Margaret Wogan was born in Skreen, County Meath in 1833. At the age of 16 she was in the Dunshaughlin work house due to the death of her parents James and Ann. Under the Earl Grey scheme she was sent to Australia as an assisted immigrant in 1849. The purpose of the scheme was to increase the numbers of domestic help and the number of females in the colony of New South Wales.
She arrived in Sydney on 27 August 1850 and housed at the Hyde Park Barracks. The next record available is an Immigration Board letter dated 27 August 18, assigning her to work in Bathurst. On 17 February 1851 she married Irish convict Hugh Henry. He was 47. Many Irish orphan girls married soon after arrival to escape their domestic duties.
They had four children before Margaret left Hugh in 1859 for the goldfields of the area now known as Young. There she met William Fox, an Irish convict, to whom she had two children. This was the time of the race riots and high tensions on the goldfields known as the Lambing Flat riots. There are no official records of a marriage between Margaret and William Fox. Margaret was still married to Hugh Henry. He died in 1860 due to a mishap while being drunk, he fell in the river near Bathurst and drowned.
On 2 February 1866 Margaret married Martin Gill, also an Irish convict. A year earlier she had given birth to Martin's daughter and then had another son to him at the age of 37 in 1870. By this stage the gold rush was over and the town of Young was grown on agriculture.
Margaret lived her life in Young, raising her eight children and eventually seeing some of her 59 grandchildren go to war. She died from pneumonia, aged 91 in 1924. Her obituary stated she arrived in the colony with her parents at the age of 14 and she was a well-respected pioneer of the area. The orphan Irish girl origins were long forgotten.
|Date of Birth||1st Jan 1833|
|Date of Death||15th Mar 1924|