The family arrived at Pt Adelaide on the "Shackamaxon" on 19th Jan 1853.
They were Church of England religion. Travelling were Francis aged 45. Emily 43,
Francis 13, Harrriet 10, Frances 8, Mary Ann 3, Elizabeth Caroline travelled as
a domestic servant, aged 20 yrs, also Emily aged 16 yrs. Seemed to be the practise
to list older children separately as they were adults. The Shackamaxon sailed from
Liverpool on 4th October 1852. It was an American owned ship and sailed in company
with the Constane and the Lady Elrington (both bound for Melbourne), the Mary Cannon
bound for Calcutta and the ship Indus, bound for Hong-Kong with troops. It carried
almost 700 passengers. On the journey nineteen births were recorded and nearly 10%
of the passengers, six adults and the rest children, died from Scarlet Fever.
There was a Court of Enquiry into the competence of the surgeon-superintendent.
Dr Edward D. Allison. It appears that the results were never published. Francis
occupation was listed as an Agriculture and Railway Labourer and birth place as Surrey.
Most of the immigrants travelled in steerage accomodation, between the upper deck and
the cargo hold. Shipowners had found emigrants a new source of profit and had built a
flimsy, temporary floor beneath the main deck and on top of the cargo hold.Often it was
so far down in the hold that water would seep up through the planking and rats
scurried about. Ventilation and light were poor and came only from the hatches when
they were open. During a storm, access to the main deck was impossible as hatches
were battened down tightly. A storm could last for a few days or up to a week or more
but the hatches would stay down. Lights could not be used during the storm because of
the danger of fires. Only the wealthy migrants could afford to travel in cabins.
Most of the new settlers though stayed in the steerage section of the ship between decks,
which were often flooded. The long and uncomfortable trip tried everyone's patience and
quarrels and drunkenness were regular. The Kersley family were not wealthy.
Harriet lived at Penwortham before her marriage. Her husband Alexander was working as a
drover from Hill River Station when they met. They married on 30th September 1862 at
St Marks Church, Penwortham via Clare SA.
Alexander & Harriet had 14 children. Alexander James, Elizabeth Francis Harmer, Fanny,
Donald Archibald, Mary, Emily Eleanor, Frederick Duncan, Henry, Harriet Jane & Catherine
Emily. Four others died and their names are unknown. Alexander couldn't write, and marked
his wedding certificate with a cross. They were married by a Samuel Dutton Green, and
lived at 11 Wright Street, Clare S.A. Alexander died at 11 Wright Street, Clare S.A.
on 6th October 1902.
Harriet died at Mills Street Private Hospital on 26th August 1923. of Cerebral Haemorrhage
(stroke). The house was left to Kathleen McKinnon, the granddaughter who tendered Harriet
after her husband died. It was sold to the Baxter family in 1924, who are still the
present owners. It is still in use as a holiday house and is now classified as heritage.
Her Undertaker was H McDonald of Clare SA.
Alexander and Harriet are both buried at the Clare General Cemetery.