David Mitchell| Ann Mitchell Sherriff

6. Ann Mitchell Sherriff

Born about 1843 in Angus, Scotland. On December 12, 1858 she married James Sherriff on December 28, 1860 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland. [1]  James was born about 1842.

Children of Ann and James

  1. Mary Ann Sherriff born October 9, 1861 at Arbroath, Angus, Scotland.
  2. David Sherriff born July 8, 1863 at St Vegeans, Angus, Scotland.
  3. James Sherriff born January 4, 1865 at Arbroath, Angus, Scotland.
  4. William Sherriff born 16 March 16, 1867 Arbroath,Angus,Scotland
  5. Jane (Jessie) Sherriff born January 31, 1870 at Monifieth, Angus, Scotland.
  6. Margaret Sherriff born February 11, 1872 at Monifieth, Angus, Scotland.
  7. Charles Sherriff born about 1877 at Morrows, Forfarshire, Scotland.
  8. Rachel Sherriff born 1879 at Morrows, Forfarshire, Scotland.

Looking for a new life for themselves and their family, Ann and James decided to migrate to Western Australia under the nomination system whereby people living in the colonies can nominate their friends at home, who is in good health and otherwise qualified, are granted passages at greatly reduced rates.  The Sherriff’s nominator was G. Simpson of Vasse (now Busselton Western Australia).  [2]

On December 18, 1886 the family sailed for Perth on SV Kapunda, a three-mast iron British ship of 1095 tons. Their eldest son David aged 23 years, was not with them

The SV Kapunda It was built by Mcmillan A. & Son Ltd at Dumbarton in 1875 and was owned by Australind Steam Shipping Co. Ltd – Trinder, Anderson & Co. Sadly, they never arrived in their new country.

The Kapunda under the captaincy of John Masson had made several voyages to Australia carrying emigrants. It left London on December 11, 1886 and arrived at Plymouth where she picked up most of her passengers. Kapunda sailed from Plymouth direct to Fremantle on December 18, 1886 with 4 cabin passengers, 268 steerage passengers, Dr Bentham and a crew of 41. Reports of the time noted Kaunda had a “high reputation among the crack emigrant vessels for excellence of her accommodation and general equipments”

Captain Masson was a respected officer. He had worked for the owners for several years.

The vessel also had 600 tons of general cargo and 300 tons of stone ballast. The Kapunda had made several earlier voyages and the passengers had taken passage under the Nomination Emigrants in return for large tracts of land. The Sherriff’s nominator was G. Simpson of Vasse (now Busselton WA).[3]

The wreck of the SV Kapunda No. 70733 on January 20, 1887

 According to the official investigation held at Sessions House, Westminster from March 21 to 29, 1887. The Kapunda was making 10 knots an hour in fine, clear weather on January 20, 1887 when at about 3.10am when the crew spotted another vessel without visible lights sailing towards them. Not seeing lights and not knowing which direction the vessel was approaching, the chief officer ordered a change of course but the other vessel did the same and the Ada Melmore rammed into the Kapunda striking them nearly a stem-on blow forward of the fore rigging on the starboard side. Immediately afterwards the Kapunda sunk with all on board. Nine of the Kapunda’s people got onto the Ada Melmore and survived another six clung to the keel of the Kapunda’s life boat, righted it and sailed to the Ada Melmore and were rescued. Two hundred and sixty-four people drowned along with 33 seamen and 2 other seaman who jumped from the Ada Melmore onto the Kapunda at the time of the collision.  The total was 299 souls drowned including the Kapunda Captain John Masson. Only 8 passengers and 8 crew of the Kapunda were saved.

The Ada Melmore was an iron barque belonging to the Port of Belfast of 591 tons gross and was built at Port Glasgow in 1877. She was owned by William Porter of Belfast and had left Coquimbo on the west coast of South America on December 3, 1886 with a crew of 14 and 843 tons of manganese ore bound for Queenstown and Falmouth.

The investigation found the caption of the Ada Melmore Captain Millikin liable because he failed to have lights on his vessel burning and made the error of changing course which resulted in the sinking of the Kapunda. His Master’s Certificate was suspended for two years but he was allowed a chief mate’s certificate. [4]

The Death Register of the SV Kapunda No. 70733 on January 20, 1887 included the Sherriff family:

James Sherriff aged 45

Ann Sherriff 44.

Mary Sherriff 24

William Sherriff 20

Jane Sherriff 16

Maggie Sherriff 14

Charles Sherriff 10

Rachel Sherriff 8 [5]

Newspaper reports on the Kapunda Disaster

Official Inquiry into the disaster

Inquirier and Commercial News Perth

Brisbane Telegraph Report

Following the death of his family, David decided to also migrate to Australia though his date and place of arrival is not known. He died about 1933 in Australia. [6]

Family links

References:

[1] FHLFilm Number: 6035516.

[2] Inquirer and Commercial News Perth March 16, 1887 pg2.

[3] List and news articles – http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/kapunda.shtml

[4] Reference: No 3215 Kapunda and Ada Melmore The Merchant Shipping Act 1854 to 1876 Investigation before H.C. Rothery, Esquire, Wreck Commissioner.

[5] Register showing their deaths – source: (UK, Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Sea, 1844-1890 for Ann Sherriff BT 158: Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages Piece 05 (1883-1887)

[6] Family tree of Phillips family.

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Sundays are preferred.
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Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Nellie Melba Museum

Contact Details:
Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au

Our home is the Old Lilydale Court House:
61 Castella Street, Lilydale 3140
Hours of opening:
By appointment only:
Fridays 1 to 4pm and Saturdays to Mondays 11am to 4pm.
Sundays are preferred.
Closed Public Holidays

Share Your Information
with Nellie Melba Museum!

Sue Thompson: 0475 219 884
info@nelliemelbamuseum.com.au