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The Carter Family

From Ireland to Australia

Surname History

Our branch of the Carter family originated in Ireland, although there is a great deal of written history indicating that the name originated in England. It could also come from the Irish name Mac Artuir.

The surname Carter is derived from the profession of the same name, and literally means maker/driver of carts.

The Coat of Arms for the name Carter is a silver shield with two black lions facing each other (as seen on the homepage).

The Carter Family Crest features 3 buckles or wheels that are usually green (see below).

The Family Motto is sub libertate quietam, which means rest under liberty.

My Carter Lineage

I have traced our Carter family back to County Limerick, Ireland, however have not been able to get any further back than the early 1800's and the first Carters to come to Australia. I hope to remedy this soon! If you have any links to these families or know someone who has some information, please feel free to email me!

My direct lineage is detailed on this page, for all other relatives click on their name for more information.

John Carter

John was born in Ireland in 1815. I am unsure if he was born in Limerick or Dublin, however he married a Limerick girl and lived there for sometime before immigrating to Australia.

John married Mary McCarthy, who born in County Limerick in 1824. They were to have two children, Mary Jane (born 1845) and Michael (born 1849) before migrating to Australia aboard the barque 'Fatima'. Fatima arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia on Tuesday the 11th of June 1850. The ship's register lists John's occupation as Labourer, and one of his first jobs was building the Buckland Park Estate at Two Wells.

John and Mary had four more children after their arrival in South Australia; John Andrew, William Austin, George, Ellen Agnes and Annie Frances.

John had many farming jobs over the years, including the farm in Echunga where he was break his neck in a fall from a haystack on the 26th of August 1872. He was just 57 years of age. Local Coroner Robert Davernport investigated the death, but found no cause for an inquest. John is buried in an unmarked grave in Echunga Cemetery, South Australia.

After John's death Mary and many of the children moved to South Australia's Mid North Region, living in various towns including Crystal Brook, Napperby, Narridy and Pt Pirie. Mary died from liver disease on the 27th of August 1887 at Warnertown and is buried in the Catholic Section of the Pt Pirie Cemetery.

Children of John and Mary Carter

Michael Carter

Michael was born in County Limerick, Ireland, in 1849. Brought out to Australia with his parents and elder sister, he spent much of his life on the land and always had a keen interest in farming, horses, sheep and agriculture in general.

At the age of 23 he was elected as the President of the North Western Agricultural Society in Crystal Brook, and remained active in their committees and the Mid North areas for most of his life.

It was here he was to meet the love of his life, Mary Ann Taylor, the daughter of wealthy parents William Walter and Anne Maher (for more information on the Taylor's see the Taylor Family Main Page). Michael and Mary Ann were married on the 15th of March 1879 at the Wesleyan Parsonage at Pt Pirie. The first child of the Taylor family, Mary Ann was born in Goolwa on Boxing Day in 1855 and was living in Pt Augusta at the time their marriage. Friends James Archibald and Elizabeth McNair witnessed the nuptials.

Their first child, Mabel Blanche, was born in 1880. They were to have a further 16 children, two of whom died in infancy and with only one set of twins.

Most of the children were born in the Mid North Region, and the family was to finally settle in Jamestown where they were highly respected members of the community. Many of Michael and Mary Ann's children chose to marry in it's Roman Catholic Church, St James.

Michael had a great love for horses and was well known as a great trainer and horse breaker. His horse Ginger won over 30 hurdle races.

Michael's obituary in the Jamestown Agriculturalist and Review described him as a cheerful, volatile person with a broad outlook on life, a fine tolerance and a whimsical sense of humour. He was well liked by all who knew him.

In 1902 he bought a property in Yongala, working the farm with sons until his retirement in 1920. He spent his remaining years with his wife at the Globe Hotel, which was run by their sons George, Harry and Reg.

Michael died on the 17th of July 1924 at the Jamestown Hospital, losing his two year battle with chronic hepatitis.Mary Ann died just over two months later of heart disease. I like to believe she died of a broken heart due to the loss of her husband. They are both buried at the Jamestown Cemetery.

Children of Michael and Mary Ann Carter

Thomas Augustine Carter

My Great Grandfather Tom was born at Crystal Brook on the 16th of August 1883.

Tom grew up in the Mid North, going to school in Crystal Brook. He later moved with the rest of the family to Jamestown until around 1910 when he moved to the city. Tom always had a keen interest in military matters and was a Lieutenant with the local Light Horse Squadron, serving for some 6 years.

On the 1st of May 1911 he married Lillian May Young (May), daughter of John and Charlotte Murray. The nuptials took place at St Augustine's Church at Unley where Tom's sister Annie and May's brother George were witnesses.

May was born on the 19th of April 1886 at Koonunga, and had 18 siblings including her twin sister Ruby Murray.

In 1912 Tom took over the running of the Modbury Hotel, which still exists today on North East Road Modbury. About a year later Tom, May and their baby daughter Constance May (Connie) moved to Western Australia where Tom worked on the Railways. In November 1914 my grandfather Sydney Thomas was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Tom and his family moved through Western Australia with the Railway, and it was in Perth that he decided to enlist in the AIF, becoming a Private with the 4th Reinforcements of the 28th Battalion. May and the children returned to Adelaide, living in a house on South Terrace in the city centre.

Tom left Australia in October 1915, sailing aboard the transport ship Hororata. He spent a short amount of time in Alexandria, Egypt, before moving with his Battalion to Belgium and France.

Tom quickly moved up the ranks, eventually becoming a Corporal and in 1917 he spent some time in England where he was trained as an Assistant Bomb Instructor before returning to France to join his Battalion.

Around midnight on the 31st May 1918 Tom and his squad were relieved of duty, waiting in an area in Amiens where they would be transported to a rest area. A German plane somehow noticed the men, and dropped a bomb directly on the spot where they waited. Tom received severe wounds, and died later that day - the 1st of June 1918. Tom is buried at the Vignacourt British Cemetery in the tiny village of Vignacourt in the Somme, France.

Tom was 5' 93/4" tall with brown hair and blue/grey eyes.

On the 19th January 1925 May married William Stokes Woodroffe at the Parsonage on South Terrace Adelaide. Later that year they had a son, Francis Edward (Ted).

William died in January 1970 and is buried at the RSL Walls in Centennial Park Cemetery.

May died on the 1st of November 1976 and was cremated at Centennial Park. Her and Tom's daughter Connie Pettman, who was also cremated at Centennial Park, died on the 2nd of January 1977 leaving behind her son Dean.


Children of Thomas and Lillian Carter

Sydney Thomas Carter



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