Sarah Eden McCANN
Name Variations alias Sarah Ann EDEN
Father John McCANN b. 18161 m. 18502 d. 18633
Step-father Frederick WOODS b. m. 18674 d.
Mother Annie MOORE5 b.c. 18336 m. 18507 d. 18988
Brother William Henry Eden McCANN b. 18569 m. Sarah Ann McLEAN d. 194010
Brother John Eden McCANN b.c. 1855 m. 188311 Elizabeth WALLER d. 191412
Brother Robert Eden McCANN b. 185613 m. Emily14 d. 195115
Brother James McCANN b. 185816 m. none - d. 185817
Sister Margaret Ann Eden McCANN b.c. 1859 m. none - d. 186018
Inmate Sarah Eden McCANN b.c. 186119 m. 1879 (see below) d. 190020
Half-sister Mary Ann SUMMERS McCANN b. 186621 m. d. aft. 1872
Husband August STUVEN b. 185822 m. 187923 d. 190224
Daughter Phoebe Elizabeth STUVEN b. 187925 m. 189826 Francis A. C. FERGUSON d. 193827
Son John Fredrick STUVEN b. 188128 m. d. 188229
Daughter Bertha Helena STUVEN b. 188230 m. 190231 Alfred M. COLLIER d. 196532
Daughter Alice Ann STUVEN b. 188433 m. none - d. 188534
Son August Marx STUVEN b. 188535 m. 190736 Susan E. M. WRIGHT d. 191737
Son Frederick H. STUVEN b. 188738 m. none - d. 188739
Daughter Louisa M. STUVEN b. 188840 m. 190541 Richard J. HANSON d.
Daughter Lese aka Eliza M. STUVEN b. 189042 m. (1) 190643 (2) 191444 (1) Frank BOUNDY (2) John B. COLLIER d.
Son William Bernard STUVEN b. 189445 m. none - d. 191646
Son Flora aka Florence Emily STUVEN b. 189947 m. 192148 Theophilus MACDONALD d. 197149
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Brother John50 30 5' 7½" brown grey scar under left shoulder; scar on right knee

Five-year-old Sarah E. McCANN, was identified on the list of at risk children compiled by the constables of Sydney on 31 July 1867, a month before the school opened. She was recorded there as a Protestant of robust health. The constables reported

father dead, mother living in Pitt-street and has prostitutes living in her house, she has two boys in the Orphan Asylum, Parramatta.51

About a week later, on 6 September 1867, Sarah was brought before the court on warrant, charged under the Act. She had been remanded from the previous day.52 Constable LARKINS53 stated that he had arrested her at the house of a woman named NASH,54 who had been a brothel keeper55 for about four years although Senior-sergeant WATERS would not swear that she was or ever had been a prostitute. Sarah had been living with Mrs. NASH for about three weeks and prior to that she had lived with a woman named ANDREWS 'about fifty yards' from her mother’s house. LARKINS stated that Sarah had no father and that he had frequently seen prostitutes in her mother's house. Mrs. NASH, stated that she had not kept an improper house for eleven months and now kept a respectable boarding-house. She further stated that Sarah’s mother paid her seven shillings a week to support Sarah.56

Sarah was admitted to Newcastle on 10 September 1867, and the Entrance Book records there that she was a six year old Protestant.57 Her religion was confirmed on SELWYN's list of Protestant students.58 Sarah's educational level was recorded as 'alphabet on slate.'59 The same day as her admission KING wrote to the Colonial Secretary concerning Sarah’s health as she had arrived with

a very bad diseased mouth which is dangerous and generaly proves fatal.

Sarah was subsequently sent to Helenus SCOTT, P.M., who contacted Dr. BOWLER who refused to admit Sarah to the Newcastle Infirmary as she was infectious. BOWLER did however, prescribe medicine for Sarah and left her in the care of KING.60 Two months later Sarah’s medical assessment by Dr HARRIS showed that she was a virgin61 and no comment was made about any other medical problem so presumably she had recovered from her infected mouth. Sarah was discharged from the school into the care of her mother on 7 February 1872,62 some months after the transfer to Biloela. In his report to the Colonial Secretary 1872, LUCAS not only confirmed that Sarah had been discharged to her mother but named her mother as Mrs WOODS.63

Using the surname EDEN, Sarah married August STUVEN in 1879 and had ten children registered under the names STUVEN and STEVEN. In April 1900 Sarah and August's son, August was diagnosed with plague but he eventually recovered.64 Sarah Ann died on 27 August 1900.65 Her death was registered as Sarah A. STEVEN and her parents John and Ann were confirmed on the registration. August died nearly two years later on 23 August 1902.66


The Entrance Book named Sarah as the daughter of Annie McCANN, a widow, who worked as a washerwoman in Sydney. Sarah's birth isn’t registered but it is unlikely that she was illegitimate as this information would almost certainly have been recorded by the constables in their statements in July 1867. The two brothers referred to by the Sydney constables in the list of at risk children compiled in July 1867,67 were seven-year-old Robert Eden McCANN, and nine-year-old, John Eden McCANN, who were admitted to the Protestant Orphan School on 7 March 1864. The registration of only one of these boys, Robert Eden McCANN, has been located and this registration confirms that his mother was Anne MOORE. He had been born at Kameruka in the district of Eden on the south coast. The registration named Robert's father as John McCANN. Sarah's parents had married in Scot's Church in Sydney in 1850, confirming the statement made on Robert's birth that they had married in about 1849.

Sarah's father, John, has not been positively identified. It is unknown whether his correct name was McCANN or EDEN. Descendants have identified that he died in 1863 and it is thought that this death was registered under the name John EDEN. The children of John McCANN and Ann MOORE adopted the surname EDEN some time after John's death. It is unknown why this change occurred and it is also unknown why the change didn't occur immediately after the death of their father. The children were admitted to the institutions of NSW under the surname 'McCANN'.

The records of the Sydney Benevolent Asylum show that an Ann McCANN, who was thirty-one years old, and her two month old daughter, Mary Ann Summers McCANN, were discharged on 17 June 1866. This record is thought to probably indicate an admission to the asylum of Sarah’s mother. The birth of Mary Ann Summers McCANN68 was illegitimate and no further trace of this child can be found suggesting that she either underwent a name change or died unregistered. Sarah doesn’t appear in the online index for the Benevolent Asylum at this time but it may be that this was a period when she was being cared for by other women as indicated in the reports of her court appearance. Ann McCANN married Frederick WOODS in Sydney in 1867. It is easy to imagine that the use of the surname McCANN in this circumstance may have been seen by Annie as a legal requirement to being married. Frederick WOODS may be the man who spent time in court during the 1860s and early 1870s. No trace of Frederick and Annie registering any children has been found but a son and daughter, Robert and Emily, are mentioned in one Funeral Notice. Annie WOODS died on 8 August 1898.69
Funeral notices further suggest that Frederick was a kind and loving step-father70 and identify two of Annie's sisters, Sarah CARTER and Eliza HANSELL.71

Updated September 2014

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