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We know from newspaper reports and correspondence in Historical Records of Australia that Mary and her family travelled to Port Jackson in 1806 as opportunities for education for the children in Hobart Town were limited. It seems, however, that Mary did not return to Hobart Town with her family. There are a few reports mentioning Mary and her husband, who made frequent trips to Port Jackson, in Trove however I needed to rely on the muster and census records to try and piece together what happened to Mary.
Mary's name, sometimes under Bateman and sometimes under Guest, is recorded on the New South Wales population Muster for 1811, the New South Wales Settler and Convict List for 1818 and the New South Wales Musters of 1822 and 1825. The last two records show that Mary was at the Lunatic Asylum in Parramatta. The New South Wales Census 1828 then shows that Mary had been transferred to the Lunatic Asylum at Liverpool. She died there the following year.
Census of Population and Housing. From the early days of the settlement of the Colony of New South Wales, officials carried out and relied on census data to record information about the convicts, former convicts and free settlers in the colony. The initial surveys were known as musters but by 1828 the term census was being used.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics website has an article on Colonial Censuses and Musters while the State Library of Victoria has a useful guide on Early Australian Census Records. The links at the top of the SLV guide page provide specific information for each state.
Fortunately much of the early collected data up to the 1841 New South Wales census is available for the use of historians, including family historians, via online databases such as Ancestry.com.au. Some census reports (not the data) is available on Historical Census and Colonial Data Archive. Some of this data can also be found on microfiche. The first Commonwealth Census was held in 1911. Initially the census was taken every ten years but since 1961 has been held every five years.
During the second half of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century the census records were destroyed once the data had been collated into reports. This policy has changed since the 2001 census resulting in those filling in census forms being able to indicate if they want their information to be kept in secure storage for one hundred years when information may be released for general research. Those of us investigating the history of family members in the UK are likely to have used data from census records from 1841 until 1911 and are grateful that this information is now readily available.
Those of us using the available census information for family history research know that the data about family members varies. The later British census forms now available online provide quite detailed information about households. However even the limited information to be found on some of the early colonial muster and census forms can still provide a new, sometimes unexpected, piece of information leading to further research. Census information can be a really useful research tool.
NB: A useful link that has just appeared - Australian Census 1828 and 2016
Also Census Musters Guide