Hall Genealogy A History of Daniel HALL
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Updated Wed, 19-Sep-2012


This line is not connected to mine - any correspondence about it should be directed to Ross Thomas at artemisia@grapevine.com.au

After many months of voyaging, Daniel Hall arrived in South Australia on 20 December 1839 from Liverpool with wife Ann (nee Warhurst?) on the barque “Delhi” and was accompanied by two young children, Elizabeth and William. Daniel was listed as a weaver and joiner from Great Portwood Street, Stockport, Cheshire (now part of Greater Manchester) and was aged 27 years. A John Warhurst also traveled to SA on the “Delhi”.

Daniel was also accompanied by his brother(?) Hugh and wife Hannah. Hugh was listed as a tailor, from the same address as Daniel, aged 29 years and of the Roman Catholic religion.

Who was Daniel Hall? Despite much searching, his origins are obscure but his later associations in Australia suggest that he was very close to, if not a member, of the Richard Hall (1774-??) family that originated in Staffordshire.

Richard Hall Family
In the Staffordshire town of Leek, Queen of the Moorlands, on 20 November 1774, a Richard Hall was born. Richard’s parents were stated as being Hugh and Amy Hall – was this the Hugh who married Amy Hassal on 8 June 1768 at Leek? Was this the Amey Hassel born to a John Hassel on 29 March 1752 at St Michael, Macclesfield, Cheshire?

 Richard’s early life is thought to have been spent in the local area as he married Jane Allcock on 12 May 1794 at nearby Wetton. Jane had been christened on 3 July 1774 at Ipstones or Wetton and her parents were Thomas and Jane Allcock.

Berkshire Beckons
We next hear of Richard and Jane Hall at North Hinksey, just west of Oxford in Berkshire, where their first child John was christened at St Lawrence’s Church on 22 May 1803. Amy (6 August 1804), Mary Anne (20 July 1806) and Hugh (20 March 1808) were also christened at North Hinksey. Richard was a draper and a hawker and it seems they moved around a bit as we find a Richard Hall born to this couple on 3 March 1816 at Langford, Oxfordshire, further west near Lechlade.

Our Daniel Hall was born around 1810 so his birth may have followed Hugh in this family sequence but proving his birth and parentage has been very elusive. The IGI (Film No: 170471, Page No: 944, Reference No: 26171) has a Daniel Hall born 1810 at nearby Hampsted Marshall in southern Berkshire but he has not been linked to Richard and Jane Hall. Daniel’s parents are listed as being Benjamin and Anne Hall – perhaps close relatives of Richard Hall? Or has there been an error in the transcription of parish records?

Despite all this confusion, it is thought most likely that Daniel was a son of this Richard Hall family but he could have been the orphaned child of a brother of Richard or otherwise related. When married in Australia in 1851, neither he nor his young Irish orphan wife Bridget McGrath declared their parents on their marriage registration. Was Daniel uncertain or uncomfortable with his parentage?

The Return North
Some or all of the Richard Hall family returned to Staffordshire and Cheshire and this is likely to have occurred in the mid-1830s. It may be that they lived in other locations between their residence at Langford, Oxfordshire and the return north. We know that Mary Ann Hall married James Retchford at St Bartholomew’s Church, Edgbaston, Warwickshire on 1 July 1831. John Hall also married – he could be the John Hall who married Mary Ward at Sutton in Ashfield, Nottingham on 10 September 1826. Richard Hall the younger moved to Leek, the birthplace of his father.

Daniel Hall at Stockport
Did Daniel and Hugh Hall move back north to Stockport or, alternatively, were they sons of one of the many Stockport Halls and had been long-time residents there? Was their father closely related to Richard Hall of Leek? Were they cousins rather than brothers?

Church records of St Mary’s Church of England has the following christening records in the Parish files:-
            17/6/1836   Elizabeth daughter of Daniel and Ann Hall, Portwood, Weaver
            26/8/1838    William son of Daniel and Ann Hall, Portwood, Weaver.
A search for a marriage record revealed nothing, which suggests that Daniel may have been a recent arrival at Stockport.

Richard Hall Junior, Shoemaker
The census of 1851 finds a Richard and Ellen Hall living at 11 Custard St, Leek, Staffordshire with a son Richard (born 31 March 1848), daughter Jane (born 6 June 1850), lodger Rucker Brickwood, a seaman from Oxfordshire and an apprentice shoemaker, Edmund Retchford, aged 13 from Redditch, Worcestershire. The Head of the household, Richard Hall, was listed as born Langford, Oxfordshire, was a shoemaker by trade and Edmund his apprentice. Edmund was also his nephew, being the son of Mary Ann Retchford (nee Hall).

Richard had married Ellen Burgess at St James Parish Church, Gawsworth, Cheshire on 13 February 1841. It seems they were both resident at Gawsworth at that time and Richard’s profession was listed as Shoemaker. The fathers were listed as Richard Hall, Hawker and William Burgess, Chainmaker. The witnesses were Mary Anne Burgess and Richard Burgess.

The New Life Downunder
In 1840, only a year after the arrival of Daniel Hall and family, hard times were upon South Australia. Within the year, both wife Ann and daughter Elizabeth were dead and Daniel was seeking relief. Family lore has it that Daniel traveled to New Zealand in the search for gold and his personal tragedy may have driven that decision. He later returned to South Australia.

Little is known of brother Hugh’s exploits in Australia other than that he worked at his tailoring trade in Adelaide for some years and, when he died on 18 April 1875, he was listed as a farmer of Lyndoch Valley. No family has been established.

William Hall, the young emigrant son of Daniel, eventually worked as a tailor in Adelaide and became a landowner in his own right at Kapunda. He married Mary Jane Wyatt on 27 February 1866 and they had eight children. This family settled in the Quorn/Hawker area of the Flinders Ranges in the north of South Australia. William died at Hawker on 9 March 1925 aged 86 years and Mary Jane died there also on 9 January 1934. The headstone placed by Mary Jane over her late husband reads:
I have lost my life’s companion
A life linked with my own
Day by day I miss your footsteps
As I wander all alone.

Young Richard Emigrates
Richard, Ellen and children Richard, Jane and James Henry Hall emigrated in 1853 to South Australia. Their voyage on the 707 ton barque “Admiral Piet Hein” took several gruelling months but they landed intact at Adelaide on 16 September 1853.

Richard joined his Hall brothers at Lyndoch and by 1855 he too was a landowner and farmer. Richard and Ellen would later move to Yacka where he continued his trade as shoemaker and likely farmed the land. Richard and Ellen remained in the Mid-North of South Australia and raised their five children, two more having been born in SA. Their eldest, Richard, had a boot and saddlery shop at Snowtown for many years in addition to substantial farming interests. He had 13 children, the eldest boy named Richard, of course. They, and their many cousins, ensured that there is no shortage of Hall folk in Australia today.

Richard Hall, whilst journeying from Adelaide to his home at Yacka in February 1887, overbalanced and fell from his carriage. Aged 72 years and seriously injured, he died soon after and now rests in the Yacka Cemetery. Ellen Hall (nee Burgess) lived to 25 October 1900 and was buried in the Balaclava Cemetery. 

Mary Ann Retchford Seeks a New Life
By 1854, Mary Ann Retchford had had enough of the old country. Her husband James, four daughters and one son were dead and she was a pauper. Leaving behind her married son James in Redditch and taking Edmund and Richard, she voyaged on the “James Fernie” to join her brothers in South Australia. She faked her age to qualify, re-married on arrival and lived out her remaining years in comfort. A truly courageous woman.

Mary Ann’s two sons settled to their new land and both had large families. Many of these Retchfords served with distinction in the Great War and three did not return: Albert Omega Retchford rests in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France; Norman Leslie Retchford rests at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France; Albert Roy Retchford, after being mentioned in dispatches at Gallipoli, was awarded the Military Medal at Ypres, Belgium and now rests at the Borre British Cemetery nearby.
John Hall’s Family
John Hall’s widow Mary and four children also emigrated on the “James Fernie” and it is likely that this family and that of Mary Ann were looked after by their established brothers on their arrival in South Australia. Unfortunately, research has failed to find out what happened to them. Can anyone help?

Daniel Hall Starts Over
Daniel Hall, after the loss of most of his family, worked hard at many occupations and acquired land in the Lyndoch Valley, northeast of Adelaide, now renowned for wine production. In 1851, he married Bridget McGrath who was sent to Australia from the North Dublin Workhouse as a 14 year-old orphan of the Great Famine. They moved north to the Kapunda/Allendale district and further north in the 1870s to Stone Hut where they raised 11 children.

A love of the land must have been in the soul of these folk as Daniel and his many sons would explore, farm and prospect for gold across the arid regions of the great south land they had made their home. They operated bullock teams carting ore out of northern South Australia, they gathered sandalwood in the desert using camel teams, they farmed the notorious Willochra Plain and they helped construct the northern railway.

Enter the Cowins
In the late 1850s at Kapunda, the Daniel Halls became close to a family named Cowin who had emigrated from Lonan, Isle of Man in 1852. Both families took up new land at Stone Hut/Pine Creek, north of Laura, in the early 1870s and later that decade they pioneered wheat-growing at Gordon in the Flinders Ranges. A prolonged drought in the 1880s devastated these families and decades of enterprise and hard work were rendered void. Today, crumbling stone walls and lonely graves on the dry and windswept northern Willochra Plain is all that remains of the pioneering folk of the Flinders. Daniel Hall Senior lies here in an unknown grave, probably at Mern Merna where he died in 1875.

The Golden West
Undeterred, numbers of both the Hall and Cowin families moved to Western Australia in the 1890s and, living in tents, chased the elusive yellow metal on the Golden Mile at Kalgoorlie. That close association of the Hall and Cowin families was soon cemented by marriage in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The resourceful Halls used camel teams to prospect for gold and to collect sandalwood for the China trade and journeyed the vast deserts as far east as the Warburton Ranges. It was in Kalgoorlie in 1913 that the indomitable Bridget Hall (nee McGrath) departed what, by any measure, must have been a tough and demanding life. She had traveled far from her humble beginnings and had helped forge a nation in the process.

After moderate success, some of the Halls departed the goldfields in the early 1900s and took up virgin land at Tarwonga, southeast of Perth, WA, where their descendants still produce fine merino wool and cereal grains. The Cowins also took up land at Tarwonga as they too eventually returned to farming, found a more settled life and raised a new generation for a new age.

The Hall Story Continues
In 1968 at Canberra, the widow of  General Sir Harry Chauvel, Commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, unveiled a memorial to the Corps at the 51st anniversary of the Battle of Gaza. Assisting Lady Chauvel, resplendent in his Australian Light Horse uniform, was Colonel Jack Hall. In June 2007 at Ivrea, Italy, Australia claimed its first world medal in wild-water kayak racing. It was won by Daniel Hall of Tasmania.

The Hall story has been one of hardship, heartbreak and unrelenting toil but also one of great joy and achievement. If Richard Hall, the humble hawker from Leek and his son Daniel are up there looking down, they should be wearing smiles of great satisfaction!

Ross Thomas, Canberra         22 August 2007

I descend from Daniel Hall, Richard Hall, Ethel Maud Hall and Dorothy Cowin (1913 -2005), am resident in Canberra, Australia and regularly visit Western and South Australia and occasionally the UK.

If anyone can assist in providing further information on this grand family of mine, I would be very appreciative. Of course, I can provide much more detailed information on the Halls Downunder for anyone interested. I would love to know more about Richard Hall – his parents and siblings. Also the Allcock, Burgess and Warhurst family histories. Who were they and what became of them? Did any of them emigrate? The search continues ........

Many people have helped in the compiling of this history. My thanks go to you. I would reply individually but, in a moment of great incompetence, I lost all my emails!

Largely prepared by Ross Thomas from the booklet “Hall Family Tree’ by Betty Watson of Mukinbudin, Western Australia, compiled in the late 1980s. Ross descends from Richard Hall, Ethel Maude Hall and Dorothy Cowin (1913 - ), is resident in Canberra, Australia and is visiting Lancashire and Isle of Man in September 2005.

I hope this may stimulate some interest in our Hall family and allow us to trace the family back a few more generations in Lancashire and to fill in some of the gaps in the Australian story. All contributions of information would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Ross Thomas : - Email: artemisia@grapevine.com.au

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