Happy Birthday South Australia!!!

Today is South Australia’s “Proclomation Day”, our birthday, and a time for much rejoicing by many.

Governor John Hindmarsh

Governor John Hindmarsh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day, 176 years ago, South Australia was proclaimed a British Province by Captain John Hindmarsh alongside the “Old Gum Tree” at Glenelg.

The proclamation included the same protection, under the law, for the local native population as for the settlers although I’m sad to say that the enforcement of this law did not reflect the intent as described in the legislation.  

South Australia has a unique heritage. Unlike British settlements on the east coast of Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia, South Australia was not a convict settlement and so tends to not attract the same interest nor fascination.

My schoolday history lessons, in the 1950’s, were totally focussed on British history and Australian history was not part of the curriculum. Needless to say, the uniqueness of our South Australian history was never a part of my learning. It was only when accepted as a “mature aged student” to Tertiary Education in the late 1970’s (thanks to the Australian Labour Party and our Prime Minister Gough Whitlam) that I learnt about our unique South Australia history.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield (* 1796; † 1862), Brit...

Edward Gibbon Wakefield (* 1796; † 1862), British statesman and promoter of colonization of Australia and New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the years pass I still never fail to be fascinated by the origins of this planned “Utopia in the South”, nor of Edward Gibbon Wakefield who conceived the plan whilst serving three years in Newgate Prison for abducting Ellen Turner, a 15 year old heiress, and narrowly escaping a hanging or transportation.

His simple plan was that  instead of granting free land to settlers, as was the practice in other colonies, the land would be sold at a ‘suffient price’ and  this money would then be used to provide free passage to labourers and their families. It was envisaged that after working for a few years these labourers would then be able to buy land for themselves.

“The object is not to place a scattered and half-barbarous colony on the coast of New Holland, but to establish…a wealthy, civilised society.” Edward Gibbon Wakefield

After being released from Newgate prison in 1830, Wakefield became involved in several attempts to promote his scheme for the colonisation of South Australia but as his influence waned he severed all connection with the scheme.

Robert Gouger, who was Wakefield’s secretary, then promoted  Wakefield’s plan and the South Australian Association was formed. With the aid of several influential figures the  British Parliament was  persuaded to pass the South Australian Colonisation Act which incorporated Wakefield’s plan to devolp the colony with the best qualities of British society.  The reality, however, did not match the ideals as land speculators moved in but Wakefield’s plan certainly gave the European colonisation of South Australia a different flavour to that of other Australian colonies .

So today many South Australians will gather again under that “old gum tree” in Glenelg to remember and to celebrate the Proclomation, 176 years ago, of South Australia as yet another British Colony but with it’s own unique flavour.

The Proclomation of South Australia. 28 Dec 1836

The Proclomation of South Australia. 28 Dec 1836

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Copyright (c) 2012. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel.

Tt is for – Time Line, Time Walk and Tony Robinson

Can’t begin to say how happy I was to read that Tony Robinson is doing a TV Time Line/ Time Walk in Adelaide, South Australia. Whooo Hooo!!! Gives me the opportunity to share, on the Gould “Family History Through the Alphabet” challenge, that not all of Australia was a convict settlement and broaden people’s thinking about why Australian’s are often seen as anti-authoritarian”. Come walk with me, eh???

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Wikipedia describes how South Australia had a different mode of “Colonisation” to the rest of Australia. The South Australian Colonisation Act stated that “802,511 square kilometres would be allotted to the colony and it was to be “convict free”. Instead of granting free land to settlers, the land would be sold and the money raised would be used to transport settlers/ labourers free of charge.

“Dissenters” from the established “Church of England” were amongst the  first South Australian colonists and encouraged, and funded, others seeking relief/escape, from religious persecution to emigrate to this “Utopia in the South.”  Both Protestant non-conformists and Catholics were subjected to active discrimination in England from the 16th Century. Many Germans/ Prussians were also  drawn to South Australia, seeking religious freedom. The ” Bound for South Australia” website tells that these “dissenters” constituted a much higher population than those in other Australian colonies.  

Those who claim all Australians tend to be “Anti-authoritatian” because of their convict roots have missed this crucial part of the picture. i.e. The settlement/ European colonisation of South Australia and the settler’s determination to separate Church and State. 

So, back to Tony Robinson and his “Time Walk”  TV programme. Goodonya Tony and thanks to the South Australian Advertiser, for the info.

Given that South Australia was “settled by dissenters” it does not surprise me, at all, that South Australia led the nation with:

* Votes for women, including the right to stand for Parliament, and the first woman, Mrs Benny, to enter local Govt in Australia (1919).

* Dame Roma Mitchell, the first Australian woman  to be: a Judge, a Queen’s Counsel, a Chancellor of an Australian University, Governor of an Australian State.

* First crematorium in the South Hemisphere, built at the West Terrace Cemetery, South Australia in 1902. 

* The first Act, in Australia, prohibiting discrimination – “The 1966 Prohibition of Discrimination Act”, which started the ball rolling here in Australia.

* The first Australian publication by an Aboriginal author, David Unaipon born 28 Sep 1872 at the Port McLeay Mission, South Australia. He is commemorated on our Australian $50 note.

… and so many other “firsts” eg. The first metal mine in Oz (1841), the first Croquet Club, the first major long-distance telephone call etc … but most important of all, in my opinion, is that South Australia has so often led the way with legislation to address discrimination …

Bit of a pain that I don’t have Cable TV so won’t get to see the programme, but no worries. Happy that Tony Robinson will awaken some people’s interest in our unique South Australian history and honour our pioneering “dissenters”.  

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 Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel   

Ss – is for Sailing South and Single

Did Amelia and John know each other back home in Wedmore, Somerset, England? Was it Serendipity that they travelled separately, and single, to a new life in South Australia and then met and married “within the blink of an eye”?  Did they travel separately to avoid detection or is there a simpler explanation? Some things we can only wonder about as we explore the lives of our Ancestors. In this post to the Gould “Family History Through the Alphabet” challenge it’s a pleasure to share a little of the lives of my children’s paternal Great Great Grandparents, John and Amelia Hembury, when they chose to emigrate and create a life far from their homeland. Am also delighted to introduce the amazing book “A 300 Year History of the Hembury Family”, which has been a long time in the making and is soon to be released.

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The history of Wedmore, the birth place of both John and Amelia Hembury/ Hembry, goes way back to the Iron Age and, as I understand it, the Hemburys have been an integral part of this rather small community, in Britain, for many hundreds of years. So it seems rather unlikely that John and Amelia did not know each other before both deciding to emigrate to South Australia separately and within about 5 weeks of each other.

John (aged 23) left the shores of Britain, from Plymouth aboard the “Adamant”, as a single man & Government assisted migrant on 4 Jul 1863. He arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 25 Sep 1863.

Amelia (aged 15) left her homeland with her sister Jane (aged 16) aboard the “Sir John Lawrence” arriving in Port Adelaide just 6 weeks later – 30 October 1863. 

Within 6 weeks of Amelia’s arrival in South Australia she and John were wed in the beautiful “Holy Trinity Church”, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia – 17 Dec 1868.

Amelia and John Hembry/Hembury had 16 children – 9 survived infancy. Their sixth child, William Henry Hembury, is my children’s Great Grandfather.

William Henry Hembury married Emma (Amy) Kowalick at the residence of Amy’s mother Mary Ann (Forster) Kowalick at Margaret Street, North Adelaide, South Australia on 25 Dec 1894 and they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1944. Within a few years both “passed on” and share a burial place in the Dudley Park Cemetery, South Australia.

Amelia Hembury(c)K.Francis

William Henry and Emma had 3 children; Mary Eveline, Vera Adeline and Beatrice Amy Hembury. Mary Eveline, known as “Ev“, is our Nana Andy, my children’s great grandmother, on their father’s side, and a very special lady indeed.

Enough now about who is related to whom… except to say that when Amelia and John Hembury/Hembry decided to sail south and create a whole new life here, in the Antipodes, their descendants have never forgotten that their origins go way back to Wedmore, Somerset, England.

Kay Francis has been working, for 16 years now, on compiling detailed documentation of our Hembury Family which takes us back 300 years. The book “A 300 Year History of the Hembury Family” has grown to 461 colour/ black and white A4 paqes with many pictures, anecdotes etc. to enthral and intrigue. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it 🙂

Here’s how to order a copy:

PLEASE NOTE:   Postage to UK and USA  (on top of price of book)
                             – $30 Sea Mail and takes 3 months
                             – $50 Air Mail (which includes a surcharge for customs declaration, payable on Air Mail only) and takes 3-10 days.
                                                                   

Here in info about the book launch and reunion:

 Am so looking forward to the publishing of the book, and the family reunion and pleased to be given the opportunity to put our Nana Andy’s “Hembury line” into this publication. Sincere thanks to all whom have helped with this GIGANTIC task 🙂

Maybe we’ll catch up at the Book Launch/ Reunion on 25 Nov 2012? … Sure hope so.

~~~~~~~~~

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel

Nn is for – No News on the “Nashwauk” anchor

Hopefully the old proverb “No news is good news” will prove to be correct regarding the whereabouts, and well-being, of the “Nashwauk” anchor. The plan has always been that this “Family History Through the Alphabet” post would be titled, “News on the Nashwauk anchor”, as a follow up to my initial post “Safe Return of the ‘Nashwauk’ anchor”, but I’ve been forced to change the plan because, try as I might, no news is forthcoming.

My Susan, one of the people for whom this Blog is named, arrived in South Australia in a “bride ship”, the “Nashwauk”. It ran aground/ was wrecked off our south coast on 13 May 1855. You can read about the wreck, the young Irish girls carried ashore on the backs of sailors and the recovery of the ship’s anchor, some 70 years later, by clicking HERE. You will also read about the sterling work of the Australian National Museum, under the direction of Dr Reid, in restoring and putting the anchor on display last year as part of the splendid Irish in Australia Exhibition titled, “Not Just Ned”.

With my 3 brothers, mum and the Nashwauk Anchor circa 1954. (c) 2012. C.Crout-Habel

After following up the concerns of a number of people I was delighted to report, in April 2012, that the anchor was safely back in South Australia, there would be a “consultation process” re: it’s eventual placement and all was well with the world. That was four months ago. The last news I had, from the person in charge of the Project, was two  months ago and his advice was:

“No news as yet just waiting on engagement strategy to be signed off from Senior Management. Will let you know when I have something to show you.”

With this blog post coming up I contacted him about three weeks ago and no reply. Then I wrote to the Lady Mayor of the City of Onkaparinga advising of the situation and that I had a Blog post waiting to be written. Ms Rosenberg’s reply was immediate in letting me know that this gentlemen had left the employ of the council and she would follow up on my request. Hearing nothing further, for almost 2 weeks, I emailed again and was informed:

“I am waiting for a staff response.”

So, yesterday I rang the Moana Caravan Park, whom I understood had the “Nashwauk” anchor in their safe-keeping, and was told they knew nothing other than that the Council was planning to consult with the public. grrr… My next “port of call” was the receptionist at the Council and, “bless her little cotton socks”, Crystal was the first person who talked any sense and actually got some action happening. Within half an hour the young woman, who had taken on the Senior Project Manager’s job, was on the phone to me. She had only started work the previous day but was meeting with her manager the next day (today) and that was high on her list of priorities for discussion. I was assured she would phone, or email, immediately after the meeting. The silence is deafening.

So, there you have it folks. It’s now been 2 years since our Anchor was taken to share with the rest of Australia and I’m losing patience. It may be said that “No news is good news” but, for me…

© Copyright 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel.  “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family”

Aa – is for ALLAN, Frederick Alexander

FAMILY HISTORY THROUGH THE ALPHABET CHALLENGE

Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Musical Meme” was so enjoyable that I’ve decided to take up Gould Genealogy’s “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge”, and what a challenge it’s been simply choosing the first topic and getting started. Whenever I think of the letter Aa, and my Family History, it’s precious memories of my maternal Grandpa, Frederick Alexander Allan, which leap to my mind leaving no room for any other thoughts. This is his story.

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As the “Crout-Habel” Family Tree” spreads its roots, is nourished, loved and tended there remains a huge gap right there at the base.  How embarrassing to confess that I know so little about my maternal Grandpa’s origins, despite him living with us throughout my childhood and me with a host of memories to continue writing.

The only documentary evidence located, so far, is Grandpa’s Death Certificate.  However, as with many Death Certificates, some information is incorrect.

   DISTRICT OF NORWOOD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

NAME: Robert Alexander ALLEN, also known as Frederick Alexander Allen
AGE:  78 years
DIED:  12 Jan 1966 at Wodonga Hospital, Kent Town, South Australia
CAUSE OF DEATH:  Coronary Thrombosis – sudden, and mycarditis – 2 years
BURIED:  13 Jan 1966, Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia
CONJUGAL STATUS:  Widower
OCCUPATION:  Retired Waterside Worker
USUAL RESIDENCE:  34 New Street, Queenstown, South Australia
BIRTHPLACE:  London, England.  Resident in Commonwealth for 50 years
AGE AT MARRIAGE:  Not known
INFORMANT:  W.S.Taylor, Funeral Director, Port Road, Queenstown, South Australia
REGISTERED:  17 Jan 1966 by A.Evans
ENTERED INTO DISTRICT REGISTRY OFFICE:  20 Jan 1966 by A.Evans, District Register

Clearly the Funeral Director did not get this information from my mother for she never would have given her father’s name as “Robert Alexander Allen”. I remember how this new name came into my Grandpa’s life. For

Frederick Alexander Allan

years mum had been trying to persuade him to apply for the Aged Pension and finally he agreed. The Waterside Workers Union Secretary wrote to “Catherine House”, in the UK, for his birth certificate but they sent the certificate for his brother “Robert Arthur Allan”. Grandpa objected and said Robert was 4 years older and had emigrated to the USA. Wanting no further delays mum lodged the application, using this birth certificate, and every time the cheque arrived the arguments would start up again – Grandpa quietly refusing to sign “R.A.Allan”, saying “That is not my name, Kathleen!”

There is no Marriage Certificate to provide information as Nana and Grandpa never married. My Nana, “Mary Elizabeth Murray”, remained legally married to Alfred Evans and it seems that Mum’s Birth Certificate names her as “Kathleen Mary Evans” with Alfred Evans as her father. Apparently this was done to ensure that she was not labelled “a

Grandpa and his stepson Eric Evans

 bastard”. Mum told of the shock, when first sighting her Birth Certificate, whilst preparing for her marriage to “Harry Scarborough Crout”. She knew of her mother’s previous marriage and was very fond of her three older half siblings; “Eric, Norman and Connie Evans”, knew she was Frederick Allan’s daughter and had always been known as “Kathleen Mary Allan”.

Incidentally mum’s name for her father was “Olpell”. That always intrigued me and was told she thought it came about because her mother had always called her husband “the old fella” and mum’s baby language had interpreted it as “Olpell“. What a disappointment that was – I’d fancied a far more exotic explanation.

The other questionable information on Grandpa’s Death Certificate is his age. Was that based on the Birth Certificate of his brother, “Robert Arthur Allan” who was, according to Grandpa, 4 years older? Also, had he really been “a resident in Commonwealth for 50 years”? If this is correct, and not just an estimation, he would have arrived in Australian about 1917. Well, at least we know that he was here before 31 Mar 1925 because that is the day his daughter, my mother, was born 🙂

“SS Edwardes” at Port Pirie

Grandpa told us he was a sailor and first went to sea as a “cabin boy”. For some reason I have the age of 7, in my head, but I don’t know that he actually said that… possibly I dreamt it. Some of my siblings think this was just a “tall story” but, for a variety of reasons, I tend to believe it’s true. Firstly he constantly used expressions such as, “Aye, Aye”, “Shiver m’ Timbers” and “Batten Down the Hatches”… not that you have to be a seafarer to utter these words… Furthermore, a meal that Grandpa would cook and was his specialty was “Scouse”. It was delicious. I knew no-one else who ate “Scouse” and it was many years later that I discovered it was first taken to Liverpool, England, by Northern European sailors, was originally called Labskause” and later adopted by other seamen.

Another factor with suggests my Grandfather was indeed a sailor is that Nana was living in Port Pirie, the second largest seaport in South

Fred Allan middle back behind his “beloved” Lizzie (Murray) Allan

Australia,when they met, fell in love and ran away to Port Adelaide. I’ve often wondered if he was a “deserter” and “jumped ship” in Port Pirie. A good reason to not hang around the port, I reckon. Mum said that her dad had promised to take his beloved on a ship to explore wild and wonderful places and is why, when she left her husband and three children, they headed to Port Adelaide. However, he took sick , she nursed him back to health, mum was born, the “Great Depression” hit and nobody was going anywhere. True or not? … I don’t know. That’s for others to decide. My job is to pass the family story on to my children, and grandchildren, for them to pass onto their descendants.

Was Frederick Alexander Allan born in London, England, as stated on his Death Certificate? I think he most probably was. According to Grandpa he was a true Cockney born within the sound of the Bow Bells”. I now know what that expression means but, as a child, I had no idea what he was talking about. Also, meeting with some of my mum’s elderly cousins just last week (for the first time in about 50 years) they talked fondly of Grandpa and mentioned his “strong cockney accent”. Me, the child, heard no accent.

Grandpa had a strong dislike of the British Royal Family and spoke about being a child and seeing Queen Victoria riding along in her carriage with her fingers, “like big fat sausages”, covered in jewels whilst people were starving and dying in the streets. He said his mother was a “Midwife” and saved to pay for “reading and writing” lessons for her children. He did say how much she paid per lesson which I think was a farthing, but I’m not sure.

Well, those are some of the memories of my dearly loved Grandpa and serve as “clues” when seeking documented facts. So far I’ve had no luck discovering his origins but recently a newspaper article, in “Trove”, caught my eye and has given another avenue to explore. Mum had told me about Grandpa’s terrible accident, on the wharf, and why the Union was SO important in improving working conditions. 

Now I know the date and place he was treated, a trip to the South Australian State Records” to access the “Adelaide Hospital” patient records for Tuesday 25 Aug 1936 might just give me a little more valuable information and bring me closer to discovering my “Allan” ancestry.  

May you always Rest in Peace, Frederick Alexander Allan and know you are loved and remembered.

 ~~~~~~~~~ 

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family 

Pioneer Women’s Trail – walk back in time

Our South Australian German/Prussian immigrants are a crucial part of the successful settlement of this State. The first wave arrived, as religious refugees, with Pastor August Ludwig Christian Kavel in Nov 1838.  They travelled on two ships, the “Prince George and the “Bengalee just two years after the first settlers arrived on these shores.

Kavel’s people rented 150 acres of land, for seven years at 5/- an acre three miles up river, from South Australian Company” director George Fife Angas, who had sponsored their assisted passage to the new colony. They named it “Klemzig” after their village in Germany.  It is said that the aboriginal people called it “Warkowodli Wodli”.

Most of the English settler were builders, engineers and land speculators not farmers, and relied on their food being brought by ship from New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).  This became increasingly unbearable when,

“Even their bread tasted of seawater and pitch from
the barrels in which the flour was shipped.” [1]

The new arrivals set to work building and farming and within a month were selling radishes, the first freshly grown food in South Australia, at a shilling a bunch.  They were well rewarded for their hard work – a cucumber was also worth a shilling, and 7 equalled a worker’s daily wage.  These hard working peple certainly needed the money as Angas had to be repaid for their ship passage and also for the lease of the land.  A young man often acquired the “ship debt” of his new bride upon marriage.

Captain Dirk Meinhertz Hahn

The ship, the “Zebra”, arrived the following month with another 187 Lutheran migrants on board.  It was captained by Dirk Meinhertz Hahn and, after a brief stay in Klemzig, 38 families left and settled on 150 acres in the Adelaide Hills, purchased from William Dutton & partners for $14 per acre.  They named their township Hahndorf” and they too had a huge debt to repay.  The Hahndorf Pioneers soon set about clearing the land, planting crops, breaking in the cattle and milking the cows. They built their first houses with any avaliable materials to quickly provide protection from the very different climatic conditions in their new country.

“Their first winter in the Adelaide Hills was far from what they had expected. Food was often lacking and many went without at times.
Some even died of hunger. Eventually the new migrants managed
to produce a surplus of farm products which were sold in Adelaide
by their women. They walked all the way through the hills to town
in the hope of selling them to pay pay off their husbands’ or
fathers’ loans or to buy more land.” [2]

These pioneering women followed the 36km “Paramuk Aboriginal trail” [3] in the dark, arriving at Beaumont at dawn, where they’d freshen up in the creek before walking the final 5 kms into the Adelaide markets.  Often they carried bricks back 36 kms to Hahndorf for the building of more substantial homes.

The “South Australian Road Runners and Walkers Club”, along with the “Burnside” and the “Hahndorf” branches of the South Australian National Trust” have organised a run/walk for Sunday, 13 May 2012, aong this “Pioneer Women’s Trail” as part of the About Time: South Australian History Festival”. [4]

Commencing at the Hahndorf Institute” in Main Street, Hahndorf, the route follows the main road out of Hahndorf, crossing the Onkaparinga River before joining the official trail at Verdun.  This historic trail winds its way through the back streets of Bridgewater and Stirling, traverses the beautiful bush trails of Mr George Conservation Park and Cleland Conservation Park before finally opening out onto stunning city views and the descent to Burnside.  Following the run, a BBQ will be open to the public all day at historic “Beaumont House” to bring the event to a celebratory conclusion. Participants requiring further information, just click here.

Historic Hahndorf
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Johann Caeser

Our German/Prussian immigrants are not only an important part of South Australian History but aso my own Family History. Wilhelm Emil Habel, my husband’s Grandfather of “Habel’s Bend”, is the eldest child of Johann Friedrich August and Johanne Henriette Siefert. They travelled from Brandenburg, Prussia aboard the “Johann Caeser” with family and some 260 other German/Prussian immigrants, arriving at Port Adelaide on a hot summer’s day, 1 Jan 1855 and settling in Dutton, South Australia where Wilhelm was born.

“Skyjold”

Wilhelm Emil Habel married his second wife, Maria Mathilde Grosser, on 19 Jul 1890 at Dutton.  Her father, Hermann Eduard Louis Grosser, arrived with his parents and 5 siblings aboard the “Skyjold” on 3 Jul 1841.  They were amongst the congregation of Pastor Gotthard Daniel Fritzschke whom Pastor Kavel had encouraged to emigrate.  Whilst his congregation was committed to making a new life in a new land, their Pastor was initially undecided.  Fritzschke’s people settled at Bethany, in the Barossa Valley, and experienced many of the same difficulties as the Hahndorf settlers.  They too owed a “ship debt” and land lease payments to their sponsor, George Fife Angas.

Maria, Wilhelm’s second wife, bore him 9 children bringing the total number of children he fathered to 16.  Eight of their children survived childhood and little Elisabeth Clara, is buried near the “Habel Homestead” at Loxton, South Australia. You can read about Elisabeth by clicking here

Wilhelm, like many descendants of the German/Prussian Pioneers prospered and he displayed the fruits of his labour in a lavish celebration for the Wedding of Lina Martha Habel, his third daughter with first wife Marie (Martha) Emilie Fielke. Click here to read about this extravagance.

We, the descendants of these courageous pioneers, owe our Ancestors a huge debt of gratitude which is described movingly in the poem posted here on the first day of this blog, Australia Day 2012.

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SOURCES:
[1] “God’s Lost Acre” by William Reschke, Sunday Mail, 9 Mar 1975, p. 11.
[2] Flinders Ranges Research – Hahndorf
[3] “On the trail of settler history” by Sam Kelton, The Advertiser, 10 May 2012, p 15.
[4] South Australian Road Runners and Walkers Club 

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family     

History Festival down South…

 

ABOUT TIME
http://www.abouttime.sa.gov.au/events

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S HISTORY FESTIVAL – 1 to 31 MAY 2012

Settled in 1836, and one of the last European settlements in Australia, South Australia has a unique history which is proudly showcased in the “About Time History Festival”.

Come along and enjoy … walks, talks, displays, openings etc.  A whole range of events, spread throughout the state, are designed to interest, enthral, and entertain both locals and visitors.

click on map to enlarge

If the location is a little too distant just “travel with your fingers” by clicking on the “About Time” link above, trawl through the events, read through those that interest and gain a little more knowledge about my unique State – the State of South Australia.

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Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family  

Safe return of the “Nashwauk” anchor.

The anchor is safe !!! – a phone call to the City of Onkaparinga and
I was assured that the “Nashwauk” anchor has been returned
to South Australia and that a safe, secure, prominent and
well lit site is being prepared for its final resting place …
now I’m smiling…
~~~~~~~~~  

 The “Nashwauk”, a three masted wooden sailing ship built in 1853 at River John, Province of Novia Scotia, with a tonnage of 762, measuring 144.1ft in length, 29.ft in breadth at the widest part, with a midships depth of 2.7ft and a lower deck of 140ft, left Liverpool on 13 Feb 1855 under the command of Captain Archibald McIntyre, bound for South Australia. Aboard were over 300 “assisted emigrants, mostly from Ireland.

My Great Great Grand-mother Susan Kelleher and her sister Bridget, from County Clare, Ireland, were amongst the 207 single Irish girls aboard this “bride ship” when, three months later, it made its way up the Gulf St Vincent toward its final destination, Port Adelaide.  It had been an uneventful voyage and was a dark, but clear, moonlit night when at 4am the watch changed, clouds obscured the coast and the “Nashwauk” was wrecked adjacent to Harriott’s Creek (Pedler’s Creek) at the mouth of the Onkaparinga River, some 40 miles short of it’s destination.

It remains a mystery as to why, having successfully navigated the dreaded Troubridge Shoal, it foundered so close to the coast, at what is now suburban Moana.  There are many tales of smuggling, of the ship being lured by strange lights from Mr Harriott’s farmhouse, of the misbehaviour of the girls and crew but it’s all speculation and can be seen as newspapers, and reporters, simply trying to outdo each other with the more sensational stories. As N. F. Goss reports in “Drama of Moana Wreck: The End of the  Hoodoo Ship” (The Advertiser, Saturday 13 May 1933, page 9),

“There was obviously some rumor current at the time, but as there is
no later reference to it, and as the two sources disagree, it is
possible that nothing happened that cannot be explained
by the confusion natural to
the occasion and
overwrought condition of the women.”

My Susan spoke of cutting her sister’s hair when the ship struck and being carried ashore on the back of a sailor with ony the scissors in her hand and the clothes on her back. The beautiful painstakingly embroidered linen, of her trousseau, went down with the ship. All made it safely to shore but sadly two later died of exposure – the Captain and the single Irish girl Catherine Stanley, aged 23.

Horseshoe Inn 1865

The passengers assembled on the beach and walked, or were taken by dray, to the nearest township of Noarlunga where they were accommo-dated at the Horseshoe Inn.  In her book, “What Really Happened to the Nashwauk?”, Jean Callen writes,

“The residents of Noarunga had killed and roasted eight sheep,
brewed bucketsful of hot tea and baked many loaves of
bread to feed the distressed victims.” 

The following morning the Government Schooner “Yatala” and the Mail Steamer “Thomas Melbourne” arrived and ancored near the wreck, preparing to take the passengers to Port Adeaide.  However, the sea was so rough that boarding was impossible and Jean Callan confirms my Grandmother’s story of having to trudge miles back along the cliff tops.  Many of the girls were too terrified to take to the sea again and drays were finally brought to convey them to Adelaide.

It would seem that there was great chaos at the site of the wreck.  Strong winds had strewn debris for a mile along the shore.  The Captain desperately tried to recover whatever baggage he could, for the passengers, and the accessible cargo, unloaded by the crew, was closely guarded by police and customs officers.  Some three weeks later, on 29 May, the cargo was advertised for sale and all was purchased by Mr Harriott for £65 and the hull for £70.  With a shortage of material in the Colony, it was said that Mr Harriott made a tidy profit from the wreck which fuelled even more rumours of him being involved in a smuggling ring, although there is no official evidence of this.

The two official enquiries into the wreck, one by the Trinity Board and one by the Immigration Board, could not investigate fully because of the death of Captain Archibald McIntyre on 3 Jun 1855.  However, with the evidence already suppied it was concluded that complaints of the surgeon being drunk were to be dismissed and that there was no foundation for any complaint against the captain.  Sadly, dying from the effects of anxiety and exposure whilst attending to his duties after the wreck, Captain McIntre left a wife and 4 children in Glasgow, Scotland. He was 38 years old.

The “Nashwauk” was considered an unlucky ship as she had been driven ashore once before, badly dismasted and on fire four times.  A North West gale finally broke up the remains on 26 May 1855.

For 72 years the ship’s achor lay 200 yards off shore and, in 1927, the Noarlunga Council offerred £20 for its recovery. A local resident, Mr W. C. Robinson, who owned and worked a farm close to the place where the “Nashwauk” met her fate and set about the recovery task with the help of his son and brother.  They used 3 horses and, with the anchor being 11ft long and weighing several tons, it took 5-6 hours of strenuous work to haul it in. It was duly erected majesticaly on a plinth on the foreshore, next to the “roundhouse” kiosk where the memory of that fateful day, 13 May 1855, was kept alive.

Copyright(c)2012.Catherine Crout-Habel

I well remember our first family trip to Moana, in about 1954, to see “the anchor”. Cherished photographs were taken of it with mum, my three brothers and myself. The story of the wreck of the “Nashwauk” and the recovery of the anchor is where my fascination with Family History started, my sense of “Irishness” took root and the “search for Susan” began.

Some 20 years ago, on a nostalgic trip back to “the anchor”, I was horrified to discover it had disappeared.  Questioning the locals we found it standing rather forlornly, at ground level, at the entrance to the Moana Caravan Park.  Gone was the majesty … gone was the sense of reverence and nobody could tell me why it had been removed from the foreshore.  However it was comforting to know that, at least, it was safe and hadn’t been destroyed.

Then, a couple of years ago the “Nashwauk Anchor” did another disappearing act.  This time it was taken to Canberra by the National Museum of Australia, restored and put on display (17Mar-31Jul 2011) as part of the “Not Just Ned – A true History of the Irish in Australia” Exhibition. Pauline wrote about this Exhibition, and the “Nashwauk Anchor” in her blog “Family history across the seas”.  It’s wonderful that this precious relic has been cleaned, restored and has taken pride of place in such and important Exhibition but the the fear has been that it would never come back to its rightful home in South Australia.

Many expressed concern – both local residents and descendants of the “Nashwauk” passengers. Some lobbied to prevent it being sent interstate and others wrote letters to the local paper. The last I heard was that it had come back to South Australia, was in the care of the City of Onkaparinga (Council) but the decision was yet to be made as to where it would be placed.  Apparently the owners of the Moana Caravan Park wanted it back but others were saying that it did not belong to them and should be honourable placed on public display and easily accessible to all.

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Hip, hip, hooray to the City of Onkaparing and three cheers for all those involved in the decision-making.  No doubt my Susan Kelleher is not the only passenger of the ill-fated ship who is smiling down on us today.

SOURCES:  The Ships List:
http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/nashwauk1855.htm
“A Smuggler’s Home Claimed a Wreck” : Trove  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article43749058
“Moana Mystery Explained” : Trove
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58536914
“Drama of Moana Wreck” : Trove
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41485148
Family history across the seas: http://cassmob.wordpress.com
“Not Just Ned – a true History of the Irish in Australia” : http://www.irish_in_australia/home
“What Really Happened to the Nashwauk?”, © 2004 J. Callen, ISBN 0-9595356-2-4  Printed by Butterly Press, 225 Main Road, Blackwood, South Australia, Australia. 5051. Tel: 08 8278 2899

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Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family