The Sampson family in Australia
“A close correlation seems to have existed between economic downturn in Cornwall associated with potato blight, deficient corn harvests and general economic malaise and the rise of opportunities overseas. South Australian mineral discoveries of the 1840s (especially at Kapunda and Burra in the Mid North) and extension of the farming frontier, were a magnet to the Cornish.

This pattern was repeated in the 1860s when Cornish mining collapsed in the face of diminishing returns while rich mines in the Americas and Australia opened, including the copper mines of northern Yorke Peninsula. In turn, the Cornish emigrated from South Australia as local economic circumstances declined and opportunities arose elsewhere, such as the Victorian goldfields in the early 1850s, and gold discoveries in Western Australia and the rise of the Great Barrier silver–lead mines around Broken Hill in the 1890s. Employment opportunity was thus a leading cause of population movement among the Cornish mining community.”

Quoted from Davies, M 2013, Cornish, Adelaidia, accessed 16 April 2016, <>


Names Name of ship and yearDate and place of departureDate and place of arrivalNotes
John & Ann Sampson with children: John, James, Grace, William and ThomasLa Belle Alliance 1847Plymouth on 8 Mar but had to turn back due to loss of maintopmast in storm off Madeira. After repairs departed Plymouth on 4 AprilPort Adelaide on 1 July 1847John was the son of John & Grace Sampson of Goldsithney, Cornwall. This family settled in the town of Burra, South Australia.
James & Christiana Wearne (nee Sampson) and daughter Mary ElizabethCressy 1847Port Adelaide on 19 August 1847Christiana was a daughter of John & Grace Sampson of Goldsithney, Cornwall. Christiana & James lived in Auburn, Burra and Kadina South Australia
John & Harriet Hampton(nee Sampson) and daughter Harriet AnnAboukir 1847Plymouth on 1 Jun 1847Port Adelaide on 4 Sep 1847Harriet a daughter of Joseph Sampson & Jane Goyen. Harriet baptised at St Agnes, Cornwall
William Sampson Rajah 1847Port Adelaide 25 Sep 1847William was the son of Richard & Honor Sampson of Uny Lelant, Cornwall. William married Mary Ann Hattam in Burra. Lived Burra and Kapunda, South Australia
John & Jane Sampson with children: John Henry, Mary, Nicholas, James & Elizabeth JaneWilliam Money 1849Port Adelaide 3 Jan 1849John was a son of Thomas & Mary Sampson of Perranuthnoe, Cornwall. This family lived at One Tree Hill, South Australia. Jane nee Hooper
Richard & Martha Sampson with children: James, William, John and ThomasSir Edward Parry 1849London 29 Mar 1849Port Adelaide on 21 Jun 1849Richard was the son of Richard & Elizabeth Sampson of Winkleigh in Devon. Martha nee Shaddock.
John 36 & Harriet Sampson 34 and children: Mary Ann 14, John 1 and infant born at seaIndian 1849Plymouth 8 Apr 1849Port Adelaide on 7 Aug 1849John the son of John & Phillis Sampson of Paul, Cornwall. Harriet nee Moore.
Alexander Sampson 25Wanderer 1851Plymouth 23 Jan 1851Port Adeliade on 22 May 1851Alex's family was from Dorset. Son of John Sampson & Mary Goodfellow.
Louis Sampson 27. Eliza Sampson 22 & ? Sampson 271853LiverpoolMelbourne?All three members listed as traders
Henry Sampson 33
Catherine Sampson 34, John P. Sampson 9 & Elizabeth Sampson 3
Tasmania 1853LiverpoolMelbourne?Henry listed as a miner. Catherine nee Rowe. Lived in Newbridge, Sancreed. Catherine's brother Peter also listed aboard.
Samuel & Margaret Sampson and children: Mary, Samuel, Margaret, John and ElizabethRamillies 1853Port Adelaide on 19 May 1853Samuel was the son of Samuel & Keziah Sampson of Ludgvan, Cornwall. Samuel & Margaret Sampson lived Kapunda, Burra , Moonta and Adelaide.
George Henry Burgess 24 & Rebecca Burgess 25 & son Sidney infantNeptune 1853PlymouthRebecca nee Samson a daughter of Richard Samson & Jane Hocking. George & Rebecca settle in Victoria after a time in Sth Aust.
William Sampson 36 Ann Sampson 33 (nee Heanes), Children: William Henry 10, Mary Ann 5 & Samuel Heanes 3Sultana 1854Plymouth 2 Nov 1853Port Adelaide on 3 Feb 1854William the son of Robert & Fanny Sampson of Devon
Thomas Sampson 43 & Elizabeth Sampson 41 with daughter Elizabeth Grace Sampson 14British Trident 1855LiverpoolMelbourne Jul 1855Thomas listed as a farmer. However, was a teacher in England and settled in Launceston, Tasmania. Thomas the son of Thomas & Sally Sampson of Kea, Cornwall. Elizabeth nee Tasker.
Wm Sampson 49, Elizabeth Sampson 44, ? Sampson 15, ? Sampson 12, John Sampson 8, ? Sampson 6 & ? Sampson 21855LiverpoolMelbourneUnable to read occupation.
James 40 & Nancy 34 SampsonDover Castle 1861Plymouth 14 Nov 1861Melbourne on 28 Jan 1862James was the son of John & Grace Sampson of Goldsithney, Cornwall. Nancy nee Spear
William Sampson 57 & wife Cath Sampson 55 Children: William Sampson 20 & Richard Hy. Sampson 18Great Britain 1861LiverpoolMelbourne 24 Dec 1861 William Snr dies (newspaper report lists middle aged Richard as dying but this seem to be an error?) at sea 17 Nov. William son of Richard Sampson & Elizabeth Mill of Lelant, Cornwall. Catherine nee Potter. Richard Henry moves to Broken Hill
Stephen SampsonWhite Adder 1863LondonSydneyStephen was a mariner (1st Mate) who seems to have died in port 14 Mar 1863 and buried Camperdown Cemetery. Thought to be son of John Sampson and Catherine Williams of Penzance, Cornwall.
Richard Williams 17Red Jacket 1864LiverpoolMelbourne 21 Dec 1864Richard was the son of Richard & Mary Williams (nee Sampson). Moved to South Australia.
George Sampson 50Suffolk 1862PlymouthMelbourne 7 Nov 1862
James Sampson 28
Jane Sampson 27 Laura Sampson 2
Alma Sampson Inf.
Caduceus 1870PlymouthMelbourne Jan 1870James was a farmer. James was the son of Samuel Sampson of St Agnes. Wife Jane nee Dabb.
George Sampson 70 and Joseph Sampson 16Somersetshire 1871Plymouth 26 Oct 1871Melbourne 27 Dec 1871George a labourer and Joseph a quarryman
James Sampson 35 Mary Sampson 33
Elizabeth Sampson 11 Emma Sampson 8 Mary Sampson 6 John Sampson 3 & William Sampson 1
Hesperus 1874Adelaide
Mr J Sampson 31, Mrs Sampson 26 & Ellen Sampson 11Cotopaxi 1880LondonMelbourne 26 Nov 1881
Hy T. Sampson 26, Ellen Sampson 26 & John Sampson 5Duke of Sutherland 1884LondonSydney 10 Feb 1884
Edward Sampson 33, Celina Sampson 28 & Annie Sampson 3 Also Paul Sampson 23Piotosi 1884Adelaide Edward was a labourer
Mr & Mrs Sampson Massilia 1886LondonSydney 9 May 1886
Mrs J. Sampson 46 and Fred K? Sampson 22Orient 1891Plymouth 23 May 1891AdelaideFred was a farmer.
Mr J. Sampson 35Oruba 1894Southhampton 10 Aug 1894Melbourne
Thomas Sampson 35 Clara Sampson 28 William Sampson 7 Oliver Sampson 5 Miriam Sampson 2 Fanny Sampson 1
Orient 1895Plymouth 17 Nov 1895SydneyThomas was a farmer
Mrs J. Sampson 26 and children: Master J. Sampson 4 & Master S. Sampson 2Ophir 1897PlymouthAdelaide 16 Oct 1897
Eliza Sampson 50 & Samuel Sampson 23John Elder 1880LondonMelbourne 22 Aug 1880Samuel was a mason
Selina Sampson 51, Mary A. Sampson 25, ? Sampson 23, Clarence Sampson 21 , Annie Sampson 17 & Maggie Sampson 11Liguria 1889PlymouthSydney 13 Oct 1889
John Sampson 74 and Miss N. Sampson 33Ophir 1898London 18 Feb 1898Adelaide
Mrs Sampson 26 & Master Sampson 4Empire 1907KobeMelbourne 18 Feb 1907
Miss Sampson 40Empire 1907SydneyMelbourne 21 Nov 1907
Mr Sampson 35Tulane 1909HobartMelbourne 28 Feb 1909
James W. SampsonIrishman 1914Liverpool 21 Mar 1914AdelaideAge 20 with occupation: orchardist
H.E. Sampson 18 Osterley 1923LondonBrisbane 11 Apr 1923Labourer
Mr H. S. Sampson 32, Mrs L.E. Sampson 31 & Master A. R. SampsonOrvieto 1923LondonMelbourne 18 Dec 1923Mr Sampson was listed as a violin maker
James SampsonLargs Bay 1929Southhampton 29 May 1929Melbourne Last address in the UK: 79 Ninth Row,Ashington. James was 16 with an occupation of miner
Henry Sampson 72Strathaird 1936London 21 Feb 1936MelbourneRetired. Last UK address: The Lodge, 18 St George's Sq. London
James Alexander SampsonMaloja 1952London 29 Oct 1952AdelaideLast UK address Thoms, Fordingbridge. Age 68 with occupation: farmer
William SampsonLocksee 1873William was the son of Richard & Nanny Sampson. Married Mary Davies in 1876 Carrieton. Later lived at Warramboo, South Australia