Elizabeth Rowe (1830-1881)

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Elizabeth Rowe
Copy of 425 Elizabeth Rowe

Elizabeth Rowe

Sex: Female
Birth: 1830 Cornwall, England
Baptism: 26/11/1830 St Day, Cornwall
Death: 25/01/1881 Adelaide, South Australia
Father: John Rowe
Mother: Julihanna Long
Spouse/Partner: Thomas Turner
Marriage: 5/12/1850 Adelaide, South Australia
2nd Spouse: Thomas Teague
2nd Marriage: 11/08/1864 Gawler River, South Australia

Elizabeth was born in 1830 and was baptised in the church at St Day, Cornwall in November of that year. Her parents were John and Julihanna Rowe (nee Long) and she was to be the eldest of 12 children - Elizabeth, John, Julihanna, Thomas, Catherine, Thomas, Emma, Charlotte, Matilda, William and Thomas.

Elizabeth's father was employed in the mining trade and the family spent their early years in St Day and Redruth. It is not known why at this stage, but Elizabeth's father left the family when Elizabeth was only seven to live in the West Indies for two years. When he returned, the family stayed in England for only two more weeks before emigrated to South Australia.

Elizabeth was only 9 years old when the family made the trip to South Australia abord the ship "Java". According to the diaries of two passengers and a review of the medical board upon the ship's arrival in the colony, the trip was extremely unpleasant, but young Elizabeth appears to have had the constitution that allowed her to last the distance. (Please see the pages for Elizabeth's parents for a detailed description of the voyage on the "Java".) One of her young brothers (Thomas) may have become ill on the voyage and died soon after his arrival in South Australia, as he is recorded as arriving in the colony, but does not appear with the family in the 1841 census.

At the time of the 1841 census, the family were living in the Thebarton area. They lived there for a few years, before moving to Reedbeds area for another few years, and then finally to Golden Grove, near the Little Para River, north of Adelaide.


Sometime in the year 1849 or 1850, Elizabeth met a sawyer by the name of Thomas Turner. Where Thomas was born or originated from is unknown. The couple started a relationship, which resulted in Elizabeth become pregnant out of wedlock. She was approximately 6 months pregnant at the time of the couple's marriage at Holy Trinity Church in Adelaide on 8th December 1850. Elizabeth was 21 years old at the time and her husband aged 24 years.

Turner rowe marriage cert

Marriage certificate of Thomas and Elizabeth

Witnesses to Thomas and Elizabeth’s marriage were Julihannah Rowe (either Elizabeth’s sister or mother, signing with an X) and an unknown Thomas Brown. It is assumed that Thomas Brown was a good friend of the groom and the first child Thomas and Elizabeth had (born in 1851) was named after the unknown witness at the marriage.

Little ParaEdit

At the time of her son’s birth, Elizabeth was living at Little Para with her husband, who was employed in farming on land possibly given to them by or belonging to her father. Little Para is located on a fertile strip of foothills watered by natural springs and the Little Para River. Golden Grove farmers were engaged in harvesting grain and hay, running sheep and dairy herds and working extensive orchards and vineyards. As primary producers they were vitally involved in the supply of food to city dwellers, since their lands were located only 18kms north east of Adelaide, and their produce was sold through the Adelaide East End Markets or the Gepps Cross Abattoirs. Thomas and Elizabeth had their farm at the time the local township was just being established.


William turner birth cert

Birth certificate of William Turner

A year and a half later, Elizabeth and Thomas had their second child, a daughter named Elizabeth Ann. Elizabeth Ann lived only 6 months however, and at the time of her death in January 1853, the family was living at Port Adelaide in an area known as Queenstown. Thomas had returned to his original occupation of sawyer and must have found steady work as the family were still in the Queenstown area in April 1854 when their third child, William, was baptised.


Jane turner birth certificate

Birth certificate of Jane Turner

The two years between April 1854 and May 1856 are unknown. The next record we have of the family is on the 24th May 1856, when their fourth child, Jane, was born in Canowie, north east of Burra and little more than a merino stud at the time. The birth was in fact not registered until two months later, when the informant Henry Price made his way to the nearest registry office. All we can assume is that with Thomas’s occupation as sawyer, the family moved north to areas where work was readily available to him, and new areas required to be cleared. It would seem that the family moved around quite often at this time, as when their fourth child died two years later, the family was located at Redruth in Burra, and it was here that their daughter was buried.

Jane turner death cert

Death certificate of Jane Turner

Upper WakefieldEdit

The next official record we have of Elizabeth is the birth of her 5th child, James, on 16th November, 1858. By this time, the family was living in Upper Wakefield, which was a name for the broader area around Auburn in the lower north, near slate quarries and vineyards. At the time of James's birth, her husband Thomas was still employed in his trade as sawyer.

James turner birth cert

Birth certificate of James Turner


From this point onwards, the story of Elizabeth Rowe becomes complicated. Elizabeth’s sister Catherine Rowe married Peter Francis Miller on 30th September 1859 at the ‘residence of Thomas Turner, Oladdie’. Oladdie was an out-station of Pekina Station, in the Carrieton District Council area, further north than Canowie. The Oladdie homestead was built on the bank of Oladdie Creek and Fred Frost was the manager of the out-station at the time. With the trade of a sawyer, we can only assume that Thomas was employed by the station in some capacity.


The next official record we have of the family is Elizabeth’s second marriage. On the 11th August, 1864 (some 5 years after the marriage of Elizabeth’s sister at Oladdie), Elizabeth Turner (nee Rowe) married for a second time to Thomas Teague, a farmer of the Salisbury area. What happened to Thomas Turner is unknown. No official record of death, divorce or desertion has been found.

The only clue we have to his fate is noted in the Register newspaper notice announcing Elizabeth’s second marriage. She and Thomas Teague were married in the Bible Christian Mission House at Gawler River and required a special licence to get married. During this period in history, special licences were only usually required if the bride was under-age. This was definitely not the case with Elizabeth, so all we can assume is that Thomas Turner disappeared leaving no official record of his death, and Elizabeth without official status as a widow. It is important to note that Elizabeth’s younger sister Matilda married another man prior to officially divorcing her first husband. When Elizabeth and Thomas Teague married, their current marital status was not quoted on the certificate, although her new husband's status as a widower is proven.

Register notice teague turner marriage

Notice in the Register newspaper about Elizabeth's second marriage


Elizabeth was living at Salisbury at the time of her 2nd marriage. It was also a second marriage for her new husband. Elizabeth and her three surviving male children entered a household at Penfield with Thomas Teague and his nine surviving female children. Thomas Teague’s first wife had not been successful at producing surviving male children in the same manner as Elizabeth’s daughters had not survived infancy. It is believed that this may have been an influencing factor in the couple’s decision to marry, and it is known that Elizabeth was highly favoured by her new husband for producing live sons (Thomas Teague is also known to have treated his daughters by his first wife cruelly as a result). It is interesting to note that Elizabeth bore her new husband 5 children as she had her first, and the ratio of sons and daughters was also repeated. Unfortunately however, ill health would end up plaguing all but one of the 5 new children in their young adult lives.

Elizabeth's three sons with Thomas Turner inherited 9 step-sisters and 5 half-brothers and sisters, and began learning the ins and outs of farm labouring. One wonders what coping in a household of 17 children between the ages of 1 and 27 must have been like, as the first Teague daughter was not married until 1870. It must have taken its toll on Elizabeth, and she was eventually admitted to the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum. It was there that she died on 25th January, 1881, aged 51 years, from ‘brain disease and exhaustion’. Her oldest child was 30 years of age, her youngest 6 years. Her husband Thomas buried her along side his first wife in the Zoar Cemetery at Penfield.

Christiana & elizabeth teagues grave

Elizabeth's grave in the Zoar Cemetery, Penfield.


Name Birth Death
Children of Thomas and Elizabeth Turner

Thomas Brown 11/2/1851
Little Para, South Australia
Fullarton, South Australia

Elizabeth Ann 27/6/1852
Little Para, South Australia
Queenstown, South Australia

William 6/12/1853
Port Adelaide, South Australia
Crystal Brook, South Australia

Jane 24/5/1856
Canowie, South Australia
Redruth, South Australia

James 16/11/1858
Upper Wakefield, South Australia
Streaky Bay, South Australia
Name Birth Death
Children of Thomas & Elizabeth Teague

John 3/6/1865
Peachy Belt, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Martin 16/6/1867
Peachy Belt, South Australia
Glenelg, South Australia

Elizabeth Jane 15/12/1868
Peachy Belt, South Australia
Strathalbyn, South Australia

Julihannah 18/5/1871
Peachy Belt, South Australia
Parkside, South Australia

Thomas Henry 30/10/1874
Gawler Plains, South Australia
Parkside, South Australia


  • Birth, Death and Marriage certificates for South Australia
  • Baptisms at Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide
  • Register Personal Notices
  • Carrieton in the Gum Creek Country, compiled by the Carrieton Centenary Book Committee, 1978
  • Aldine History of South Australia
  • Adelaide Asylum Records
  • Zoar Cemetery records

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