Mary Fadden

Female Abt 1831 - 1867  (~ 36 years)

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  • Name Mary Fadden 
    Born Abt 1831  Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Mary Fadden, native place, Castlebar, Mayo, age 19, parents, Edward & Ellen (both dead), Roman Catholic, ship Panama (Sydney 12 Jan 1850)

      Catherine Fadden,native place, Castlebar, Mayo, age 17, parents Edward & Ellen (both dead), Roman Catholic Panama (Sydney 12 Jan 1850)
      (DATABASE - Irish Famine Memorial)

      Famine Orphan Girl Database

      Mary and Catherine Fadden, ex Panama
      Mary Fadden, age 19, and Catherine Fadden, age 17, were sisters from Castlebar. Neither could read or write, and their parents, Edward and Ellen were both dead. On their arrival in Sydney on the Panama, they were sent together to the Wollongong depot. Mary was employed by George Waldron, and Catherine by A Elliot (see Irish Orphan Girl Database).

      In 1855, Mary Fadden married widower Laurence O'Toole, who was publican of the Bee Hive Inn in Kiama. Newspaper advertisements indicate that Mary Fadden's employer, George Waldron, later had business dealings with Laurence O'Toole.

      Laurence O?Toole was from County Wexford, and already had six children by his first marriage. Mary Fadden and Laurence O'Toole had another six children.

      In 1858, Mary and Catherine were joined in Australia by their brother Richard Fadden, who arrived with his wife, Mary, and daughter, Ellen, on the ship the Herald of the Morning.

      In 1859, Catherine Fadden married John Reid. John and Catherine lived in Jamberoo, near Kiama, where John began a blacksmithing business.

      In 1864, a turn of sad events for Mary brought conflict between Mary's brother, Richard, and Laurence O?Toole, Mary's husband.

      On Thursday 25 August 1864, Mary O'Toole was arrested in Sydney and charged with, ?while suffering from insanity, attempted to commit suicide?. Mary's brother Richard testified to ?her suicidal attempts and other acts, which led him to believe her to be of unsound mind? (Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August 1864). Richard also claimed that "Her husband... had treated her very unkindly. He thought the husband was jealous of her, and that had preyed on her mind. Within the last fortnight she had thrice attempted to commit suicide" (Empire, 26 August 1864).
      Mary was remanded to Darlinghurst gaol in Sydney.

      It appears that Mary's husband Laurence read the reporting of the affair in the papers, and wrote to the Kiama Independent (1 September 1864) to refute the claims made by Richard about Mary, stating in addition that:
      ?my wife was taken or forced away from her own home without either her own consent or mine, leaving behind her five children, the eldest not 8 years, and the youngest at the breast?.

      Two weeks later (Kiama Independent, 15 September 1864), O?Toole wrote another emotional letter: ?having heard that Mary O'Toole is in Bedlam, I would like to know who put her there, and how I can get her out? For when she was so ruthlessly taken away from me, she left a child for me to wean that I am afraid will die before morning. If it does, its death, and perhaps its mother's too, must lie at the door of those who, against her own will and mine, took her away from under the protection of her lawful guardian.

      It is not known how this immediate situation was resolved, but it is known that Mary did later return to the Kiama region.

      In a strange twist to the story, one year later, in 1865, the newspapers reported the disappearance of Mary and Catherine's brother, Richard Fadden, in what appeared to be suicide. Richard's clothes had been found on the rocks at Kiama's Blowhole Point, with a note in the pocket stating that a search would locate the body of Richard Fadden. The Queanbeyan Age (14 September 1865) called it: ?a strange affair, as there seems to be no cause for the man?s self-destruction. He is a married man with a family? and well known to nearly everyone in town?. However, no body was located.

      Three months later, on 3 January 1866, the New South Wales Police Gazette revealed that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Richard Fadden, charged with deserting his wife, Mary Fadden, and four children, leaving them without the means of support?. It was reported that Mrs Fadden had been left ?in a state of destitution?, which was aggravated by the recent birth of another child?. The police indicated that they had ?received information about his whereabouts, and had taken the necessary steps for his apprehension. (Kiama Independent, 4 January and 29 March 1866). It is not known whether Richard was eventually located.

      Tragedy was to continue to strike the Fadden family, as in the next year, 1867, Mary died. The Kiama Independent (5 September 1867) reported that Mary, aged 38, died ?at the residence of her sister [Catherine], at Jamberoo?, leaving ?six small motherless children?. Mysteriously the newspaper report specifies that the funeral took place the day immediately after death due to ?the nature of the fatal disease.

      Laurence O'Toole died four years later, in 1871. His age was "not accurately known, and is variously from 66 and 72" (Kiama Independent, 23 February 1871).

      No further information is available on Catherine Fadden, who married to John Reid in 1859.

      Orphan Girl Database maintained by the Irish Famine Memorial Sydney
    Gender Female 
    Died Sep 1867  Kiama, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
      (New South Wales Death Index 1788-1985)
    Death Notice 5 Sep 1867  The Kiama Independent, and Shoalhaven Advertiser, NSW. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Death.-It is with feelings of symphony for the beloved husband and six small motherless childrrn, that er chronicle the death of Mrs. O'Toole, wife of one of the first settlers, in Kiama, our respected neighbour, Lawrence O'Toole. The deceased was 38 years old. She died at the reesidence of her sister, at Jamberoo.. The funeral which, from the nature of the fatal desease,
    took place on the following day, was at attended by a large number of sympathising freinds.
    The Kiama Independent, and Shoalhaven Advertiser, NSW., Thursday, 5 September 1867

    Person ID I16358  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 29 Jun 2019 

    Family Laurence O'Toole,   b. Abt 1800, County Wexford, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1871, Kiama, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 71 years) 
    Married 23 Nov 1855  Kiama, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 425/1855 V1855425 101
      (New South Wales Marriage Index 1788-1965)
      Roman Catholic, Kiama

      Catholic,,New South Wales,Australia
    +1. Julia O'Toole,   b. 1861, Kiama, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Dec1953, 10 Meridian Street Mascot, New South Wales Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 19 Jul 2019 
    Family ID F5852  Group Sheet

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