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National Trust of South Australia


Pethick, Abraham

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1799
Place of birth Cornwall, England
Date of arrival 1839
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1855
Place of decease Aldinga, South Australia

Abraham Pethick was born in Advent Parish, Cornwall in 1799. He was the son of Abraham Pethick (1767-1846) and Elizabeth (née Brent) (1778-1807).

Aged 20 years, Abraham married Ann (née Pethick), aged 19 years, (1800-1848) in Altarnun Parish, Cornwall on 12 July 1819. She was the daughter of John Pethick (1775-1841) and Susannah (née Bennett) (1769- ). The marriage was witnessed by John and George Venning. Their first son (John) was born on 13 Nov 1819 – just 4 months after their marriage. Religion – Wesleyan Methodist and later Congregational.

Abraham Pethick was a farmer in the hamlet of Bowithick, close to the village of St. Clether in Altarnun parish, North Cornwall. Abraham and Ann Pethick had a total of eight children, all born in Cornwall, (6 sons and 2 daughters):

John (1819-1820) b. & d. at Bowithick, died as an infant

Mary Ann (1823-1886) b. at Bowithick, m. Henry Harker (1815-1862) on 31 May 1855 at Willunga

William (1825-1862) b. at Bowithick, m. Sarah Anna Norman (1829-1899) at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Willunga on 16 Aug 1853, d. at Willunga aged 37 years

John (1827-1893) b. at Bowithick, m. Mary Jane Male (1835-1871) on 20 Sept 1855 at Aldinga, d. at Aldinga

Henry (1831-1918) b. at Bowithick, m. Lavinia May Male (1832-1906) on 3 May 1853 at Willunga, d. at Willunga

Susanna (1833-1900) b. at Bowithick, m. George Bullis Bristow (1829-1914) on 24 May 1859 at Adelaide

Abraham (1835-1915) b. at Bowithick, m. Jane McMurtrie (1839-1899) at the residence of William McMurtrie (father) in Meadows, SA on 5 June 1866, d. at Aldinga

Richard (1838-1853) b. at Bowithick, accidentally killed aged 15 years in 1853, d. & buried at Willunga

Abraham Pethick (aged 40), his wife Ann (39) and their seven surviving children emigrated to South Australia in 1839 from Bowithick, Cornwall, England on board the ship Cleveland on 18 Dec 1839. Samuel White also arrived on the same voyage of Cleveland.

Abraham Pethick was a farmer at White’s Valley and the Arrowsmith Survey of District C undertaken by John McLaren in 1840 identifies section 221 as “Bowithick” suggesting that Abraham Pethick may already have been resident there. Abraham and his family were certainly resident in District C by 1841 (Census). He held an occupational licence from 1843. He built a seven-roomed stone house on Bowithick Farm between 1848 and 1851 which is believed to still exist on section 221 (now owned by the Caffrey family). He was one of the first five farmers who exported wheat from South Australia to England. In 1851 he was involved in the establishment of the Aldinga Farmers Association and was elected as the inaugural Treasurer.

Abraham Pethick and his four surviving adult sons (William, John, Henry and Abraham junior) may have owned as many as eight sections of land on the Aldinga Plains between Aldinga and Willunga – sections 211, 212, 221, 222, 223, 224, 237 and 247.

Ann Pethick died, aged 48 years, on 18 April 1848 and Abraham Pethick senior, aged 56 years, died on 27 Jan 1855 at Aldinga. They are both buried in the McLaren Vale Congregational Cemetery.


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • UK Poll Books and Electoral Rolls
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • SA Census 1841
  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • Southern Australian 13 Jan 1843:2
  • South Australian Register 6 Sept 1845:1
  • Adelaide Observer 1 July 1848:4
  • South Australian Register 15 July 1848:6
  • South Australian Register 5 July 1853:3

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