The SOLOMON Sisters
Name Variations SOLOMAN
Father Mark SOLOMON b.c. 1826 m. 18551 d. aft. 18722
Mother Ann J. J. GERREGHTY b.c. 1839 m. 1855 d. unknown
Brother James SOLOMON b. 18553 m. d. unknown
Inmate Rachael SOLOMON b.c. 18574 m. 1882 (see below) d. 18855
Inmate Catherine SOLOMON b. 18586 m. 1887 (see below) d. 19177
Inmate Ada SOLOMON b. 18618 m. 1882 (see below) d. 19249
Inmate Martha Mary SOLOMON b. 186310 m. 1883 (see below) d. 189511
Inmate Hannah SOLOMON b. 186612 m. unknown - d. aft. 1870
Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Mark13 42 5’ 3½” dark blue dark stout large mole under left breast; large mole on left side of stomach

The sisters, Catherine, Hannah, Martha, Ada and Rachel SOLOMON, were admitted to the Newcastle Industrial School on 24 August 1868, after appearing in Newcastle court.14 They were arrested with their older brother, James, who escaped from the lock-up before their trial and therefore didn't appear at the same court appearance as he had not been recaptured by that stage.15 A warrant, written by Senior-sergeant Peter CONWAY of Newcastle Police, was arranged for their arrest and the sisters were charged with having no lawful visible means of support and no fixed place of abode. CONWAY elaborated on the events that occurred before their admission to Newcastle.

I laid an information on the 22d instant and from circumstances of which I have personal knowledge against the children now before the court. I know that they have been residing at a common brothel with their mother at Honeysuckle Point in this City and also on Bullock Island in this District I have myself visited the brothel and found some of the children there and also some common prostitutes there – The mother has abandoned her children and is said to have gone away with some other man – since the mother left they have been wandering about the town and three of the children I was informed were at the house of a man named Cooper at Honeysuckle Point who is a notorious drunkard and he and his wife of bad repute – the youngest of all Hannah I found with a person named Grant – Catherine was brought from Bullock Island by a female who told me she was willing to keep her but she would not remain and was always trying to get back to Newcastle – Mark Solomon the father is a worthless drunken character and appears to take no interest whatever in the children.16

Mark SOLOMON, the children's father, was ordered to appear in Newcastle Court shortly after their trial and was charged with deserting his children.17

On their admissions to the industrial schools both James and his sisters were recorded as Catholic18 and KING's report stated that the children were to be brought up in the Catholic faith.19 On 24 February 1869, five months after the sisters' admission to Newcastle, James SOLOMON was recaptured and appeared in Newcastle court where he was sent to the Vernon.20 The newspaper report of his appearance indicated that his mother, Ann, was thought to have gone to New Zealand with another man and that Mark was in gaol.21 KING's report however stated that Ann had kept a brothel for eighteen months and had actually gone to Sydney and had left Newcastle about ten days before her children's arrest.22

Family

The Entrance Book recorded that the sisters were the daughters of Mark and Ann SOLOMON, that Ann had absconded and that Mark was destitute.23 This couple were Mark SOLOMON and Angelina (X) GERREGHTY who were married by license in Maitland on 22 January 1855, by G. K. RUSDEN. The consent of friends for the marriage to go ahead was given and this suggests that one, almost certainly Ann, of the parties was under the age of twenty-one. The witnesses were James and Mary RILEY.24 Mark and Ann's names were confirmed on the baptism of their eldest child, James SOLOMON, who was born on 6 October 1855, and baptised on 20 November by C. V. DOWLING of the Catholic Church. Ann's surname was recorded on this record as GERITY. This baptism appeared on the NSW BDM Index under the names Martin and Ann SOLOMON.

While Mark married in a Catholic church, he was recorded as a Jew at the time of his admission to gaol.25 Mark’s occupation was identified as a dealer on the baptism record for his son, James, in 1855.26 While CONWAY's letter explaining the arrest of the children confirmed Mark's religion and stated that he had resided in Newcastle for the past twelve years,27 it is considered almost certain that he was the man who had begun advertising in the Maitland and Sydney newspapers n December 1853,28 two years before his son's baptism. Gaol records from 1867 indicate that he has arrived in NSW some time between 1850 and 1852 aboard the Waratah29 and he consistently stated in gaol records that he had been born in 1825 or 1826 in Tasmania.30

16550966357_1be47d6930.jpg

Advertising by Mark SOLOMON [1853]
Image courtesy of Trove - Digitalized Newspapers
Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875)31

Advertising for this business had ceased by about 1855 and by 1860 Mark was working in a butchery.32 He was a resident of Newcomen Street in 186233 and was working as a deputy bailiff by May 1865.34

On 7 September 1867, about a year before the sisters' admission to Newcastle, Mark appeared at Maitland Quarter Sessions charged with a common assault on Ann and was sentenced to three months in Maitland Gaol.35 A deposition remains for this incident but it has not been viewed.36 After his children's admission to Newcastle, Mark was ordered to contribute towards their support37 but this he didn’t or was unable to do. When Mark did not appear in court, a warrant was issued, he was arrested by Newcastle police and was charged with abandoning his children and was ordered to contribute ten shillings a week for their support.38 This money was to be taken from his salary by his employer.39 Mark's last verified admission to gaol occurred at Maitland in June 1872. He was released after a month's imprisonment for vagrancy.40

Mark's admission to Maitland at the time of James's admission to the Vernon was for stealing a saw and being illegally on a premises. He had been tried in Newcastle court.41 His description from Maitland after his release described that he was carpenter42 and his occupations on his various admissions were reported as a labourer, an upholsterer or a carpenter. The Police Gazette recorded that Mark was again tried in Newcastle on 8 August 1870, for theft and provided a further description upon his release in April 1871 after a six month sentence in Maitland Gaol.43 Mark last was recorded in Maitland gaol after an appearance in Newcastle court for vagrancy on 23 May 1872, where he received a month's hard labour. He was released on 22 June 1872, and no further confirmation of him can be confirmed in Newcastle after this date.44 No positive identification for Mark's death has been made. A death of Mark SOLOMON occurred in July 1875 and his unnamed wife requested permission to bury her husband in the Camperdown Burial Grounds.45 This death has been recorded on the NSW BDM Index as Mark SALMON. He was 64 so cannot be the father of the Newcastle inmates and may possibly be the transportee who arrived in NSW aboard the Dunvegan Castle who received a ticket of leave in 1836 and a certificate of freedom in 1843.46

Mark was possibly a son of Mark SOLOMON per the Lady Castlereagh in 1819 and Catherine FLANAGAN aka HANNIGAN a convict, who had been transported on the Mary Ann between 1821 and 1822. Catherine died in Hobart at the age of about 29 on 25 September 1833, where she was described as the wife of a store-keeper.47 After her death Mark went on to marry Hannah MARKS but he died in 1837.48 SOLOMON's will49 is still being deciphered to see if he named his children as one online source has identified that he did have a son named Mark. It would certainly appear that sufficient money could have been available for the younger Mark to have established a shop in Maitland, NSW, in about 1853 if this man were his father. The Tasmanian transportee was a successful shop owner in Hobart50 before his death.

While the ages were similar, Mark cannot have been the son of Isaac aka Ikey SOLOMON because the NSW Funeral Notice that was placed by two of Mark's children, Mrs. R. E. ISAACS and William SOLOMON51 linked him to his brother, John SOLOMON, who was identified as Isaac's son on the NSW BDM Index. This Mark SOLOMON had married Matilda MILLER in Tasmania and died there of typhoid fever in 1877. The Tasmanian burial record identified that he had been born in England in about 1824.52 It is unlikely that this Mark SOLOMON had a second family in NSW but it is unknown whether the opportunities existed for this possibility to have occurred.

The history of Ann GERRAGHTY is currently unknown. She was involved in one case in June 1865 where she was accused of assault but this case was not proceeded with in the Newcastle court.53 Other than the incident of assault against her by Mark, no other reports have been identified. Ann was unlikely to be the woman of this name who was admitted to Darlinghurst Gaol in 1869 as she was recorded as a Protestant and Ann GERRAGHTY was almost certainly a Catholic. This incident was for drunkenness so no newspaper report identifying the circumstances remains. This woman had been born in America in 1839 but her ship of arrival was not stated.54 An Ann GARRETT did arrive aboard the Dragon as an unassisted immigrant in 1854.55 An Ann GARRITTY alias McQUEEN alias BLACKWOOD was imprisoned in Darlinghurst in 1877 but no description remains. Annie BLACKWOOD deserves further investigation but it has not been unddertaken. Ann may possibly be the Annie GARRITY who sued Bridget DOWNES in 1872.56

Ada SOLOMON

Name Variations SOLOMONS Alias Mary Ada FEENEY
Husband Michael CAREY b. m. 188257 d.
Son William Henry FEENEY or SOLOMONS b. 188058 m. d.
Son Leonard M. CAREY b. 188359 m. d.
Son William J. J. CAREY b. 188660 m. none - d. 188961
Son George G. CAREY b. 188862 m. none - d. 188963
Daughter Elsie J. CAREY b. 188964 m. none - d. 188965
Son Herbert Ernest Edward CAREY b. 189166 m. none - d. 191667
Son Arthur Sydney CAREY b. 189568 m. none - d. 182769
Son Harold V. CAREY b. 189770 m. none - d. 189871
Son Walter Joseph CAREY b. 190072 m. d. 195573
Son Frederick CAREY b. 190274 m. 192875 Margaret Ann HYDE76 d. 195277
Son William Stanley CAREY b. 190578 m. d. 196379

Ada’s birth was registered in Newcastle in 1861. When she was admitted to Newcastle she was seven and able to read the alphabet and write on slate.80 In May 1871 she transferred from Newcastle to Biloela on Cockatoo Island and was recorded in the April 1872 list as 'In the Institution.'81 Some time after this date, Ada was apprenticed. No record has yet been located that identified her first master but this apprenticeship was not completed. The Entrance Book indicated that she was readmitted to Biloela on 11 April 1874. KELLY reported that Ada was a class monitor in reports sent to the Colonial Secretary on 5th, 13th,82 19th83 and 26 October 1874.84 DALE reported that she was also in the school hospital on 19 October 1874.85 Ada was still recorded as a monitor on 2 November 1874,86 but on 30 October, she was indented to John BIBB, Esq., of Enmore, Sydney. BIBB had requested an apprentice from the school. Ada was apprenticed for five years and was to be paid a shilling a week for the first year, two shillings a week for the second and third years and three shillings a week for the final two years of her apprenticeship.87 DALE confirmed her apprenticeship in his report on 2 November.88 Within a fortnight she was apprehended for disobeying the BIBB's lawful commands and appeared in court. The bench cancelled the indentures so Ada was again returned to Biloela89 on 11 November.90 A new apprenticeship was arranged for Ada with Chevalier Charles D'APICI of Hunters Hill on 13 May 1875. She was to be paid two shillings a week for the first two years and three shillings a week for the last two years of the four year apprenticeship.91 The Biloela Discharge Book must be rechecked for further entries as no return to Biloela was noted for Ada and the register recorded that she was next apprenticed to Robert BAXTER, Esq., of Young on 5 February 1876, for three years and seven months and this was confirmed by Selina WALKER in her report on 24 January 1876.92 A year later on 4 February 1877, these indentures were also cancelled and Ada was again returned to Biloela.93

On 20 October 1877, Ada and two other girls, Lucy HOWARD and Mary FEENEY, made a successful escape from the island.94 They were found strolling about Castlereagh Street at about 9.30 the following Sunday night when they were arrested and returned to Biloela. According to the girls’ statement they swam to Sydney from Cockatoo Island but the authorities considered it more likely that they had arrived in Sydney that morning on the 8.20 Parramatta River boat. The papers at this time reported that Ada and Lucy had been on the island for more than nine years. After their return to Biloela on the 22nd October, Selina WALKER, the superintendent, reported to the Colonial Secretary that they had been placed in separate dormitories on a bread and water diet and it was her intention to place each girl separately in the cells as further punishment. Further instructions from the Colonial Secretary directed that

(i)t will be better simply to keep the girls separate on restricted diet.

WALKER's response confirmed that '(t)hese instructions shall be attended to.'95 Ada’s final entry in the Biloela Discharge Book recorded that she was discharged on 20 August 1879, as she had turned eighteen.96

A further attempt to apprentice Ada to George N. HALLORAN of the Bank of NSW, Gundagai, was made by WALKER on 29 August 1878. Ada was 17 and the apprenticeship was to be for a year. She was to be paid three shillings a week for the length of the apprenticeship which would end when she turned 18. WALKER reported that Ada was behaving herself favourably.97 No details of the cancellation of this apprenticeship have yet been found but Ada was returned to Biloela. She was released by WALKER on 20 August 1879 as she had turned 18.98

It is possible but cannot be confirmed that Ada was the eighteen-year-old girl, Ada SOLOMONS, who entered the Sydney Benevolent Society on 1 October 1880.99 No date of her discharge from the asylum has been positively identified but this admission was almost certainly the same girl as the Mary FEENEY or SOLOMON, for whom there was no admission and who left the Benevolent Asylum on 8 November 1880, with her son, William Henry FEENEY or SOLOMON. William Henry was born on 2 November and only appeared as FEENEY in the NSW BDM Index with the mother recorded as Mary Ada FEENEY.100 This birth has been very tentatively attributed to Ada as it has not yet been possible to confirm the whereabouts of the Biloela inmate and Ada's acquaintance, Mary FEENEY. Mary FEENEY had been arrested with Ellen SULLIVAN in January 1877 when she was almost sixteen.101 A month after, another admission to Biloela of the thirteen-year-old Mary FENNY occurred.102 The authorities at the time of their discharges have confused the names of the two Marys. Mary FEENEY was actually discharged as Mary FENNY103 with a length of the apprenticeship of just over a year and a half, correctly matching her year of birth of 1861. She was discharged in August 1878 to Pemberton PALMER. The Discharge Book indicated that she had completed these indentures with PALMER but the newspapers confirm that he had had trouble with her and correctly identify her as Mary FEENEY.104 Mary FENNY was discharged to Goulburn in May 1878 for nearly four years and this correctly matches her year of birth of about 1865.105 Nothing is written in the discharge book for her and this was a girl who has not been recorded in any Biloela record as causing any problem on the island. It is therefore unknown whether the authorities again confused the names when the details of the completion of the apprenticeship for Mary FEENEY were filled in. There are only two marks on the record, correctly indicating the year and part year of the apprenticeship. Assuming that Mary FEENEY did complete her apprenticeship then she would have completed it in May 1880 so she could still have returned to Sydney to have the illegitimate child. It also must be considered that the registration of the birth of William Henry FEENEY was more likely to be correct than the admission name. Only the actual records for the Benevolent Asylum are likely to confirm the identity of the boy's mother.

Ada was a witness at the marriage of the 1875 Biloela admission, Annie aka Anastasia SULLIVAN, the sister of Ellen SULLIVAN. Anastasia married Alfred SPINKS106 in February 1880.107 Annie's sister, Ellen SULLIVAN, had been arrested with Mary FEENEY and sent to Biloela in 1877.

Three years after this marriage Ada married Michael CAREY in Sydney and between 1883 and 1905 they were recorded as having ten children. Ada was a witness at the inquest into the death of Joseph RYDER in August 1896 and at this date she and her husband were residents of Portland Street, Waterloo.108

In September 1915 Ada was recorded as the next of kin when her son, Herbert, enlisted so it may be that Michael had died by this stage however when Arthur enlisted some months earlier, he named this next of kin as his father.109 It may also suggest that the couple had separated, as when Arthur died in 1927110 his father was recorded as Richard. Ada died on 3 September111 1924. Her death was registered in Auburn as Ada CAREY and the registration confirmed both her parent’s names. No Family Notice has yet been found in the SMH up to and including 6 September.

Catherine A. SOLOMON

Husband Mark CONNELL b. 1859112 m. 1887113 d. 1939114

Catherine's birth was registered in Newcastle in 1858 so she was about ten when she was admitted to Newcastle. The Entrance Book recorded that she was nine and indicated that she could read the alphabet and write on slate.115 Catherine transferred with the school to Biloela in May 1871 and was recorded in the April 1872 list as 'In the Institution.'116

Catherine was apprenticed to Mr H. FLYN(N) at Waverley for five years on 29 June 1872. This apprenticeship was confirmed by LUCAS in his report on 1 July 1872,117 but she was re-admitted to Biloela from this apprenticeship on 22 January 1873. There was no indication in the record as to why this occurred.118 In his report on 6 October 1873, LUCAS reported that as Kate, with the Biloela admission, Emma GREY, had been confined to number three dormitory on a bread and water diet for seven days for insubordinate conduct in getting over the fence to the dock.119 A year later, on 20 June 1874, Catherine was discharged as an apprentice to Mr DORE at Ryde and after these indentures were cancelled by the bench of magistrates at Ryde120 was again readmitted on 14 May 1875. Selina WALKER noted that Catherine had conducted herself well since that readmission121 so it may be that she was returned due to misbehaviour. Catherine was discharged as an apprentice on 18 January 1876,122 to E. Rowland HALLORAN, Esq., of Paddington. This discharge was confirmed in the the Biloela Discharge Book which gave the date as 14 January 1876, but outlined that the apprenticeship was to be for one year and seven months.123 This short apprenticeship was due to her age, as at some stage in 1876 she would turn eighteen.124

In 1887 Catherine married Mark CONNELL, a Russian125 or German126 immigrant to Sydney. No birth records for any children have been found.

Catherine died on 8 June 1917, at Lewisham Private Hospital at the age of fifty-nine. The Funeral Notice identified her as Kate.127 At the time of her death her maiden name – but no parents – was recorded on the registration. She had retained her father's Jewish religion as minyan was held the Sunday after her burial.128 Mark remarried Sylvia McKEOWN in 1927 and had one daughter, Gabrielle.

Hannah SOLOMON

Name Variations Annie SOLOMAN Adopted: HAROLD, Annie

Hannah was the youngest of Mark and Ann’s children129 and the youngest child admitted to Newcastle. Her birth was registered in Newcastle in 1866. She was recorded in the Entrance Book as two years and four months of age when she arrived with her four sisters on 24 August 1868.130 A week later, on 1 September, Helenus SCOTT forwarded the arrest depositions for the SOLOMON sisters to the Colonial Secretary who made the notation that Hannah should be admitted to the Benevolent Asylum, Sydney. This proposition was officially confirmed on 24 September131 and on 13 October 1868, Hannah was taken from the company of her sisters and transferred to the Benevolent Asylum in Sydney. KING, in her report on 27 October 1868, reported that this transfer was made 'according to instructions received'132 and the transfer was confirmed in the April 1872 list compiled by LUCAS.133 Hannah was recorded on her admission to the Benevolent Asylum on 14 October as Hanna SOLOMAN. She was two years and three months old.134 The following year, on 20 August 1869, Hannah was discharged to Randwick and she entered the Randwick Asylum that same day where she was recorded as Annie SOLOMON. She was three and a half.135 Hannah was four and a half when she left Randwick as Annie SOLOMON on 2 June 1870, when she was adopted by a Mrs. HAROLD of 128 Buckingham Street, Strawberry Hills.136

Where has She Gone?

A Trove search for the Strawberry Hills address suggested that it may indicate an auction house or may have operated as part of the Department of Agriculture. Sand's Directory identified a Mrs HAROLD living in Australia Street, Newtown in 1870 but there are no people name HAROLD living in Buckingham Street. Historical electoral rolls may help identify the given name of the man living in Buckingham Street in 1870. It may possibly be James. Without knowing whether a change of given name occurred, Hannah is unable to be accurately traced in the NSW BDM Index.

The women who made the following marriages (to 1910) have not been traced and assume that a given name was not changed. There were no women named Ann/i/e SOLOMON or HAROLD who married until 1910.

2877/1889: Hugo HERMAN in Paddington and no trace of this couple can be confirmed in NSW after 1896. Hugo's father from New Zealand died in England in 1894137 so this couple may have moved to either location.
8391/1902: James F. RUSSELL in Sydney and no trace of this couple having children has been confirmed. There are no possible deaths for an Ann/i/e or Hannah RUSSELL.

Martha Mary SOLOMON

Husband William John Ritchie BOYD b.c. 1851138 m. 1883139 d. 1888140
Son George Robert141 BOYD b. 1883142 m. 1919143 Maude PRIOR d. 1932144
Daughter Elsie Mary BOYD b. 1885145 m. 1914146 Herbert Elias E. GOSWELL d. 1941147
Daughter Ivy M. BOYD b. 1887148 m. d.
Son William John R. BOYD b. 1889149 m. d. 1967150

Martha's birth was registered in Newcastle in 1863 and she was recorded as a five-year-old when she was admitted to Newcastle on 24 August 1868, with her four sisters. Martha was able to read the alphabet and write on slate and like her sisters she was recorded as a Catholic.151 She transferred with the school to Biloela in May 1871 and was recorded as 'In the Institution' on LUCAS's April 1872 list.152 Martha was placed in the school hospital with a gastric illness,153 around 14 September 1874,154 and was still there on 21 September,155 28 September,156 5 October157 and 12 October.158 Martha was apprenticed to H. HALWYN [?], Esq., the under Colonial Secretary on 11 December 1875.

At Bethel House in Sydney on 5 February159 1883, Martha married William John R. BOYD, a tram conductor. Four children were recorded between 1883 and 1889. The family was living at 10 Glenmore Road, Paddington,160 when BOYD was accidentally killed on 2 December 1888,161 just before his last son was born. Martha died in Sydney on 20 September 1895,162 at the age of 32. Both her parents were confirmed on her death registration. Ada placed a Funeral Notice and this identified her last address as 61 High Holbourn Street, Surry Hills.163 Martha was buried with her husband in Waverley Church of England Cemetery.164 It is unknown who cared for the orphaned children of the couple after Martha's death.

Rachael SOLOMON

Name Variations Rachel
Husband Charles RALPH b. m. 1882165 d.
Son John William SOLOMON b. 1878166 m. d.
Son James SOLOMON b. 1879167 m. d.
Son Ernest Thomas SOLOMON b. 1880168 m. d.
Daughter Ada Frost SOLOMON b. 1882169 m. d.
Daughter Rosina Matilda RALPH b. 1883170 m. none - d. 1884171
Daughter Rachel RALPH b.c. 1885 m. none - d. 1885172

Rachael was recorded in the Entrance Book as an eleven-year-old when she was admitted to Newcastle. Her birth was very probably registered as 'female' SOLOMON, the child of Mark and Ann SOLOMON, in 1857, as this age very closely matched this year. Although Rachel was the eldest of the SOLOMON sisters, she was still only recorded as knowing the alphabet and being able to write on slate at the time of her admission.173 Rachel transferred to Biloela and was listed by LUCAS in his letter174 to the Colonial Secretary on 23 June 1871, as eligible for service. On 14 September 1871, LUCAS requested permission from the Colonial Secretary to apprentice Rachel to Henry P. MORGAN of Ryde for four years at a starting wage of three shillings a week for the first year. Her wage was to increase by one shilling a year for each year of her apprenticeship. LUCAS stated that she had been behaving well.175 His report of 9 October 1871, recorded that she had been apprenticed176 on 4 October 1871, on the Gladesville Road at Ryde. This date was confirmed in LUCAS's April 1872 list.177 Rachael was still in this same apprenticeship when she was called as a witness in the murder of Adeline Alexandra CRANSWICK by Thomas CRANSWICK in January 1875, where her evidence was considered immaterial.178

Rachael was almost certainly the mother of four illegitimate children in Sydney between 1878 and 1882. She married Charles RALPH in 1882 in Newtown and they then had two daughters, Rosina and Rachel, who both died as infants. Rachael died at Wallis or Wallace Street, Woollahra, in September 1885.179 Only her father’s name was recorded on her death registration in the NSW BDM Index. Also recorded shortly before her death was that of her daughter, Rachael, so it is almost entirely certain that she died due to a complication of childbirth. Funeral Notices were placed by her sisters, Ada CAREY and Martha BOYD.180 She was buried in Waverley Cemetery but no record of a headstone was recorded on the Waverley & South Head Cemeteries Transcriptions CD.

Updated February 2016

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