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Orphan Number: 1505
Orphan: Mary Ann DOE
Mother:NORTON, Bridget
Father:DOE, Ephram
Mother's ship:
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:3yrs 6mths
Date admitted:1 Apr 1859
Date discharged:5 Sep 1859
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: mother, free
Remarks:
References: SWD6


This orphan has been claimed by: Jennifer Jacobs

Mary Ann and her brother Ephraim Doe  entered the orphanage in 1859 when their father was charged with stealing sheep and their mother Bridget nee Norton was tring to run a farm alone. After five months in the orphanage, the children with their parents moved to Bishopsbourne where their father began to create a farm. In 1867, he was charged with manslaughter and sent to Port Arthur. The children moved to live in the Latrobe area with their mother.

A public subscription was taken up to raise money to defend Mary Ann when she was charged with stealing some clothing in Latrobe in 1875. The case was discharged. Mary Ann married a shipwright, (Henry) George Bennett in September 1877 and raised a family of six children. George belonged to a large family of mariners and himself, became a master mariner. He was often away from home and Mary Ann must have spent most of her time alone, wondering whether he would survive the many disasters which beset him as he went to sea. They lived at the Cam River in the early eighties where they ran the local hotel for a few months, then moved to the Don and the Leven, and finally to Launceston.

Mary Ann lost her two year old daughter to diphtheria in 1887 and nursed her son through smallpox when an epidemic hit Launceston later that year. They lived in very poor housing at Lower Charles Street and Mary Ann took in washing to make ends meet. A move was made to St John Street where they lived for several years. While they were here, a man who had been given permission to sleep in their barn had died overnight. The very next day, George's elderly uncle, who was being cared for in ther home, committed suicide by holding a bradawl to his neck and falling backwards. 

Mary Ann lost her son Alfred in a shooting accident at Beaconsfield in 1919. The other, Thomas became a master mariner. The daughters also married seafarers.

George became one of the original captains of the Holyman line and in the nineteen hundreds, he and Mary Ann were able to afford a move to Oswald Street in Invermay. Mary Ann died from a stroke in 1922.



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Site last updated June 2017