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Wallace LeMessurier Immigrant Ancestors (intro.)


This is the introductory part of a private website summarising information on those of our direct ancestors who migrated from Europe during the first half of the nineteenth century, and it reproduces some interesting historical documents. It was inspired by a 2004 visit to Fermanagh, Ireland, and to the Channel Island of Guernsey, to learn more about the origins of the Wallaces and the LeMessuriers. On reflection, it was obvious that these direct ancestors of the male line are only a fraction of our immigrant heritage.

This website gives the background of the twenty Wallace and LeMessurier immigrant ancestors from Europe,  including seafarers, egyptologists, landscape architects, convicts, tenant farmers and shopkeepers. The following map illustrates the origins of the immigrant ancestors as identified on the "family tree", and described briefly in the summary table, "the immigrants". On the complete private website it is possible to link to extensive further information on the circumstances of immigration and of the life in Australia for each of the immigrants shown on the table.

  The following map shows the origin of Wallace immigrant ancestors W1 to W9 and LeMessurier immigrant ancestors L1 to L11.

For a link to brief details about an immigrant, click on their name on the "Family Tree"  beneath the map.

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*Immigrants are indicated by an asterisk. Click on their name to link to brief details about them.


*Alfred Beckett  W1



Maude Beckett



*Selina Summers  W2



Alfred Wallace



*Oliver Wallace  W3




*John Gall  W4



Oliver Wallace



Bert Wallace 1928-

Gwen Craig 1929-2003

Fred Wallace  1931-85


Anne Gall 



Jean  Hunt 1933-

Aileen Allan 1935-

*Anne Radford W5

1814 -1908


Keith Wallace 1939-Graeme Wallace 1942-


*William Smith  W6



John Smith



*Eliza Doyle  W7



Catherine Smith



*William Burleigh  W8



Catherine Burleigh



*Catherine Wallace W9



*Peter LeMessurier  L1



Alfred LeMessurier



*Betsey Lacheur  L2




*John Chewings  L3



D. Hugh LeMessurier



Thomas Chewings 



*Sarah Wall  L4



Lillian Chewings




*Jeanette Harris  L5



Patricia LeMessurier



*Michael O’Dea  L6



David LeMessurier



*Thomas Henzell  L7



Justin O’Dea



Florence Henzell



*Sarah Ward  L8




*Moritz Weidenbach L9



Patricia O’Dea



Edwin Weidenbach 



*Diosma Steubecke L10



Meta Weidenbach




*Minna  Bergmann L11



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The following information has been summarised from the best available sources (as acknowledged in the text) but it is still subject to the uncertainties which are part of any account of the history of events which occurred 150 years ago. Unfortunately, little is known about some of the immigrants. This is especially true of some of those who are not on the direct male line of ascendance.


  Immigrant Ancestor Arrived in Australia,
at Age
From Background For more
information see

Alfred Beckett



Wakefield, Yorkshire, via Dearborn County, Indiana, USA.

In 1841 William Beckett, a draper from Wakefield, Yorkshire, sailed to New York with his wife, two servants and eight of his eleven  children including 12 year old Alfred. They moved west and settled on a farm in Indiana. Later, Alfred joined the gold rush to California and in 1853 he sailed for Melbourne on the Bothnia, to join the Victorian gold rushes. In 1859 he married Selina. They first lived around Ballarat, where initially Alfred was a successful prospector but they later lost money in a deep shaft mining venture. In 1866 they moved with their five daughters to a relatively isolated bush selection at Curdies River, about 40 km east of Warrnambool.

Alfred Beckett & Selina Summers

Selina Summers



Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England

When Selina Summers’ father was killed in a coal mining disaster at Radstock, in Somerset, Selina was fostered by her uncle, James Fussell, a building tradesman. In 1841, at the age of 2 yrs, she migrated to Melbourne on the ship “Strathfieldsay” with her adopted parents. In 1847 they were living just off Bourke Street in central Melbourne. James Fussell was working as a plasterer. Later they moved to Warrandyte and in 1859, at the age of 19 years, Selina married Alfred Beckett.

Alfred Beckett & Selina Summers

Oliver Wallace



Florence Court, Fermanagh, Ireland.

At the start of the 17th Century the traditional Irish landholders (the O’Neills, the Maguires and others) were expelled from Ulster and their land was given to English, Scottish and Irish supporters of the Crown. Some time later, the Wallaces were among those agricultural labourers and tenant farmers transplanted from Scotland to work the land for the new owners. In the middle of the 18th Century the Wallaces (and possibly the the Burleighs) were working on the Cole family’s Florence Court estates in County Fermanagh. In 1855  Oliver Wallace, his brother Thomas, his sister Catherine, William Burleigh, and William's sister Eliza, emigrated to Australia on the clipper ship “Cairngorm”. Their parents were tenant farmers. The five young immigrants landed at Portland then transferred to Port Fairy (Belfast). They worked in the district for about 12 years. In 1866, Thomas and Oliver Wallace selected and leased bushland farms east of Warrnambool.

Wallaces & Burleighs

John Gall



Brechin,  Scotland

Son of a Scottish farmer, John Gall worked as a “cattleman” near Brechin. When he was 24 years old, he was found guilty of stealing seven cattle. Although he had no previous convictions, he was sentenced .. “to be transported beyond the seas for the period of his natural life .... if he should be afterwards found at large within any part of his Majesty’s Dominions without some lawful cause before the expiration of his term … he shall suffer death as a felon”...

Separated from his three children and his young, pregnant wife, he spent about four months on a prison hulk on the river Thames at Woolwich. He was transported to Tasmania on the convict ship “William Miles”, arriving in July 1828.

Thirteen years later he received a conditional pardon. Having remarried in 1837, he worked on farms near Launceston until moving to Victoria with his wife and three daughters in 1846. In 1849, John Gall was working as a shepherd in Western Victoria.

John Gall

& Anne Radford


Anne Radford



Bristol, England

Born in Bristol, England, 22 year old Ann Radford arrived in Launceston, in August 1836. She had emigrated as a single female immigrant on the ship “Amelia Thompson”. On arrival she was engaged as a cook and housemaid on a farm near the property “Strathmore” where the assigned convict John Gall was working. In May 1837 John Gall petitioned the Governor of Tasmania for permission to marry Ann. Permission was granted on the condition that it was shown that Gall’s first wife had died. They were married in June 1837.

John Gall

& Anne Radford


William Smith



Pensford, Somerset, England

William Smith was born on 1/8/1814 to Mary Smith and Joseph Smith, a hatter, of Pensford Somerset. He had three brothers and one sister. William worked for two years as a hatter but on arrival in Australia was listed as a farm labourer.
At the age of 17 years and 11 months (2/7/32) in the Somerset Quarter Sessions he was convicted of “stealing wool” and sentenced to transportation for 14 years. He had previously been imprisoned for two months for “stealing beef”. After a few months on a prison hulk he left Plymouth on 14/10/32 as one of 186 convicts on the sailing ship Circassian, arriving in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on 16/2/33. On 20/2/33 he was assigned as a convict slave labourer to Mr E.W. Umphelby of “Lauriston”,just south of Bothwell and about 40 miles north-northwest of Hobart.
Umphelby was a city-dweller from Southwark, London who on arrival in Tasmania in March 1831 had been granted land by the government. In October 1834, when Umphelby was selling his land and goods just before returning to England, 50 year old Umphelby was living with his widowed daughter in
“ a small cottage or hut, the walls of which were built of turf and the roof thatched with grass. It consisted of two small front rooms - a parlour and a bedroom - with a skillion at the back.”  There were twenty to thirty acres enclosed and cultivated, the remainder of the farm being grazing land”. He had 6 working bullocks, 60 sheep, a milking cow and heifer and 60 bushels of wheat. After Umphelby left Tasmania, William Smith was reassigned to a Mr Princept who is thought to have lived near Westbury, Launceston.
William Smith’s convict record suggests that he was an independent young man who was not always subservient. For this he was harshly punished:  31/10/33 – 21 days solitary confinement on bread and water for “neglect of duty and insolence”;  16/12/33 – reprimand for “neglect of duty insolence and absent from his quarters on Saturday night”;  9/8/34 – 12 months imprisonment and hard labour for “ incorrigible insolence and insubordination”;   25/2/35 – 75 lashes for “Instigation of four servants of his master (Princept) to disobedience of orders and insubordination in shirking work”.
On Queen Victoria’s birthday in May 1839 he was one of a group of convicts who were granted a ticket of leave. He received a conditional pardon on 24/5/1842. Later in 1842 he moved to Western Victoria.  
Almost 10 years later (26/1/52)
William Smith, Roman Catholic, from Stony Ranges, Mount Rouse (Penshurst) married Eliza Doyle, Roman Catholic, from Belfast (Port Fairy) at the Catholic school house, Belfast (Port Fairy).  At the time of the marriage William Smith would have been working as a labourer, near Penshurst, southeast of Hamilton - probably on a sheep station.
William Smith, farm labourer, died at Wangoom, east of Warrnambool on 15/7/1868. He left a widow (Eliza), six sons aged up to 15 yrs, and a one year old daughter.

William Smith & Eliza Doyletd>

Eliza Doyle



Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland

Eliza Doyle from Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland was 14 years old when she emigrated to Australia as part of Earl Grey’s pauper immigration scheme which was intended to alleviate the problems of overcrowding in Ireland’s famine filled workhouses while solving Australia’s problems of a shortage of labour and an imbalance of the sexes. Leaving Plymouth in April 1849 she arrived at port Phillip (Melbourne) in August 1849 on the ship “New Liverpool”. She was one of 201 Irish famine girls on the ship. She then travelled on the brig “Raven” to Portland.
She was employed by Robert Smith of Belfast (Port Fairy) for an annual wage of £10 and later married at the age of 16yrs 7mths to William Smith (b. Pensford, England, shepherd and labourer) at RC Church, Belfast, 26 Jan 1852. They had seven children. Eliza died at Garvoc, east of Warrnambool, in 1905.

William Smith & Eliza Doyle

William Burleigh



Florence Court, Fermanagh, Ireland.

Like Oliver Wallace, William Burleigh was the son of tenant farmers working on the estates of the Earl of Enniskillen near Florence Court. He married Oliver's sister Catherine just before emigrating. On arrival, Oliver, William and Catherine worked together on a farm near Port Fairy. In 1869 William Burleigh leased land at Cudgee, east of Warrnambool.

Wallaces & Burleighs

Catherine Wallace



Florence Court, Fermanagh, Ireland.

Catherine emigrated with her husband, William Burleigh (see above), her two brothers, Thomas & Oliver (see above), and her sister-in-law, Eliza Burleigh.

Wallaces & Burleighs

Peter LeMessurier



Saint Pierre du Bois, Guernsey

Peter LeMessurier's father lived on a small farm in south-west Guernsey. Peter and four of his brothers were merchant mariners. Captain Peter traded around the world from Guernsey. Then, for several years he traded out of Adelaide. Returning to Guernsey to be married, he later emigrated to Adelaide where he started a successful shipping and trading enterprise. The LeMessurier family had been prominent citizens of the Saint Pierre de Bois parish, Guernsey, for more than 700 years. The lineal male ancestors can be traced directly back to 1421. This was about the time that, as a result of the battle of Agincourt, the parish ceased to pay tithes to the Abbey of Mont Saint Michel and came under the patronage of the English Crown.

Peter LeMessurier & Betsey Lacheur

Betsey Lacheur



Saint Andrews, Guernsey

In October 1849 Captain Peter LeMessurier married Betsey Lacheur of the nearby parish of St Andrews, Guernsey. It seems that Betsey lived with her sisters on a small farm (Les Blicqs?) about 4km east of St Pierre du Bois and that her father and brother  were seafarers. After his marriage, Peter continued trading - around the Australian Coast, to S/E Asia, to Mauritius etc, while Betsey remained in Guernsey. In August 1853, he and Betsey migrated from Guernsey to Adelaide on the "Fop Smit". Here they were part of a small expatriate Guernsey community. It is suggested that Betsey and Peter may have opened a shop, soon after arrival in Adelaide

Peter LeMessurier & Betsey Lacheur

John Chewings



North Petherton, Somerset, England

John Chewings arrived in the ship "John" in 1840 and after about 10 years of work carting timber and other goods with bullocks teams he took up grazing land near Burra. He prospered, becoming one of South Australia's leading pastoral pioneers and eventually owning three sheep and cattle stations.

John Chewings, Sarah Wall & Jeanette Harris

Sarah Wall




Wedmore, Somerset, England

In 1850, 10 years after he emigrated,  John Chewings married Sarah Wall at Lynfield in the Barossa Valley. This was at about the time that he became a squatter, north of Burra. John Chewings, Sarah Wall & Jeanette Harris

Jeanette Harris




St Peter Port

Guernsey, Channel Islands

Peter G Harris migrated with his family in 1850.  He quickly established a trading enterprise but experienced financial difficulties in 1856.  In 1876 his daughter, Jeanette Harris, married Thomas Chewings, the son of John Chewings and Sarah Wall.

John Chewings, Sarah Wall & Jeanette Harris

Michael O’Dea



Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, Ireland

In 1849, John O'Dea, a 37 year old Irish agricultural labourer, arrived in Adelaide on the ship "Constance" with his wife Catherine (nee Leyden/Dolan). Their four  children born before emigration were: John (13yrs); James (11yrs); Mary (6yrs); and Michael (1yr). Michael became a school teacher. In 1882 he married fellow teacher, Florence Henzell, daughter of Thomas Henzell. Thomas Henzell, Sarah Ward & Michael O'Dea

Thomas Henzell




Newcastle on Tyne, England

The de Henzell family migrated from Lorraine, France to Newcastle to set up a sheet glass works in about 1610. Thomas emigrated from Newcastle to Australia in about 1852. At the time of his marriage to Sarah Ward in 1858, his occupation was given as farmer but soon after he was a school teacher.

Thomas Henzell, Sarah Ward & Michael O'Dea

Sarah Ward





Toll Gate

Bedfordshire, England

Sarah migrated to South Australia on the ship "Caucasian" in 1853 with her father Levi, her stepmother Sarah, and her two brothers. They settled at Littlehampton near Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills where Levi worked as a carpenter. Thomas Henzell, Sarah Ward & Michael O'Dea

Moritz Weidenbach



Naumburg, Germany
(originally in Upper Saxony, Naumberg became part of Prussia in 1815)

Moritz left his job as supervisor at the Royal Gardens, Dresden in Saxony in 1848 to migrate to South Australia with his wife and three children. He was the son of the painter and drawing master, Friedrich August Weidenbach of  Naumburg an der Saale, Upper Saxony.  Friedrich had a well educated, and accomplished artistic family of  8 sons,  3 of whom migrated to South Australia between 1846 and 1850. In 1852 Moritz  joined the Ballarat gold-rush with his brother Max who is still renowned for his contribution to the 1842-45 Royal Prussian  Expedition to Egypt and the Sudan. On their return, they acquired land and build two fine houses "Glen Coola" and "The Olives" at Glen Osmond..

Moritz Weidenbach, Diosma Staubke & Minna Bergmann

Diosma Steubecke



Merseburg, Germany

Diosma was the daughter of the curator of the gardens of the Royal Castle at Merseberg, west of Leipzig. During emigration with her husband Moritz on the ship "Pauline", east of Brazil, she gave birth to a daughter, Pauline Oceana Weidenbach. After Moritz's early death in 1858, she bought and managed major family businesses and investments.

Moritz Weidenbach, Diosma Staubke & Minna Bergmann

Minna  Bergmann








100km W

of Berlin


Minna married Moritz & Diosma's son, Edwin Weidenbach (27) in 1879, when she was 17 yrs old. .  Minna (16) and her sister Emilie (26) domestic servants, and their brother Julius (18) "land worker", emigrated on the ship "Papa" in 1877. Their other brother, Julius (22) agricultural labourer, arrived at Port Adelaide on the "Eduard" in 1878. Moritz Weidenbach, Diosma Staubke & Minna Bergmann

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compiled by 2004-06