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I love getting ‘real’ mail!

December 16, 2010

Great excitement – I came home to find a governmenty looking letter and opened it expecting some kind of bill or formal communication and found this:

New South Wales

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995


Number 2390 Vol 38A


Christian name: Mary Jane

When Born: 5 September 1846

Date of ceremony: 14 November 1852

Where ceremony performed: Parish of Sofala in the County of Roxburgh

Where registered: Not Stated


Father: James LYNCH

Mother: Rosanna LYNCH

Abode: Sofala

Quality or profession: Gold Miner

Sponsers: Not Stated

By whom the ceremony was performed: H.A. Palmer, Church of England.

From this certificate I have learned this:  that James Lynch and Rosanna Lynch had a child called Mary Jane in 5 September 1846, and she was baptised in 1852.  That James Lynch was a gold miner in a place called Sofala NSW.

What I still don’t know for sure is:  Whether this is ‘my’ Rosanna Lynch and HER husband ‘Elijah’ Ealden and their daughter, Marion.

What the dates do or don’t tell me is that Mary Jane was born before James Ealden (if indeed this James Lynch is the convict James Ealden) got his conditional pardon in 1848, but was baptised (ie recorded) AFTER James Ealden got his conditional pardon.

If my theory is correct (and its kind of a hunch and kind of conjecture and kind of wishful thinking), then James Ealden may have changed his name to James Lynch after his conditional pardon.  However Rosanna is still Rosanna here in 1852 – she has not changed her name to Rosina yet.  How much did people worry or think about official recordings and registrations back in the 1840’s and 50’s?  Were they consciously muddying the paper trail?  Given the possibility of a convict past this seems possible.  But if having been a convict was such a problem, why would Rosanna/Rosina go off and marry ANOTHER ex-convict (as James Hammond appears to have been) 8 months after her first husband died?  and does ‘Mary Jane’ equate to/ become ‘Marion’?

The plot thickens and the questions increase.


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