So Far Away – Week 5

#52ancestors

Any descendant of immigrants to Australia can understand the sensation of their ancestors being ‘so far away’ from their homelands, their loved ones, their customs, their familiar climate, plants, and animals.

For Richard Grenfell and his wife Ann Nicholls, their move from Cornwall to Burra in South Australia was so far away from what they were accustomed to.

Each step of their journey from St Just in Penwith near Land’s End in England to the ‘end of the world’ in Burra was a move farther and farther away. First, they travelled to Plymouth with their relatives and neighbours, mainly miners, to board the ship William Money. Next, they crossed oceans and hemispheres. Shipboard life was an unfamiliar encounter. Even arrival at Port Adelaide did not signal the end. Here they hired any transport – bullock dray, mail coach – if they could afford it; or walked if they could not. Burra lay a hundred miles away.

Once in Burra, the Grenfells excavated a home for themselves in the banks of Burra Creek, along with many other miners and their families.

Petition to South Australian Colonial Secretary for school teacher at Burra 1849
Petition to South Australian Colonial Secretary for a school teacher at Burra 1849 – note the residence for Richard Grenfell (Burra Creek) – State Library of South Australia

For more stories on the Grenfells and their journeys, visit my other blogSailing on the William Money (a 3-part series); Living in the Burra Creek; When things go wrong.



Genealogy Snapshot

Name: Richard Grenfell (1808-1866)
Parents:  Richard Grenfell and Catherine Harry
Spouse: Ann Warren Nicholls (1815-1897)
Spouse’s Parents: Cyprian Nicholls (1782-1839) and Ann Warren (1792-1842)
Surnames: Grenfell, Nicholls, Harry, Warren
Relationship to Shelley: great, great, great, grandfather (3x great grandfather) Richard is Shelley’s 3x great grandfather

  1. Richard Grenfell (1809-1866) great, great, great, grandfather (3x great grandfather)
  2. Richard Grenfell (1839-1909) great, great, grandfather (2x great grandfather)
  3. Emmeline Dulcinea Ann Grenfell (1874-1956) (great grandmother)
  4. Olive Ann Willis (1896-1970) (grandmother)
  5. Father
  6. Shelley

1 thought on “So Far Away – Week 5

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