The Association

You can contact the Mary Wade Family History Association by sending an email to contact@marywadefamily.org.

You can also interact with other Mary Wade family members through our Community page.

Mission Statement

Our Purpose

To bring together descendants of Mary Wade and to preserve, share and extend the knowledge of our shared family history.

Aims

  1. To provide a forum to connect descendants of Mary Wade
  2. To share family history information, such as, stories about descendants, family trees and photos of our ancestors
  3. To assist each other with family history research
  4. To undertake further research into Mary Wade's ancestry and ancestors
  5. To preserve records, photographs and other information about the descendants of Mary Wade
  6. To build on the work of the authors of "Mary Wade to Us"

Who was Mary Wade

Mary Wade was 13 years old when she was sentenced to hang for highway robbery in Westminster, London. Her death sentence was later commuted to transportation for life and she was instead banished to Australia. She was one of a boatload of female convicts sent on the Lady Juliana to the fledgling colony of New South Wales in July 1789. In what was one of the longest recorded convict voyages Mary finally arrived in Sydney Cove as a 14 year old in June 1790 having spent more than 10 months at sea.

At age 18, Mary gave birth to her first child, Sarah Wade, on Norfolk Island. She gave birth to another 10 children but only 6 of them survived infancy (although her obituary incorrectly states she had 21 children). Her 7 surviving children lived through better times than Mary and had 54 children of their own.

When Mary died on her birthday in 1859 at the age of 84, she had over 300 living descendants and was considered one of the founding mothers of Australia. Tens of thousands of Australians, including the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, trace their lineage back to that little convict girl, Mary Wade.

Early descendants seemed to congregate in the Wollongong, Campbelltown and Riverina regions, but today they are scattered all over the world.

Twenty years ago, some diligent family members did their research and published a book titled ”Mary Wade to Us”. It told the early stories and traced the family trees of thousands of Mary's descendants. Several thousand copies were printed and distributed but the book is now scarce and out of print.

Today, quite a few of us keep in touch and share family trees through Genes Reunited and Ancestry.com.

The purpose of the Association and this website is to publish Mary's story which is dedicated to her and her family.

We want it to contain the stories of family members, where we can share information, and one giant Family Tree that includes as many of Mary's descendants as want to claim their heritage.

Anyone interested in joining the Association and helping us create this website should contact:
Mary Wade Family History Association,
Email: contact@marywadefamily.org