Cornish Blights in South Australia

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Location: South Australia, Australiamap
Surnames/tags: Blight Cornwall South_Australia
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Part of the Blight Name Study

Cornish Miners at Moonta Mines
A collection of families and indiviuals from Cornwall, United Kingdom, with the surname Blight, who migrated to South Australia prior to 1900. Many were miners and gravitated toward the mining towns of Minlaton, Wallaroo, Moonta and Burra; this region of Yorke Peninsula is sometimes called "Little Cornwall".

A handful of given names were popular with Blights: James, Francis, Thomas, Richard, John, William. The purpose of this page is to help you sort your Blights into family groups, avoid conflating people with the same names, and connect your Blights to a specific immigrant family or individual and to their place of origin in Cornwall.

Blight Arrivals by Ship to South Australia

These are all arrivals from Britain, not from other colonies or New Zealand. If you can identify any of these and they have WikiTree profiles, please go ahead and link them.

  • Waterloo - 1840 Mr Francis Blight and his wife Mary nee Martin, their son Francis John (b1838 Illogan), a daughter Mary and another son. Children born in the colony: Blanch, Rosina, Thomas Henry, Caroline, John, Selina and Caroline. Lived at Pinery, Pine Forest and Peachey Belt. Died 14th April 1885, at his residence, Broughton Extension (Pt Broughton), husband of Mary Blight, aged 76 years, leaving two sons, four daughters, A colonist of forty-five years. Also Miss Frances Blight born 1817 in Illogan, Cornwall, married a Mr Pritchard and lived at Peachey Belt. She was the sister of James Blight Sr. of Mt Barker (Rajah 1847) which opens the possibility that the Francis she travelled with was a member of the same family. (A search of Cornish births confirm that the same parents had a son, Francis, born Illogan 1806.
  • Rajah -1847 James Blight from Illogan, Cornwall. His wife Elizabeth passed away on the voyage. James remarried, first Elizabeth James and then Maria Burgess Children of James Sr. were:
Born in Cornwall:
James Blight Jr pastoralist of Mt Barker
William Blight
Richard Blight
Francis Blight
Mary Blight
Joseph Blight (born at sea?)
Born in South Australia:
Thomas Blight
Elizabeth Blight
Stephen Blight

The family went first to Montacute, then to Mount Barker where they took up sheep farming.
  • Santipore - 1848 Emma Blight
  • Mary Ann - 1849 Joseph Blight, wife and child.
  • Ascendant - 1851 Joseph Blight (23) and Elizabeth Blight (28) from Cornwall. An infant, William Henry, died on the voyage.
  • Omega - 1851 John Blight aged 39, a miner from Cornwall, his wife Jane Blight, 30, John Henry William Blight aged 9. Henry Blight aged 5 died on the voyage. John Sr went to the Victorian gold fields and died in Bendigo 1855 and Jane married a Mr Place.
  • Lysander - 1851 James Blight, Emily Blight (nee Cross, formerly Battershill) and 2 children, from Devon (no Cornish origins discovered so far) They farmed at Mt Bryan East and had children John, Ellen Ann, Richard, James, William and Frank
  • Neptune - 1853 Jennifer Blight, single.
  • Sultana - 1854 Peter Blight aged 27, agricultural lbourer from Cornwall and Mary Blight aged 26. May have gone immediately to the Ballarat gold diggings.
  • Clara - 1865 Thomas Blight aged 23, miner from Cornwall, arrived with Catherine Blight aged 24, Elizabeth Blight aged 8 and William Frances Blight, infant. A Mary Blight and another Thomas Blight may have also arrived on this voyage.
  • Trevelion - 1865 Blight Mrs nee Gall, of Cornwall. Lived in Wallaroo, married Mr E. Harris.
  • Electric - 1865 William Blight aged 20, mason born Truro, Cornwall. Worked at Wallaroo and Moonta. Married Mrs Agnes Bignell, went to Mt Gambier, engaged in building work. Father of W. Blight (Waikerie), Joe Blight (Willunga), James Blight (Adelaide), and Jack Blight, (Renmark).

Other Blights Present in South Australia

These are from other records such as newspapers, and may be the same people as mentioned in the ship arrivals above, though I've made some effort to exclude them if they're obviously the same. If you can identify any of these and they have WikiTree profiles, please go ahead and link them. Listed alphabetically.

Augusta Blight, Mrs nee Meissner (or variants). Married Richard Blight of Mt. Barker, lived at Wallaroo, gave birth to a daughter who was raised by Augusta's mother. The marriage was over by 1878 but no divorce or death records found so far. May have moved to Port Adelaide area. Her mother is buried at Cheltenham.
Edward Blight of Morchard, near Willowie, (no parents named in wedding notice) m. Mary Wake
Elizabeth Blight had a child in 1851with David Rowe, apparently out of wedlock, at Peachey Belt. The child was named Elizabeth Blight.
Elizabeth Blight daughter of Elizabeth Blight and David Rowe, born 1851 apparently out of wedlock, at Peachey Belt.
Francis Blight of Willowie, son of James Blight and Selina nee Dewberry. B. approx 1865 at Mt Barker, d.1931 at Clare, m Jessie Ough.
Francis Edwin Blight of Willowie, b. 1893, son of James Blight and Jane Lang of Willowie
Francis John Blight b 1838, of Gawler, arrived Waterloo 1840, married Mary Trainer and had children, Mary Jane and Richard Blight.
Frederick Blight of Mannahill.
James Blight of Willowie, died 1909, married Jane Grace Lang, had sons Richard Lionel Blight and Francis Edwin Blight, ( b. 1893).
Jessie Blight Mrs nee Ough, wife of Francis Blight of Willowie
Jane Grace Blight Mrs nee Lang, wife of James Blight of Willowie
Joseph Blight of Broken Hill, brother of Wm Blight of Clare and Mary, Mrs Moyses. Born c. 1830. Died 1905
Joseph Blight was married to Ann Lee and had a son, Isaac in 1852
Joseph Blight married Elizabeth Lee and had children Mary and John.
Mary Blight Mrs nee Trainer, wife of Francis John Blight of Gawler
Mary Blight who came with her parents Mr and Mrs F. Blight from Cornwall on the Waterloo in 1840. Married John Worden, farmed at Peachey Belt, Grace Plains.
Mary Hannah Blight, Mrs nee Dunstone. Her Cornish parents arrived in the ship Lady Bruce in 1846.
Mary Blight sister of Wm Blight of Clare, wife of Mr Moyses.
Philip Blight of Moonta, married to E.A.
Rosina/Rozina Blight b1840/41 to Francis & Mary Blight (Waterloo 1840) One of twins with Blanch(e)? Married Thomas Bartlett.
Selina Blight Mrs nee Dewberry, wife of James Blight Jr of Mount Barker
Stephen George Blight Sheep farmer of Willochra. Son of James and Selina, m. Annie, disappeared, declared dead, in 1897
Susan Blight of Mundoora, m. Mr Meldren 1895.
Unknown Blight (female) born around 1864-1866 to Richard and Augusta Blight in Wallaroo. No birth record found. Was raised by her grandmother Ernestine Meissner who is buried at Cheltenham.
W,F,Blight son of Mr. T.Blight of Moonta Mines, died 1888, buried at Moonta.
William Blight of Moonta Mines, wife was Eliza, hanged himself at the Richman mine, Moonta, on 8 July 1878. Had a brother named Thomas.
William Blight Mayor of Hindmarsh. born at Clenick Gate, Cornwall c.1824, arrived as crew ("convict service") on the Vimera to Western Australia in 1865, came to S.A. in 1878
William Henry Blight of Clare, born Spring Farm SA. married Mary Hannah Dunstone.
William Blight of Clare, native of Pool, Cornwall, arrived in the colony 1849. Went to Burra mines, then Victorian gold fields & returned to take up land at Spring Farm, then to Wallaroo as a baker. Father of W.H. Blight, T. Blight, Mr. B. Blight, of Clare; Mr. J. Blight of Port Augusta ; Rev. Jos. Blight, of New Zealand; Miss M. J. Blight, and Miss C. Blight, of Clare ; and Mrs. Phillips, of West Australia
William Henry Blight of Quorn, married Alice Tyler in 1892.


These lists are compiled from notes made while researching my own Blights. Sources I used include:

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Listed under the heading Other Blights Present in South Australia

“Elizabeth Blight had a child in 1851 with David Rowe, apparently out of wedlock, at Peachey Belt. The child was named Elizabeth Blight. Elizabeth Blight daughter of Elizabeth Blight and David Rowe, born 1851 apparently out of wedlock, at Peachey Belt.” From my research: Elizabeth Blight born 1825 was the daughter of Francis Blight and Blanch Richards. She was baptised on the 08 Oct 1825. She and David Rowe married in 1850. (Find My Past Cornish Marriage Transcriptions District: Redruth County: Cornwall Country: England Volume: 9 Page: 279) They were passengers on the ship Reliance leaving Liverpool 10 June 1851 via Plymouth 16th June 1851, arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 13th September 1851. 10th ship from England to S.A. with 313 government passengers. Their daughter Elizabeth Blight Rowe was born on the 06 Nov 1851 at Peachy Belt (Dist: Ade Book: 3 Page: 292) and died the same day (Dist: Ade Book: 2 Page: 104). Elizabeth Rowe nee Blight died 13 Nov 1851 at the age of 26 (Dist: Ade Book: 2 Page: 104). David Relative David Rowe Husband. Other siblings to emigrate to South Australia were Francis born 1806 aboard the Waterloo 1840; James born 1807 aboard the Rajah 1847 and Frances (my 2nd great-grandmother) aboard the Waterloo 1840.

posted by Aileen Pritchard
This page is an ongoing project. If you have Blights in your family tree, please do get in contact.
posted by [Living Turner]