Sunday, 17 February 2013

An Odyssean quest to find out more about the McLeods....

There is an Odyssean quality to ancestry research where it is sometimes the journey which matters more than the destination and the twists and detours and 'wrong' turns and unexpected 'ports' often bring unexpected information or insights.

Having finally connected Hannah's Edward with Elizabeth's Edward we now know that we are related to the Newberry, Pole, Puddy and McKinnon families and while we still know very little about Hannah, we can see, through some of the photographs, perhaps a glimpse of her image.

We still have not confirmed if our Edward is also the convict Edwin Atkins who 'appeared' earlier and who also was from Gloucestershire and a blacksmith and a shepherd and who, from his convict description, looked very much like the image of Edward which we have - a photograph taken with his two daughters by Elizabeth, Mary (Ross), my great-grandmother and Elizabeth (Cox).

But finding a death record for Hannah has proved elusive although it took a long time to find a record for Edward's death and as the Australian National Library's Trove site continues to add new information, it may only be a matter of time. Until then the search continues and that led us to a discussion regarding other families with the Mcleod name, living in Clare at the time Hannah arrived in South Australia.

Kylie wrote:

MCLEOD Hannah, Daniel arrived in SA 1840-05-14 aboard Eliza (1) from London 1840-01-04 [Source:2,7(also E ATKINS),20,41]

N.B. There is an E. Atkins also listed on this ship and it may be our E. Atkins or it may be not. It is also possible that this is the E. Atkins, convict from Gloucestershire, who was found previously although Edwin Atkins convict from Gloucestershire, arrived Australia 1830 and completed his seven year sentence, has yet to be confirmed as our Edward Atkins although it is perfectly possible that he returned to England in 1837 and sailed back to Australia a free man, three years later.

22/2/2013 Later information makes it clear there was not an E. Atkins on The Eliza. This error occurs because the E.Atkins listed along with Hannah is there because a researcher has placed the name as her husband. This inclusion is not clarified, hence seeing (E.Atkins) next to Hannah and Daniel McLeod's names infers he was also on the ship, perhaps as crew. This was not the case.

Photo: The Florentia on which the convict Edwin Atkins from Gloucestershire sailed to Australia in 1830 to begin a seven year sentence for 'sheep stealing.'

MCLEOD Henry Edward, Anna (wife) arrived in SA by 1845-12-31 [Source:7]

Child Mary Jane

MCKINNON Donald, Mary MCLEOD arrived in SA 1840-03-10 aboard Tomatin from Greenock [Source:2,7,10,21,29]

The first one of course you recognise but the second one interesting because of the Henry Edward Mcleod.  Could this be where the Henry Edward name comes from?

From the SA Biographical index – McLeod Henry Ed arr: by 1845 res: Clare m: Anna Ch: Mary Jane (1845-)  - They  did live in the Clare area.

Photo: Jane Atkins McKinnon, daughter of Edward and Hannah Mcleod, with her grand-daughter Joan, circa. 1920.

Jane Atkins Marriage record from SAGHS index John McKinnon married Jane Atkins 25-12-1867 groom age 24 bride 22 Fathers Donald McKinnon and Edward Atkins at Presbyterian Church Clare dist Clare 73/202

From the SA biographical Index -McKinnon Donald arr: by 1841 Rel: Presb m: Mary nee McLeod Ch: Lauchlin Alexr (1841-), John (1844-)    -

According to one tree online they died at Hill river station near clare and owned land at Amargh – one of the witnesses at Edward and Elizabeth’s wedding came from Amargh.  This tree has the connection to the Donald McKinnon and Jane Atkins.

These might be two families to have a good look at.  They were both in the area at the right time and one has a family connection. 

Donald married Mary Mcleod, daughter of Malcolm McLeod and Sarah Anderson, on 9 Apr 1834 in Tiree And Coll, Argyll, Scotland. Mary was born on 30 Jan 1815 in Gorbals, County Of Lanark, Scotland, died on 30 Nov 1899 in Clare SA at age 84, and was buried on 1 Dec 1899 in Clare SA. She died at Hill River Station.

Donald and wife Mary, with eldest son Archibald, left Greenock on 31st October 1839, arriving at Pt Adelaide on 11th March 1840 in the 428 tonne Barque "Tomatin".Donald Mckinnon, a farmer, and Mary McLeod settled in Clare in the north of South Australia where they leased land (recorded in 1853) and became farmers.

Later two more sons were born, Lochlan (Lauchlin) Alexander in 1842, and John in 1844. The three brothers lived in Clare with their parents and, when old enough, went to work as labourers/shepherds on the large property near Clare called Hill River Station.

Photo: Clara McKinnon, daughter of Jane Atkins McKinnon, circa. 1906 aged twenty.

The youngest son of Donald and Mary married Jane Atkins, daughter of Edward Atkins and Unknown, on 25 Dec 1867 in Presbyterian Church, Clare SA. , died on 21 Nov 1923 in Clare SA at age 78, and was buried on 22 Nov 1923 in Clare SA. )

NB: This comes from the McKinnon ancestry site which also contains an error regarding Jane's birth, saying it was in England. Given that the researchers did not know her mother's name it is possible that the Jane Atkins they recorded as being born in England was another Jane Atkins and not our relative.

All of Jane's children were born at Hill River Station, Clare. I remember when I wrote up the McKinnon/Atkins material I found it interesting because John McKinnon was the ancestor of an aunt of mine, Charlotte McKinnon, who married my uncle, my father's half-brother, Laurie Harold Simper. The McKinnon's have actually done quite a bit of work on their ancestry and Auntie Lottie was instrumental in the process up until she died.

The Hill River Run was originally taken up in 1841 by William Robinson. The original part of the homestead was built of local sandstone in 1849 with a slate roof (brought to Australia as ballast on the sailing ship).

About 1855 Robinson sold the leasehold run to C.B. Fisher for the sum of 40,000 pounds ($80,000) with 40,000 sheep included offshears.

During the period that Fisher held the lease (from 1855 to 1876) he converted 60,000 acres    into freehold at a cost of $180,000 and in addition spent $60,000 on improvements such as subdivisions, fencing and general land cleared for wheat production. In 1875, 50,000 sheep were shorn, while 4,250 acres were sown to wheat annually in addition to 1,800 acres of new
land turned up for fallow - one wheat field was three miles long.

Photo: A bullock team in the 19th century.

The ploughing was carried out by 34 horse teams, each drawing a double-farrow plough and covering from two to three acres per day. Six 22-foot broadcasting machines sowed 40 acres of wheat per day and harvesting was by 37 strippers, each drawn by a 4 horse team. Some 600working horses were needed for these operations, requiring over 800 tons of hay to be kept as feed for them annually.

As many as 200 farm labourers were employed during harvest, wages varying from 16/- to 1 pound per week.  In those days when farming was undertaken on such a grand scale, it is believed that Hill River was the largest farm in South Australia, if not the largest in Australia. Families at Hill River were big ones; 12 and 13 children were not at all out of the ordinary.

Photo: Bundaleer Station 1870.

So Donald's wife Mary McLeod, Hannah McLeod Atkins and Henry Edward McLeod all ended up in the Clare Valley between 1840 and 1845.

McKinnon/McLeod arrived March 1840; Hannah and Daniel McLeod two months later, May 1840 and Henry Edward Mcleod by 1845.

Hannah married Edward Atkins in Adelaide January 3, 1843 in Adelaide although he lists his place of residence as Hutt River, which is Clare Valley. Where was Hannah for two and a half years between her arrival and her marriage? She may have been working in Adelaide but the fact that she married a man who lived in the Clare Valley suggests she was living and perhaps working there.

It was while pondering connections to the McKinnon/McLeod families that we recalled Hannah McLeod came not from Scotland but from Ireland and so it was highly unlikely that she would be a relative of Mary McLeod McKinnon. She might however be related to the Henry Edward McLeod who arrived in 1845. But this is too early for her to be in the Clare Valley because she had relations with whom she could stay.

“Daniel McLeod, Servant, made application to come to SA 3/12/1839,
From Charleville, 18 years old. Hannah McLeod, Worker women made
application 3/12/1839, 16 years old from Charleville.” Both were
single because Hannah was only 16 years old.

If Hannah was 16 years old in 1839 then she was born c1823 and would
have been c20 years of age when she married Edward Atkins in 1843. It
would also mean that if she died sometime after the birth of Emily Puddy nee Atkins in 1854 and before the marriage of Elizabeth Mashford and Edward Atkins in 1857 Hannah would have been around c34 c36 years when she died.

This means Hannah was Irish and while it does not preclude a link with the McKinnon/McLeods in a familial sense, it makes it a bit more of a stretch. Nothing is impossible however and the Scottish McLeod's may well have been related to the Irish Mcleod's. It is assumption that Hannah's family had been in Ireland for a long time. They may well have been recent arrivals who kept in contact with family back in Scotland.

Henry Edward McLeod, however, if he also came from Ireland would then be a closer fit. Having said that, the McKinnon/Mcleod's were of the same social standing as Edward Atkins and Hannah Mcleod with Edward also working as a farmer in the Clare Valley (Hutt River) as was Donald McKinnon, and Edward later working as a shepherd on big sheep runs, as did Donald's sons, one of whom married Edward and Hannah's daughter Jane, and if we have the correct Daniel, as did Hannah's 'brother' Daniel, who emigrated to South Australia with her.

And Luke replied:

Yes I knew about the record of Daniel and Hannah’s arrival upon the ship Eliza. I went to the State Library and saw the record. She applied to come to South Australia on the 3/12/1839 when she was 16 years old.[1] She declared her trade to be a worker woman and she was from Charleville.[2] At the same time she applied to come to South Australia a Daniel McLeod also applied to immigrate to South Australia. He declared himself to be a servant, 18 years old and also was from Charleville.[3] The fact that Hannah McLeod was only 16 years old is an indication she may not have been married and thus Daniel McLeod may well have been her brother or some other close member of her family. Daniel McLeod would have been born around c1821. I have unable to find a record of a marriage or death of a Daniel McLeod which would fit with the same record of a Daniel McLeod who was born c 1821.  I have never found a Charleville in England, but did in Ireland.

If she was Irish then research into her place of origins is problematic. England had control of Ireland in the 1800s, and hence control over all the Irish Census and other records. However, all the Irish census record from 1841 and every 10 years were destroyed along with other records. During the Irish rebellion in 1922 all the records were kept in the Dublin Town Hall and that was burnt along with all the records. That is why Irish family history is so difficult because people today have to rely upon Catholic Church records. The Catholic Church kept good records, but you have to know the exact parish a person belong to. If Hannah was Irish and we do not know her father’s last name or the parish she came from in Ireland it will be like finding a needle in the haystack

I have had a quick look at TROVE for Daniel McLeod and there is nothing except a Daniel McLeod in a court case at Mt Remarkable in 1872,  but there is no age for him so I do not know if he was the brother of Hannah who was born c1821.


[1] Register of Emigrant Labourers 1836-1840 Pike Index South Australia State Library
[2] Register of Emigrant Labourers 1836-1840 Pike Index South Australia State Library
[3] Register of Emigrant Labourers 1836-1840 Pike Index South Australia State Library

And Kylie replied:

From the SA Biographical Index

McLEOD Daniel Par: Donald b: c1826 d: 21.5.1875 Woolundunga SA  Occ Shepherd, Labourer res: nr Pt Augusta, Saltia, Melrose rel: Presb
m: (1/2) 6.3.1862 Saltia SA Mrs? Maria MALONEY nee SIMMONS par: Thos b: 1834 d: 29.1.1864 Baroota SA ch: Danl (1864-1864)

m: (2/2) Louisa nee Domeyer ch: Wm (1870-), Mgt Ann (1872-), Christyannah (1873-), Wm Danl (1875-)

I had a look at the marriage records and he was 33 when he first married and the second marriage (which took place 5 Apr 1869), he was 35.  It is a possible.

With no Scottish Charleville I think we have to assume the Mcleod's are Irish. Apparently a lot of Mcleods fled to Ireland in the 17th century when they ended up on the wrong side of a rebellion. Many of them changed their name to McLure.

While chasing McLeod's is going off at something of a tangent it is often these diversions which bear fruit. Kylie has been invaluable as a researcher and she is connected via her husband who is a descendant of Mary Mashford Lewis's first child, George Lewis.

So who knows what a McLeod family member might turn up.

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