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Orphan Number: 4015
Orphan: Catherine (1) MURPHY
Mother's ship:Greenlaw
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:8yrs
Date admitted:11 Jul 1844
Date discharged:6 Mar 1850
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: mother, Ticket of Leave
Remarks: Grangegorman Gaol records mother's name as McPoland
References: SWD7, 28

This orphan has been claimed by: Gail Williamson

Catherine Murphy was born County Down Ireland in 1836. Her mother Mary McPolan was convicted for the theft of 3 pigs in Hillsborough in 1843 and sentenced to 7 years transportation to Tasmania. Mary's records show her as Mary Murphy alias McPolan. She was unmarried but named Andrew Murphy as the father of her daughter Catherine. They were both admitted to Grangegorman Female Prison in November 1843, departed from Dublin on the ship Greenlaw in March 1844 and arrived Hobart in July 1844. Catherine aged 8 years was admitted to the Queens Orphanage upon arrival and discharged March 1850 into her mother's care when Mary received her certificate of freedom.

In September 1852 Catherine married Alexander Stewart in Geelong Victoria. He was born in Glasgow in 1819.  Alexander worked as a splitter at Wormbete Forest near Winchelsea. They had seven children but a daughter Catherine died in 1858 aged one year. They lived in Birregurra, Terang and their youngest son James Alexander was born in Condah Victoria.  Alexander died whilst working in Taylor's Forest near Myamyn in 1866 aged 47.  He was found in his house in the forest by his first born child Andrew Walter, aged 13 years.

Catherine was a housekeeper when she married John Wells, a widower in Portland in 1884.  Together they had 6 children.  John died in 1897 aged 70 years and is buried in the Harrow Cemetery.

Catherine also lived at Yulecart near Hamilton Victoria and was 70 years of age when she died in 1905 at the Hamilton hospital.  She is buried in the Hamilton Cemetery.  In her will she left her team of 12 bullocks, wagon and tackling to her sons William Ernest and Frederick Herbert Wells. She signed her own name on both her marriage certificates and also on her will, the spelling being Catharine on all documents.

Descendants of Catherine Wells

On Sunday 13th April 2014 a group of family members attended Catherine's gravesite at Hamilton to place a cross on her unmarked grave as a tribute to the memory of their ancestor Catherine. Great great grand daughter Lesley Desborough, from Wangaratta, Victoria was unable to attend.

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 Site last updated June 2021