Mary Ann Ronalds

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Mary Ann Harlow and Alfred Ronalds emigrated with family members on the Lord Hungerford arriving in Williamstown on 10 February 1849. They married at Christ Church, Geelong, in 1849.

Her husband Alfred established a business as an engraver, lithographer, printer and surveyor. He struck a medal to commemorate the formation of the Colony of Victoria in 1851. His book The Fly Fishers Entomology (first published in 1836 and running to 12 editions and various reprints) shows examples of his artwork. His printing presses were later used by F. W. Niven, who is known for his printing and publishing business in Ballarat.

Around 1852 the Ronalds family came to Ballarat. It was a trip that they described in letters recording that it took almost two weeks with Mary carrying their baby most of the way.

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Alfred Ronalds, possibly a son of Mary, wrote a letter to the Mayor of Ballarat on 24 September 1920. He was residing at Warrenheip Street, Buninyong at that time. He stated he was a 'little over 70 years' which meant he was born around 1850. He also said he was the last surviving child of a family of ten. He had a vivid recollection of seeing the soldiers sitting on the stumps at Lake Wendouree, drinking rum out of pannikins. [1]

Post 1854 Experiences

They bought 6 acres 2 roods 0 perches (2.6 hectares) of land facing on to "The Swamp" (now known as Lake Wendouree, and established a nursery which later supplied plants to the new Botanical Gardens. Alfred died suddenly in April 1860.

Mary Ann brought up ten surviving children aged between one and 13. (Six of these children were from Alfred's first marriage. Mary ran the nursery with the help of her older step-children and they won various prizes at the horticultural show in November 1860. Mary was awarded life membership of the Ballarat Horticultural Society in 1886. [2]

In the News

See Also

Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.


  1. Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2009
  2. Letter from Bev Ronalds dated 24 February 2012.

External links

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