Friday, January 27, 2012


Yesterday I looked at the Biographical Index of South Australians - 1836-1885, Book 2 M-Z, published by the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc in May 1990.
George and Ann Mawbey are not included in it, despite them living in Adelaide from 1839-1840.
I will let them know and give them the information I have found.
The 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry will be held in Adelaide from 28-31 March 2012.
The topic will be Your Ancestors in their Social Context.
I'd love to go but being on a pension, I can't afford it.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Yesterday in the NSW State Library I found a book written by George French Angus in 1847 about his voyage from England to South Australia.
It gives a wonderful insight into what the trip must have been like, both for him and for any free man, woman or child who made the three month sea journey to the other side of the world.
Here are some excerpts from this book, Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand:
It was in the month of September that I left England, when the golden tints of autumn had overspread the landscape with their mellow touch ... the summer flowers still filled the gardens, and the apples and mulberries lay scattered over the dewy grass-plats ... the air was balmy and fresh, and the blackbird sang melodiously; it seemed as if everything was more beautiful than usual, - perhaps it was because I was going to leave it all so soon... The last parting sounds from the shore were the gentle and distant tollings of the Sabbath bells ... 
The next Sabbath dawn rose upon the sunny latitudes of Portugal, nine hundred miles from our native land.  

Lat.33*N... The albatross has long since joined us ... taking his nocturnal flight over the moonlit waters ... in bold relief against the unclouded moon...
The moon off the New Holland coast is exquisitely clear, and the mackerel sky most beautiful ... the stars are twinkling out at every break in the spotted clouds ....

At two p.m. on Friday the 29th December, the joyful cry of "Land ahead!" was echoed along the deck ... It proved to be the westernmost coast of Kangaroo Island...
Next morning as we lay becalmed in Investigator's Straits, numerous brown sharks came round the vessel. One was caught measuring nine feet long ... a piece of the liver was cut up for young "Tim", the kitten ...

At daybreak we saw the red sun come up from behind the darkly-purple hills ... We gazed on South Australia; that high jagged ridge was Mount Lofty; yonder the mouth of the Onkaparinga river; and before us was Holdfast Bay. At last the buildings of the City of Adelaide were descried glittering in the sunshine, and a shout of joy rose from the vessel's deck.
                                              [Published by Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1847]
This was written seven years after George Mawbey left South Australia, and 15 years after he arrived in the colony of New South Wales from England.


When George Mawbey embarked on his Refreshment Rooms business in Adelaide in early 1839, there would have been no electricity and no refrigeration.
Meals would have been cooked on a fuel (wood-burning) stove with light provided by candles or oil lamps.
There were no proper roads, the first one, between the town and its harbour, having been built in October 1839.
His home delivery of meals would have had to be done on horseback, not the steadiest means of transport.
The difficulties associated with operating this type of business, better suited to a much more sophisticated part of the world like London, or where labour was cheaper like Calcutta, may have been why his cook left.
And why he possibly could not find a replacement.