Mary Wade - The Story of


Mary Wade - The Story of


An introduction by the late Jeff Robinson, former Convenor of the re-established Mary Wade Family History Association.


Jeff Robinson




Most people who read this introduction to the story of Mary Wade will have one main interest in common. They will be descendants of Mary Wade, or at least be a close relative of someone who is.

They will most likely have heard their own family story of the little girl who was sentenced to death for stealing some clothes. They will be amazed at the severity of her sentence. And if they are thoughtful people, they will be thankful that they live in such an enlightened, egalitarian and lucky country as this home land of ours.

But of course Mary wasn't hung, or you wouldn't be reading about her here today. Instead she was transported to New South Wales in a shipload of women. Thankfully she lived to become our many times great Great Grandmother. Without her, none of us would be here! She alone is that common ancestor to the tens of thousands of us who are now her direct descendants. Think of this! None of us would even exist if Mary had been hung as an 13-year-old child.

While our family story does have Captains and Kings and exploration adventures, for Mary, her major achievement was to merely survive and bear children to populate a harsh land of often-brutish men. Convicts, soldiers and marines were equally intent on survival. Their task was to subdue a wilderness and build a new convict settlement so that England could rid itself of its displaced poor and felons.

Mary's is a story that helps explain the character of the people who now make up this great land of Australia. It was this same ability of our ancestors to survive against great odds; in places like Gallipoli, Tobruk, and Kokoda, that are today celebrated as part of the Australian character.

Mary Wade's story is your story. Read, wonder and be thankful for the perseverance that enabled our ancestors to create for us such a land of opportunity.


Jeff Robinson, “Mary Wade - The Story of,” Mary Wade Family History Association Inc., accessed March 22, 2023,