Sarah Wheeler (c. 1793–n.d.)

Irish woman convicted of ‘felony of money’ in the City of Dublin on 16 October 1821 and sentenced to transportation for seven years per Woodman (1) (1823). She became the wife of fellow convict JAMES COAN (aka JAMES COWEN) at Parramatta the same year she arrived in the colony. In June 1826, with the support of the Chief Constable, SARAH successfully brought a charge of assault and cruel ill-treatment against her husband, JAMES. Unfortunately, though, the Court decision was to send her husband back to the Barracks and, in his absence, SARAH became an inmate of the Parramatta Female Factory. Further research will reveal whether or not this was her first or only visit to the Factory.


  • Alternate: SARAH COAN (married name)
  • Alternate: SARAH COWEN


  • Born: c. 1793, Limerick, Ireland
  • Tried for ‘felony of money’: 16 October 1821, City of Dublin, Ireland
  • Convicted and sentenced to seven years transportation: 16 October 1821, City of Dublin, Ireland
  • Sailed for the Colony of New South Wales per Woodman (1): 25 January 1823, Cork, Ireland
  • Arrived in the Colony of New South Wales per Woodman (1): 25 June 1823, Port Jackson, New South Wales
  • Married fellow convict JAMES COAN: 1823, St. John’s Church, Parramatta
  • Charged her husband with assault and ill-treatment: c. 30 June 1826
  • Sent to the Parramatta Female Factory ‘as a matter of course’ when husband was found guilty of assaulting and ill-treating her by the Court: 30 June 1826, Parramatta Female Factory
  • Appeared in The Australian‘s “Police Incidents” news column: 1 July 1826


  • House maid, < 1821, Dublin, Ireland
  • Convict, 16 October 1821–25 January 1823, Ireland
  • Convict, 25 January 1823–25 June 1823, Woodman (1) (1823)
  • Convict, 25 June 1823–1828, Colony of New South Wales


  • Female Factory Online (, 1 July 1826, report on SARAH WHEELER, (p18260701), accessed 12 August 2018.



# Convict

# Irish

# Ship: Woodman (1) (1823)

# Parramatta Female Factory

# Year: 1826