Ballingall Family - F51

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Ballingall Family
George and Mary - F51
Name George Ballingall
Lived (ca 1833 - 23 Feb 1884)
Nationality  England
Name Mary Morcom
Lived (Third quarter 1842 - 7 Feb 1875)
Nationality  England
Thomas George W. (16 Apr 1864)
Robert Herriot (5 Sep 1867)
Annie Richond (30 Apr 1870)
Voyage to London in 1868
Under command of Captain John Bruce
Departure port Port Adelaide
Departure date 17th December 1867
Arrival port London
Arrival date 7th April 1868
Voyage duration 113 days

On 17 December 1867 George and Mary Ballingall sailed from Port Adelaide with their new 2½ months old baby Robert Ballingall in a saloon cabin of the City of Adelaide for a visit back to the ‘Old Country’. Presumably their 3½ years old son Thomas was left in care in Adelaide.


George Ballingall was the son of an English clergyman, and spent most of his life in South Australia as a Commercial Traveller for Messrs. Goode Brothers, wholesale drapers. He married Mary Morcom in the Christ Church, Kapunda on 30 April 1863.

Mary Ballingall née Morcom was born in Redruth, Cornwall during the third quarter of 1842.

Her father Samuel Morcom (1812-1891) was a Cornish mining captain who had married Mary Toy (1815-1888) at Redruth in the third quarter of 1839. Samuel sailed from Plymouth to the infant Province of South Australia on the Rajah and arrived at Port Adelaide on 24 September 1847.

Samuel initially went to Reedy Creek in charge of a copper mine, but then returned to settle in North Adelaide with his young family that had now joined him. The Morcom children eventually included Charles (ca 1840), Mary (1842), John, James (ca 1845), Samuel (ca 1846, who became a keen cricketer in Norwood), Thomas (b 1850 at Tungkillo SA), Annie (b 1852 at Walkerville SA), William Henry (b Adelaide 1855) and Henry Simon (b 1857 in Adelaide).

In 1851 he joined the gold rush in Victoria where he stayed for a couple of years. On his return to Adelaide, he took over a building at 227 Hindley Street West and transformed it into what became well-known as Morcom’s Temperance Hotel. His boarders in this architectural ornament were initially well-to-do families visiting from the country. Later they were normally working-class persons, mainly newly arrived immigrants, seeking employment, and he also operated a Labor Registry Office (employment agency) from a room within the building. Here he would arrange to place domestic servants, dairy-maids, farm servants, station cooks, ploughmen, shepherds, grooms, bullock-drivers, etc with pioneer land-owners all over the colony. Subsequently the Government undertook to provide initial accommodation there for job-less newly landed migrants - as many as 300 persons at a time.

Samuel had been a lecturer on temperance subjects in Cornwall. In Adelaide he was a leading member in the local tent of the teetotal Independent Order of Rechabites, which held its meetings at his hotel. He was also an accomplished flautist.

On 13 February 1867 Samuel declared himself unable to meet his creditors. Ii was reported at the Insolvency Court that his liabilities amounted to ₤1063 7s 9d while his assets (including the sale of his furniture) totaled only ₤428 16s 3d. Samuel stated that from ₤1500 to ₤2000 in ready money passed through his hands each year, but apart from listing the debts owing to him, he kept no account books and did not have a bank account. There was an inference of improper use of money loaned to him, but this was dismissed. A petition to annul his insolvency was lodged but it was postponed because of his poor health. The result is unknown, but at this time James Morcom succeeded his father in leasing the Temperance Hotel and in operating the Labor Mart, yet Samuel continued to be associated with the business and to live in the hotel for another 23 years.

73 years old Mary (nee Toy) died on 27 October 1888, and in 1890 Samuel, in poor health, moved from the Temperance Hotel - where he had lived for 37 years - to live in High Street, Kensington. On 13 April 1891 Samuel Morcom died at the age of 78. His Temperance Hotel was demolished in June 1894.

Marriage and Children

George Ballingall married Mary Morcom in the Christ Church, Kapunda on 30 April 1863.

Their children were

Thomas George Williamson Ballingall, born on 16 April 1864 in Adelaide, was always known as George. As soon as he was old enough, he set off to prospect for minerals in Australia’s dry centre.

At Arltunga, 110 km east of Alice Springs in the eastern MacDonnell Ranges, there had been a minor gold-rush for a few years in the early 1890s, but by 1896 the town would have been deserted except for a Government Battery & Cyanide Works located there to process fortune-seekers’ ore. Permanent settlement was thwarted by a lack of water, isolation and poor accessibility – the town was 600 km from the Oodnadatta rail-head.

In 1902-03 T G W Ballingall, prospector, was promoting the revival of Arltunga by claiming to have found gold in “profitable ore of high value” and offering to sell his one-sixth share of the White Range East Gold Mine for £500. Despite his efforts, the population of the town had fallen to 56 by 1911.

In December 1919, Mr George Ballingall, now described as “stockman and pastoralist, who has resided in Central Australia, and chiefly at Alice Springs for over 30 years” was urging that after the railway was extended from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs, it must proceed north-south to Darwin to open up 800 miles of good pastoral country between Alice Springs and the Katherine River.

T. George W. Ballingall died in South Australia on 9 January 1945 at the age of 80.

Robert Herriot Ballingall was born in Adelaide on 5 October 1867. Robert, like his elder brother, made his life in the Australian outback. On 8 May 1911, when he was 43 years old and located at Camooweal, a remote small town in north-western Queensland, 188 km north-west of Mount Isa and 12 km east of the Northern Territory border, he married Sarah Ellen Statham. Robert ‘settled down’ to live with Sarah in Charleville, a larger town in south western Queensland, on the banks of the Warrego River and 758 km west of Brisbane.

By the 1930s the couple had moved on to live in the even larger town of Roma, the centre of a rich pastoral and wheat-growing district in the western Darling Downs of Queensland, and 515 km by rail WNW of Brisbane. Robert H Ballingall died in Queensland on 15 September 1951 aged 83 years.

Annie Richmond Ballingall was born 30 April 1870 at North Adelaide. At Kent Town in 1890 she married Oscar Tucker, born in Australia of English migrants who had arrived in the 1850s. Oscar was a watchmaker and jeweller, and subsequently he established a business at 35 Adelaide Arcade off Rundle Street, Adelaide, where he was described as “civil and obliging”. They were living at 468 Sea View Road, Henley Beach when Annie died in Adelaide at the age of 77 on 13 February 1948. Oscar died on 25 August 1954,