190025 Martha JONES d. 195726
Brother Joseph James KINNAIRD b. 187427 m.c. 1906 Mary Elaine NILAN28 d. 194529
Brother George John KINNAIRD b. unknown m. d. 193830
Sister Elizabeth Ann KINNAIRD b. 187831 m. 1898 John Thomas ROBINSON aka ROBERTSON d. 196632
Husband Peter FREEL aka FRIELD b. 185733 m. 188734 d. 194035
Son William C. FREEL b. 188036 m. none - d. 188037
Daughter Sarah A. FREEL b. 188438 m. d. unknown
Daughter Elizabeth Ann FRIELD b.c. 188539 m. 191540 Harold F. DEAR d. 196541
Daughter Ethel May FRIELD b.c. 1887 m. 191542 Edmund WEBB d. 197343
Daughter Isabella aka Bella FREEL b. 188744 m. 191145 Harry KING d. 196646
Daughter May FRIELD b.c. 1890 m. none - d. 189047
Daughter Edith May FRIELD b. 189148 m. 190949 Charles J. C. TIDYMAN d. 195250
Daughter Vera Florence FRIEL b. 190151 m. 192552 Albert George LANSDOWN d. 198253

Note 1: References to Mary Ann's family in the NSW BDM Index and letters to the Colonial Secretary concerning her all use spelling variations of the surname 'KINNAIRD.' When appearing in court the family was almost always referred to using variations of the spelling 'KINNEAR'. Because descendants and official documents use the surname KINNAIRD, this surname has been retained but the surname arrived in Australia as 'KINNEAR'. This research also conflicts with online trees that have erroneously identified that Thomas was born as KENNERD in Kent, England, eight years earlier than the birth and birth location identified here.

Note 2: There is inconsistency between online trees regarding the ancestry of the Isabella FREEL who married Raymond B. KITTSON. Some trees show that Isabella was Peter's daughter but others state that Isabella was the daughter of Philip FREEL. Peter FRIELD's daughter, Isabella aka Bella, married Harry KING and is identified with her sisters as Mrs KING in Funeral Notices for this family. The Mary FREEL who also married in Armidale in 1901 was a daughter of Philip and Catherine FREEL and she died in 1925. Philip and Peter were two different people and it is unlikely that they were related as, if Peter told the truth, he was born in Scotland, while the FREEL surname appeared often in the HVPRI from about the 1860s.

Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Thomas54 16 5' 1" brown blue fresh medium/strong medium head; round visage; rather high forehead; dark brown eyebrows; large nose; medium mouth and chin; moon & two other marks inside right arm
Father Thomas55 5156 5' 6" dark blue/grey bronzed/fresh medium/strong mole on neck/chin
Mother Mary Ann57 33 4' 11¾" dark brown sallow slight
Brother Thomas58 26 5' 5" brown grey sallow medium nose broken
Brother Joseph James59 15 5' 0" brown grey fresh scars on two middle fingers of right hand
Inmate Mary Ann60 21 5' 0½" brown grey fresh medium
Brother Charles61 29 5' 6½" brown hazel scar on left shin
Sister Elizabeth62 21 5' fair grey

Mary Ann KINNEAR was admitted into the Newcastle Industrial School on 8 January 1869,63 after being tried in Maitland for a theft from Margaret MAIR64 of Cross Street, West Maitland. Mary Ann had asked MAIR for a drink of water and when MAIR wasfetching the water, had used the opportunity to take a gold ring and china ornaments. She was subsequently arrested by constable KEY and appeared in the West Maitland Police Court. In court, her teacher at St. Paul's School, West Maitland, William Henry STEADMAN, deposed that he had taken the items from Mary Ann and that she both denied taking them as well as being at Mrs MAIR’s house. Even though she had been convicted of a theft, Mary Ann was admitted to the Industrial School rather than the Reformatory, probably because work on establishing the reformatory had not been completed in early January so the reformatory had not officially opened. The NSW Police Gazette when reporting the result of the trial, specified that Mary Ann was to remain in the Industrial School for five years.65

Mary Ann was recorded in the Entrance Book66 as an eleven-year-old with the surname KINNEAR. The newspapers reported that at her court appearance her unnamed father had stated that she would turn twelve on 24 January. The record had also pencilled in the surname KINNAIRD in the same hand beneath the surname KINNEAR. This admission brought the numbers in the school to eighty-one.67 Mary Ann's parents were recorded as James and Mary Ann KINNEAR with the surname KINNAIRD also pencilled into the book. She could neither read nor write and her religion was documented using the unusual notation 'Protestant of Camperdown.' These words were written in the same pen and hand as the rest of her details. The Newcastle Chronicle recorded that she was twelve and described her as 'an old offender'. Earlier court appearances appear in the newspapers under the name Mary Ann KINNEAR. She was tried for theft in both September68 and in October69 1868 and also appeared once in October for assault,70 an appearance at which she had been dismissed. On 16 January at about four in the morning, one week after her admission to Newcastle, Mary Ann escaped from the school and returned home to her parents in Maitland. She walked. The Maitland Mercury71 reported that:

she was seen on that night on the railway line, by some women, proceeding in the direction of Maitland, and when questioned by them she said she had been sent to look for a bundle her aunt had dropped from the train. When she arrived at home she accounted for her return to her father by informing him that Mr. PARKES had sent an order that no more children were to be taken into the school, and so she came home.

Senior-sergeant KERRIGAN72 subsequently rearrested her and returned her to the school. After this incident CLARKE73 reported to the Colonial Secretary that Mary Ann was:

about eleven years of age and bears a very bad character. I respectfully submit that this circumstance can not reflect the slightest discredit on any of the officers of the institution as she was safely locked up the night before and escaped through a window that has not yet been made fast with iron bars and she has not been here a sufficient length of time to bring any moral weight to bear on a mind thoroughly depraved and totally destitute of truth or honesty. I have placed the child in solitary confinement and on bread and water diet.

In early 1871, after discovering that the school was to transfer to Sydney, Mary Ann's father, Thomas KINNAIRD began to agitate to have his daughter released. The series of letters to the Colonial Secretary were eloquently written and signed by Thomas.74 He argued for Mary Ann's release in three letters written on 9 March, 15 November 1871, and finally on 18 November 1872. He stated that

… the school is to be removed to Cockatoo Island where it would be utterly impossible that we could see our child. My wife is not robust and is at present in a very delicate condition and we both desire that she should return home rather than go to so great a distance … I am engaged in precarious employment as a stonemason and my wife … has been recently confined. … Having made inquiry, I was informed by Mr Lucas and others that my child was never engaged in any of the disgraceful scenes that led to the breaking up of the Establishment at Newcastle … Mr Clarke, Mr Lucas and all who know anything of her at Newcastle have borne the most unmodified testimony to her uniformly good conduct and character … and on these grounds … I earnestly pray that your Excellency will … secure her restoration to the arms of her affectionate parents.

Mary Ann transferred to Biloela before LUCAS responded to the Colonial Secretary. He stated that the Rev. THACKERY and Mary Ann's grandmother and aunt had visited her and had told him that they had considered her parents not of sufficiently good character to return Mary Ann and further, that Mary Ann had stated that she would rather go into service than go home. Police investigations into Thomas were also unsatisfactory and his police history formed part of the reason for the rejection of his petition. The file contained a summary of Thomas's twenty-three court appearances in Maitland and Newcastle courts between 12 November 1858 and 15 June 1871. Some of these appearances resulted in gaol admissions.75 The final comment on this summary stated: 'He is a habitual drunkard and very violent. His wife is the associate of prostitutes.' Thomas's application was therefore rejected.76

Mary Ann was listed in LUCAS's letter to the Colonial Secretary on 23 June 1871, as eligible for service.77 In his list in April 1872 she was recorded as 'In the Institution.'78 On 22 June 1872, LUCAS applied to apprentice Mary Ann to John LUCAS, Esq., M. P. of Camperdown. If Thomas's final letter of 18 November 1872, to his member G. BUCHANAN, is to be believed, John LUCAS was related to the Biloela Superintendent. Mary Ann's apprenticeship was to be for three-and-a-half-years. She was to be paid one shilling a week for the first year, two shillings a week for the second year and three shillings a week for the remainder of the time. Mary Ann was to work there as 'nurse and messenger.' LUCAS reported that she was conducting herself well.79 Thomas complained in his last communication that his correspondence concerning Mary Ann's release had resulted in no response from the Governor who had 'never been gentleman enough to answer our letters.' The SMH on 21 November 1872, reported on his petition that BUCHANAN raised in Parliament and referred to Thomas as KANNAIRD80 aka KINNEAR81 of West Maitland. This newspaper report doesn't reflect the actual content of the petition82 so a further letter may still to be located in the CSIL.

Mr. BUCHANAN said that he had received a letter from Mr. Thomas Kannaird, of West Maitland, complaining that certain letters addressed to his daughter at Biloela had never been handed to her, and requesting him (Mr. Buchanan) to take some measures to have the letters referred to placed in his daughter's hands. He stated that the girl was sent to Biloela against his will, and that of the girl herself, and that he and the mother were most anxious to have her with them, but she was detained in opposition to their wishes.
Captain ONSLOW thought the hon. member might have dealt with this matter outside the House. (Cheers.) Mr. BUCHANAN said be did not think the parties interested would hear anything of it had he taken measures outside the House. (Laughter.) He thought it hard that the girl should be detained at Biloela against her will and that of her father, who had expressed his willingness to support her. Mr. BURNS was understood to say that a report had been obtained which was clearly against the propriety of releasing the girl, and the Government refused to discharge her. Mr. PARKES thought he would not be acting properly to the House itself if he received the communication in this manner. … He would be most happy to see any paper which the hon. member might consider, in the interests of the public, he ought to see, but he did not think he should be justified in receiving letters in that House, for to do so would be practically to impede the business of Parliament itself. … He trusted, therefore, that the hon. member would send the paper to the Colonial Secretary's office in the ordinary way.

It is unknown whether Mary Ann completed her apprenticeship or when she returned to her family but she was admitted to Maitland gaol in October 1877 for obscene language. The age on her description identified that it was the younger of the two women named Mary Ann so this admission does not refer to her mother. This description in the Maitland Gaol Entrance Book also indicated that she had been born in Tamworth.83 By late 1878 Mary Ann and her parents84 were living in a boarding-house in lower Church Street, Newcastle, when she appeared in Maitland Quarter Sessions on bail, charged with the theft of a ring in Newcastle belonging to a Mrs WOOD. The court case indicated that there had been some 'unpleasant circumstance' between Mary Ann and WOOD but that Mary Ann had found the ring outside and had given it to her mother to pawn.85 A William SKILTON gave evidence as to Mary Ann's character stating that he:

had always found her honest, and she was a decent and well-behaved girl.
Mr. Thompson addressed the jury for the defence. He urged that there was not sufficient evidence to convict the prisoner of the offence for which she was charged. His Honor summed up. The jury would, have first to consider whether the ring belonged to Wood ; if so, was the ring lost. They would also have to consider whether the prisoner, when she had picked up the ring, knew who the owner was, also, at the very time she picked it up did she intend to appropriate it for her own use. His Honor reviewed the evidence, and laid down the law bearing on the case. If they had any reasonable doubt as to the prisoner's guilt they were bound to acquit her.
After an absence of ten minutes, the jury returned into court with a verdict of not guilty.86

Nine years later in Newcastle, as Mary Ann KENNEARRD, Mary Ann married the cab driver,87 Peter FREEL aka FRIEL. The couple had been living together since about 1880 as this was the year of birth of their first child, William, who died at the age of six months.88 Confrontation followed Mary Ann and her extended family. In November 1883, she and her mother were in court giving unsatisfactory character assessments of a local girl89 and in May 1888 she and her future brother-in-law gave evidence in a trial for insulting language.90

After the birth of their daughter, Isabella, the couple moved to Sydney and like Mary Ann's parents, added a 'D' to their surname, slightly changing the spelling to FRIELD so from 1890, all registrations were made using this spelling. Peter was recorded in the Maitland Gaol records on two occasions during the 1890s.91 These records show that he had arrived in NSW in 1874 but that his ship of arrival was not known.92 The couple moved to Waverley and were recorded in the NSW Police Gazette in 1909 after a robbery as residents of 122 Mill Hill Road93 and they were in Tara Cottage, Millhill Road, Waverley, in 1919 after another robbery.94 Peter died on 28 April 1940, as Peter FRIELD95 but no parents were recorded on his death registration on the NSW BDM Index. Mary Ann died on 31 July 1942,96 and her death was registered as Mary Ann FRIELD. Her daughters were named in her death notice and her parents were confirmed on her death registration.


The Entrance Book recorded that Mary Ann was the daughter of James [sic] and Mary Ann KINNAIRD or KINNEAR.97 Evidence from newspaper articles, supported by letters in the CSIL,98 prove that this entry was incorrect. It is unknown where this information was acquired but it is thought that it was provided by Mary Ann either at the time of her admission or through the court documents. While it is possible that Mary Ann may have been confused, the considerations that she was nearly twelve and the events occurring after her arrest, very strongly suggest that she lied. Mary Ann’s father was actually Thomas KINNAIRD or KINNEAR and not a man named James.99 Her birth matched the Protestant birth registration in Maitland for Mary Ann KINNEAR in the correct year that recorded her parents as Thomas and Mary Ann KINNAIRD. Thomas KINNAIRD, a bachelor, had married Mary Ann MANTLE, a spinster, in West Maitland on 21 October 1854. Both were from West Maitland and both stated that they had never been married. The witnesses were Charles COLBY and Sarah. Thomas was a stonemason and had earlier worked in Scone.100 From the time they married, the couple appeared before the courts in Maitland and later in Newcastle, using various spellings of the surnames KINNAIRD and KINNEAR however no confirmation of Mary Ann MANTLE appearing in court before her marriage has been made. By June 1875 Thomas and Mary Ann eventually moved from Maitland to Blane Street,101 Newcastle.102

Records of his ship of arrival in Thomas' frequent gaol admissions were usually unclear. His ship of arrival remains constant throughout his many imprisonments in NSW under the surname KINNEAR but the spelling of the ship varies wildly. It was recorded as Scarrok, Scardale, Scardow or Scardon and his year of arrival ranged from between 1840 through until 1852.103 Both he and his ship however were clearly identified in the 1850 gaol admission for the Cockatoo Island Gaol. This event probably represented Thomas' first arrest in NSW. He was admitted there as Thomas KINNEAR. His ship of arrival was identified as the 'Skerne from Port Phillip.' The record further indicated that he was on a bond from VDL and he was free by servitude. Thomas was clearly recorded as a mason who had been born in Edinburgh in about 1824.104 He had been sentenced to five years on the roads and imprisoned on Cockatoo Island after being found guilty of theft.105 Thomas KINNEAR had been transported to VDL for seven years and arrived in Tasmania in January 1841 aboard the Hindostan. There is no doubt that the appearance in the Cockatoo Island records indicates the father of the Newcastle admission. The Tasmanian convict is recorded as arriving into NSW106 and the basic details of their descriptions match. Thomas's decision to vary his surname probably was made for more reasons than just to distinguish between his criminal and family life. Like Thomas KINNAIRD, the Tasmanian convict was born in Edinburgh in 1824. While he is recorded as a labourer on his description list, this record also identified him as a stone cutter. He was a Protestant, could read and write and had arrived at the age of 16. Thomas KINNEAR received his certificate of freedom in 1847.107

After his released from Cockatoo Island he eventually made his way to the Hunter Valley. Thomas KINNEAR very probably appeared in court during the September before he married108 charged with assaulting Mary POWER, the woman with whom he was either living or boarding at the time. As Thomas KINNAIRD he was sentenced to eight months in prison for unlawful stabbing in 1865109 and the papers attribute to him both names110 at this time. In a letter requesting a remission of this sentence, Thomas stated that he had a wife and four children to support. His request was denied.111 Thomas was the aged man who was sentenced to three years in Darlinghurst Gaol in 1884.112 when he stabbed a girl named Elizabeth PRESBURY.113 He was at this time described as 'an old resident of Lake Road.'114 As Thomas KINNEAR he, rather than his son, Thomas, was sentenced to five years in Maitland gaol at the Quarter Sessions in September 1889 and was described in the newspapers as 'a well-known Newcastle rough.'115 He consistently stated that he was born in Scotland and a Scottish accent would have been difficult to conceal so this is likely to be the truth. Thomas, at the age of 74, was charged with stabbing Ellen Quong CHONG in April 1898,116 and was again imprisoned in Maitland gaol. Thomas senior died in Newcastle at the age of 82 on 20 September 1907, and his children and extended family are identified in the Funeral Notice. He was buried in the Presbyterian section of Sandgate Cemetery.117 At the time of his death he and Mary Ann were living it No. 24 off Bruce Street, Newcastle.118

Mary Ann KINNAIRD nee MANTLE can be found in Maitland gaol records in 1868 where she stated that she was a Protestant who had been born in Parramatta. She was erroneously recorded as aged twenty-three. This may be the source of the enigmatic statement on her daughter's admission to Newcastle – that she was a 'Protestant of Camperdown.'119 She was a daughter of Mary Ann WILLIAMS alias HULKS who had been transported in 1827 and Joseph MANTLE –120 Some online sources state that Mary Ann MANTLE had had a previous relationship with a man named Daniel KNEE either prior to or after her marriage with Thomas. These statements are in error as the KNEE relationship involved Mary Ann MANTLE's mother, Mary Ann WILLIAMS aka HULKS. Daniel and Mary Ann KNEE can be found living together in February 1860121 six years after Mary Ann MANTLE and Thomas KINNAIRD married. In court appearances in late 1854 where Thomas KINNEAR and Mary Ann KNEE appearred together, Thomas was referred to as Mary Ann KNEE's son-in-law.122

Mary Ann KINNAIRD was alive in 1899123 and was alive when her husband died in 1907. She died in July 1923 and was buried with Thomas in the Presbyterian Section of Sandgate Cemetery on 8 July 1923.124 The death registration indicated that her parents were William J. and Anna.

While no records will be retrieved, there will almost certainly be some correspondence concerning Mary Ann's brother, Thomas, who as Thomas KINNEAR was sent to the Vernon in September 1881.125 The parents of the boy with whom he was arrested, William McCULLUM aka McCALLUM, successfully challenged the admission arguing that the two boys had been arrested for vagrancy but had eventually been charged under the Industrial Schools Act so William had been illegally admitted.126 They won and William was released. It may be that a similar argument was made on Thomas's behalf. Other members of Mary Ann's family were also admitted to gaol. Charles and his sister, Elizabeth, appear in the Maitland Gaol records in 1899 and her brothers, Thomas and Joseph James, were also admitted. The whole family was living in Sparke's Lane in March 1899.127

It is unknown whether there is any connection with the twenty-one year old woman, Catherine Mary KINNAIRD, who was buried at Port Stephens on 2 November 1877. The NSW BDM Index seem to have two registrations for this death and her father was shown as either James or John and her mother was Catherine.

Note A Mary Ann KINEVANE, who lived in Branxton (near West Maitland), is not to be confused with Mary Ann KINNAIRD. While the //Entrance Book identifies parents that match the KINEVANE girl, there is no doubt that this information was incorrect at the time it was recorded. The KINEVANE family was Catholic – the KINNAIRDs were Protestant. The KINEVANE family researcher has located Mary Ann’s mother in an asylum between 1861 and 1877 but Mary Ann’s mother was living in Maitland. James KINEVANE was from Ireland but Thomas KINNAIRD was from Scotland. The entire KINEVANE family immigrated but Mary Ann's parents married in NSW and all her siblings were born in the Newcastle/Maitland area. No references have yet been located in the Maitland Mercury for a James KINNEAR or KINNAIRD until 1872.//

Updated March 2017

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