Deslandes emigrants' story

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John Deslandes (1836-1930) son of Jean, emigrated to Australia

From The Register - Adelaide, South Australia: Wednesday 13 October 1926

John Deslandes

The Register of August 1903 contains the obituary notice of Mrs Jane Deslandes, who died at Glanville Blocks on that date, aged 91 leaving five sons, John, George, Daniel, Phillip, and William, four daughters, 49 grand children, and 35 great-grandchildren. As she was born in 1812 (at Jersey, Channel lslands) she had lived in the reign of George III, George IV, William IV, Victoria, and Edward. Her eldest son, John Deslandes, and her youngest, William, survive, and live at the Semaphore and on Satuday next there is to be a dinner and dance to celebrate the 90th birthday of Mr John Deslandes Snr, who, since 1855, has resided in what is now Port Adelaide, except for a short time in 1863, when he went to the Northern Territory in the barque Ellen Lewis, with Capt Stephen Hellon.

The Register of 19 October 1917 has an account of Mr Deslandes' 81st birthday, and the congratulations of the Port Adelaide City Council; Mr Deslandes had been the Port Adelaide City Engineer.

The Deslandes family arrived from Jersey on 24 November 1854, in the Evening Star, 847 tons, Capt de Ste Croix, having sailed from Jersey on 25 August, and having been six days in Pernambuco. The Journey took 91 days from Jersey to the Semaphore. The ship was a splendid model and fitted up with every comfort for passengers, but Dr Duncan, the health officer of Port Adelaide, said be found her in a dirty state; however there was only one death, an infant, and two children were born on the voyage.

Passenger list

The following passenger list contains many well-known names, but as some elected to go on in her to Melbourne, all of those mentioned did not land here:

Pengelly, wife and five children; Elms and wife; Sarre and wife; Peter Sarre; D Goldsmith Smith, wife, and three children ; John Waldron, and three children (Was 'Topsy' Waldron, the Norwood footballer, one of the three?); Edward Gallisione; J. Waldron; Thomas Waldron; Peter and Georgian Priaulx; Col Baldock wife, two sons, and two daughters; Andrews and wife; Ellen S Elliott; Thompson, wife, and four children; Brinvena, wife, and two children; A Ferbrache and wife; John Deslandes, wife, and family; Philip Le Couteur; Francois Rive; J E Hammond; Capt White: F C White; F W Suter; W Cochrane, wife, and four children; B Roland and wife; W Bishop, wife, and son; Mariana Ahier, son and daughter; Mrs Attenborough ; J Le Page. Ferrander; Emilio Didcin; Elizabeth Ribou and child; C Deslandes, wife, and child; K Deslandes, sister, and niece; Mary Passmore and child; Thomas Giles, wife, and child; Eleanor Brihaut: Mary Le Geyt; Martha Priaulx; Charlotte Skelly; Ellen Webb and two nieces; S R Kent, wife, and three children; J P Upson, wife, and four children; Elizabeth ?Hmilllic and son; J. Bosford and wife; H: Mowlem, wife, and three children; R. Woodland and four children; H. Willlams. Elizabeth Gardiner; Peter Hotteu, wife, and child; James Priestly and wife; Thomas Robin and wife; Jeremiah Rose and wife; William Andrews, wife, and seven children; James Cox; William Witftl; J Deeble and two brothers; Mark Stanton: Henry Bush; William Conoy; P Cochrane; Thomas Lane; Thomas Ogier; Dihill Manger; Peter Mourant; James Richards; S Symons; William Savery; J Wicking; H Bonnel; J Jones; G Journeaux; E Rowe; J Myers; W Perry; W Jolife; R Rainey; T Gilson; Elizabeth Skinner and brother; P Falla; Andre Auraont; W Pascoe; P Le Cornu; A Prevost; K Rich; G Chick; J Higgs and wife; P Renouf; O Kaines; W Jacques; C Anchew; Jane Marr and two children; and Thomas Brown, wife, and two children.

(Note:The copy of this report supplied to Jerripedia has obviously been scanned and processed with optical character recognition software, and several of these names are clearly incorrect. Where possible they have been amended, but some errors inevitably remain)

John Deslandes obituary
Father Jean Deslandes

Jersey Farm

Mr Deslandes and family settled on the famous Pinery for about 16 months, and then purchased section 91, Hundred of Yatala, of 40 acres, and named it Jersey Farm, I could never understand why Sir Samuel Davenport and Mr Deslandes bought land in this swampy locality. In 1885, when the tax on land values was first imposed, Mr Deslandes was presumably dead, and Mrs Jane Deslandes owned the 40 acres of section 84, of which the unimproved and taxable value was settled at £2,400 or £60 per acre. The next valuation, about five years later, was £800. The next was £600 or one-fourth of the 1885 valuation, which gives us, in 1926, an idea of the land boom here between 1882 and 1886.

Farewell to Australia

On Thursday evening a farewell social was tendered to Mr John Deslandes, contractor and undertaker, at the Semaphore, the occasion being his ensuing departure for New Zealand with his wife and family. Mr Deslandes has been a resident of the colony for nearly 40 years and is the eldest of a family who arrived from Jersey in the early days. His parents purchased and settled upon the property known as Jersey Farm, near the Glanville Hall estate, and this farm is still owned and lived upon by Mrs Deslandes sen who has reached an advanced age. Mr John Deslandes has been well known as a businessman on Lefevre’s Peninsula for 35 years, but more prominently during the last 25 years. He has carried out a large number of public works under the old District Council and the present Corporation. Chief amongst these are the Military Road and the Semaphore and Large Esplanade. Latterly Mr Deslandes has suffered considerably from ill health and has been ordered a change of climate by his medical adviser. About 40 gentlemen sat down to an excellent repast laid in a large room on Mr Deslandes’ premises by Host Rose, of the Semaphore Hotel. The chair was occupied by His Worship the Mayor of the Semaphore, Mr George Willimott, who was supported on his right by the guest of the evening and Mr W Christie, and on his left by the Mayor of Port Adelaide, Mr J Cleave, and Mr W Goldsworthy. The vice-chair was filled by Mr J C Lovely, JP, and the company included the Rev W H Cann, Mr J Wallace, JP, the Town Clerk and Councillors of the Semaphore, and many old and respected inhabitants of the Port and Semaphore.


At the age of 93 years, Mr John Deslandes, of Penny Street, Semaphore, died this morning after a long illness. For many years he had enjoyed the title of ‘The Grand Old Man of Glanville’ and was one of the best-known figures in Port Adelaide district.

By the death of Mr Deslandes the district has lost within a few days of each other its two oldest residents. He was believed to be the oldest citizen after Mrs M A Phillips, of Bucknall road, Glanville, who died on Thursday at the age of 100 years.

Born in the island of Jersey, English Channel, on 18 October 1836, Mr Deslandes, his parents, and ten other children arrived at Port Adelaide in 1854 aboard the sailing ship ‘’Evening Star’’ which he assisted to build while apprenticed to the trade of shipwrignt. The father had been a farmer and road builder in Jersey. Mr Deslandes led an active and a varied life after his arrival in Australia. He first followed his trade at Birkenhead slip, but later yielded to the call of the sea and joined a ship trading to China. Later he was sent by the Government to build a ferry at Escape Cliff, Northern Territory.

On his return from the north Mr Deslandes branched out as a contractor, which calling he followed for the next 20 years. In that time he built many roads in the district and a large number of houses. He buiult Military and Semaphore roads. In early life Mr Deslandes was associated with Port Adelaide Congregational Church, which he helped to build, and later with Exeter Methodist Church, of which he was the oldest trustee.

Mr Deslandes has left a widow and two grandchildren, E Delbridge, NSW, and M Delbridge, Brisbane. Mr E A Farquhar, chairman of South Australian Harbors Board, is a nephew.

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