When one sees the words “maid aunt”one thinks of the NOSWORTHY family. A number of maiden aunts are found in different generations of the family. Like the photos above not much is known about the maiden aunts. The photos above are a selection of photos of young girls and women found in a photo album that belonged to Esther GOULD) nee NOSWORTHY). Her photo is the only photo that is named.
Esther Ann NOSWORTHY was one of the eight children born to George Drew NOSWORTHY and Grace DUFTY. Both George and Grace had come to Australia as young children when they emigrated from Devon in the 1840’s. George and Grace had 4 boys and 4 girls. Of the four girls only two of them married: Lydia Grace NOSWORTHY married Herbert William MAYFIELD in Yankalilla, South Australia on April 8, 1891 (SA BDM, Yankalilla 167/227); Esther Ann NOSWORTHY married Edmund Humphrey GOULD on 26 March 1913 at Conmurra (SA BDM, Robe 254/946). At the time of her marriage Esther was 36.
Esther had two sisters who never married, Evangeline Jane born 31 March, 1867 in Finniss (SA BDM Encounter Bay 51/590) and Edith Elizabeth born 27 March, 1872 at Currency Creek (BDM Encounter Bay 125/98) known as Aunt Edie and Aunt Eva.
In 1883 Grace NOSWORTHY passed away at the age of 44 in Strathablyn (BDM Strathalbyn 128/368). Two years following in 1885 the family took up a land grant at Conmurra and named the property Albynside. The four boys along with their father took on different crown leases while establishing the family property at Albynside. Esther and her 2 sisters worked on the family property as well and were designated in the voting records as having home duties. Edie and Eva both looked after their brother Frederick William who was a bachelor. The news paper article provides a glimpse to the life of the 2 sisters.
A search on Trove reveals that all three sisters were heavily involved in the Methodist Church at Conmurra, with the Temperance Society and my mother recalls being called on to sign the pledge at a young age and not really knowing what she was doing. They also raised funds for the war effort in both world wars, as well as for Red Cross and Church Missionaries. The search on Trove also showed us that the girls in the family were also named and held perpetual leases so that the land stayed within the family.
Evangeline when she died left parcels of land in Lucindale itself to her sisters, some of the land had been left to her by her brother Fredrick when he passed. A historical search of SAILIS (South Australian Integrated Land Information System) would suggest that when it came to naming and having ownership of land and land parcels the girls were treated as equals. Although they may not have worked the land, this being the work of men in those days. All three girls came into property in 1904 and it is likely that they inherited this when their father died and the land was shared amongst the children.
Eva and Edie lived out their life in Lucindale. Eva died in 1943 and Edie in 1952. Their younger sister Esther who married late, lived much of her life as a widow as her husband Edmund passed away in1942. Esther lived until 1976, when at the age of 99 she passed away. Esther over time had become blind and required a carer, so at the time of her death she was living in Adelaide in a nursing home. She like her sisters and husband was buried in the Lucindale Cemetery.