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Isabella Ferrier (1855–1950)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

This entry is from People Australia

Isabella Ferrier, née Young (1855-1950) dressmaker, charitable worker and trade union official’s wife

Birth: 24 January 1855 at Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, daughter of James Young (1826-1891), master boot-maker, and Isabella, née Drysdale (1818-1887). Marriage: 29 July 1875 at Edinburgh to William Ferrier (1853-1916), stonemason. They had nine daughters and three sons. Death: 13 June 1950 in her residence at Roseville, New South Wales. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • In 1871 was a dressmaker’s apprentice in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Arrived in NSW with husband and eldest daughter aboard the Peterborough on 4 May 1879. Lived at Balmain, Sydney, and gave birth to five daughters and one son between 1881 and 1889.
  • In 1889 was appointed to the original council of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Fund, chaired by Lady Carrington, the governor’s wife’, for “the relief of distressed women”. She attended a few meetings before she resigned in 1890 when she left Sydney.
  • Moved to Bathurst in 1890, where she gave birth to five more children, the youngest in 1901. In 1894 her 6-year old son died of typhoid, and in 1900 her 20-year-old daughter died from enteric fever. She and her family were closely associated with St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Bathurst.
  • Returned with her family to Sydney in 1902, living at Glebe Point. and continuing to live there after her husband’s death. From at least 1930 until her death she lived with her daughter Beryl Drysdale Ellis, née Ferrier (1901-1983).
  • Cause of death: myocardial degeneration.

Additional Resources

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Ferrier, Isabella (1855–1950)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Young, Isabella

24 January, 1855
Edinburgh, Mid-Lothian, Scotland


13 June, 1950 (aged 95)
Roseville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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