Sarah Jones (1810 – ?)

by Maureen Mann


Sarah Jones was born in 1810 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and was transported on the Sovereign in 1829 which was under the captaincy of William McKellar. The ship’s surgeon was George Fairfowl. The ship was carrying 119 convict women and had left Downs on 23 April 1829, arriving in Sydney on 3 August 1829, a relatively fast journey of 102 days.

At her 9 January 1829 Lancaster Quarter Session trial, Sarah was sentenced to 14 years’ transportation for stealing a hat. On arrival she was given the prisoner number of 29/289 and was first assigned to James Mordaunt in Sydney. Her ticket of leave of 29 January 1836, allowing her to remain in Sydney, states that she was a servant and now assigned to McKellar. It also gives a physical description: 4 feet 11 inches (149.86 cm) tall, with a ruddy complexion, black hair and hazel eyes. She had a scar under her chin and on her nose, her nose was thick and she had HHEH tattooed on her upper left arm. This certificate appears to have been lost as it over-written with a re-issue in February 1837 which is referenced on her certificate of freedom.

Still assigned to McKellar, Sarah’s certificate of freedom is dated 19 January 1843. There are several corrections on this certificate: her eyes are now said to be brown. More details are given about her appearance. Her nose is inclining to the right (and still thick), her eyebrows are meeting, there is a scar on the left side of her upper lip and there is a scar on the back of her right hand. She is now classed as a barmaid and no longer a servant.

With a name as common as Sarah Jones it is impossible to make firm linkages to marriages, deaths or events outside the convict system in NSW.

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© 2016 Convict Women's Press Inc.