TROVE TUESDAY: Busting the myth of the Nashwauk Anchor…

Our Australian Digitised newspapers, provided free of charge by the National Library of Australia, are not only interesting and entertaining but provide a wealth of information for those researching family. This article from the 1927 Adelaide newspaper, “The Mail” is but one example of the value of this wonderful resource.

Banner. The Mail

TROVE. Moana Mystery explained

The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954)
Saturday 27 August 1927page 1.
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/5291051

Finally the mystery of  “the Anchor”, which had been embedded in sand on a southern South Australian beach for 73 years, was solved.  It was indeed the abandoned anchor from the ill fated ship “The Nashwauk”, the Irish “bride ship” on which my 18 year old Great Great Grand-mother Susan Kelleher, and her sister Bridget, emigrated and was wrecked just 40 miles short of their destination. A witness, Mr Giles, confirmed the anchor was not that of the other nearby shipwreck,  “The Star of Greece“.

For 73 years the Nashwauk Anchor lay abandoned near the shoreline until in 1927, the same years that the Roundhouse  was constructed, the Noarlunga Council offered a reward for its recovery.   Local residents,  Mr Robinson, his brother, son and three of their horses successfully completed the task.

Nashwauk Anchor. laying on beach. The Mail. 27Aug1927. page1

“Mr. Robinson said that one day in about every two years the anchor of the Nashwauk used to become visible about 50 yards from the shore off Moana, and when, in May of this year, he noticed the anchor showing, he decided that he would endeavor to reclaim it. With his brother and son and three horses he set about the task, and after five or six hours of strenuous effort was successful. The anchor of the Nashwauk is 11. ft. long and weighs several tons, but Lake Beach Estate, Limited, which is developing Moana, has decided to transport it another hundred yards, and set it upon a pedestal to remain a link with history for all time. A concrete base to take the huge anchor has already been constructed.”

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As the area developed the iconic Roundhouse was demolished the Anchor moved, from its grand plinth on the foreshore, and embedded in a slab of concrete in the Moana Caravan Park. Although no longer the grand monument to Irish Immigration, and the settlement of South Australia, but rusting away behind boom gates. However, at least it survived and for that we’re very grateful.

Nashwauk Anchor before restoration

Nashwauk Anchor before restoration

In 2010 the curator of the Exhibition –  “Not Just Ned – A True History of Irish Settlement in Australia”  Dr Reid, borrowed the “Nashwauk Anchor” had it restored by the Australian National Museum and placed this iconic relic on display in Canberra. It’s now back in South Australia, the public is being consulted re: its placement. Many are calling for it to go back to its original spot, in the caravan park, totally unaware its unique history. The original display site of the “Nashwauk Anchor” was never the Moana Caravan Park but on the foreshore, alongside the iconic Roundhouse which unfortunately was demolished in 2006.

This article, in the 1927 copy of “The Mail”,  is but one of the many which describe these events, can be accessed on-line and are there to “set the record straight” so the decision makers have the correct facts upon which to base their decision.

I LOVE YOU TROVE!!!

TROVE

Public consultation of the placement of the restored Anchor is just that… “public“.  You do not need to live in the area to provide feedback and if you are of Irish descent and especially if your Ancestors were immigrants on the “Nashwauk” you are an “interested person” and entitled to contribute your opinion.

Only problem is, if you wish to give feedback, that there is a very tight time-line and responses need to be in by this Friday, 3 May 2013… however, with the wonders of modern technology you can quickly and easily contribute. Just click HERE to access my post where you’ll find the link to provide on-line feedback.

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To read the very detailed and informative Newspaper article, quoted here, just click on this link:   http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/5291051
For other fascinating articles on the wreck, the enquiry and the Anchor just go to TROVE and do a search…

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel 

Seeking Susan’s family …

Susan Kelleher, my Great Great Grandmother, emigrated on the ill-fated “Nashwauk” in 1855 with her sister Bridget and has always been my inspiration for researching family history (see here). It’s a joy to have managed to piece together her life from the moment the ship was wrecked off the coast of South Australia, until she was buried in the Broken Hill Cemetery, New South Wales, after a long and productive life. 

However, I’ve had no luck at all in locating Susan’s birth family in County Clare, Ireland.  A visit to the   “Clare Heritage Centre” Corofin, Co Clare, in 1994 resulted in the discovery of a family which may be my Ancestors as they had a daughter, Susan Kelleher born 1835. However there is no record of her having a sister named Bridget, but it was pointed out that this does not necessarily mean this couple didn’t have a daughter of this name because,

“…like most other Parish Registers they are riddled with gaps and omissions in fact there were no baptisms recorded in the Parish of Ennistymon between July 1836 and March 1842 with their being many gaps and omissions in the intervening period. “ 

This couple, who may be my Great Great Great Grandparents, are Hannah and Patrick Kelleher from the Parish of Ennistymon, County Clare. We know from the Ship’s Passenger List that the name of Susan and Bridget’s father is Patrick but there’s no mention of their mother.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Immigration Papers for all aboard the “Nashwauk” are  missing from the South Australian State Records. I say it’s not surprising because many of these immigrants complained they had no applied, nor had been approved, to come to South Australia.  I’m guessing that some clerk neglected to re-file the papers appropriately.

The Irish “Griffiths Valuation” has been of little help because, although there are a couple of “Patrick Kelleher’s” listed, there is nothing to connect either to my Susan.

Susan was married twice but her mother’s name does not appear on either certificates.  Her death certificate has her mother’s name as the same as hers, “Susan”, but we know that these can often be unreliable as those providing the information are not always fully aware of all details. Susan’s Grandson, with whom she was living, was the informant.

The Clare Heritage Centre confirmed that the name “Susan” may be “Susannah” or shortened to “Hannah” but that’s just a “maybe” and not good enough.

Pauline, from “Family history across the seas”, made a great suggestion, that I follow up on  Susan’s sister, which is something I’d not thought of.  Unfortunately Bridget disappeared from the South Australian records on 13 Jan 1856, after witnessing Susan’s Marriage and there are no “family stories” of her whereabouts.  I suspect she may have travelled on to Sydney, for it’s recorded in the book, “What Really Happened to the Nashwauk?”,  that Bridget was one of the immigrants who complained that she had applied to go to Sydney, New South Wales not Adelaide, South Australia.

As the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society has just set up an online Index of BD&M’s I decided to give this a go.  All that came up was a marriage for a Bridget Kellery to a Thomas Smith. It was a “longshot” but I did hope that this may be my Bridget with an incorrectly spelt Surname. Finally the Transcript came through and it’s not my Bridget –  Drat! – even if it was there is little information about the Bride.

Well, I have “another iron in the fire” and am waiting… waiting… waiting… for Susan’s Will & Probate Records to arrive.  Maybe she mentions her mother’s name in her last “Will & Testament”?  One can but hope.

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Sources:  Genealogy SA – http://www.genealogysa.org.au
                 “What Really Happened to the Nashwauk?” ©2004. J.Callen. ISBN 0-9595356-2-4. Printed by Butterfly Press, 225 Main Road, Blackwood, South Australia, 5051. Tel: 08 8278 2899

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