Emily Mann1

F, #19, b. 25 January 1870, d. 27 January 1947
Emily Sheens nee Mann 1870-1947
FatherRobert Mann2 b. 12 Aug 1846
MotherMary Ann Bunney2 b. 17 Apr 1843, d. 6 Feb 1877
RelationshipGreat-grandmother of Timothy George Sheens
ChartsAncestors of Timothy George Sheens
Last Edited9 Feb 2015
Note* Emily Mann arrived in Australia in 1887 aboard the Abyssinia – the last immigrant ship under the then current NSW immigration scheme. Emily left England unaccompanied having just turned seventeen. What prompted her to taken on a 2 month voyage to Australia at such a tender age? Emily’s mother, Mary Ann, had died of smallpox when Emily was eight – the eldest of 3 children. Her father, Robert, had remarried 2 years later and in the 1881 census Robert with living with his new wife and his step children in Surrey without the children from his first marriage. Perhaps Emily’s relationship with her father had deteriorated with the death of her mother and the arrival of a step-mother with two children of her own.
Scarlet fever had broken out aboard the Abyssinia, after 5 days of quarantine the single women were transferred to Hyde Park Barracks for hiring as domestic workers. Emily was hired by the Purcell family of Castlereagh.
Family legend says that one of Emily’s brother was a Rugby international (see George Sheens’ 1948 obituary). While this has not totally been ruled out, it is more likely that it was one of her cousins. 
Birth*25 January 1870 36 Commercial Road, Lambeth, Surrey, England;
Name: Emily Mann
When and where born: Twenty fifth January 1870, 36 Commercial Road
Sex: Girl
Father: Robert Mann
Mother: Mary Ann Mann formerly Bunney
Occupation of father: Licensed Victualler
Informant: R Mann, Father, 36 Commercial Road Lambeth3 
Note* Mary Ann Mann (nee Bunney) with daughter Emily, England;
;Principal=Mary Ann Bunney4
Emily Mann as a baby with mother
Emily Mann as a baby with mother (reverse)
(Daughter) Census 18712 April 1871 Dover Castle, 36 Commercial Rd, Lambeth, London, England;
Robert Mann, HD, M, 25, Licensed Victualler, Middlesex London
Mary A Mann, WI, M, 27,, Middlesex London
Emily Mann, DA,, 1,, Surrey Lambeth
Mary A Clarke, SV, U, 21, Dom. Serv., Surrey Mitcham
Harriett Gibbons, SV, U, 17, Nursemaid, Surrey Lambeth
William Long, SV, U, 21, Potman, Surrey Lambeth;Head of Household=Robert Mann, Wife=Mary Ann Mann5 
Death of Mother6 February 1877 Stockwell Smallpox Hospital, Stockwell, Surrey, England;
Name: Mary Ann Mann
Sex: Female
Age: 34 years
Occupation: Wife of Robert Mann, Labourer
When and where died: Sixth February 1877 Stockwell Small Pox Hospital
Cause of death: Variola Confluens, 9 days, Certified by H R Bernard M. D. Unvaccinated
Signature, description and residence of informant: J Woodford, Present at death, Stockwell Small Pox Hospital Stockwell;Principal=Mary Ann Bunney6 
Article22 January 1887 "Morpeth Herald";
PASSAGES TO SIDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, will be granted to a limited number of RESPECTABLE SINGLE WOMEN, between the ages of 17 and 35, in the fine steamer "Abyssinia," 3,650 tons, to sail from Plymouth at the end of January. Applications must be eligible for Domestic Service, and if approved, will be required to pay £2 each towards the cost of passage. All classes of Female Servants are much required, and may obtain high wages in New South Wales. The Colonial Government will provide a home free of cost for a limited period, also facilities for obtaining engagements on arrival at Sydney. The steamer is positively the last to be despatched by the Agent-General. Apply at once, either personally or by letter, to the Emigration Department, New South Wales Government Offices, 5, Westminster Chambers, London, S.W., or to the Local Agent,
Choppington, Morpeth7 
Article24 February 1887 "The West Australian";
The S.S. Abyssinia, the last immigrant ship in connexion with the New South Wales service, left London on January 31, with 608 passengers, including 236 single women. New South Wales, having declared against immigration, the London depot has been broken up, and assisted immigration now ceases to that colony.8 
Immigration*24 March 1887 "Abyssinia", Sydney, NSW;
Emily Mann, English, age 17
Article*25 March 1887 "The Sydney Morning Herald", NSW;
The Orient Company’s chartered steamer Abyssinia with Government immigrants, arrived in port yesterday morning after a passage of 52 days from Plymouth. During the voyage eight deaths occurred, all from infantile diseases, and all were under 8 years of age, but against the mortality two births occurred. Unfortunately, scarlet fever broke out during the voyage. It did not attack the passengers with its usual severity, only five cases having occurred, but yesterday another case developed itself, and the result was that the vessel was ordered into quarantine. Dr. MacLaurin, health officer, visited the vessel early yesterday morning, and made all the necessary arrangements for the sick patients and those convalescent to be transferred at once to the hospital at Little Bay. The Abyssinia then weighed anchor, and proceeded to the Quarantine-ground, Spring Cove, where she will be thoroughly fumigated.10 
Article30 March 1887 "The Sydney Morning Herald", NSW;

A few of the
per steamer
wll be
at the
at 11 a.m.

Agent for Immigration.
Immigration Office, Sydney,
March 29, 1887.11 
Article30 March 1887 "The Sydney Morning Herald", NSW;

After a detention of four days in quarantine, the Orient Company’s chartered steamship Abyssinia, which arrived on Thursday from Plymouth with Government immigrants, was granted pratique, and came up from Spring Cove to an anchorage in Neutral Bay. The immediate cause of the vessel being sent to quarantine was an outbreak of scarlet fever, but the disease did not assume a very malignant form, and no deaths resulted from it. The health authorities, however, as a matter of precaution, yesterday detained over 200 of the immigrants who, having been in that part of the ship where the disease broke out, might be liable to contract it at the station at North Head, where they will remain until all danger of infection is over.
About noon yesterday, the Immigration Board met on board the Abyssinia, and the result of their inquiries was that not a single complaint was made; on the contrary, the passengers seemed to be highly pleased and satisfied with their voyage, and the efforts made for their comfort and happiness. When the vessel left Plymouth, they numbered 608 souls, 24 only being married couples, and 48 single men. Of the remainder, 309 were single women and women coming out to join their husbands already in the colony, and 230 children under 12 years of age. The health of the bulk of the people has been satisfactory throughout, but among the children a good deal of sickness occurred; and the surgeon superintendent had an anxious and harassing time with them. Soon after leaving Plymouth a case of scarlet fever occurred, but prompt steps were taken to isolate the patient, and it was hoped that the disease would not spread. Unfortunately, however, it again made its appearance in the same part of the ship where the first case occurred four days after the Abyssinia left Capetown, and seven other cases followed between there and Sydney. The patients, however, were all doing well when they got here, and it is not anticipated that there will be any further cases. From other diseases of a non-infectious character, there were eight deaths among the children, those who succumbed being all under the age of three years. There were two births. The enjoyment of the passage out had been somewhat marred by a succession of inclement days and adverse winds since leaving Cape Town, but several pleasant entertainments have been given and amusement has not been wanting. The single men have received evening instruction in general subjects and an ambulance class has been held. The behaviour of the passengers is spoken of in favourable terms, and altogether good feeling and harmony seem to have prevailed on board. With regard to the vessel herself, the Board of Immigration individually expressed themselves as delighted the the perfection of the whole of her arrangements for the comfort of the passengers, and it was suggested that, if the Government decided to continue bringing out immigrants, it would be a wise step to secure the Abyssinia permanently for the work, as she is one of the most suitable ships that could be obtained. The Abyssinia was formerly a Cunard liner, and for many years she kept a foremost place in the Atlantic trade, where the competition among ships is the keenest to be found in the world. With the advent of new and improved machinery, however, she had to take a backward place. Four years ago her old engines were taken out, and she was supplied with compound engines on the tandem principle, and they are still in her. She continued running in the Atlantic trade until about a year ago, but under the flag of the Guion Company, and when they got into difficulties Mr Pearce of John Elder & Co., acquired possession of her. The Abyssinia resembles the Parthia exteriorly, but is a larger vessel, her principal dimensions being – Length, 363 5-10ths feet; beam 42 2-10ths feet, and depth, 34 feet; her net register tonnage being 2346 tons, and gross measurement 3651 tons. The stem is straight, and the stern round; but the lines of the vessel are graceful, and, rigged as a barque with one funnel, the Abyssinia is altogether a handsome ship. The engines are of 550 horse-power nominal, and under favourable conditions they develop a speed of 13 knots, but on the present voyage the average speed maintained throughout was only 11 ½ knots. The high-pressed cylinders are 31 inches in diameter, and the low-pressed 72 ½ inches, while the stroke is 4 feet, and the boilers carry a working pressur of 110lb. to the square inch. Captain Marshall, who was here last in the Parthia when he was very successful in bringing out immigrants, is in command of the Abyssinia and he has with him the following deck officers, Messrs. G. A. Lee (late chief of the Orient), Adams, second; Mitchell, third; and Jones, fourth. Mr Shearer (formerly of the Lusitania) has charge of the engine room, and Mr. Roberts is purser. The surgeon-superintendent is Dr. W. Whyneux, late of the Orient Company’s service. The single women on board have been under the care of Mrs. Stephens assisted by Mrs. Eager. Of the voyage Captain Marshall reports as follows: - The Abyssinia left London on January 26, and Plymouth at 3.30 p.m. on January 31, Fresh to moderate westerly winds prevailed to Cape Finisterre, and strong S.E. winds thence to Teneriffe. The weather approaching that island became so bad that the intentions of coaling the ship there had to be abandoned, and she therefore bore up for St. Vincent, which was reached at 6 p.m. on February 8. After replenishing her bunkers she resumed her voyage at 7 a.m. on the 10th, and experienced moderate trade winds and sea, but with a strong current setting against the ship, and overcast, misty weather along to Capetown, where she arrived at 10 a.m. on February 20. Soon after anchoring in Table Bay a hard S.E. gale set in, which delayed coaling operations considerably, and on several occasions the work had to be suspended. On the night of February 26 the weather grew worse, and the outlook was so bad that steam was got up on the main engines in case of the ship parting her cables. At length the coaling was finished on the morning of the 28th, the vessel proceeding again at a quarter to 6 on that day. She came along the Southern Ocean on a parallel of 42° S. lat., and a continuation of easterly winds, head seas, and thick rainy weather, excepting for two days, when westerly winds were encountered, and square sail was set along to Cape Otway. After that a moderate run was had to the heads.11 
Article5 April 1887 "The Sydney Morning Herald", NSW;

It will be remembered that 210 of the passengers of the immigrant S.S. Abyssinia were detained at the quarantine station as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of scarlet fever or any other infectious disease. No further outbreak of the disease has manifested itself among those detained, and this morning all the 210 immigrants, with the exception of 14, will be liberated. They will be allowed to land at about 9 o’clock and will proceed to various places for hiring. The 14 persons who will be detained are those whom the authorities consider are cases for observation.12 
Marriage*2 June 1902 471 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW;
Groom: George Sheens
Status: Bachelor
Place of Birth: Castlereagh NSW
Occupation: Woolwasher
Age: 28
Usual Residence: Castlereagh NSW
Father: Henry Sheens
Occupation: Farmer
Mother: Emma Byrns (surname has been ticked)

Bride: Emily Mann
Status: Spinster
Place of Birth: London England
Occupation: Home duties
Age: 28
Usual Residence: Castlereagh NSW
Father: Robert Mann
Occupation: Hotelkeeper
Mother: Mary Ann Bunny (deceased)

Date of Marriage: 2 Jun 1902
Place of Marriage: 471 Pitt Street Sydney NSW
Religion: New Unitarian Church
Witnesses: John James Purcell, Elizabeth Purcell
Minister: J H L Zillmann;Groom=George Sheens13 
Married Name2 June 1902 Sheens13 
Birth of Son13 February 1903 Penrith, NSW;
Name: George Sheens
Sex of Child: Male
Date of Birth: 13 Feb 1903
Place of Birth: Penrith NSW

Father: George Sheens
Occupation: Woolwasher
Birthplace: Castlereagh NSW
Age: 29

Date of Marriage: 2 Jun 1902 (notation adjacent reads “correct”)
Place of Marriage: Castlereagh NSW

Mother: Emily Mann
Birthplace: London England
Age: 31

Previous Issue:

Informant: Emily Sheens, mother, Penrith
Present at Birth: Mrs Jones
Registered: 9 Mar 1903 – Penrith;Principal=George Sheens14 
Residence1930 Union Lane, Penrith, NSW;
Sheens, George, Union lane, Penrith, labourer, M
Sheens, Emily, Union lane, Penrith, home duties, F;Principal=George Sheens15 
Photo*1930 4
Emily Sheens bank book (cover)
Emily Sheens' bank book (inside)
Residence*1937 Union Lane, Penrith, NSW;
Sheens, George, Union lane, Penrith, labourer, M
Sheens, Emily, Union lane, Penrith, home duties, F;Principal=George Sheens15 
Residence1943 Union Lane, Penrith, NSW;
Sheens, George, Union lane, labourer, M
Sheens, Emily, Union lane, home duties, F;Principal=George Sheens15 
Death*27 January 1947 Nepean District Hospital, Penrith, NSW;
Name: Emily Sheens
Date of Death: 27 Jan 1947
Place of Death: Nepean District Hospital, Penrith Municipality; late of 3 Union Lane, Penrith Municipality NSW
Sex: Female
Age: 79
Conjugal Status: Married
Place of Birth: London England
Time in Aust Colonies: About 63 years in NSW

Father: Robert Mann
Occupation: Hotel Keeper
Mother: Mary Ann Bunney

Place of Marriage: Sydney NSW
Age at Marriage: 35
Name of Spouse: George Sheens
Children of Marriage: George 43 living; none deceased
Informant: M A Sheens, daughter-in-law, 15 Union Street Penrith

Cause of Death: Cerebral Haemorrhage, Arterio Sclerosis
Length of Illness:
Medical Attendant: K C Faulder
Date last seen: 27 Jan 1947

Date of Burial: 28 Jan 1947
Place of Burial: Church of England Cemetery at Penrith
Minister & Religion: Angus C Tipping, Church of England
Undertaker: Nelson Price, of the firm of J Price and Son
Witnesses: Thomas Ivery, A H Sheens16 
Obituary*6 February 1947 "The Nepean Times", Penrith, NSW;
Thursday, February 6, 1947
Mrs. Emily Sheens, wife of Mr. George Sheens, Senr., of Union Lane, Penrith, died in Nepean District Hospital on Monday, 27th ult., at the age of 78 years, after a short illness.
Mrs. Sheens was born in London and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mann. She came to Australia alone when only 16 years of age. For a number of years she lived at Castlereagh. On her marriage with Mr. Sheens, they took up permanent residence in Penrith.
The deceased lady is survived by her son, George, who at the time of his mother's decease was a patient in Nepean District Hospital, which he left last Monday.
Mrs. Sheens was very well known and much respected in the district.
The funeral, which was well attended, took place on 28th ult., proceeding to the C. of E. portion of Penrith general cemetery. The service was conducted by Mr. Angus Tipping.
Among the many wreaths received were tributes from Penrith Fire Brigade, the Legion of Ex-Servicemen, Penrith, and the Nepean Dairy Coy.17 


George Sheens b. 15 Sep 1871, d. 1 Jan 1948


  1. [S36] Maria Quigley Sheens - Our Family Tree.
  2. [S37] 1871 England Census for London, Lambeth (online image) "Class: RG10; Piece: 648; Folio: 57; Page: 30; GSU roll: 818939."
  3. [S123] Copy birth certificate of Emily Mann, Birth.
  4. [S184] Tim Sheens photographs.
  5. [S71] England Census 1871 for Lambeth, London (online image) "Class: RG10; Piece: 648; Folio: 57; Page: 30; GSU roll: 818939."
  6. [S118] Copy death certificate of Mary Ann Mann, 6 Feb 1877.
  7. [S347] Morpeth Herald.
  8. [S154] Australian Newspapers, trove.nla.gov.au, The West Australian, Thursday, 24 February 1887.
  9. [S237] NSW Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists 1826-1922, online www.ancestry.com.au.
  10. [S154] Australian Newspapers, trove.nla.gov.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 25th March 1887.
  11. [S154] Australian Newspapers, trove.nla.gov.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 30th March 1887.
  12. [S154] Australian Newspapers, trove.nla.gov.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 5th April 1887.
  13. [S109] NSW Marriage Transcript (Marilyn Rowan), 3155/1902 George Sheens & Emily Mann.
  14. [S110] NSW Birth Transcript (Marilyn Rowan), 6179/1903 George Sheens.
  15. [S182] Australian Electoral Rolls, http://www.ancestry.com.au/, Subdivision of Penrith.
  16. [S107] NSW Death Transcript (Marilyn Rowan), 4796/1947 Emily Sheens.
  17. [S154] Australian Newspapers, trove.nla.gov.au, The Nepean Times, Thursday, February 6, 1947.