Sims, Joseph Griffiths - I20

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First Class Passenger 
Joseph Griffiths Sims
Born 1823
Nationality Unknown
Born 1823
Genealogy Data
Person ID I20
Voyage Data
Voyage to Adelaide in 1864
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mr. Joseph H. Sims
Age on voyage abt 41
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide

One of the saloon passengers on the 1864 maiden voyage of the City of Adelaide was 41 years old <tng i=20>Joseph Griffiths Sims</tng> (1823-1897), who was returning from a trip home to see the people he had left behind in England. He may also have been taken the business opportunity to purchase rams to improve his sheep stocks, because he was now at the zenith of his attempts to emulate those who became successful and affluent from pastoral pursuits.

Joseph had been christened in February 1823, the son of Henry Sims and Mary née Foorder, in the Sussex village of Bosham, near the south coast and not far from Portsmouth. As a young man he enlisted in the British Army and served in the New Zealand Wars of 1845-1847, caused by the encroachment of the British settlers onto Māori land in contravention of their treaty. There he was awarded two medals, and was presented with a watch by his commanding officer for conspicuous bravery.

He then decided to settle in South Australia, and soon made his way to the far north where he found work on Flinders Ranges properties belonging to the surgeon-explorer-pastoralist Dr John Harris Browne. Subsequently he started out on his own account and, either as the leaseholder or the owner, he was closely associated with Yednalue and Oraparinna, two substantial sheep runs out from Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.

In April 1859, at a Hackett private residence in Port Augusta, Joseph G Sims married Mary Ann Soward Hackett, who was 29 and had been born at Stepney in London. Their first child Mary Edith was born on Yednalue Station near Rawnsley’s Bluff in February 1860, but she died at the age of 3 in Norwood, where there appears to have been a family town base. Their other children were Charles (Port Augusta 1861), George (Norwood 1863) and Kate (Port Augusta 1868).

The serious droughts of the late 1860s compelled Joseph to leave the Flinders Ranges, and he moved to Queensland to try for better luck. There he progressed favourably for a time, but misfortune overtook him once again, and he his career as a sheep-farmer continued to be a chequered one.

His self-reliant persistence in the face of adversity was admirable however, and in 1897 he started to build a large malthouse at Warwick in southern Queensland, but it was never completed. When he felt quite unwell early in May, he was taken into Toowoomba where he was cared for in Sterne’s Hotel for a few days, before being admitted to the hospital in a weak state. Within a day or so, Joseph died there of heart disease and kidney infection at the age of 74. He was survived by his widow, two sons and his daughter.


Researched by Ron Roberts, Adelaide, South Australia