Elizabeth Catherine Hamilton was born on April 17th, 1814, in Dover, Kent.  She was a widow when she married Alexander Barreau on July 10th, 1845. They married in Singapore, with ELizabeth’s father as a witness.  Elizabeth had been living in Adelaide with her family and soon returned to Adelaide with Alexander Barreau.

Elizabeth’s first husband was Henry Nell, whom she married in 1839, just after her arrival in South Australia.  Henry himself was a widower and had one son by his previous marriage.  He died in 1845.  Henry and Elizabeth had three children together, the youngest of whom died in infancy. 

This meant Elizabeth was looking after three children before she married Alexander Barreau.  Together they had a further seven children, four of whom lived into adulthood.  Elizabeth and Alexander were together for twenty nine years until Alexander’s death in 1876.  Elizabeth died on July 4th, 1898, aged 84.

Elizabeth came to South Australia with her family in 1837 aboard the ship the Katherine Stewart Forbes.  They were among the first settlers in Adelaide and the new colony of South Australia.  Her father was Richard Hamilton and her mother Ann Holmes, both of Dover, Kent, England.

Richard Hamilton took up land along the Sturt River, in the district close to Adelaide, in the modern day suburb of Marion, perhaps near where Oaklands Road crosses the river.

He named the property ‘Curtis Farm’.  There is a tradition that among other ventures he developed a winery and in 1841 produced the colony’s first wine.  However, farm return records of the era show he grew several crops including barley, and ran cattle, but there is no mention of vines.  It was his son, Henry Hamilton, who began a vineyard in 1852.  This is the vineyard that became known as the Ewell vineyards[i].

This vineyard continued on and off until the 1960s when much of it was taken over for residential use within Marion, Adelaide.  In the 1990s some of the land was repurchased by descendants of the Hamiltons and the name and the label regained.  For more information contact the website for the Hamilton-Ewell winery.

The descendants of Richard Hamilton range far and wide in Australia.  There are many connections that have been made via researchers into their family history and there has been a lot of research completed on the ancestors of Richard Hamilton and his wife Ann Holmes, which reaches as far back as 1605[1].

There are some other winemakers who are also descended from the original Hamiltons.  Here are websites for them:

Richard Hamilton Wines, Leconfield.

This site has a long series of documents on various aspects of the Hamilton family available on their History page (click).

Hugh Hamilton wines, McClaren Vale.

2017 is an exciting year for Hugh Hamilton Wines. We are celebrating 180 years since Hugh’s great, great grandfather came to South Australia in 1837.

Hugh’s daughter, Mary Hamilton, is the only person from the 6th generation to still be in business, this makes us the family with the longest continual presence in the Australian wine industry today.

Hamilton’s Ewell Vineyards

Hamilton’s Ewell Vineyards Pty Ltd is a modern grape growing business with roots tracing back to the very foundation of the wine industry in the infant colony of South Australia in 1837 when Hamilton family forbears’ Richard and Ann Hamilton, and eight of their nine children, arrived aboard the Katherine Stewart Forbes on 13 October 1837.


Hamilton Family History Blog
A good source for information on the Hamiltons is Doug Wilkie.  He has produced a book, The Hamiltons 1762-1862, which has been recently updated and can be purchased from this site (click on above title to access).


Gravestone of Richard Hamilton and his wife Ann, Anglican Church in St Marys. 1167 South Road St Marys, Adelaide.

[1] The oldest ancestor found so far in this line is Henry Holms, born in about 1605, the direct ancestor of Ann (Holmes) Hamilton

[i] Doug Wilkie, pp.62-64, p.77.


9 Responses to Hamilton

  1. Lesley Jackson says:

    Hi Eirene,nice work ,it’s so satisfying to find something new about our huge family ,Like you I get carried away,researching the same old line,someone gives me a clue ,and I’m on the hunt for more info,i’m at present chasing the McKenzie Line right back to 0006,I keep telling myself to get back to the 1800′,but myself won’t listen.Don’t hesitate to look at my tree,feel free to use any info you wish,we have such a fascinating history,almost unbeleivable ,but true. Keep up the good work , Regards Lesley

  2. eirenehogan says:

    Thanks for that Lesley. Yes, I love to push back in time as far as I can. Each new ancestor back in time is such a golden find. 🙂

  3. Katrina says:

    Hi Eirene, thank you for this info! Richard and Ann Hamilton are my 5th great-grandparents and finding new information on them is always exciting!

  4. Linda Howie says:

    Hi Eirene, I am a GGG granddaughter of Richard and Ann Hamilton descended through their second youngest son, Robert. A family reunion celebrating 180 years in Australia is to be held in Adelaide in October this year 2017

    • eirenehogan says:

      that is fantastic news, Linda. Do you have any more details, any contact details etc. that I can put up on this site? Is there perhaps a facebook page or another site about this?

  5. Linda Howie says:

    Hi again Eirene, still haven’t had any firm details currently looking if not will contact Richard Hamilton (Leconfield Wines) to see what is going on

  6. Tim Hamilton says:

    Hi all;
    I am also a direct line from Richard and Anne. I have been chasing Richard’s Grandfather, James (1736-1773), but not much luck so far. Interested in any leads

  7. eirenehogan says:

    Hi Tim. The only info I have so far on James comes from Doug Wilkie’s books and sites; http://hamiltonfamilyhistory.blogspot.com. There is currently a third edition of his book in preparation. If you have extra info I would love to hear from you.

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