Elizabeth Fitzpatrick (ca. 1813 – 1879), a housemaid and cook, was born in Glentworth, County Cork, Ireland. She emigrated to New South Wales in 1840 when she was 27 years old. By 1844 she made her way to Brisbane where she petitioned for permission to marry ticket-of-leave convict Samuel Crabb. The couple married in early 1846 and lived at Kangaroo Point and possibly later at Ipswich, where Samuel worked for R. J. Smith. Elizabeth died on 10 April 1879, nearly 16 years after her husband Samuel Crabb, who died in May 1863.

In a petition dated 1 March 1844, Elizabeth Fitspatrick [sic] per Isabella (1840) sought the permission of the Governor of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps, to marry Samwell [sic] Crabb per Portsea (1838), who was employed in the service of Mr Warner, Assistant Surveyor of Brisbane Town. The Register of Convicts’ Applications to Marry reveals that Elizabeth arrived free on the Isabella, while Samuel was a ticket-of-leave convict transported for life on the Portsea. After an application to marry was refused on 26 April 1844, Reverend Hanley of the Brisbane Roman Catholic Church finally granted the couple permission to marry on 30 December 1845. Samuel Crabb and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick were married in ‘Brisbane, New South Wales’ on 17 January 1846.

Immigration records reveal that 27-year-old Elizabeth Fitzpatrick from Glentworth, County Cork arrived in Sydney on 18 October 1840 as an ‘unmarried female immigrant’. She was the daughter of Patrick Fitzpatrick, a quarryman, and Anne, his wife, who was deceased. Elizabeth was Roman Catholic, a housemaid and cook, and could read. Her ‘State of bodily health, strength, and probable usefulness’ were described as ‘Very Good’.

In April 1848, Elizabeth Crabb of Kangaroo Point accused her neighbour, Mrs Honoria Stewart, of ‘using violent and unbecoming language towards her’. Constable Murphy, who was called to scene, stated that ‘the violence and abuse were so nearly of a par on both sides, that it was nearly impossible for him to state on which side the balance of vituperation lay’. Evidence was given that there was a feud between the two households over the Samuel Crabb’s pigs, which Honoria Stewart’s husband had previously ‘denounced to the police as a nuisance’. As the magistrates could not determine who started the most recent argument, the case was dismissed.

Samuel Crabb, who worked in R. J. Smith’s boiling down works, initially at Kangaroo Point and later at Town Marie (Ipswich), died in May 1863. Samuel’s death notice stated that he was 46 years old and had been an overseer in Smith’s service for 16 years. ‘He was a good and faithful servant, and much respected by all who knew him,’ concluded the notice.

Born in about 1813, Elizabeth Crabb was aged about 65 when she was described as ‘an elderly woman residing at Kangaroo Point’ in an 1878 news article regarding a man, James Berry, who was charged with bigamy. Elizabeth was called as a witness to Berry’s first marriage to Isabella Gayran, which took place at Elizabeth’s house at Kangaroo Point. Some time after the marriage, Berry disappeared and, unbeknownst to Isabelle Gayran, posed as a widower and married another woman in Maryborough.

Samuel Crabb died on 29 May 1863 and was buried at the Ipswich General Cemetery. Elizabeth Crabb (née Fitzpatrick) died on 10 April 1879 and is buried at the Toowong Cemetery.


Jan Richardson, ‘Elizabeth Crabb (née Fitzpatrick) (ca. 1813 – 1879)’, Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Griffith University, 2022, https://harrygentle.griffith.edu.au/life-stories/elizabeth-fitzpatrick/.

Archival Resources

State Library of Queensland, Colonial Secretarys letters relating to Moreton Bay and Queensland, A2 Series [microfilm], Reel A2.14, p. 358.

'Petition of Elizabeth Fitspatrick [sic] per “Isabella” 1840 requesting permission to marry Samwell [sic] Crabb / “Portsea” 1838 [sic]', 1 March 1844, CS Ref No 44/02311.

New South Wales State Archives (NSWSA), Registers of Convicts Applications to Mary, NRS 12212, Item 4/4514, pp. 21 and 111.

Permission refused 26 Apr 1844 (p. 21) and permission granted 30 Dec 1845 (p. 111).

NSWSA, Entitlement certificates of persons on bounty ships, NRS 5314, Reel 1313.

Elizabeth Fitzpatrick per Isabella (1840).

NSWSA, Persons on bounty ships (agent’s immigration lists), NRS 5316, Item 4/4787, Reel 2134.

Elizabeth Fitzpatrick per Isabella (1840).


Threatening language, Moreton Bay Courier, 29 Apr 1848.

Breach of Police Act, Moreton Bay Courier, 22 Apr 1848.

Deaths, The Courier, 30 May 1863.

Police Court, Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, 4 Apr 1878.

Funeral notices, Brisbane Courier, 11 Apr 1879.

Advertisement, Telegraph [Brisbane], 14 Apr 1879.

Online Resources

Elizabeth Crabb, Grave 7-35-7, Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane City Council Cemeteries Search

Ken Grubb, 'Town Marie: The pioneer settlement at Karalee, near Ipswich', Feb 2018 (updated Jan 2023)

Samuel Crabb, Picture Ipswich, Ipswich Libraries

Samuel Crabb, Ticket of Leave, NSW State Archives

Samuel Crabb, Conditional Pardon, NSW State Archives