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.
There are some other winemakers who are also descended from the original Hamiltons. Here are websites for them:
This site has a long series of documents on various aspects of the Hamilton family available on their History page (click).
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 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).
 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.