Sydney Cove 1792

Sydney Cove 1792

Lydia Farrell & the facts about the Higgins Family

Lydia Farrell (c.1757-1823)

Lydia Farrell's origins and place of birth are unknown, but in 1790 she was living with an itinerant gang in the English Midlands. In 1790 she stole seven shawls from a shop and was tried at Stafford Assizes on 21 July 1790. She was transported on the Pitt in 1792, sentenced for seven years. 

In NSW she was assigned to Robert Higgins of the NSW Corps and they had four children - Mary, Elizabeth, John and Sarah. They were married at St Phillip's Church, Sydney by the Reverend William Cowper on 9 July 1810. 

 The stories of the Higgins family and their extended families are all included in my book Murder, Mayhem & Misdemeanours

These are the facts about this family. 

1. Lydia Farrell & Robert Higgins only had four children - Mary, Elizabeth, John & Sarah. Their births are not recorded but musters and census records provide details and ages. 

2. Mary Higgins (1795 - 1867) was not born on Norfolk Island. (The 1828 NSW Census records her age as 33 years) The Mary Higgins recorded in the Norfolk Island Victualling Book was a convict from the Lady Juliana who was at Norfolk Island from 7 August 1790 until 3 September 1808. She was not related. 

Mary Higgins married Thomas Seymour (Admiral Gambier 1811) on 15 March 1814 at Parramatta. (NSWBDM 1814 1604 3A) They had seven children. From about 1830 she lived with William Ryan (Surrey I (2) 1816) They had four children. They were not married. (The Mary A Higgins who married a William Ryan in 1866 at Albury is not related. She was the daughter of David Higgins and his wife Mary and was born in 1840. (NSW BDM 294 61/1840)

3. The Robert Higgins who married Ann Owens in 1814 at Parramatta is not related. He was an ex-soldier who arrived as a convict in 1811 on the Admiral Gambier. He later acquired land at Bargo and in the Burragorang Valley where he died in 1828.

4. There were nine convicts named James Higgins. None of them are related and they appear in the musters and census records with their details. There are no birth records in NSW in the early 1800s for a person of this name. 

5. There is no evidence of the name Blair in relation to Lydia Farrell. In all her documentation in England and Australia she is only recorded as Lydia Farrell.

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