Caroline Berenice DeLaine (1843-1925)

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Caroline Berenice De Laine
Caroline mills nee delaine
Sex: Female
Birth: 3/12/1843 Adelaide, South Australia
Death: 10/01/1925 Norwood, South Australia
Father: Mathurin Charles Leon De Laine
Mother: Jane Lucas
Spouse/Partner: George Mills
Marriage: 26/10/1865 Adelaide, South Australia

Caroline Berenice De Laine was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1843, to Mathurin Charles Leon De Laine and Jane Lucas. The spelling of her last name is recorded as 'DeLaine' for this article as it is the version most commonly encountered for the spelling of the name on official documents. It is believed however that the correct spelling of her surname is De Laine, as used by her father in correspondence. Caroline was the eldest child of the couple, and her siblings were Berenice, Jeanette, Charles, George, Janet, William, Henry, Arthur, Celia and Clara.

Sturt StreetEdit

Caroline's father was a butcher and a policemen who lived on Sturt Street in Adelaide. It was here that Caroline spent her youth, assisting her mother with raising her younger siblings. Caroline's father was French, and it is not known whether he passed any of the language or information on his life in France down to her.


Before her youngest siblings were born, Caroline met her future husband. His name was George Mills and he was blacksmith and coachsmith who worked in the city of Adelaide. His father was a farmer in the Tea Tree Gully / Steventon area. He and Caroline shared one thing in common - they were born one day apart, George on the 2nd December 1843 and Caroline on the 3rd December 1843. It appears that George may have had an accident at some point in which a piece of hot iron or coal hit him in the side of the face. This left a rather nasty scar and, as a result, all known photographs of George show him standing side on so the scar can't be seen.

They were married on 26/10/1865 and the marriage was reported in the Register newspaper with the following notice:-

"On the 26th October, by licence, by the Rev. A Pithouse, at the residence of the bride's father, Mr George Mills, eldest son of Mr David Mills of Tea Tree Gully, to Miss Caroline Berenice, eldest daughter of Mr Charles DeLaine of Sturt Street, Adelaide."


Caroline with husband George in 1873

Caroline and George started and raised their family in Adelaide. Here two eldest children, George and Charles, were born before her youngest sibling, Clara, was born. Caroline and her mother were pregnant at the same time for the first few years of her marriage.

In 1874, Caroline and George's fourth child, Frederick Percival, died at the age of only two years. he had been known by the name of Percy. It appears that the couple felt his death strongly and they buried him in the West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide.

By 1881, the family had moved to Gilbert Street, Goodwood, where the last two children were born. It was around this time that George began working for the company, John Hill and Co. It is beleived he was employed as a foreman coach builder. He is listed in the South Australian directories as a coach smith for the years 1884 and 1885.

Later YearsEdit

In 1903, George was still employed at Hill & Co and attended their annual social event. Details of his attendance are recorded in an article in The Advertiser newspaper on Thursday 24th September, 1903. The article indicated that he had worked for the firm for over 20 years. By this time, he and Caroline were living at Clarke Street, Norwood.

George died in November 1910 at Clarke Street, Norwood of senile cardiac degeneration and cardiac failure. He was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide. Caroline would survive him by another 15 years, until she died of haemorrage of the brain on the 10th January 1925 at Norwood. She was buried with George in the West Terrace Cemetery. Both are buried with their son, Frederick Percival.

Grave of george & caroline mills

Caroline's grave in the West Terrace Cemetery


Name Birth Death
Children of George and Caroline Mills

George Herbert 24/9/1866
Adelaide, South Australia
Murray Bridge, South Australia

Charles David 28/7/1868
Adelaide, South Australia
Norwood, South Australia

Arthur Edgar 28/8/1870
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Frederick Percival 17/8/1872
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Alfred Archibald 6/3/1874
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Lillian Caroline Berenice 6/12/1876
Adelaide, South Australia
Norwood, South Australia

Milton Harvey 30/9/1878
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Ada Florence 22/8/1881
Goodwood, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Frank Roland 7/1/1885
Goodwood, South Australia
Dulwich, South Australia


  • Information from Ken Mills
  • Information from Jane Harding
  • National Archives of Australia
  • The Register newspaper, 26th October 1863
  • Births, Deaths and Marriage registrations for South Australia
  • The De Laine Family History 1840 -2008, by Lorraine Willoughby

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