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Ellen Fraser (c. 1764–1840)

Ellen Fraser (c.1764-1840) alias Ellen Redchester (her maiden name), was found guilty at the January 1787 Manchester Quarter Sessions of stealing six pieces of fustian, one piece of yellow canvas and half a gross of white filletting. She was sentenced to 7 years transportation, as was her partner in crime William Fraser. It was only found out later that they were married (in Yorkshire, 8 November 1783) and had had children. Had Fraser revealed this at her trial she may have been acquitted as having acted under the influence of her husband. She arrived at Sydney aboard the Prince of Wales (though may have been transferred to the Charlotte at Rio de Janeiro) in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Fraser had two children with her husband: John (baptised 1789) and Daniel (baptised 1791) at Port Jackson. Her husband died a month before their second son was baptised, largely from excessive drinking. As Ellenor Frazer she was granted 20 acres of land at Concord in February 1794 and received a further 20 acres in July. She began living with William Morgan, a soldier in the New South Wales Corps, shortly after her husband's death. On 3 November 1798 she charged him with illegally detaining some of her pigs which he was ordered to restore to her. The couple remained together and had five children.

Fraser was a landholder in her right. In 1800 she still held her 1794 Concord grant and had 16 acres ready for planting maize with, with four children off stores. Morgan had an adjoining farm at Concord held by a grant and purchase. By 1802 Fraser held 45 acres. Some time after 1805 she and Morgan separated permanently. In 1822 she was described as wife of Thomas Humphries, at Sydney. Her son, John Frazer, was living on the farm at Concord. In 1828 she was living with her son Richard on 20 acres and gave her name as Eleanor Morgan, and her age as 64. Thomas Humphries was listed as a labourer, aged 40, at Mrs. E. Morgan, Concord.

As Eleanor Fraser she died at Concord on 18 November 1840 and was buried at St Luke's Liverpool; her age was given as 76.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 134-35
  • Clayton Talbot, 'FF Ellen/Eleanor (Redchester) Fraser', Fellowship of First Fleeters website, — accessed 15 September 2020

Citation details

'Fraser, Ellen (c. 1764–1840)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Redchester, Ellen
  • Frazer, Ellen
  • Fraser, Eleanor
  • Frazer, Eleanor
  • Morgan, Eleanor

c. November, 1764
Aldborough, Lancashire, England


18 November, 1840 (aged ~ 76)
Concord, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years