William Sampson 1838 -1891 & Elizabeth McDonald 1840-1919
William married Elizabeth in the Bible Christian Chapel, Kooringa, Burra South Australia on 24 Sep 1857. Witnesses were James Nicholas Wearn (uncle of William), teamster of Auburn, South Australia and Fanny McDonald (sister of Elizabeth) of Clare, South Australia. Officiating minister was Thomas Hillman.

Photo: William Sampson – circa 1880s
Photo: Elizabeth Sampson

William Sampson

Fourth child of John and Ann Sampson

Born: 27 Jan 1838 Goldsithney, Cornwall

Christened: 11 Feb 1838 Perranuthnoe, Cornwall

Died: 24 Jul 1891 from pneumonia in Broken Hill, NSW

Buried: Methodist section of the Broken Hill Cemetery, Section 2, Grave No. 46.  The original grave markings were lost a long time ago and a replacement headstone was installed in 2020. See photo further down this page.

Elizabeth Sampson

Daughter of George McDonald (1808-1873) and Janet Buchan (1808-1886)

Born: 18 Oct 1840 Kirriemuir, Forfar, Scotland

Died: At the age of 79 on 27 Nov 1919 at Boulder, Western Australia

Buried: Plot 715, Methodist section of the Boulder Cemetery.
No headstone but site is framed.

William was 9 years old when he arrived in South Australia. It is believed that William first worked in the Burra copper mines, as his father and brother James when he became old enough to commence work. At one time he was doing contract cartage work for a mine somewhere in the vicinity of Kadina, South Australia. This could have been in the 1860s as it was about 1861 when work was begun on opening up the mines in Walleroo, Moonta and Kadina in South Australia.

When the railway reached Burra from Adelaide in 1870, William carted goods between Burra and Broken Hill. Whether he began carting as soon as the line was finished, or at a later date is not known. In 1878 William was listed as a damsinker when registering his daughters Fanny and Clara for school in Kooringa, Burra. William and his sons worked at dam sinking for a period of time, possibly from the late 1870s and early 1880s. William and his family were apparently still living in Burra in 1879 because a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, died aged 10, and was buried in the same grave as her uncle Thomas Sampson. In 1886 there was a great deal of unemployment in Burra and many of the families moved to Broken Hill where mining had begun in the previous year of 1885. It was about this time that William and his family were living in Mica Street, Broken Hill. In Broken Hill William was a teamster at one stage. It is believed he also worked on the mines in Broken Hill. William died of pneumonia on 24 July 1891 at the age of 53. He was buried at Broken Hill in the Methodist Section 2, Grave no. 46. The Rev. W.W. Finch of the Bible Christians officiated.

Following the discovery of the “Golden Mile” east of Coolgardie in Western Australia the decision was made to leave Broken Hill. In late 1895, just over four years after the death of her husband, Elizabeth and some of her family left and came by ship from Port Adelaide to Albany, Western Australia and then made their way to the goldfields. In coming all that way from Broken Hill to Western Australia in those tough pioneering days, Elizabeth, now a widow, showed courage, fortitude and stoicism, and I feel sure all her descendants will be proud to call her Grandma. The children who came to Western Australia were Janet (Mrs Robert Castle Hopkins) Thomas Sampson, Clara Sampson (later Mrs O’Brien), James Sampson, Mary Elizabeth Sampson (later Mrs George Grenfell), Amy Sampson (later Mrs George Mckennay) and Lily Sampson. Lily later returned to Broken Hill where she married Thomas E. L. Virgo in 1905 and lived there. Elizabeth lived at 90 North Terrace, Boulder.

Group photo of the Sampson clan in Boulder, Western Australia circa 1914

As the young toddler Murial Grenfell, who was born in August of 1913, is sitting on the lap of Maude Grenfell, then this would mean the photo is likely to have been taken in 1914. Following names listed in rows running from left to right:

Back Row (fourth, comprising of five children): 1. Milton Grenfell 2. Harry Sampson 3. Maudie (Lilian) Grenfell 4. Alec Sampson 5. ?

Third Row: 1. Unknown 2. William Forward 3. George McKennay 4. Robert Hopkins 5. Thomas Sampson Snr 6. James Sampson Snr 7. George Grenfell 8. Thomas Sampson Jnr 9. Henry Rosewall 10. Wilf Nankivell 11. Wesley Nankivell

Second Row: 1. Unknown 2. Unknown 3. Unknown 4. Amy McKennay (nee Sampson) 5. Janet Hopkins (nee Sampson) 6. Elizabeth Sampson (nee McDonald) 7. Maude (Mary Elizabeth) Grenfell (nee Sampson) with Muriel Grenfell on lap 8. Harriet Sampson (nee Rosewall) 9. Emmie Sampson (nee Nankivell) with Jim Sampson Jnr on lap 10. Rhoda Whitford (nee Nankivell) with girl standing in front Elsie Beermier (nee Sampson) 11. Alice Forward (nee Sampson) with girl on lap most probably Daphne Forward 12. Jane Forward (nee Brash)

Front Row: 1. Unknown 2. Unknown 3. Unknown 4. Florence Grenfell 5. Unknown 6. Jane Forward? 7. Clarice Grenfell 8. Doreen Sampson 9. William Forward Jnr? 10. Gladys Sampson

 The photographer was Robert Vere Scott who at that time had a studio in Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie.

Barrier Miner Sat 25 Jul 1891 p.3 TROVE

Barrier Miner Mon Evening 23 Jul 1894 p.2 TROVE

The Barrier Miner  Wed 4 Nov 1891 p.3 TROVE

FUNERAL THE LATE MRS. SAMPSON. There passed away at the age of 79, at her daughter’s (Mr. Geo. MeKennay’s) residence on November 27, after a long and painful illness, a very old resident in the person of Mrs. Elizabeth Sampson, who first came to these fields in 1886 and resided at Golden Gate, where she endeared herself to all who  knew her by her kindly and sympathetic nature. The deceased lady was born in Forfar, Scotland, arriving in Australia on Christmas Day 1853, proceeding direct to  Burra, South Australia. Later her parents settled in the Clare district, where they owned a very fine orchard and vineyard. After her marriage to Wm. Sampson, she resided for a long period in the Burra later on going to Broken Hill in the early days of that field, her husband dying in that centre in 1891. Deceased leaves three sons, five daughters, 34 grand children and 39 great grandchildren to mourn their loss. The funeral took place on November 28 in the Methodist portion of the Boulder cemetery, the cortege leaving the residence of Mr. G. McKennay, 90 North Terrace, Boulder, and was largely attended. Many wreaths and floral tributes were received. Western Argus Tue 16 Dec 1919, p.9 TROVE

The Barrier Miner  Wed 4 Nov 1891 p.3 TROVE

Kalgoorlie Miner Sat 27 Nov 1920 p.4 TROVE

Western Argus Tue 29 Nov 1921 p.15 TROVE

Thanks to Simon Jarrett a new headstone for Wiliam Sampson was installed at the Broken Hill Cemetery in 2020. Photo courtesy: Simon Jarrett.