When Ann Mahony arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 25 February 1847, her details were recorded on both a conduct record and indent record – providing valuable information regarding not only her crime, but ‘native place’, any prior convictions, and family left behind.
From Ann’s Conduct Record we learn that she was tried in Limerick County on 15 July 1846 and transported for 15 years for Arson. Ann was single, had never been convicted before, and had spent 12 months ‘on the Town’. She stated her offence as ‘setting fire to a house’. Also on board the Arabian was Ann Tuohy – transported for the same crime.
Further, we can begin to develop an image of what Ann looked like. According to the record she was 5’ 1/2” (60.5cm) with a fresh complexion, large head, dark brown hair, round visage, medium forehead, brown eyebrows, hazel eyes, small nose, large mouth and medium chin. She also had small scar over her right eye.
Further down the record, some details of Ann’s time in the colony were recorded. From this we can learn much about her offences and any sentences, providing insight into where (and to who) she was assigned. The record also provides that sadly, Ann lost two children during the early years following her arrival; a stillborn male in November 1848, and Mary – a daughter who died while only an infant on 20 February 1851. Ann’s record ends on a much happier note – a marriage to William Bishop on 2 March 1853.
From Ann’s Indent Record, we also learn that she was Roman Catholic, from County Limerick, and could neither read nor write. Importantly we also learn that her father’s name was John, living in Limerick.
Interestingly, Ann was described as being 24 years of age in 1847. This contradicts slightly with the Grangegorman Prison Register, in which she was recorded as aged 22 in 1846.
 TAHO, CON41/1/12 Convict Conduct Record Arabian 1847 No.739 Ann Mahoney
 TAHO, CON15/1/4 Convict Indent Record Arabian 1847 No.739 Anne Mahony.
 FamilySearch, Ireland Prison Registers 1790-1924, Dublin-Grangegorman Female Prison General Register 1846 No.655 Ann Mahony.