Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

While it seems that most of my ancestors arrived in Western Australia during the mid to late 1800s, I have however been able to trace some of them back to the early pioneering families in the South West.

Though Perth was founded in 1829 and a few settlers arrived in the South West in 1831, it wasn’t until the 1840s that numerous pioneering families immigrated to Australind.  This immigration was due to a grand scheme formed in London which intended to establish farming land in the area.  The first group of labourers and tradesmen and their families arrived in 1840 with several more arriving in 1841, 1842, 1844 and 1848.  When they arrived, they were greeted with insufficient housing, insufficient work and supplies and poor soil which was unsuitable for farming.  Combined with bad weather, these factors resulted in many of the settlers moving elsewhere.  Those who stayed in the South West worked incredibly hard to earn a living and became the pioneering families in the area.  I am a descendent of three such families.

The Crampton Family

William Crampton was born in Cranbrook (Kent) in England in 1797 and at the age of 21 on 11 October 1818, he married Ann Goodall.  Ann was also a native of Kent and she was born in 1800.  From the time of their marriage, Ann subsequently gave birth to twelve children: Ann (1819), Sarah (1821), James (1823), Jane (1825), Hannah (1826), Henry (1828), Mercy (1829), John (1831), Margrit (1832), Charles (1835), George (1837) and Alfred (1839).  Most of the Crampton family lived together at Upper Buckhurst Farm in Cranbrook, Kent until their departure to Western Australia.  The whole family travelled on the ship “Diadem” and arrived in Australind on 10 April 1842.  William’s occupation was noted as an Agricultural Labourer.  Ann was to give birth to one more child in her adopted country and in 1844, Thomas Crampton (my Great-great Grandfather) was born.  The Crampton family were farmers in the South West and it was here that William and Ann remained until Ann’s death on 3 October 1867 and William’s death on 16 December 1872.  Both were buried in the Bunbury Pioneers Cemetery.

The Hurst Family

Abraham Hurst was born in Claybrooke (Leicestershire) in England in 1806 and married Anne Howlett (born in England in 1807) in the late 1820s.  They went on to have eight children: Sarah (1827), Basil – my Great x 3 Grandfather (1828), Ann (1831), Elizabeth (1834), Alice (1836), Abraham (1838), Thomas (1840) and John (1841).  Along with the Cramptons, the Hurst family also travelled on the ship “Diadem” and arrived in Australind on 10 April 1842.  Abraham’s occupation was noted as being an Agricultural Labourer/Tailor.  Unfortunately, their youngest son, John died at only six months of age during the voyage out to Western Australia.  Abraham and Anne remained in Australind until their subsequent deaths in 1881 and 1860.

The Gardiner Family

Reuben Gardiner was born in 1804 in Bisley (Gloucestershire) in England and married Ann Brown (born in Bisley in 1810) in the late 1820s.  They subsequently gave birth to six children: Alfred (1827), Selina (1829), Maria – my Great x 3 Grandmother (1831), Emma (1834), Lavinia (1837) and John (1840).  The Gardiner family left England on a ship named “Trusty” and arrived in Australind on 6 December 1842.  Reuben’s occupation was listed as being an Agricultural Labourer Quarrier.  Now in their new country, Ann was to give birth to three more daughters: Climena (1843), Lucy (1847) and Jane Elizabeth (1850).  Like the Cramptons and Hursts, Reuben and Ann remained in the South West until their subsequent deaths in 1876 and 1879.

The Cramptons, Hursts and Gardiners would have found themselves in very similar circumstances in their new country.  Thus, it is not surprising to see that some children from each family group intermarried:

  • Basil Hurst married Maria Gardiner – both of which are mentioned above as my Great x 3 Grandparents.
  • John Crampton married Climena Gardiner.
  • Alfred Crampton married Lucy Gardiner.
  • Thomas Crampton married Matilda Maria Hurst (the daughter of Basil Hurst and Maria Gardiner) – Thomas and Matilda are my Great-great Grandparents.

The marriages between the families makes it incredibly confusing and if I have confused you, I apologise.  I too spent a good amount of time pondering the connections and feeling as though each thread was a second away from becoming a tangled mess.

Nevertheless, these families (as well as many others) helped build the South West and it is their legacy that remains in the form of their descendents, some of who continue to live in this area.


6 thoughts on “Early Pioneers

  1. Judith.Crampton says:

    Hi!I’ve just found this interesting article on the internet.William. Crampton was the brother of my Great great great great Granddad!Phew ,what started as a small search has turned into an amazing journey thats only begun. I found a photo of William and Anne’s grave yesterday and wondered how on earth they managed to end up in Australia.Now that question has been answered.Williams sister Mary ended up in the states .It would be great to keep in touch.Thanks Judith.Crampton

    1. Jess says:

      Wow Judith! William Crampton was my 3rd Great Grandfather. Which of his brothers is your ancestor? I’m glad you’re having some success researching the Crampton family and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

      1. Judith.Crampton says:

        Hi Jess,thanks for getting back in touch,great to hear from you. If I got through the family tree right your 3 Great Granddad was my 4 Great Granddad’s brother called Samuel. I have managed to find Upper Buck Hurst Farm on the internet,its now become a livery stables, a beautiful old building full of character. I shall be speaking to my uncle this evening whose also called William shortened to Bill as was his father,obviously a family name. A sister of William and Samuel called Mary ended up in America,I hope to find more info about her too.Hope to here from you again, I’m curious to know more about the family down under.Bye for now Judith

  2. Rod Read says:

    Hi Love your site, I am related to the Howletts of Perth, My G G Grandfather Charles Edward Read married Emily Howlett, Daughter of Charles and Elizabeth, feel free to contact me.
    Regards, Rod Read, Mandurah.

    1. Jess says:

      Hi Rod,

      My Howlett ancestor was Anne Howlett (1806-1860) who married Abraham Hurst in 1826. She came from Claybrooke in Leicestershire and arrived in WA in 1842. She lived most of her life in the Bunbury/Australind area. I’ve had a quick search and from what I’ve found, I don’t think she was related to your Howlett family.

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