Leadbeater Family History Introduction

Arrival in South Australia

The paternal side of our Leadbeater family commenced life in South Australia with the arrival of Frank LEADBEATER from Oldham, Lancashire, England aboard the SS Roon on 22 June 1912. He kept a detailed diary of the voyage including sightseeing in London, Antwerp, Algiers, Genoa, Port Said and Colombo. The diary continued with his early life in South Australia. His wife, Emma nee BARON, arrived with their first child aboard the Indarra on 1 January 1913 after Frank had established himself here.

The maternal side of the family had already begun life in SA about 74 years earlier with the arrival of the Cornish MONTGOMERY family aboard the Henry Porcher on 1 July 1838 and the LEVETT family from Sussex on 21 March 1839 aboard the Buckinghamshire. The Irish GOREY family arrived 13 November 1855 on the Victoria Regia and the English COLES family by 1846 from Hobart, Tasmania.

View a family tree (ancestor chart).

View a timeline of the major events in their lives.

Frank and Emma Leadbeater

Frank was born on 25 February 1884 to Walter Hargrove, accoucher and dispenser, and Mary nee ALLIBONE in Oldham, Lancashire, England. Emma was born a year earlier, on 26 February 1883 to William Thomas BARON and Jemima nee WOOD, also in Oldham. They were married at the St James Parish Church of England, Oldham on 11 December 1907 and had their first child, Ethel, on 8 October 1909. Their second child, Roy, was born in Waikerie on the River Murray in South Australia on 30 June 1914.

At that time, Frank was employed by the Irrigation Works. It must have been quite a shock to Emma and three years old Ethel, having arrived from the cold of a northern England late autumn to the heat of a South Australian summer in January 1913.

Frank Leadbeater at Waikerie
Frank drilling at Waikerie

After a few years there, Frank returned to Adelaide with his family where they lived modestly but comfortably for the rest of their lives in Prospect, a suburb about 6 km north of the city centre. An unnamed child was stillborn on 5 April 1918 and buried at West Terrace Cemetery. Frank found work as a fitter at the Islington Workshops of the South Australian Railways where he was employed until retirement. He was an active member of his trade union, the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, later to become the Amalgamated Engineering Union. He was treasurer of the Prospect branch. Frank also became a Justice of the Peace, practicing until the age of about 80 years when deafness became too much of a problem.

Frank & Barry

Frank teaching grandson Barry to write

In England, Frank had been a keen cricketer and so, after settling with his family in Adelaide, he took the game up again, playing parklands cricket for several years. On retirement from playing he began umpiring district cricket. Eventually he retired from this to play lawn bowls for Prospect, rising to their one red team. Frank was a teetotaller to the extent that he would only buy his opposition a soft drink when refreshment was required. This, of course, made him quite unpopular with some opposing teams. He continued to play the game (at a somewhat lower level) well into his eighties.

Frank & Emma Leadbeater

Frank, Emma and Barry

Roy & Myra

Roy, Myra and children

Emma, an easy-going, friendly woman, was an enthusiastic bridge player for many years. Her other hobby was knitting and crotcheting. She not only supplied her family and friends with clothing and other items but also knitted numerous products for local charities. She died on 21 February 1970 and Frank a year later on 17 February 1971, both aged 86 years. They were cremated at the Enfield Memorial Park Crematorium, their ashes being scattered in the gardens. According to their wishes, no memorial was erected. They were survived by their two children, Ethel, married but without children of her own, and Roy, married with two grown-up children.

Samson Montgomery obituary
Myra Ellen Leadbeater nee Gorey obituary
Searchable Colonial South Australian pioneers database