John Sampson 1808-1885 & Ann Branwell 1811-1886
Married on 9 July 1831 in the church at Perranuthnoe, Cornwall. The witnesses to the wedding were Edmund Simons and Richard Gundry.
First child of John and Grace Sampson
Born: Goldsithney, Cornwall
Baptised: 4 Dec 1808 St Hilary, Cornwall
Died: 5 Dec 1885 from pneumonia in Burra, South Australia
Buried: Burra Cemetery
Siblings: Thomas 1811, Harriett 1813, Mary 1815, William 1817,
James 1820, Grace 1822 and Elizabeth 1826
Second daughter of Peter Bramwell (1771-1813) and
Honor Andrew (1778-18??)
Baptised: 10 Mar 1811 St Buryan, Cornwall
Died: 4 Jan 1886 Burra, South Australia
Buried: Burra Cemetery
Siblings: William 1802, Grace 1807, Mary 1813
John’s family lived in Goldsithney. When Grace, his mother, died in 1830 the burial record stated that she was a resident of Gears in Perran (Perranuthnoe). Goldsithney is located in the Parish of Perranuthnoe and The Gears is a collection of cottages off Gears Lane in Goldsithney. In the following year of 1831 John and Ann were married in the Perranuthnoe Church. Perranuthnoe (the village and church) is about three-quarters of a mile south southwest of Goldsithney. The witnesses to the wedding were Edmund Simons and Richard Gundry. Ann’s pre-marital name was Ann Branwell. The name Branwell was somewhat of a surprise because the name Bramwell had been expected due to its usage as a Christian name on a few occasions. It is known that John and Ann’s first child John Sampson Jnr was born in Goldsithney in 1831. The English Census of 1841 confirms that John and Ann were living in Goldsithney with their first four children. The 1840s were a time of economic depression in Cornwall. Four of John’s sisters left Goldsithney to obtain work in the mines in the parish of St Just in Penwith.
It is not known if John and Ann continued to stay in Goldsithney up to the time of departure for South Australia. Since the 1830’s the Colony of South Australia had been inviting good citizens to migrate to the Colony which was a free colony not a penal settlement. People could apply for free passage as long as they met the criteria. In 1845 copper was discovered in a place to be known as Burra. Miners and those trades associated with mining were in need to develop the colony. In 1847 John and Ann decided to take up the offer of assisted immigration and together with their five children left Cornwall to emigrate to Burra, South Australia. John’s sister Christiana and her husband James Nicholas Wearne followed soon after.
John, Ann and children came out in the ship La Belle Alliance. According to the newspaper Observer of 3 July 1847, the passengers were migrants bound for Burra. They left Plymouth on the 8 March but struck a storm near Madeira which brought down the maintopmast. The Captain decided to abort the voyage and return to Plymouth. This storm must have been a very scary experience for all on board. On return to Plymouth one wonders what John & Ann decided to do in the interim period before the ship sailed again. Did they stay in Plymouth or return to Cornwall? In any case they left Plymouth, England, on 4 April 1847 on the La Belle Alliance, which was a ship of only 691 tons and whose Master was Abraham Vandervord. The La Belle Alliance carried 294 emigrants and arrived at Port Adelaide on Thursday 1 July 1847. Thus the duration of the voyage was 89 days. The teak vessel was built in 1817 in Chittagong, Bengal, now Bangladesh. Most of its life was spent plying between Britain and the East for Somes of London, an East India trading company. The vessel was built with a great deal of space between decks for its cargo. This was why Somes was able to gain the tender to bring migrants to Australia.
After landing at Port Adelaide they went direct to Burra, South Australia. The family became one of the early settlers at the Burra. On arrival in Burra they set up home in a tent. In 1849 John signed a petition by Burra families for a subsidy for a teacher. His address on the petition was given as company cottage number 28 in Burra. These small company cottages have since been demolished. By 1876 they were living at 2 Bridge Street East, Kooringa (as the southern part of Burra was then known). This was to be their home for the remainder of their lives. After the death of Ann in 1886 the home was given to their granddaughter Mary Ann Harris (daughter of Grace).
John was known as John Sampson Senior and his son John was known as John Sampson Junior. The Burra Record uses this arrangement to distinguish between the two. John Sampson Snr. was one of the earliest settlers of Burra, and he was employed at the Burra Copper Mine. Records indicate that John left mining and was a teamster (a person who transported copper ore from the mine to the port by carriage) from 1864-69. In 1877-8 he was a SA Mining Assistant and in 1883 he was a dealer (believe chaff and wood) based in Kooringa. John lived for 38 and a half years in South Australia and was an active member of the Bible Christian Church.
John Sampson died of pneumonia on 5 December 1885. Ann died one month later on 4 Jan 1886 at the age of 75 years. John and Ann were buried in the Burra Cemetery near the north-east corner of the walled section. Also buried in the same grave was their youngest son Thomas, their daughter Grace Walker and their granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Sampson. Mary was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Sampson.