In 1849, diagnosed with tuberculosis and possibly hoping to benefit from South Australia’s drier, warmer climate, my fourth great grandfather John Plaisted (1800-1858) emigrated there from England. With him was his wife Ann, their six children, and Ann’s sister, Abigail Green.

Several of their relatives had already established themselves in the new colony. In 1838, eleven years previously, Sarah Bock (sister of Ann Plaisted) with her husband Alfred Bock, and Ann’s brother William Green with his wife Tabitha (sister of John Plaisted) had settled there.

The Plaisted family travelled on the ‘Rajah‘, reaching Adelaide on 12 April 1850 after a passage of 4 1/2 months from London.

A month later, on 16 May 1850, the Quarterly Government Sale of Crown Lands was held at the Police Commissioners Court. John Plaisted successfully bid on seven blocks in the Hundred of Willunga, one of eleven cadastral units in the County of Adelaide, about 50 km south of the city. John Plaisted’s brother-in-law, Alfred Bock, was the licensee of the Horseshoe Inn at nearby Noarlunga.



Price £ s.
£80 1s.
£80 1s.
£86 0s.
£80 1s.
£573 0s.
£88 0s.
£83 1s.
£103 0s.

John Plaisted’s blocks formed two contiguous areas, one of 320 acres near the coast, the other 742 acres close to what has since become the settlement of Willunga.

Allotments purchased by John Plaisted in May 1850. J.P. Manning bought section 519 marked in blue.
Map of Hundred of Willunga retrieved through Wikimedia Commons. (Section 714 on this map is numbered 514 on the November 1850 version of the map)
Willunga district photographed in 1924 by State Government Photographer – The History Trust of South Australian, South Australian Government. Image retrieved through Wikimedia Commons.

One of Plaisted’s neighbours was John Pitches Manning, who bought an adjacent block, later called Hope Farm, at the same auction. A family history of Manning and Hope Farm describes his purchase:

"During May 1850, George Pitches Manning journeyed south to Aldinga in search of suitable farming land but was not impressed with the country, which was covered by stunted gum and sheoak trees. His attention was then drawn to a parcel of Crown Land at McLaren Vale, which was, in later years to be the property known as Tintara Vineyards, of which more will be said later. This property was put to public auction but unfortunately he was outbid by a Mr Plaisted."

(Tintara winery was acquired by Thomas Hardy in the 1870s)

Advertising postcard for Hardy’s Tintara Wines – 1906 Image retrieved from

There are several newspaper reports of the Plaisted family’s activities in the district. A few months later on 28 July 1850, Alfred Bock, John’s wife’s brother-in-law, hosted a divine service at his hotel in Noarlunga after the laying of the foundation stone for a new church. John’s daughter Sally, my 3rd great grandmother, played the organ for the service.

"Noarlunga—The foundation stone of the new church to be dedicated to St. Phillip and St. James, was laid on Friday, the 28th ultimo, by the Bishop of Adelaide, in the presence of a numerous, and highly respectable, concourse of the inhabitants. His Lordship read the impressive service used on such occasions, which was listened to throughout with profound attention. Divine service was performed for the first time on Sunday last, at the "Horse Shoe" Inn. Mr Bock, the worthy landlord, fitted up the room for the occasion, and Miss Plaisted led the various hymns on a splendid organ. The arrangements for the accommodation of the congregation were simple yet comfortable, and, in fact, the whole was a great improvement upon the pro tempore places of worship previously used at Noarlunga."
St. Philip and St. James Anglican Church, Old Noarlunga, South Australia, photographed 2013 by Les Haines and retrieved from Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0
By 2018 the church had been deconsecrated and was being sold.
Horseshoe Inn Noarlunga, about 1860. Taken on the day of the Oddfellow’s Picnic to Aldinga, a band sits atop the horsedrawn coach. Image from the State Library of South Australia B7931
My 3rd great grandmother Sally Hughes nee Plaisted (1836 – 1900) from the book Cherry Stones by Helen Hudson

The next year in April 1851 John’s eldest daughter Sally Plaisted married Samuel Hughes of Noarlunga.

On Tuesday, 29th April, at Willunga, by the Rev. A. B. Burnett, Mr. Samuel Hughes, of Noarlunga, to Sally, only daughter of John Plaisted, Esq., of Hornsey, late of Muswell Hill, near London.

In September 1851 John Plaisted, Alfred Bock, Samuel Hughes, and John’s son John Plaisted junior attended a meeting called to establish a monthly market in Noarlunga township. John Plaisted addressed the meeting.

In December 1851 John Plaisted sailed for Melbourne. In the 1850s he and and other members of his family seem to have travelled quite frequently between Melbourne and South Australia.

In February 1852 John Plaisted of Market Square (Melbourne) was one of the merchants and brewers who registered their names and residences with the Chief Inspector of Distilleries in Victoria.

In February 1852, back in South Australia, Mr Plaisted (it is not clear whether this was John or one of his sons) won a prize of potatoes at the Noarlunga monthly market.

In March 1852 Thomas Plaisted was receiving cargo in Adelaide of 179 bags of flour and 35 bags of bran. In March and in May Job Plaisted (probably John) received mail in Adelaide. In May 1852 a Plaisted received 32 bags of flour.

In November 1852 J Plaisted, S. Hughes and A. Bock were subscribers to a fund for erecting a church at Noarlunga. The three men were generous in their donations, especially. J. Plaisted, who donated 10 pounds.

In 1853 John Plaisted was described as a farmer Hornsey Farm, Long Gully, McLaren Vale

In August 1854 Messrs. Bell and Plaisted, were in business as grocers at 67 Queen-street. In March 1855 they had moved to 57 Queens Street, advertising a range of goods from pianos to barrels of haddock.

When John Plaisted died of tuberculosis in Melbourne on 4 May 1858, his death certificate stated he had been in Victoria 5 years, thus since 1853; he had been in South Australia for only 3 years.

In his will John Plaisted left to his wife the rent of Hornsey Farm, McLaren Vale, South Australia, and the rent of the Blacksmiths Shop at Noarlunga.

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