Mary Pearson, wife and mother

From the time of Mary’s marriage, there is very little that can be known about her life.  As pointed out in “Pieces of the puzzle” the golden rule is to start with what is known and work back. In this case the ‘what is known’ is her convict record, and we are attempting to work forward. Perhaps one day, one of the ancestors of Mary Pearson may come across this research and spread some light on whatever became of her children. For now we have only clues and questions.

Mary Harvey married George Pearson on July 10, 1850 [1] in Trinity Church.  Their ages are listed as “full” and they are both listed as widowed. It is not known if Mary Harvey was a widow as no record of William Harvey’s death has been found. It seems to the modern eye that the circumstances of transportation were sufficient in nineteenth century Australia to end any prior marriages and one is left wondering if the same grace was granted to the party left behind.

On 21 November, 1851 their first child, a female, [2] was born. No name is recorded for the child and the father’s name is listed as John Pearson, however it is signed George Pearson and the mother’s previous name is listed as Edwards, Mary’s birth name.

On 17 September, 1853 their second child, a male, [3] was born. Again, no name is recorded for the child and this time Mary’s name is recorded as Mary Harvey.

A third child, the second daughter [4], was born on 22 December, 1854 and registered in January 1855. This time Mary is listed as Edwards.

On 14 January, 1858 a William Pearson was admitted to the Orphan School [5] in Hobart aged one year six months, giving him a birth date of June 1856. He is listed as the son of George Pearson, Isabella 2; and Mary Pearson, Sea Queen; no birth registration has been found for this or any more children of Mary and George Pearson. This was their fourth child.

Two weeks later, on 1 February, 1858, a Jane Pearson [6] aged three years, this was their third child who was born on 22 December, 1853. Jane was released to the Girl’s School on 17 November, 1862 apparently winning an Infant Prize in January of the following year. George was released to the Boy’s School on 24 March, 1863.

No further Tasmanian record of the first child, a female born in 1851 for either a death between 1851 and 1871 or for a marriage of a female Pearson between 1865 and 1885. [7] The second child, a male could possibly have been a Robert Pearson, a shepherd, who died of a haemorrhage on 17 July, 1876 in Campbell Town at the age of 23. [8] A Coronial Hearing [9] named him as a native of the colony, however there was another Pearson male, with no name recorded born, to William Pearson and Catherine Malone in 1853. [10] Robert Pearson would most likely be one or the other of these two males.

A Jane Pearson married a George Hill on 12 December 1876, [11] their ages are recorded as ‘full’ however, Mary’s daughter Jane Pearson would have been 22 years old at this time and so it is reasonably possible that this is her. There are no other marriages of a Jane Pearson in Tasmania that might reasonably be her, but not enough is known about her life to be certain.

No Tasmanian record can be found that could be reasonable attributed to William Pearson or the first born child, and no further Tasmanian records could be found for Jane Pearson or the second child. Furthermore, no Tasmanian death record that can be reasonably attributed to Mary Pearson or George Pearson could be found. [12]

References and Credits

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