M*CH*MORE One Name Study

Elkanah MITCHELMORE and his family

by Geoff MITCHELMORE

 

In 1833 the family of Elkanah, Mary Ann and the five eldest children emigrated to Van Diemen's Land aboard the British barque Mary Ann. The ship was of 278 tons, had a crew of 16 under Captain J W JACK, was armed with 4 guns and carried 35 passengers. It is suggested that the ship's owner PEARCE may have been Elkanah's brother-in-law. From a contemporary poster about a slightly larger ship (the Ann at 500 tons), the family fare would have been about ₤117 as steerage travellers! Elkanah received a ₤20 advance against the fare as the colony was, at that time, offering such incentive to "mechanics and artisans".

An 1842 census shows Elkanah living in a brick house in Veterans Row, Hobart, with the family—except for Peter, who was at the time living and working at Elkanah's property at Snug Point (a few miles out of Hobart) where Elkanah with sons Peter, William and John built boats and collected wood for Hobart Town. At Snug Point, Elkanah employed Martin CASH, the Tasmanian bushranger, for a 12 month period. In a later census (1848) Elkanah was himself at Snug Point.

By 1848 Peter had left Hobart and was now the Licensee of the "Swan Inn" at Great Swan Port. Peter was a master mariner in his own right and met his death by drowning off New Zealand while attempting to rescue the crew of a sinking ship.

Elkanah and his sons built various ships which were used for transporting beef, cattle and general cargo between Hobart, Port Philip and Sydney before being sold.

About 1853 Elkanah left Tasmania to settle in Williamstown in the Port Philip district. Possibly about the same time his sons William and John with Captain LANG (husband of Tabitha) tried their luck in California looking for gold, but returned without significant success.

In 1859 Elkanah, living in Pascoe St, Williamstown, had a business with his sons (including Samuel) and successfully tendered to build the roof and floor of the Presbyterian Church in Williamstown and in 1860 won the tender to supply the seating and pulpit for the same church. (A new church was built in 1871 and incorporated the same pulpit and seating.)

A family plot exists in the Williamstown Cemetery (Church of England Compartment G) containing:-

Elkanah
Mary Ann, his widow
Charles PERCY, son of Sarah
Sarah PERCY, née MITCHELMORE, widow of Edward
Mary Ann MITCHELMORE, aunt of Douglas PERCY
Sophia SENIOR, née MITCHELMORE, widow of William

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