A convict inside (Parramatta Female Factory)

Original 1818-21 wall of the Parramatta Female Factory (2nd class yard), New South Wales, Australia

1818 convict wall, Parramatta Female Factory                        (2nd Class yard)

In 1838 Catherine Dixon found herself on the wrong side of this wall. She was my great great great great grandmother. So I retraced her footsteps, with my camera, to see what life was like for her ‘on the inside’.

Why was Catherine ‘inside’?

She was a thirty year old widow sentenced to 14 years transportation for receiving stolen goods [Lancaster Quarter Sessions 1836 trial register]. Her four young children were sent with her to New South Wales.

(To see a description of what Catherine looked like and more on her transportation to Australia go to Part 1, ‘A convict in the tree’.)

At the journey’s end Catherine had been assigned to M Sparke of Sydney. But soon afterward she and her daughter were sent to this place, the Female Factory in Parramatta.

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A convict in the tree

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, Cumberland Hospital, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

A majestic old tree sheltering convict and colonial buildings, Parramatta

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A little while back I found some convict bricks in my veggie patch. It got me thinking about the Australian ‘royal blood’ or convict blood in my family tree. 

Of my convict ancestors the one that strikes my heart the most is Catherine Hughes, my great great great great grandmother (4 x great). Something about her sad plight touches me. I wanted to know more about her life on Australian soil and to retrace her footsteps.

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