Maria's birth date was traced on the Pioneer index in Hobart. Maria Brown married Tom and when
he died got together with his brother, known as Jim, who fathered her last three daughters.
She was unable to marry him as he was the brother of her deceased husband. The change in the
law did not take place until 1921.|
Her birth was registered at Launceston in Tasmania although her brother George said he was still living in Sidmouth until he was 12, so maybe she was born there too and baptised in Launceston. Maria died at Albert Park Victoria (see Death Notice) of a sudden cerebral haemorrhage and cancer. There is a note in the margin about Joseph Johnston, 31, presumably her youngest son.
Maria's birth was registered as follows: Father John, Mother Elizabeth Baker, Reg. no. 3536, Rgd. no. 33. Her death in Victoria is shown as follows: Digger - Edwardian Index. Victoria 1902-1913. Surname: JOHNSTON Given Names: Maria Event: Spouse Surname/Father: Brown Wm [This was not correct]. Spouse Gvn Names/Mother: Mary UNKNOWN [incorrect as her mother was Elizabeth]. Age: 53 Age Code: Birth Place: Death Place: A P Year: 1905 Reg. Number: 3929
There is a corresponding D/Notice that appeared in Launceston's "Daily Telegraph" Tuesday 23/5/1905. DEATHS: Johnston: On the 20th May at Albert Park - Victoria - Maria the beloved wife of John Johnston of Beaconsfield at the age of 55. (Due to the rigid law on marrying the brother of a deceased husband, Maria was never married to John. She and John were in Grubb Street in Beaconsfield in the 1903 electoral roll. Joseph, her father-in-law, was at Weld Street, working as a carter.)
Died of cancer after a cerebral haemorrhage.