Elizabeth Esther TEASDALE
Father George Wardell or Wardlaw TEASDALE b.c. 18231 m. 18532 d. aft. 18683
Mother Mary Ann McDERMOTT alias Ann or Marianne STEVENS b.c. 18234 m. 1853 d. 18895
Half-brother John STEVENS6 b. 18517 m. unknown - d. unknown
Inmate Elizabeth Esther TEASDALE b. 18548 m. 1875 (see below) d. 19259
Sister Unnamed aka Mary TISDALE b. 185610 m. (1) 187411 (2) 188212 (1) Edward WARRINGTON13 (2) Peter REINHART d. aft. 188914
Brother George Wardell TEESDALE b. 186115 m. (1) 188416 (2) 189717 (1) Alice BROAD aka Alice McVEY (2) Cornelia aka Cordelia Rebecca TICEHURST d. 194818
Husband Peter PROUDFOOT b. m. 187519 d.
Daughter Blanche Lear TEASDALE b. 187320 m. none - d. 187321
Daughter Annie PROUDFOOT b. 187522 m. Sydney23 GREENHALGH d. 190624
Daughter Elizabeth PROUDFOOT b. 187725 m. none - d. 187826
Son George Wardell PROUDFOOT b. 187927 m. 190028 Amy A. COTTERELL d. 191829
Son Peter PROUDFOOT30 b.c. 188031 m. (1) 190032 (2) 192033 (1) Alice Rose ABROOK34 (2) Annie DONALD d. 193535
Son John PROUDFOOT b. 188236 m. none - d. 188837
Son Sydney H. PROUDFOOT b. 188638 m. 190839 Agnes E. NEWMAN d. 196940
Daughter Phillis PROUDFOOT b. 189041 m. none - d. 189042
Daughter Violet PROUDFOOT b. 189243 m. 192244 Alfred S. WHITE d.
Daughter Irene PROUDFOOT b. 189545 m. none - b. 189546
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father George47 21 5’ 6¾” brown grey ruddy brown eyebrows; sandy whiskers; oval head and visage; wide chin; medium nose, mouth & forehead; bird, G. W. T. on inside left arm
Father George48 40 5’ 7” dark brown fresh stout whiskers worn all round the throat; lame in the left leg; halts in his walk
Mother Ann STEPHENS49 23 4’ 11” dark brown light blue fair small head; oval visage; brown eyebrows; small & sharp nose; wide mouth; small and double chin; mark on right arm C T S M J Johnson C T on left arm H C W C crown and anchor

Elizabeth was fourteen when she was arrested under a warrant by sergeant BRENNAN of Araluen police and was charged with having no fixed abode or support.50 She was described as a Protestant, who could read the second book and write in a copy book when she entered the school on 29 December 1868.51 This educational achievement was one of the best achieved in the girls who were admitted to Newcastle. As Eliza, she was named in CLARKE’s list of girls eligible for apprenticeship on 15 December 1869, where she was recorded as having been in the school for one year. He recorded that she was fifteen. CLARKE initially wrote to the Colonial Secretary seeking permission to apprentice Elizabeth on 21 December 1869,52 but he:

… was anxious to get (Elizabeth) a good place … and perhaps in (his) hurry (he) did not give due consideration to the official etiquette that should have been observed …

and had omitted to name her so had to correct his error on 12 January 1870.53 On 16 February 1870, permission was given for Elizabeth to be apprenticed to Mortimer W. LEWIS,54 Esq., the Clerk of Works, Newcastle, for eighteen months at the rate of five shillings each week. CLARKE reported that she was doing well in his list sent to the Colonial Secretary on 1 August that year.55

Elizabeth probably moved straight to Sydney after her apprenticeship ended. She entered the Benevolent Asylum on 15 February 1873, and her daughter, Blanche, was born there on 17 April. The pair left the Benevolent Asylum on 10 July 1873.56 Elizabeth married Peter PROUDFOOT in Sydney in 1875. The couple had five children but by 4 March 1886, Elizabeth's three sons, George, Peter and John were placed by their father of 26 Wilson Street, Newtown, in the Randwick Asylum. Peter stated at the time of their admission that their mother had repeatedly neglected them but that he was unable to care for them. On 19 May 1887, the three boys were discharged to Elizabeth who was living at Betsy [?] Street off Station Street, Newtown.57 In 1887 Peter placed a notice warning that he would not be responsible for Elizabeth's debts.58 The couple probably reconciled as three more daughters were registered after this date. On 4 July 1898, Sydney PROUDFOOT was admitted to the Sobroan and at this time Elizabeth was described as respectable and hard-working and Peter was recorded as a drunkard. Sydney was living at Stafford Street, Petersham, at the time of this admission. No knowledge of Peter's location at this time was known. Sydney was readmitted from his apprenticeship and finally discharged to 'relatives' in 1901.59

By 1899 Elizabeth petitioned for a divorce from Peter.60

This was a petition by Elizabeth Esther Proudfoot, for whom Mr. Fraser appeared, in forma pauperis, for dissolution of her marriage with Peter Proudfoot, to whom she was married in March, 1875, on the ground of desertion, habitual drunkenness, and cruelty, and leaving the petitioner and her children without means of support. The case was undefended. His Honor, after hearing evidence, granted a decree nisi, returnable in one month, petitioner to have custody of the children.

No further trace of Peter PROUDFOOT senior has been made in NSW.

Indications are that a strong relationship and friendship existed between Elizabeth and another industrial school inmate, Mary Jane WRIGHT (3). Mary Jane's mother was known to have become Margaret Ann DILLON, and at the time of Margaret's death in 1908, she was described as the foster-mother of Mrs. Elizabeth PROUDFOOT.61 Both Elizabeth and Mary Jane had been arrested from the Araluen area so any friendship may have been of some duration as the opportunity for both girls to have known each other before their arrest was high and both girls and their families ultimately lived in Sydney.

Elizabeth died on the 26 October 1925, at Kia Ora, O'Neil-street, Brighton le Sands, after having moved from Newtown. Although the death registered in 1925 named her mother as Elizabeth, Funeral Notices in 192562 and In Memoriam notices in 1927 confirmd her death as some were placed by her brother, identified as G. TEASDALE.63


Elizabeth had been born in Port Arthur, VDL, on 29 September 1854. She was the daughter of George Wardell TEASDALE and Mary Ann. These parents were named in the Entrance Book. Tasmanian permission to marry identified Elizabeth's parents as George Wardel TEASDALE, who had been transported on the Duke of Richmond and Ann STEVENS who had arrived in VDL on the Sea Queen on 29 August 1846. George Wardle TEASDALE had married Mary Ann (X) McDERMOTT or STEVENS in Hobart on 30 August 1853.64 George was thirty and Mary Ann was recorded as twenty-four. On this record George was recorded as George William TEASDALE – possibly an error referring to his unusual middle name which is variously spelled in surviving records. The birth of a younger unnamed sister in Hobart on 12 October 1856, confirmed that their mother’s surname was ‘formerly STEVENS.’

George Wardle TISDALL65 was a convict who had been transported for life aboard the Duke of Richmond in 1844. He had been tried at the Royal Barracks, Dublin, for mutinous conduct for striking Captain MUNRO in July 1843, but had been born in County Durham, England.66 George could read and write and was described as an engineer/fitter-up on his conduct report, Elizabeth's birth record and on his marriage. He was recorded in the Tasmanian Name Index as being the licensee for the Tasmanian Inn in Campbell Street, Hobart, between 1857 and 1858 and the Odd Fellows Hotel in Elizabeth Street, Hobart in 1858. The family had almost certainly left Tasmania by 1858 when George was described as absent from that colony.67 He had received only a Conditional Pardon but with a life sentence, required an Absolute Pardon for complete freedom. It is unknown whether he would have been permitted to leave Tasmania with a Conditional Pardon but it is thought that it was acceptable to do so.

George and Mary Ann and their family were living near Braidwood, NSW, in 1861 when their son, George, was born. In April 1868 George abandoned Mary Ann68 and left Araluen. Reports in the Police Gazette suggested that he had gone to Sydney and may have been at William THORPE's house at 31 Buckingham Street, Cleveland Paddock, Sydney. His leaving his wife and children was almost certainly the trigger that sent Elizabeth to Newcastle. An advertisement in September 1880 for a ‘George TEASDALE’ was placed requiring him to call ‘10, Campbell-place, Woolloomooloo. Important.’69 It is considered that this was a reference to Elizabeth's father. No further trace has yet been confirmed for George so it is possible that he assumed an alias to hide from his family and the authorities.

Tasmanian permissions to marry identify that Elizabeth's mother as Ann STEVENS who had been transported for ten years to VDL on the Sea Queen which arrived on 29 August 1846. She was recorded on the indent as Ann STEPHENS whose native place was Roscommon, Ireland,70 but had been tried at Stafford QS for larceny.71 The age provided by Mary Ann when she married is not supported by her convict conduct report where in 1846 she was reported to be twenty-three. Birth records and the Conduct Report for Ann STEPHENS confirm that only one woman was involved with George. The conduct report for Ann STEPHENS confirmed the marriage to George Wardlaw TEASDALE, that she was single on arrival and that her real name was Mary McDERMOTT so the name under which she was transported, Ann STEVENS, was an alias. The Conduct Report further indicated that she had had an illegitimate child in May 1851 and this child, John STEVENS, was probably baptised in Hobart in 1852 where his mother was shown as Marianne STEVENS who was unmarried. Mary was almost without doubt the woman named Mary TEESDALE who took her husband to court in Tumut, NSW, on 13 January 1865, for assaulting her. Mary Ann and her unnamed husband were living separately with Mary

living at service at Mr. Piper's and the man obtaining work were he can. On Tuesday Teesdale asked his wife to go back to him, but she refused, whereupon he threatened to take her life, and further said he had bought a revolver to do it and would afterwards join Morgan. She came into town and laid a complaint with the police, and on returning she saw him sitting in Kelly's verandah, when she hit him in the head with a stone. The man then called her names and knocked her down, which was the assault complained of. The Bench gave them a few words of advice, and dismissed the case.72

Mary was probably also the woman who was charged with obtaining goods under false pretenses in the Queanbeyan court on 31 May 1979,73 and was sentenced for trail at the Quarter Sessions. She appeared there as Mary Ann TEASDALE74 and was found guilty but with a consideration towards leniency. Mary Ann received three months in Queanbeyan Gaol and if these records remain they should confirm her age and possibly more background on her arrival. It seems likely that Mary Ann’s death was registered on the NSW BDM Index in Cooma in 1889 at the age of 57. This age is an approximate match to her age stated at the time of her marriage but the actual record has not been viewed.

Elizabeth's younger sister was the Mary TEASDALE who married Edward WARRINGTON in Cooma in 1874 and went on to marry Peter REINHART in Sydney in 1882. On this marriage record Mary WARRINGTON was described as a widow and one of the witnesses was George TEASDALE75 so Mary had made her way to Sydney and was reunited with her siblings. The record also identified that she was born in Tasmania and that her parents were William TEASDALE, an engineer, and Mary Ann STEPHENSON. It is unknown whether these errors were deliberate or inadvertent but they may be clues to a later identity of her father. No death has yet been identified for Mary. George Wardel TEASDALE is listed in the divorce Index on SRNSW in an 1896 divorce from Alice Maud TEASDALE nee McVEAY but this almost certainly refers to Elizabeth's brother, George, who was born in 1861.

Note: The George TEASDALE living in South Australia as poundkeeper, near Blanchtown, from about 1871 died76 in 1919.77 He had a brother named A. T. TEASDALE and research completed by his descendants identify that this man was not a convict. This has therefore confirmed that the South Australian man was not Elizabeth's father.78

Updated September 2015

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