The RUDD Sisters
Father Thomas RUDD b.c. 18091 m. (1) 1846 (2) 1850 d. 18672
Step-mother Emily NYE b. 18303 m. 18464 d. 18495
Mother Catherine McNALLY aka KELLY b.c. 1838 m. 18506 d. 18747
Step-sister Myrah Ann NYE b.c. 1844 m. 18598 James WHITNEY d. 18819
Half-sister Margaret E. RUDD b. 184710 m. none - d. 186311
Half-brother Thomas J. RUDD b. 184812 m. 187013 Mary McCARTHY d. 192314
Half-brother John RUDD b. 184915 m. 187416 Ann17 aka Alice COSTELLO d. 192418
Sister Mary RUDD b. 185119 m. (1) 186720 (2) 187321 (1) John APPELSTON (2) William Stanley HARTLEY d. 188122
Inmate Eliza aka Elizabeth RUDD b. 185323 m. unknown (see below) d. aft.
Inmate Catherine RUDD b.c. 185524 m. (1) none (2) 1874 (3) 1899 (4) 1907 (see below) d. 192425
Brother James RUDD b. 185726 m. 188327 Margaret aka Martha COSTELLO d. 190828
Sister Maria RUDD b. 185929 m. none or 1878 - or William SERGENT d. 185930 or 1926
Sister Biddy (Bridginia M.) RUDD b. 186531 m. (1) 189332 (2) 190533 (3) 192734 (1) Louis FAIRBANK (2) George H. WHITEMAN (3) Edward O'CONNOR d. aft. 1827
Sister Jane RUDD b. 186935 m. d.
Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Thomas36 24 5' 4¼" brown hazel ruddy moon; R K L P J B on right arm; J Rudd J Rudd[?]; lighthouse; J wood[?] and other marks on left
Mother Catherine37 35 5' 3½" dark dark fresh medium medium nose, chin and mouth
Inmate Eliza38 17 reddish dark brown & piercing face greatly freckled thin, gaunt bad chest; slightly stooped; most likely extremely dirty
Inmate Catherine39 27 5' 2" dark brown dark hazel fresh medium medium nose, chin and mouth
Brother James40 45 5' 8" dark dark medium

Catherine and her mother, also Catherine, were arrested by sergeant LENTALL and constable COADY in the Cooma Market-square in August 1868 and were placed in the local lock-up. Catherine senior was charged with being an idle and disorderly character and after visiting the family’s camping spot, a short distance from Cooma, police discovered the other children of the family. As a result the children, Catherine, Eliza, and James, were arrested for protection41 and appeared in Cooma court before the Police Magistrate, R. DAWSON, on 25 August 1868,42 where they were charged with living with a reputed prostitute and a vagrant – their mother. The article that described their arrest appeared in many state and national newspapers and was entitled A Deplorable Picture of a Family in the Bush. A copy of this article was also located within the CSIL letters referring to Eliza.43

James was sent onto the Vernon and Catherine and Eliza were admitted to the Industrial School at Newcastle. They arrived on 6 September 1868, and a fortnight later KING wrote to the Colonial Secretary requesting confirmation of the religion of the two sisters. She stated that Catherine and Eliza

… are very ignorant according to their own statement, they have never been to school or church, they have heard their father was a Protestant but can give no reliable account of their Religion. Under these circumstances I await the decision of the Honble the Colonial Secretary as to their religious instruction.

As a result of this communication, the knowledge of the Cooma Police Magistrate was sought and he responded:

Nothing being known of the family in this neighbourhood I caused enquiry to be made at Goulburn Gaol where the mother of the girls is at present confined. She states that her children are Roman Catholics.44

Of the two sisters admitted to Newcastle, only Catherine transferred with the school to Biloela in May 1871 as Eliza had been apprenticed before this date. All Eliza's apprenticeships from whence she eventually absconded occurred before the transfer to Biloela occurred. She is not listed on the transfer lists in May 1871 so never made the transfer to Cockatoo Island with her sister and the rest of the inmates.

Family

James, Catherine and Eliza were three of the children of Thomas RUDD and Catherine McNALLY who had married in the Berrima Catholic church in 1850. Catherine's surname has been variously recorded and has been written as McANNALLY, and its many variations, and KELLY on records pertaining to the family. Many of the children attributed to Thomas and Catherine by family researchers have not been registered or baptised. On the NSW BDM Index Eliza's baptism may be found as Elizabeth RUDD and the birth of James was registered in 1857. No record has been located for Catherine's baptism.45

The admissions of the three RUDD children to the industrial schools very strongly suggested that their father, Thomas, had died by 1868. He wasn't named in the Newcastle Entrance Book where the notation 'dead' was recorded beside the word father. On James RUDD’s admission to the Vernon, just days before the admission of his sisters to Newcastle, James named his father but wrote about him in the past tense stating that Thomas

… had teams on the road between Sydney and Cooma. Mother got drunk sometimes. We lived in a tent just out of Cooma men from Cooma used to come to the tent and give my mother money. My two sisters and I were taken by the police sisters went to Newcastle mother came with us as far as Goulburn.46

These documented statements only suggest that Thomas was deceased but no supporting evidence to confirm his death can be located in either the NSW BDM Index or in newspaper articles. Detailed investigations of all the Newcastle admissions in the Entrance Book indicated that although most statements made to the authorities by the children at the time of their admission were correct, there was no guarantee that all were accurate and both deliberate and inadvertent errors have been identified in the records.47 One newspaper report identified the possibility that Thomas was still alive and was possibly in goal. The Queanbeyan Age on 29 August 1868, reprinted an article from the Wagga Wagga Express 'from Monday last',48 concerning cattle stealing by a family very closely matching the description and the time of the arrest of the RUDD children in Cooma.49 The article indicated that the mother and an older brother had been arrested and that the father had been imprisoned leaving five young children in the care of a boy about thirteen years of age. The number of children roughly matches the number identified in the RUDD family and the carer may have been the twelve-year-old James who was eventually admitted to the Vernon. When these unidentified children appeared before a Police Magistrate about 24 August 1868, they were described as

… miserable little creatures dirty, half clad, half-starved, and wholly untended and uncared for, looked more like the offspring of savages than the children of European parents. … Fitter subjects for the discipline of an industrial school could scarcely be discovered. With proper training and education they may become useful members of society ; but if they are never to receive instruction and, with their nearest relatives in jail, are to be suffered to run about almost wild in the bush, they are morally certain to ripen into nothing but criminals and outcasts.

It is considered almost certain that this report referred to the RUDD family although the family was unnamed in the newspapers and still has not been identified. Those arrested are thought to be Thomas, his son – either John or Thomas – and his wife, Catherine. The older children were reported as actively assisting their father in attempting to evade arrest and escape. The situation of the younger children was described as ‘pitiable’ or ‘deplorable’ but it was also stated that the brand of the stolen cow that their father was slaughtering had been cut from the hide and was destroyed by the younger children. There are no other families to which this report could refer as no other admissions were made from this locality at this time. It is yet to be confirmed whether this report differed from the original report in the Monaro Mercury which may actually name the arrested family in its account of the event. It is also unclear what happened to the younger RUDD family members after the arrest of Catherine and their older siblings. It may be that after her arrest for this cattle-stealing offence, Catherine was released to care for her younger children only to be re-arrested for prostitution and to have her older children also arrested and sent to Newcastle and the Vernon. Another alternative is that this was the RUDD family with a defacto partner of Catherine and that by this stage Thomas was dead as suggested in the records.

RUDD family researchers have identified that Thomas RUDD had been transported in 1831 for fourteen years on the Camden. He had been born in Yarmouth, Norfolk, England,50 and had been assigned to the Goulburn Plains after his arrival.51 This therefore located him in the area known to have been frequented by the RUDD family. Some descendants have indicated that Thomas's ship of arrival was identified on his Permission to Marry for his first marriage to Emily NYE in 1846. No Permission to Marry record has been located and the church record for the marriage indicated that none would have been needed. On 20 May 1846, Thomas (X) RUDD made his first marriage by Banns to Emily NYE52 at All Saints Church, Camden. On this record Thomas was recorded as Free By Servitude indicating only that he had been transported. No ship was recorded. Because Thomas was free by servitude and because Emily was free by birth, no Permission to Marry would have been required so this statement is erroneous. Thomas and Emily had three children – Margaret, Thomas and John – and Thomas became step-father to Emily's daughter, Myrah aka Mariah, who was born in 1844. Emily died at the age of 19 in 1849.

Thomas does not appear to be directly connected to the family of the former Prime Minister of Australia but compelling similarities between the two RUDD families do exist. Only a convict muster would identify a ship of arrival and confirm his location and none has been found but his original assignment locality of Goulburn Plains and the statement concerning his free status on his first marriage very strongly suggests that the Camden transportee is the father of Catherine and Eliza and this ship of arrival has been attributed to him.

Thomas RUDD's date of death is uncertain. Some family researchers state that he died in Camden at the age of sixty-five in 1873 where his parents were recorded as Thomas and Johanna.53 While the age of this man is reasonably correct, the actual registration has not been viewed and may not be accurate as Thomas and Catherine were most often recorded in the Sutton Forest, Berrima and Goulburn areas of NSW rather than the area of Camden and Menangle – even though these areas are relatively close. It is not certain that any descendants have viewed the registration. The identity of the informant for his death may also help with the identification and confirm whether this actually was the man who married Catherine McNALLY. If this is Thomas's correct death it is interesting to note that Johanna was not a name used within this RUDD family and was the name of the wife of the Thomas RUDD who lived in Camden. While this Thomas RUDD did marry at Camden it is clear from baptisms of his children that he moved from this area after he married. The accuracy of this registration must therefore be questioned particularly because industrial school records connected with James, Catherine and Eliza identify that Thomas was dead before their admissions in September 1868. The death of Thomas RUDD registered in Yass in 186754 is more likely to be that of the father of Eliza and Catherine. His parents were unknown and no age was recorded on the NSW BDM Index and this is the death that has been very tentatively attributed to him pending further investigations.

The Entrance Book identified that the sister's mother was Catherine and it was confirmed that she was in gaol. Catherine, Thomas's second wife, was arrested with her children in 1868 and was charged with being an idle and disorderly character. She was further described as being 'strong and able' and about thirty. It is unclear what, if any, stress had been placed on the family to have placed Catherine in the difficult situation where three of her children were taken from her and it may have been Thomas's death but his absence for whatever reason was almost without doubt the catalyst for her destitution and the choice of prostitution to support her family. While she was initially sentenced to three months in Cooma courts, a transfer from Cooma gaol to Goulburn gaol was arranged on 27 August 1868.55 Goulburn gaol records identify that Catherine was a Catholic born in County Cavan. No age was recorded on her 1868 gaol admission but she stated that she had arrived in 1850 aboard the Lady Digby.56 No ship of this name has been identified in SRNSW but this reference may indicate an arrival aboard the Digby on 9 April 1849. Unfortunately no suitable woman can be located on the indent of the Digby. The closest match aboard appears to be Catherine McNEILL.57 Catherine's death at the age of forty-four was registered in Goulburn eight years after her admission to gaol. She was described in the Maitland Mercury as 'an old woman' who died in her bed at Spring Valley near Collector near Goulburn on 19 May 1874.58 Descendants have identified that she was buried at Collector. Only Catherine's death registration will identify the informant and possibly name all her children.

Descendants attribute more children to Catherine and Thomas than are registered.59 Many of their children scattered throughout NSW but some remained in or returned to the Goulburn area. In October 1899, James RUDD junior was very likely to have been the forty-five year old farm labourer for whom a warrant for child desertion was issued by the Moss Vale Bench60 and who was thought to have gone to Bungendore or Collector. By February 1868 the younger Thomas RUDD was working in Goulburn.61 Thomas and John settled in the Collector and Currawang area south-west of Goulburn, some distance from the initial arrest location of Cooma. Thomas RUDD and James RUDD were buried in the Currawang Hermitage Cemetery but no other siblings have been verified in cemeteries in the Goulburn district.62

Catherine RUDD

Name Variations Catharine, Kate, Charlotte
Husband (1) unknown b. m. none d. unknown
Husband (2) William PERCIVAL b. 184563 m. 187464 d. 189765
Husband (3) John SCHWAN b. 182866 m. 189967 d. 190468
Husband (4) William JOHNSON b. m. 190769 d.
Daughter unnamed female b. 1873 m. none - d. 1873
Son James Henry PERCIVALL b. 187570 m. 190571 Edith G. ADAMS d. 194472
Son William PERCIVALL b.c. 187773 m. (1) 190674 (2) 192575 (1) Annie CUSKELLY (2) Ivy BREDENBECK d. 196276
Daughter Mary A. PERCIVAL b. 188177 m. none - d. 188278
Daughter Charlotte Maud PERCIVAL b. 188379 m. 190680 Robert BROWN d.81
Daughter Lydia PERCIVAL b. 188582 m. none - d. 188583
Daughter Victoria M. PERCIVAL b. 188784 m. d.

Catherine was described as born in about 1855 in her admission details in the Newcastle Industrial School Entrance Book. Her birth was not registered. Birth locations for other members of her family suggest that she had probably been born in the Goulburn/Berrima area rather than the Campbelltown/Menangle area. While her birth appears to have been recorded on the NSW BDM Index in Camden in 1861, this entry appeared twice with the same registration number85 – once with parents Thomas and Catherine RUDD and once with parents Thomas and Johanna RUDD. Apart from the six-year difference in age, the Camden area was not the area known to be frequented by Thomas and Catherine RUDD and because this registration can only refer to one girl, it is considered very likely that it refers to a Catherine RUDD who was about six years younger than the admission age of the Newcastle girl. There is therefore little doubt that the registration in 1861 is that of the daughter of Thomas and Johanna RUDD and not the girl admitted to Newcastle. The NSW BDM Index reference has perpetuated many inconsistencies in family research by the descendants of both RUDD families. This original record has not been viewed as it is not connected with the Newcastle admission but it is unknown whether the record has been viewed by family researchers either. Only the actual record – rather than the index – will indicate how this inconsistency occurred and whether there is an error on the index or in the register itself.

At the time of her admission to Newcastle Catherine was recorded as a twelve-year-old Catholic.86 She could read the alphabet and write on slate. Catherine transferred to Biloela on Cockatoo Island in May 1871 and was recorded by LUCAS in a letter to the Colonial Secretary on 23 June 1871, as eligible for service.87 While no record of misbehaviour has been found while Catherine was in Newcastle, she was not always well-behaved on Biloela. LUCAS, in his report of 9 October 1871, recorded that she had been released from confinement on 3 October after she had been locked up after breaking through the fence and going beyond the enclosure.88

As Kate, she was apprenticed to Mr and Mrs RODGERS of Glen Elgin, New England, on 20 January 1872.89 The Entrance Book only provided the year '1872' and it is clear that this notation is correct as RODGERS in a letter to the Colonial Secretary indicated that Kate had been at Glen Elgin well before November 1872.90 On 4 August 1873, Kate delivered an illegitimate daughter at Glen Elgin. The SMH and Maitland Mercury reported that:

On Wednesday Sergeant Walker and Constable White were at the station, and upon enquiry I ascertained why the inmates of Mr. Rodgers' house were in such a state of excitement. It appears that Mr. Rodgers was away at his station at Newton Boyd on Monday, and came home near dark, when he was astonished by learning that a newly born female infant had been found dead, in a bag which was placed in a box in the servant's room. Information was immediately sent to the police ; hence their visit. There were no marks of violence found on the body, consequently it was buried by the police. The mother of the infant, whose name is Kate Rudd, is one of the Biloela girls, and was well recommended to Mr. R. She is said to be very well connected. Everyone in the house was very kind to her, and tried to encourage the poor unfortunate to do right. The child must have been born on Sunday night, for the girl was so very ill on Monday that on various occasions she was sent to bed. Mr Rodgers's mother happened to hear of the girl's illness, when she came over, and insisted upon the girl's room being searched, which resulted in the dead infant being found. Mrs. Rodgers was away from home at the time. The cause of the girl's trouble is far away from here ; he is a person with whom she was acquainted in Sydney. This she confessed when asked. Those who are the cause of such sad occurrences should be severely punished. It would appear there is no doubt the child would have lived had there not been a desire on the girl's part to conceal the circumstance. Had she mentioned her condition, everything possibly required would have been prepared. The girl goes into town tomorrow, when she will be remanded probably till Tuesday. There is no suspicion of foul play.91

Catherine was subsequently arrested by constable WHITE of Glen Innes police92 and was sentenced to appear at the next Circuit Court.93 On 12 August 1873, Alex RODGERS wrote to the Colonial Secretary about the incident. He stated:94

With feelings of greatest regret for haveing brought the girl Catharine Rudd into my family – It is my duty to write to you that she has on the 4th Inst. given birth to a child which was found dead in her bedroom. She persistently denied her state to the ladies in the house – no care has been spared to look after her – a stranger who came to the station last November while I was in Sydney she states is the author of her misery She will have to undergo a magisterial enquiry on next Friday the 14th Inst for concealing the birth of the infant. Whatever the result may be I cannot take her back into my family. In case of her acquital which is not improbable – Will I have her sent back to Sydney? or will she be set free to seek her living? I am terribly annoyed about this sad occurence.
Mrs Rodgers has been from home the last four months for medical aid otherwise this would not have arrived at so bad an end. as it is there is double injury done, I would not think the girl was so insensible to kindness With the greatest regrets to have to write to you on such a disgraceful subject.95

Catherine appeared at the Police Court at Glen Innes on 15 August where it was stated:

Catherine Rudd appeared on the charge of having, at Glen Elgin, on the 4th Aug. instant, unlawfully concealed the birth of her female child, by placing it in a bag, and putting the bag with the child in a box. Mr. Kearney appeared for prisoner, and after the evidence of several witnesses had been taken he made a long and eloquent speech on behalf of the prisoner, reviewing the evidence of the various witnesses, and endeavouring to show that had the girl wished to conceal the body of her child she would have placed it in a piano case which was in the same room as the other case was found in. Most of the witnesses admitted that the place chosen for concealment was not a good place, and some stated that they did not consider the prisoner had endeavoured to conceal the birth at all. On the other hand, Mr. Mitchell, who examined Miss Clark on behalf of the prosecution, elicited from her that prisoner had persistently denied her condition

prior to the birth of the child, and that her suspicions having been aroused by the illness of accused she had searched her room, and after about 10 minutes had discovered the child in a bag in a case placed on the top of a piano case. Witness was of opinion that prisoner had secretly placed the child there, from the appearance of the bundle. Prisoner was
committed for trial at the Armidale Circuit Court to be held on 9th Oct.96

As predicted by RODGERS, at Armidale Circuit Court Kate pleaded not guilty and was acquitted.97 No justification for the reference in the newspaper report that stated 'She is said to be very well connected' has been found in the CSIL and it would be very interesting to understand the reasoning behind this statement.

After leaving the employment of RODGERS Kate remained in the New England area. As Charlotte RUDD she married William PERCIVAL in the Wesleyan Church, Armidale, on 26 November 1874. Catherine stated that she had been born in Goulburn, that her father was Thomas RUDD and that her mother was Katherine KELLY. William had been born in Northampton, England. His father was James PERCIVAL and his mother was Charlotte BIRD. The witnesses were Rosina RIFSTNGER and Matthew GIRLE.98 Children were subsequently registered to William and Catherine aka Catherine Charlotte PERCIVAL in the Armidale and Tamworth areas. While it may be an administrative error that caused Catherine's name at the time she married to be recorded as the same name as William's mother, it is equally likely that Catherine assumed the given name, Charlotte, in order to hide from any memory of her recent trial for infanticide. In 1884, at the age of 27, Catherine PERCEVAL was admitted to Armidale gaol where she was described as a 27-year-old Catholic laundress. One female child entered the gaol with her. Catherine had been tried on 29 January 1884, for being drunk and disorderly.99 William's death was registered in Liverpool in 1897. His parents were confirmed on the NSW BDM Index but it is unknown why he was so far from Armidale and whether Catherine was with him.

On 25 October 1899, Catherine RUDD, recorded as a widow, married John SCHWAN in St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Armidale. Again she stated that she had been born in Goulburn in about 1858 and that her parents were the farmer, Thomas RUDD, who was deceased, and Catherine KELLY. Both Kate and John were from Mitchell's Flat and John was a miner who had been born in Sauerthal, Germany. The couple had no children. The best identification of the location of Mitchell or Mitchell's Flat is north-west of Armidale on Dumaresq Creek. John SCHWAN took John CLARKE to court in 1878 for injuring his property at Mitchell's Flat through carelessness with fire.100 As J. SCHWANN, John was almost certainly the man who sold his property near Armidale in August 1891.101 His advertisement read:

Comfortable farm and house – J. Schwann well known selection for Auction about one mile from Dumaresq Railway Station.

John appeared with two females on the 1891 census at Sandon but was alone on the 1901 census on Dumaresq Station, Sandon, near Armidale, two years after he married Catherine. He died in 1904 while he was collecting firewood. Newspapers described him as an old age pensioner.102 The NSW BDM Index indicated that his parents were John and Matilda. Because he had children also in the local area it is thought that one of these was likely to have provided the details of his parents.

In the Bishop's House, Armidale, on 7 March 1907, as Catherine RODD, Catherine married William JOHNSON. The marriage record again confirmed her place of birth and the names of her parents who were both recorded as deceased. There were no children of this marriage. It may be possible that the Armidale papers will shed more light on her life once they are scanned.

Catherine died in Armidale on 10 April 1924, at the recorded age of 67 and was buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Armidale.103 Her death registration indicated that she had three children still living – James, William and Maud – but one son and two daughters had pre-deceased her. Both her parents were confirmed on the death registration.

Note 1: Some online trees indicate that in 1877, in Campbelltown, Catherine married Charles JONES, the son of William JONES and Sarah RUDD.104 This woman was not the child of Thomas and Catherine RUDD nee McNALLY aka McANALLY aka KELLY as this marriage referred to the daughter of Thomas and Johanna RUDD nee LYSAGHT, whose birth was registered in 1861 in Camden. The Voice of the North on 10 January 1929, published a history of the families of early Menangle. The ancestry outlined in this article concerning the JONES connection has been reproduced below.

Mr. William Jones (1), the founder of the Menangle branch of the family was born on Camden Park Estate in the very earliest days of that historic settlement. I think it would be quite safe to assert that he was one of the first white children born in the vicinity of Camden. He was amongst the first batch of farmers placed on the land by John MacArthur. He married Miss Sarah Rudd, of Campbelltown, and the members of his family comprised: William (2), John (1), Thomas (1), Isaac (1), James (1), Henry, Charles and Joseph. … John Jones was a carpenter and wheelwright and carried on business in premises immediately adjoining the residence of his father. He married Miss Margaret Teresa Botton,105 who died at the very early age of 21 years, on May 24th, 1868, leaving a family of four sons, viz., John (2), William (4), Richard (1), and James (2). Their names will be found on the roll call of the old village school in the mid-seventies. William (4) was living at Parramatta in the early eighties. Richard Jones died at Bourke in very early manhood. John (2) migrated to Burrenjuck and has been resident there since the commencement of that great irrigation scheme. James was a blacksmith, and carried on business in Campbelltown in recent years. Mr. John Jones (1) died in 1903 at the age of 67 years. Mr. Isaac Jones (1) died at Liverpool a few years ago. Mr. Thomas Jones (1) is still living, and resides at Summerhill. Mr. James Jones (1) married Miss Sarah Rudd, daughter of Mr. Thomas Rudd, who resided about two miles south of Campbelltown, and he conducted a small farm in the area immediately south of the paternal home. The members of his family were James, Alfred, Denis, Robert, Charles and Sylvester, and of these sons only Alfred, Denis and Charles are living. Mr. Alfred Jones resides in Menangle, and was for many years a member of the staff of Messrs. Hickey Bros. Mr. Henry Jones married Miss Catherine Dillon, and had a family of five, viz., William, Thomas, Annie, Mary and Ada. Mr. Charles Jones (1) married Miss Catherine Rudd (sister of Mrs. James Jones). He died on June 12th, 1883, aged 27 years. His widow subsequently removed to Sydney and for many years resided in Redfern. Mr. Joseph Jones married Miss Elizabeth Brennan and his family consisted of one son (George) and three daughters.106

Note 2: The birth of the child Henry PARKES107 at Bombala whose parents were recorded on the NSW BDM Index as William and Catherine appeared in the coroner's inquests as an illegitimate birth to Catherine RUDD. Catherine was reported to be a widow in the local newspapers.108 The inquest performed on 25 May 1873, outlined Henry's ancestry. While it is hard to imagine that this is not a child of the girl admitted to Newcastle, it cannot be, but it does indicate another woman of this name and living in the same area where Catherine’s sister, Mary, was known to have settled. The Bombala area was also close to Catherine's initial place of arrest. Could this mother possibly be Eliza?

Eliza RUDD

Name Variations Elizabeth
Husband b. m. d.

Eliza was named in the newspaper reports at the time of her family's arrest. The national newspapers outlined the situation in which the family was living.

The officers found a miserably constructed shelter composed of rags and boughs, seated outside of which was the eldest girl, Eliza RUDD, comfortably enjoying a pipe of tobacco, a child about three years of age109 in a shocking state of filth, lying on the ground close by ; within the hut, if it could be so called, they discovered the boy, James RUDD, and to judge from his appearance, soap and water or any cleansing process was an utter stranger to him, and had been so for a considerable time past. The children, together with what few articles of clothing that could be seen, were taken to the lock-up. The case of the children formed the first committal in Cooma under the Industrial Schools Act.

Eliza was recorded in the Newcastle Entrance Book as fourteen-years-old when she was admitted. She could read the alphabet and write on slate.110 Eliza was born on 6 November 1853, and was baptised as Elizabeth RUDD on 8 January 1854. The baptism record was Catholic and was located in the Berrima district of County Camden. Both her parents were confirmed on this record and Catherine's maiden name was recorded in the record as McNALLY.111 It is almost certain that there was only one daughter in the family named Eliza or Elizabeth as the ages of these two similarly named girls match. Nothing can be found about Eliza's time in Newcastle until November 1868 when she spent in excess of a week in the hospital within the school for an unidentified complaint.112 In her report on 17 November 1868, KING indicated that Eliza was now convalescent.113

On 15 December 1869, the new superintendent, CLARKE, included Eliza's name on the list of girls eligible for apprenticeship. On this record she was recorded as having been in the school for one year and three months and was recorded as fifteen and a half years old. On 5 January 1869, CLARKE sought permission from the Colonial Secretary to apprentice Eliza as a domestic servant to Thomas P. CHAPMAN, the Railway station master at Waratah, near Newcastle.114 The apprenticeship was for two years and Eliza was to be paid five shillings a week for the first year and six shillings a week for the second.115 CLARKE, in a letter to Colonial Secretary on 27 January, confirmed that Eliza began her apprenticeship on 18 January 1870.116 LUCAS's list from April 1872 located CHAPMAN in Balmain117 as by this stage he and his family had moved from Newcastle taking Eliza with them.118 By early March 1870, Eliza had absconded from CHAPMAN's employment. She was rearrested in Sydney and on 7 March appeared in the Central Police Court in Sydney, on warrant, charged with absconding from her apprenticeship. Mrs CHAPMAN stated that did not wish to have Eliza back and Eliza didn't want to return so her indentures were cancelled119 and she was discharged120 straight onto the streets of Sydney and not back to Newcastle. It was recorded in the papers – based on Eliza's statement – that she was eighteen and this age disagreed with the records of the school. On 10 March, Frederick[?] KING, the Inspector of Public Charities, wrote to the Principal Under Secretary indicating that Eliza had been 'turned onto the streets of Sydney' and stressed that he had been informed by CLARKE of Eliza's correct age of:

barely 16 (she is entered as of the age of 18 in the Police records), and I submit that, as provided for in clause No 13 of the Industrial School act, instructions should be given to the Police to apprehend the girl and remove her to the Newcastle School: and further that Mr Chapman be called upon to pay the amount of wages due … This case appears to me to come quite within the meaning of the 13th Clause of the In. Schools act, and I wish to point out that if this girl obtains freedom from the school because she absconds from her situation it will exercise a very hurtful influence on the minds of other apprentices.121

The Principal Under Secretary disagreed that Eliza's case fell under the 13th Clause of the act as no complaint had been made against the CHAPMAN family by Eliza and as she had 'persisted in affirming that she was 18 the Bench considered there was no alternative but to let her go at large.' Eliza roamed about the Sydney for ten days before she again appeared in court where she admitted she was fifteen. The correspondence confirmed that Eliza had taken herself to the police and admitted her true age rather than because the police had searched for her in response to the concerns of Frederic KING122 although Eliza had been found by constable POTTER wandering about Newtown. Eliza told POTTER that she had no home or means of subsistence so was arrested. The court returned her to Newcastle for the second time under the Industrial Schools Act123 and she was readmitted on 24 March 1870.124

In September 1870, well before the transfer to Biloela, her apprenticeship with CHAPMAN was transferred to Mr James WATKINSON, at Balmain, whose family was described as respectable by Frederic CANE. CLARKE further explained that the CHAPMAN apprenticeship had been 'a bad place' for Eliza125 but this was probably written to facilitate a further situation for Eliza and not because she had been badly treated. On 2 January 1871, a letter from WATKINSON's representative wrote and stated:126

It is with deep regret that I am compelled to inform you of Eliza Rudd's continued bad and ungrateful conduct. On the evening of December 21st 1870 she absented herself from the house and was nowhere to be found but returned at one o'clock the following day. I abstained from informing you to give her an opportunity of mending her conduct but instead of that her conduct has been, if possible, worse she has again gone we know not were, at this present moment she is away, we have made inquiries among the neighbors & informed the police as we did on the former occasion and now will you kindly inform Mrs Watkinson if it be possible to cancel the agreement drawn in favour of Eliza Rudd for our greatest desire is to be rid of her as we cannot be answerable after this for her, she has already caused so much anxiety that Mrs Watkinson's health is seriously affected by it.

CLARKE requested that the Colonial Secretary cancel the indentures, stating that, while Eliza was compliant and co-operative whilst at the school, she was a 'very low girl'127 and stated

I respectfully suggest that the police authorities should be requested to take action in the matter and that Rudd should be dealt with according to law.

He enclosed a description to permit her apprehension.128 Because Eliza wasn't listed on the transfer lists compiled in April 1871129 and no evidence has been located indicating that she was found after this escape, it is considered likely that she was never rearrested and was therefore never returned to either Newcastle or Biloela.

It seems very likely that after this date Eliza adopted her baptism name, Elizabeth as an altercation between Mary NASH and Elizabeth RUDD in June 1871 almost certainly refers to her.130 Mary NASH was a known brothel owner in Sydney.131

No further trace of Eliza aka ELizabeth has been confirmed after this date nor has it yet been possible to use Family Notices to track her.

Where has She Gone?

Tracking Eliza aka Elizabeth is ongoing. Most of the information below indicates who Eliza isn't rather than who she is. There is a considerable number of erroneous tracking and most of these trackers seem to have looked on Eliza with modern eyes and attitudes. While it is possible that she settled down to become a loving wife and mother – and this would almost certainly have been her aim – circumstances may not have permitted that to have occurred.

No appropriate death or marriage as either Eliza or Elizabeth RUDD has yet been confirmed and it is considered very likely that Eliza never married but assumed the surname of the man with whom she co-habited. The process is ongoing but actually locating Eliza will probably require some chance occurrence.

No children have been found for the marriage of David BROWN and Elizabeth RUDD who married in Lithgow in 1882132 so this is a potential marriage for Eliza but it has not yet been investigated. The marriage133 of Eliza J. RUDD in Wagga Wagga to John RYHNERT in 1876 is very hard to track so this investigation is also still ongoing. The 1908 marriage134 of Elizabeth G. RUDD to Edmond G. MCGUIRE and the marriage of Elizabeth RUDD to John MACMAHON in Canterbury135 are also still being investigated.

Some online trees erroneously state that Eliza married William Norman BROWN in Sydney on 10 February 1883,136 as Elizabeth J. J. RUDD. Notwithstanding her name at the time of this marriage, some of those trees further indicate that her name was actually Eliza Suzanne RUDD, adding further misinformation and confusion to tracking her. These researchers have identified that Eliza's death occurred in Hurstville, Sydney, in 1926. No death registration for this death at this time can be verified on the NSW BDM Index that would match what is known of Eliza and no reference has been provided on the trees to enable this statement to be verified. William and Elizabeth aka Eliza are documented having many children and William Norman BROWN's death has been verified. He died in 1937 in Lismore. His obituary137 indicated that his wife had died in 1921. The 1921 death138 almost certainly also occurred in the Lismore area and recorded the parents for Eliza that do not match what is known of her. Additionally, an obituary for Eliza BROWN in 1921 indicated that she was born in 1864139 so the marriage to William Norman BROWN is not that of the girl who was admitted to Newcastle and is therefore not the child of Thomas and Catherine RUDD.

Other trees indicate that this 1883 marriage was between William Neathway BROWN and Elizabeth Isabella Irving RUDD. Trees identifying this relationship indicate that Eliza was baptised at St James in 1855 and this baptism does not appear on the NSW BDM Index but it does appear on Familysearch. Her parents were identified as John and Martha and she was an immigrant. Family Notices confirm the investigations of the researchers of this marriage.140 Sadly William Neathway BROWN died a year after his marriage.141 The differences between the two sets of trees seem to indicate that only one group of researchers has purchased the actual marriage registration in 1883 therefore this is the tree that should be considered accurate and this tree verified that the Newcastle admission did not marry a man named William N. BROWN in 1883. If another marriage to a man of this name has been made, it has yet to be located and investigated.

Eliza is not the woman who married Arthur CLEMSON142 as this was the daughter of Thomas RUDD, the son of Thomas RUDD and Mary KABLE. She did not marry Cecil BEDDOE in 1900143 as this woman was the niece of the Newcastle admission and was the daughter of her half-brother, John. The death144 of Eliza RUDD in 1905 at Wagga Wagga was the wife of John RUDD and this woman was formerly Eliza LARKIN. The unregistered death of Elizabeth RUDD at the age of 38145 in 1889 was the wife of William RUDD and this woman was formerly Elizabeth MANSELL.

The Alfred RUDD who married Alice Elizabeth WRIGHT in Newtown in 1899146 is very unlikely to be Eliza RUDD's son. This boy was born in 1873 in Newtown as Alfred RUDD. His mother was recorded as Eliza and his father is not named. The actual registration has been viewed and it shows that Eliza was 22 and had been born in London, England. Alfred was admitted to the Vernon from Newtown on 28 May 1888, when he was fourteen years and eight months of age. He was recorded as a Protestant and had formerly attended Newtown Public School. A newspaper report concerning this initial admission has not yet been located but the Vernon records show that his grandfather's statement in 1888 was the evidence that sent him to the Vernon. The Vernon admissions clearly show that Alfred was the illegitimate son of Eliza RUDD. The identity of the grandfather is unknown but it is thought that he was William RUDD who arrived with his daughter, Eliza, in 1855. Alfred's Vernon admission states:

Character of parents good, companions bad … Illegitimate, Father is dead. Mother is Eliza Rudd she has no other children. Mother's character excellent. Arrested at the desire of his parents.147

Alfred was apprenticed to Albury some time before October 1890,148 when, as a newsboy employed by Mr T. F. HUGHES, newsagent, he was caught embezzling money and was taken to court.149 Alfred was readmitted to the Vernon on 12 December 1890, at the age of sixteen. Alice Elizabeth RUDD died on 13 July 1912, and Alfred RUDD went on to marry Kathleen Ellen MARSHALL. Alfred's mother, Eliza, almost certainly died on 4 January 1921, as an In Memoriam notice from 1925 was from Alfred.150

Alfred died in 1926 in Redfern where his parents are recorded as William F. J. RUDD and Eliza CHIVELL. Alfred was buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood, on 26 February 1926. There has only been one Alfred RUDD identified. While the death registration of the man who died in 1925 suggests that he was nearly ten years younger than the boy who was sent to the Vernon, this was not the case. The age recorded for his first marriage matches exactly with the birth date for the illegitimate child of Eliza RUDD from 1873 and his descendants have accepted this birth as that of their ancestor. Descendants have found that an appropriate family arrived on the Speedy in 1855 and this indent does show an Eliza RUDD who almost certainly was the mother of Alfred J. RUDD. It must be considered that these particular names are highly unlikely to be able to be coincidentally connected to Alfred so while there are some inconsistencies with the tree, their research combined with the 1888 statement that the mother of Alfred J. RUDD had an excellent character, strongly suggests that Alfred is not connected to the Newcastle Eliza at all. The statement 'mother's character excellent' would almost certainly not have been said about the girl who was sent to Newcastle.

Updated June 2015

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