Jane Moon (c1799-1871)

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Jane Moon
Sex: Female
Birth: c1799, Wiltshire
Death: 21/6/1871, Adelaide, South Australia
Spouse/Partner: Robert Lucas
Marriage: 23/9/1819, Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Jane Moon was born in Wiltshire in approximately 1799. Events from her early life in Wiltshire are currently unknown, including the names of her parents and siblings.

It is possible that she had a brother Robert and a sister Mary, as they would marry into the same Lucas family as she did. There is also a Robert Moon and Sarah Richardson who marry in North Bradley, Wiltshire on 28/9/1784 who could potentially be her parents.


On the 23rd September 1819, Jane married Robert Lucas at Trowbridge, Wiltshire. The couple had approximately 4-6 children while living in Wiltshire, although only 4 have been proven with absolute certainty at this stage.

Two of Robert's siblings would marry people with the last name of Moon, most likely all from the same family. Brother James married Mary Moon and sister Catherine married Robert Moon. These are likey to have been Jane's siblings.

Journey to AustraliaEdit

In 1840, Jane and family decided to immigrate to Australia. Eldest daughter Harriet, however, was in love with a man by the name of Benjamin Pitman and they did not want to be separated. The Lucas family decided to pretend he was one of their children so he could make the journey with them. He travelled under the assumed name of ‘Joseph Lucas’. It is possible (but not proven) that daughter Jane’s future husband could have travelled in the same way, under the name of ‘DeNeufville’ Lucas. There is a reference to a DeNeufville Lucas in some passenger lists for the ship ‘Fairfeild’, on which the Lucas family travelled. A person of that name did live in South Australia for a period but has been proven to be from a totally different Lucas family and is highly unlikely to have been in South Australia at that specific time (he arrived later). It is also possible that the reference to a “DeNeufville” Lucas is purely a clerical error.

The family left their home in Trowbridge on 10th July 1840, embarking two days later at Deptford, London, on the ship “Fairfield”. The journey lasted five months, with the family arriving in South Australia on 14.12.1840. The family claimed that several children had died at sea during the journey. Considering the gap in ages between children Robert and Elizabeth, this is highly possible, but it is also possible that this was a story designed to hide the real fate of Benjamin Pittman and possibly daughter Jane’s future husband. 35 passengers are recorded to have died during the voyage and there were 5 births.

South AustraliaEdit

Jane and family can not be located in the 1841 census for South Australia, and the birth of daughter Elizabeth in 1841 is not recorded. It is possible that the family were still living roughly at that time, as information from Benjamin Pitman’s family indicates that they spent some time living under a gum tree and in tents on the banks of the River Torrens. Daughter Jane’s obituary, however, points to the family living “at the Sturt” for a few years, where she recalled walking through the bush to Adelaide to do the shopping.


By February 1842, the family was living in the Walkerville area. Robert is rumoured to have started work at Government House as a gardener under Governor Gawler, and daughter Harriet is said to have worked their also. Due to scant records of the time, this has not been proven and may not be correct.

Eldest daughter Harriet finally married Benjamin Pitman at Holy Trinity Church on 24/4/1845. A reference to their marriage being in Trowbridge in 1845 on the IGI is incorrect.

Jane and husband Robert were witnesses to the marriage of their daughter Jane to Mathurin Charles Leon De Laine at Holy Trinity Church in Adelaide on 13.3.1843.

Daughter Martha was born at North Adelaide on 22.3.1845, yet their residence was Walkerville when daughter Elizabeth died on 24.12.1847, aged only 6 years.


In January 1848, husband Robert appeared in court, having accused a Joseph Dixon of Walkerville for assault. Robert stated that he was walking past Joseph Dixon's house when Dixon threw a brickbat at him. When Robert asked him why he did it, Dixon apparently struck him several times. Jane witnessed the attack, as did a young man by the name of Mr Peacock.

Dixon claimed that Robert had threatened him after he had abused Robert's dog, which apparently left the yard regularly and attacked Dixon.

Because the Mr Peacock who had witnessed the attack was not called in to appear before the court, the judge threw the case out as he had no evidence - only heresay from both parties. Robert was fined 10 shillings and costs.

House SaleEdit

On 18th October 1855, it was advertised in the South Australian Government Gazette that owners and occupiers of sections 460 and 477, adjoining the two sections which had lately been constituted the District of Walkerville, wished to separate themselves from the District of Yatala, and to be associated with Walkerville. Jane's husband Robert and their son Robert Lucas jr signed the petition.

Sections 476 and 475 had originally been separated to form the District Council of Walkerville on 5/7/1855, and sections 460 and 477 would also separate at a later date - so the petition was successful. It may have had an impact on what the family did with property on which they resided.

The property on which the family lived in Walkerville was put up for sale in November 1855. The sale was advertised for several weeks in the South Australian Register newspaper, with the last advert being placed on 7/12/1855. Robert's skills as a gardener were evident in the garden of the property, which was described as:-

"Lot 7, Walkerville (Township), Cottage and Garden. Is well situated at the eastern corner of this favourite Suburban Township. The Cottage is substantially built, and the whole of the Land, Two acres is well planted as a garden, comprising choice vines and fruit trees in full bearing. The Block (Acres 98 and 99) fronts onto the River Torrens, as per Plan, and possession can be had in June next, occupied by Robert Lucas. Terms - Cash, or Credit for a portion of purchase."

Whether the sale was successful or not is unknown at this stage, but the family were still living in the Walkerville area several years after this date. They were still there in July 1857 when Robert signed another petition requesting that a meeting be called to consider the building of a bridge over the River Torrens at the end of Stephens Terrace.

Later YearsEdit

The family would later to move to North Adelaide but it is not known exactly when at this stage.

Jane died in North Adelaide on 21st June, 1871, when their residence was recorded as Brougham Place. Walkerville was originally recorded as her ususal residence on the death certificate, but this was crossed out and replaced with North Adelaide. Her age at death was recorded as 72 years and cause of death was debility and another unreadable cause beginning with 'A' (it looks like 'Anasanoa', but I have found no archaic medical term to match this). The informant at death was a William Brindey (possibly a mis-spelling of W.M. Bundey, the undertaker).

The South Australian Advertiser recorded her funeral notice on the 23/6/1871 - "The friends of the late Mrs Jane Lucas are respectfully informed that her remains will leave her late residence, Brougham Place, on Friday, June 23, at 3 o'clock, for the Walkerville Cemetery." W.M. Bundey was listed as undertaker.

Husband Robert would outlive her by 15 years, dying in 1886. He is buried next to her in the Walkerville Cemetery.


Name Birth Death
Children of Robert and Jane Lucas

Harriet 25/5/1822
Sturt, South Australia

Jane 1825
Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Adelaide, South Australia

Mary 1827
Port Lincoln, South Australia

Robert c1832
buried 25/11/1832
buried Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Robert 8/5/1833
Studley Green, Wiltshire
North Kensington, South Australia

Elizabeth c1841
South Australia
Not recorded, South Australia

Martha 22/3/1845
North Adelaide, South Australia
Rose Park, South Australia


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