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Mary Ann Stephens

** community contributed record **

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Mary Ann Stephens
Aliases: none
Gender: f

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1794
Occupation: -
Date of Death: 1846
Age: 52 years

Life Span

Life span

Female median life span was 61 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: Theft
Convicted at: Dublin City
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Francis and Eliza
Departure date: 15th December, 1814
Arrival date: 8th August, 1815
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 13 other convicts


Primary source: convict ships to NSW
Source description:

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Community Contributions

Phil Hands on 27th September, 2017 wrote:

Tried and convicted at Dublin in October 1813 for stealing china, sentenced to transportation for 7 years, she would have spent time in the Dublin Goal, where she would have been put to work scrubbing, cleaning and other menial tasks before being sent to Cork to board her transportation vessel.
Left Cork on 5th December 1814.
Ship:- the ‘Francis and Eliza’ sailed with 54 male and 69 female convicts on board of which 2 males and 4 females died during the voyage.
Arrived on 8th August 1815.
On arrival Mary was seven months pregnant by one of the sailors an board, she was sent to the Female factory at Parramatta, it was here that her daughter Mary Ann was born.

Mary received her Ticket of Leave on 11th May 1816.

Around 1817 Mary entered into a defacto relationship with convict Isaac Gowlett (‘Ganges’ 1797) that was to produce 3 children between 1818-1823.

On 13th February 1822, with Isaac being a sick man, Mary applied for admission of her daughter Mary Ann to the Female Orphan Institution, which was accepted.

In 1823 Mary Ann took her infant daughter Maria, still suckling, leaving Fanny and Sarah with Isaac, and went to the home of Thomas Gilberthorpe at Windsor taking employment as his servant and housekeeper. Thomas Gilberthorpe was forty years her senior and although previously a convict himself, was by now a prosperous farmer. The 1823 Muster shows that Mary Ann was living with a Thomas Gilberthorpe as a servant and Maria was with her. Another child is shown with the notation ‘child of Thomas Gilberthorpe’. An investigation of the NSW Birth, Deaths & Marriages shows that eventually Mary Ann bore Thomas three sons.

Phil Hands on 27th September, 2017 wrote:

Sydney Monitor Friday 8th Decmber 1837 p. 2
On Wednesday week the 29th ult Mrs. Lloyd of York-street, missed from her room a box containing several articles of jewellery and other matters; from having observed a woman named Mary Ann Gilberthorpe lurking about the premises after she had been ordered away, her suspicions rested on her. A few days ago Mrs. Lloyd, on passing the public stocks saw Mrs. Gilberthorpe seated there; she gave her into custody, and on searching her, found concealed about her person, some of the stolen property, consisting of a silver chain, a gold broach, pair of bracelets, and other property. In her defence the prisoner stated that she had—- to go to a water closet in Mrs. Lloyd’s garden, where she found a small bundle, which seemed heavy, and being in a state of intoxication at the time, she walked off with it. Mrs. Lloyd stated the property on the prisoner to be worth about three pounds, the value of the property stolen much exceeded that amount. The woman was then committed for trial.

Citation details: (NRS 12210) Butts of Certificates of Freedom 1840 March All Records
Text: 40/517
17 Mar 1840
Mary Stephens or Smith
Per Francis & Eliza master Harrison 1815
Native place Dublin, a servant
Convicted for stealing china at Dublin City in Oct 1813 and received a 7 year sentence
Born 1794, 5 feet 1 inch tall, ruddy and freckled complexion, brown mixed with grey hair and hazel eyes, lost two front upper teeth, two scars on upper lip
Held a ticket of leave dated 11 May 1816

Name: Mary Stephens now Gilberthorpe / also Jane Gilberthorpe
Birth Year: 1793
Age: 50
Arrival Year: 1815
Arrival Country: Australia
Vessel Arrived In: Fras Eliza
Date of Admission/Photo: 1843
Gaol: Darlinghurst
Gaol Location: Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
Record Type: Description Book

Mary died on 3rd January 1846 aged 52 at Lane Cove, Sydney.

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 7th January 1846 p. 3
On Monday evening, two inquests were held in Leburn’s public house, the first was on a female whose body had been found in the water, near Onions’s Farm, in the Lane Cove district, on Saturday last. It was proved that the name of the deceased was Mary Ann Gilberthorpe, and Mr. Surgeon Cuthill deposed that her death had been caused by drowning , but as there was no evidence to show how the body got into the water, a verdict of found drowned was recorded.

Thomas Gilberthorpe died in 1848 aged 90.

Convict Changes History

Phil Hands on 27th September, 2017 made the following changes:

convicted at, term: 7 years, voyage, source: convict ships to NSW (prev. ), firstname: Mary Ann, surname: Stephens, alias1: , alias2: , alias3: , alias4: , date of birth: 1794, date of death: 1846, gender: f, occupation, crime

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