Thomas Higgins & Mary Neill/O'Neill

- assisted immigrants from Galway -
Continued from page 1

Immigration: Thomas [aged 35] and Mary [aged 33] immigrated to Australia aboard the
Albatross with their children Mary aged 15 and John aged 10. They sailed from Kingston,
Dublin on 23rd July 1841 and arrived in Sydney on 30th November 1841 carrying
immigrants under the Bounty Scheme. Four days into the voyage, Mary gave birth to son
Thomas Nicholas Higgins
[b] The voyage took 130 days.  The shipping records show Thomas'
and Mary's religion as Roman Catholic.  Thomas is listed as being a farmer, aged 35. Mary,
33 is shown as being a house servant. Their previous place of residences was Tuam,
Roscommon, Ireland.

The master of the
Albatross was Will Barett [unable to read his name clearly]  On board
were 145 female passenger and 87 male passengers aged over 15 [Adults] ; Children aged
14-7, 11 males, 7 females, children under 7; 11 males 15 females travelling under the
Bounty Scheme. Seven babies were born on the voyage. 2 female adults died, 1 male and 1
female under 7  years of age also died. Divine Service was held 12 times, owing to bad
weather. A school was held which was attended by 6 adults and 25 children. Shipping
records claim the provisions were of the best quality. The principle occupation and
amusement for the passengers was singing and dancing.

There was a large number of single females travelling on the
Albatross and these were
under the protection of various male passengers and sometimes their wives. It would appear
that the following young women were under the protection of Thomas and Mary Higgins:
Sally Kenny, Sally Cohen, Ellen Fain [?], Bridget Walsh, Bridget Carving, Bridget Carey.
As the writing is very poor in places, it is hard to read some of these names. I am planning to
do further research on these girls.

Shipping records show that Thomas and Mary were brought out by
Mr Alexander Campbell,

Thomas and Mary settled in the Maitland district of NSW at Brooks Flats.

Death: Thomas died on 28th [25th] October 1853, aged 50 [47 according to gravestone] and
is buried in the Hiland Crescent Cemetery, Maitland.[ Ref V1853960 119/1853]  His place of
residence was Brooks Flats.

The 1872 Grevilles PO Directory lists Mary Higgins, farmer at Brooks' Flat, East Maitland.
Brooks Flat is the early name for the area now known as Buchanan, after George Brook who
had the original land grant.

Death: Mary died on 10th November 1891 at Gunnedah NSW aged 81. Cause of death was
'senile decay'. She is buried in the Gunnedah Cemetery.