|Mother's ship:||Duke of Cornwall|
|Age when admitted:||1yr 4mths|
|Date admitted:||6 Jun 1855|
|Date discharged:||7 Mar 1856|
|Institution(s):||Queens Orphan School|
|Discharged to:||mother, Ticket of Leave|
Leinster Express 16 March 1850 p.2 col.3:
House Burning.- On the night of the 10th inst, about 12 o'clock an outhouse belonging to John Butler (not the magistrate) at Athy was maliciously set on fire. Through the exertions of the police, who were on patrol, assisted by the town people, a range of thatched houses, connected with the outhouse, was saved from being burned. A girl named McDonald was being sworn against as having placed a coal in the thatch of the outhouse and has been committed for trial.
Her gaol report stated that she had been convicted three times before and that her behaviour was good. Ellen confessed to have been in prison seven days for trespass and again for seven days for stealing a turnip.
A twenty-year-old housemaid from Kildare, Ellen was 5'2 and a half tall with a ruddy complexion, dark brown hair, blue eyes, wide nostrils, a wide mouth and large chin. She was freckled and had a small mole.
From January 1852, Ellen was in and out of the House of Correction and gave birth to Bernard there in February 1854. By January 1855, she was assigned again in Hobart and was at the Queen's Orphan Schools on 2 July 1855. Bernard was admitted there on 6 June 1855. By September 1855, Ellen was back in the House of Correction. She was granted a ticket-of-leave on 30 October 1855 and recommended for a conditional pardon in February 1856. This was approved in February 1857.
Bernard McDonald was discharged to his mother on 7 March 1856.
Ellen McDonald and John Beck, a convict who arrived on the China, successfully applied for permission to marry in February 1857. They married in St Joseph's Catholic Church in Hobart later that month. Ellen and John had at least five children, including twins born in 1868 who did not survive. The following year, Ellen, then aged 40, was admitted to the Asylum at New Norfolk; she died there in October 1875. (see The Mercury 11 February 1869 p.2. John Beck died earlier that year, in March, after falling from the top of Cooley's omnibus near the 'lodge at the Orphan Asylum'. A report of his inquest can be found in The Mercury 10 March 1875 p.3