The Caust Family Story


Caust Descendant Charts

Introduction to the Caust/Symonds Connections

As an ancestral line for many descendants of Francis and Thomasine Symonds, the Caust family of Chain of Ponds in South Australia has as much of interest to those descendants as does the Symonds line. The Symonds Descendant Chart section for Francis #4 Symonds shows the threefold link with the Caust family. In addition, there are also other aspects of the lives of James Phillips Caust and his wife Ann nee Clogg which are part of the fabric of the growth of South Australia and the expansion of the newcomers into the countryside.

James Caust and his Forebears

Both James and Ann were born in the more easterly part of Cornwall and married there but settled in Devon at Plymouth before leaving from that port for South Australia in 1839.

James Phillips Cause was born to Jane Jay Cause at a place shown in the Talland Church Register as Wollen which was probably the local pronunciation of Wayland, a village not far north of Talland. He was baptised at Talland Parish Church on 21 Nov 1815, just west of East Looe where his Cawse grandparents lived and where Jane had been born. It is possible that James was brought up in East Looe with his grandparents, John Cawse and Jane nee Jay.

The surname spelling as for many names of that period had many recorded variations, even in the same family. In early searches in 1976 Mr Douch, formerly of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, had warned that the name Caust would have many variant spellings, a warning well given. Records turned up a formidable range of well-connected spellings - Cars, Carst, Caurse, Caus, Cause, Causs, Cawse, Cawrse, Cawst, Corst, Coss, Cost and Cust.

After much searching, James' great grandparents were found to have come from St Neot to East Looe and were married at St Martin-by-Looe Parish Church in 1770. James' grandfather John was baptised on 21 Nov 1770 in the same church and was married there to Jane Jay on 2 Feb 1796. Their daughter Jane Jay Cause, mother of James Phillips Cause was baptised there on 11 Aug 1796. The ancestral Caust line can be oulined here.

	|CAWSE, Bennet b. c1610, d. 1 Jan 1670 St Neot CON
	|	Married 16 Aug 1629: CAWSE, Elizabeth (d. St Neot CON)
	|CAWSE, Thomas b. c1636 St Neot CON, d. St Neot CON
	|	Married 20 Nov 1661: SMITHE(?), Dorothie (d. St Neot CON)
	|CAWSE, William b. c1673 St Neot CON, d. St Neot CON
	|	Married 30 Nov 1696: MUTTON, Jane (b. & d. St Neot CON)
	|CAWSE, John b. c1707 St Neot CON
	|	Married 8 Mar 1735: HUSBAND, Ann (b. St Neot CON)
	|CAWSE, John b. c1749 St Neot CON, d. East Looe CON, bur. St Martin-by-Looe
	|	Married 21 Jun 1770: KITE, Elizabeth (d. St Martin-by-Looe CON)
	|CAWSE, John  b. c1770 East Looe CON, d. East Looe CON
	|	Married 2 Feb 1796: JAY, Jane (d. East Looe CON)
	|CAWSE, Jane Jay b. c1796 East Looe CON
	|	Married later, 28 Mar 1821: TRUSCOTT, Peter of St Austell CON
	|CAUSE (CAUST), James Phillips, b. c1815, Wollen CON d. 1894 Chain of Ponds SA AUS
	|	Married 25 Jun 1837 Morval CON: CLOGG, Ann b. c1813 Crumplehorn CON
	|					d. 13 May 1881 Chain of Ponds SA AUS

A Plymouth Apprenticeship

Although nothing of his early life in East Looe has been found, James was apprenticed as a black and white smith in Plymouth for seven years, possibly in the dockyards. Unfortunately many of the records including those of apprenticeships were destroyed in the bombing of Plymouth in WWII. James completed his apprenticeship in 1837. It is clear from information gleaned from elderly family members and from others who knew of James' smithing work that he must have had a very fine apprenticeship training. It seems to have covered a wide range of black and white smithing as well as carpentry and wheelwright operations. Such training could be expected in a dockyard such as Plymouth where timber was a prime component of ships at that time.

On completion of his apprenticeship and with an assured job in Plymouth, James married Ann Clogg on 25 June 1837 in the Morval Parish Church. Morval is a pretty village in hilly country north-east of East Looe. James signed his name in a good hand and Ann made her mark in the presence of Mary Cobbledick and Edmund Jay. It is interesting that both of the latter surnames appear among people who emigrated to South Australia.

Emigration to South Australia

James went back with Ann to Plymouth to live in Stonehouse Lane. It was there that their first son John was born on 23 October 1837. By one of those nice breaks of Fate, the date of birth was just after the passing of the Parliamentary Act of 1837 requiring central registration of births, marriages and deaths. A copy of the birth certificate for John Caust confirmed the place of birth and the name of the father and mother, their residence address and the occupation of the father.

A decision to emigrate to South Australia must have been made in the late part of 1838. The Emigration Agent registered James as Applicant No. 4661 on 15 April 1839, showing him as a black and white smith of King Street, Plymouth. He allotted to James the Embarkation No. 2637 for an assisted passage covering himself, Ann and son John, registering them as Male (23), Female (25) and Male Child (1). Oddly, this showed as did other papers that Ann was two years older than James.

The family departed from Plymouth on the three-masted ship Recovery which weighed anchor on 19 May 1839. The passenger list included 110 adults accompanied by 65 children travelling under the Emigration Fund, 19 non-Fund passengers with 17 children, and ten Superior Class passengers with three children. In the latter group was Lt. Frome who was the incoming Surveyor-General for South Australia. While James and Ann were travelling to their new homeland with son John, they suffered the grief of losing John to some illness contracted during the voyage. He was buried at sea. The cause and the date have not been discovered but it may have been early in the voyage.

Since this Caust page was first prepared, Max Carter has published his story of his Thomas Harding forebear who also travelled to South Australia on the Recovery. In 1989, the 150th anniversary of the Harding family's emigration to South Australia gave him the main impetus to record something of their times. The book has the title "No Convicts There, Thomas Harding's Colonial South Australia" (ISBN 0 7316 9387 6). It is a fascinating story of life in Plymouth prior to the decision to emigrate, a tale of the sea for the mid-19th century, and the early struggles of the settlers in South Australia.
In a section on sickness and death in ships travelling with emigrants to Australia, Max Carter comments that the Recovery had been "subject to fewer losses on the voyage by death among the passengers, than any other shipe of comparable tonnage that arrived in the colony in that period. Out of the total complement of 289 persons on board, there were only four deaths, and these were children from whooping cough". In discussion with him recently, it is probable that one of those four children was John Caust.

The ship arrived in South Australia on 19 September 1839, a journey of 110 days from Plymouth.

Settling and Working in Adelaide

E.A.D. Opie, in his book South Australian Records Prior to 1841, lists James Caust as one on the passengers on the Recovery and, a few pages later, is quite specific about James as a smith, under the section Some early Settlers in 1839:

"A Blacksmith in Adelaide James rented a small two-roomed pug cottage at 10 shillings per week near the corner of Leigh and Currie Streets. James rapidly obtained work nearby for 3 per week with Mr. Dunn, a blacksmith who had established his smithy a few months earlier nearby on the north side of Currie Street. A large Dunn family has arrived on 21 March 1839, only six months before James, in the barque d'Auvergnewhich had departed from London on 13 November 1838, a long voyage of 128 days."

After about nineteen months with Mr Dunn with whom he must have done well, James took out a lease in his own name on a portion of Town Acre Section 140 (30 foot frontage) on the south side of Currie Street, closer to King William Street. The lease indenture of three close-written pages was executed on 11 May 1841, specifying a clear yearly rent of Twenty two Pounds ten shillings of lawful British money in even portions quarterly. That land is now part of the site of the Commonwealth Bank in Currie Street.

The Edwardstown Venture

The quality of the work which James carried out and his abilities in a broad range of smithing and other tasks must have attracted the attention of those who were expanding into the area south west of the centre of Adelaide in what was known as Edward's Town and Hammersmith - it became Edwardstown. Major O'Halloran was one of those who pressed James to make the change. He got up a requisition with the names of many leading settlers in this new area, all promising to give him support. They felt that they needed a good agricultural implement maker in the district.

James was persuaded to move his smithy to South Road in Hammersmith. On 4 October 1845, James signed a transfer of the lease indenture for his portion of Section 140 in favour of Joshua Gurr who was also a blacksmith in Currie Street. Gurr paid James ten pounds to assign the rights.

Left: The Avoca Hotel, Edwardstown, in about 1915 - Centre:The Old Smithy was here, now a fish shop - Right: The Avoca Hotel in 1978

James constructed his house and blacksmith/wheelwright shop on South Road in Hammersmith, on the north-east corner of South Road with what is now Pearson Street. The business flourished. On the opposite corner, somewhat later, he built a hotel which he named Nelson's Victory, licensed for the first time in 1850. Having been born in the year of Waterloo and working later in Plymouth, James no doubt had very clear memories of the meaning of the victories at Trafalgar and Waterloo to the British people.

The Nelson's Victory name lasted until 1880 when the licensee of the time, J.V. Bushell, applied for and obtained leave to change the name of the hotel to The Avoca Hotel. The original building has remained mainly unchanged to the present day but with some additions made with great care to keep the atmosphere as it was. The old building of two storeys was constructed of 14" bluestone blocks and brick walls, with high decorated ceilings. There are four bedrooms and a sitting room upstairs, with public rooms, kitchen, office and so on on the ground floor. A huge L-shaped cellar which holds 300 kegs is underground. The original stable is now an outside bar. So by the 1850s, things were going well for James and Ann.

But What of the Family?

In their first Currie Street home, William Caust was born on 11 Jan 1840. He was baptised on 26 April 1840 at Trinity Church, North Terrace, with his parents registered as James and Ann Cust, with James recorded as a blacksmith of Currie Street. In the 1841 Census of South Australia, the Currie Street list shows Jas Cost, another of these surname variants. The Census shows two males and one female under seven years, two males under 35 years and two females under 35 years. Another family must have been living with James, Ann and William in the two-roomed cottage.

A daughter, the second child Mary Ann was born on 5 March 1842 and baptised at Trinity Church on 5 May 1842, this time with the surname spelt as Caust, as were all those who followed her. Soon after the move to Edwardstown, Sarah Jane was born on 9 Nov 1845. Two more children were born there; James on 26 Aug 1847 and Charlotte Elizabeth on 9 Sep 1851.

The Allure of Gold

Later in his life, son William explained that his father had caught the gold fever when everyone seemed to be rushing out of South Australia to the Victorian goldfields such as Ballarat and Bendigo. James visited Victoria, probably to Bendigo, in about 1849 and again in 1852 when William, then 12 years old, accompanied him.

On the second occasion, they went to Melbourne on Captain Cadell's steamship, Queen of Sheba, obtained a packhorse and took six days to get to Bendigo. James obviously believed in having two strings to his bow, as did many Cornishmen. He arranged for his anvil, weighing about 5 cwt (255 kg), to be sent on at the cost of 25 for transport alone. Smithing and mining went well together! William himself was too young to carry out any mining but he related that he was successful in washing for gold.

The record of the arrival of ships from interstate shows that James and William returned to Adelaide from Melbourne on the Queen of Sheba, arriving on the morning of 21 Jan 1853. James must have made something worthwhile out of those mining and smithing visits to Victoria as he went again a third time. It is not evident how his smithy managed while he was away for three to four months each time.

The Move to Chain of Ponds

After his return from the second trip in 1853, James decided to invest in land elsewhere, probably on the strength of the Victorian visits and the operation of the smithy and the hotel. He bought land in Gawler and Chain of Ponds. He sold his smithing busines to George Viney, a Somerset blacksmith who had arrived in South Australia on 23 Aug 1849 on the Eliza from Plymouth. Farming was not to James' liking so he went back to building his smithy in Chain of Ponds to carry out his broader smithing capabilities in wheelwrighting as well as the manufacture of waggons and other wheeled vehicles. His waggons became well-known and were sought for grain transport as far afield as Yorke Peninsula and the mid-north of South Australia.

With a gap no doubt partly induced by James' absence in Bendigo and the family move to the Adelaide Hills, their seventh child Amelia was born in Philp Town (Chain of Ponds) on 10 March 1854. William was 14 years old and served his apprenticeship with George Viney in Edwardstown as a blacksmith, wheelwright and toolmaker. Mary Ann, affectionately known as Polly, was just 12 years old, five days before Amelia was born. Sarah Jane was 8, James 6 and Charlotte Elizabeth 3. Mary Ann was likely to have been old enough to be of some help to Ann whose work would have been cut out coping with a new place of abode, young children and a baby - and ensuring that the older ones went to school. It was apparent that James and Ann both saw to it that their children grew up with a good education in local schools.

Now, all the children of James and Ann Caust have been mentioned and the known information about their births, marriages and deaths can be listed as a chart:

	|	1. CAUST, John b. 23 Oct 1837, Plymouth DEV ENG
	|					  Died at sea, circa 1839
	|	2. CAUST, William b. 11 Jan 1840, Adelaide SA AUS
	|					  d. 23 May1918 Chain of Ponds SA AUS
	|					  bur. Chain of Ponds Cemetery
	|		Married on 13 May 1862: SYMONDS, Amy b. 10 May 1840,
	|					  Nankervis, St Enoder CON ENG
	|					  d. 10 Jul 1915, Chain of Ponds SA AUS
	|					  bur. 13 Jul 1915, Chain of Ponds Cemetery 
	|	3. CAUST, Mary Ann b. 5 Mar 1842, Edwardstown SA AUS
	|					  d. circa Nov 1872, Chain of Ponds SA AUS
	|					  bur. 1 Dec 1872, Chain of Ponds Cemetery
	|		Married 1862: OLDMAN, Albert b. circa 1840, d. 1873
	| 	4. CAUST, Sarah Jane b. 16 Nov 1845 Edwardstown SA AUS
	|					  d. circa 1927
	|		Married on 16 Nov 1865: SYMONDS, Thomas b.25 Dec 1844,
	|					  Nankervis, St Enoder CON ENG
	|					  d. 20 Jul 1904, Mugari, near Coolgardie WA AUS
	|					  bur. 22 Jul 1904, Coolgardie Cemetery.
	|	5. CAUST, James b. 27 Aug 1847, Edwardstown SA AUS
	|					  d. 14 Apr 1887, bur. Parkside SA AUS
	|		Married on 30 Jun 1869: CONGDON, Isabella b. circa 1850 SA AUS
	|					  d. 21 May 1907 SA AUS
	|					  bur. West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide SA AUS
	|	6. CAUST, Charlotte Elizabeth b. 9 Sep 1851, Edwardstown SA AUS
	|					  d. 15 Sep 1928, Adelaide SA AUS
	|		Married on 12 Feb 1870: SUTHERLAND, William Alexander
	|					  b. 1845 Scotland
	|					  d. 28 Nov 1928 Everard Park SA AUS
	|					  bur. West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide SA AUS
	|	7. CAUST, Amelia b. 10 Mar 1854 Chain of Ponds SA AUS
	|					  d. 1942 Adelaide SA AUS
	|					  bur. 21 Sep 1942, Chain of Ponds Cemetery SA
	|		Married on 21 Apr 1883: SYMONDS, John b. 17 Oct 1841,
	|					  Nankervis, St Enoder CON ENG
	|					  d. Sep 1913, Chain of Ponds SA AUS
	|					  bur. 23 Sep 1913, Chain of Ponds Cemetery SA

James Visits his County of Birth

James is said to have made a visit back to Cornwall sometime about 1870, according to verbal family history. This visit may have occurred after William had taken over the running of the family smithing business. Ann Caust died at Chain of Ponds on 15 May 1881 aged 68 years and was buried at Philp Town (Chain of Ponds) Cemetery. A year later at the age of about 67 years, James took the surprising decision to visit his relations in Cornwall again.

These visits might have escaped attention 100 years later if it were not for a letter found at Rosedale, Chain of Ponds, after the death of Gumma (J.G.C.) Symonds, the son of John and Amelia Symonds. It was written from Torpoint in Cornwall, just across the water from Plymouth. The gentle humour of his letter to Amelia, his youngest daughter, and its delightful Cornish phonetic spelling makes it worth recording here without any editing of the spelling. It is probable that Amelia was living at the Caust home in Chain of Ponds where she had been looking after her father following the death of Ann, her mother. Amelia did not marry John Symonds until a year after this letter was written, at which stage she was 29 years old.

James (age 76 years) remarried on 5 April 1892 to Mary Phillips Vercoe (age 48 years) who was living in Chain of Ponds and was a daughter of Philip Vercoe. The ceremony was carried out at the residence of Mr W.H. Jolly in Chain of Ponds. James died in 1894 and was buried at the Philp Town (Chain of Ponds) Cemetery in his 80th year.

The letter will provide a gentle finish to this story, for the time being.

June 25/82
Dear Aelia, Landed safe what joyes to tell of all the dangers that befell. I hope you recived wat I sent from Poart Said so that you whould Now that I met with a nasty fall but am thankfell it whas No whorse but I Ham getting on fine. Whe landed on Satdey Morning 24th June and I whent to Liscard and from thair to looe found your unkle John all right staid the sund and mond morning and sarted again to Plymouth presented the draft found my signetur all right but Have to whait till wednesday till the return from london the geive me a Chek for the money I have no tuble with it I found Mrs North and Daughter the one that Maried with the Capten I new Her as soon as I saw Her I think she is 75 ye'r but quite a lovley looking whoman Made me a coop of tea I found the Jay family whas all gon then I Mad for Torpoint found Mr Gree Every thing comfortable so I sop till Wedansday then return to looe your Aunt Sariah is in liscard wich will the next to see. Terable alterations Everywhere but licard I hav not sen much thair I have bee very busey so far Now I have bee telling you How I ham getting and Hope you are Comfertable alltho you may feel for my missfortain but thank you I am getting on fine All the Cheif officers and stuards whas very cind to me I cannot tell whether twas for my good LOOKS or my goad beavours but preaps for boath
Now Amelia I mus begain to whind up Hopeing you will let your Brothers and sisters naw the Nuse and tell the young geirls your companiens that wen I return I shall talk to them a little bit of English. Well now amelia I have been telling a little Logic and a little of what I Have seen so that I mus whind up with love to all of you and remain
Your Faither
Jas Caust senr
PS Derick to East looe Poas ofice

There is more to tell but this must suffice until more is prepared.

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The page was begun on 8 Mar 1998 by John Symonds, GGrandson of James Phillips Caust.