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Orphan Number: 304
Orphan: Jemima BELL
Mother:MAHER/MARR, Ellen
Father:BELL, Thomas
Mother's ship:Rajah
Father's ship:Royal Sovereign
Age when admitted:8yrs 9mths
Date admitted:23 Jan 1860
Date discharged:12 Nov 1863, 1 Oct 1867, 16 Nov 1867
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: Jessie White, Hobart, Thomas Devine, - , Brighton Plains
References: SWD26/1, 27, 28, 32/1, 52/1

This orphan has been claimed by: Dianne Snowden

Jemima Rhoda Bell was born on 25 March 1852 to Ellen Marr, convict per Rajah, and Thomas Bell, convict per Royal Sovereign.[1] Her parents were married on 7 October 1850 at St George's Church of England, Battery Point.[2] On 23 January 1860, Jemima was admitted to the Female OS, aged 8 years 9 months; her mother was in the Colonial Hospital.[3] Jemima was discharged in 1863, when she was apprenticed to Jessie White. (Jemima may have been admitted to the Female OS as Emma Bell on 23 November 1857 and discharged to her father on 27 February 1858.[4])

In February 1870, Jemima Rhoda Bell, aged 18, was charged at Hobart Police Office with prostitution and sentenced to one month’s imprisonment at the Cascades Gaol.[5] In October 1870, she was charged with the same offence and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, again at the Cascades Gaol.[6] In February 1871, she was imprisoned for another three months, this time for larceny. [7] In October 1872, she was charged with larceny (£2 in silver, 2 pocket knives valued at 2 shillings and other articles) and again sentenced to three months ‘ hard labour, Cascades Gaol. [8] In June 1873, Jemima was charged with ‘being an idle and disorderly person in being a common prostitute wandering the streets in Hobart [and] behaving in a riotous and indecent manner’. She pleaded guilty and was sent to Cascades Gaol for three months. [9] The following year, in St John’s Church of England, New Town, Jemima married labourer John Ward, aged 37; her age was recorded as 23.[10] In September 1875, Jemima gave birth to a son, John Ward, at Longford. [11] In April 1877, a second son, Eric James Ward, was born at Campbell Town.[12]

[1] AOT, RGD 33/4 1852/1208 Hobart (Jemima Rhoda Bell, mother Ellen Mars)

[2] AOT, RGD 37/9 1850/305 Hobart (Thomas Bell & Ellen Marrs)

[3] AOT, SWD 28/1 p.48 (Female School) (Jemima Bell)

[4] SWD28, CSO1/121/4346

[5] Tasmania Police Gazette, Friday 18 March 1870 No.557 p.50 (Jemima Bell)

[6] Tasmania Police Gazette, Friday 13 January 1871 No.600 p.8 (Jemima Bell)

[7] Tasmania Police Gazette, Friday 24 February 1871 No.606 p.37 (Jemima Bell); Tasmania Police Gazette, Friday 8 November 1872 No.695 p.184 (Jemima Bell)

[8] AOT, LC 247/1/34, 30 October 1872 (Jemima Bell); AOT, LC 247/1/34, 31 October 1872 (Jemima Bell); Tasmania Police Gazette, Friday 8 November 1872 No.695 p.184 (Jemima Bell)

[9] AOT, LC 247/1/34, 30 June 1873 (Jemima Bell)

[10] AOT, RGD 37/33 1874/192 Hobart (John Ward & Jemima Rhoda Bell)

[11] AOT, RGD 33/53 1875/1012 Longford (John Ward, mother Jemima Bell)

[12] AOT, RGD 33/55 1877/112 Campbell Town (Eric James Ward, mother Jemimah Bell)

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 Site last updated June 2021