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Sarah Mellon (c. 1765–1849)

Sarah Donnelly (c.1759-1849) was found guilty on 18 May 1789 at Winchester, Southampton, of stealing three pieces of ribbon from a shop. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Sydney aboard the Mary Ann in July 1791 as part of the Third Fleet. Her daughter Ann Williams was born on 21 December 1791 at Sydney (Alexander Williams, probably a seaman on the Mary Ann, was her father). Donnelly also assumed the surname Williams.

Sarah married Andrew Fishburn on 25 May 1795 at St Philip's, Sydney. They had two sons Andrew (b.1793) and William (b.1796) before Andrew snr died, intestate and insolvent, on 23 July 1796 at Parramatta. Sarah then lived with George Mellon. They had four children (the first born in 1797) and were married on 21 May 1810 at St John's, Parramatta. Described as a widow in 1825, she was working as a midwife in 1830 when she was charged with slaying a male child after Mrs Slaney's son died on 26 September. She was found not guilty in January 1831.

Sarah Mellon was buried (as Sarah Mellin) on 15 August 1849 at Castle Hill, Sydney; her age was given as 90.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 127
  • Margaret Morelli 'Andrew Fishburn', Fellowship of First Fleeters website, — accessed 13 October 2020

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Mellon, Sarah (c. 1765–1849)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Fishburn, Sarah
  • Williams, Sarah
  • Donnelly, Sarah
  • Donnelley, Sarah
  • Dannelly, Sarah
  • Donnally, Sarah
  • Donnely, Sarah
  • Millen, Sarah
  • Mellin, Sarah
  • Millon, Sarah

c. 1765
Gosport, Hampshire, England


15 August, 1849 (aged ~ 84)
Castle Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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Passenger Ship
Key Events
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years