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Ann Johnson (c. 1783–1875)

Ann Beer (c.1783-1875) and her sister Elizabeth Beer were found guilty on 25 July 1796 at Maidstone, Kent, of breaking and entering into a house and stealing one brass kettle valued at one shilling, two wooden dishes valued at 2 pence, two earthenware dishes valued at 2 pence, two pewter plates valued at 6 pence, one earthenware crock valued at 2 pence, one pound weight of boiled pork valued at 4 pence, seven pounds weight of butter valued at 2 shillings and 6 pence, and two pounds weight of hogs lard valued at 4 pence. Their death sentences were commuted to 7 years transportation.

Ann Beer arrived in Sydney aboard the Britannia in July 1798. She was sent to Norfolk Island where she was raped by Isaac Williams either in 1798 or early 1799. Williams death sentence was pardoned on 31 January 1799 on the condition that he remained on Norfolk Island for the rest of his natural life. Beer returned to New South Wales. By 1806 she was living with Croker (first name not given); they had one child. She married John O'Donald/O'Donnell on 26 March 1810 at Sydney; they had two daughters. Following his death in 1815 Ann lived with Thomas Johnson; there is no evidence of a marriage certificate. The couple had a son Thomas Johnson on 25 June 1821.

Ann Johnson died on 2 June 1875 at Macdonald River (St Albans), New South Wales; her age was given as 100 and cause of death as general debility. She was buried at the Church of England burial ground near St. Albans two days later.

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Citation details

'Johnson, Ann (c. 1783–1875)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Beard, Ann
  • Beer, Ann
  • Ewing, Ann
  • O'Donald, Ann

c. 1783
Kent, England


1875 (aged ~ 92)
St Albans, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft (house)
Sentence: death
Commuted To: 7 years
Court: Kent
Trial Date: 25 July 1796


Children: Yes (4)