01 History Summary

This article briefly summarises the family story through from Timothy Sullivan down to his great great grandchildren in Australia.


The evidence suggests Timothy Sullivan was born in or near the small town of Baltimore in County Cork on the southern coast of Ireland in 1815. At the age of 15 he went to sea. In his mid twenties he was based in the Cornish port of St Ives, where he married Ellen Wearne. They had 5 children, 4 of who survived to adulthood. In his mid forties he decided to emigrate to Australia, and the family arrived in Adelaide South Australia in 1859. The family moved to Burra north of Adelaide where Timothy found work in the copper mine. There his oldest child Ellen married blacksmith John Henwood. His oldest son John who was probably also mining at Burra decided to try his luck in the Victorian Goldfields, and left never to return. Over the next few years Timothy's two other sons Samuel and Richard also left to try their luck in the goldfields, as did his married daughter Ellen. However these children all eventually returned to South Australia. Timothy quit mining to try his hand at farming, and appeared to have farmed in several locations eventually leading him to the South Australia's Yorke Peninsula with its booming copper mines. He eventually died in 1887.

Ellen Henwood and her husband John had only three daughters who survived to adulthood, and only two of these, Julia and Ellen had children.

John Sullivan married his cousin Mary Phillips (on his mother's side) in Ballarat, and John eventually made enough money gold mining to purchase land for farming at Dunbulbulane just east of Numurkah in Victoria. John died relatively early, but his wife brought up their seven children in that community of ex miners turned farmers. When Mary died the farm was broken up and sold off, and the John Sullivan family disbanded. The oldest son Horace married very late in and had no children. The oldest daughter Lucy May married and had two children. The third child Arthur had eight children, and after the breakup of the farm he and his large family moved to outback New South Wales where they farmed, and eventually moved to the New South Wales mid north coast where they re-established a strong Sullivan community.  The fourth child, Charles, married and had two children, but was unfortunately killed in the First World War. The fifth child, daughter Clarice, married and followed her husband Frank Salter to outback Queensland where they farmed and had four children, establishing the Sullivan presence in that state. The last two children were twins. Albert also served in the First World War, was wounded in action, and returned to a life of farming in various locations in Victoria. Albert never married, bur his twin brother Edwin did, and had one daughter who reached adulthood.

Timothy's second son Samuel maried a local Kadina girl and this provided Samuel the opportunity to become a teacher. However both wife and infant son died from illness leaving Samuel a widower. He subsequently married his cousin Hannah Maria Phillipps, the sister of his brotherJohn's wife. So two sisters had married two brothers, and they were cousins on the maternal side. Samuel had a distinguished carreer in the teaching profession, mainly as headmaster in larger government schools. There were six children who reached adulthood, although sadly one of the daughters died from appendicitis complications at the age of 19. Samuel believed in education as a pathway to upward social mobility, and five of the children attended private schools in addition to their compulsory government schooling. Cecil, the oldest son, was an athlete, sportsman and a prominent accountant in his professional life - he had one son. The second child, daughter Hilda, was mentioned above. The second son Ernest had a long career as an assayer in the Broken Hill mines, with four sons being born there. The third son became a pharmacist in Adelaide, with a daughter and a son. The second daughter Elsie never married and was a lifelong companion to her mother. The yoingest child, son Jack, served in the First World War. On his return, he married well, and set up as an orchardist at Firle, an eastern suburb of Adelaide. Jack had three daughters.

Richard, Timothy's youngest son, was a bootmaker living in Kadina. He had married a local girl, but unfortunately died from Tuberculosis in his early thirties. He had two children, a son and a daughter.

The first significant family breakup was when Timothy's son John moved permanently to the Victorian goldfields. The second breakup was the scattering of that same John Sullivan's family in Victoria after his wife Mary's death. A few of John's descendants remain in Victoria, a larger number came together around Gosford on the New South Wales central coast, and the Salter descendants became established in Queensland. The next scattering occurred as a result of the Second World War.

By then Ellen Henwood's ongoing line had diminished to the Bowering family, and the two South Australian raised Bowering boys married Victorian girls and settled in Melbourne. Three of Ernest Sullivan's Broken Hill raised sons also married interstate girls, with Ron settling in Melbourne, Brian in Gosford and becoming part of the Sullivan clan there, and Geoffrey eventually settling in Queensland, with youngest son Eric remaining in Aelaide. Wilf Sullivan's son Phil moved to Sydney after the War with his employment but eventually returned to Adelaide.

The baby boomers have demonstrated the job mobility characteristic of that generation. There are now Timothy Sullivan great great grandchildren in every Australian state.

Timothy's descendants have served in both World Wars.

His descendants have generally valued education, and a surprisng number have ended up in the teaching or allied professions.

A significant number have remained active within the Christian religion.