Todd, Griffith George - I164

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First Class Passenger 
Griffith George Todd
1852 – 22 Sep 1938
Griffith George Todd c1900
Griffith George Todd c1900
Nationality Unknown
Born 1852
Cambridge, England
Died 22 Sep 1938
Auburn, Victoria
Genealogy Data
Person ID I164
Birth Family
Todd Family - F105
Father Griffith George Todd 
(30 Jan 1825 – 1861)
Mother Maria Eliza Dormond 
(d. 1857)
Marriage Family/Families
Todd Family - F106
Spouse Angusena Elizabeth McDonald 
(b. abt 1863)
Nationality Unknown
Married 16 Apr 1888
St Matthew

Griffith Lancelot Barritt Todd (b. 25 Jul 1891)
Dorothy Wreford Todd (b. 30 Apr 1889)
Voyage Data
Voyage to Adelaide in 1867
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mr. G. G. Todd
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide

Among the first class (saloon) passengers who disembarked from the City of Adelaide at Port Adelaide in October 1867 was 15 years old Griffith George Todd. Having lost both parents by the age of 9, he had completed his education with relatives in London, and was now coming out to join his uncle’s family in South Australia.

Griffith Todd (c1801)

His grand-father Griffith Todd, at the age of 21, had married Mary Parker on 25 July 1822 in Islington, London, where he set up as a grocer. Their first three children - Mary (15 May 1823), Griffith George (30 January 1825) and Charles (7 July 1826) - were all born there before Griffith moved his family across the Thames to develop his business into a tea merchant in Greenwich, London. Here were born Elizabeth (5 September 1830) and Henry David (2 December 1836).

The daughter Mary married Samuel Thomas King at Lewisham, Kent in 1850, and they set up a small boarding school where Mary and her sister Elizabeth were school-mistresses to two dozen children ranging in age from 8 to 14. In 1853 Elizabeth married another school-teacher Samuel Bishop, and they established a similar, but even smaller, school in Greenwich.

Griffith George Todd Senior

Griffith George Todd snr (1825-1861) joined the Honourable East India Company‘s Service. He had married Augusta Porter on 15 October 1845 in Islington, but she died in 1848 and was buried at sea. There is no knowledge of any children.

His second marriage was to Maria Eliza Dormond on 8 November 1849 in Bengal, India, and they had three children - Frances Ann (born 1851 in India), Griffith George jnr (born in Cambridge 1852) and Charles Robert (born 1853 in India). Maria died at Greenwich in 1857.

He next married 22 years old Maria Sophia Driver in Bengal during 1858, and a son Arthur Osmond Todd was born about a year later.

In October 1861, Griffith George Todd snr, aged only 36 years, died in Calcutta of sunstroke.

At this time his children Frances Ann (10), Griffith George jnr (9) and Charles Robert (8) were living and being educated in their aunt and uncle Bishop's home at Greenwich.

Sir Charles Todd

Sir Charles Todd (1826-1910) was brought up in Greenwich. At the age of 15 he started work at the Royal Observatory there. He was appointed assistant astronomer at the Cambridge Observatory in 1847, and worked there until May 1854 when he took a more senior appointment back at Greenwich.

An oil portrait of Charles Todd as a young man can be seen at

During his period in Cambridge he lodged with corn & seed merchant Edward Bell and his wife Charlotte. Among the large Bell family, he was attracted to their young daughter Alice and arranged for her to extend her education with his sister Elizabeth King in Lewisham.

At Cambridge, Charles developed a particular interest in sending messages by electricity. His experience and ability at 28 years old led to him securing the position of Superintendent of Telegraphs in the colony of South Australia in February 1855. On 5th April he married 18 years old Alice Gillam Bell (1836-1898) in Cambridge, they left London on the “Irene” in June, and arrived at Adelaide on 4 November 1855.

Alice Bell can be seen on her wedding day at

[When Alice returned to England with her daughter Charlotte Elizabeth in December 1861, and returned in October 1862 with Charlotte and niece Frances Ann, she travelled with Captain David Bruce on the Irene in both directions.]

Living in Angas Street, then North Adelaide, and finally in the Adelaide Observatory on Adelaide’s West Terrace, Charles and Alice brought up a devoted family of two sons and four daughters – Charlotte Elizabeth (12 March 1856), Charles Edward (7 April 1858), Hedley Lawrence (27 June 1860), Alice Maud Mary (2 March 1865), Gwendoline (22 July 1869) and Lorna Gillam (10 June 1877). They also brought up two sons and a daughter of Charles’ elder brother Griffith George Todd snr – Frances Ann, Griffith George jnr and Charles Robert.

An observatory photo can be seen at

Their extended family was quite notable. Gwendoline married (Sir) William Henry Bragg who jointly with their son William Lawrence Bragg won the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics. (Alice) Maude married the prominent clergyman Rev F G Masters, who was also Adelaide’s first soccer referee.

The family album of 75 images can be seen at

Charles Todd, later to become Sir Charles Todd, set about over-seeing the construction of a number of major telegraph lines to link a network of meteorological stations. He achieved most fame for organizing the building of the epic Darwin-Adelaide Overland Telegraph Line, completed in 1872, which linked the Australian colonies with Europe. [Alice Springs was named after his wife.] His achievements in telegraphy, meteorology, astronomy, electrical engineering, the postal service and several other fields marked him in Australian history as one of the a truly great Australians.

A photo of Charles and line supervisors can be seen at

Many biographies of Sir Charles Todd can be found, including in the Australian Dictionary of Biography[1] and Wikipedia[2]

Griffith George Todd Junior

Griffith George Todd jnr[3] [4] entered the South Australian public service as a young Telegraph Operator in his uncle’s department. Once the Overland Telegraph Line was under way, Griffith sailed on the Bengal to Port Darwin in August 1871, travelling first-class in company with Charles Todd, officers of the British contracting company and the SA department,. and with a party of workmen in steerage. They were taking materials and horses to set up the first three telegraph stations at the top end of the line. Giffith stayed in Darwin for at least 2 years, regularly corresponding with his uncle Charles Todd.

Griffith George Todd can be seen as a jockey in Darwin, 1873 at

Griffin George Todd was 36 years old when he married Angusena Elizabeth McDonald 25 at St Matthew’s Church, Kensington SA on 16 April 1888. Their children were Dorothy Wreford Todd, born 30 April 1889 at Kensington, and Griffith Lancelot Barritt, born at Kensington on 25 July 1891.

An oil portrait of Griffith George Todd in 1890 can be seen at

Griffith George Todd enjoyed the social status of belonging to one of Adelaide’s leading families, and he developed into a respected Public Servant. By early 1901, when he was working in the Audit Department, he had become the ‘energetic’ committee secretary of the Public Service Association’s periodical, the “Public Service Review”.

Griffith George Todd photographed in 1900 can be seen at

With the coming of Federation in 1901, a Commonwealth Public Service was established, and from February 1902 Griffith was appointed as a clerk and inspector in the Federal Auditor-General’s Department. The Commonwealth Parliament sat in Mebourne until the Canberra Parliament House was opened in 1927, so Griffith moved his family to live in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, then in Glenferrie, then in Kew. By 1931 he had retired to a home in Melbourne's Auburn where, aged 85 years, he was still living with Angusena in 1937.

Griffith George Todd photographed in 1934 can be seen at

His sister Frances Ann Todd had married Charles Willoughby Davies in St Peter’s College Chapel on 18 April 1871. They had 7 children at Mattawarrangala Station, 40 kilometres east of Hawker SA (now known as Holowilena South), but at least one died young. In Ludwig Bruck's 1886 List of Unregistered Practitioners in SA, there appeared the name of Davies, Charles W, Mattawarrangala. J.P.; Pub. Vacc. (public vaccinator). Frances Ann died at North Adelaide in March 1909 at the age of 58, and Charles died there aged 71 in 1914.

Frances Ann Todd photographed ca 1865 is at

Their brother Charles Robert Todd 31 married Charlotte Mary Ann Nason 26 at St John’s Church, Adelaide on 19 May 1885. He had joined the SA Treasury as a junior clerk in 1868, had been promoted to accountant in 1894, and was treasurer of the Public Service Provident Fund when he died at North Adelaide on 9 September 1902 aged 47, leaving three children. His wife had died two years earlier, and he had been in poor health for some time.


  1. Symes, G. W. (1976). "Todd, Sir Charles (1826 - 1910)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  2. "Charles_Todd_(astronomer)". Wikipedia. Wikimedia. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  3. "Family Notices.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 1 October 1938. p. 8. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  4. "Out among the People.". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 28 October 1938. p. 31. Retrieved 27 October 2013.