Alice Mary LEAR
Name Variations Alice Correna DARCY, CARRYS
Father unknown DARCY b. unknown m. (1) unknown d. unknown
Step-father Charley Chin TOI1 b. unknown m. (2) 1870 d. aft. 1872
Mother Mary Ann LEAR b.c. 18422 m. (1) unknown DARCY (2) 18703 d. 19064
Inmate Alice Mary LEAR b. 1860 m. 18805 (see below) d. 1902
Half or Step-brother unknown TOI6 b. unknown m. d. unknown
Husband Frank ASH b. 18587 m. 18808 d. 19349
Daughter Catherine LEAR b. 187810 m. none - d. 187811
Daughter Frances ASH b. 188012 m. 190413 Joseph Edward MORRIS d. 1962
Son Walter Vivian ASH b. 188214 m. Helena Rose McGUINNESS d. 1957
Son Alfred Thomas ASH b. 188415 m. d.
Daughter Alice Sarah ASH b. 188716 m. Walter Jared TEAKLE d. 1947
Daughter Mabel Nellie ASH b. 188917 m. William Herbert BALAAM d. 1961
Son Frank Lear ASH b. 189118 m. Annie Newby NICHOLSON d. 1941
Son Arthur William ASH b. 189219 m. Henrietta Clara RALSTON d. 1957
Son Bertie Harold ASH b. 189520 m. (1) Doris ALLEN (2) Phoebe RUSSELL (3) Joan Olga SPAIN (4) Grace RIDLEY d. 1972
Son Rupert Leslie ASH b. 189721 m. Bertha Ivy THOMAS d. 1969
Daughter Edith Beatrice ASH b. 190022 m. Henry Joseph OSBORNE d. 1929
Son unnamed ASH b. 1902 m. none - d. 1902
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Mother Mary Ann24 28 5' 1" black hazel sallow

Alice LEAR
(Image generously provided by and used courtesy of her descendant, Brian)

Alice was recorded in the Police Gazette on 18 November 1868, as Alice Corenna DARCY25 and in the Bathurst Gaol records as Alice Corrina DARCY where she had been admitted for vagrancy.26 She had been arrested by senior sergeant WATERS of Bathurst Police and charged under the Industrial Schools Act with having no visible, lawful means of support and no place of abode. She had appeared in Bathurst Court before Henry ROTTON, J. P., on 5 November. The Bathurst newspapers for the period 1864 to 1870 have not been scanned to Trove and may not have survived. It may be that she appeared in those papers with a name similar to that recorded in the Police Gazette. A month earlier her mother, Mary Ann, had been arrested for a larceny and it is very likely that after authorities realized that she had a child, Alice had been arrested. She remained in the gaol until 10 November when she was transferred to Newcastle. Alice was nine years old27 when she was admitted to the school on 17 November 1868,28 and was recorded in the Entrance Book as a Catholic who could neither read nor write. An alias has been pencilled in beneath her name. This generally matches her middle name recorded in the Police Gazette but the handwriting in the Entrance Book is unclear, faded and impossible to read with any accuracy. It may be CARRYS as the second last letter is a long character – possibly a ‘y’ or indicating a ‘ss’. The name may record an employer or partner of either Alice, or more likely, her mother. Alice was listed by LUCAS as 'In the Institution' in his list compiled in April 187229 so she transferred from Newcastle to Biloela on Cockatoo Island in May 1871. Alice was discharged from Biloela at the age of 13 on 29 January 1873, as an apprentice to Mr John Dowling BROWN for five years. She was to receive one shilling a week for the first two years, two shillings a week for the next two years and three shillings a week for the final year. There is no clear location provided for the apprenticeship but BROWN had given his address as Parramatta when he requested an apprentice. His letter to the Principal Under secretary, written on 20 January 1873, stated:

I do myself the honour to apply for a girl from the Industrial School Biloela The girl to [?] her apprenticeship as nurse girl to Mrs J. D. Brown and to proceed to Deniliquin – I may state that I have [?] a girl recommended by Mr Lucas [?] to the approval of the Honbl the Colonial Secretary I shall be glad if I could get the girl by next Saturday as we propose leaving for Melbourne on Wednesday night.30

This apprenticeship would have ended in 1878 and that year Alice was the woman gave birth to her illegitimate daughter, Catherine, at Hay. Two years later, on 2 February 1880, also in Hay, Alice married Frank ASH. The couple moved to Victoria where they had a succession of children. Because Alice was living in the Hay area of NSW and then moved to Victoria, it is very unlikely that she ever met her mother again. Alice made a successful attempt to hide her pre-marriage history from her descendants as she did not record her ancestry when she married. Family stories handed down to her children stated that she was an orphan who had been abandoned on the steps of a church in Bathurst.31 The lack of names was thought by descendants to account for the lack of a birth registration and lack of information on her marriage certificate but she was nine at the time of her arrest so almost certainly knew the name of her mother. Alice and Frank and their family lived in the Echuca, Swan Hill and Lake Boga areas of Victoria. Alice Mary ASH died in childbirth in Coomboona, Victoria on 6 September 1902. She was buried at Mooroopna, Victoria.


Alice was almost certainly illegitimate and due to the number of names associated with her, it is possible that her birth was registered with one of them, or something similar, as it has not yet been located. Her descendants recorded that Bathurst was where Alice had been born on the 29 January 1860,32 but this date comes from family records and not from an official registration as no record has been located by them either.33 Alice was the daughter of Mary Ann LEAR who was recorded in the Newcastle Entrance Book as in gaol. The book recorded the notation 'nothing known' concerning her father and this is more likely – but not necessarily – to have been Alice's statement rather than a record from Bathurst.

Shortly before Alice's arrest, on 12 October 1868, Alice's mother, Mary Ann LEAR, in company with Ne TACK and Ah LEE, had been arrested34 and tried in Bathurst Criminal Court on 12 October 186835 for a burglary from Margaret FUNG.36 Mary Ann was sentenced to twelve months hard labour in Bathurst Gaol. Bathurst records indicated that Mary Ann had been born in NSW somewhere between 1840 and 1842.37 Mary Ann was released from Bathurst the following year and this record confirmed that she was a Native of the Colony who had been born in about 1841.38 Two years earlier a Quarter Sessions Deposition39 indicated that Mary Ann had also been committed for trial at Bathurst for cutting and wounding in Sofala on 6 September 1866. She had been found not guilty for this incident but had been imprisoned whilst awaiting trial. Quarter Sessions records in 1866 indicated that she was a Catholic who had been born in Windsor, NSW, in about 1840.40 After Mary Ann’s release from gaol in 1869, she married the Chinese immigrant Charlie Chin TOI. No children have been registered for this couple but Charlie did have an unnamed son who was referred to in a Bathurst court case in 1872. The couple were living at Tambaroora at this time.41

Alice would very likely to have wished to hide the facts that not only had her mother been imprisoned but she was intimately associated with the Chinese immigrants in Bathurst. No trace of Mary Ann has been confirmed after her 1870 marriage but the burning death of the 70-year-old Mrs. Mary A. A. TOY in Forbes in 1906 may possibly refer to her as this is the correct name, area and a logical age and situation for Alice's mother.42 This death has been tentatively attributed to her.

Note: No connection has been found to the Francis LEAR who married Mary Ann PEACOCK in Ipswich in 1857 and this Mary Ann almost certainly died in Queensland as Mary Ann CRACK in 1867.

Updated April 2016

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License