Margaret Louisa POOLE
Name Variations POOL
Step-father James GARVIN b.c. 1799 m. (1) 18371 d. 18432
Step-father Henry MORTON aka MORETON b.c. 1799 m. (2) 18463 d.c. 18514
Father Robert POOLE b.c. 1812 m. (1) 18385 (2) 18526 (3) none d. 18727
Step-mother Catherine CAIN b.c. 18148 m. 1838 d. aft. 1851
Mother Mary LEONARD b.c. 1815 m. (1) 1837 (2) 1846 (3) 1852 d. 18609
Step-mother Elizabeth aka Betsy HARDY b. unknown m. none d. 188210
Step-brother Henry MORTON aka MORETON b. 182511 m. 1847 Anne RIDDELL d. 186912
Step-brother John MORTON aka MORETON b. 183413 m. - none d. 183514
Half-sister Eliza GARVIN b.c. 183515 m. (1) 1858 (2) 1867 (1) William MERCHANT (2) Walter DOIG d. 188316
Half-sister Catherine LATHAM b.c. 183917 m. 1875 Moncrief McKELVEY d. 1883
Half-brother John18 GARVIN b. 184019 m. none - d.c. 184520
Half-sister Jane LEATHEM b. 184221 m. 1865 Moncrief McKELVEY d. 187322
Half-brother James GARVIN b.c. 184323 m. none - d. 186224
Half-sister Mary LATHAM b.c. 184825 m. unknown d. aft. 187126
Sister Annie aka Nancy POOLE b.c. 185327 m. 188228 Charles John McCANN d. 192729
Inmate Margaret POOLE b. 185530 m. 187531 (see below) d. 188732
Sister Emma POOLE b.c. 185833 m. 187834 Walter WILSON d. 193835
Husband William ISON b. 185236 m. (1) 187537 (2) 189038 d. 193639
Son William Robert ISON b. 187640 m. 190441 Ellen K. WOODS d. 195042
Daughter Annie Emily B. ISON b. 187743 m. 190144 Henry A. GLOCK d. 194445
Son Herbert Owen ISON b. 187846 m. 190947 Maud TAYLOR (KELLY) d. 197048
Daughter Mary Jane ISON b. 187949 m. none - d. 188150
Daughter Bertha M. ISON b. 188151 m. none - d. 188152
Son Paul Owen ISON b. 188253 m. 191854 Strutha LAWRENCE d. 197255
Son (twin) Charles J. ISON b. 188356 m. none - d. 188457
Son (twin) Alfred J. ISON b. 188358 m. none - d. 191559
Daughter Paulina M. ISON b. 188460 m. 191061 John SHANAHAN d. 192262
Son Arthur B. C. ISON b. 188763 m. 192464 Florence ANDERSON d. aft. 1936
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Mother Mary65 18 4' 6¼" light brown light grey pale and freckled scar left side of upper forehead; T S M L on upper right arm
Uncle John66 17 4' 10¼" brown grey florid J L B S & anchor inside right arm; 9 spots between finger & thumb same hand; J L M L & a female figure inside left arm; oval visage; round head; narrow forehead; brown eyebrows; mouth medium width; chin medium length; nose thick at point; no whiskers

Margaret was twelve when she was brought before the court in rags on 31 August 1867.67 She had been apprehended by constable SHANNON at a house on the Illawarra Road, Cook's River, in execution of a warrant granted on the information of senior-sergeant TAYLOR. The warrant had been organized after the constables of Sydney placed Margaret on the Colonial Secretary’s list of destitute children compiled on 31 July 1867. On this list the constables described Margaret as a Protestant of robust health. They added that it was 'not known' whether she had ever been arrested for or had ever been a prostitute. The police notation beside her name on this record stated:

Parents very dissipated characters; the girl lives with a woman Betsy HARDY, a drunkard, and an immoral character, having no lawful means of support.68

Once in court Margaret was charged under the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children with living with the common prostitutes named HARDY and GARDINER who were drunken women, improper characters and 'quite unfit to take care of her.' In court Margaret told constable SHANNON that she had been 'much neglected and was half-starved' so the bench 'very humanely ordered her to be at once supplied with something to eat.'69

Margaret was admitted to Newcastle on 5 September 1867. She was described as Protestant in the Entrance Book70 and she was recorded on the list of Protestant inmates compiled by SELWYN in June 1868.71 Margaret's educational level was assessed as 'first book on slate' and her medical assessment72 by Dr HARRIS showed that she was a virgin. About eighteen months later, on Wednesday, 27 January 1869, Margaret was baptised in the nearby Christ Church, Newcastle.73 Margaret's baptism and that of another industrial school girl, Ann MANLEY, were the only baptism records for inmates from the school identified in the Newcastle Church of England records for either Christ Church or St John's. Their baptisms occurred the day after the baptism of George CLARKE, the son of the superintendent, and it is considered that this event was used by CLARKE to set an example to the inmates. To have been permitted to go to the church to be baptised suggested that the girls were trusted students as it is considered unlikely that the baptism occurred within the school itself although this is conceivable. It may also have been that the girls had gone to the residence of the Christ Church minister, SELWYN, who lived at the Parsonage to the north of the school and within the same enclosure although this is also considered unlikely.

On 5 November 1870, Margaret was apprenticed by CLARKE for four years to Robert MACKENZIE Esq., Mag[istrate] at Scone.74 She was to be paid four shillings a week for the first year and was to receive a yearly increase of one shilling per week for each of the next three years. On 10 May 1872, Louisa MACKENZIE wrote explaining that the circumstances of the family had changed and they could no longer keep a housemaid. She indicated that the family had initially considered returning Margaret to the school due to 'unsteadiness of conduct' but she had subsequently settled down. Louisa questioned whether:

the indentures can be transferred or whether she can have of her own wish to join her father this girl tells me that she will be eighteen years of age on the 24th of this month and after that age she cannot legally be bound but I do not know how far this may be true she says that when she was at the school she did not know her proper age and gave it as much younger than she really was but that she has since heard from her father that she was born in the year 1854 …

The Inspector General of Police in Sydney was requested to investigate Margaret's age and on 21 May he responded

No record can be found of the date of Margaret Pool's birth but her father states she was born on the 25th May 1855.75

This year better matched Margaret's age as it had been recorded on her mother's death registration in 1860.76 Because Margaret wasn't yet eighteen, the Colonial Secretary instructed LUCAS to transfer Margaret's indentures.77 No official record has yet been found indicating who became Margaret's new master. By about March 1873 Margaret was working for William SCHOFIELD, the publican at Breeza78 on the Liverpool Plains. On 6 October, while employed in the hotel at Breeza as a domestic servant, Margaret was the victim of an attempted sexual assault by an aboriginal man named, Henry WALLACE. WALLACE was eventually acquitted.79

On 26 January 1875, Margaret, then a resident of Black Creek,80 married William ISON, a resident of Windy,81 in St Paul’s, Murrurundi. William had been working on the property Warrah, part of the estate of the A. A. Company. Sometime before 1882, Margaret's older sister, Annie, joined her and William at Burburgate Station near Quirindi where she then met and married Charles McCANN. It is thought that this move was either encouraged by or suggested by Margaret. Margaret and William ISON had ten children who were all registered at various localities across the Liverpool Plains. They had moved to Uralla from Gunnedah sometime before 1887 to work at Balala west of Uralla. Margaret died in childbirth on Balala Station on 2 January 1888. She was buried in Uralla Old Cemetery.


Margaret was the second daughter of Robert Latham POOLE and his wife, the widow, Mary LEONARD, who had married in Liverpool, Lancashire, on 12 January 1852.82 The couple almost certainly arrived as unassisted immigrants into Melbourne on 15 September 1852, on board the Surry.83 Eventually Robert and Mary made their way to the Cook’s River area of Sydney – now Hurstville – and rejoined Mary's other Australian-born children. At the time of her 1869 baptism, Margaret indicated that her abode was Cook's River but did not identify any date or year of birth. She had been born on 25 April 1855,84 but no baptism remained or never occurred. Margaret's sister, Annie, had been born in Melbourne, Victoria, and her birth or baptism was also not registered in either the Victorian BDM or the NSW BDM Index. There is also no NSW birth registration for Emma, the youngest daughter of Mary and Robert. Neither Annie or Emma were identified on the July 1867 list compiled by the constables of Sydney85 and it is thought that Annie was working or had been apprenticed and that Emma was in the care of Eliza GARVIN, the oldest child of their mother, Mary.

Mary LEONARD, a kitchen maid, had received a fourteen-year sentence of transportation and had arrived in NSW for the first time aboard the Buffalo in 1833. She had been born in County Dublin, Ireland, and had been tried for receiving stolen goods in Lancashire Quarter Sessions in January 1833. Mary's brother, John LEONARD, had been transported 'five years ago'86 to VDL.87 Mary married twice in NSW. On 19 May 1837, permission to marry was granted to twenty-two-year-old, Mary (X) LEONARD, and thirty-eight-year-old, James (X) GARVIN, the convict transported aboard the Recovery (2) in 1823.88 They married on 5 June 1837, at St John’s, Parramatta.89 Mary and James had three children, Eliza, John and James GARVIN before James senior died in 1843. Mary then received permission to marry the widower, Henry MORTON or MORETON, who had been transported in 1819 aboard the Baring (2). They married at St Andrew’s Scot’s Church, Sydney, on 2 November 1846. The witnesses were Thomas (X) WRIGHT and Alice (X) WRIGHT.90 No children have been identified for this marriage. After receiving her Certificate of Freedom, Mary returned to England – probably with Henry MORTON who had received an absolute pardon. No death for Henry has yet been identified but it is thought that he died in England although this is unverified. No children were recorded arriving in Melbourne with Robert and Mary POOLE on the Surry indent so it is believed that Eliza and James GARVIN were left in Sydney – possibly under the care of Henry MORTON's son, Henry. It is also thought that Mary's other son, John GARVIN, died, although no burial has been identified so it is possible that he survived into his teen years. Although Mary was sentenced to some periods in the Parramatta Female Factory during her time as a convict,91 as the wife of Robert POOLE, she doesn’t feature in any criminal incidents. Mary died of consumption on 25 July 1860, at Cook's River. She was one of the first burials in the St George Burial Ground. After Mary's death it is thought that her daughters received care from the associates of their father and support from their older half or step-siblings. Margaret lived at a brothel with Elizabeth HARDY but it is considered very likely that Annie was apprenticed or was placed in service. It is almost certain that the youngest child, Emma, was taken into the care of Mary's older daughter by James GARVIN, Eliza, who had recently married and who subsequently raised her. When Emma married Walter WILSON in 1878, Emma correctly identified that her mother was Mary LEONARD and was therefore the only POOLE family member who knew her mother's maiden surname. Eliza GARVIN, as Eliza DOIG, was one of the witnesses at this marriage.92 Neither Robert, Annie or Margaret POOLE were able to identify this maiden name on any document.

Robert POOLE was variously described as a ship’s carpenter or a shipwright. He was baptised in Lancashire as Robert Latham POOL and was the illegitimate son of Jane POOLE. His father was probably a man named Robert LATHAM. Robert's identity has not been confirmed and he should appear on both the 1841 and 1851 censuses in England but he cannot be identified with this name. It is considered very likely, but it has not yet been confirmed, that Robert appeared on both the 1841 and 1851 censuses in Liverpool as Robert LATHAM, with his wife, Catherine nee CAIN, and three daughters, Catherine, Jane and Mary. Robert LATHAM has not been identified on the 1861C and by this year the three daughters were scattered. It is believed likely, but again it is unproven, that Robert married Mary bigamously and abandoned his first family in Liverpool. In 1860, after Mary LEONARD, died, it is thought that Robert either abandoned his daughters or handed their care over to the women with whom he associated. Robert POOLE drowned in Botany Bay93 on 2 September 1872, after trying to row home after a bout of drinking at the San Souci Hotel. Newspapers reported that the inquest suggested that 'it might have been the drink' which caused the capsize of the dingy in which he and his friend, William SMITH, were travelling. The decision of the inquest, held at the San Souci Hotel, thirteen miles from the site of the accident, was that Robert was 'accidentally drowned through the capsizing of a dingy in which he then was he being at the time under the influence of drink.'94

Updated June 2017

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