There is so much more to tell about the Female Factory in Parramatta. But I could not bring myself to write more! I cried too much! When I found that two of our ancestors were in there for some time I needed to tell the story of the condition of the place.
Sarah Watkins arrived on the Canada in 1810, while Mary Amelia Harlow and Catherine Latimore both arrived in the Wanstead in 1814. they were in the same cell block of thirty women. The last two were assigned to men in Windsor two doors apart (from the 1840 census). They knew each other well! However, it was not until some seven generations passed that their descendants married. That is my husband and me.
Mary Amelia. Known as Amelia in real life learned to read on the ship out from a Bible. She and was actually Baptised on board! This is a fact. She married Joseph Huff and the rest is history. ( Joseph's first wife was Mary Webb. She died in childbirth- according to oral family history. She was the daughter of Robert Webb and Elizabeth Anderson. He loved her so much he would not call his 2nd wife Mary, but Amelia!)
The Amelia in the story is NOT her! I just like the name! What this Amelia had to cope with was probably true. The Female Factory was horrible! The story and history of the Gordon's in charge were suspected to be true. DNA testing was of course not available. the Matron was in time replaced. There were many riots over the years. once two hundred women escaped - only one hundred were found. The Darlings tried hard to bring in changes. Governor Bourke continued the improvements. His wife Betsy sadly died before she could partake in any visits. His Daughter Anne Deas Thomson took over as the first lady.
I thank women like Sarah, 'my' Mary Amelia and my husband's Catherine who were forced to endure this life! Because of them, we live our wonderful life here in Australia today!
Read more about the Female Factory by clicking the link below.