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Trove Tuesday - Jugiong Police Court: Police v. Mary Stevens

My Trove Tuesday article for this week concerns my Great Grand Aunt Mary Jane Stevens and the theft of a nightdress and underclothing.  Mary was the daughter of Thomas Stevens/Stephens and his wife Jane (nee Henderson).  Born at Adjungbilly in 1880, her death information has so far not been located.  Mary had three illegitimate sons, no father named, twins Ben and Malcolm born in 1899 and John in 1900.  Malcolm died in 1899, while Ben and John died in the 1960's.  Family history has it that Mary died in her early twenties with the McAlister Family (her Aunt and godmother Martha Henderson had married into the McAlister family) raising her surviving sons.

Source: District News. (1901, June 29). The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW : 1898 - 1928), p. 2. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from


District News.

BEFORE Mr. C.W. Thomas, P.M., and Messrs W. Coggan, Jas. Osborne, and B.M. Osborne, jnr. J's.P.
Trustees of Jugiong Common v.' James Toner, appeal against special damages (£5) on a bull, the property of the trustees, impounded by defendant from his land at Jugiong.  On this one being called, Mr. F. Bonnette, on behalf of the common's trustees, informed the Bench that a settlement between the parties had been arrived at, and the case was accordingly struck out.  There was considerable local interest taken in the case, the court being crowded.
George Heggarty.- Drunk and disorderly on 24th May, pleaded guilty.  Fined £1 and 4/10 costs, in default 7 days in Gundagai gaol.
Heggarty was further charged with using indecent language.  Fined £2 and 4.10 costs, in default 14 days, sentences to be cumulative.  Seven days were allowed in which to pay the fines.
Police v. Robert Montgomery.- Riotous behaviour.  Accused, who pleaded guilty, was given an excellent character by the police.  Fined 10s and 4/10 costs or 3 days, fine paid.
John Hawkins.-Drunkenness in police court.  Fined 5/. in default 2 1/2 hours.
Police v. Mary Stevens.- Stealing a nightdress the property of Millie Sheehan.  Accused was undefended.  On the case being called Mr. Coggan rose and said he would not sit in judgment on account of a letter which had been handed to him that morning.  The letter, which purported to be written by John McAlister, was in a woman's hand, and Mr. Coggan stated that he was quite confident that McAlister had nothing to do with the case, as he was away from home.  The P.M. referred to the letter, and the writer of it, in very severe terms, and directed that the letter should be handed over to the police in order to, if possible, trace the writer.  If this was done, report to be made to him, and he would bring the matter under the notice of the Crown Law Department.  Evidence in support of the charge was then proceeded with.  Constable Blood-Smyth deposed that on the morning of the 23rd ultimo he went to Dennis Sheehan's residence ; saw the tracks of two horses near the clothes line near the house - one shod and the other barefooted ; the latter made a peculiar track with the hind foot ; recognised the track as that of a horse called "Engine," the property of Mr. McAlister ; went to McAlister's and found the nightdress produced ; accused said it was her's, and had been made for her by Mrs. Wales, of Murrumburrah ; in answer to a question she said she had been to the hotel at Jugiong on the previous evening, and had returned about dark, accompanied by Veronica McAlister- who was riding a chestnut sulky horse which was shod, she herself riding "Engine."  Millie Sheehan deposed that she lived with her father at Jugiong ; the nightdress produced was her property ; it was hung on the line at her father's place on the 22nd ultimo ; missed it next morning, and saw it in the custody of the police.  Anne Wales deposed that she had never made any underclothing for accused ; had made a dress and aprons for her.  This closed the case for the prosecution.  Accused, who elected to be dealt with summarily, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to three months imprisonment in Gundagai gaol, sentence to be suspended under the provisions of the Crimes Act of 1900, on accused finding two sureties to be of good conduct for 12 months, and to report to Jugiong police every three months.
Same accused was further charged with stealing underclothing. the property of Jessie O'Mara, at same time and place.  Evidence similar to former charge.  Sentence, 3 months, concurrent with previous sentence.
The necessary sureties being forthcoming, accused was liberated and the court adjourned.
There was no business for the Small Debts Court.

New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 about Mary Stevens

Name: Mary Stevens
Birth Year: abt 1881
Age: 20
Event Place: New South Wales, Australia
Event Type: Theft
Publication Date: 10 Jul 1901
Page #: 271

Source: New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. 

While the theft was Marys first offense, allowing her to be released after the payment of sureties on a good behaviour bond it was not her first dealings with the law.  In 1899 Mary had made a complaint for child desertion against a George Brown.

New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 about Mary Stevens

Name: Mary Stevens
Event Place: Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia
Event Type: Desertion
Publication Date: 12 Apr 1899
Page #: 139
'Jugiong. - A warrant has been issued by the Jugiong Bench for the arrest of George Brown, charged with child desertion.  He is 22 years of age, 6 feet high, strong build, very broad shoulders, dark complexion, black curly hair, black moustache, dark eyes, weight about 14 stone, a miner. Supposed gone to Grafton. Complainant: Mary Stevens. Bongongo.'

 New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 about George Brown

Name: George Brown
Birth Year: abt 1877
Age: 22
Event Place: Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia
Event Type: Desertion
Publication Date: 12 Apr 1899
Page #: 139

New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 about George Brown

Name: George Brown
Event Place: Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia
Event Type: Desertion
Publication Date: 9 Aug 1899
Page #: 249
See Also Year: 1899
See Also Page: 139

'George Brown, charged on warrant issued by the Jugiong Bench with child desertion, is said to have been seen in Sydney recently. Arrest desirable.'
Source: New South Wales, Australia, Police Gazettes, 1854-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. 

NSW BDM Birth Indexes


NSW BDM Death Indexes


Source: Historical Indexes. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Retrieved from

The search continues for more information about Mary, hopefully one day I can find out what happened to her.


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