Jane WHITE (2)
Father William WHITE b. 1834 m. 18551 d. 18822
Step-father John EARNSHAW b. 18313 m. none4 d. 18755
Step-father John DALY aka DALEY b. m. 18786 d.
Mother Mary HAPPS b.c. 18367 m. 18558 d. aft. 1855
Inmate Jane WHITE b.c. 1856 m. 1873 (see below) d. 19449
Half-brother Thomas EARNSHAW b. 185810 m. d. 194611
Half-brother John EARNSHAW b. 186212 m. d.13
Half-brother William EARNSHAW b. 186514 m. d.15
Half-sister Ann EARNSHAW b. 186716 m. d.17
Half-sister Margaret EARNSHAW b. 186918 m. d.19
Half-sister Susan DALY b. 187820 m. d.21
Half-sister Elizabeth DALEY b. 188122 m. d.23
Husband William Flood SAM b.c. 183924 m. 187325 d. 191626
Daughter Mary Jane SAM b. 187427 m. none - d. 1874
Daughter Elizabeth Ann SAM b. 187628 m. (1) 189229 (2) 192630 (1) Loo LONG (2) Joseph FITZHENRY d. 197331
Son William Cecil Flood SAM b.c. 1879 m. 190932 Adeline Jane DOONER d. 196933
Daughter Matilda Jane (Tilly) SAM b. 188034 m. 190035 George HEW TING d. 192436
Son Henry Herbert SAM b.c. 1883 m. Ethel KIRBY d. 194037
Son Thomas SAM b.c. 1885 m. none - d. 191538
Son Charles SAMS b.c. 1886 m. none - d. 191139
Son John (Jack) FLOOD SAMS b.c. 1889 m. (1) (2) Emily Mary NOEL (2) Gladys DARLEY d. 197140
Son George Flood SAMS b.c. 1890 m. 191441 Kathleen CASHMAN d. 194042
Son James Francis SAM b. 189143 m. Harriet HILL d. 198244
Daughter Mary A. SAM b. 189345 m.46 Clifford J. BEAVER d. 191747
Daughter Alice WHITE b. 189448 m. none - d. 189449
Son Norman AH SAM b. 189550 m. d. 192251
Daughter Annie AH SAM b. 189752 m. d.
Daughter Edith A. SAM b. 189853 m. d.
Son Percy Flood AH SAM b. 190154 m. 192355 Irene L. LEROY d. 198356
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Grandfather William HAPPS57 23 4’ 11½” brown hazel to grey fresh fair none
Grandmother Margery aka Margaret CAMPBELL58 23 4’ 11” brown hazel grey ruddy freckled large hairy mole on breast
Inmate Jane59 1460 4’ 7½” dark blue fair medium

Jane was arrested from somewhere within the Grenfell police district in early 1868. She had appeared in the Grenfell Police court after having been brought to court by Inspector SANDERSON for protection. SANDERSON stated that she 'was living in a most neglected and disreputable manner.' He described her father as 'a notorious drunkard' who worked as a shepherd employed by Mr. GIBSON and who was unfit to take care of her so:

[s]he was left to herself, and at times had run away into the bush and joined the blacks. Her mother had run away with another man some years ago. The child, young as she was, was by repute a prostitute. … [Her] father, William White, [was to] pay the sum of 5s. per week into the Treasury.61

Jane was sent to Newcastle and on her admission to the school on 15 February 1868, she was recorded in the Entrance Book as a Protestant who could read the alphabet and write on slate. An administrative error made at the time of her admission recorded Jane’s father’s name next to that of the girl above – Grace CRAWFORD – but this appears to be the only mixing of the details of the two girls. On 15 March, shortly after Jane's admission, KING wrote to the Colonial Secretary requesting confirmation that a single signature of a magistrate on Jane's warrant ensured that her arrest was legal and also requested a verification of Jane's religion. KING said:

The child never was in a church or place of worship. A Catholic she states taught her to bless herself and that is all she knows.
What ought I to register her?62

There was no solution in the correspondence concerning how KING should respond.

Jane's age was also inconsistently documented in the records of the time. The Mining Record and Grenfell General Advertiser reported that she was a ten-year-old when she was arrested. The Entrance Book recorded that on admission she was nine63 and the transfer list, which was compiled from the Entrance Book, indicated that she was eleven by May 1871.64 On 14 April 1871, after the riot at the school, Jane appeared in Newcastle Court with three other girls65 charged with wilfully destroying Government property.66 The Evening News, reported the details of the trial of the ringleaders of this riot but made no reference to Jane's appearance or age.67 The new superintendent, LUCAS, who entered the school intending to quell any disobedience, was less compassionate than CLARKE towards troublemakers irrespective of their age. When Jane was tried she was sent to Maitland Gaol and at the time of her admission there she was recorded as a fourteen-year-old. The gaol register further recorded that she had been born in Sydney and was a Catholic. These records suggested that Jane may have elected to follow the Catholic religion but also that she may have lied to gaol officials. Whether any statements made are correct cannot be ascertained and no explanation can be found why these inconsistencies in Jane's records exist. Maitland Gaol records could only refer to Jane68 and no other inmate as it was not possible that another girl was admitted after assuming Jane's name. While, as a new superintendent, LUCAS may not have known the identity of the rioters, the girls appeared before Helenus SCOTT who was acquainted with many of the inmates. It is therefore highly unlikely that they would have attempted to lie to him concerning their identity. It is however clear that one of Jane's admissions was incorrect but which record was in error can't really be confirmed. It is thought that the gaol records were more likely to be wrong as Jane was believed to have been more likely to have lied at the gaol rather than in court.

After Jane’s release from Maitland on 13 May 1871,69 she was returned to the Newcastle institution and shortly afterwards was transferred with the school to Biloela. She was recorded on the Return of Inmates just before the name of Mary WHITE and was erroneously given the same admission date as Mary. This date was a further administrative error made when the list was compiled, as her entry actually referred to Mary's sister, Isabella, who had been apprenticed before the transfer. What is clear from this list was the notation recorded beside Jane's name that clearly stated 'At present in Maitland Gaol.'70 After her arrival on Biloela Jane was identified as eligible for service in the letter sent to the Colonial Secretary by LUCAS on 23 June 1871. She was recorded there as a twelve-year-old.71

On 2 December 1871, LUCAS requested permission to apprentice Jane for four years to Mr Percy SCARR, Road Superintendent, at Wagga Wagga, and permission for this apprenticeship was approved by the Colonial Secretary shortly afterwards. Jane was to be paid two shillings a week for the first two years and three shillings a week for the last two years. LUCAS added that ' … Jane White has been in the school since February 1868, and has uniformly conducted herself well.'72 LUCAS was often inaccurate with his assessments of girls so little credence should be placed on this statement as it must be considered that any unfavourable assessment made by him may have caused the Colonial Secretary to deny permission for the apprenticeship to go ahead. This positive character assessment may very easily have been made because LUCAS was removing troublemakers from the island. Although permission was granted by the Colonial Secretary, Jane was recorded on LUCAS’s April 1872 list as ‘In the Institution.’73 The Entrance Book confirmed her apprenticeship to SCARR but located him in Wellington although it did confirm that she had been discharged on 25 April 1872, shortly after the April list had been compiled.74 It may be that the reference to Wellington was an error or possibly SCARR may have had two properties. He was located in Wagga Wagga in all other correspondence.

Both Jane and Lucy AH KIN were apprenticed to Percy SCARR. On Friday, 31 May 1872, about a month after Jane's apprenticeship commenced, both Jane and Lucy appeared in Wagga Wagga Court, charged with absconding from their indentures with SCARR. They were discharged from custody on the condition that they returned to his service.75 In January 1873, Jane took Percy SCARR to court charging him with assault. The newspaper reported on this appearance.

ASSAULT. – Percy Scarr appeared on summons to answer the complaint of Jane White for that he had assaulted her by "bumping her head against a wall." The young girl, it would appear, is an apprenticed servant of Mr. Scarr's, and one of those too whose vagaries in the absconding line occupied the attention of the Bench some time ago. From the evidence would say that general amiability was not the weakness of this household treasure, and that "bumping" was simply her exaggerated style of describing a little wholesome punishment. The Bench dismissed the case on hearing her evidence.76

While absolute confirmation has to date been unable to be located in the records, there is almost no doubt that as Jane May WHITE, Jane married William SAM in Wagga Wagga in 1873.77 Jane was known to be in the Wagga Wagga area when she was apprenticed. She was born at approximately the same time and in approximately the same location as the wife of William SAM. The names of each girls' father was the same. According to Jane's age recorded in the Entrance Book, this marriage would have occurred when she was only fourteen. If her age was based on the information from her statement from Maitland Gaol records she would have been about sixteen. Even if she was older than the Newcastle records indicated and was actually born in 1857 as suggested in her Maitland gaol record, she was still under twenty-one, so someone should have provided permission for her to marry. Even though Jane and William SAM contributed greatly to their community, a marriage to a man from China would have been considered at the time as less than desirable. Jane was a servant so not of high status and she had not completed her apprenticeship – although this complication rarely seemed to worry many of the Newcastle girls.78

William SAM and Jane May WHITE were married on 3 September 1873, in Wagga Wagga by W. H. POWNALL. The witnesses were Mary SISSONS and Paul SHORDEN. William was a cook who had been born in Hong Kong but Jane's occupation wasn't stated. The marriage was recorded in the Church of England register. No ages or parents were recorded on the official record.79 Jane's marriage registration had not been not updated from the church record and descendants sourced the church copy of the record. The marriage was recorded in the St John's Church of England register, Wagga Wagga. Jane stated that she had been born in Bland and declared that she was 21. She identified her parents as the shepherd, William WHITE, and his wife, Mary Ann. The very compelling detail of the marriage was that Jane and William had married in the house of Choo COEY.80 Chu COEY was the husband of Lucy Ah KIN.

Sixteen children were recorded to the couple – some as SAM or SAMS, some as AH SAM and some as WHITE. William FLOOD SAM died on 25 January 1916,81 and a biography, incorporating his obituary from the Wyalong Advocate on 29 January 1916, and details from Jane's obituary written 25 years later, appeared in the publication, Pioneers of Wyalong Pre 1920. Details of their children also appear there82 and further details were generously provided by Jane's descendant, Robert. A possible image of William is held at the National Archives of Australia83 but further investigations have not been undertaken to confirm that this image is of him.

Jane SAM died at her daughter's residence in the Sydney suburb of Ultimo on 9 October 1944, at the recorded age of 87. Although her father was correctly identified by the informant, her mother was erroneously identified as Jane on her death registration. Jane's obituary in the West Wyalong Advocate on 19 October 1944, reported that she had been born in Wagga Wagga in 1857.84


Jane’s father, William, was named in the Entrance Book and it was recorded that he was a shepherd. Her mother was noted as having absconded and was not identified.85 It is accepted by Jane's descendants that the marriage of William (X) WHITE, a bachelor, and Mary (X) HAPPS, a spinster, both residents of Fish River, were Jane's parents. There is no doubt that this marriage was correct but proof only exists in shared DNA because Jane did not identify her mother's maiden name when she married. William WHITE and Mary APPS were married on 22 December 1855, by William SOWERBY. The witnesses to this Church of England marriage were Sarah (X) PECKHAM of Goulburn, and Moses KAVANAGH of Fish River.86 The marriage was recorded in the register of St Saviour's Church, Goulburn, and SOWERBY was Goulburn's minister.87 The added detail of the church record identified that consent for Mary (X) HAPPS had been given by her father who was identified as William HAPPS.88 While Jane stated that she had been born in Bland when she married, other birth locations of Boorowa and Fish River also appear in official family records. Descendants believe that her most likely birth location was on the Fish River near Gunning. No appropriate birth or baptism can be verified between 1857 and 1862 for any child of this couple. Descendants89 have identified that Jane was born on 25 April 1857, and it may be that this date came from family recollections or from a family bible.

The identity of Jane's father, William, is uncertain. All that is known of him was that he had been born in England in about 1834. He died at Burrowa on 14 September 1882. No marriage or children were identified on his death registration at the time his death as a 48-year-old shepherd was registered.90

Unless he has lied about his age, William was not the man who appeared in court in Wagga Wagga on 28 September 185991 charged with exposing his person, as this man had almost certainly been transported aboard the Marquis of Huntley in 1835 as his appearance in Goulburn Gaol identified that he had been born in 1819.92 The Marquis of Huntley indent identified that this transportee had been born in Dublin in 1815 and was a Catholic.93 He was also unlikely to be the William WHITE who was admitted to Windsor Gaol in 1871 for cruelty to an animal [5/1511 1871 No 45] and possibly also admitted in 1872 for having no visible means of support [5/1511 1872 No. 49] and vagrancy in 1883. [5/1511 1883 No. 116] This may possibly be the same man who, in 1879, was admitted for being of unsound mind. [5/1511 1879 No. 86] & 1880 [5/1511 1890 No. 95] There is no indication that any of these references refer to Jane's father.

After considerable investigation Jane's descendants have confirmed her ancestry. Her mother was Mary APPS aka HAPPS, who had been born in about 1836 and have confirmed that she was almost without any doubt the daughter of William HAPPS or APPS and Margery or Margaret CAMPBELL who married by banns in Sydney on 29 January 1836, with the consent of the Governor.94 No record of Mary's birth or baptism has been identified but descendants have connected their DNA to that of descendants of Mary's other families. William and Margery APPS also had a daughter named Jane.95 When William and Margery received permission to marry in December 1835, these records identified that William APPS had been transported in 1826 for seven years aboard the Speke (3) and that Margery had been transported in 1831 for seven years aboard the Palambam.96 On the 1828C William APPS was recorded as a hutkeeper to William BROUGHTON on the Goulburn Plains. Death records for William and Margery indicated that they had had four daughters who were all still alive at the time of their death.97 Those daughters were Mary, possibly born around 1836, Jane, born in Campbelltown in 1842,98 Ann, born in Wheeo in 184399 and one other unidentified girl. The couple also had two sons – William, born in Wheeo in 1846100 and Thomas, born in Wheeo in 1847.101

After a very short marriage and the birth of her daughter, Mary WHITE abandoned William WHITE and their daughter,
Jane May. No clear explanation for this abandonment can be identified but both she and William were very young and events in January 1874 may offer a hint. Shortly after this abandonment Mary took up with another man named John EARNSHAW. They lived in the area around Bungendore, Queanbeyan and Braidwood in the Monaro area of NSW. She and John had six more children, the first, Thomas, was born in about 1861102 although it is believed that Mary left her first family when Jane was very young. It's unclear whether she married John and no marriage record has been located. On 27 January 1874 Mary appeared before the Queanbeyan Police Curt charged with being insane103 and was sent on to the Sydney Receiving House on 2 February after spending some days in Goulburn Gaol.104 No arrival in Darlinghurst has been identified and she may have been admitted to some other institution in Sydney. John EARNSHAW died in 1875 and in 1878 Mary bigamously married John DALY aka DALEY as William WHITE was still alive at this date. Mary had two more children to John DALEY and died in 1915.

Note: While the sister of Isabella and Mary WHITE was also named Jane, this child, who has not yet been confirmed in any records on the NSW BDM Index nor on the CSIL Index after 1868, cannot be this Jane WHITE. Even at her youngest documented age, this inmate was five years older than the youngest WHITE sister and she had been arrested and was already in Newcastle by February 1868 while Isabella, Mary and their siblings were still living with their mother in Goulburn in March 1868.

Updated October 2017

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