Merrett, Elizabeth - I27

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Second Class Passenger 
Elizabeth Merrett
Sep 1819 – Jun 1877
Nationality  English
Born Sep 1819
St John's Square, Clerkenwell, Greater London, England
Died Jun 1877
Parkside, South Australia
Genealogy Data
Person ID I27
Birth Family
Merrett Family - F123
Father Thomas Merrett
Mother Ann Charlotte
Marriage Family/Families
Ruff Family - F122
Spouse Robert Ruff 
(Apr 1814 – 1889)
Nationality Unknown
Married Jun 1843
Hampton, Middlesex, England

Robert Ruff (b. Mar 1844)
Voyage Data
Voyage to Adelaide in 1864
Personal role Second Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Ruff
Age on voyage 45
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide

Among the Second Class passengers to arrive at Port Adelaide on the 1864 maiden voyage of the City of Adelaide was <tng i=27>Mrs Elizabeth Ruff née Merrett</tng> (1819-1877). She was 45 years old and returning from a trip home to see the people she had left behind near London 15 years earlier.

She had been born as Elizabeth Merrett in St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, Greater London in September 1819, the daughter of Thomas and Ann Charlotte Merrett. In June 1843, at the age of 23, she married Robert Ruff in the small Middlesex village of Hampton, on the bank of the River Thames and close by Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Elizabeth Ruff gave birth to a son Robert jnr there in March 1844.

Robert Ruff (1814-1889) had been born in Hampton in April 1814 and christened nearby at the Brick Lane Baptist Church in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. His parents were John Ruff, grocer and tallow melter, and Sarah Dearle, who had married in St Mary-le-bone, London ten years earlier. Until he was married, Robert lived with them in Hampton.

Early in 1849 Robert Ruff applied for assisted passage as emigrants to the colony of South Australia for himself, his wife and their 5 years old son. They were accepted, and they sailed as steerage class passengers with 101 others on the Caspar which left London on 2nd June and arrived at Port Adelaide on 10th September 1849.

With Robert working as a builder’s carpenter, the family spent their life quietly living at North Adelaide, in a tiny cottage “off Lombard Street”, a small lane near the corner of Childers Street and O’Connell Street.

Their son Robert appears to have been their only child, and his subsequent life is not known.

Elizabeth Ruff died in June 1877 at Parkside aged 57 and was buried in Walkerville. Her widower Robert survived until January 1889, when he died at North Adelaide aged 74.


Researched by Ron Roberts, Adelaide, South Australia