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Mary Abbey

Mary Abbey, one of 327 convicts transported on the Indefatigable and Minstrel, 09 May 1812

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Abbey
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 17th March, 1792
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 25th January, 1838
Age: 45 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 57 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Breaking and entering and stealing
Convicted at: Norfolk County Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Indefatigable and Minstrel
Departure date: 9th May, 1812
Arrival date: 19th October, 1812
Place of arrival New South Wales [Minstrel] and Van Diemen's Land [Indefatigable]
Passenger manifest Travelled with 329 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/2, Page Number 67 (35)
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

Anonymous on 10th July, 2012 wrote:

Mary Abbey or Aby married Murtagh Ahearn (Murte Ahern or O’Hearn or other spellings) in NSW in 1815. They had up to 17 children. Her grandaughter recalled that she was speared to death for refusing to give a man ‘strong drink’. Mary was from Mileham in Norfolk, UK. Murtagh was an Irish Rebel from the 1798 rebellion. They met in Australia. Would love to know what Mary’s crime was, for which she received life sentence.

Anonymous on 30th August, 2012 wrote:

Embarked on the Minstral on 4th June 1812. Convicted of breaking and entering and stealing linen and other items. Originally sentenced to death. Commuted to transportation for 7 years to Port Jackson, New South Wales, arrived 28 Oct 1812.

Robyn Hogan on 5th December, 2012 wrote:

My comments re Mary’s death date:
- her death is not recorded in primary sources
- the stone, currently at the Pioneer’s Memorial Cemetery, was so badly damaged when originally found at Rose Hill Depository that her death date was illegible.
- recordings from the stone prior to this eg at SAG have different dates
- we know that Emilia Elizabeth, her last child,  was born circa August, 1837, so she was alive then
- the information re ‘Mary being speared to death by aborigines’ cannot be found in any records.
- at this time the family were living on the other side of the Georges River from Liverpool. Aborigines were not causing problems in this area so late, and if they had been, surely would have been reported?

Donna Bowen on 15th February, 2015 wrote:

Brian Ahearn (descendent of Murtagh and Mary) has written two books. Beyond the Sea (the life of Murtagh Ahern) and is available to purchase. I am a descendent also and have these two very informative volumes 1 &. II. Brian is available on line.

Phil Hands on 25th April, 2018 wrote:

Mary died on 25th January 1838 at Georges River, Greater Sydney, NSW age 46.

Convict Changes History

Anonymous on 30th August, 2012 made the following changes:

date of birth 1792-03-17, date of death 1838-07-25 (prev. 1838-00-00)

Anonymous on 10th July, 2012 made the following changes:

date of death 1838-00-00, gender f

Robyn Hogan on 5th December, 2012 made the following changes:

date of death 1838

Phil Hands on 25th April, 2018 made the following changes:

date of death: 25th January, 1838 (prev. 1838)

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au