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2nd Edition of "The Hamiltons 1762-1862" NOW AVAILABLE



The content of these web pages is based on the 1st edition of my book "The Hamiltons 1762-1862" originally published in 1997

The 2nd Edition was published in 2009 . A 2012 Revised 2nd Edition is now available to coincide with the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Hamiltons in South Australia in 1837.


Preview and order the book by opening the viewer at the right.

3rd Edition

A 3rd completely revised edition is in preparation and contains corrections and additions to the section on William Holmes Hamilton and the Duke of York, as well as further discussion about the speculated origins of the Hamilton family. Details on the Historia Incognita web page.


6. Children of Richard Hamilton and Ann Holmes

Elizabeth Catherine Hamilton

Elizabeth Catherine was born on 17 April 1814, six months after her parents married. She eventually learned the skills of mantua maker and milliner. It is possible that she worked at Alice Spice’s millinery shop a few doors down the street from the family home at 119 Snargate Street[611].

In April 1838 she turned twenty-four and by that time had probably known Henry Nell for several months. In fact, she may have met Henry on that day back in October 1837 when she walked the seven miles to Adelaide from Holdfast Bay with her brother John, and their friend John Croucher[612].

Henry Nell, who turned forty-one in January 1838, and his son, Harley Thomas, aged 8, had arrived at Holdfast Bay shortly after the Katherine Stewart Forbes, on 28 October 1837 on board the 328 ton Hartley under the command of Captain Fewson[613].

Unable to take up their country land both the Hamiltons and Nells were forced to remain in Adelaide. Richard purchased his town half-acre on Hill Street from Henry Hewett on 31 October 1837. The neighbouring half-acre was divided into four smaller blocks, one of which was purchased John Lockwood. Lockwood’s block was subsequently sold to Henry Nell for £10 on 27 November 1838. He also purchased part of John Cowled’s block - a strip three feet wide running the whole depth of the block - on 13 August 1839[614].

Henry Nell had good reason to purchase the town block so close to the Hamiltons for, on 26 July 1838, he had married Elizabeth Catherine Hamilton, nearly seventeen years younger[615], at Holy Trinity Church, North Adelaide[616].

Elizabeth and Henry's first son Harry was born on 13 November 1840. A daughter Emma was born on 10 May 1844, and another son Hamilton was born in 1844. Hamilton Nell died three years later in March 1847.

It is presumed that Henry Nell must have died sometime between 1844 and 1846, for, on 5 April 1847, Elizabeth Nell married Alexander Barreau and over the next eighteen years had another six children.


Richard the Third

Richard Hamilton, the Third, was born in 1817. There was no Application for Embarkation on the Katherine Stewart Forbes submitted for the him, nor for his younger brother, Henry, when the rest of the family made their applications back in June and July 1837[617]. He did not come with them on the Katherine Stewart Forbes.

Richard, like his brothers John and William, became a mariner. He remained living in Snargate Street[618] after the rest of the family left for South Australia in mid 1837. His younger brother, Henry, aged only eleven in 1837, was still at the Blue Coat School.

On 6 May 1841 at the age of twenty-five, a little later than usual, Richard the Third applied for the Freedom of the Corporation of Dover on the basis of being the son of Richard Hamilton, Tailor. He gave his occupation as Mariner and his address as Snargate Street[619].

He eventually came to South Australia and when he married Margaret Collins in Adelaide in 1850 he gave his occupation as Lighterman - probably referring to work on a Lighter - a flat bottomed boat which ferried goods to and from ships which could not anchor close to shore[620]. Richard the Third continued to work with ships until at least 1879 when he was living at Birkenhead, near Port Adelaide, and still called himself a Mariner[621].

William Holmes Hamilton

As we have seen, Richard Hamilton spoke to Captain Alfred Fell and arranged for his son, William, to be discharged from service with the Katherine Stewart Forbes in 1837 so that he could remain with the family in Adelaide[622].

He was with the family at Curtis Farm at the time of the 1841 Census[623] and in 1845 a W.H.Hamilton was listed at a property called Carrington[624].

At some time during the mid 1840s William returned to Dover[625] where he married Charlotte Laker on 8 April 1847[626]. William listed his occupation as farmer, and both gave their address as Council House Street, Dover. Charlotte's father, Benjamin Laker was a Dover grocer. The witnesses at the marriage were Benjamin Laker, Kitty Smithett Laker and Louisa Laker. It would appear that a child, Sarah Ann Hamilton, was born in 1848 or 1859. This child died at the age of three at Council House Street and was buried at St Mary's cemetery on 4 January 1852[627].

William then travelled, for a third time, to South Australia, where he and Charlotte made their home at Happy Valley, a little to the south of his father's property on the Sturt. Their son, William Holmes Hamilton (the Second), was born at Happy Valley in 1854[628]. In 1847 an H.Hamilton was listed as a farmer at Happy Valley[629].

By 1867 William Holmes Hamilton, the First, had purchased one hundred acres of land at Emu Bay, Section 242, on the northern coast of Kangaroo Island. This land was purchased from a Mr Reeves, manager with the South Australian Company. In 1867 William travelled to the island on a schooner, the Albert, and walked twenty-five miles from American River to Emu Bay. The rest of his family soon joined him and the land was then cultivated and crops grown.

In 1872 under the newly introduced Credit Selection Scheme William purchased 456 acres of land at Port Moorowie on the Yorke Peninsula, thirty miles to the north of Kangaroo Island across Investigator Strait. It cost him £456.

His son, William Holmes the Second went to the Port Moorowie property in 1871 to help manage it, being only seventeen at the time. He remained there for another ten years before returning to Kangaroo Island in 1881 where he purchased another 3,000 acres[630].

The Kangaroo Island properties, at least one of which, Section 58[631] on the Bay of Shoals, was called Dover Farm, were farmed by William Holmes Hamilton the First, and his sons, until 1904 when they were divided up. It is reported that William Holmes Hamilton also had a residence at Cape Borda on the north west coast of Kangaroo Island[632], and more land at Birchmore Lagoon, approximately fifteen miles south west of Kingscote[633]. In the meantime, William the Second purchased a number of town properties at Kingscote. In 1881 he married Annie Freer Main, daughter of George Main of Willoughby[634]. William Holmes the second died on 13 June 1931. His wife, Annie, died thirty years earlier on 5 June 1901[635].

William Holmes Hamilton, the First, remained on Kangaroo Island until his death in 1917.

The rest of this chapter is in the book and covers the all of the children of Richard Hamilton and Ann Holmes. In addition it contains extensive details about the Manser family and the Henderson family - Margaret Manser married John Hamilton and Thomas Henderson married Sarah Hamilton.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed by this site! What a really interesting account... so much thought and detail... Well done! Why are you doing it?

Douglas W said...

Thank you... however I am intrigued by your question..."Why am I doing it?"... did you read the Introductory pages? There are millions of people out their putting together their "Family Trees" - thousands of names and dates and barely anything else. But WHO were these people? What did they do? What did they think? Why did they do what they did? A Family History is far more than a list of as many names and dates as you can find... If you send me an email I will be happy to explain in more detail.

kerry swann said...

I love this site! I now know more about my ancestors. My grandmother was Jean Douglas Hamilton (married William Samuel Johnston) and daughter of Richard Hamilton. Thank you so much.
Kerry Swann, daughter of Enid Clarice Johnston.