b. 1843 Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, England - d. 1899 Ashfield, NSW, Australia

Mary was the fourth child of Charles Mead and Sophia nee Dimmock. She was born in Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, England and baptised 19 March 1843. The census of 1851 for Stewkley shows Mary aged eight working as a "straw plaitter".

She travelled to Australia on the “BUSSORAH MERCHANT” with her parents and their four surviving children - the youngest being born on the voyage. They arrived 19 March 1853, making her the first of my ancestors to set foot on Aussie soil!

(Well that was what we thought, but new information has come to light - after much research I might add - to show that in actual fact Donald (Daniel) McDonald who arrived in Port Jackson, NSW on the convict ship “FLORENTIA” in 1830 - was the earliest of our ancestors to arrive in Australia)

Mary Mead lived with her family in their home at 6 Grosvenor Crescent, Summer Hill, Sydney - the house is believed to be still there, much renovated.

Aged around 20, (and with a young daughter to care for) Mary was employed as housekeeper for Samuel and his children following the death of his first wife Friederike Catharina nee Knapp.

At the time of her marriage to my great grandfather, Mary Mead already had a daughter Jane born approx. 1860. Her father was “a gentleman of character” - Robert X. Hearsay has it that this “gentleman” was Robert Chipperfield, grandfather of the well-known test cricketer of the 1920/1930 era, Arthur Chipperfield. However, his paternity doesn't appear to have been proven, or acknowledged, and Jane was brought up as a Kirchner.

Click here to continue on with Samuel and Mary's story.


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