Purches Family - F92

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Purches Family
John and Elizabeth - F92
Name John Purches
Lived d. 18 Feb 1896
Name Elizabeth Read
Lived b. abt 1836
Thomas William Purches (b. 10 Jul 1859)
Eliza Jane Purches (b. 14 Jan 1863)
Amelia Anna Purches (22 Jul 1861 – 4 Sep 1861)
Albert George Purches (b. 8 Feb 1865)
Elizabeth Eleanor Purches (b. 8 May 1857)
John Purches (b. abt 1855)
Voyage to Adelaide in 1867
Under command of Captain John Bruce
Departure port London
Departure date 25th July 1867
Arrival port Semaphore
Arrival date 12th October 1867
Voyage duration 79 days
Port of Call
Port of call Plymouth
Arrival 29th July 1867
Departure 29th July 1867

On Wednesday 24 July 1867, 43 years old John Purches and his wife Elizabeth 31 with four of their children, boarded the City of Adelaide in the Shadwell Basin on London’s River Thames. These children were probably John 12, Elizabeth 10, Thomas 8 and Eliza 4 – presumably Albert 2½ had been left in care in Adelaide. The couple was returning home from a visit to introduce their young family to relatives and friends in their native England. Travelling in the second-class cabin, the Purches spent the next 79 days on the voyage to Port Adelaide via Plymouth.

John Purches

John Purches (II), the father, had been christened on 26 December 1824 at Saint Mary’s, Portsea in Hampshire. His parents were John Purches (I) and Eleanor née Whittle who had married there on 15 November 1823. John (I) was a joiner/shipwright, as his father William had been before him, for Portsea has long been the H M Naval Dockyard area of Portsmouth. John Purches (II) was brought up in the family home on Common Street, Portsea and continued in the family tradition by also becoming a joiner/shipwright.

At the age of 25 John Purches (II) decided to try his luck in South Australia where young tradesmen were being made welcome. He sailed from London on the Sir Edward Parry and arrived at Port Adelaide on 21 June 1849 after a voyage of 84 days in steerage with 228 other migrant passengers. He soon found work as a joiner in Alberton, near the port.

On 24 October 1854, he married 18 years old Elizabeth Read at the Trinity Church in Adelaide, and they lived originally in Alberton, near the port. Early in their married life, John made two trips to the Victorian goldfields. In 1860 they settled down in Queenstown, also near Port Adelaide. At this time John was fined £5 for failing to attend as a juror in the Supreme Court.

John was described variously as a joiner, a shipwright, a bridge-builder, and a contractor. In May 1865 the Port Adelaide Corporation commissioned him “to obtain timber from Mr F Reynolds and sheet pile the western side of the Minories embankment”.

John died at Queenstown on 18 February 1896 at the age of 72, and Elizabeth was 74 when she died there on 26 December 1910.

The Purches Children

  • Before their trip to England, John and Elizabeth had the following children :

John Purches (III) appears to have been born in 1855 during a period his parents spent in the Bendigo goldfields region of Victoria. At the age of 22 John married 19 years old Esther Isabella Parsons in St Paul’s Church, Port Adelaide on 25 April 1878. He entered the hotel trade , first at the Woodville Hotel, then was landlord of the Blythwood Hotel at Mitcham West through the 1890s. John and Esther raised a family of four girls followed by three boys.

Elizabeth Eleanor Purches, born 8 May 1857 at Alberton, married 22 years old Malcolm Donald Reid (see below) on 21 January 1880 in the Presbyterian Church, Port Adelaide. They had one daughter and eight sons. In 1923, Elizabeth died in Marseilles, France at the age of 65, while travelling with her daughter Rosa. Malcolm subsequently remarried.

Thomas William Purches, born 10 July 1859 at Alberton, was unmarried in 1896.

Amelia Anna Purches was born on 22 July 1861 at Queenstown, but died on 4 September 1861 aged 14 weeks.

Eliza Jane Purches, born on 14 January 1863 at Queenstown, was unmarried in 1896.

Albert George Purches, born on 8 February 1865 at Queenstown was unmarried in 1896.

  • After returning on the City of Adelaide in 1867 they added to their family :

Thomas Henry Purches, who died at Queenstown on 11 January 1869 aged 1 year.

Edith Anna Purches, born on 28 October 1869 at Queenstown, and was unmarried in 1896.

Charles Henry Purches, who was born 5 December 1871 at Queenstown, but died on 21 December aged 17 days.

Harold Edwin Purches was born on 18 May 1875 at Queenstown. At the age of 36 he married Adelaide Aldred 37 in St Giles Manse, Norwood on 30 September 1911.

Malcolm Donald Reid

Malcolm Donald Reid was born 11 December 1857 to John Harper Reid and Bridget Carragher in Port Adelaide. After trying a sailor's life at the age of sixteen, he became a clerk at D & J Fowler. Then from small beginnings in 1882, young Malcolm rapidly set about becoming a very successful timber merchant in Port Adelaide. During the boom years of Broken Hill, he established a branch there in timber, contracting, building, ironmongery and furnishing – included building and furnishing leading hotels and Government schools. From 1891 he entered furniture manufacturing and ironmongery in Adelaide, then developed Malcolm Reid & Co, one of Adelaide’s leading furniture businesses. A branch was set up in Western Australia, and he established three of his sons at the Rand goldfields of Johannesburg in a business that operated from 1902 - 1919.

Malcolm Reid became a highly-respected citizen who served several years on Port Adelaide Councils then on the Adelaide City Council. He was a philanthropist, and was recognized as a generous and fair employer of as many as 130 employees. A great family man who developed six sons and two brothers to manage the various businesses. He was a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and of the Chamber of Manufactures. He travelled extensively with his wife and daughter on touring holidays, when he also assessed new ideas in providing civic services, and furthered his business interests.

Malcolm died in Adelaide on 16 March 1933 aged 75, at his home on LeFevre Terrace, North Adelaide.

The Reid Children

Elizabeth Eleanor and Malcolm Donald Reid had the following children in Semaphore to 1891, Kensington Park to 1896, and Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide in 1899. They subsequently moved to “Eothen” on East Terrace, Adelaide.

Rosa Reid (1880) did not marry but frequently travelled overseas first-class with her parents, or with her mother, or alone following her mother’s death.

Malcolm Purches Reid (1882), married Jessie in England in 1907. He deputized for his father during his absences on trips, and was proprietor of Globe Timber Mills during the 1930s. He was still travelling with his own extended family across the North Atlantic in 1955 at the age of 72.

Harold Ernest Reid (1884) married Marion Sandford in 1911. He was a Director of Reid Bros in the 1930s.

Reginald Harper Reid (1886) was well-known as an interstate tennis player. He was one of three sons who left the firm for several years to fight in the Great War. Reginald went to England, joined the Royal Field Artillery, saw active service in Belgium and France, was promoted from the ranks to Captain, but was killed in action on 14 September 1918.

Sidney Donald Reid (1888) in 1911 married Elma, a daughter of Sir Sidney Kidman, the “Cattle King” pastoralist and became a manager for him. He was the only son not to remain with the Reid family businesses.

Douglas Burns Reid (1890) was with timber merchants Vanderfield & Reid in Sydney during the 1930s.

Leonard John Reid (1894) died at 16 months.

Clifford Albert Reid (1896) was a Director of Malcolm Reid & Co, Adelaide in the 1930s.

Arnold Norman Reid (1899) was a Director of Malcolm Reid & Co, Adelaide in the 1930s.



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