G3 4 Richard Wearne Sullivan

This article is about  Richard Wearne Sullivan, Timothy Sullivan's youngest surviving son, born in St Ives Cornwall in 1847, who migrated with the Sullivan family to South Australia in 1859.

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Richard probably stayed with his parents as his married sister Ellen Henwood and brothers John and Samuel progressively left Burra for the Victorian goldfields. His Marriage Certificate (1) states he was a bootmaker, as his older brother Samuel had been for a short time. So at age 24 he married 07/03/1872 Susan Harris age 18 in Kadina. Timothy Sullivan of Kadina was recorded as the groom’s father, John Harris the bride's father, and the marriage witnessed by Ellen Sullivan of Kadina, Richard's mother. The marriage took place at the dwelling of the groom’s father, so Timothy must have been living in Kadina in 1872. 

Richard and Susan had three children. The first, Gertrude Ida Sullivan, was born in Long Gully, Sandhurst (Bendigo) Victoria on 23/06/1875.(2) So Richard too must have made the journey to the goldfields, but probably after his sister Ellen Henwood and brother Samuel had returned.

The second child, son Arthur Rowland Sullivan was born 04/05/1877 in Ridleyton.(1)

The third child and second son, Walter Harris Sullivan, was born 11/05/1879. Walter Harris dies in the year of his birth on 20/08/1879 of “brain contagion.” (1)

Richard Sullivan subsequently died in Kadina a few months after son Walter's death, at the age of 31, due to Phthitis (tuberculosis) about 19/10/1879 (1) and is buried in the Kadina cemetery with his infant son Walter. At the time he was living in Hay St Kadina.

A Mrs Sullivan (Susan) appears in the Kadina rate assessment books in 1880 and 1881 living in a Hay St dwelling whose owner was a John Harris junior, (perhaps Susan's brother). (3)  Susan Sullivan  nee Harris aged 26 subsequently married John Berryman Williams of Kadina (a railway guard) on 09/07/1881 at the Wesleyan parsonage at Kadina.

The Williams’ had two children, Edith Muriel born 10/11/1883, and Percival Ambrose born 06/06/1886 who died in infancy. Susan Williams subsequently also died of Phthitis (tuberculosis) aged 32 on 04/02/1887. (1)

Edith Muriel Berryman, step-sister to Gertrude and Arthur Sullivan, aged 43 married Edwin Bowden Ellis, a farmer, on 16/06/1926. There were no children, with Edwin Ellis dying in 25/05/1965 in Malvern, and Edith Muriel dying 7 years later aged 89 in 1972.(1)

But what happened to the two Sullivan children, Gertrude Ida and Arthur Rowland, now orphaned, and in the care of their stepfather John Williams?



(1)      Microfilm of District Certificate - held by South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society

(2)     Victorian Births Deaths and Marriage Records

(3)      Kadina Rates Assessments – SA State Records GRS 14408 Sub Series 0001 Unit 1