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National Trust of South Australia


Lewsey, Charles

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1819
Place of birth Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England.
Date of arrival 1849
Principal occupation Carpenter and grape vine grower
Date of death 1889
Place of decease McLaren Vale

Charles Lewsey was born on 9 July 1819 at Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England. He was the son of Thomas Lewsey (1795-1862) and Elizabeth (1797- ). He was Anglican and, later, Congregational.

Charles Lewsey, aged 30 years, married widow, Elizabeth Ann Ansell (née Brace), aged 34 years, (1815-1905) on 23 June 1849 at Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London, England. She was the daughter of Thomas Brace (1795-1860) and Elizabeth Parring (1783-1835) and was also born in Sawbridgeworth. Elizabeth had married her first husband, Abraham Ansell, in April 1839 at Ware in Hertfordshire.

Charles and Elizabeth Lewsey set sail on Anna Maria on 12th July 1849 and arrived in South Australia on 11 October 1849. Charles and Elizabeth had four daughters, all born in South Australia:

  • Elizabeth (1851-1947) was born in North Adelaide and married George Jackson (1848-1883) on 24 August 1875 at the residence of Mrs Rowe at McLaren Vale. They had four children. She died in Willunga, was cremated at West Terrace Cemetery and her remains are buried in St Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery.
  • Alice (1854-1949) was born in McLaren Vale. She married Thomas Dennis Jackson (1835-1888) on 30 June 1873 at Thomas’ childhood home, The Grange, on Jackson Hill Road, Willunga. They had four children. Alice died at Rosefield, SA.
  • Jane (1856-1936) was born in McLaren Vale. She married Henry Rowe (1847-1913) at Trinity Church, Adelaide on 12 April 1893. They had two children. Jane lived at Wallaroo, where she died and is buried in the Wallaroo Cemetery.
  • Alma (1858-1942) was born in McLaren Vale. She married Arthur Phillip Couchman (1859-1905) on 13 June 1889 at St Mary’s Church, St Marys. They had six children and lived in McLaren Vale, where Arthur was a carrier. Alma died at McLaren Vale.

By 1853, the Lewsey family was resident in Gloucester (McLaren Vale) and paid rates on two acres in the township. Charles Lewsey worked as a carpenter and also made farming implements. The family had a four roomed house on allotment 2 (part of section 157) in Gloucester and, by 1863, Charles owned allotments 2, 8 and 10, each of one acre. Allotments 8 and 10 were planted with vines. Charles gave evidence at the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Mrs Mary Atkinson at McLaren Vale in December 1855 and donated 5 shillings and 6d to the Bushfire Relief Fund in March 1859.

Charles Lewsey became insolvent in May 1869 and was forced to sell his property and goods. By 1875 he was paying rates on 10 acres with a house and vines in section 166 and 80 acres (section 167), just south of McLaren Vale, as well as a house and garden in the township of Gloucester.

Charles Lewsey, aged 70 years, died at McLaren Vale on 26 October 1889 and Elizabeth Ann Lewsey (formerly Ansell, née Brace), aged 90 years, died at Yankalilla on 25 April 1905.


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • South Australian Register 26 Dec 1855:3
  • South Australian Register 23 March 1859:3
  • South Australian Advertiser 8 Sept 1863:3
  • Adelaide Observer 29 May 1869:15
  • Adelaide Observer 17 July 1869:1

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