[1] The ages given on William's marriage certificate, his own death certificate and his age shown on the birth certificate of his brother Samuel are all consistent with his having been born in 1858. The records of the Methodist Church referred to are held in the library of the Genealogical Society of Victoria. Interestingly, no record of William's birth could be found in the Victorian records.

[2] The Emu Creek referred to is almost certainly the present day Mt Emu Creek which flows from near Beaufort into the Hopkins River near Warmambool. Its course brings it quite close to Terang so quite likely Edwin and Caroline were born at the same place.

[3] Details regarding Samuel, Robert, Robina and Elvira derived from their respective birth certificates. The date of birth of Arthur was obtained from the enrolment records of the Mount Gambier school which recorded his attendance for twelve days at the commencement of 1885. According to the same records the occupation of Arthur's guardian James Spruce, was 'shepherd' and his usual address was Rosaville - a western suburb of Mount Gambier. Details suppled by Peter Cassidy

[4] The information in the South Australian Police Gazette was discovered by Peter Cassidy of Sydney, a descendant of Thomas through his son Samuel. It can be viewed online at

[5] On Caroline's death certificate her second marriage is recorded as having taken place at Mount Gambier when she was 39 yrs of age. This would date the event to 1879.

[6] Details of the births of three of the Spruce children were provided by Mrs Caroline Morgan of Kensington Gardens, SA., a daughter of Elsie Spruce. Florence was listed among the children of Caroline on the latter's death certificate with the indication that she was dead.

[7] Details regarding the death of James Spruce were obtained originally through the courtesy of the Town Clerk of the city of Mount Gambier which led to the location of his death certificate from where some additional details were obtained. An obituary of James Spruce appeared in the "Border Watch" of April 6th 1887 which reads as follows:-

"Sudden Death. On Monday afternoon a middle aged man named James Spruce a labourer employed by Mr G A Pritchard at Myora died very suddenly while at work. The cause of death was supposed to be apoplexy. Mr Stow SM. and a jury' held an inquest on the body at Myora yesterday. It was stated that whilst at work he was seized with a violent pain at the heart. Mr Pritchard gave him brandy and water but a few minutes later he was seized with another pain, and exclaiming 'I believe I am done for', expired. Dr Powell who examined the body said the death was due to heart disease. A verdict that death resulted from natural causes. Deceased was 45 yrs of age and leaves a widow and four young children."

James was buried in Mount Gambier's Lake Terrace Cemetery on April 6th 1887; Section D, Allotment 259. The grave is not marked with a headstone.

The reference to Mrs Cassidy on the Mt Gambier rates assessment was found by Peter Cassidy.

[8] If Thomas did in fact desert his family, one possible clue to his fate may be given by the following news item from the "Burra Chronicle" of Feb 25th 1899.

"Country News, Hanson, Feb 15th. The late Mr Thomas Cassidy a railway packer, who complained of feeling unwell on February 8th proceeded from Hanson to Burra to seek medical treatment and went to stay at the Courthouse Hotel, where the greatest kindness was extended to him. He was attended by Dr Sangster, who took every care but he died on February 10th. Mr Cassidy had been for over twenty years in the SA. railways service, and was still engaged in the department at the time of his death. He was a great favourite in the service and an ardent supporter of charitable undertakings. The funeral took place on Feb 11th and the hearse was preceded by a large procession of railway servants, while a number of vehicles followed to the Kooringa Cemetery. It is said that the deceased had no relatives in the colony. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr T W Pearce and the burial service conducted by the Rev Fr Hendel of Kooringa".

The death certificate gives the age as 58 yrs, whereas the Thomas of interest to this story would have been closer to 64 yrs of age. However given the frequent discrepancies in ages on such certificates, the difference is probably not significant. Information supplied by Eileen Cassidy. Information re enrolment records and 'Muddy Waterholes' station supplied by Peter Cassidy.

[9] Just to confuse the issue further, according to his own death certificate, Caroline's son Robert lived in South Australia for fifteen years and in Victoria for fifty years. However this is not as helpful as it appears as his age is given as 65 yrs whereas he was one week short of his 68th birthday. Thus one arrives at a date for his arrival in Victoria of 1882 or 1885 depending on which statement on his death certificate is correct (if either). Of course there is no guarantee that he came to Victoria in company with his mother anyway.

[10] Death certificate of Caroline Spruce. Death notice published in the Melbourne "Age" of Sat Feb 23rd 1895. Her grave in the Melbourne General Cemetery is not marked with any headstone, rail or identification of any kind. It is in the C of E section T, compartment 559. It is reasonably easily located once it is realized that the compartments are numbered in rows in an east-west direction.

[11] Recalled by Gladys Roberts, daughter of Agnes Spruce.

[12] Recalled by my mother, formerly Winifred Cassidy, daughter of Robert Henry Cassidy.

[13] According to the headstone Caroline Francis (Evans) died on Nov 18th 1881 aged 78 yrs. Also buried in the same grave at Kulpara is Mary Ann Ormsby, daughter of Caroline who died on July 24th 1903 aged 61 years. In addition to the original headstone there is a more recent bronze plaque and a second modern headstone in memory of George Francis Ormsby the husband of Mary Ann who died on 21st May 1916 and was interred in Adelaide's West Terrace cemetery. The inscription on this stone goes on to say 'first pioneers of Ninnes Plains'. The couple seem to have lived in the Kulpara-Ninnes are for most of their adult lives as eight of their nine children were born in the area:- in order her children were Caroline Elenor b1865, Norwood; George William b1867, Wallaroo; Caroline b1869, Franklin Harbour; Francis Edward b1871, Ninnes Plains; Thomas b1873, Ninnes Plains; Alfred Henry b1876, Ninnes Plains; Beatrice Dora b1878, Ninnes Plains; Matthew Charles b1880, Ninnes Plains and May Rebecca b1881, Ninnes. It would seem that the grave had been restored and the later plaques placed by the local Historical Society or Council as a few kilometres away at Ninnes there is a plaque and an information board giving something of the history of Ninnes. It seems to have come into existence as a settlement after 1862 when a new route for bullock teams was pioneered between Clare and the copper mining towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo further to the west. It was recorded that George Ormsby had established and operated a wine-shop at Ninnes in the mid-1870's.

[14] Death certificate of William Francis in the possession of Eileen Cassidy. William's usual residence was given as Norwood although his death occured in the Adelaide Destitute Assylum. The Assylum buildings in Kintore Ave now house the Emigration Museum but in the 19th century it was a very grim place. According to the Destitute Records at the Sth Australian Genealogical Society located by Peter Cassidy of Murray Bridge, William was Irish and had lived in the colony for 53 years. He is recorded as having arrived in Hobart aboard the "Eliza" in 1833 and of having been in Sth Australia since 1838. According to the same records he had only one child which is known to be incorrect. As he was suffering from senile decay at this time perhaps the accuracy of this information ought be treated with caution.

William, the remaining child of William and Caroline, married Mary-Ann Huffer, died childless in August of 1930 and was buried at Payneham SA.