John Lakeman
Mary Pepperell
Hugh O'Donnell of Parramatta
Mary Lakeman
Thomas O'Donnell of Liberty Plains


Family Links

Mary McGarrity

Thomas O'Donnell of Liberty Plains

  • Born: 1806, Plymouth, Devon, England
  • Married: 15 Jan 1849, St. John's, Parramatta, N.S.W., Australia 1
  • Died: 6 Jan 1851, Liberty Plains, New South Wales, Australia 2
  • Buried: St. John's Cemetery, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

  Research Notes:

Thomas was the second child of Hugh and Mary and came out on the Anne II with his parents in 1810. He worked all his life on his father's land at Liberty Plains, near Parramatta. He also sold firewood. Named in his father's will, from which he inherited 20 acres of his father's 100 acre farm on his mother's death in 1850.


"[An] inquest was held the same day [6 January 1851], at the house of Thomas Smith, known as the Traveller's Inn, at Liberty Plains, before Mr. C. B. Lyons, on view of the body of Thomas O'Donnell. Thomas Smith, being sworn, stated : I am the landlord of this house ; I was acquainted with Thomas O'Donnell, who is now lying dead; he resided on a farm about a mile and a half from this house; he was here this morning about nine o'clock; he only stayed half an hour. A few minutes after he left, I went to the front of the house and saw his cart standing still, where it now is; not seeing O'Donnell near, and the horses (two) standing still, I went to the garden, when I thought I saw him against the wheel of the cart; I ran in and said something had happened to O'Donnell; I went to the cart, and found him jammed between the cart and the post, on the near side of the cart; he was erect — his face quite black; I got assistance from persons passing, and removed the cart; the body fell down, O Donnell sighed once, he never spoke; he was perfectly sober, he had had only some ginger beer; the horse in the shafts was recently broken into harness; the leader was an old horse, and I think quite steady; the horse in the shafts was the one, I believe, Mr. Green bought for O'Donnell. Mr. James Belcher, one of the jury, stated that the deceased had lately told him that the horse (which was in the shafts at the time of the accident), which Mr. Green had bought for him, had run off and broken his cart, and had thrown him (" spilt him ") several times; Mr. Belcher cautioned him to take care of the horse, or he would kill him. Dr. Rutter being sworn, stated, I have examined the body of the deceased, and find a number of contusions about the head and neck; I have heard Mr. Smith's evidence, which, together with the marks on the body, induce me to suppose that his death arose from the compression on the brain, produced by the pressure upon the lungs between the wheel and the post. The Jury returned a verdict that deceased came to his death by being jammed between a cart and the post of a fence." 3 4


19 February 1851. This day upon Petition administration of all and singular the Goods &c of Thomas O'Donnell deceased was granted to Mary O'Donnell Widow of Intestate. Testator died 6th January 1851. Goods under £50. Letters dated the same day. 5

  Marriage Information:

Thomas married Mary McGarrity on 15 Jan 1849 in St. John's, Parramatta, N.S.W., Australia 1.


1 NSW Registry BDM (marriages), V1849425 34C/1849.

2 NSW Registry BDM (deaths), V1851642 37B/1851.

3 Private research shared by Morrie Kerle and Gay Cooke.

4 The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 10 January 1851.

5 New South Wales Will Books, 1800-1952, no. 2210.

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