Girls in the Factory

Beth Matthews and Anne Mathews have been researching the women in the Female Factory for may years. They have spent a day every week (health permitting) trawling through the reels at State Records, to date they have done 100 reels and worn out many pairs of glasses.

If you are interested in any of the names please contact PFFF at parramattafemalefactoryfriends@gmail.com

If you want to share you relatives story please also email us at the above address

Girls of the Factory can be found here

How to research in the NSW State Library here

How to research in the NSW State Records here

  Mary Noonanwas born in 1812 and transported on the ‘Asia’. She was in the Female

   Factoryfor ‘insolence’, and again for ‘absconding’. She married and was granted her

  Certificate of Freedom. She had 7 children. She remarried in 1876 and died in 1903.

   aged 93. (Mary is photographed here at her spinning wheel.)

Profile supplied by Beth Matthews 


On the 10th of October 1826, Ann was charged with housebreaking along with Daniel Lantwheler (a tailor), Daniel McLaren (a mason), and Margaret Desley alias Duggan and William Law(a brass founder).All but William Law lived in Mrs Marshall’s house. When apprehended on the 7th of October 1826, Ann was wearing a white linen shift and a white cotton petticoat. These were later identified as part of the property stolen from the home of Mr James Smith-Mack, a Solicitor at Law of Howard Place, Cuthberts, Edinburgh.

“Westwater Ann, Princess Charlotte, Servant, 16, London, 4 feet 10¼, grey eyes, brown hair, fair freckled comp. from Mr. John Conner, South Creek.”  

Ann was apprehended and sent to the Third Class in the Parramatta Female Factory. On the 5th of February 1828, it was recorded that she was punished with a 24 hour confinement for fighting. Ann must have been assigned once again as she is recorded as being returned to the First Class at the Female Factory as “Given up by her Master” on the 27th October 1828.  

At some point she was assigned out once again, but found trouble! On 20th October 1829, she is recorded as to be returned to the Factory at Parramatta for “Drinking and Assault”. On this occasion, Ann’s appearance in court captured the attention of the press. The Australian, 23 October 1829, p.4., reported:

Ann Westwater, a rosy cheeked, smirking, smiling, damsel, was accused of a propensity to tasting X waters, and when “tossicated,” with having most outrageously assaulted a fellow bond-maiden, for which the former was prescribed three months in the Parramatta Factory, and to be shorn of one of “Nature’s highest gifts to woman kind,” her flowing tresses.”

Profile supplied by Terry Smith