alias Esther Eccles)
Ellen was born
about 1769. When only a young woman of 17 she was in trouble with the law
for stealing clothing. She was tried, found guilty and sentenced to seven
years transportation. She made the voyage to Port Jackson on
Prince of Wales.
punishment during the voyage for stealing. She formed a liaison with a
and had a child in 1789 whom she named Mary Ann. When she was sent to
Norfolk Island in 1790 Mary Ann went too. But the little girl died there
in 1792. Ellen had two other children on Norfolk Island by an unknown
father ó Henry born 1791 who apparently died young, and another Mary Ann
born 1795, named after the baby who died.
Thomas Guy on Norfolk Island. He was a convicted highwayman, sent to
Botany Bay on
in the Third Fleet. Thomas and Ellen remained together on Norfolk Island
for 17 years during which time three more children were born to them, Ann
on 28 February 1800, Elizabeth on 13 November 1802 and Frances on 13 June
Norfolk Island settlement was abandoned, Thomas and Ellen, with the three
children, were sent to Van Diemen's
Land and given a grant of land at New Norfolk. Although not mentioned on
the shipping lists, Mary Ann lived with the family on the farm at Magra.
Magra is a tiny settlement just off the
Highway, about 35 kilometres from
Here the early pioneers had built for themselves a meeting place ó a
square-fronted solid building of roughly-hewn stones plastered together
with lime and mortar. This building was dedicated as a Methodist Chapel in
Ellen died on
8 November 1839 aged 72 years and was buried in the churchyard at Magra.
Ellenís headstone is located close to the lower north west corner of the
graveyard in a wooded area.
All four of
Ellenís daughters married and today there are hundreds of descendants with
"her blood in their veins."
In 1988 the Fellowship dedicated a
memorial plaque to Ellen, fixed to the top of her headstone which carries
a quite durable inscription.
Prince of Wales