...do YOUR families link back to first South Australian wheat growers?
Christina and Donald McLEAN from Scotland 1837
1848 - 1930 (82 years)
||Christina MCLEAN  |
||9 Dec 1837
||Holdfast Bay SA 
|Born Scotland, arrived Adelaide SA 1837 with father Donald and Christina McLean (nee McPhee) on Navarino |
- «b»CHRISTINA McLEAN«/b», born 28/7/1848, at Strathalbyn.
MARRIED: George Harvey Sturgeon, born 1846, who had arrived in S.A. at the age of 5 years with his parents, Charles and Elizabeth Sturgeon, by the ship "China" in 1852. They farmed at "Sunnyside" Strathalbyn.
They married at "Waterloo" Angas Plains on 17/7/1872 just prior to her 24th birthday. The witnesses were:- Elizabeth Sturgeon, Strathalbyn; Mary Ann Jones, Belvidere; John McLean, Angas Plains and Agnes Jane McLean, Angas Plains. The Rev. Slaney Poole (Church of England) of to an obituary Christina and George farmed at Gladstone, S.A. but left for Victoria in 1883. There were two obituaries which Jill McDonald found for her book, "Ewen and Rachel McDonald and Descendants" published in a Melbourne paper, but undated.
"The death is reported by our Nhill correspondent of Mrs Christina Sturgeon, whose father Mr John McLean, with his brother Allan, assisted their father, Mr Donald McLean, who grew the crop of wheat in South Australia, at Marleston near Adelaide in 1838".
The more extensive account gave that she died at the house of her daughter, Mrs Thomas Warner, "Dow Well" Nhill, aged 82 years on 30/10/1930. She and her husband left Gladstone in SA. for West Wimmera, Victoria, in 1883 and that they were among the settlers at Lawloit, McKenzie Springs, Vic. Further that she was the second daughter of Mr John McLean. And that her family consisted of six children of whom only Mrs Warner survived.
There were 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
DEATHS: It then mentioned that her sister the late Mrs Richard Jones, and her own husband, George Henry Sturgeon, had died two and a half years previously, following a motor car accident. Both were buried at Nhill.
The family of six children, comprised 5 children born in South Australia and the last child in Victoria.
(1) Beatrice Mary Sturgeon, born 10/2/1874, at Strathalbyn.
(2) Frances Agnes Sturgeon, bom 1/5/1876, at Gladstone.
(3) Louisa Alberta Sturgeon, born 8/2/1879, at Gladstone.
(4) Charles Buscombe Sturgeon, born 25/2/1881, at Gladstone.
(5) Florence Jessie Sturgeon, born 16/6/1883, at Gladstone.
(6) Albert John Sinclair Sturgeon, born 1890 at Nhill.
Following the marriage of Christina and George Sturgeon, they farmed for a time at Strathalbyn. Their eldest daughter, Beatrice, about 1907 wrote an account of the family which is here abridged.
George Henry Sturgeon was born in Suffolk, England, and besides farming with his father and brother at Strathalbyn, he conducted a carrying business between Adelaide and Strathalbyn before the railway was built. He did the same from Gladstone, S.A. until 1883.
In that year he took up land at Lawloit, Victoria, travelling overland with his wife and family of 4 children, by wagon and dray. On arrival he pegged 30 acres, taking up more land in due course. Beatrice records that they left Gladstone in August, 1883, and that Christina's brother-in-law, Richard Jones. took the whole family with a few possessions in a dray to Lawloit, and on the night they all slept on bags of chaff on the ground in the open with the sky as their roof. They then set to work to build a temporary hut 25 feet long and 15 feet wide, divided with wheat bags for partitions. The sides of the hut were made by placing 2 or 3 sheets of iron horizontally - there was an iron roof.
Beatrice refers back to her fathers early years, saying that not being able to attend school during the day his education took place at night school, which was further helped by books brought out from England. One year at the Strathalbyn farm, 1000 bushells of wheat was reaped, which was considered a big harvest at that time. it was sold for £1,000.0 ($2,000). Flour was £1/5/- a bag.
George Sturgeon was particularly fond of horses, which led him to becoming a teamster. At Gladstone he used 8 to 10 horses, caning merchandise between that town. Laura and Georgetown, prior to the move to Victoria.
That dwelling was near some crab holes for water for domestic use, His next duty was to clear enough land in readiness for crops - no fallowing then, all hands working and helping - mother and children were his only aid, picking up sticks and burning off. When the crop was growing, the parents and children took turns going around the crop, even late at night and then before daybreak, hunting off the trespassing rabbits and kangaroos which were very numerous. Then came the task of cutting posts to fence in the block, and clear a few more acres for cropping.
The work was done by bullocks, and as they had to find their own forage, they were only worked for a few hours a day. When unyoked they would ramble for miles unless minded, and having no fences it came to the lot of the two eldest girls to hunt for them and bring them home. This often meant miles of walking, quite often wading through the Lawloit and Menrvyn swamps, near McKenzie Springs. They helped yoke the cattle, and sometimes drove the team while their father used the plough. Crops were badly affected by rust, and burning off was practised as mentioned above.
When store goods were required four bullocks were yoked to the dray, and the family would set off for Kaniva. Going one day, slaying overnight at Yanipy with the Richard Jones' and returning the next day or two. They made 4 or 5 trips a year. As the rail terminated at Dimboola, wheat was carted there, or to Horsham; or let to contractors with horse teams. The mail coach went from Nhill, through Lawloit to Kaniva, and would bring groceries or meat when ordered.
It was the practice of the Sturgeons to rear pigs, and kill them for pickling. Saturday afternoons were usually spent in the scrub hunting kangaroos and rabbits to cook with the pork. The children took home broombush for sweeping the house.
The wheat sown was called Golden Drop. Incidentally, the pigs were slaughtered when weighing 60 to 100 lbs. Good mutton was rare. When carcases of sheep of squatters were found, the wool was removed and taken home, scoured and used to stuff mattresses. But, George Sturgeon was better off than when he was forced to work at a very early age, with only raw turnips to take for his lunch.
After two or three years it was decided to build a new house. Large wide planks were sawn from gum trees, for door and window frames with mud bricks for the walls. At the same time bullocks were replaced with horses, so stables were built also. During these preparations the father let his adze slip, slicing right through his boot and severing his big toe! By 1907, the only survivor of the Sturgeons who emigrated, besides George himself, was his sister, Mrs Blatchford of Adelaide in her 83rd year, and still caring for her 85 year old husband. George's brother and another sister were deceased.
Four of the Sturgeon children were born in South Australia, and the youngest in Victoria. A Warner family history was published in 1979, dating from 1802 showing that their 5«sup»th«/sup» child (Thomas) married Beatrice Sturgeon.
||28 Jul 1848
||Milang SA [1, 2]
||30 Oct 1930
||Nhill Vic 
- Death 'Dow Well' Nhil Vic
||Christina and Donald McLean | John McLean's descendants
||29 Jul 2017 |
||John MCLEAN, b. 6 Feb 1816, Argyll Scotland , d. 14 Dec 1903, Angas Plains SA (Age 87 years) |
||Mary STACEY, c. 21 Jul 1829, Stogursey Somerset , d. 15 Nov 1872, Angas Plains SA (Age ~ 43 years) |
||Macclesfield SA [3, 4, 5]
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||George Harvey STURGEON, b. 10 May 1846, Suffolk UK , d. 26 Feb 1928, Adelaide SA (Age 81 years) |
||17 Jul 1872
||Angas Plains SA [6, 7]
| ||1. Beatrice Mary STURGEON, b. 10 Feb 1874, Strathalbyn SA , d. 14 May 1941, Winiam Vic (Age 67 years)|
| ||2. Frances Agnes STURGEON, b. 1 May 1876, Strathalbyn SA , d. 11 Jul 1914, Fremantle WA (Age 38 years) |
| ||3. Louisa Alberta STURGEON, b. 8 Feb 1879, Gladstone SA , d. c1909 (Age 30 years) |
| ||4. Charles Buscombe STURGEON, b. 25 Feb 1881, Gladstone SA , d. 1956, Norwood SA (Age 74 years) |
| ||5. Florence Jessie STURGEON, b. 1885, Lawloit Vic , d. 1930 (Age 45 years)|
| ||6. Albert John Sinclair STURGEON, b. 1890, Nhill Vic , d. 8 Jan 1925, Wyalkatchem WA (Age 35 years) |
||19 Oct 2017 13:19:41 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
BDM 1872 Marriage George Harvey Sturgeon & Christina MacLean married on 17th July 1872 in Strathalbyn
- [S-3] BRB - 'Donald & Christina McLean & Their Descendants', 1995, The BRB has a good index for each individual. Copies of the BRB available Strathalbyn National Trust Museum & Library, several libraries around Australia including State Library SA, and Western Australian Genealogical Society Bayswater WA Request assistance for locating a copy through 'Contact us' on this website. .
- [S-59] http://www.familyhistorysa.info/colonists.html, Barry Leadbetter, 4.
MCLEAN John, Mary STACEY, parents of child born 1848-07-28 named Christina at / nr Milang SA and only 10-15 miles apart between Milang and Strathalbyn SA So left unchanged.
Confirmed by the said website and NO alterations were made with citations from Website by Barry Leadbetter found by researcher Lorna McLean 05/12/2016
- [S-59] http://www.familyhistorysa.info/colonists.html, Barry Leadbetter, 4, 8 Dec 2017 Researcher Lorna McLean.
FOUND TO BE INCORRECT ON MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE No282574 COPY WITH GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER ON 8TH DEC 2017, Researcher Lorna McLean.
ERROR;MCLEAN John, Mary STACEY married 1845-05-29 at Chapel, Macclesfield SA, aged 27=1818 which was 1816 for John Mclean, 18=1827 for Mary Stacey so year of birth 1829 was altered for Mary Stacey and John McLean from 1816 to 1818
Married date 25Sep1845 has no citation by Edwin McLean; so altered to this date 29 May 1845
Confirmed by the said website and alterations were made with citations from Website by Barry Leadbetter found by researcher Lorna McLean 05/12/2016
- [S-18] PUBLICATION Edwin Maclean's genealogy, Spouse of person 14-iv.
- [S-11] BDM certificate - sighted and attached , Marriage Certificate No282574 in district of Hindmarsh, 8 Dec 2017 Researcher Lorna McLean.
Marriage Certificate282574 cites marriage 25 Sep 1845 at Chapel Maccesfield SA in presence of Harriett Stacey all parties signed with a cross.
- [S-75] http://www.genealogysa.org.au, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=32, 29 Jul 2017 Researcher Lorna McLean.
MARRIED: 1872 92/120 groom:STURGEON,George Harvey bride:MACLEAN,Christina at (Angas Plains) Strathalbyn SA
- [S-57] FS Ian Barnes (WAGS Member) Emaild Nov 2017, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=32, 29 Jul 2017 Ian Barnes WA (family member of this p.
states marriage date:17 Jul 1872 as per Joseph Phillips (family) birthday book.