Borrett Family & History
My understanding is that the surname "Borrett" dates back
to the 12th century, based around the area of Alford,
John Borrett (Great, Great Grandfather)
Most Borrett's in Australia trace their lineage back to
one John Borrett, who was born in 1822 in England.
John Borrett settled in South Australia in 1837, which is
very early in
the history of that state. John Borrett married Agnes Donnen
(1822 to 29-Dec-1897) at the Holy Trinity Church of England
in Adelaide on 6-Apr-1843. Together they had eleven
- Joseph Anthony (10-Sep-1844 to 24-Feb-1918),
(22-May-1846 to 24-Sep-1922),
- John (11-Jul-1848 to
- George (22-Sep-1850 to 12-Apr-1920),
(1852 to 15-Feb-1943),
- William (1854 to 1854),
- Henry (1855
- Priscilla (1857 to 17-Dec-1865),
(25-Dec-1859 to 6-Dec-1930),
- Betsy Pettit (16-May-1862 to
- William (24-Nov-1864 to 28-Oct-1922).
John Borrett ended up with large holdings of land near
Langhorne Creek, where he lived at Raydon Farm, plus other
properties in the Flinders Ranges. I believe he also at one
time owned the Allgate Hotel.
Certainly, the phone book for the Strathalbyn and
Langhorne Creek area is one of the few in which you can find
numbers of entries for Borrett.
- Joseph married Esther Hill in the Wesleyan Chapel at
Strathalbyn on 25-Mar-1868.
- Agnes married Edward Steer at
the Holy Trinity Church of England, Adelaide on 10-Jul-1872.
- John Borrett (Jnr.) married Frances Cleggett on 22-Jul-1869.
- George married Henrietta Jeffries at Christ Church,
Strathalbyn, on 31-Mar-1880.
- Jane married Edwin Oliver.
- Henry married Evelina Jones at the St Paul's Church of
England, Port Adelaide on 17-Feb-1879.
- Betsy married Berry
John Borrett snr, died age 84 at "Raydon Farm", Langhorne
Creek, South Australia on 21-Aug-1906 and is buried at the
Langhorne Creek Cemetery.
You can read a more detailed account of John Borrett's
life in Australia here.
William Borrett, born at Langhorne Creek, South Australia
on 24-Nov-1864, was the youngest of John Borrett's children.
William Borrett married Eliza Anne Lewis (27-Dec-1866 to
5-Oct-1940) at the Christ Church in Strathalbyn, South
Australia on 23-Apr-1890. Together they had six children:
- John (21-Jan-1891 to 27-Sep-1906),
- Ethel (21-Nov-1895 to
- Robert Lewis (23-Jun-1898 to 22-Oct-1969),
- Agnes (16-Oct-1899 to
- Lucy Francis (13-Jul-1901 to 10-May-1969),
Helene (24-Apr-1905 to 14-Apr-1972).
William Borrett and Family,
Langhorne Creek, South Australia, circa 1915.
William ran, and later inherited, "Lake View Farm" where my family often had holidays during the
"Lake View Farm",
Langhorne Creek, South Australia, circa 1965.
The only surviving son was Robert Lewis Borrett, my
- Ethel married Robert Stanley Harvey on 24-Dec-1924 and
together they worked "Lake View Farm". Robert Harvey
died on 4-Jan-1948 and Aunty Ethel continued to work the
farm with the help of Clarry Saltmarsh.
- Agnes married John Murray Bray.
- Lucy married Cecil
- Jean married Arthur Jubez Whittlesea on
William Borrett died at age 57 in a private hospital in
Strathalbyn on 28-Oct-1922, and is buried at the Langhorne
Robert Lewis Borrett,
19 Ward Street, Whyalla, circa late 1960s
My paternal grandfather, Robert Lewis Borrett, was born at "Gum Cottage", Langhorne
Creek on 23-Jun-1898. He married Ethlelwyn Higgins
(27-Dec-1903) at the Holy Trinity Church of England in
Adelaide on 1-May-1928, and together they had four children:
- a stillborn daughter,
- Dean Lewis,
- Judith Agnes, and
Robert Borrett worked as a builder in the Milang,
Langhorne Creek district, with a particular fondness for
cement based construction. He inherited the "Limestone Ridge"
farm, where he proceeded to build a cement brick based
house, plus other fixtures. The depression forced the sale
of the farm, and after working at some small jobs in the
district, he parked
his wife and children with the Higgins family in Milang, and
went to Whyalla in 1940 to work on the construction of the
BHP steelworks blast
furnace. Later he worked in the BHP Whyalla shipyard as a
The Outhouse /
19 Ward Street, Whyalla, Feb 2001
He purchased a block of land at 19 Ward Street in
Whyalla. First he build an outhouse, which gave him
somewhere to lock up his tools. Then he built a three room
cement brick shack, in the South West corner of the block, to live in.
At the time many other dwellings in Whyalla were
white-washed hessian or 44 gallon tar drum shacks, so this
shack was relatively luxurious. Once this accommodation was completed, the family joined
him in Whyalla. He then started to build the main house,
with my father often recalling how he helped to make the
cement bricks after school and on weekends.
The Shack /
19 Ward Street, Whyalla, Feb 2001
As a child I spent many Saturday's visiting my
grandparents. The smallest room of the original shack, then
served as my grandfather's workshop, and I would watch as he
worked on various projects. Later I became aware that my
father would use the workshop to complete whatever project
was to be a birthday or Christmas present for us. Thus one
could sometimes get a sneak preview by peering in through
the workshop window.
19 Ward Street, Whyalla, Feb 2001
Robert Lewis Borrett died age 71 in the Whyalla hospital
on 22-Oct-1969 while my family were living in Port Headland.
He was cremated at the Centennial Park Crematorium,
Pasadena, South Australia and his ashes were scattered at
Ethelwyn Borrett (Grandmother)
Whyalla, Dec 1968
My paternal grandmother was Ethelwyn Borrett (nee
Higgins)who was born in Willunga, South Australia on
Her father Henry Alfred Higgins (4-Nov-1872 to
20-Sep-1956) was the Milang baker for many years. Henry
married Mary Elizabeth Vipond (11-Nov-1879 to 12-Jul-1955)
on the 24-Jul-1901 and had nine children:
- Jessie Mary,
- Charles Henry,
- David William (Bill),
- Alfred James,
- Elsie May,
- Laura Margaret, and
- Lawrence John.
- Jessie married Hubert Banks, a pastoralist near Kingston.
- Charles married Laurice (Poppy) Lovegrove and became
District Clerk, Kingston Council.
- Bill married Annie Moar,
and was a successful sheep farmer.
- Alfred never married, was
a headmaster of high schools, including Port Augusta for
many years, and later a lighthouse keeper.
- Elsie married
- Stella married Thomas Lomax.
- Laura married
- Lawrie married Isabel Balnaves and became a
On Saturday's at my grandparents, I would spend time with
my nana as she studied the form guide and carefully made her
selections for the day. She would also let me make one
selection and couldn't understand how I had a better success
rate than her. To me it was always commonsense: if you are
only making one pick then you're able to choose the most
Ethelwyn died age 76 in the Whyalla Hospital on
1-Jul-1980. She was cremated at the Centennial Park
Crematorium, Pasadena, South Australia, where her ashes are
Borrett Family Genealogy
My Uncle Whyard Borrett has gone to much trouble to trace
the family genealogy. Anyone interested should get in direct
contact with him in East Bentleigh, a suburb of Melbourne.
Tuesday, 14 August 2007