The Kepert Family lived in Macclesfield from 1850 until 1870.
Wenzel KEPERT (1795-1876)
Catharina Anna Elizabeth Kepert (nee BEHN) (1805-1870)
William Francis KEPERT (1830-1866)
Alice Phoebe Hardcastle (1840-1923)
Charles Alexandria KEPERT (1834-1907)
Louis Gustav KEPERT (1836-1915)
Anna Elisabeth Frederika KEPERT (1840-1937)
This first section has come to us from Louis Kepert, a descendent of Mr & Mrs Kepert and their four children who all lived in Macclesfield in their new cottage in Luck Street from around 1860, though he is not aware of where they lived in the town before their house was completed.
It is a long read and must represent a huge genealogical research effort. Much does not directly involve Macclesfield and it includes a long passage detailing the history of some land in NSW. Nevertheless I have included it all for completeness, because it may be of considerable interest to Kepert descendants, and it gives some background about life in the colonies in the early days.
Louis and his wife Pam write on 30th Dec 2018: "The research has taken many years to put together and our recent visit to Macclesfield has prompted me to put a paper together for our original pioneer family. We have met Betty White a few times in the past on our visits to Macclesfield and she has been very helpful. We live in the Blue Mountains so getting to South Australia is just now and again."
Wenzel Kepert with his wife, Catharina Anna Elizabeth Kepert (nee Behn), lived in Macclesfield from 1850 with their children, who were at the time:
William Francis Kepert, age 18,
Charles Alexandria Kepert, age 15,
Louis Gustav Kepert, age 13,
Anna Elisabeth Frederika Kepert, age 8.
Wenzel Kepert (1795-1876) is the German spelling of the Bohemia name Waczlav Keprta. It is known from Louis Gustav Kepert's Christening certificate that Wenzel was born in Kunvald, a village 5km from Senftenburg, Bohemia. By deduction from his age recorded on his death certificate, it means he was born around 1794 or 1795.
Senftenburg is now known as Zamberk in Czechoslovakia. A telephone book in Zamberk show a few Kepert's live in this area. The Wenzel Kepert born on the 26 February 1795 to parents Waczlav Keptra and Barbara Keptra, seems to be our Wenzel, but there is no proof as yet. Records obtained are very hard to translate.
Wenzel evidently moved to Hamburg before he married. During 5th to 8th May 1842, there was a great fire in Hamburg and family tradition is that the family silversmith establishment was burnt out, however there has been no proof to this.
Over 2000 buildings were destroyed in Hamburg from this fire. A recent find is that a Wenzel Kepert, shoemaker was listed in 1847 as living in house number 98 Valentins St/Rd in central Hamburg which would be consistent with Wenzel being a shoemaker when he came to Australia, which suggests this was his profession after the fire. On the 12th October 1848, records suggest that Wenzel was ready to leave Hamburg. During 1848 there was a wave of revolutions and uprisings which may have impacted on his decision to leave. Once the momentous decision had been taken to migrate much had to be arranged as it was a very final and irrevocable step. The return home was beyond expectation in most cases.
By this time, Wenzel and his wife Catherine Anna Elisabeth (nee Behn) had a family of four, but no information about their marriage in Hamburg so far has been found. The names of the children are - William Francis, born in 1831, Charles Alexander born 1834, Louis Gustav, born in 1836, and Anna Elizabeth Frederika, born in 1840. William Francis, Charles Alexander, Louis Gustav and Anna claimed to have been born in Hamburg, suggesting that Wenzel had moved away from Kunvald in Bohemia some considerable time before they emigrated.
On 26th March 1849, the Bremen built, three-masted barque Louise of 250 tons under the command of Captain G. Geelts arrived in Port Adelaide from Hamburg on its one and only
voyage to Australia via the unusual route of the Cape of Good Hope. Aboard were some 130 people, of whom 110 were immigrants. Ten of these occupied cabins, the rest travelled steerage, and included "W. Keppert (sic), wife and four children". This was published in the newspaper, Adelaide Register published 28th March 1849 (under Shipping Movements).
The "Louise" passenger list from the "Adelaide Observer – 31st March 1849".
Wenzel pursued the occupation of shoemaker in Rundle St, Adelaide, according to records. In the Biographical Index of South Australia, Murray's South Australian Almanack and General Colonial Directory for 1850, the entry 'W.Kepert, shoemaker, Rundle St' appears. No other information is provided (Biographical Index of SA. p900).
Shoemaker advertisement from the
"South Australia Register- 4th Dec 1849"
There is also on page 1 of the South Australian dated Tuesday 4 December 1849, a sizeable advertisement for "W. Kepert, Ladies and Gentleman's Boot and Shoe Maker". It lists shoes and boots for sale from four shillings. The store was in Rundle Street, opposite Mr Pettitt's.
However, by 1854 the Boothby Almanack lists "Kepert W, shoemaker, Macclesfield" suggesting the family moved to Macclesfield (proclaimed in 1846), a small town 45 km south east of Adelaide, where he continued shoemaking.
In a newspaper article on the 90th birthday of his daughter, Anna it records they moved to Macclesfield after only 12 months residence in Adelaide. Also, in 1853, Wenzel with his son, Louis signed a ratepayer’s petition for the setting up of a District Council in the town of Macclesfield.
Wenzel's listed occupation in Macclesfield is as a shoemaker. (Details published in the book "Macclesfield - Reflections along the Angas"). The entry "Kepert, W, shoemaker, Macclesfield" appears in the Boothby Almanack for all subsequent years up till, and including 1870, the year his wife died.
Wenzel lost no time in applying for naturalization, and obtained this only three months after his arrival. This was granted on 9th August 1849 after a delay of 2 months, and the certificate reveals that he was then aged fifty-four, and a shoemaker, and been born in “Kunwalde”, Bohemia (NLA Series Accession No. A821/1 Item 790735 Control Symbol: Set No.18; Folio 6). The certificate bears the signature of B.T.Finniss (a famous South Australian name), Acting Colonial Secretary.
On the 5th December 1855, Wenzel Kepert purchases land in Luck Street, Macclesfield (P/L 133) and in 1860 he erected a stone cottage which today is classified by the National Trust as an historic building. It has been continuously occupied since 1860. From National Trust records, Wenzel bought the land from John and Henry Davenport on 5th December 1855 and mortgaged the land to Trustees of the Strathalbyn & Macclesfield Land, Building & Investment Society for 100 pounds on the 16th April 1859.
Kepert house in Luck Street, Macclesfield
A line drawing of the Kepert house in Luck Street, Macclesfield
Situated on the east side of the street, it was one of only three structures erected there at the time. At the corner was a cemetery, now resumed and converted to a school sportsground, next came a milliner’s shop, then a building used as a general store, and then the Kepert's cottage. The structure is built of stone with walls over two feet (60cm) thick. It was originally rendered externally with white plaster, but this has been removed by a later occupant.
In 2003, it was reported that a girl of 15 years from Macclesfield was shot inside this house. The incident occurred about 3am and the Police report that the bullet ricocheted off the floor before lodging in the girl’s stomach.
Wenzel's wife, Catherine Anna Elisabeth, died in 1870 and his daughter, Frederika, had by then married Johann Heinrich Reimers (1859) and so Wenzel moved to the Reimers' farm on Callington Road near Hartley. Wenzel also transferred the Luck Street property at that time to his son-in-law, Johann Reimers.
At that time, Hartley was a small, self contained farming community of Wesleyan and Lutheran adherents. It lay on the banks of the flood-prone Bremer River in the rolling hills to the east of Adelaide, only about 20 kilometres before the hills give way to the Murray River demarcating the Lofty Ranges from the vast inland plains of the Mallee. The earliest white penetration here was in 1837 and "substantial native huts" were noted. (Cross, E.A. Old Woodchester (Tin Pot) and the Onaunga District Council). The Hartley district, originally known as The Bremer, was settled in the early 1850's, and the first landowners, Wesleyans, built a small chapel in 1856. Its roofless remains still stand at the junction of the Hartley and Strathalbyn Roads.
The Kepert's no doubt had many German friends in the district. Not far from Macclesfield, Ignatz Deimel and his wife Cornelia Appelkamp settled near Hahndorf as farmers, who also came out from Hamburg on the "Louise" with the Kepert Family. With them also came some Deimel and Appelkamp relations and two of their children. One of them was Maria Anna Catherine Deimel aged 2 years. Ignatz went to the Victorian goldfields in 1853 never to return. Rumour abounded that he was murdered for his nugget profits. His daughter, Therese Marie was not yet born when he disappeared. His wife later remarried a shoemaker. Some of Ignatz's children later become pub owners in the District.
By 1876, Wenzel having reached the respectable age of 82 years, became unable to suppress the ravages of Bronchitis, and died on 17th July 1876 (Death Certificate Book 74, Page 421 ). His death occurred "near Hartley" and the death certificate says the informant was Johann Reimers, a farmer (his son-in-law). His burial was the 7th in the cemetery at the Peace Lutheran Church, a neat, well maintained graveyard and church lying quite isolated in rolling farmland at a location called Salem. The No. 7 grave has no headstone and a small concrete post bears a metal plaque which identifies Wenzel's grave. Burial occurred on 19th July 1876 and his age is shown as 82 years. The burial records held by the Lutheran Archives records Wenzel Kepert's age at 82 years and 5 months.
The burial plaque was put here in 1983 by the Salem Congregation who wanted to identify the 40 unmarked graves in this cemetery. A further plaque has since been erected. The township of Hartley no longer exists. The cemetery would have no more than 140 graves and other family names in this cemetery are Reimers, Wirth, Jaensch, Bartsch, Kutzer and Thiele, all names associated with Wenzel Kepert via his daughter's marriage to Johann. A gravestone near Wenzel's grave is of another person who was born in Senftenburg, Bohemia. The age stated of 82 years and five months at his death, is exactly one year out with the birth date of the 26 Feb 1795.
Wenzel Kepert's plaque at Salem Cemetery
Death Certificate (Book 37, Page 578  shows that Catharina (later spelt Catherine) died in Macclesfield on the 25th March 1870. At this time, Wenzel moved to Callington Road near Hartley to live with his daughter. There is no known grave to Catherine Anna Elisabeth Kepert but it is believed to be in the original Macclesfield burial plot which is now under the local school playground. By deduction from her death certificate, she was born in 1805. Thus, she would have been 44 when the family reached South Australia.
One of Louis Gustav Kepert's god parents was Franz Justinus Gustav Behn which could be Catharina's brother. The Hamburg 1847 Directory states he lived not far from Wenzel Kepert and therefore may have attended the same local church.
The Strathalbyn Burial Register for the 10-year period from 1866 - 1875 show there were 240 burials in the area, of which 117 were under 5 years of age and 20 were between 5 and 20 years. Most early burials at Macclesfield were at the old burial ground which is now part of the playground for Macclesfield Primary School. Later the grounds at the original St. John's Church were used. Unfortunately, the records for these cemeteries no longer exist. All St. George records succumbed to a big clean out by the Boy Scouts. Part of the agreement for their usage of the old church building was to keep the area tidy and in good repair. It is thought the records were burnt as part of a tidy up day.
It appears that Catherine did not seek naturalization. It appears she died from a bout of enteritis at the age of 65 years. Catharina was born in Hannover in Germany and her parents are Johann Christoph Behn and Catharina Maria Schluter. There is a large gathering of the Behn family in South Australia who are descendants of Carl Gottlieb Theodore Behn, who arrived from Hamburg on the 13th February 1858. Enquiries with this family reveal that the family originally came from Mecklenburg. Same area as the Reimers.
First child and elder son of Wenzel and Catherine Anna Elizabeth Kepert. His name suggests he was eager to become a proper citizen of his new country and was willing to Anglicize his Christian names. His name suggests his German name was Wilhelm Franz Kepert.
William Francis was born in Hamburg. He was one of the four children, the others being Charles, Louis & Anna, that arrived in Australia on 26th March 1849 with his Father and Mother. His age on arrival would have been 18. The Kepert Family settled in Macclesfield SA not long after arriving in Port Adelaide.
The first recording of him is in the South Australian Register dated Saturday 2 September 1854, acknowledging that William Kepert had donated two shillings and sixpence to the War Relief Fund at Macclesfield.
William became articled to William Mathews Sandford, solicitor practising in Adelaide in October 1855. The University of Adelaide was not founded until 1874 and it would seem improbable that the son of an immigrant shoemaker would have had the access to the finances required to enter the University of either Melbourne or Sydney. Therefore, Articles have been the means by which William Francis obtained the necessary qualifications to permit his admittance as a Legal Practitioner on 23rd March 1860.
In the index to the archived files at the Supreme Court in Adelaide, there is reference to W.F. Kepert - Art. and refers to a civil file, suggesting that this is William's Articles in Adelaide. He was then aged 29, and he occupied rooms at Temple Chambers, Currie Street, Adelaide. An entry in the Lewis Almanac of 1862 reads "Kepert & Edmonds, solicitors, King William Street".
The Adelaide papers at the time have many articles quoting W.F. Kepert acting for clients that are reported in the papers. However, in October 1861, Kepert & Edmunds appeared in dispute and dissolved their partnership, which was highlighted in The South Australian Advertiser on the 14th and 16th October 1861.
Other references are to "Sandford & Kepert”, King William Street", (G.Wilfred Anthony, A Tabulated History of the Succession of Legal Firms in South Australia & The Law List (South Australian Section) 1864 F.F. Bailliere, Melbourne).
In a document titled Law Practitioners practising in South Australia 1859-1981, Kepert is listed as having taken the Oath of Admission on 22nd August 1862 before the master, William Hinde.
Solicitor, Peter Moore for research relating to Law Week 2012 in Adelaide has since researched that William Francis Kepert was South Australia's first 'German' lawyer).
William was also the Secretary and President of the South Australian Lodge of Instruction. A newspaper article on the 21 June 1861, list William F. Kepert being received at Government House along with other extinguish gentlemen. Lavington Glyde was also present.
It would seem William lived in the elite Norwood area of Adelaide where many lawyers and politicians lived at this time. One of them was Lavington Glyde MP who lived at nearby Kensington in which William later elected him to be one of his executors.
In the colony William lived a thorough "British" lifestyle, starting with anglicising his name. It must also be through Lavington Glyde that he made acquaintance to Alice Phoebe Hardcastle, born in Bradford, Yorkshire and then living in Hawthorn, Melbourne with her parents. Lavington Glyde's wife, was Mary Ellen and her sister was Alice Phoebe. Early 1850's newspapers in Adelaide indicates the Hardcastle's were living in Kensington, SA, having also arrived in Port Adelaide in March 1849, before moving to Melbourne. A shipping news item on the 22 November 1858 lists Miss Hardcastle and Miss (Mrs) Glyde sailing to Melbourne.
So, on the 4th January 1864, at Christ Church, South Yarra in Victoria, William (32) and Alice Hardcastle (24) were united in holy wedlock."On 4th inst, at Christ Church, South Yarra by the Rev. J. Fulford, William Francis Kepert, Esq.. of Adelaide, SA to Alice Phoebe, fourth daughter of William Hardcastle Esq, of St. Kilda" (Melbourne Argus, Wednesday 6th January 1864 on page 4).
The witnesses to the wedding are William Hardcastle and Fanny Hardcastle. (Fanny married two years later). On Friday 8th January 1864, Mr & Mrs Kepert arrived back in Adelaide on the "Coorong". In December of the same year, Mr & Mrs W. Kepert also boarded the 3-mast barque "Coorong" in Melbourne and set sail for Adelaide, where they arrived 15 December 1864 (SA Register 16 Dec. 1864). However, William at least, was in Adelaide before this, as he signed his Will in Adelaide on the 28th October 1864.
Records at the Norwood Council indicate William & Alice then lived in rented "house, buildings & land" at Block 4, The Parade, Norwood. This was opposite the Bath Hotel and was very close to the Clayton Church (now Uniting Church). The house was rented from John Pendlebury, however is now replaced by commercial buildings. In 1865, William and Alice's first baby was born and she was christened Francis Alice Kepert.
William was involved in many activities in Adelaide, such as Secretary to the Masonic Club, Adelaide Debate Team, Rowing Club and attendance at all Government social activities. The Adelaide newspapers at the time reported many court hearings where William Kepert represented clients. However, by 1866, things were grievously wrong with the young solicitor father whose wife was already mid-term with their second child.
William F. Kepert's grave in West Terrace Cemetery,
William Francis, now mortally afflicted with tuberculosis, passed away at the age of 35 (Death Certificate 1727 of 1866). His death occurred at his residence in Norwood on 30th March and so he pre-deceased his mother by four years, his father by 10 years and the birth of his second daughter by several weeks.
The burial was in the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide (Area R1S, Path 23, Plot 3W) and was conducted on 4th April 1866. In 1989, much of the inscription on the headstone was illegible, however his name was quite clear. On 22nd July 1941, a second person was interred in the same grave. Her name was Evelyn Alice Glyde, late of Dunn St, Semaphore, and her age was 83 years. She was the 5th of the 9 children, and 3rd daughter of Lavington Glyde and Mary Ellen Glyde (nee Hardcastle).
On Monday 25th June 1866 at 12 noon, there was a sale of all William's household furniture and effects from his house in The Parade, opposite the Bath Hotel. These included books of general literature and a number of law books (see newspaper advertisement by Townsend, Botting & Kay).
Alice Phoebe Hardcastle
Alice Phoebe Hardcastle was born in Bradford, England and is the fourth daughter of William and Mary Hardcastle. She sailed to Australia with her family on the "Athenian" which left England on the 24th October 1848 and arrived in Australia in March 1849. It seems apparent that they settled in Kensington, Adelaide at first and later went onto to Melbourne, where they settled in the suburbs of Richmond and Hawthorn.
Alice had a sister, Mary Ellen who married 27 July 1850 to Lavington Glyde, M.P. for the electorate of Yatala. It is probably through Mary Ellen, that Alice met William Francis Kepert, who was a lawyer in Adelaide.
Alice and William married in South Yarra in Melbourne and they later had two daughters;
1. Frances Alice
2. Grace Alison.
See notes under William Francis Kepert.
When William Francis Kepert died, he appointed his wife, Alice Kepert and Lavington Glyde, his brother-in-law as executrix and executor of his will. (Testamentary Index 1844-1995, Supreme Court of SA 8-391). Then follows an interesting corollary.
Mary Ellen Glyde (nee Hardcastle) died on 16th December 1869 and on the 20th July 1870, Lavington Glyde, M.P. (47) son of one of the 'establishment' families in South Australia, widower of Mary Ellen, married his sister-in-law and co-executor, Alice Phoebe Kepert (30), widow of William Francis Kepert in the Clayton Chapel Kensington, just over 6 months of his wife's death and 4 years after William's death. (Marriage certificate: Book 84 Page 164 of 1870 of SA).
Lavington Glyde, an accountant and parliamentarian, was born at Exeter, England, son of Jonathan Lavington Glyde. He studied accountancy and the wool trade in Yorkshire. One of his brothers became a Dissenting minister at Bradford, where Alice was born.
Lavington arrived at Port Adelaide in 1847 and then again in July 1850 on the vessel, Agincourt. In the same month, he married his first wife.
He brought out a fair sum of cash and a sixty-day draft on the Bank of South Australia, mostly on behalf of relations in Yorkshire. Within a week he lent all his cash at high interest; he tried to borrow on the draft but the Bank refused so bluntly that Glyde promptly transferred his account to the Bank of Australasia.
To his agencies and money lending he soon added wool buying and an export-import business on his own account. Later he included wheat and wine to his list and even invested in copper mines.
A Congregationalist, Glyde attended Clayton Church, Norwood and became active in public affairs. In the 1850's he wrote for the press a series of articles. He supported J.H. Clark in founding the South Australian Institute and served many years on its governing board.
In 1853 he became the owner of about 4 acres of triangular land at Kensington which was bounded by High Street, Bishops Place and Kensington Road. In 1857 a two-storey house was built which was described as brick and stone, kitchen, cellars, stable and garden. The property was known as "Rosehurst" and he lived here with his wife and young family from 1857.
Lavington Glyde became a director of insurance companies and chairman of many building societies. Well-read and intelligent he retained his independence. A Liberal with strong conservative cast he represented East Torrens in the House of Assembly in 1857-60, Yatala in 1860-75 and Victoria in 1877-84. In 1858 he served on the select committee on taxation and advocated the abolition of distillation laws. In 1863 he represented South Australia at the inter colonial conference in Melbourne on uniform tariffs and then became treasurer in F.S. Dutton's ministry. Glyde's greatest work was as treasurer under Arthur Blyth in 1873-75 and Bray in 1881-84.
Mary & Glyde had the following 9 children;
1. William Lavington, b. 7 June 1851,
2. Anna Melena b. 6.Nov.1852,
3. Henry Lavington, b. 16 June 1854,
4. Mary Mabel, b. 10 March 1856,
5. Evelyn Alice, b. 26 August 1857,
6. Ethel Lavington, b. 4 Nov. 1859.
7. Kenneth Lavington b. 4 Oct. 1862.
8. Maud Phoebe, b. 4 March 1865.
9. a son, stillborn on the 9th May 1867.
From 1857, all the children were born at Rosehurst.
When he married his wife's widowed sister in the Clayton Church, it was regarded as 'indecent' and the Glydes were refused to a ball at Government House. Marriage with a deceased wife's sister was not legal but the South Australian Government legalized it the following year in the State to accommodate the M.P. Lavington Glyde.
Alice moved into "Rosehurst" where more children were born. Alice & Lavington had the following children;
1. Guy Lavington, b. 26 July 1871,
2. Kate Gertrude Lavington, b. 22 February 1874.
This means Alice had four children in all.
With Alice's two Kepert daughters, Lavington's children to his previous marriage, the new household would have been quite large, even though some infants died. Glyde resigned from the assembly in March 1884, and then visited England with his family.
The book "The Moulden Family" by Barbara Brummitt describes the Glyde Family were one of Moulden's close friends who also lived in Norwood. The Moulden family were also lawyers, politicians and mayors. These families made up a web of connections by friendship and marriage. We have to remember that Victorian Adelaide was a small place and communications were at the pace of the horse and the postal department. However, this book does record a rift between the Glyde's and Moulden's when Bayfield Moulden announced his engagement to Frances Meredith. Bayfield was friends with William (Willie) Lavington Glyde (Lavington's first son) who had just fallen out with Frances Meredith, who lived next door to Rosehurst.
This book also reports the Glyde Family fell on hard times within a few years. In September 1885, it reports from a letter written by Alice Bonney to her sister "that Lavington Glyde and his son 'Willie" have failed, and now all the girls are getting situations. Three of them are now out and Frances and Grace are trying to get situations. I do feel so sorrow for them, I can't think what 'Willie' will do. Mr Glyde is sure to get some government appointment".
There was little employment offering for young women in such a position as Frances, Grace, Maud and Kate found themselves. They sought governess jobs, almost the only way single woman could earn any keep. Later Alice Bonney writes: "Mr Glyde was appointed an Accountant of the Insolvency Court. It is not very much, but better than nothing. Willie also has temporary employment. Mrs Glyde (Alice) told me last night that Rosehurst has to be sold, but that Mr Glyde would buy it back again. Fanny (Frances) has gone out as governess, so there is only Grace, Maud and Katie home now"
[Frances Kepert married 1886, Grace Kepert never married, Maud Glyde died 1888 and Kate Glyde married John Moulden in 1898].
Following his death in 1890, Lavington Glyde was buried in the Clayton Church Cemetery with his first wife, Mary Ellen, their daughter Maud and his two infant sons. The second son was Guy Lavington who died at 12 years of age and was Alice's first child to Lavington Glyde. The substantial gravestone read "GLYDE; Mary Ellen died 16 December 1869, aged 42 years. Guy Lavington, son of above (which is incorrect - he was the son of Alice Phoebe Glyde), Maud Phoebe, daughter of above, and Lavington, husband of above died 31 July 1890, aged 67 years" Their son, Eric was also buried in this family plot, but was left off the gravestone. This church is now the Uniting Church and most of the cemetery has been removed by the Uniting Church to use as a carpark. Therefore, there is no longer a gravestone for Lavington Glyde and his family. His estate was valued for probate at 1326 pounds.
Council records indicate that Mrs Glyde was an occupant of Rosehurst in 1891, but it was vacant in 1892. Other records show that Mrs Alice Glyde and her daughter, Grace Kepert were the owners at 12 Baliol St, College Town from 1900.
In 1913, land surrounding Rosehurst was subdivided into 15 lots, with a further 2 lots at a later date. Rosehurst lost its first floor in the 1920's. This was not an uncommon occurrence at the turn of the century when large homes became difficult to run without staff.
Alice's daughter, Kate Gertrude Glyde, married John Eldin Collett Moulden, who was the son of Beaumont Arnold Moulden of Norwood, a solicitor of the SA Supreme Court. Beaumont's Father, was Joseph Eldin Moulden, who was an English barrister in London. He arrived in Adelaide in 1850 on the Trafalgar with his family.
He settled in Norwood and was the pioneering Town Clerk of the Norwood Council. He held this position for 25 years, and his son Bayfield Moulden then became the second Town Clerk. His other son, Sir Frank Beaumont Moulden was also a solicitor and joined his father in the firm Moulden & Sons, Adelaide (which still exists today).
Sir Frank Beaumont became an Alderman Mayor, St Peters (1919-1921) and was involved with the South Australian Government for 28 years. His main interest was in chemicals/minerals and he became the chairman of the Broken Hill South Silver Mining Co. He married Lady Deborah Hackett on the 10 April 1918, who was involved in the discovery in iron ore in Australia and in the technology of processing this in Australia for export to overseas countries. The wedding was reported in The West Australian and lists Miss Grace Kepert and her mother, Mrs Lavington Glyde (Alice) as attending.
John Eldin Collett (Jack) Moulden gained training in mining and metallurgy and in 1892 went to England for further study. On his return he went to Broken Hill. After his marriage to Kate in Adelaide they returned to Broken Hill where he was Manager of the Broken Hill mine (the initial period of BHP). Two years later he was Chief Metallurgist of the Cockle Creek Sulphide Corporation. In 1908 the family moved to England where he was employed by Central Zinc Company Ltd, Seaton. Kate and Jack Moulden had three children but there are no surviving descendants.
Their daughter, Audrey became a VAD during World War 1. She did her nursing training at Kings College, London and worked there until she became Deputy Matron at the General Infirmary, Leeds. She became a daughter of the Cross and was also Chief Nursing Tutor at St. Antony's Hospital, Cheam, London. On retirement, she went to live at Hazelmere in Surrey, where she died 22 September 1978. She was buried in the private cemetery of the Order, and her sister Margaret erected there a memorial to their parents. Margaret remained unmarried, also died in England. Geoffrey had a tea plantation in Assam, in north-western India, but died at the age of 30 in suspect circumstances.
As Alice's son, Guy Lavington Glyde died at 12 years of age and with Kate's family overseas, Alice's only close family were her two Kepert daughters, Grace and Frances together with Frances immediate family. Alice is buried in the Anglican North Road Cemetery with her two Kepert daughters and her Wakelin granddaughter.
Charles would have been about 15 years of age when he arrived at Port Adelaide with his parents and siblings in 1849. His sister's granddaughter, Dora Thiele (92 years of age in 2003 and who has since died), can recall her grandmother saying that her brother went interstate, then disappeared and was never heard of again. She thought it was Western Australia.
The first record we have found, is that Charles purchased 41 acres for 77 pounds and an adjacent lot of 48 acres for 41 pounds, five shillings on the 11 November 1858 about three miles north of Macclesfield. The land was situated on the Macclesfield to Echunga road at Flaxley (Sections 2991 and 2993) and going by the book "Macclesfield - Reflections along the Angus" it was either side of the road just north of the junction to Mt Barker. It appears the land was situated between the Battunga and Lashbrooks Estates.
Macclesfield is where the Kepert family settled in the early 1850's. In the newspaper "The Star" in Ballarat dated Saturday 1st Nov 1856, it lists a letter for C. Kepert is held uncollected at the Ballarat Post Office. On the 6th Jan 1857, the same Post Office lists two letters for C.A Kepert are uncollected, which suggests that he went to the goldfields before returning to Macclesfield.
We have also established that a Charles Alexander Kepert sailed from Adelaide on a French Barque named Condor on 3 April 1860 and he disembarked at Eden, Twofold Bay on the 12 April 1860 along with 121 other adult passengers and seven children. At this time, Twofold Bay was busy with whaling, timber and was a kick off point to the gold fields on the eastern side of the Divide, and onto Kiandra.
In The Sydney Morning Herald dated 18th April 1860 (page 4) it states the Condor under the helm of Captain Burbe arrived at Eden on April 12th, with 180 passengers for the Snowy River diggings, making a total of 500 people within the last fortnight from South Australia. This would indicate that Charles did the same as his brother Louis and heeded the call to seek gold. Gold was first discovered in Kiandra in November 1859 which brought on a gold rush to the area in the early parts of 1860. The peak of the rush was in March and April of 1860 when it was estimated that 10,000 men were on the Kiandra gold field. The main route was from Twofold Bay (Eden) and you travelled by foot or horse via Pambula, Honeysuckle Inn, Dragon Inn, Bibbenluke Station, Wallwye Station, Middling Back, Chalker, Russell and Kiandra, a total of 159 miles.
In the book, "Historic Kiandra", published by The Cooma-Monaro Historical Society, a diary is published by an employee transferred to the Bank of New South Wales, Kiandra in May 1860 who travelled by horseback on the same route and took 8 days to reach Kiandra from Twofold Bay.
In April 1860, the prevailing material for the huts and stores was calico and afforded neither warmth or protection from the weather. By September 1860, there were 25 stores, 13 bakers, 16 butchers, 14 public houses and 4 blacksmiths. When the Bank of New South Wales opened for business on the 28th May 1860, it was an office in a calico tent built on the high side of the street. "The young fellow was perched on a piece of bark which rested on two logs, a stream of water running under him; in fact, right through the building. I was puzzled to account for this, but on examination found it was caused by the snow, which was a foot or two deep at the back of the tent, thawing. The floor was one mass of puddle. The counter was four saplings stuck in the mud with a few rough boards on the top. It was not until 12 August 1860, the Bank moved into a new wooden building.
By the end of 1860, the great rush was over and no more than 200 diggers were left in Kiandra. On the 15th December 1860 an unclaimed letter for Charles A. Kepert is listed in the NSW Gazette at Kiandra (P. 130 of 1861) which suggests by this time he had also moved on. Gold was discovered at Lambing Flat in 1860 and attracted most diggers from Kiandra. Gold was later discovered in Forbes and saw 28,000 diggers in 1862.
Later NSW Gazette reveal more unclaimed postal articles for Charles A. Kepert which are at Gulligal, NSW on the 15 June 1862, Forbes, NSW on the 15 March 1863 and the 15th July 1863, Orange on the 15 September 1863, Sydney on the 1st November 1863, Denman on the 15 November 1864 and 15 December 1864 and Maitland on the 16 October 1866. Gulligal was a township gazetted in 1860 and was situated near Boggabri. First land sales were in 1861, but floods in 1864 destroyed the town.
Nothing else is known until 20th May 1873 when a Naturalization Certificate was issued to Charles Alexander Kepert which showed he was 37 years of age, his native place was Hamburg, Germany, he arrived on the Condor to NSW in 1861 (which was only from Adelaide) and his present place of residence is Soldiers Point, Port Stephens. The Postmaster at Raymond Terrace described Charles as a "Settler" and one local witness certified that he had known him since 1866, suggesting he was at Soldiers Point from this time. This suggests he moved from Maitland to Soldiers Point in 1866. This is further confirmed by Gerard Krefft publishing his book "Mammals of Australia" in 1871 acknowledging Charles Kepert of Soldier's Point, Port Stephens with supplying him with Echidnas and information on them from the area.
The NSW Blue Book for 1873 shows he was appointed on the 9th June 1873 as the Officer of Customs at Port Stephens on a annual salary of fifty two pounds by the Governor and Executive Council. He replaced William Scott who had been the Officer of Customs since the 15 June 1866. In the Government Gazette dated Tuesday 10 June 1873 on page 1642, it reads"The Treasury NSW, 9th June 1873. His excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint Mr Charles A. Kepert to be Officer of Customs at Port Stephens, vice Scott resigned. Geo A. Lloyd." His appointment was also published on page 5 of The Sydney Morning Herald dated Wednesday 11 June 1873.
On the 10th July 1873 at the Raymond Terrace Lands Agents Office, Charles Alexander Kepert paid two deposits of ten pounds each for the acquisition under Sections 38, 39 & 40 of the Crown Lands Alienation Regulations 1861 (Conditional Purchaser) of two adjoining 40 acre lots on the shores of Port Stephens at Nelson Bay. The receipts were numbered 2907 and 7250. The 80 acres is where the Nelson Bay township is now situated and we believe this land today is bounded by Fingal Street (extended to the shoreline), Dowling Street, Church Street and the "waters of Nelson Bay'. The Raymond Terrace Crown Lands Register (1873-1905) now held at the NSW State Records, Kingswood [Series 3/2061 Vol. 257], reveals Charles Kepert was the 2nd and 3rd entry at the new Raymond Terrace office for these two lots. The first purchaser was John A. Engelhart on the 19th June 1873. This register shows that Charles Kepert purchased the two 40 acre lots for Forty Pounds each and the balance of Thirty Pounds under both Conditional Purchase had to be paid by annual payments of one pound, ten shillings each. When title was converted to RPA in the 1880’s, they became Lots 59 & 60.
Lot 59 at Port Stephens. Lot 60 was adjoining to left of this lot
In the NSW Parliament Hansard Reports dated 12th and 19th November 1873, Charles Kepert's land at Port Stephens was raised for the purpose of extending the village of Nelson Bay from his land. This was also published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser at the time. Land Title documentation (No. 759 Book 143) reveal that Charles Kepert sold 20 acres to James Richard Jones, Produce Merchant of Sydney on the 6th July 1874 which left him with 60 acres.
However, this document is subject to a certain deed poll dated 6th July 1874 where the whole 40 acres is conveyed to James Richard Jones and held upon trust. On the 11th July 1874 (Mortgage No 760 Book 143), Charles Kepert mortgaged his 60 acres to William Hellyer, Solicitor of Sydney for one hundred pounds and documentation shows the erection of a house and other improvements to the property. Later documentation also confirms a house, fencing, and out houses were erected. We would presume that Charles Kepert lived in this house which would have been on the foreshores of Nelson Bay. Prior to this, he may have lived at the customs house near Fly Point.
The Port Stephens Historical Society have published in 1999 a book "The Port Stephens Story" which outlines the history of the area, however there is no mention of Charles A. Kepert. However, the local Council do report in their historical notes that "the first land surveyed in Nelson Bay was in March 1874 for C. Kepert and William Cromarty, both portions of 40 acres each". We are not sure where this information comes from, but Charles Kepert purchased his 80 acres in 1873, and we could not find the name of William Cromarty at this time, either at the Lands Title Office or in the Crown Lands Register from Raymond Terrace.
The Council information may have been taken from the first Crown Grants later issued on Certificates of Title under the RPA Titles Act. Research at the Land Titles Office reveals a William Cromarty was the first holder of the new Lot 60 under a Crown Grant Vol 841 Fol. 82 purchased by Conditional Sale under Section 18 of the Crown Lands Alienation Act. This new title was issued in May 1887. The plan on this Crown Grant is divided in two which may be a result by Charles Alexander Kepert sold off 20 acres in 1874. Also the Honourable Robert Hoddle Druberg White of Ashfield later acquired Lot 59 consisting of 40 acres (see later comments). However, Charles owned these same properties in the 1870's under the Old System, which are registered in the deeds branch of the Land Titles Office. Charles' both properties were bordered on the north by the "waters of Nelson Bay" whereas these lots under the first RPA Crown grants in the 1880's were set back from the water, due to the creation of a road by the shoreline.
The NSW Blue Book for 1874 confirms Charles's appointment as Custom Officer at Port Stephens in 1874. The Port Stephens history booklet records that the early customs officers were William Scott and Thomas Laman and Charles Kepert is not mentioned. On page 1 of The Sydney Morning Herald dated Thursday 18th June 1874 under the heading 'The Sydney Museum Inquiry', it records that Mr Kepert of Port Stephens was appointed the Collector of Specimens for the Sydney Museum. This involved collecting marsupials for the museum and he was given a horse to carry this out. Also, on page 434 of The Sydney Mail dated Saturday 4th October 1873, it reports that Mr Charles Kepert purchased several whale skeletons from fishermen from Port Stephens which he forwarded to the British Museum.
On the 23rd August 1875, there is a conveyance No. 772 Book 152, for the sale of the 60 acres, house, fences, water frontage privileges and other improvements from Charles A. Kepert to a James Pringle for one hundred and fifty pounds (this name also appears at this time in the NSW Gazette). James Pringle is described as a Land Agent and had many other properties at the time, including one at Raymond Terrace. Prior to this conveyance, there is reconveyance of the mortgage from William Hellyer to Charles Alexander Kepert of the 60 acres for the receipt of one hundred- and thirty-pounds sterling. The description of the properties is not real clear, and you wonder if the draughtsman had the two properties reversed. However, it is quite clear the lots were adjoining and both bounded by the waters of Nelson Bay. The conveyance shows that the house and improvements were on Lot 59. Further enquiries at the Land Titles Office reveal some remarkable events to this land afterwards.
In the Australia Town & Country Journal dated 12 May 1877, there is a note to say that the 2 lots issued to Charles Alexander Kepert at Raymond Terrace will be lapsed for non-payment of interest. It was owned by James Richard Jones at the time.
James Richard Jones died shortly after 1880, and left a large debt with the The Australian Joint Stock Bank. In the first term of 1882, this Bank obtained judgement against his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Jones (now of Nelson Bay) for four hundred and sixteen pounds, seventeen shillings and seven pence as sole Executrix and devisee under the will. In the third term of 1883, this Bank also obtained judgement against the beneficiaries of the will, being Arthur James Jones, Jane Elizabeth Jones, James Richard Jones, Charles Edwin Jones, Henry Harold Jones all of Nelson Bay, Charles Frederick Knight and Emma Jane his wife, Donald Blyth and Matilda his wife of Newtown for Four Hundred and Fifty Pounds and one penny.
In 1886, Charles Cowper, Sherriff of NSW, put the land up for public auction in Sydney to satisfy the judgement debts. [The wife of Mr R.H.D. White was Eliza Jane Cowper]. The land was described as being 40 acres originally owned by Charles Alexander Kepert and now shown as Allotment 59. The successful bidder was Thomas Robertson and the amount of eight pounds went towards the judgement debt of Charlotte Elizabeth Jones and Nineteen Pounds towards the judgement debt of the beneficiaries. Charles Cowper then conveys the land to Thomas Robertson.
Fourteen days later, a conveyance is then registered from Thomas Robertson (the successful bidder) to Charlotte Elizabeth Veale (same person), now a new wife of William Henry Veale of Nelson Bay for two hundred and thirty one pounds sterling. A trustee is also part of the deed. A mortgage is also immediately registered from Charlotte Elizabeth Veale to the vendor, Thomas Robertson for the same amount. The improvements are still the house, outhouses, fences and water frontage. It would appear Charlotte was a resident of this property and paid dearly to keep it.
However, on the 26 February 1889, Thomas Robertson (now of Hay, NSW) sells the land under the mortgage he held from Charlotte Elizabeth Veale to a Robert Hoddle Druberg White of Ashfield for Three Hundred and Seventy Pounds. The land is described as 40 acres taken up by Conditional Purchase at Raymond Terrace on 10th July 1873 by Charles Alexander Kepert and numbered Lot 59. Certificate of Title Vol. 941, Fol 235 issues 11th September 1889 to R.H.D. White for this lot showing the original purchase price of Forty Pounds as paid. The Crown Lands Register from Raymond Terrace reveals the annual payments lapsed in 1877 from James Richard Jones but were revised later that year (ref. 77/148 & 77/964). Payments also stopped after 1886, but the arrears of Four Pounds, ten shillings were paid on the 7th June 1889 from the new owner R.H.D. White (ref. 89/4333).
Mr R.H.D. White was an employee of the Bank of New South Wales and in 1880 took action to recover his share of a Melbourne property held in trust by his grandfather Robert Hoddle, as he tried to settle the property in the name of his second wife. The settlement resulted in him receiving Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds. Flush with funds, he then resigned from the Bank on 31 December 1880 and purchased the Tahlee homestead at Port Stephens in 1880. He also purchased the 40 acres owned by Edward Davis known as Allotment 61 Nelson Bay. The 200 Westpac Story book released in 2017 details some history of Mr R.H.D. White. Robert Hoddle Driberg White had his first encounter with bushrangers in 1859 when William Lee's gang robbed the Bank of New South Wales Deniliquin branch where White worked as a clerk. Despite being beaten and tied up by the bushrangers, White escaped and set off in search of the gang, helping to recover most of the money that had been stolen and obtaining information that led to Lee's arrest.
Nine years later, as the manager at Rockhampton, he found himself at the centre of another attempted robbery on goldfields outside Gymoie. Mr R.H.D. White died on the 28th October 1900 and Allotment 59 (and 61) were passed on to Eliza Jane White (his wife) and William Portus Cullen as executors in February 1901, where they remained in their name until 1925. It was then transferred to The Perpetual Trustee Co. Limited.
A conveyance from James Pringle cannot be located, however the LTO have record that on the 11th January 1884, a James Pringle entered into a Deed of Settlement with his wife, Margaret Pringle and other parties as Trustee. From this point, there are no more dealings by James Pringle. The Raymond Terrace Crown Lands Register for 1873 - 1905, notes the subsequent owner of this land as also being owned by James Richard Jones however a Deed for this transfer in the Land Titles Office has not yet been sighted. Pringle being a land agent, and the unseen trust deed poll entered into by Charles Kepert and James Richard Jones on the 6 July 1874 may have answers to this transaction. The Raymond Terrace register also reveals the payments lapsed in 1877 by James Richard Jones (ref. 77/148) but was revised later that year (77/964). In 1880 (ref. 80/4282) this Conditional Purchase was lapsed by the Lands Department even though installments were paid to 1881.
At some time after, it appears William Cromarty then acquired the land and a new Certificate of Title (Vol. 841 Fol. 82) was issued to this person in May 1887 as a Grant of Land Purchased by Conditional Sale. A parish map suggests Cromarty was in possession of this land before 1887, probably not long after it was lapsed in 1880. Henry Thompson acquired part of this land in 1891. The name Cromarty suggests that he could be a descendant of Captain William Cromarty, a pioneer of the area who drowned in 1838 of One Mile Beach. [more research to be done here].
NSW State Records at Kingswood reveal some correspondence files of the Commissioners of Crown Lands were transferred to the Department of Mines in 1878 and these records were destroyed in the Garden Palace fire on the 22 September 1882. Lot 61, also 40 acres, was issued to Edward Davis on the 16th July 1883 (later purchased by R.H.D.White). Lot 72, situated between Lots 60 & 61 was owned by a John Dalton.
The LTO documentation shows Charles Kepert's house erected 1873-1875 on Allotment 59 passed over to R.H.D. White in 1889. The Port Stephens Historical Society says a cottage was purchased from R.H.D. White and used as a post office. Their booklet also says the post office opened on the 1st September 1883, however this was 6 years before R.H.D. White owned Lot 59. A parish map dated 1886 shows a post and telegraph office was on Lot 60. This suggests there were two cottages used for the P.O. If the Historical Society are correct that a cottage from R.H.D. White was used as the P.O. (after 1889) then it may be the cottage that Charles erected. Later this cottage was used for years as a postmaster's residence. The cottage subsequently became the focus of a failed effort by local residents to save and restore the building as a significant heritage site. It was demolished in 1991 to make way for a block of flats. We have no proof that this house is Charles Kepert's original house, but it certainly would be interesting to investigate further.
Charles held the position of Custom Officer, Nelson Bay until his retirement on 31st July 1876 (NSW Public Service Lists). He was succeeded by Thomas Laman on the 1 September 1876 who was appointed on the same annual salary of fifty two pounds. This appointment appeared on page 4262 of the 1876 NSW Gazette (23/10/1876).
The Crown Land Register also reveals that Charles Kepert was also the 7th entry for the purchase of land from this office. This was on the 4th September 1873 for another 40 acres and again ten pounds was paid as a deposit. This Crown Land Holding was cancelled in 1874 (ref. 74/4888) and the deposit paid was refunded on the 20th February 1878. The entry did not reveal the place of this land. This register was too large to be photocopied. Several letters have been sent to the Port Stephens Historical Society, Nelson Bay to keep them advised of the information we had found together with copies of the documentation from the Land Titles Office and the NSW State Records. This society, and the Raymond Terrace Historical Society have both acknowledged the information with interest but as yet have not found anything further.
The signature of Charles A. Kepert on the 23rd August 1875 for the sale of the property is slightly different to his signature appearing on the purchase conveyance and the mortgage of the property in 1873. The Electoral Roll for 1874 - 1875 and 1876 - 1877 for The Lower Hunter lists Charles A. Kepert as a resident of Nelson Bay and his qualification is freehold.
Charles Alexandria Kepert's land at Alligator Creek
The next time Charles appears is when he acquires 160 acres (known as Portion 919 Homestead Lease) at Alligator Creek, near Sarina, south of Mackay in Queensland and close to the shores of Dalrymple Bay from an application dated 14 Nov 1881. He also acquired a further 100 acres (Selection 1303) adjoining the Homestead Lease for a landing, however, this was handed back to the Government because a reserve and road were going to make the lot unsuitable.
Between 1882 and 1889, he built a house, which contained hardwood boarded walls, iron roof with two front rooms, verandah on four sides, plus two skillion rooms at the rear. Reports said he had cattle and put in half an acre of apples, pines and sweet potatoes. It also reported that he put in 57 chains of fencing, 10 chains of rail fencing plus 10 acres of ring barking. As a condition of the Homestead Lease, Charles had to use it as his place of residence and make improvements.
At times, Charles was away working in a saw mill, cutting railway sleepers and gold prospecting at Yalton Reef or Mt Funnill between Mackay and St. Lawrence. This caused concerns when the Bailiff called to inspect the property, and Charles had to write a number of letters to excuse his absence. Two reports state a Mrs F. Bookshall was in residence at time of calling. Mrs Bookshall was Anne West who was born in Loughall, Armagh in Northern Ireland on the 14 April 1864 to parents, William West and Anne Forster, and she appears to be the Anne West that arrived on the ship Roma into Mackay on the 11 Feb 1882 on her own. She married Frederick Bookshall in 1883 at Mackay at the age of 19. Frederick Bookshall was actually Frederick Books; the son of John Books and Mary Smith Hall and he was born in the Hawkesbury area of NSW on the 13 October 1851. Frederick also obtained a Homestead Lease at Alligator Creek but the Bailiff reported the improvements were unliveable and the Bookshall were never in residence. It would appear they lived with Charles Alexander Kepert, and Frederick probably went away with Charles for similar work.
Anne gave birth to a son on the 23 Nov.1885 whilst living at Charles residence and called him Joseph Alexander Bookshall, obviously taking Charles middle name for her child. Anne died on the 29th Dec.1894 at the age of 30 by her birth certificate following a miscarriage. Moments before she passed away, she asked her husband and their unnamed boarder to assist her from the chair where she had been sitting but then died in their arms. Anne's death certificate, completed by the Inquest appear to have calculated her age, years in Australia and years of marriage by another 10 years than what it should be. When Anne died, she left three children, who were Frederick William John of 10 years, Joseph Alexandria of 9 years and Annie Mary of 4 years.
A report dated 18 Feb 1887, stated that Mr Kepert is in prosperous circumstances. A note on the file also reported that he wanted the Crown Grant to issue as he wanted to put the property up for sale. On today's maps, it appears the land was east of the Bruce Highway at the township of Alligator Creek and Hay Point Road now passes through this land (see maps). Charles was in Mackay on the 12th January 1888 to apply for a Deed for the property, having fulfilled the conditions of the lease. Frederick Bookshall was also there with him to sign a Statutory Declaration to verify that he has resided on the lease for the past 5 years. Property was sold early 1890 and it would appear Charles and the Bookshall's moved out at that time. The Deed issued on the 7 May 1889 and he sold it before 1896. Unfortunately, the Deed does not show the date of sale on page 2, as it has not been scanned properly. However, the purchaser, had mortgaged the property later in 1896 for sugar plantation.
So, from around 1890 to 1900, there is no record where Charles lived, however we suspect he lived with the Bookshall's in the area. However, on 22 Sept 1899 it was reported that Frederick Bookshall was killed in a logging accident on the Eton Range near Mackay. He and another unnamed man were felling timber & loading it on the wagon, when one of the ropes gave way and Frederick was hit in the head by the falling logs. He suffered huge head injuries & died almost instantly.
Apparently according to an inquest, Frederick's two sons were the ones who identified the body - they would have been about 15 & 14!!! There was also Annie Mary who would now be 9 years of age. As the three children now had both parent’s dead, it is possible that Charles Kepert then minded them for another 4 years.
Charles then acquires a property at Happy Valley near Kelsey Creek which is west of Proserpine and south of Bowen in Queensland. Records from the 1905 electoral roll, record that he is 69 (in 1903), the property is used for his residence and his occupation is now a fossicker. It also records that he registered this address and details on the electoral roll on the 28 March 1903 - making period 1890 to 1902 as still unknown. Alluvial gold was mined in Happy Valley from 1874 to 1907 and was an area north of Dittmer.
It appears he never returned to his family in South Australia. However, his death certificate (in the name of Charles Kipert) shows that he died of nephritis (probably from mining) in Bowen Hospital at the age of 73 where he is described as a miner. He was in Bowen Hospital for two months until his death. His death certificate states he died on the 12th July 1907 and Council burial records show he was buried the same day in the Catholic Section of Bowen Cemetery on the 12th July 1907 in Grave 345.
Queensland Archives reveals there was no apparent Will, so the Court House in Bowen handled his Estate. He left debts with Mrs E.D. Maloney in Proserpine for groceries purchased in July 1905 amounting to Two Pounds, Sixteen shillings and eightpence and to the Kennedy Hospital in Bowen for his maintenance up to his death. His assets amounted to cash of Three Pounds Fourteen Shillings and a watch which were handed to the hospital on his admittance. He also had wages owing from a mining company in Happy Valley and the materials from his house. The Court House ended up accepting One Pound for Charles materials in his hut at Happy Valley plus his cooking utensils from a Mr P. Nielsen of Rosendale as it was considered not worth transporting the materials 17 miles to Bowen. It would appear the Court did not chase up the wages owing. The English name Charles suggests his German equivalent name was Carl.
Third child and third son of Wenzel and Catherine Anna Elizabeth. On 3rd March 1836, Louis was born in Hamburg. As both William Francis and Louis were born in Hamburg, it suggests that Wenzel had long since left Bohemia and had settled in the large port city.
Louis Gustav was just 13 when he landed with his parents and siblings in Port Adelaide on 26th March 1849. It is claimed that he "went into the tanning trade in Macclesfield, S.A." which is not surprising as his father in Australia was a shoemaker. He travelled to Melbourne in 1852 and spent nine months in the Castlemaine and Bendigo gold fields, with what success is unknown. It is just possible that he first met his future wife during this visit as the Menere family had already settled in Melbourne (Refer to Menere Family pages for more information).
In 1853 he appears to have returned to South Australia, and spent some months in the Echunga gold fields, 6 miles north west of Macclesfield. (South Australian Gazetteer 1867, Gould Books, Edinburgh, SA). One year later, Louis was back in Adelaide, now applying himself to the leather trade as a tanner.
In the South Australian Government Gazette of 1860 his name appears several times as the pound keeper at Macclesfield:
"Impounded at the Public Pound, Macclesfield - One yellow cow with white about head and body, branded like CS off rump; one red and white calf no brand visible. If not claimed will be sold on June 25th 1860 at noon Louis Kepert, Poundkeeper". (SA Govt. Gazette, 7th June 1860 p512).
There is also a further one dated October 8th 1860, signed Louis Kepert, Poundkeeper. (SA Govt. Gazette, 13/9/1860 p820). In The South Australian Advertiser dated 5 December 1861, it reports that Mr. L. Kepert resigned as the Macclesfield Poundkeeper.
In 1860 Louis Gustav was one of the signatories to a petition for a new district to be created in the northern district of Strathalbyn, which was also to include part of the Macclesfield district. (SA Govt. Gazette 27/9/1860 p852). Louis also appears in many articles around 1860 as a sportsman in the Macclesfield Voluntary Rifle Company.
It is then claimed that he took up surveying by 1860 and in 1862 was in the northern part of South Australia when the remains of Burke & Wills were brought out from Cooper's Creek - but there is nothing to suggest that he had any part in the recovery of the bodies. In 1864, Louis's brother, William Francis Kepert travelled from Adelaide to South Yarra to marry Alice Phoebe Hardcastle and it is quite likely that Louis went with him. By 1865 he was back in Adelaide continuing with his surveying until 1868.
On 1st May 1868, he arrived in Melbourne aboard S.S. Penola, a relatively new vessel of 414 tons built in 1863. In 1865 it was involved in a collision in Port Phillip Bay with City of Launceston, which duly sank. After 24 years of coastal service, Penola was wrecked and lost on the WA coast on 17th September 1887.
There is also an unclaimed letter in Sydney for an "L.S. Kepert" on 1 May 1868, suggesting Louis's initial plan was to go to Sydney to meet up with his brother, Charles.
Louis Gustav Kepert
Louis sought from, and obtained employment with the Melbourne tanning firm of Michaelis Hallenstein & Co. in Footscray and was a resident of Droop Street, Footscray from 1868.
He was now aged 32 and in the months that followed must have established or re-established contact with the Menere family whose daughter Eveline Emma aroused his ardour and directed his intentions to matrimony. But Louis was sixteen years her senior and there could have been considerable resistance on the basis of age difference.
By 1872, Eveline Emma's defences collapsed and on 20th July 1872, she (aged 20) married Louis Gustav (aged 36) in St John's Church of England, Malmsbury (Marriage certificate 2525 of 1872).
Being under legal age, consent for marriage had to be given by her mother, herself now a widow of 11 years and remarried to George Jones since 1867, and as yet unaware that she was to be widowed again within a year. Louis & Eveline lived in Footscray and members of the Menere Family moved to Footscray as there are a number of Menere births in Footscray from 1876.
Louis & Eveline's first child was born in 1874 and was christened Louis Wenzel. Perhaps it was this event that acted as a catalyst for Louis Gustav to seek naturalization on 25th October 1875. (NAA(ACT) Letters of Naturalization Series A712; Item 1591013; Control systems 1876/K14672). At the time he was living in Droop St, Footscray, close to his place of employment. On 25th November 1876, he took and signed the Oath of Allegiance to her Majesty Queen Victoria, the lawful Sovereign of "this Colony of Victoria". Louis and Eveline initially lived in Nicholson Street, but in 1882 he bought the Thompson Tannery Site facing Moreland Street. They occupied the stone house next door from the mid 1880's and bought both the house and land from Margaret Thompson's executors in 1888. Louis left Michaelis Hallenstein in 1885 and his tannery in Moreland Street was apparently a small affair, consisting of a wooden structure with two rooms. The business was sold to Michaelis Hallenstein in 1919.
Over the next 12 years, another five children were born. Florence Eveline (1880), Stella Elizabeth (1882), Victor Ralph (1884) a Master Pearler of Broome & Darwin, (who married another Menere), John Harold (1886) and Hilda Frederika (1888).
After many years of experience in the tanning trade as an employee, he decided to start out on his own in 1885 and established his own tannery in Moreland Street. He bought the land, erected large premises and employed several hands. At around this time, Louis was a Councillor of Footscray City Council. Louis Victor Kepert, who was born in 1915, can recall the tannery building in Moreland Street when he was a young boy.
In John Lack's book "A History of Footscray" on page 141 under the heading "The Fall of Footscray's Bourgeoisie", it is reported that "Louis Kepert's tannery failed in 1895, he then resigned from Council and was appointed Inspector of Nuisances".
Louis was a member of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, and in 1890 was the Grand Master of the Port Phillip District (MUIOOF Archives, ANU Canberra). Recently it was found that Louis sailed on the steamer CASINO from Melbourne to the port of Port Fairy in Victoria. His name is published in The Port Fairy Gazette, dated 11 March 1890 (page 2, column 1) as having arrived there on 9 March 1890. During this week there was an Annual Meeting of the district of the Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows, in which Port Phillip was represented. The Butlin Archives in Canberra reveals that the meeting went from Monday 11th to Friday 14th March. On page 2 of the Report of Proceedings, listed amongst Deputies attending, there appears L.G. Kepert, Prov.GM.
Louis Gustav and Eveline Emma lived at "River View", 9 Moreland Street, apparently adjacent to Louis' tannery. When the First World War started and anyone with a foreign accent or believed to have foreign, particular German origins was viewed with deep suspicion by Anglophile Aussie neighbours whether such suspicion was justified or not. And so, it was that on 25th August 1914, only three weeks after England had declared war on Germany, one of Louis' neighbours, Mr Simpson of 83 Caple St, North Melbourne 'who did not want his name mentioned' saw fit to allege that Louis was a German spy. Simpson, the proto-type whistle blower, claimed that:
a. Kepert was married to 'a distant relative of his'
b. He did not know whether Kepert was naturalized or not.
c. Kepert had been expressing strong German sentiments.
d. Kepert boasted a capability to ascertain inner workings of Defence Department at Williamstown.
e. Kepert handled more money than he could earn from the Footscray Council which then employed him.
f. Kepert had a room in his house to which no-one, not even family, is admitted.
This complaint was forwarded to Major Mitchell at Victoria Barracks by L. Gleeson, Superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Branch ( N.A.A. Canberra : Report on L.G. Kepert Series MP16/1 Item 1914 / 3 /163). The following day Constable Hennessy submitted his report on the character of Louis Gustav Kepert who he identified as a Dog Inspector employed by the Footscray Council and estimated his age to be about 60. He confirmed that Kepert was German, but was not sure if he had been naturalized. He had known Kepert for 10 years and thought him to be respectable but others of whom he had enquired, felt Kepert would readily render assistance to Germany if the opportunity presented itself. He also spoke to a Footscray J.P. who insisted his name not be divulged, and the J.P. claimed he had heard Kepert express pro-German sentiments, and believed Kepert' should be locked up as he is quite satisfied if Kepert has the liberty he will do all in his power to assist Germany.
Detective A. Howard was the next to submit a report (August 28th 1914) which was somewhat more conciliatory. He found that Kepert was aged 78, had been naturalized for 40 years, and all his family had been born in Australia, one daughter being married to the postmaster at Kilmore. This comment would appear to refer to Florence Eveline Kepert whose husband was Thomas Michael Tyrrell, postmaster and storekeeper at the time).
Kepert readily allowed the detective access to all parts of the house, and also readily acknowledged that prior to the outbreak of war he had spoken of the German army, but since then had made no reference to it. The detective then told him there was incontrovertible evidence that Kepert HAD spoken of the German army since the war started, that this was a serious breach of security, and that further such talk would lead to arrest and incarnation as a Prisoner of War detention for the duration of the conflict.
It was now February 1915, and on the 20th, an unnamed colonel who was Commandant of the 3rd Military District, called for a report on 'Lewis Kepert, Moreland Street, Footscray'. Three days later (23/2/1915) Detective Howard dutifully seated himself at his desk once more, and wrote:
re complaint about naturalized German named Lewis Kepert... " I have the Honour to report that it has been brought under the notice of the military authorities anonymously that the habits or the dwelling, and the factory of the above-named German may reveal things detrimental to the welfare of Australia. It is well known his feelings are not with us and that he has meetings at his house at intervals of other Germans. It is also rumoured that his factory has features not made necessary for his business as a tanner. The authorities require a Police report as to what is known of this man and whether there is anything in the allegations made against him - what is his reputation really."
On March 1915, Constable Norris chipped in for his say. He confirmed that Kepert lived in Moreland Street; that he had resided there for more than 30 years; that he had been naturalized for more than 30 years; and he had been employed by the council as a dog inspector for 17 years.
He goes on:"There is no tanning or other works on his premises and I cannot find any evidence of Germans or other persons meeting in his premises. There is no doubt he is a strong German sympathizer though as far as I can gather, he has done nothing to warrant action being taken against him."
Finally, on March 9th 1915, a typewritten letter to the unnamed Secretary of Defence appears, iterating much of what Detective Howard had stated, adding: "There is no tanning or other works on his premises and no evidence is obtainable as to German or other persons meeting there at intervals. From the Police reports there is no doubt his man is a strong sympathizer with Germany, but there is nothing definite available to call for action. Colonel (no name appears)
Commandant 3rd Military District".
It was Louis Gustav's destiny to not live for long following this unsettling enquiry. Because in the same year, on the 4th October 1915, at his home at 9 Moreland St, Footscray he passed away at the age of 80 years. His death is caused by Prostatic Hypertrophy, Toxaemia and Exhaustion and his occupation is shown as Dog Tax Collector (Death Certificate 1680 of 1916). He is buried with his wife Eveline Emma and his mother-in-law Matilda Frances (Menere/Jones) in Compartment A of the Church of England section, Graves 9 and 10, in the Footscray Cemetery.
Eveline Emma Menere (1851-1931)
Eveline Emma Menere (1851-1931)
Eveline is the sixth child & fourth daughter of William James Menere & Matilda Frances Mead. Please refer to the Menere pages for more information on this family and their relationship to the Kepert family. Eveline's grandniece, Leila Esther Menere, married her son, Victor Ralph Kepert.
Eveline Emma's arrival into the world had an element of difference about it because she was 'Born at Sea' in 1851 as the barque Ameer proceeded to Australia. The precise date seems to have been recorded as the 15 October, there is no record at the Family Records Office in Clerkenwell, nor is any mention made of it in the passenger list for the Ameer which was published in the Argus on 1st January 1852. However, it appears to be recorded "born at sea" in the Index to Assisted Immigrants, Vic 1839-1871. More details to this birth are recorded under Matilda Frances Menere.
Sometime before 1872, Eveline must have met Louis Gustav Kepert. She at the time was living at Malmsbury and Louis appears to have travelled quite extensively and to have spent time in the gold fields. They married on 20th July 1872 at St. John's Church of England, Malmsbury. Already her father, William James had been dead for eleven years, and the witness to the union was Matilda Francis Jones, the sole surviving parent, who had in fact remarried George Jones, himself a widower, in 1867. This bluestone church is still standing in Malmsbury.
Eveline Emma and Louis Gustav had six children. After the death of Louis Gustav, Evelyn lived with her daughter, Hilda at Ivanhoe.
In 1931, Evelyn Emma resided at 27 Kenilworth Parade, Ivanhoe but by now she was 80 years old. On the 5th November 1931, she went into Melbourne to change her glasses and called into her son, Louis at 240 Nicholson Street Footscray for tea. After tea she was very tired and laid down in Eileen's bed. Later, Louis Wenzel heard some noises and went to investigate and found her dead. She was diagnosed as having Senile Myocarditis and heart failure. The date of death as the 6th is recorded in a newspaper clipping and she passed away at her son's residence at 240 Nicholson Street, Footscray. However, the gravestone says she died on the 5th November. A newspaper article also says she died on the night of Thursday 5th November 1931. She is buried in the Footscray Cemetery with her husband and mother. Her grave lies in Compartment A (Church of England), graves 9 & 10 (Cnr Gotch Cres & Cover Terrace).
Louis Victor Kepert has made notes to say other parts of the Menere family spell their name 'Menier". From that it has become a family tradition to link the family, however distantly, with the well-known French name. His notes also say that when Victor Ralph Kepert was in France in World War 1, he was delighted to find advertisements for Chocolate Menier all over Paris. He was able to impress the French with the statement that his Mother was a Menier, and he was even more delighted to find himself in hospital in part of the Chateau de Chenonceau, which in 1913 been acquired by a Senator Menier.
Anna Elisabeth Frederika Kepert (1840-1937)
Anna was 8 years old when the family reached Australia. She was born, presumably in Hamburg, on 29th June 1840. In 1859, when aged 18, she married Johann Heinrich Reimers, a 28-year-old farmer and carrier from Salem near Callington. Reimers also owned land just outside Macclesfield.
When Wenzel's wife, Catherine died, Wenzel went to live with his daughter, Anna Elisabeth Frederika and son in law, Johann Heinrich Reimers at Hartley. Johann was a farmer. Wenzel's daughter and Johann married in the original Salem Chapel, which has now been demolished, on 5th May 1859. The house in which they lived is still referred to as the Reimers' home, where it is still situated on Callington Road. Wenzel transferred ownership of his house in Luck Street, Macclesfield to Johann on the 23rd July 1873.
The couple had 8 children, 3 of whom are buried in the little Salem Cemetery, near Hartley. Anna Elisabeth Frederika outlived her husband, Johann by no less than 40 years. She and Johann share an elegant grave right at the gate to the Salem Cemetery, just a little before Wenzel's grave.
Anna Elisabeth Frederika and Johann lived in the "Reimers House" on Block 1804 which had been transferred to Torrens title in 1869. They purchased it in 1874 but had lived in it since 1869. Their daughter, Dora, their fifth baby, was born the night they moved into the house. The same year, the roof was blown off the house, and they occupied the house next door. Their daughter, Ida, used their house as a Post Office from 1894 to 1912. The straw of the roof of the cow shed was fed to the stock in the drought of 1914, and in the First World War the house served as a temporary hospital during an epidemic of diphtheria (Cross, E.A. Old Woodchester (Tin Pot) and the Onaunga District Hospital) p.76). This house, which still stands today is a substantial stone house.
One of the Reimers children married Adolph Rudolph Thiele and she lived and died in Tanunda. She is buried with her husband and child in the Langmeil Church Cemetery. Anna lived in the Reimers' house until 1925, then moved to the homes of two of her daughters in the Tanunda district as she became less mobile. After suffering from a broken hip, she was confined to a wheelchair for about 12 years. During that time, she spent quite a bit of time at the Hampel residence in Neukirch where her daughter, Mathilde Louise Hampel, nee Kutzer, nee Reimers looked after her. Also, daughter Anna Maria Frederika Thiele, nee Reimers, also cared for her at her husband's residence at 17 Barossa Valley Way, Tanunda. She died here in the room on the front north-western corner of the house. Her granddaughter, Dora Thiele can recall Anna telling her that her brother had disappeared interstate and was never heard of again.
A newspaper article in 1930 that reported on her 90th Birthday, stated she was one of the early settlers of the Hartley District. It said her following children still survive: Mesdames H. Hampel (Koonunga), D. Schlegel (Grassmere), G. Wirth (Pinnaroo) and R. Thiele (Tanunda). It also stated there were 14 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren at the time.
Anna Elisabeth Frederika's obituary (Parish Messenger, Alexandra Lutheran Parish, UELCA, July 1937) reads:"Burial: At Salem on June 3rd, Anna Fredericka Reimers, nee Kepert, Our departed sister was born on June 29th 1840 in Hamburg, Germany. In 1848 she migrated to Australia with her parents, who made their home in Macclesfield, S.A. At the age of 18 years she was married to Johann Heinrich Reimers of Hartley. The marriage was blessed with three sons and five daughters.
In 1894, Mrs Reimers lost her husband and in 1925 fractured her hip. This fracture caused her to be an invalid until she died. Death relieved her from all earthly suffering on June 2nd. She attained the high age of 96 years, 11 months and 4 days. Three daughters, 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren survive her. Funeral text: Romans 8, 18. May she rest in peace and enjoy those things that God has prepared for them that love him".
Another Obituary also appeared in The Advertiser on Wednesday 30th June 1937 stating that Anna was born in Hamburg, and came to Australia as a child with her parents and three brothers.
Five of Anna's children are also buried in Salem Cemetery. Nearby is also her husband and her Father, Wenzel Kepert. Most of the people buried in this cemetery are related to Anna.
Johann Heinrich Reimers (1831-1893)
Johann Heinrich Reimers (1831-1893)
Johann Heinrich was a 28-year-old farmer from Salem near Callington when he married Anna Elisabeth Frederika Kepert. Johann was the third child of Hans Heinrich and Maria Margaretta Wegner and was born on 13th March 1831 at Mecklenburg, Germany. This family arrived in South Australia aboard Australia on 10th September 1849. The vessel was of 750 tons, its master was Capt. W.H. Steeborn, and there were 269 passengers.
The entry in the passenger list in the South Australian Register of September 12th 1849 is "H.H. Reimers, wife and three adults". Johann had a sister, Catherine Dorothea Wilhelmina Reimers born also in Mecklenburg in 1824 and she married Hans Heinrich Stein. Hans sailed out on the same ship from Germany as the Reimers and they married within two months of arriving in Port Adelaide. She died in 1912 at Red Creek and is buried at Nairne, whereas as her husband died near Hartley and is buried in Salem.
Johann & Anna's wedding was performed in the Salem Chapel near Hartley on 5th May 1859 by a minister from Hahndorf, Pastor Adolph Strempel. He was the first resident pastor there and his parish embraced the Callington, Hartley, Woodchester districts. He served the Salem area for 24 years from 1858 until 1883 and visited Salem every 6 weeks (Materne J.E. Peace Church, Salem 1856-1981, Investigator Press, Adelaide (1981) pp 9-12). Callington is near Macclesfield where the Kepert's were living at the time.
On the 22 June 1890, Johann Reimers was elected for a committee consisting of himself, Brethren W. Thiele, W. Kutzer, G. Jaensch and W. Klenke with instructions to plan a new Salem church and to procure a cost for its erection. The committee presented a plan that the church would cost four hundred and fifty pounds. The church was completed on time and was dedicated on 18th January 1891. This church is still used today and stands not far from Salem Cemetery.
Just two years later, Johann died of cancer on 26th January 1893 and was interred in the Salem Cemetery.
Paper by Louis Kepert – December 2018