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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Watters, Samuel

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1822
Place of birth Crowan, Cornwall, England.
Date of arrival 1853
Principal occupation Miner and farmer.
Date of departure 1864
Date of death 1890
Place of decease Broken Hill, NSW.

Samuel Watters was born on 11 August 1822 at Crowan, Cornwall, England. He was the son of William Watters senior (1800-1872) and Lenora Holman (1800-1875) and twin brother of William Watters junior (1822-1879). Spelling variants of the surname included Waters and Walters. He was Wesleyan Methodist. Samuel Watters was a miner in Cornwall.

Samuel Watters, aged 23 years, married his first wife, Elizabeth Thomas (1824-1853), aged 21 years, on 21 September 1845 at Lizard, Cornwall, England.

In 1847 Samuel and his wife Elizabeth left Cornwall and travelled to New York and on to the important lead mining town of Galena, Illinois, USA, where their two sons were born.

  • Samuel junior (1847-1934) was born in Galena, Illinois, USA. He married Hannah Scoble ( -1899) on 25 July 1872 at East Moonta. They had seven children. He died in Bendigo, Victoria.
  • William (1851-1918) was born in Galena, Illinois, USA. He married Phillis Eva Johns (1878-1965). William died in Yerranderie, NSW.

In 1853 the family returned to New York and took passage aboard Tarolinta for Melbourne via Rio de Janeiro, arriving on 23 October 1853. Elizabeth Watters, aged just 28 years, died on 25 November 1853 at McLaren Vale on their way to Willunga, where Samuel’s father, William Watters, and the extended Watters family were then living. After Elizabeth’s death, Samuel remarried, to widow Kezia Williams (1822-1888) on 1 July 1854 at her residence in Willunga. Kezia already had two children from her first marriage to William Williams (1823-1852):

  • Sarah (1850- 1913) was born at Willunga and married Thomas Kemp (1850-1923) on 1 April 1875 at East Moonta, SA. She died at Firle, SA.
  • William (1851-1875) was born at Willunga. He died at Moonta Mines and is buried at Moonta.

Samuel and Kezia Watters then had five children of their own:

  • John Henry (1855-1928) was born at Willunga. He married Ellen Bear (1857-1939) in 1878 at East Moonta and they had nine children. He died at Inglewood, WA, and is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery.
  • Elizabeth Ann (1857-1932) was born at Willunga. She married Henry Crase (1856-1931) in 1876 at Moonta, SA, and they had nine children. She died at Parramatta, NSW and is buried in Rookwood Cemetery.
  • Joseph William (1859-1899) was born at Willunga. He married Jane Harvey (1863-1917) on 1 September 1882 at East Moonta and they had three children. He died at Broken Hill, NSW.
  • Thomas (1861-1932) was born at Willunga and married Mary Jane Nixon (1864-1914) in 1894 at Broken Hill, NSW. He died at Parramatta, NSW, and is buried in Rookwood Cemetery.
  • Kezia (1864-1901) was born at the Talisker Mine, SA. She married George Johns (1840-1916) on 9 November 1885 in Orange, NSW, and they had six children. She died at Orange, NSW.

Samuel and Kezia Watters lived in Willunga from 1854 to 1864 and paid rates on a cottage in Beltunga (1855-1857), an allotment in the township of Willunga (1858) and 100 acres in section 743 which was owned by his father, William senior, and brother, William junior.

In about 1864, Samuel took up silver-lead mining again and the family moved to the Taliska silver-lead mine near Cape Jervis, where their youngest child, Kezia junior, was born. From the mid 1860s to the early 1880s, they were resident in the Moonta District where Samuel gave evidence into the accidental death of fellow miner, Halman (“Holly”) Hitchens in 1866. In 1874, Samuel was the secretary of the united Band of Hope and Temperance Society of East Moonta. Then they moved to the far west of NSW, living at Lucknow, Orange and Broken Hill.

Kezia Watters (née Williams), aged 66 years, died at Lucknow, NSW on 2 August 1888. Samuel Watters, aged 67 years, died on 29 October 1890. According to the coroners’ inquest held at the Mayflower Hotel in Broken Hill, he died while “laboring under a fit of temporary insanity” by committing “suicide by the explosion of a dynamite cap and fuse”.


  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • Watters Family History 1691-2007 manuscript held by Willunga National Trust
  • South Australian Weekly Chronicle 4 August 1866:3
  • Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser and Miners' News 30 June 1874:2
  • Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser 3 Aug 1888:2
  • Evening News 30 Oct 1890:6

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