Name: Daniel Ferns Nelson
Given Name: Daniel Ferns
Birth: 26 MAR 1852 in Ireland
Death: 6 MAR 1912 in Strathalbyn,South Australia
Burial: Cheltenham,South Australia
Capt Daniel Ferns Nelson came to Sth Australia c 1870 as member of ships crew and left the ship at Port Adelaide
Change Date: 24 MAR 2002 at 14:12:42
The Emigrant: Daniel Ferns NELSON.
Born : 26th Mar.1852 in Ireland grew up in Huyton, near Liverpool
Married : 8th August, 1881 Trinity C. of E., Adelaide, S.A.
Died : 6th Mar.1912, Strathalbyn, S.A.
Buried : Cheltenham. S.A.
Almost all of Daniel's life story has been lost with his passing and that of those who knew him. With typical human modesty or the inability to see that the simple achievements of today, will become significantly interesting in 50-100 years' time, no biographical details have survived. Because of his achievements we can be fairly certain that Daniel was intelligent, honest, intrepid and independent.
We do not know if he was skilled in any trade or profession, or what induced him to leave his home for the distant colony of South Australia.
The available sources do not record his arrival which is believed to be c.1872 as a 20 year old. The legend is that he worked his passage as a crew member of a ship. His name does not appear in the S.A. Record of Ship Passenger Arrivals.
In the record of ship deserters there is a Daniel NELSON, A.B. named on 4. 8. 1875 "STIRLINGSHIRE" with the remarks "shipped at Adelaide". Just what this means or to whom it refers is not clear. Documentation exists to prove that at the year of his marriage, 1881, he was a Customs officer, and also a Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. (Freemasons).
Earlier he had purchased jointly with another Customs Officer, (George Edward Carlisle Stevens), a block of land (Cert. of Title, Book 175, Page 160, known as Lot 92, Dundas Street, Albert Town). Approximately a year before his marriage the full ownership was transferred to Daniel. He sold the property on 21st July, 1886.
In 1890 he was appointed as a captain of the Militia Force of South Australia, by the Governor of S.A. Another appointment was as a Justice of the Peace.
Family tradition is that in the Customs Dept. he was promoted to Chief landing waiter (sic) at the S.A. Company Crane Wharf under the Landing Surveyor (Colonel J.C. Ferguson). Apparently by 1890 he was able to obtain leave as a reward for his long service, so he made his first of many trips to the Western Australian goldfields.
The legend is that he was reasonably successful in seeking the precious metal as well as being employed as either a mine manager or on a water de-salination project associated with the mine.
The three children were born in the Rosewater district in the hundred of Kingston in South Australia, and attended the Port Adelaide Primary School.
In 1904 Daniels brothers-in-law purchased land at Modbury (now Valley View the north western corner of Junction and Nelson Roads) known as "Rippleside". He and his family moved from Port Adelaide district with the Johnsons.
Ever the wanderer when the W.A. gold fever abated, Daniel joined an exploration party to the Northern Territory, as a surveyor. This venture extended onto New Guinea. A postcard exists referring to his intention to sail to Thursday Island and-then Samarai Island (S.E. tip of N.G.) in the year 1907.
He served for a time in New Guinea as a representative of Burns Philp & Go., until he contacted malaria. It is reputed that his weight fell from 14 to 7 stone (90 to 45 kgs).
His final years were spent in S.A., but still travelling, as a representative for Messrs. Clutterbuck Bros., of Adelaide. According to an obituary in the "Southern Argus" he was one of the most respected of all the commercial men on the roads.
The same newspaper gave a colorful report on his illness and ultimate death which occurred at Strathalbyn, which place he was visiting on business. Although his end came rather quickly. there was time for his family to be notified. but only his son Ronald was able to travel to Strathalbyn in time to see him before he passed away.
Despite Daniels many and long sojourns away from his home, his wife, Ida Jane, nee JOHNSON, never left the Rosewater or Modbury homes.
The directories indicate that the family lived in several different houses in Gray Tce., Lee Tce. or King William Street, all are very close to each other and close to where members of the Johnson family also lived, at Rosewater.
Ida Jane survived as a widow for six years and died on lst March 1918 Ida Jane and Daniel were both and both died in the month of March, both are buried in the Cheltenham cemetery, as also are Ida's parents and brother William.
Father: Thomas Nelson b: 1832 in Dublin,Eire
Mother: Honora Ferns b: Bet 1832 - 1834 in Dublin,Eire
Ida Jane Johnson b: 25 MAR 1853 in Port Adelaide,South Australia
- Herbert George Nelson b: 21 SEP 1882 in Kingston,South Australia
- Alexander Harold Horatio Nelson b: 18 DEC 1884 in Rosewater,South Australia
- Ronald Arthur Ferns Nelson b: 10 JUL 1890 in Kingston,South Australia