Elizabeth Finnegan (nee Cassidy) 1803

Elizabeth Finnegan (nee Cassidy) 1803

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The story of female convict Elizabeth FINNEGAN Transported aboard the Mary III arriving 18th October 1823 Born Dublin, Ireland circa 1803 - Died New South Wales, Australia 27th April, 1879 by her GGGG great granddaughter Michelle Karen WILLIAMS.

Elizabeth FINNEGAN Born Dublin, Ireland c. 1803 Died N.S.W. Australia 27.04.1879

Arrived 1823 aboard the Mary III

Biography – short version

In January 1821 Elizabeth was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for larceny at Lancaster Quarter Sessions. 13 months after that sentence on 4th February 1822 at the age of 23 she was again convicted at Lancaster Quarter Sessions and sentenced to 7 years transportation. She was transported with 127 other female convicts and 29 children on the ship 'Mary III' which departed London 10th June 1823, arriving 130 days later at NSW on 18th October 1823. One of the women was re-landed in England due to illness and the records show that 59 females were offloaded in Sydney and 67 were offloaded in Hobart.

Elizabeth’s convict indent shows her profession as a cook and confectioner.

Elizazbeth Finnegan Convict Indent

Less than 12 months after her arrival, Elizabeth married fellow convict Francis William BERRY (profession - baker) 2nd September 1824. Their first known child Harriet was born in 1824 but as yet, no birth record can be found. The second child, Mary Ann Elizabeth was born 21st July 1826 and was tragically killed 19th December 1827 by being run over by a curricle (horse drawn cart). By 1828 Elizabeth is found at the Parramatta Female Factory, Francis is employed by '19 road gang' and Harriet is a 'lodger' with George LANE of Phillip Street Sydney. 1829 sees Elizabeth receive her certificate of freedom and asking that her husband be returned to her from Newcastle where he had been an 'assigned servant' (as a baker) to Mr. A. PHELP, to assist in the care of their child. Mr. PHELP agreed for Francis to be discharged from his employment. I have been unsuccessful in finding documentation to say if permission was or was not given for Francis to return to Elizabeth but Francis must have stayed in Newcastle where he became involved with Lydia STAMFORD and they went on to have quite a few children.

In 1878 at the age of 70 (or thereabouts) Elizabeth is found at the Darlighurst Goal in NSW (for vagrancy) and dies there 4 months later (from natural causes). So ends the life of a woman (whom without, her descendants would not be here today). The poor woman never stood a chance! 

Attached to this Chronicle is an indepth report of Elizabeth's life. Please click on the pdf file to read.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1803 (circa) VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 27th Apr 1879 VIEW SOURCE


  • Hi Michelle,

    thank you for sharing Elizabeth's story with us. While moderating I copied in the short biography to the body of the Chronicle. You can edit any element of this by clicking on the Orange "edit" button. Do you have any documentation to show that she was born in Dublin. It would be great to find out more about her Irish origins and to see if there are relatives still living in Dublin today. Perhaps some of our members will see this profile and help out.


    IrelandXO Moderator LC

    Friday 7th February 2020, 09:57AM

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