Elizabeth RANDALL
Name Variations Eliza, RANDALE,1 RANDLE2 alias BRAMBLE
Father Joseph RANDALL b.c. 18083 m. 18434 d. 18815
Mother Eliza aka Elizabeth DOHERTY or DOUGHERTY b.c. 18186 m. 1843 d. 18667
Brother Joseph RANDALL b. 18478 m. 18689 Mary Ellen CHILD10 d. 193211
Brother John RANDALL b. 184812 m. none - d. 184813
Brother William RANDALL b.c. 185114 m. none - d. 189515
Sister Bridget RANDALL b. m. d. aft. 1864
Inmate Elizabeth RANDALL b. 185416 m. (1) 1875 (2) 1880 (3) 1909 (see below) d. 193017
Husband (1) Louis NORMAN b.c. 1840 m. 187518 d. 188019
Husband (2) Thomas HONG b. m. 188020 d. 190121
Husband (3) Thomas MOOR b. m. 190922 d. 192423
Son William Louis aka Carl NORMAN b. 187524 m. 190625 Rosetta S. E. SOLOMON26 d. 193827
Daughter Eliza aka Elizabeth28 NORMAN b. 187729 m. 189330 Ying JONES d. uncertain31
Son Frederick aka Ernest NORMAN b. 187832 m. d. 195933
Son Ernest NORMAN b.c. 187834 m. d. aft. 1930
Daughter Ellen Lewis aka Mabel May NORMAN aka HONG b. 188035 m. 194136 John McMAHON d. aft. 1941
Daughter Elizabeth HONG aka Annie NORMAN aka HONG37 b. 188338 m. 190139 Frederick John DOBBS d. 195840
Daughter Ada or Eda HONG b. 188641 m. Louis GAY d. 197342
Son Thomas W. or H. HONG b. 188943 m. none - d. 189044
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Joseph45 21 5' 6" brown grey sallow & freckled small scar corner right eye; horizontal scar and two horizontal scars corner left eye; tattoos of woman on right arm and mermaid, band and several tattoo marks on left arm; (by 1868) woman and anchor on left arm46
Uncle John47 23 5' 2½" brown hazel fair and pock pitted scar on nose and on left cheek close to the nose; woman 'H. R.', mermaid, man and woman, sun and other marks on left arm; crucifixion, woman, ship, man and other marks on right arm
Mother Eliza48 24 5' 1" brown blue ruddy
Inmate Elizabeth49 16 4' 10" dark brown brown[?]50
Inmate Elizabeth51 17 4' 10½" dark brown grey sallow medium nose thin; mouth small; chin heavy

Elizabeth was nearly eleven when her mother died. Her first appearance in the welfare records of NSW occurred on 6 October 1866, when she was placed in the Randwick Asylum by her father, a stonemason from Balmain.52 From Randwick she was apprenticed to Mr COULDERY of Parramatta on 2 March 1869. This service may have also been transferred to Mr LOUBEN[?] of Lane Cove but no dates accompany this notation in the record. About 18 January 1871, Elizabeth was in company with a Guaima, the wife of Yuma NURSERY, 'a coloured individual,'53 when they were arrested54 by senior-constable SAMUEL of Ryde Police55 for theft from both from Rose and Emily STORKER and also from Charles Maxwell HEPBURN. For one theft Elizabeth was summarily dealt with and sent to Darlinghurst gaol for four months56 and in a later appearance at Parramatta QS on 17 February 1871, she was charged with the theft from Charles H. HEPBURN.

The date of Elizabeth's admission to Newcastle is difficult to identify. It is known that she spent some time in Darlinghurst as, in a letter written on 20 February by the sherriff at Darlinghurst Gaol to the Acting Inspector of Prisons which was forwarded to the Colonial Secretary, the sheriff questions what he should do with Elizabeth and the correspondence suggests that she was to be released from Darlinghurst after the date of the transfer to Biloela.

In accordance with the writ of Habeas Corpus received her on the 17th instance, Elizabeth Randall, therein named was sent to Parra there convicted of larceny before the court of Quarter Sessions and returned to my custody with the following endorsement on the writ. "Sentence passed on Elizabeth Randall at Parramatta Quarter Sessions by Mr Chairman Simpson on 17th February 1871. Imprisonment in Darlinghurst gaol for two days to commence on 1st May 1871 and at the expiration of those two days to be sent to such reformatory school as the Colonial Secretary may direct and there to be detained for one year.
Archd Frazer
Clerk of the Peace"
The prisoner is now serving two sentences of one and three months passed on her at Ryde on the 3rd and 7th Jany last these sentences will expire on the 2nd May

The August 1874 list of Reformatory girls, indicates however that Elizabeth was admitted to Newcastle. The list records her separately from the other reformatory girls. While the others were recorded as having been admitted under the 'Act 30 Victoria No. 4', Elizabeth was admitted under 'any other Act.' This letter indicates that she was to have two days to gaol and one year at the reformatory and her gaol sentence was remitted upon her admission to Newcastle.57 No personal information can be confirmed from any reformatory records as they are not extant.

Elizabeth transferred with the other four reformatory girls58 to Biloela in May 1871. The following September she appeared as a witness in the trial for arson of Mary Ann MEEHAN. In this case Elizabeth stated that she was seventeen and had been an inmate of the Reformatory School at Biloela59 for seven months60 and this confirms what is recorded on the Reformatory list. When cross-examined by MEEHAN, Elizabeth stated that on the morning of 16 September she had been sharing a room with MEEHAN61 and several other girls.62 MEEHAN woke her room mates and set a fire under the door. Elizabeth’s responses, elaborated in the newspaper reports, suggest that she was initially a willing participant in Mary Ann’s scheme. Because of her involvement in this trial, she was admitted to Darlinghurst and appears in these records in 1871 as Elizabeth RANDALE. They record that she was a sixteen year old Protestant who could read and write. The reformatory list indicates that she was discharged from the reformatory on 27 May 1872, but there is no notation made of any formal arrangements that may have been arranged for her future after her release.63

In November 1873, it is almost entirely certain that as Elizabeth RANDLE alias BRAMBLE, a seventeen year old servant, she was arrested by constable RAWLINSON of Picton police.64 She appeared in Berrima court charged with obtaining goods under false pretences from Mrs James WILSON.65 She was sentenced at the Goulburn Quarter Sessions on 23 January 1874. This court case has not yet been located in Trove. A deposition remains for her appearance but it has not been viewed.66 Elizabeth was discharged from Goulburn gaol on 24 November 1874,67 after serving a ten month sentence.68

Elizabeth married Louis or Lewis NORMAN69 on 16 January 1875, in the Church of England Church, Carcoar. The witnesses were Jane and Ann YOUNG. No parents or ages appear on the registration however the Carcoar church record indicates that Louis was a twenty-seven-year-old widower who stated that he had been born in Goulburn. Elizabeth was recorded as a twenty-two-year-old spinster who had been born in Sydney. Both were residents of Tuena. The minister was J. CLOUDESLEY BETTS. No parents were recorded in the church record but additional information that was provided was that Elizabeth's father was a stonemason.70 Louis was described in the Goulburn papers as a Chinese Christian71 who often worked as an interpreter in the Goulburn courts.

One son, William, was born around the time of this marriage. A daughter, Eliza, was born in 187772 and an online tree indicates that another son, Frederick, was born in 1878.73 It is almost certain that the boy, Frederick, was admitted with his brother, William, to the Vernon in 1888 as Ernest NORMAN as his age is almost identical with Frederick's and Ernest's death cannot be identified. Elizabeth's name is recorded variously as Lizzy, Eliza and Elizabeth on these registrations. Louis NORMAN died in Goulburn on 17 April 1880, at the reported age of 46. The informant was his cousin, Thomas LEE, who lived in Baw Baw. Louis's death registration indicated that he had two sons and one daughter who were still living. Shortly after Louis's death, as Eliza NORMAN, Elizabeth married Thomas HONG and shortly after the marriage74 Elizabeth delivered a daughter whose father was not Chinese. This daughter is thought by descendants to have been registered as Elizabeth HONG.75 Tommy and Elizabeth HONG had two further children but their son died as an infant. Thomas died in Goulburn in 1901. Family recollections and child welfare records so far located indicate that only his daughter, Ada, remained with Tommy and the rest became wards of the state. After Tommy's death Ada was also made a ward of the state. It is also believed that Elizabeth returned to Sydney well before Thomas's death.76

By late June 1892, only one of Elizabeth's children – almost without any doubt, Ada – was living with her.77 Two of her sons, named in their court appearance as twelve year-old William and seven year-old Ernest, were sent to the Vernon in 1888.78 The Vernon records verify the name of their step-father and indicate that at the time of their arrest Elizabeth, and possibly also Tommy, had earlier been arrested independently of their arrest. Elizabeth's daughter was admitted to Parramatta Industrial School on 15 March 1892, as Annie NORMAN or HONG. The charge placing her there was living with common prostitutes but an earlier assault by a Chinaman, Lip WON, on her had occurred.79 Her birthdate of 4 May 1883, was confirmed in the register. Newspaper reports indicate that Annie, who was almost certainly registered as Elizabeth, may have been older than this, suggesting a year of birth of about 1879,80 but it is likely that even their mother was uncertain of the ages of her children. Annie's sister, Mabel May HONG or NORMAN was admitted to the Shaftesbury Reformatory at Watson's Bay for larceny for three years on 23 June 1892.81 The location in 1892 of Elizabeth's oldest two children, William and Eliza, is unknown.


Elizabeth's daughters Annie NORMAN (L) and Ada HONG (R)
Photographs generously provided by and used courtesy of her descendant, Nancy

Family researchers believe that Elizabeth had only eight children and it is unknown why the use of the names recorded on their birth registrations were not maintained by them. Without the generous contribution to this biography of information concerning Elizabeth's family, it would have been impossible to have located them. Later in their lives Elizabeth's children found both each other and their mother, but at least William separated himself from his siblings. Annie's daughter, Leila, who was interviewed when she was over ninety and shortly before her death, recalled that

William Norman married a Jewish girl named Rosetta Solomon. They owned a number of properties in the Eastern Suburbs. Doris82 remembered visiting her uncle at Rose Bay where he was an artist. A sign on his door said "NO CHILDREN ALLOWED", so she never went inside the house. Leila said that he called himself Professor Carl Norman. William and Rosetta had no children. He probably died in 1938.83

The fate of Eliza NORMAN is uncertain and the following story of her dreadful fate is accepted by Elizabeth's descendants but is unable to be verified.

(Eliza) married a Chinese84 and from then on there were no records of her, no births of children or deaths. Recently my sister in law told me that there was a family story about someone, possibly a relative, who was taken to China by her Chinese husband. There she was surprised to meet her husband's first wife. It was not uncommon for a Chinese here in those days to form a relationship with an Australian woman even though he had a wife in China. The story was that the Chinese wife took a dislike to her husband's new wife and treated her very badly and beat her. Eventually she burnt her to death. That story would explain why my husband's grandfather was very careful whom his daughters married. He chose the husbands of most of his daughters.85

It is possible that the Lewis NORMAN who married Mabel HOGG in Ryde in 192486 may be either another son or one of Elizabeth's children using a different name. This couple divorced in 1940.87

On 25 October 1909, at All Saints Church, Hunters Hill, Sydney, Elizabeth (X) RANDALL married Thomas (X) MOOR or MOORE. The record confirms that she had been born in Gladesville and that he had been born in Newcastle on Tyne. Both were residents of Hunter's Hill and Elizabeth's deceased parents were recorded on the registration as Joseph RANDALL, quarryman, and Eliza. Elizabeth was recorded as a widow in this marriage which was undertaken under her maiden name. Even though her age on the registration appears to be 65, it is thought that the unclear writing, records an age of 55 and actually indicates that she was born in 1854 and not ten years earlier. Thomas was fifty-five and his parents were recorded as Thomas MOOR and Euphoebe GUTTLEY.

Elizabeth RANDALL's descendants have generously provided details of the family recollections of Elizabeth's daughter, Annie, and granddaughter, Leila, that add detail to her later life.

Leila remembered Granny Moore and Tommy as being heavy drinkers. Annie used to drag her mother out of the local hotel and wash and clean and put to bed when she had too much beer to drink. Leila was told that Granny Moore was uncontrollable as a child and was beaten by her father Joe Randall. She was remembered by her grandchildren as a person who laughed a lot. Leila remembered Tommy Moore as being a nice person who had one short leg.
Elizabeth and Tommy Moore lived in a shack at Gladesville with a dirt floor which was swept clean with a homemade broom made from twigs. To make a living they went around to tailors' premises and collected offcuts of material. They hand sewed this into pot holders and sold them door to door.88

The unusual given name of Thomas MOOR's mother points to Thomas dying towards the end of 1924 where his parents were recorded as Thomas and Euphalie. No Funeral Notice has yet been located for Thomas. Elizabeth died as Elizabeth MOORE, in Newington State Hospital, in February 1930, from cancer of the bowel at the reported age of 77.89 The Funeral Notice submitted by her children at the time of her death records of four of her children as Mrs Frederick DOBBS (Annie), Mr and Mrs C. NORMAN (William as Carl), Mr and Mrs E. NORMAN (Frederick as Ernest) and Mrs M. NORMAN (Mabel). Elizabeth was buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood,90 in the grave91 that would eventually hold the remains of her daughter, Annie, Annie's husband, Frederick, and their daughter, Irene.92


Elizabeth RANDALL was the daughter of Joseph RANDALL and Eliza or Elizabeth DOHERTY or DOUGHERTY. Permission to Marry for Joseph RANDALL, who had a ticket of leave and had been transported with his brother, John, for Life on the Vittoria, and Eliza DOHERTY or DOUGHERTY, who was on a bond and had been transported for vagrancy for seven years on the Diamond, was granted by Geo. E. TURNER of Hunter’s Hill on 23 June 1843.93 The couple were married by TURNER on 22 July 1843. Both were from Hunter's Hill. Both made their mark and the record indicates that neither had been married before. The witnesses were Thomas (X) GOLBY and James (X) BROGAN.94 Joseph was recorded as a labourer at the time of the birth of his son, Joseph.95

The couple had five children – Joseph, John, William, Elizabeth and another daughter. Elizabeth's two older brothers, Joseph and John, were baptised before her birth and Joseph RANDALL's death registration confirms that the William RANDALL living in the Ryde area was also an older brother.96 Elizabeth was born on 20 July 1854, and was baptised on 26 November 1854, by George E. TURNER of the Hunter's Hill, Church of England, County Cumberland. Her father was recorded as Joseph RANDALL, a mason of Hunter's Hill, and her mother was recorded as Elizabeth. The NSW BDM index record of her baptism is erroneously transcribed and appears to indicate that Elizabeth was born ten years later in 1864 but the record itself records a year of 1854.97 It may be that the Bridget BRAMBLE, the mother to the William BRAMBLE who was born in 186498 was a sister. The Randwick Asylum records indicate that this child was admitted as William RANDALL and he was the illegitimate child of Bridget RANDALL. Bridget's connection to this family is still being investigated.

Elizabeth RANDALL, Joseph's wife, was arrested for obscene language in Ryde in both September 186499 and July 1865. Court reports for her July appearance link her to Joseph and for this event both Joseph and Elizabeth were fined or were to spend time in Parramatta Gaol.100 No Parramatta gaol records for this time have been found so it is unknown whether they are missing or whether the fine was paid. Elizabeth RANDALL died at Ryde in 1866 when her daughter was only about eleven.

Joseph was almost without doubt the man who was tried for the murder of his defacto, Mary POTTER, in Gladesville on 22 July 1868.101 He was found not guilty as it was ruled that POTTER had fallen into a fire in a state of intoxication and, as RANDALL was also drunk, he was unaware of her accident. His admission to Darlinghurst gaol was probably for this incident. The gaol records show that he was Protestant. Joseph RANDALL died at Hunter’s Hill at the age of 75.

The Joseph RANDALL who died in 1932 at the age of 84 was Elizabeth's brother as his parents on the registration agree with those of Elizabeth. The Joseph RANDALL who married102 Annabella FERGUSON in Ryde in 1890 was this man's son103 and the Mrs Alice Jane RUST, from whose house his funeral left, was his daughter.104 Elizabeth's daughters are linked to Joseph RANDALL junior in Funeral Notices and In Memoriam notices. Three were submitted by Annie DODDS and Mabel NORMAN, Elizabeth's daughters, connecting them to Mary Ellen RANDALL, Elizabeth's sister-in-law, Joseph's wife. It seems likely that Mary Ellen was involved in the care of some of Elizabeth's children.

Updated April 2014

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