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Isabella McDonald Maund (1837-1870)

Isabella was born in 1837 in the far north of Scotland, in Forres, to Pearce William Maund and Fanny Thompson.

Fanny Thompson

Let me begin with Fanny Thompson/Maund. Fanny’s parents Matthew Pearson Thompson (1780-1849) and Anne Earle (1780-1868) were both born in Slingsby Yorkshire England. They moved to London where Matthew was employed as a clerk by the Burnetts, grain merchants and distillers of Burnett’s London Dry Gin- still available to this day. The couple were to have seven children the first two of whom were born in London. William Pearson was born 1809 and then Frances Ann (Fanny) in 1810.

Unfortunately, Matthew was convicted at Surrey Assizes, Kingston on Thames, for embezzlement (ASSI/31/12 p.380) and was sentenced to 14 years transportation. He arrived in Sydney 7 February 1814 aboard the ‘General Hewitt’. Anne and their son, William, were granted passage to NSW, and arrived aboard the ‘Broxbounbury’ on 28 July 1814. Three year old Fanny remained in London, most probably with relatives but I have no evidence of this. Matthew and Anne had a further five children born in NSW.

Soon after arrival, Matthew was appointed as a school teacher in Pitt Town and Anne allocated a parcel of land to farm. Matthew may have been her servant. By 1822 they had been granted land near St Albans in the MacDonald Valley. He went on to become a respected citizen and acted as one of the Councillors in the region.

Back in London, Fanny became a milliner and in 1836 she married Pearce William Maund in Kennington. According to the 1841 Census, Pearce, a merchant, and Fanny had moved to Forres, Scotland where Isabella 4 and James were born. I believe Isabella was given the middle name, McDonald out of respect for her grandfather, Matthew, who was making a name for himself in the McDonald Valley NSW. James was also given a middle name, Earle, acknowledging Fanny’s maternal grandfather. There seems to be other children, Elizabeth b 1835, Fanny b 1839 and William Charles b 1845.

On the 3rd of Febuary 1847, at Balham Hill Streatham, Pearce William Maund then just 44, died of hepatitis and general anasarca, a form of edema. He was sick for thirty-three days. Fanny was at his side. According to his death certificate he was a linen draper.

Fanny would have been in contact with her parents who must have invited her to come to New South Wales. She disembarked the ‘Victoria’, in Sydney on the 4th September 1849. Details on the passenger list, state she was a widow aged 39 travelling with her 4 year old son William Charles and would be meeting her parents Matthew and Anne Thompson living at McDonald River. Fanny would not meet her father as he died just days after she set sail to Australia. For reasons not known, Isabella and James were left in London.

The route of the sailing ships to Australi before the opening of the Suex Canal in 1869

The following year, on the 9th March 1850 Fanny married a widower Robert Henry MacLeowen at St Albans, McDonald River. This may have been an arranged marriage. It seems that she may have retained her name, Maund, as her death certificate identifies her as Fanny Maund. I have not been able to trace what became of Robert MacLeowen.

4th March 1852, Isabella 13 and James 10 left London for Port Phillip Bay on the ‘Mariner’. They arrived as unassisted passengers (paid tickets) 2nd July the same year. On board was another Maund, a Will H Maund aged 23, a painter. He may have been a relative travelling with them. I can imagine that Isabella and James would have had developed a deep affinity for each other as siblings who were probably together with relatives in London before venturing across the seas to a very differnt life. As well, the Gold Rush had begun and there would have been many making their way to Port Phillip Bay with the hope of making their fortunes.

I imagine the children made there way to live with their mother, Fanny and William Charles their younger brother, seven years old at that time. Fanny Maund was possibly still living in St Albans, McDonald River with her mother Anne Thompson. They (Anne and her deceased husband …) had a substantial farm by then. Possibly there was no farm left as the male had died and I think English property rules might have applied in the colony. I don’t know.

Eventually Fanny and Isabella and family moved to Wellingrove where James Earl and possibly Isabella or even Fanny, established the Maund Store. I am yet to discover Anne Thompson’s death certificate.

The next phase of Isabella’s life begins.

Isabella married William Raeburn Hood in October of 1866 and their first child, Robert James was born the following August.

On the 14th October 1868 the Maund family were in for some serious adventure. Isabella would have been heavily pregnant at the time. The family were living at the Maund Family Store.

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