Mary Ann Rundle was born on the 3rd June 1836 in Altarnun, Cornwall, the third child and daughter of Thomas and Mary Rundle (nee Mutton). Her siblings were Jane, Elizabeth, John (died young) and Richard.

1841 census[]

Mary Ann is located with her family in the 1841 census for Cornwall. They are recorded at Lescarnick Red Hill, Altarnun, where her father was employed as a tinner.

Journey to South Australia[]

In 1847, Mary Ann's father decided to move the family to South Australia. They travelled on the ship "Theresa" which left London via Plymouth on 19/1/1847 with Captain Thomas Bacon.

The ship made the whole passage to Adelaide in 104 days. Three small children died during the voyage, and four births took place. The emigrants were from Buckinghamshire, Devon, Cornwall and Ireland. The males included 32 miners, 33 agricultural labourers and farm servants, 5 carpenters, 1 blacksmith, 1 shoemaker and 3 masons or bricklayers. The females included 30 domestic servants and 4 dressmakers.

The newly-arrived expressed their entire satisfaction with the quality and quantity of the provisions, and the water (which was filtered before being taken on board) was good all the way. On arrival and after the muster had taken place, the emigrants gave three cheers for Doctor Gordon. The proposer of the cheer designated Dr Gordon "the conservator of health and the lover of peace". Three cheers followed for the ship.

Mary Ann was 10 years old when she undertook the journey. The ship arrived in Port Adelaide on 3/5/1847.

South Australia and Marriage[]

Where the family settled when they arrived in South Australia is unknown at this stage. It is possible that it was the Walkerville area, as Mary Ann was married at St Andrew's Church there on 27/3/1853. She was only 17 years old and 4 months pregnant at the time. Her new husband was Richard Morris, a shoemaker, aged 22.

Even though all their children were born in the city of Adelaide, the couple settled in West Adelaide, near Southwark in the Hindmarsh district, where Richard was employed as a shoemaker. Mary Ann and Richard would have 8 children altogether, between the years of 1853 and 1876. Their eldest daughter Eliza was married 4 years before their last child was born.

Their are two gaps between the ages of the children - one between 1856 - 1861 and another between 1864 - 1876.

The reason for the first gap appears to be work and travel. An advert in the Adelaide Observer newspaper dated 21st January 1860 states that Richard was at Mt Remarkable in the Flinders Ranges, seeking to hire two shoemakers to assist him with his work. By March of the same year, however, he is travelling to Melbourne, maybe trying to take advantage of employment opportunities in the later years of the Gold Rush. The South Australian Advertiser reported on 29/3/1860 that a Richard Morris boarded the steamer 'Omeo' for Melbourne the previous day with a James and Mary O'Brien and two of their children. The O'Brien family lived near the Morris family in the Hindmarsh district and would eventually marry into the family.

Richard was back in Adelaide later that year as his daughter Harriet was born in March 1861. The South Australian Advertiser all reported on 02/05/1862 that Richard, who had been a private in the Volunteer Force with the West Adelaide Rifles, was to be promoted to Corporal.


In June on 1864, Mary Ann gave birth to twin boys. By October of the same year, Richard had deserted her and the family.

The South Australian Advertiser reported the incident on 2/11/1864. Mary Ann reported at the Police Courts that her husband could earn 2 pounds and 5 shillings a week at his trade (shoemaker), but he had given her only 10 shillings during the last 5 weeks. She had received some rations from the Government, but she had sought most of her support from her mother and father.

Richard in turn charged Mary Ann with infidelity, but that he had offered her 1 pound per week out of his earnings if she would leave her parents (it appears Mary Ann may have moved into their house with her children when Richard deserted her). Several witness gave evidence that Richard had taken lodgings for a single woman whom he introduced under false pretences. When it was discovered that Richard was a married man with a family, this lead to the expulsion of both lodgers.

An order was made for the payment of 1 pound weekly, and for costs amounting to 3 pounds, 5 shillings. It also appears that Richard was expelled from the Volunteer Rifle Band, of which he was a part, as the Secretary of the association reported this in the newspaper on the same day.

A search of records relating to divorce and petitions for dissolution of marriage has no divorce record for Mary Ann and Richard in South Australia. The couple appeared to have reunited briefly 14 years later in 1876, when their last child Albert Edward was born, but would separately permanently soon after.

Mary Ann also appears to have not stayed with her parents permanently after the separation. The South Australian Directories have Mrs. M.A. Morris at Fisher Place in Adelaide in 1873, and at a boarding house at Whitmore Square in 1880.

Second Marriage[]

Mary Ann married for a second time on the 16th September 1880 at Adelaide, to James Wishart. He was listed as single and the son of Eitken Wishart. They married at Mary Ann's residence in Adelaide. She gave her status as widow, which was inaccurate as her first husband Richard was still living at the time. As the couple had not divorced, the marriage was a bigamist one, unless Richard had deserted her for such a considerable period she could have been legally classed as a widow.

Little is known of Mary Ann and James' life together at this stage, but they continued to live in the West Adelaide area, and Mary Ann bore no more children. The South Australian Directories list James as both a grocer's assistant and a storeman between 1885 and 1895, located on the east side of Cawthorne Street, Thebarton, which became the suburb of Southwark in 1893. His last name was sometimes incorrectly recorded as 'Wishard'.

Mary Ann and James had been together for 15 years when James died at Southwark on 22/8/1895. His death is unusual in that it appears that no one came forward to claim the body or give information to the signatory of his death certificate. His marriage status was recorded as not known and no relative was recorded as a witness. This is despite a death notice being recorded for him in The Advertiser newspaper on 24th August 1895. The death notice stated that he had died at Albert Cottage, Cawthorne Street, Southwark.

After James's death, Mary Ann is listed in the South Australian directories as Mrs James Wishart, Cawthorne Street, Southwark.


Mary Ann died on 26/6/1916 at Southwark after sufferening bronchitis for 14 days. Her funeral departed from the house of daughter Eliza in Southwark, who was married to a James O'Brien. Mary Ann is buried in an unmarked grave in the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.


Name Birth Death
Children of Richard and Mary Ann Morris

Eliza 4/8/1853
Adelaide, South Australia
Southwark, South Australia

Richard 7/9/1854
Adelaide, South Australia
Southwark, South Australia

Emily (Amy) 7/1/1856
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Harriet 1/3/1861
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Mary Ann 4/7/1862
Adelaide, South Australia
Solomontown, South Australia

George 23/6/1864
Adelaide, South Australia
Southwark, South Australia

William 23/6/1864
Adelaide, South Australia
Whyalla, South Australia

Albert Edward 9/11/1876
Adelaide, South Australia


  • Information from Ken Mills
  • British Census for 1841
  • South Australian Passenger lists
  • South Australian BMD records
  • The South Australian Advertiser, 29/3/1860, 2/5/1862, 2/11/1864, 14/1/1882, 4/3/1882, 16/8/1882, 28/6/1916
  • The Chronicle, August 1882 and October 1884
  • South Australian Directories, 1873-1906