The Death of Mary Ann Russell nee Gransden

I am still searching for the death of Mary Ann. One lead that myself and Sylvia Murray had been looking at was a death in Mandurama of a Mary Ann Russell.

Sudden Death.

A poor woman named Mary Ann Russell died very suddenly at Mandurama at 11 o’clock on Thursday night, 9th inst. A wire was sent on Friday morning by Constable Grenenger to Senior-Constable George Brayne, to inform the Coroner, who held an inquest, with a jury of 12, on Friday afternoon, at the School of Arts, Mandurama. Mr James Bembrick was chosen foreman of the jury. From the evidence adduced it appeared that the deceased seemed perfectly well at 9.15 that (Thursday) evening, when Mrs William Flynn walked part of the way home with her. At 11 o’clock deceased got up out of her bed, and ran to Mrs Flynn’s cottage, and called up Mrs Flynn, crying out ‘ I am very bad, and dying.’ Deceased died in a quarter of an hour. Dr Hawthorne, after holding a post-mortem examination, gave evidence at the Court, and pronounced that, in his opinion, deceased’s death resulted from syncope, consequent upon disease of the heart. The jury gave a verdict that ‘Mary Ann Russell met her death on Thursday, 9th Sept, 1897, Mandurama, from natural causes, to wit, decease of the heart. Deceased leaves three sons and one daughter. — [We are indebted to J. Lithgow Cobb, Esq., J.P. District Coroner, for the above information.]

1897 ‘Sadden Death.’, The Carcoar Chronicle (NSW : 1878 – 1943), 17 September, p. 2. , viewed 31 Oct 2016,

On researching through inquest details it was found that this Mary Ann Russell was 50 years old in 1897. So much though it was a disappointment this Mary Ann had to be discarded.

Another Mary Russell was in the inquests

Name: Mary Russell
Death Year: Abt 1870
Inquest Date: 17 Jan 1870
Inquest Place: Wallbrook In Rockley New South Wales, Australia, Registers of Coroners’ Inquests, 1821-1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc.

At Rockley the wife of a farmer named Russell died from fever induced by the late excessive heat.1870 ‘GENERAL NEWS.’, The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), 27 January, p. 2. , viewed 31 Oct 2016,

At first this Mary Ann looked very promising as our Mary Ann Russell nee Gransden had been known to live in the Rockley area as some of her children were born in this area.

However, further searching through the newspapers gave the details of this Mary Russell as married to Daniel Russell of Rockley. So this is also not our Mary Russell.

On further investigation two possible death certificates for a Mary Russell have also been found that may or may not fit. Both of these Mary Russell’s are living in the Sydney area at the time of their deaths. One of these was Mary Russells died in the Newington Asylum age 70 in 1890 and one died at Athlone Place in Sydney, a slum area in the city, at the age of 52 in 1864. Both of these Mary Russells are possible.

Each of these deaths will be explored in greater depth over the next two blog posts.

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