This orphan has been claimed by: Margaret Soliatis
Catherine Byrne's mother Mary married Abraham Whitaker/Whittaker and I am a direct descendant through their son John who came to NSW after marrying Eliza Goyen.
This Whittaker family had a tragic life. Catherine died from burns received when her clothes caught fire from candle when she was placing sugar on a shelf. (She was only 7 years old).
Mary came from County Wicklow, Ireland and was sentenced to 7 years for stealing 5 stone of potatoes in 1848.
I have located both Mary & Abraham in the historical newspapers. It appears they both had a drinking problem. Abraham was also charged with the murder of Mary, found not guilty but guilty of manslaughter with a strong recommendation for clemency. He was sentenced to one year in gaol.
Abraham was from Yorkshire, England and was sentenced to 15 years for highway robbery. He spent 2 years on Norfolk Island, arriving on the Blundell in 1844. He came to Hobart on the Lady Franklin.
I have both Catherine's & Mary's Inquests and both Abraham's & Mary's convict records as well as the newspaper articles about Mary's death.
Abraham is buried in Cornelian Cemetery (as well as his son Joseph) but I was unable to locate any graves when visiting. Have been unable to locate where Catherine and Mary were buried.
Mary & Abraham were married in St John's Church, New Town.
Happy to supply further information. Contact has been made with relatives in England, i.e. descendants of Abraham's sister.
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