#52 Ancestors 52 Weeks

Port Misery the more popular name for Port Adelaide, is the place where the majority of emigrants to the new colony of South Australia landed. It is likely that the commentary by T. Horton James in the South Australian Register in 1837 was the genesis for this name, which likely stuck because of the conditions. In a commentary about South Australia James had this to say about landing in Port Adelaide:

“The shore is an uninhabitable swamp and the few people who are living in wigwams at Port Adelaide are too busy engage in landing boards and rolling up casks to take any notice of a party of ladies and gentlemen up to their knees in mud, trying to reach the shore….. This is Port Adelaide! Port Misery would be a better name, for nothing in any other part of the world could surpass it in everything that is wretched and inconvenient….”[2]

The James article is worth reading as it describes what the new colony would have been like. The editors of the paper dispute some of what James has to say and in places sought to discredit his commentary. But the name Port Misery was to become synonymous with Port Adelaide. One can only imagine what the LOADES family thought when they arrived in April 1855 on board the Caroline.

The new port 1840, State Library SA B 14128

Maybe the passengers including Jane and Edward were happy to land due to the disaster that occurred on the journey. The Shipping News tells us the while the journey had mostly prevailing winds, on February the 8th lightening struck the ship carrying away the fore and main top masts causing major damage and crippling the ship. The Caroline was fortunate to be aided by the Samuel Adams an American Ship. The ships carpenter had refused to repair the topmast and it fell to the chief mate and two emigrants to do the repairs. The 245 adult passengers on board must have been glad to see land after a journey of 104 days, even if they were knee deep in mud or dust.

[4] The Caroline Newspaper Article

Edward Waller LOADES with his wife Jane and four children Mary Ann 11, Hannah 9, Harriet 7 and Edward 4 made the journey to the colony. Edward was a carpenter and the family had been living in Middlesex prior to coming to Australia. He was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in 1819 and was baptised on the 8th May 1819, his parents were Edward Waller LOADES and Harriet BELL [5]. Jane LAWRENCE was baptised on the 26th November in Saint Nicholas at Wade, Kent, her parents were William LAWRENCE and Mary Friend [6]. Edward and Jane were married in Saint Pancras Church, St Pancras Parish [7].

[8] Interior of Saint Pancras Church, 2019

The LOADES family would have come to South Australia as assisted emigrants and like most were looking for a better life. We know from the ships papers that Edward LOADES was employed as the Schoolmaster for the journey and received 5 pounds in wages. This money would have provided them with something to support them when they landed.

[9] Employment record for the The Schoolmaster.

When the LOADES family landed in South Australia the colony had been established for 19 years, a very young place to begin a new life. The first transport of gold had arrived in Adelaide 3 years prior and gold fever was still gripping the colony along with the other colonies in Australia. Pastoral leases were opening up across the South East and into the Flinders Ranges and parts of Eyre and Yorke Peninsula [10]. The LOADES family didn’t take up any pastoral leases for farming. Edward and his family moved to the newly established town of Salisbury where he established a carpentry and building business. Both Jane and Edward are buried in the Primitive Methodist cemetery in Salisbury [11].

[12] Primitive Methodist Cemetery, Salisbury
  1. Featured Image – part of one of the old building in Port Adelaide or Port Misery as it was once known. Image taken by the author.
  2. “SIX MONTHS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA” South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 – 1900) 29 June 1839: 5. Web. 20 Feb 2022 <;.
  3. The New Port, Adelaide in 1840 showing the ship “Caleb Angas”. The artist J Hitchen was a 19th century lithographer. The barque “Caleb Angas” made two journeys to Port Adelaide in 1840 and 1841.
  4. THE CAROLINE. (1855, April 28). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 – 1904), p. 5. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from
  5. England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 November 2015), Yarmouth St Nicholas, Baptisms, 1816-1820, image 107 of 154; Record Office, Norwich.
  6. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 1 November 2015), Jane Lawrence, 26 Nov 1820; citing Kent, England, reference item 3 p 23 no 180; FHL microfilm 1,835,665.
  7. London, England, Marriages and Banns 1754 – 1921 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Church of England Parish Registers, 1754 – 1921. London Metropolitan Archives, London.
  8. Interior of Saint Pancras Church. Image taken by the author 2019.
  9. Australia, South Australia, Crown Lands and immigrant ships papers (death and births on board), 1849 – 1885. GRG356_48_2_13_1855-Caroline, 1 Jan – 31 Dec 1855.
  10. History of Agriculture in SA. accessed February 20, 2022.
  11. Primitive Methodist Cemetery Record Grave 28
  12. Image Primitive Methodist Cemetery taken by the author.

3 thoughts on “Landed

Add yours

  1. That was some extensive damage done by the lightning! It really gives me pause to think about the leap of faith to take a trip like that in search of a better life. What would it have been like to stay home? So bad?


  2. How fortunate the Samuel Adams came along and assisted the Caroline, who knows what may have happened otherwise… I wonder if Capt. Gay has any descendants, and have they heard this story? Thanks for sharing.


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