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ALLEN AND MELINDA SHERWOOD nee HANCOCK
Allen and Melinda
Sherwood nee Hancock.
Allen Sherwood. 1843 - 1922
Allen was the sixth of Charles and Mary Sherwood's ten children.
He was born in Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire in 1843. In 1851 he was 8
years old and a student at the village school.
About 1917, Allen and Melinda retired from farming and purchased a
house in Prospect.
SEE BELOW FOR FULL STORY
1843: Born in
Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, England.
1867: Married Melinda Hancock, Port Gawler, South Australia.
1867: First child Amelia born at Port Gawler.
1871: Son Edward born at Red Banks, South Australia.
1878: Son Richard born at Dalkey, South Australia.
1848: Year born.
1868: First child Amelia born.
1917: Died Prospect, age 69.
Allen and Melinda Sherwood
information sent to me by Ted Sherwood, I knew that Allen Sherwood was
living in Prospect, Adelaide in 1922.
We could get no further with Allen until a quite remarkable
meeting, which took place in Ceduna South Australia, in 1983.
My aunt and uncle Jean and Pat Sherwood were staying at a caravan
park in Ceduna. While there Jean met two sisters.
One of the sisters Pearl Marshman, mentioned that she came from
Owen. Jean enquired as to
Owens location. "Near
Balaklava" came the reply. Jean
went on to say that her father (Arthur Gordon Sherwood) had visited
relations at Balaklava as a young man nearly eighty years ago. One of the
women asked for the name of the people Arthur had visited. Jean said,
"I doubt if you would know them as they left there many years
ago." Jean mentioned the name Sherwood.
Pearl said she had gone to school with Sherwoods who had once lived
at Balaklava. Jean couldn't
think of the suburb in Adelaide her Sherwoods had gone to live after
leaving Balaklava. Pearl
asked, "Was it Prospect?" "Yes" Jean replied, as this
was the suburb she had been trying to think of.
Pearl said she knew an Eva Chambers, nee Sherwood who lived in
Prospect. Eva's address was
Albert Street, which is not far from where her grandfather Allen once
lived. Pearl contacted Eva
who in turn wrote to Jean. Eva is interested in family history and was
kind enough to provide us with photos of Charles and Mary Sherwood,
Elizabeth Meek nee Sherwood, Mary Ann Henstridge nee Sherwood, and her own
grand parents, Allen and Melinda Sherwood.
Eva was also kind enough to send the following insight into the family of Allen and Melinda Sherwood.
Sherwood of "Avenue Farm" Dalkey.
story as told to me by my Aunts goes like this:
Grandfather came to the fork of the roads about 20 miles north of
Adelaide, tossed up his last shilling, took the road to Gawler River, found employment as farm labourer with Edward and Ann Hancock.
These folk had settled at Germantown Road, Gawler River after having
spent time on the goldfields in Victoria. They
had come to South Australia from Cornwall (St. Austell) much earlier, at this
stage had made enough money during a sojourn on the gold fields to purchase a
town acre (Rundle Street where the Red Lion Hotel used to stand).
This they sold for 12 pounds, with this large sum bought a piece of land
at Gawler River where Ann (my great grand mother) worked, then walked to the
ships at Port Gawler during the cool of the night to sell butter and eggs to
crew men eager for fresh supplies. At
this time Edward was at Burra Burra working in the mines.
They were very hardy folk determined to establish themselves on the land
after an existence in Cornwall as miners. Short
in stature, with a grim determination to make good in a new land so unlike the
place from which they came. In 1869 with six children they moved to land at
Redbanks not very far from the town of Gawler.
This property still remains in the Hancock family.
By the time they took up this land Allen Sherwood had married Melinda,
the eldest child and they too made a home on the property.
Grandfather had purchased land at Hundred of Dalkey, but evidently it
took a number of years to clear and make habitable for living.
So they remained at this place until 1871 or 1872 when the move was made
to the new property. My grandfather
is listed in the South Australian Directory of 1864 as Allen Sherwood, Farmer,
Dalkey. By the time the move from
Redbanks to Dalkey was made three children had been born to them.
This is my latest discovery at the archives so I may be able to go back
further, as we know nothing of his whereabouts or life from 1857 when he arrived
with his family in this state of South Australia at the age of 13 years.
My Aunts have told me that he purchased the land for ~1 per acre.
I would like to do more research into the opening and sale of land
holdings on the Adelaide Plain. Gradually
the place was developed and by 1879 (I feel it was earlier than this but I am
quoting from a history of Balaklava published some years ago).
Grandfather had given a corner of his property for the erection of a
building to be used as a church and school.
Amelia by now would have been 12 years old and probably well into helping
on the farm with all kinds of chores.
I know they did work hard, even out in the paddocks at harvest time, little of
the effect showed in either appearance or way of life. Each took pride in the
home and were always eager to be surrounded with the refinements of life even
seeming to have an ability to manage money and business or write a reasonable
letter. Whether Amelia or Sarah Ann went to school remains a mystery. 1879 may
have been the time when they no longer employed a teacher, but one was now
appointed from the Education Department of the Government.
The school officially operated from 1879 - 1946. It has now been
demolished and no trace can be seen from the road. Sad!
Many tales I have heard from other members of the family of school days
there with neighbouring families who also gathered for worship on Sundays.
Grandfather evidently observed Sunday very strictly, followed the Bible
Christian teaching but didn't mind at all eating a great Sunday meal prepared by
the women of the family. A Bible was given to me many years ago, it bears the
inscription Allen Sherwood "Avenue Farm" Dalkey, rather well written
but by whom? It is interesting to
compare the writing with that of the marriage certificate and also that of my
father. They all seemed to develop
a certain style. The book itself
shows signs of much use with markings throughout the New Testament. Perhaps the inscription was written by the Minister in
appreciation of many Sunday dinners. Sunday
then was a great day for friends and meals around the long table.
By the way, the cost of this book is still marked 14/6.
So throughout approximately fifty years
they laboured through good times, poor seasons (not too many) and sad times.
Two children died in infancy and a boy later aged 16.
My aunts always spoke in rather hushed tones of Hurtle.
Retirement came in the year of their golden wedding, it was then that the
house at 56 Clifton Street, Prospect was purchased.
The farm was handed over to Arthur who took his bride there to live.
Sadly a few years later (after the Pater had died of course) it became
fashionable to sell up and live a life of ease in the city and so the place
passed into the hands of strangers. (By
the way Arthur bought a house in Agalea Street, Prospect.)
Prior to all this grandfather had settled two of the boys, Richard and
William on land at Malalla where I was born. My father farmed this from early
l900's until 1921 then he sold, went to town to live, across the road from the
sisters at 63 Clifton Street.
I lived for 35 years, thoroughly spoiled in childhood by all the surrounding
adults, as also Amelia had married Frederick Vawser quite late in life and they
lived at number 58. His parents and
a brother lived further up the hill in the same street.
William also left Malalla in the early 20's, he chose to live in Dudley
Avenue next to Clifton Street. A
close family indeed. Much visiting went on, but I never remember any quarrels.
Number 56 became the meeting place for all
the family and many friends. Eliza,
Melinda and Maud did all the chores (they were great cooks) and also did very
much as they were told by Pater. They always spoke very lovingly of Grandmother,
she evidently had a very warm, pleasant temperament, determined but placid.
They were fiercely independent in all facets of life.
It is pleasing to me when I notice these same traits of character still
evident in my nieces and nephews even though we have inter married with other
families. But back to Clifton
Street and to cap all this together ness Uncle John Hall bought number 54 when
it came up for sale during the 1920's, but that is another story
Pater died in 1922, after this event there
was a great loosening of past disciplines and the family, all ventured out into
various pursuits to satisfy their desire for a life of ease and enjoyment. Their
pleasures were very simple, races, theatre and even the aunts learning to dance.
Great Uncle Dick Hancock, a bachelor, came to live with the aunts, he and
my father were great pals and never missed a race meeting if they could help it.
By 1930 they had had a great deals of
sorrow having lost the Pater, Amelia (1926) William (1929) and Richard (1930).
1935 saw the death of Williams only son at the age of 7, the child’s
mother followed in 1937, and Sarah Ann passed away in 36.
Believe me I had a great deal of sympathy with a younger generation
Hancock one day who, with her mother, met my aunts in Rundle Street with a
greeting "Who is dead now Mum?" However
the aunts with Uncle Dick Hancock lived on at 56 until 1954 when for the last
time we went in solemn procession to Balaklava cemetery.
After that the house was bought by one of Sarah Ann's daughters who lived
there until 1975 or 6 but now it has passed to strangers and looks a very
ordinary house in an old part of Prospect.
Everyone has scattered not so very far and wide as we are still a close
family but have lost touch with many cousins.
I am sure they mostly live around Adelaide - John Hall the
grandson of Sarah Ann the only descendant still farming on the plains around the
old Dalkey district. His brother
Steele who was a Premier of South Australia uses his portion of the property
simply as his inheritance and spends weekends at the first homestead of his
great grand parents. So the ties
are very slender but I always feel at home when we travel across these plains to
One last memory as it is Christmas once
again - The Aunts used to invite all the children in the street each year to a
Christmas tree party at 56. There
would be a great spread and my guess as far as I can remember would be twenty or
so children from the neighbourhood each received a gift from the tree. Great days, memories so dear, so many tales that remain
Jean Chambers nee Sherwood.
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