Updated Wed, 19-Sep-2012
DANIEL HALL FROM STOCKPORT, CHESHIRE
After many months of voyaging, Daniel Hall arrived in South Australia on 20 December 1839 from Liverpool with wife Ann (nee Warhurst?) on the barque “Delhi” and was accompanied by two young children, Elizabeth and William. Daniel was listed as a weaver and joiner from Great Portwood Street, Stockport, Cheshire (now part of Greater Manchester) and was aged 27 years. A John Warhurst also traveled to SA on the “Delhi”.
Daniel was also accompanied by his brother(?) Hugh and wife Hannah. Hugh was listed as a tailor, from the same address as Daniel, aged 29 years and of the Roman Catholic religion.
Who was Daniel Hall? Despite much searching, his origins are obscure but his later associations in Australia suggest that he was very close to, if not a member, of the Richard Hall (1774-??) family that originated in Staffordshire.
Richard Hall Family
Richard’s early life is thought to have been spent in the local area as he married Jane Allcock on 12 May 1794 at nearby Wetton. Jane had been christened on 3 July 1774 at Ipstones or Wetton and her parents were Thomas and Jane Allcock.
Our Daniel Hall was born around 1810 so his birth may have followed Hugh in this family sequence but proving his birth and parentage has been very elusive. The IGI (Film No: 170471, Page No: 944, Reference No: 26171) has a Daniel Hall born 1810 at nearby Hampsted Marshall in southern Berkshire but he has not been linked to Richard and Jane Hall. Daniel’s parents are listed as being Benjamin and Anne Hall – perhaps close relatives of Richard Hall? Or has there been an error in the transcription of parish records?
Despite all this confusion, it is thought most likely that Daniel was a son of this Richard Hall family but he could have been the orphaned child of a brother of Richard or otherwise related. When married in Australia in 1851, neither he nor his young Irish orphan wife Bridget McGrath declared their parents on their marriage registration. Was Daniel uncertain or uncomfortable with his parentage?
The Return North
Daniel Hall at Stockport
Church records of St Mary’s Church of England has the following christening records in the Parish files:-
Richard had married Ellen Burgess at St James Parish Church, Gawsworth, Cheshire on 13 February 1841. It seems they were both resident at Gawsworth at that time and Richard’s profession was listed as Shoemaker. The fathers were listed as Richard Hall, Hawker and William Burgess, Chainmaker. The witnesses were Mary Anne Burgess and Richard Burgess.
The New Life Downunder
Little is known of brother Hugh’s exploits in Australia other than that he worked at his tailoring trade in Adelaide for some years and, when he died on 18 April 1875, he was listed as a farmer of Lyndoch Valley. No family has been established.
William Hall, the young emigrant son of Daniel, eventually worked as a tailor in Adelaide and became a landowner in his own right at Kapunda. He married Mary Jane Wyatt on 27 February 1866 and they had eight children. This family settled in the Quorn/Hawker area of the Flinders Ranges in the north of South Australia. William died at Hawker on 9 March 1925 aged 86 years and Mary Jane died there also on 9 January 1934. The headstone placed by Mary Jane over her late husband reads:
Young Richard Emigrates
Richard joined his Hall brothers at Lyndoch and by 1855 he too was a landowner and farmer. Richard and Ellen would later move to Yacka where he continued his trade as shoemaker and likely farmed the land. Richard and Ellen remained in the Mid-North of South Australia and raised their five children, two more having been born in SA. Their eldest, Richard, had a boot and saddlery shop at Snowtown for many years in addition to substantial farming interests. He had 13 children, the eldest boy named Richard, of course. They, and their many cousins, ensured that there is no shortage of Hall folk in Australia today.
Richard Hall, whilst journeying from Adelaide to his home at Yacka in February 1887, overbalanced and fell from his carriage. Aged 72 years and seriously injured, he died soon after and now rests in the Yacka Cemetery. Ellen Hall (nee Burgess) lived to 25 October 1900 and was buried in the Balaclava Cemetery.
Mary Ann Retchford Seeks a New Life
Mary Ann’s two sons settled to their new land and both had large families. Many of these Retchfords served with distinction in the Great War and three did not return: Albert Omega Retchford rests in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France; Norman Leslie Retchford rests at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France; Albert Roy Retchford, after being mentioned in dispatches at Gallipoli, was awarded the Military Medal at Ypres, Belgium and now rests at the Borre British Cemetery nearby.
Daniel Hall Starts Over
A love of the land must have been in the soul of these folk as Daniel and his many sons would explore, farm and prospect for gold across the arid regions of the great south land they had made their home. They operated bullock teams carting ore out of northern South Australia, they gathered sandalwood in the desert using camel teams, they farmed the notorious Willochra Plain and they helped construct the northern railway.
Enter the Cowins
The Golden West
After moderate success, some of the Halls departed the goldfields in the early 1900s and took up virgin land at Tarwonga, southeast of Perth, WA, where their descendants still produce fine merino wool and cereal grains. The Cowins also took up land at Tarwonga as they too eventually returned to farming, found a more settled life and raised a new generation for a new age.
The Hall Story Continues
The Hall story has been one of hardship, heartbreak and unrelenting toil but also one of great joy and achievement. If Richard Hall, the humble hawker from Leek and his son Daniel are up there looking down, they should be wearing smiles of great satisfaction!
Ross Thomas, Canberra 22 August 2007
I descend from Daniel Hall, Richard Hall, Ethel Maud Hall and Dorothy Cowin (1913 -2005), am resident in Canberra, Australia and regularly visit Western and South Australia and occasionally the UK.
If anyone can assist in providing further information on this grand family of mine, I would be very appreciative. Of course, I can provide much more detailed information on the Halls Downunder for anyone interested. I would love to know more about Richard Hall – his parents and siblings. Also the Allcock, Burgess and Warhurst family histories. Who were they and what became of them? Did any of them emigrate? The search continues ........
Many people have helped in the compiling of this history. My thanks go to you. I would reply individually but, in a moment of great incompetence, I lost all my emails!
Largely prepared by Ross Thomas from the booklet “Hall Family Tree’ by Betty Watson of Mukinbudin, Western Australia, compiled in the late 1980s. Ross descends from Richard Hall, Ethel Maude Hall and Dorothy Cowin (1913 - ), is resident in Canberra, Australia and is visiting Lancashire and Isle of Man in September 2005.
I hope this may stimulate some interest in our Hall family and allow us to trace the family back a few more generations in Lancashire and to fill in some of the gaps in the Australian story. All contributions of information would be greatly appreciated.
Please contact Ross Thomas : - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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