Elizabeth Pollard
Sex: Female
Birth: Sep Q 1841, PerranzabuloeCornwall, England
Death: 16/3/1927, Myers Creek, Victoria, Australia
Father: Christopher Pollard
Mother: Mary Floyd
Spouse/Partner: John Ah Sam
Marriage: 25/4/1857, Tarrangower, Victoria (Australia)
2nd Spouse: William Henry Wicks
2nd Marriage: 1867, Castlemaine, Victoria (Australia)

Birth and Baptism[]

Elizabeth Pollard was born in the September quarter of 1841 in Perranzabuloe, Cornwall to parents Christopher and Mary Pollard (nee Floyd).

She was their 9th child and 4th daughter. Her siblings alive at her birth were James, Jane (Jenny), Christopher, Henry, Mary, John, Joseph and Caroline.

No baptism record for Elizabeth has been located, although her birth was officially registered. This could be because members of her family were Bryanites who followed the Bible Christian faith. Bryanites had been threatened in times past with job losses, so many services were conducted within the mines themselves.

1841 census[]

Elizabeth does not appear in the 1841 census for Cornwall as it was taken just prior to her birth. Her family were located at Goosehaven, Perranzabuloe, which is where she would have spent her early childhood. Those in her family of employable age were lead dressers in a coal mine.

More siblings[]

Elizabeth’s parents had two more children after her birth – two brothers named Richard in 1843 and Robert Floyd in 1845.

Mining Disaster[]

On the 9th July 1846, a thunderstorm resulted in flooding and mud slides at the mine site where the family worked, the East Wheal Rose Mine. The flooding and mud slides killed 36 men in the mine. A James Pollard of Perrranzabuloe was listed amongst the dead. This was Elizabeth’s brother who was recorded aged 21 at his burial, and listed of 'Gooseheaven' (where the family resided in the 1841 census). Elizabeth was 4 years old when the accident occurred.

1851 census[]

Elizabeth appears with her parents and siblings in the 1851 census for Cornwall. They are located at Goosehaven, Perranzabuloe. She is aged 10, while her 48 year old father and 3 of her brothers are recorded as miners.

Travel to Australia[]

The census was taken just prior to the family immigrating to Australia. The 588 ton barque ‘SULTANA’ left Plymouth on the 2nd May 1851, with 256 immigrants aboard. arriving in South Australia at Port Adelaide on 10th August 1851.

From all accounts, there was very little sickness on board and the journey was mostly uneventful. The shipping list showed that Elizabeth’s father Christopher was charged an additional amount due to the number of children that he brought with him.

South Australia[]

The family’s first place of residence in South Australia was in the busy copper mining town of Kapunda, where many Cornish people settled. At least two of Elizabeth’s brothers, Christopher and Henry were to settle in Kapunda for the remainder of their lives.

In 1852, according to sister Jane’s obituary, Elizabeth’s father left Kapunda, taking the family with him, and settled at Bowden, South Australia. On the announcement of the gold rush in Victoria, her father decided to investigate. He was therefore in Bowden only a very short time, but maintained the residence there where Elizabeth stayed with her mother and some of her siblings. It is believed that some of the elder male siblings went with their father to Victoria to assist.


Elizabeth and the rest of the family stayed in Parklands, Bowden until approximately 1856. They then left to join her father and elder brothers in Victoria.

The family’s life in Victoria was centered around the district near Barker’s Creek in the goldfields. Several unclaimed letters for her father Christopher and recorded in the Victorian Government Gazettes around this time period.

First Marriage[]

On 25.4.1857, Elizabeth married John A Sam, a 29 year old miner from Canton, China in the Church of England at Tarrangower (now known as Maldon). Elizabeth was aged 17 and Christopher Pollard was recorded as her father. John signed the marriage certificate in Chinese script. At the peak migration point of the late 1850s, the Chinese made up one in five of the male population in gold mining towns of Victoria such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine.

A person named C. Pollard (possibly Elizabeth’s father Christopher) signed a petition on 21 August 1857 regarding the imposition on the Chinese. In 1857, South Australia limited Chinese immigration by imposing a £10 poll tax on all Chinese people entering the colony. The Chinese diggers rallied in protest against the poll tax by forming the 'United Confederacy of Chinese' on the Ovens, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Ballarat goldfields. The confederacy called upon the Chinese diggers to protest against the resident tax of £4 imposed upon them. In 1859, their protest came to a head when several thousand Chinese people marched in protest in Castlemaine, where they presented a petition to the Victorian Government that contained many thousands of signatures of support for the cause. It is not known at this stage what and if the family were involved in any of these protests. It is also not known at this stage if there were any children from the marriage between Elizabeth and John.

Family Deaths[]

Elizabeth’s family suffered a significant number of deaths between the years 1858 and 1860.

Her elder brother Joseph was first, dying on 21st April 1858 of ‘colonial fever’. ‘Colonial Fever’ was the name given to typhoid fever before its official diagnosis. The poor living conditions in the tents on the gold fields were well known, and diseases like typhoid were common. Joseph was aged 21 at his death.

Elizabeth’s younger brother Robert Floyd also suffered from colonial fever at the same time as Joseph. He suffered from the condition for 20 days before dying on 22nd April 1858, a day after Joseph’s death. Robert was only 12 years old. He and his brother were buried in the Campbell’s Creek Cemetery.

Elizabeth’s older brother Christopher (aged 30 and living in Kapunda in South Australia) died of fever on the 5th May 1860.

Next was Elizabeth’s mother, Mary, who died only one month later. She died at Barker’s Creek, Victoria on 17th June 1860, aged 58 years, from ulceration of the bowel. She was buried with her son’s Joseph and Robert in the Campbells Creek Cemetery.

One month after the death of Mary, Elizabeth’s elder brother Henry (aged 28 and a miner of Kapunda) also died of peritonitis. He was buried in the Clare Road Cemetery with his brother Christopher who had died two months before.

How all these deaths in a short space of time affected Elizabeth and her family is unknown.

Father’s Second Marriage[]

Elizabeth’s father Christopher married for a second time, one year after his first wife’s death. He married a woman called Emma Agate in South Australia, and it appears that she had also been previously married. They would have 3 more children between the years 1861 and 1864, so Elizabeth had more siblings.

Second Marriage[]

Elizabeth started having children by another man, William Henry Wicks, by 1862. They had 3 children together (William, Charles and Richard) before they eventually married in 1867.

What happened to her first husband is not yet known. When she did marry again, she used her maiden name of Pollard instead of her married name of Sam.

Elizabeth would have another 6 children with William Wicks, between the years 1869 and 1882, bringing their total number of children to 9.The lived and raised their children in the Sandhurst district (now known as Bendigo).

Death of Father[]

Elizabeth’s father Christopher died in 1887 and made a will in favour of Elizabeth, appointing her executrix. She was recorded of Myer’s Creek, near Sandhurst, and the wife of William Henry Wicks, labourer.

He left Elizabeth “all my property in land and houses, situated in Fryers and Templeton Streets, Guildford with any and all monies.” His real estate was valued £25 and his personal effects valued £40.5.0. The property was located at Lot 3 of Subdivision 1 of Section 4 of Allotment 2 of Section 4 Township and Parish of Guildford Country of Talbot. The property consisted on an old brick shop of 8 rooms, and two old weatherboard buildings of approximately 4 rooms each. All were in such a state of disrepair, none were considered lettable. The only other items he owned was £39 in cash and a watch or trinket.

The mark of Elizabeth Wicks on documents relating to her father's will

Electoral Roll[]

In 1903, the electoral roll lists, Elizabeth, husband William and their son Christopher at Myers Creek. William is a miner and Christopher is a labourer.


Elizabeth died on 16th March 1927 at Inglewood Road, Myers Creek, Bendigo. She was 85 years old and died of apoplexy and a coma of 14 days. The informant on her death was a T.R. Oakley (an authorised agent), and he did not know all the details of her family. He correctly named her father as Christopher, but did not know what her father’s occupation had been, nor the name of her mother. He said that she had lived in Victoria for 74 years and had married her husband William Henry Wicks at age 19 (she was 27). 6 of her children were recorded as living and 3 were deceased.

Elizabeth was buried at the Bendigo Cemetery by a Church of England of minister.


Name Birth Death
Children of William and Elizabeth Wicks

William Henry c1862
alive in 1927

Charles Henry c1863
Victoria, Australia

deceased by 1927

Richard c1867
alive in 1927

John 1869
Newstead, Victoria, Australia
Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia

Elizabeth Charlotte 1871
Victoria, Australia
R Park, Victoria, Australia

Martha Maria 1874
Kangaroo Flat, Victoria, Australia
Bendigo, Victoria]

James 1876
Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia

Christopher 1878
Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia
Bend, Victoria, Australia

Amelia Ann 1882
Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia
Marong, Victoria, Australia


  • Family research information from Peter Underdown
  • International Genealogical Index
  • 1841 & 1851 census for Cornwall
  • Baptism records
  • Births, Deaths & Marriage records
  • Obituary of Jane Barnes (nee Pollard)
  • South Australian Passenger lists
  • Campbell's Creek Cemetery Records
  • Bendigo Cemetery records
  • Will of Christopher Pollard, Guildford