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Orphan Number: 769
Orphan: Mary CANTWELL
Mother:CANTWELL, Mary
Mother's ship:Mary Ann 2
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:12yrs
Date admitted:8 Apr 1841
Date discharged:12 Jul 1842
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: apprentice to Female School
References: SWD7, 28

This orphan has been claimed by: David Eastwood

Mary Cantwell was my g.g.grandmother.  She was the daughter of an Irish female convict Eliza Cantwell(nee Gorman).  Mary was born in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland in 1828.  She was transported with her mother and arrived in March 1841.


Mary married James Lilley Pearce in Tasmania in 1847.  They settled in rural Victoria in the area between Colac and Cressy.  She died in 1907 and is buried in Beeac cemetery with her husband James, who by then had changed the spelling of his surname to Pierce.  Mary and James had 14 children.  

Mary's mother Eliza was granted a ticket of leave in 1845 and died near Ballarat in 1855.  I am unaware how Mary came to meet James Pierce, he was born in New Norfolk in 1821 but moved to Victoria in around 1839.  I would be interested to chart Mary's journey from the orphanage to her marriage.

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 Site last updated February 2020