Name Variations alias BAILEY
Father William aka Peter YOUNGMAN b.c. 1814 m.1 (1) 1842 (2) 18652 d. 18673
Mother Ellen MACMAHON aka Helen McMACHEN4 alias Ann MAHONY b.c. 1820 m. 18425 d. 18626
Brother John Thomas YOUNGMAN b. 18447 m. d.
Sister Charlotte Elizabeth YOUNGMAN b. 18458 m. 18659 Henry PULLIN d. 191110
Brother Samuel YOUNGMAN b. unknown m. d. 188611
Sister Mary Jane YOUNGMAN12 b. 184913 m. none - d. 186814
Brother Champion Walsh YOUNGMAN15 b.c. 1851 m. d. unknown
Brother William YOUNGMAN b. 185216 m. 189217 Catherine Martha BURRELL18 d. 193119
Brother Peter YOUNGMAN b. 185420 m. none - d. 185721
Inmate Ellen YOUNGMAN b.c. 1857 m. none - d. 187022
Sister Harriet YOUNGMAN23 b. 1858 m. none - d. 185824
Brother Sydney W. YOUNGMAN b. 186125 m. none - d. 186226
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father William27 21 5' 4" brown blue sallow scar back of left wrist; scar back of left thumb; another knuckle of forefinger of left hand; scar back of little finger of same; scar inside right leg; second toe of left foot crippled
Mother Ellen28 19 5' 3½" brown grey fair ruddy and freckled full featured; scar back of left wrist; small mole on left side of neck; middle finger of right hand stiff from being fractured

Ellen was arrested in the Wellington area of NSW by the Stony Creek police in October 1869, charged with the theft of bedclothes from Charles BAILEY of Ironbarks. She appeared in the Stony Creek police court before the Stony Creek police Magistrate, H. M. KEIGHTLY on 8 October 1869,29 and was sentenced to fourteen days in the lock up. After this imprisonment period had expired she was to be transferred by escort to the Newcastle Industrial School for twelve months.30 She appeared in the Bathurst Gaol records and in the Police Gazette31 as Ellen YOUNGMAN alias BAILEY and it may be that she had been informally adopted by or left with BAILEY. In addition, CLARKE, on 6 December 1869,32 referred to this alias in his letter to KEIGHTY. Ellen was held in Bathurst gaol until 29 November, arriving at Newcastle with Winifred MACDONALD.33 It took nearly two months for her to arrive and CLARKE in his letter questioned the delay stating 'there is no account sent with [Ellen] as to where she has been since.' CLARKE also clarified that Ellen had been erroneously sent to the Industrial School when she

should under the fourth (4th) clause of the Reformatory School Act 1866 have been committed to the Reformatory for females at this place – under [illegible] in terms of sixth (6th) Clause of that act. … I would therefore suggest that a fresh warrant be forwarded to me committing the girl the Reformatory and I shall thank you to have the enclosed record of her case filled in and returned at your earliest convenience. I shall return the warrant I hold when I receive the other.

As a result of these communications, Ellen was admitted to the Newcastle Reformatory for a year for petty larceny.34 No admission details remain for the Reformatory and those for the Industrial School for this date are also missing so, even if Ellen was placed in the Industrial School in the interim, no family details will be available for her. On 4 August 1870, Ellen absconded from the Reformatory in company with Jane TAYLOR and Mary Ann MEEHAN but the three were re-captured shortly afterwards. CLARKE's letter explained how the escape had been achieved.

I went to the Dormitory where the three girls should be and, found three forms made of blankets in the three beds, and the girls gone. the forms were covered with quilts and looked like people in the beds. Upon further examination, the clothing that the girls had on was found in the paddock in front of the institution.
Mrs King stated that she locked up the girls in the dormitory about six o'clock but that she did not see Jane Taylor in the room, that the other two girls told Mrs King, Jane was under the bed, that it was only her fun, she would be out presently, the Mrs King states that she locked the door and left the key in the lock - that she suspects that Jane Taylor was in another room and that she unlocked the door and let the other two out. I then went in search of them accompanied by two policemen we arrested them about two miles out of town and brought them back to the Institution about 12 o'clock on the same night from what the girls state Mrs King was right in suspecting Taylor but they all say that the door was not locked, that there was no key in it, it was only bolted …
Meehan is now undergoing punishment in solitary confinement and on bread and water diet … The other two are too young to punish in this way … Youngman [is] about twelve years of age.

The three girls were assisted by George ALLSHORN, an omnibus driver and he was charged with assisting them in their escape. 'He took them out of town in an omnibus.' ALLSHORN was brought before the Newcastle court by CLARKE and subsequently spent a month in Maitland Gaol as punishment.35

The reformatory list written in 1874 erroneously indicated that Ellen was discharged from the Reformatory on 7 October 1870.36 This date seems to have been recorded to appear to comply to the regulations for the reformatory but is in error for two reasons. Ellen had been sentenced to 14 days in Bathurst Gaol before she was to be sent to Newcastle and had then taken nearly two months to be sent from Bathurst so she did not arrive until December. Her year in the reformatory would not have begun until at least 21 October and almost certainly much later. More significantly, Ellen was one of the two girls who died in Newcastle37 and her death was recorded at the school in Newcastle on 26 December 1870.38 The inquest concluded that she died from a pre-existing condition and was caused by fits, arising from a malformation of the heart. This problem had become apparent during the previous year and had progressively worsened until she died.39 CLARKE's correspondence to the Colonial Secretary in regard to Ellen's death indicated that he had kept Ellen at the school due to her illness even though her time had expired and she had been eligible for release. He explained that Ellen had not been well when she had arrived in December 1869 and since her arrival she had had fits where she had turned blue. Richard HARRIS had diagnosed cyanosis which was incurable. A few days before her death she had begun vomiting blood and on the day of her death suffered a 'violent attack of reaching on the evening of the 6th [sic] Instant during which she expired.'40 Ellen was buried in the grounds of Christ Church, Church of England, Newcastle.


Ellen was the daughter of William YOUNGMAN and Ellen McMAHON whose permission to marry was granted in Bathurst by Rev. M. O'REILLY on 13 October 1842. William had a ticket of leave and Ellen was on a bond.41 The couple married at St. Michael’s Catholic Church at Bathurst on 22 November 1842,42 where Ellen was recorded as Ann MAHONY. The record was clearly recorded and both parties were residents of Summer Hill. The witnesses were Richard BROWN and Briget (X) NICHOLS, also of Summer Hill. William was a protestant. The decision to marry in a Catholic church was probably not William's choice but rather the result of Ann's religion and possibly that of the man providing the permission to marry. Baptisms and deaths were subsequently recorded for William and Ellen YOUNGMAN and also for Peter and Ellen YOUNGMAN. No death records have been identified in the names of William and Ann YOUNGMAN. William was recorded as a settler at Carcoar in 1845 when Charlotte was baptized but by the time of the joint baptism of Mary Jane and Peter in 1854, he was working as a stockman. The death of their son, Peter, was registered in Albury in 1857, and this was around the time of Ellen’s birth, so it is possible that she had been born in this area but the precise location of her birth has not been identified because no record was made.

Ellen aka Ann had arrived on the Planter (2) and appeared on the indent as Helen McMACHEN or McMAHON.43 She was a Catholic from Glasgow. As Helen McMACHIN alias McMAHON she requested permission to marry forty-one year-old John COLLINS on 14 September 1841, in Mudgee from Rev. James[?] GUNTHER. This permission was refused as COLLINS stated that he was married and already had two children. It is considered likely but cannot be proved as no records have been identified that she and COLLINS had some children. Ellen McMAHON died as the result of intemperance in Maitland in early January 1862.44 Her father was recorded as Peter on the death registration. The result of the inquest into her death45 was reported in the Maitland Mercury under the name Helen YOUNGMAN. No children were recorded on the Planter indent with Ellen when she arrived yet while no baptisms or registrations have been identified for any of Ellen's earlier children, her inquest reported that she had been the mother to 'eighteen children of whom seven are still living.' To date only Ellen and five of her siblings – Charlotte, Samuel, William, Mary Jane and Sydney – have been identified as still alive in 1862. Online trees have recorded only eleven children for William and Ellen so it is considered almost certain that other children have not yet been identified.

William YOUNGMAN had been tried at Suffolk Quarter Sessions for housebreaking on 8 April 1835, and had arrived in Sydney on the Royal Sovereign (2) on 12 December 1835. On his arrival he was recorded as a 21-year-old Protestant who was a farm labourer and shepherd, who could neither read nor write.46 By 1842, after years living a difficult life as a labourer, William became 'lucky' when his daughter Mary Jane YOUNGMAN was born a dwarf.47 From 1861,48 William and his wife earned their living exhibiting of this unfortunate child at shows and carnivals.49 Publicity surrounding Mary Jane50 identified her as either The Lachlan Prodigy or the Australian Fat Girl. It appeared likely that the family earned a reasonable income from this undertaking.

After his wife’s death, William abandoned his younger children – and possibly all his family – to continue exhibiting Mary Jane. William may have made a promise of a financial contribution to the carers of his younger children as he was apprehended on warrant and appeared in the Sydney courts charged with deserting his son in Maitland in February 1863.51 This child – possibly Sydney – died. William was subsequently arrested in Sydney on a warrant issued by Young police. He was remanded to Young52 and in August 1863 appeared in court53 charged with having deserting Ellen two years earlier. The Police Gazette stated, 'It is supposed that he will endeavour to leave the Colony.' William was still in NSW and exhibiting Mary Jane in Braidwood in 1863, but was listed as insolvent in 186454 when his abode was identified as Melbourne, Victoria. Attempts were made to contact him by a firm of solicitors in 1865.55 The last definite trace yet found for William in Australia occurred in the Melbourne Argus in May 1864,56 when it was announced that the 'Fat Girl' would be going to South Australia for exhibition. No advertising has been found for any exhibition of Mary Jane YOUNGMAN in South Australia.

William and Mary Jane left Australia and returned to England. No specific advertising has yet been located for any exhibitions of Mary Jane in England but the Liverpool Mercury,57 on Saturday, 22 February 1868, reported Mary Jane’s death about 17 February 1868, in Walsall, England. A similar announcement was reproduced in NSW in the Maitland Mercury on 14 May 1868.58 The Bathurst Pioneer Register contained a biography for William that identified that after his return to England, he married Rebekah CROUCHER at St James, Westminster, on 22 May 1865.59 One Ancestry tree documented that he died on 1 November 1867, at Blackburn, Lancashire, England.60

Updated February 2016

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