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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Needham, Isaac

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1820
Place of birth England
Date of arrival 1849
Principal occupation Farmer, shopkeeper
Date of death 1899
Place of decease Willunga

Isaac Needham and his wife, Martha (nee Gregory), arrived in SA from Plymouth on the ship Marion on 10 February 1849.

They initially lived in a cottage in the Payneham/Magill area, where five children were born:

  • Twins: James (1850-1850) and Jacob Gregory (1850-1921). Jacob married Grace Grose Lampshire in 1874. She was the eldest daughter of John Lampshire of Chacewater, Cornwall. They had no children.
  • William Frederick (9 June 1852-14 December 1925), married Mary Ann White.
  • Sarah (4 July 1854-16 December 1925) married William Tonkin on 19 December 1875 in Adelaide.
  • Mary Marshall (6 June 1856 - 1932). In January 1882 she married Edward Hunt (1856-1925), a local sheep farmer and son of Matthew Hunt of Myponga.

Isaac Needham tried his luck on the Victorian goldfields and, in March 1852, sent to his wife eight ounces of gold via Tolmer’s first gold escort from Mt Alexander. In July that year, Needham bought Section 454 and later Section 455, between Willunga and McLaren Vale. In February 1853 he formally cautioned anyone against cutting or removing timber from these sections. In 1853, Isaac gave evidence that, while coming home from town to Payneham, he saw a grass fire being lit by three boys. In 1854, he signed a petition supporting Charles Fenn in the East Torrens election.

The Needham family moved to Willunga sometime between 1856 and 1859. In 1859 Mr. Isaac Needham’s cottage, a snug cottage in East Payneham with an acre of garden and 3 acres of good potato land, was advertised for lease. In 1864, Isaac stated that he had resided in the Willunga area for 8 years.

Isaac Needham is listed as a farmer in Willunga in the SA Directories from 1864 to 1872. In August 1866, he purchased Lots 81 and 82 in Bishop Street, in the Willunga township. It is now 10 Bishop Street and known as The Gums. Isaac ran a licensed wine store there from 1869 until at least 1880. In 1893, he purchased the adjoining property at lot 72 (9 St. Jude’s Street) from William Matthew Oliver.

Isaac Needham involved himself in local affairs. At a meeting of ratepayers in June 1864, claiming some experience as a bullock driver, he spoke about the disgraceful state of the district roads. In 1871, he signed a petition in support of Thomas Elder’s nomination for election to the Legislative Council. On 21 December 1882, Isaac Needham was appointed Bailiff of the Local Court at Willunga replacing J. C. Thornton, who had recently died.

Isaac Needham died on 9 April 1899, aged about 79. His wife, Martha, had died two years earlier, aged 83. Both are buried in graves with headstones in St Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery, Willunga. They were survived by one son and one daughter in Broken Hill and one son and one daughter in Willunga.

Needham’s estate, administered by John Binney, comprised an 80-acre section and 4 allotments, with two cottages, in Willunga township. His home property (Lots 81 and 82 and 72) was sold to his son-in-law Edward Hunt, farmer of Willunga, who took up residence there with his family.


  • SAGHS South Australian Births Marriages Deaths
  • S A Register Tuesday 28th June 1864 page 3
  • Mark Staniforth Lot 82 10 Bishop St
  • Adelaide Observer
  • Saturday 27 March 1852 page 4
  • South Australian Register Saturday 31 July 1852 page 3
  • Adelaide Observer Sat 5 Feb 1853 page 4
  • South Australian Register Wed 22 Nov 1854 Page 3
  • Adelaide Observer Saturday 23 April 1859 page 8
  • Chronicle Adelaide Sat 19 Aug 1899 page 22
Isaac Needham
Isaac Needham

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