Skip to main content

My First Fleet Connection - Mary Turner (aka Mary Wilkes/Wilks)

My 5th Great Grandmother Mary Turner (also known as Mary Wilks/Wilkes) is my earliest known and documented Australian relative.  She was tried at Worcester on  5th March 1785 and sentenced to seven years. Mary arrived on the ship Lady Penrhyn  in 1788.  It seems the 5th of March was not an auspicious trial date for Mary in 1785 or later in 1789!   On the 5th  March 1789 she was tried for stealing six cabbages from the garden of William Parr, she was found guilty and sentenced to 50 lashes.  Later in March 1789 she also was in trouble for her testimony in the trial of  Royal Marines accused of stealing from the government stores  (six of them were found guilty and executed) in which it was believed by some that she had perjured herself.  Mary was sent to Norfolk Island in 1790 on board the ship Sirius.  Apparently she stayed on Norfolk Island until 1793 when she returned to Port Jackson on board the ship Kitty.   Her de facto relationship with David Batty (a Third Fleet convict who was transported to Australia on board the ship Albemarle in 1791) produced four known children.  Mary died 21st January 1808 and was buried in the Old Sydney Burial Ground.


Mary Wilkes/Turner & David Batty (b 1762- 2 Dec 1818)

Children

David Batty  b. 15 November 1794

Richard Batty b. 27 August 1797 - d.12 June 1799

Ann Batty b. 2 May 1800

Thomas Batty b. 13 September 1802 - d. 17 October 1870

Australian Convict Transportation Registers – First Fleet, 1787-1788 about Mary Turner

Name: Mary Turner
[Mary Wilkes]
Vessel: Lady Penrhyn
Fleet: First
Convicted Date: 5 Mar 1785
Voyage Date: Feb 1787
Colony: New South Wales
Place of Conviction: Worcester, Worcestershire, England

Source: Ancestry.com. Australian Convict Transportation Registers – First Fleet, 1787-1788 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.



Bench of Magistrates cases, 1788-1820

Turner ? M 05 Mar 1789 151 29 654 Theft of 6 cabbages [SZ765] COD 17
Source: State Records NSW. Retrieved from http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au

NSW BDM Births

V1794391 1A/1794 BATTY DAVID DAVID MARY (WILKS)
V1794307 4/1794 BATTY DAVID DAVID MARY (WILKS)
V1794207 4/1794 WILKS DAVID B   MARY
V1797666 1A/1797 WILKS RICHARD   MARY
V1797496 4/1797 WILKS RICHARD B   MARY
V1800901 1A/1800 BATTY ANN DAVID MARY (WILKS)
V1800647 4/1800 BATTY ANN B W DAVID MARY (WILKS)
V18021160 1A/1802 BATTY THOMAS DAVID MARY (WILKS)
V1803757 4/1803 BATTY THOMAS W DAVID MARY (WILKS)

NSW BDM Deaths

? V17931047 2A/1793 WILKES MARY INFANT
? V1793464 148/1793 WILKES MARY
V17991443 2A/1799 BATTY RICHARD INFANT
V1799935 4/1799 BATTY RICHARD INFANT
V18082270 2A/1808 WILKS MARY
V18184168 2B/1818 BATTY DAVID AGE 56
V1818834 7/1818 BATTY DAVID AGE 56
6516/1870 BATTEY THOMAS AGE 69 YEARS DIED YASS YASS

NSW BDM Marriages

V182090 8/1820 HOSKISSON THOMAS BATTY ANN CA
V18202540 3A/1820 HOSKISSON THOMAS BATTY ANN CA
V18243428 3B/1824 BATTY THOMAS PIPER MARY A CA
V1824372 8/1824 BATTY THOMAS PIPER MARY A CA

Source: NSW BDM Indexes. Retrieved from http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au

Comments

  1. Hi Tracy,
    I too have followed my ancestry to Mary, through her son Thomas. Following through the Batty and Goodenough lines..Amazing story..Thanks for the research :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am descendant from Mary TURNER (aka WILKES) and her son Thomas Wilkes BATTY, then Edmund BATTY then Edward Joseph BATTYE. Is there any record of why the alias name WILKES sprang up. Was it an old family name or somebody close to Mary?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Colin,
      I have a personal opinion on this which I cannot prove at this stage, but I really do think Wilks/Wilkes may have been her actual surname. When I first started researching back in the 1990s most trees had her parents listed as William Turner and Betty Ferret. My focus on my branches has mainly been on their arrival in Australia down, once I have sorted that all out properly then I will go back further if I can, so I wasn’t really looking at that area.
      I had been looking for Edward Battye in all sorts of places for over twenty years before you helped to uncover his secret! I was so glad he didn’t end up dead down a mineshaft somewhere like I thought! He had a fascinating life by the sounds of it and I am happy to now have a much bigger family. I have had a bit of a soft spot for him after researching him for so long, his involvement in the flood rescue and searching for the little lost girl Ada Field showed me that he was a very good man.
      DNA and more records becoming more freely available are leading to so many discoveries and brick wall breakthroughs. As records have become more freely available, early research has proved in quite a few cases to be incorrect and now I can’t help wondering with regards to Mary whether her not her parents were instead Richard Wilks and Ann Foster (as more researchers are claiming these days). I haven’t really chased this up but intend to soon, as my curiosity is now piqued. The fact that Mary named two of her children Richard and Ann is of interest, given naming traditions of the time. Mary’s story obviously hasn’t been fully told yet and DNA may be a big part of uncovering this part of it, as our DNA matches might provide us with clues and evidence that may help to uncover this truth too 🤞

      Regards
      Tracy

      Delete
  3. Hi Tracy
    I also have Mary Turner (Wilks) as my 5th Great Grandmother down through Thomas Batty, Henry Batty
    I have only just started researching after DNA testing, I was adopted out in the 1960s found my Birth Mother back in the 90s, was hoping to get some help locating my Birth father through DNA.

    I have found many interesting people in the family history including Mary Turner well that was her name when she was convicted, but she was buried in the Old Sydney Burial Grounds under the name Mary Wilks, 1808
    Her identity and story is very intriguing, the Richard Wilks and Ann Foster has been a lead Ive been doing a bit of work, nothing I would say in concrete yet.
    And yes having children named Richard and Ann could be a coincidence or could be more.
    Also the name Turner was this her alias ? and may Wilks was her name ? the mystery continues ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      Lovely to hear from another descendant of Mary's! She is very much a woman of mystery and intrigue, hopefully DNA will enable us to unlock more in the future. I always look forward to the new year period as many people give DNA test kits for Christmas presents and that is when you get a lot more new DNA matches show up. Hopefully you will get some new leads then too!

      Tracy

      Delete
  4. Lyn Barrington12 July 2022 at 16:27

    Hi Tracy
    I'm another descendant of Mary Turner (or Wilks) and David Batty. They are my 4x great grandparents. My line is through Thomas David Batty/Mary Piper and Dulcibella Jane Batty.
    My records show that David and Mary's son, Thomas Batty died in Yass, NSW in 1870. Do you happen to know where he was buried or if there are any records in Yass about him and their family?
    Also, I'm interested in your comment about DNA matching. Do you have any matches with the elusive Richard Wilks and Ann Foster??

    Lyn

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Trove Tuesday - The Murder of Patrick McCooey

These articles involve my 5th Great Grandmother Ann Puckeridge (nee Maund) and her son William Puckeridge (my half 4th Great grand Uncle).  Ann was born in England and married her first husband Joseph Puckeridge around 1796.  There are records of two children being baptised in St Marylebone, Middlesex,   England for this couple Sarah (1799-?) and James (1800-?).  Their lives took a turn in 1800, when Joseph was sentenced to death for stealing scotch ticking, this sentence was later remitted to transportation for Life.  In 1801 Joseph, the convict and Ann his free wife arrived in Australia on board the ship Earl Cornwallis , their English born children's fate is unknown.  They went on to have the following children in Australia: William (1802-1877), John (1804-1885), Ann Sawyer nee Puckeridge (1806-1882), Mary Ann (1809-1818), Richard (1812-1881), Joseph (1814-1857) and Henry (1817-1819).   Joseph worked as a brickmaker in Australia and died in Sydney in 1818.  In 1820 Ann married J

The Kendall Children.

I started this post a while ago and was going to finally finish and post it yesterday however our four grandchildren came over and I got sidetracked.  Our grandchildren range in age now from six down to one;  they are so full of life (each of them lights up a room when they enter it) and we feel extremely blessed to have them in our lives.  After spending the afternoon researching this post, their arrival made this tragedy even more poignant for me and so I appreciated their company even more than usual and hugged them a bit tighter too!  This morning I woke up to a cold, wet and windy Wagga day and the thought of three little girls out in August weather like this, in light weight dresses with no shoes or jumpers impacted on me even more. Those poor babies! One of the girls was found still clasping her doll that she had carried with her over the whole tragic journey. When my husband and I were looking around the Wagga Wagga Monumental Cemetery some time ago we came across a very sad he

Trove Tuesday - Death of a Centenarian

The year I turned twelve my Great Great Grandmother Flora Ann Worldon nee McDonnell passed away just two months short of her 105th birthday.  She was born at the Inn owned by her Father and Uncle at Five Mile Creek, Gundagai in 1875; the ruins of which can be still seen today near the 'Dog on the Tuckerbox' and lived a full and interesting life. Growing up she had always been part of the family folklore.  I have always known her to be my oldest ancestor at the time of their death but now it seems that my 5th Great Grandmother Ann Costello nee Hogan at 105 years of age has overtaken her for top ranking. There do seem to be some embellishments and discrepancies in the article however, she had been in Australia for only twenty nine years not over half a century and her immigration files have her birth year c.1798 rather than c.1782 that would be required for her to die in 1887 aged 105, so more research is required for verification of her exact age. Source: DEATH OF A CENT