During ‘History Week’ in May 2004, the City of Tea Tree Gully Library invited schools and students in the area to take part in a competition. ‘Heritage Matters’ was the overall title, with three categories: Artwork – Essay / Poem – Multi Media.
This excellent project by Charisse Elliott, of Pedare Christian College, remarkable for one so young, just eleven years old, was the winner in the ‘Essay/Poem’ category. We would like to thank Mr. & Mrs. Elliott and their daughter Charisse for giving their permission for us to reproduce the following research in its entirety.
Birth:11-8-1818, Peelhouses, Parish of St Mungos, Lockerbie, Scotland
Death: 26-7-1912, One Tree Hill, Little Para, Golden Grove, Sth Australia
Buried:Golden Grove Cemetery, Sth Australia
Arrived in Sth Australia6-7-1839, Pt Adelaide, aboard the ‘Lysander’. Aged 20yrs.
Agent, M. Wardell
Emigration application No. 4157. Embarkation No. 2437.
Birth: 14-10-1826, Parish of St Cuthburts. Edinburgh, Scotland
Parents: John Smart and Agnes Wilson.
Death: 27-2-1909, One Tree Hill, Little Para, Golden Grove, Sth Australia
Arrived in Sth Australia: 13-8-1939, Pt Adelaide, aboard ‘Ariadne’.Aged 15yrs.
Emigration Application No. 4498. Embarkation No. 2538.
Alexander and Clementina married on May 7th 1845, Wakefield Street, Adelaide
The Colonisation Commission for South Australia, Adelphi Terrace, London, put regulations in place to ensure the majority of South Australia’s pioneers were young people.
The regulations were also an attempt to balance out the social structure of the colony.
Free public meetings were held across Britain to inform, suggest and offer people passage, paid or free, to the new colony of South Australia, ‘Land of Promise’ in which to begin a new life for themselves and their families.
To be eligible for free passage one had to meet the regulation criteria.
– Single or married as long as under 30years of age.
– Be willing and intending to work.
– Intend to settle in the colony.
– Be certified by a Surgeon or Physician that they are free of any disease which could shorten or impair one physically or mentally.
– Be certified by two respectable householders that they are honest, sober, industrious and of good character and likely to remain so.
Agricultural labourers, shepherds and domestic servants (male and female) were sought to take advantage of free passage to the new colony.
A young Scotsman by the name of Alexander Kirk, a farm labourer, applied for and was granted free passage to South Australia. He left family and his homeland of Scotland to make a new life for himself.Alexander Kirk left the port of Liverpool on 180′ March 1839, aboard The Lysander, Captained by William Currie, along with 217 other passengers bound for the new colony of South Australia. The Lysander docked in Port Adelaide on 6″‘ July 1839.
Alexander found employment, he was involved in the building of the Old Port Road and then on the construction of the Government and McLaren wharfs at Port Adelaide.
His single mans sleeping quarters was a half tun (100 gallon) wooden barrel which had the advantage of being moved in any direction to keep out poor weather.
Before long he bought some cows and squatted on land at Campbells Springs on the Little Para.
“Squatting” at this time was a legal activity. especially on land that was not included in Colonel Lights first survey. This saw him become the first to settle in the area that we now know as Golden Grove.
It is said that the native grasses at the time were so high that the cattle could not be seen when laid down. With feed being so abundant the yield from the herd was high.
Alexander had to carry his butter on his shoulders the 14 miles to Adelaide, as he had no other means of transportation. There he would barter for goods that he needed:- tools, groceries, boots and the like.
Mr. John Barton Hack paid 4,000 pounds for a survey of the unsurveyed land, which saw Alexander rent land from Mr. Formby until he could afford to purchase his own land.
The height of the goldrush in Victoria, 1851, saw Alexander and three companions walk overland to Mt. Alexander near Bendigo It took them 5 weeks to reach their destination. They were away for 8 months; it was the flooding of the workings that saw them return to South Australia, this time by coach.
They returned with 40 lb weight in gold and were described as being successful diggers in comparison to many in the district who returned penniless.
Alexander purchased 3 more sections of land, 1734, 5434 and 5431 increasing ‘Kirklands’ to a total of 356 acres.
Carting copper from Burra to Pt. Adelaide, under contract, to supplement his income, like many in the district, saw him away from home for great lengths of time. Life for Clementina could not have been an easy one.
Both Alexander and Clementina were active within the community. They along with other settlers, Robert Smyth. Joseph Gould and Rueben Richardson raised 318 pounds to construct a road through private property. When the District of Highercombe boundaries were outlined, the settlers north of the Little Para had no connecting roads to the district. Snake Gully road was opened May 10th 1859.
Although Snake Gully road was in constant use it was still hazardous to cross the Little Para. In 1871 a grant for 1,000 pounds from the South Australian Government was sought and received for the construction of a bridge. The bridge opened May 3rd 1871.
Along with several other prominent people of the district, Alexander is named as one of the original trustees of the Golden Grove Presbyterian Church. A document stating this is under the foundation stone. The church opened June 26th866 and Alexander was Treasurer for 19 years. He also served as a Councillor on tile District Council of Tea Tree Gully in 1875 and 1876,
Between 1846 and 1870 ,Alexander and Clementina had 10 children.
They celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 1905. They survived 4 of their children.
Clernentma died on February 27th 1909, aged 83 years.
Alexander died on July 26th 1912. aged 93 years.
They are buried at Golden Grove Cemetery along with daughter Hellen and son John.
Alexander Kirk’s obituary in The Observer August 3rd 1912 mentioned he enjoyed a garne of cards and would walk 7 or 8 miles to watch sports. He was an energetic man who loved to go on long walks. He was known to fell a tree for sornething energetic.
He was one of South Australia’s oldest pioneer settlers.
At the time of his death he had 6 surviving children, 26 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
The District has remembered and acknowledged many of the settlers to the area by naming roads and streets after them.
There is a Kirk Street in Redwood Park but unsure if named with Alexander in mind.
Kirklands’ is also a long‑standing important. visible part of settlement within the District of Tea Tree Gully.
Reference Books from Family History section, T.T.G. Library.
A Smart Heritage. Elizabeth B. Smart
From Settlement to City. Ian Auhl.
Living in S.A. A Social History.
Migrant Ships for South Australia 1836 – 1850, B. Parsons.
South Australians 1836 – 1885. Volume 1.
Reference Books and Microfilm, Family History section State Library.
Emigrant Labourers (Pikes Index) 1836 – 1886. Lysander 39/27 AOCJ.
Source GRG 35/489.
Lloyds shipping Register. Volume for 1839.
Manifest and passenger lists. GRG 41/8
Microfilm. Observer 3-8-1912 page 41a.
Register of Enimigrant Labour applying for a free passage to SA, 183 6-184 1. Pro Co 386/149‑51
Shipping Prior to 1840.
Internet. http:/.One Tree Hill Sketchbook. Steven A Hill.
Emailed Mr. James Handley (relation) who lives in Lockerbie Scotland, Who was kind enough to clarify some information at the Dumfries Library.
Maritime Museum. Port Adelaide.
Golden Grove Cemetery and Church.
Snake Gully Road, located Kirklands.
In researching this topic we found many different pieces of information and have attempted to be as accurate as possible. Many thanks to my Mum, Dad and Gran who have assisted me with this project.