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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Self, Charles (Snr)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1810
Place of birth Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK
Date of arrival 1838
Principal occupation Bricklayer, plasterer and stonemason
Date of death 1876
Place of decease Adelaide Destitute Asylum

Charles Self (Snr), aged 27, and his wife Mary, aged 26, arrived in SA in June 1838 on the ship Eden with their only child 6-year-old Charles (Jnr).

Charles (Snr) was born on 24 June 1810 to William and Margaret Selfe at Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK. He was a bricklayer, plasterer and stonemason. In 1832 he married Mary Ward.

At the time of the 1841 census, Charles Self was living in the Bowden area, presumably with his wife and child although they were not mentioned. Charles and Mary’s second child Mary Ann was born on 3 March 1845 at Bowden. Later, in 1865, she married Richard Charles Hare Bennetts of Aldinga, son of James Bennetts.

Meanwhile Charles Self had taken up a holding in the south. In 1843 he and Jeremiah Swift were recorded as co-farmers on a small holding in the McLaren Vale district with 2 cattle and 8 acres of wheat. However, it was in Bowden on 1st April 1848 that Charles lost his wife Mary, who died of cancer aged 36 years.

In October 1850 a Charles Self was granted a timber license by the Colonial Secretary. It is not known if this was granted to Charles (Snr) or his son Charles (Jnr) who would then have been 20 years of age.

Charles Self (Snr) aged 40, remarried to widow Susan Renfree, aged 48, in a church in Willunga on 1 November 1851.

In 1853 a Charles Self was recorded as paying rates for, and presumably living in, a cottage on Section 222 owned by Abraham Pethick on the eastern fringe of the White’s Valley area. Charles Self signed a petition in the early 1850s requesting the Post-Master General to commence a daily mail service to Aldinga.

Sometime later, date unknown, Charles Self (Snr) was admitted to the Adelaide Destitute Asylum where he died from cirrhosis of the liver on 1 October 1876, aged 66. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in West Torrens cemetery, Adelaide. No information has yet been found about his wife Susan.


  • Notes by Peter Byron
  • Folders 40 42 Willunga Courthouse

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