A Long Line

#52 Ancestors 52 Weeks

On board the Princess Royal when it departed Plymouth on the 5th November 1846 was William NOSWORTHY, his wife Jane nee DREW and their 4 children William George, George Drew, John and Elizabeth Jane [1]. Breaking the long line of the NOSWORTHY family living on the edges of Dartmoor in Devon.

William was named after his father who was born and lived in Chagford. The NOSWORTHY family were farmers lived working a farm at Broadhills [2]. The farming tradition was one that they continued when they moved to South Australia. The family first settled in the Yankalilla district [3]. All branches of the family took up the opportunity for land and settled across South Australia. George Drew with his family moved to the Conmurra district in South East, John to Yorke Peninsula and later on to the Eyre Peninsula, while William George continued to farm in the Yankalilla district.

In places such as Gidleigh, Lusteigh, Throwleigh, Moretonhamsptead and Okehampton and Chagford is where you will find the NOSWORTHY family. This Dartmoor area features heavily in early births and marriages within the family, with the records going back into the late 1600’s. Prior to the migration of William and his family they had stayed in that one small area of Devon. One wonders what did the family think when they arrived in Australia and moved to Yankalilla.

Unfortunately, no memoirs survive to tell us how they family thought, but we know that photos were shared between family still in Devon and those who migrated to Australia. Through technology and the study of family history that we know the names of the following 2 gentleman William George and John. The family exchanged photos over the years and luckily for us their names were on the back of the photos.

Like many from Devon in South Australia the NOSWORTHY family were staunch Methodist, being at one time both Wesleyans and Bible Christians. Both William and William George were known as preachers throughout their lives within the district of Yankalilla [4]. To date no evidence has been found as to the when the conversion to the Methodist movement happened and census records show William as a auctioneer [5] and George Drew’s birth certificates have him listed as an innkeeper [6]. Neither of these jobs are within the philosophy of the Methodists. The move to South Australia embedded the conversion that continued into the next generations.

Many long lines have been established by the NOSWORTHY family first on the edges of the Dartmoor, in South Australia. No doubt there are others that we have just not found yet.

  • [1] Trove Newspaper Article with Shipping Lists list the arrival of the Princess Royal in 16 March 1847.
  • [2] 1841 England, Wales and Scotland Census, HO107, piece262, book 13, folio 5, page 4
  • [3] Williams R. F. (1991). To Find the Way: Yankalilla & District 1836-1986. 3rd Edition Yankalilla and District Historical Society
  • [4] Curnow, Edwin A. (20150. Bible Christian Methodists in South Australia 1850-1900. A Biography of Chapels and their People. Uniting Church Historical Society, Black Forest
  • [5] 1841 England, Wales and Scotland Census, HO107, piece 233, book 7, folio 3, page 1
  • [6]General Register Office. (2012). Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth: George Drew NOSWORTHY 1839, Okehampton, County of Devon.

The set image is from a town on the edge of Dartmoor and was taken by the author in 2012

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