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Details for the convict Ann Beardsley (1788)

Convict Name:Ann Beardsley
Trial Place:Derby
Trial Date:1786
Arrival Details
Arrival Year:1788
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Claimed convict


Ann Beardsley was born in Derby, Derbyshire, England, her parents are thought to be John Beardsley(1731-1788) and Ann Keeling(1741-1786).
On 5 Aug 1786, Ann (aged 21) was sentenced at the Derby Assizes to 5 years transportation, for having in her possession, a black satin cloak and other goods, stolen from the house of Elizabeth Woodhead in Apr 1786.
On the 24 Oct 1786, she was sent to the Port of Plymouth and imprisoned on the Dunkirk Hulk. Transferred to Southwark gaol on the 24 Nov 1786, Ann was discharged on 11 Mar 1787 to the Friendship for transportation to Botany Bay, sailing from Portsmouth (13 May 1787), at Rio de Janeiro (11 Aug 1787) she was transferred to the Charlotte, with 5 other female convicts, thence arriving in the NSW Colony Jan 1788.
Ann may have struck up a relationship with First Fleet Marine Pvt John McCarty on the first leg of the journey, aboard 'Friendship', but there is nothing to verify this. A year after arriving. Ann and McCarty had a daughter - Harriet, in Feb 1789 - bapt #48 in the Sydney Colony.
Because of the food shortages in the colony at Sydney Cove, it was equally split between Sydney Cove and Norfolk Island, with approx 500 at each settlement. Ann, already expecting a 2nd child, was ordered to the Norfolk Island settlement, arr Mar 1790 on the Sirius, with infant daughter Harriet . The passengers were landed at Cascade Bay on the 13th. Several days later on 19th March, the Sirius, while attempting to unload its cargo at Kingston, was caught in a sudden wind change and wrecked on a reef.
Upon his discharge from the Marines in Oct 1791 John McCarty traveled immediately to Norfolk Ireland aboard Atlantic where he was reunited with Ann and Harriet. On 29th October he was allocated 60 acres of land at Creswell Bay. He and Ann were married on 5 Nov 1791, when the Rev. Richard Johnson, Chaplain of the First Fleet and the Colony, spent 48 hours on Norfolk Island. Ann had 3 children on Norfolk. Diana b.Dec 1790, Mary Ann b.Nov 1792, & Charles b.1794. There are three additional children erroneously linked to Ann by some poorly researched sources - Rebecca, Francis & James. These are the result of misreading records.
In 1805, the British Government decided to abandon the island as it was too expensive to maintain. In the following few years the family departed the island. Eldest daughter Harriet had met John Devereux (convict of Shelbaggan, Co Wexford Ireland) and embarked fromt Norfolk Island on 25 Dec 1807 aboard the Porpoise bound for the Derwent River, Tasmania. She and John Devereux were married in Hobart 13 Jun 1808, and went on the have 8 children there between 1808 and 1825
On 12 Apr 1809 Ann's other daughter Mary Ann, departed the island on Estramina arr in Sydney on 22 Apr 1809. She is recorded in a relationship with Lieut.Thos Skottowe of the 73rd Regiment and Commandant of Newcastle (1811-1814) in the 1814 Muster. After the death of Skottowe in 1820, she married Henry Critchley in 1823. At her death in Darling Pt, Sydney NSW in 1879 her estate was claimed solely by her nephews Peter and Philip Devereux of Tasmania
John McCarty departed Norfolk Island on 3rd Sep 1808 aboard the 'City of Edinburgh'. He arrived on the Derwent River 5 Oct 1808, settling at Bridgewater near New Norfolk, acquiring 80 acres at Herdsmans Cove, Melville.
No trace can be found of Ann Beardsly/Bezely/McCarty death, but she is presumed to have died in the period between Oct 1796 and 1802 on Norfolk Island in a period when few records survived. It's possible she is the death recorded in May-Sep 1801 statistics when one woman, and one child are recorded deceased from the free persons. The child could be her son Charles. It may be no coincidence that John McCarty then enlisted in the NSW Corps in Dec 1801
Submitted by Researcher (4371) on 29 June 2015

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