Born: 1820; Died: 1863; Married: John Crinigan
Maria Crinigan was born in 1820 in Norfolk, England. Her parents were John Mansfield and Catherine (nee Murray).
The Mansfield family had come to Australia on assisted passage in 1832. Some time after her father’s death in 1840 near Sydney, Maria - with her sister, Jane Mary - were working at Duntroon.
Palmerville convict, John Crinigan, received permission to marry Maria in 1842. They had ten children together; tragically, only one survived into adulthood (Eliza Jane).
There is debate about when the Crinigans settled at Ginninderra Creek in the Tea Gardens area and built their stone hut, but most experts seem to concur that it was in the early 1850s. The earliest written reference to them living on the creek comes in the list of electors for County Murray of 1855/56, but it was likely that they were there by the time John won his ticket of leave in 1844.
The earliest written reference to the stone hut is from January 1858 when the murder of the Crinigan’s worker, Samuel Marley, by Thomas Wells was reported.
Maria died in 1863.
Her husband remarried, two months later. He died in the Canberra area in 1899.
- Barrow, G., Canberra’s Historic Houses: Dwellings and Ruins of the 19th Century, Hackett, 1998
- Folger, M. and H. Cooke, ‘Crinigan’s Stone Cottage’, Canberra, 2008
- Gillespie, L. L., Ginninderra: Forerunner to Canberra, Campbell, 1992
- Newman, C., Gold Creek: Reflections of Canberra’s Rural Heritage, Ngunnawal, 2004
- Robinson, F. W., Canberra’s First Hundred Years and After, Sydney, 1927
- Shumack, S. An Autobiography, or, Tales and Legends of Canberra Pioneers (ed. J. E. and S. Shumack), Canberra, 1967
- Various editions of the Queanbeyan Age, Goulburn Herald, and Goulburn Evening Penny Post