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Three Months on the Town

Jane Gilligan (c. 1830-1894)

Jane Gilligan and Margaret Gilligan, sisters from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland were transported on the Duke of Cornwall, and arrived in October 1850. Although the sisters were transported together they hadn’t been tried together. Margaret was convicted for stealing a pair of shoes, whereas Jane was transported for vagrancy ‘having been three months on the town’.
Jane’s convict record is a clean slate. She was assigned to the Hamilton area. Six months after landing in Van Diemen’s Land, in April 1851 she married Thomas Squires, a free man and shepherd. The following year Sarah Anne Squires was born. The marriage of Jane Gilligan and Thomas Squires went on to produce nine children.
At the age of 62, Jane Squires (nee Gilligan) died of senile decay.

The Schoolhouse at Hamilton was built by convict stonemasons in 1858, eight years after Jane had arrived in the district. It was constructed so that the Headmaster lived in a room above the central staircase.  The children, according to their sex, entered the school from different doors.  As the only school in the district, Thomas and Jane would have sent their children here to be educated until the age of 14 when they were free to leave school and seek employment.
The Schoolhouse at Hamilton was built by convict stonemasons in 1858, eight years after Jane had arrived in the district. It was constructed so that the Headmaster lived in a room above the central staircase. The children, according to their sex, entered the school from different doors. As the only school in the district, Thomas and Jane would have sent their children here to be educated until the age of 14 when they were free to leave school and seek employment.

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