Catharine Malone - A Tale of Two Catharines?

Catharine Malone is a woman of mystery. The only thing known for sure is that she was the mother of James Worthington (Warrington/Warrenton) and his brothers, John, Thomas and William. From the records available, there were at least two women known as Catharine (or Katherine) Malone (or Maloney) in the colony at the same time, which makes it difficult to work out who was who. The records that tie Catharine Malone to James Worthington do not (unfortunately) link her to a specific ship. I will start with what is known, and then work back through each of the possible Cetherines.

Please note: This page is a work in progress, as I work out which Catharine is our ancestor.

Catharine and John Worthington

Catharine married/came under the protection of John Worthington (Warrington), and had four sons to him, they were:

  • James (b. about 1805/1806);
  • Thomas (b. about 1809);
  • John (b. about 1812); and
  • William (b. about 1813)

Thomas and John were both admitted to the Orphan's School in 1819/1820, as Catherine was in "great distress". John Worthington had supposedly left the colony. Catharine's oldest child James, was in the employ of Moses Brennan at Appin. Some descendants believe that Catharine became involved with someone by the name of Fry (descendants believe that his name may have been William Fry), and that Catharine's last child, William was born of this relationship. There is no evidence to support this, and the fact that Catharine gave him the surname Worthington/Warrington suggests that John was his father. William used the surname Warrington until the mid 1830's. at which time he adopted the surname Fry. William's 3 older children used the name Fry, while the younger children used the name Warrington.

Read more about the Worthington/Warrington family here.

Catharine Malone - "Sugar Cane" 1793

For many years, it has been assumed that our Catharine came out on the "Sugar Cane" so I will start with her timeline first.

1793: Catharine Malone came to Port Jackson on the "Sugar Cane" which arrived on the 17 September 1793. She had been convicted at Dublin in March 1792, for stealing 3 Pounds 19 Shillings 7 1/2 Pence (together with Ann McNamara/Grant who was also transported), and sentenced to 7 years. Her age is given as 23, meaning that she was born about 1769. Nothing is known about her life prior to her trial. Catharine's story has been documented in Barbara Hall's book A Nimble Fingered Tribe: the Convicts of the Sugar Cane, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793 (2002). 1

1794: Catharine married William Butts at St John's Church, Parramatta on 1 June 1794. Their only child, Sarah, was born on 10 December 1794 and baptised on 1 February 1795. Sarah died in January 1797, and was buried at Parramatta on 27 January 1797.

William Butts arrived in the colony on the "William and Ann" on 28 August 1791, with a 7 year sentence. He was granted 30 acres of land at the north boundary in November 1794. The area known as north boundary was about where Epping and Macquarie University are now. William continued to live in that area until his death in 1821. He was buried at Parramatta on 23 January 1821. Catharine and William probably continued to live together for a while after the death of their daughter, but things certainly deteriorated.

1802: William and Catharine were receiving rations from the Government Stores, according to the 1802 muster. However, the muster does not specify if they were living together at the time.

1805: On 27 October, William Butts placed an ad in the "Sydney Gazette", stating:

"William Butts, Settler, hereby Forbids any person accreditting on his account Catharine Butts, his Wife (formerly Catharine Malone), as no debt or debts by her contracted will be acknowledged or discharge by him, the said William Butts."

1805: On 8 December, Catharine gained another mention in the "Sydney Gazette":

"Yesterday Catharine Malone was accused before a Bench of Magistrates with riotous and disorderly behaviour, and escaping from the custody of a peace-officer; for which she was ordered to work twelve months in the cloth factory at Parramatta."

1806: According to the 1806 Muster, Catharine was a nurse at Parramatta Hospital.

1814 and 1816 General Musters: On the 1814 and 1816 musters, Catharine is listed as "wife to" William Butts.

1817 General Muster: Catharine is listed as "widow".

1821: William Butts died in January 1821, and was buried at Parramatta on 23 January 1821.

1822 and 1825 General Musters: Catherine is listed as wife of Edward Bennett, Sydney. Edward Bennett is listed on the 1822 Muster as a Land Holder of Parramatta.

Edward had been tried in 1796 and sentenced to life. He arrived on the "Britannia" on 27 May 1797. By 1806, Edward had 21 acres at Toongabbie. He received his Ticket of Leave in 1811. The 1828 census gives his age as 60, so he was born about 1768.

1828 Census:

1841: Catharine Bennett died 6 August 18412 at Seven Hills. Edward Bennett died in 8 February 18423. Both were buried at at St Patrick's Cemetery Parramatta.

Catharine Malone(y) - "Alexander" 1806 (Or "Atlas" 1802)

1816 Muster: Catherine Malone is listed as having been tried in Lancaster in April 1805, and arriving on the "Alexander" in August 1806. She is listed as "Wife to John Worthington".

1822 Muster: Catherine Maloney is listed as Wife of E Neal, Windsor. Her ship of arrival is listed as the "Alexander", sentence 7 years, and she was Free by Servitude.

1825 Muster: Catherine Maloney is listed as having arrived on the "Atlas", and lives with Edward Neil.

1828 Census: Katherine Malony is described as a Housekeeper to Edward Neil of Cornwallis. Her ship of arrival is listed as the "Alexander", and Edward's ship of arrival is listed as the "Canada (3)". Katherine's age is given as 40, and Edward's as 54.

1828: In their Application to Marry, dated 17 April, Edward Neil's ship of arrival is given as the "Canada (3)". Catherine is listed as Cath. Fitzgerald or Molony, and her ship of arrival is given as the "Atlas (1)". Both gave their ages as 40. Permission was granted.

1828: In a subsequent Application to Marry, dated 13 May, Edward's age was given as 45 and his ship of arrival the "Canada (4)". Catherine is listed Catherine Maloney, her age was given as 40, and no ship of arrival was listed. This appliction was refused for the reason "The Revd Mr (illegible) obtained permission on 17th April ulto for the marriage of this couple."

1829: Catharine Moloney married Edward Neale on 25 May at St Matthew's Church of England Windsor. Witness to the wedding were Patrick and Mary Dougherty.

1856: Catherine Neale (formerly Maloney) died 21 October at Cornwallis, and was buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery Windsor on 23 October 1856. Her age was given as 65. Under "Children of Marriage" the informant (Edward Neale) has advised "None by Edward Neale, 3 sons by a previous husband".

1860: Edward Neil died 19 October at Cornwallis, aged 82 and was buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery Windsor on 21 October 1860. The informant was Patt Donlon, who is listed as the stepson. Edward's spouse' name is given as Ann Mallony.

Catharine Fitzgerald - "Atlas" 1802

As detailed above, Catherine Maloney in her application to marry Edward Neale was listed as Cath. Fitzgerald or Molony and her ship of arrival as "Atlas". There WAS a Catherine Fitzgerald on the "Atlas", these are her details.

1802: A Catherine Fitzgerald arrived on the "Atlas" in July 1802. She had been tried in Dublin Ireland, in May 1800.

1812: Catherine Fitzgerald, per "Atlas" was sentenced on 11 February 1812 to be sent on the "Lady Nelson" to Newcastle for 12 months.

1825 General Muster: Is listed as living with Thomas Ganther at Richmond.

This Catherine can probably be ruled out.


1. Hall, Barbara "A Nimble Fingered Tribe: the Convicts of the Sugar Cane, Ireland to Botany Bay, 1793" (2002)
2. Dunn Cathy, Australian Cemeteries St Patrick's Cemetery Parramatta
3. Dunn Cathy, Australian Cemeteries St Patrick's Cemetery Parramatta