Julia is my great great grandmother.
Julia (1824) and Martha (1826) were born in
Scotland to father William Ferns and mother Ann Ferns nee McIntyre.
Julia and Martha Ferns travelled to Van Diemen's Land
with their mother aboard the MELLISH female prison ship arriving in Hobart Town
on 22 September 1830. Martha and Julia were not shown on the shipping
list, the number of children belonging to the convict women the only indication
that children were on board. (It is listed in records on Prisoners & Survivors
website that Ann was accompanied by two children on the trip out to Van Diemen's
Land.) They were subsequently transferred with their mother to the Cascades
Female House of Corrections.
As their mother Ann was incarcerated in the Cascades
Female House of Corrections when they arrived in Hobart Town, Julia (6) and
Martha (3) would probably have been transferred to a female orphan school in
Martha was admitted to the new orphanage from the
Female House of Corrections as is shown in the admittance book for the orphanage
sourced in the Tasmanian Archives. Her mother, Ann, was serving a 4 month
sentence in the Crime Class for drunkenness in the Female Factory at this time.
Martha was released from the orphanage on 2 July 1840
at age 14 years. As orphans were apprenticed out at age 14 years, it is possible
that this date was Martha's birthday as the orphanage would not wish to care for
orphans any longer than that required by the colonial government!
King's Orphan School Register
NAME: Martha Ferns
AGE: 6 years
ADMITTED|: 9th January 1833
PARENTS NAMES: From House of Correction
TIME OF REMOVAL: 2nd July 1840
REMARKS: From Female House of Correction.
Apprenticed to T. Smith, Ross
When the orphans turned 14 years of age, they were
apprenticed out and were forced to work for no money until 18. They were
at the mercy of their masters regarding food, clothing and housing. Martha was
apprenticed to T. Smith, at Ross, and it was here that Martha was to meet and
marry her future husband, Uriah Martin, in 1842.
Martha's son John married
Elizabeth Hudson in Victoria and it was their eldest daughter, Annie Maud
Martin, who married John Mitchelmore, my grandfather.