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Higgins Family of Currency Creek

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 5 months ago

Higgins Family of Currency Creek


Higgins family of Currency Creek, Australia



A Submission from:  BRIAN FORTH.            Date: August 2001


The Higgins family living near Currency Creek originate from the family of Joseph HIGGINS, who with his brother Ralph HIGGINS in 1725 built a Gentleman’s

house called ‘Higginsbrook’ on the River Boyne situated 3 miles from Trim in Co Meath IRELAND. 

The lineage is through Joseph HIGGINS, his son William (married Catherine Grierson), through to Thomas (1st) then onwards as follows.

 Lieutenant Thomas Walker HIGGINS (2rd) (senior) of Dublin IRELAND;


married Sarah SIMPSON from Beverley Yorkshire ENGLAND in 1808. Lt Thomas HIGGINS was severely wounded on 21st June 1813 at the Battle of Vittoria in SPAIN during the Peninsular Wars against Napoleon died a few days later.



This HIGGINS family lived in Dublin IRELAND in the late 1700’s but originate from the family of Joseph HIGGINS who build ‘Higginsbrook’ near Trim Co Meath.



The had 2 sons -


Thomas Walker HIGGINS (3rd) (junior) was born 29th day of January 1810 at Bexhill in County Sussex ENGLAND, (his army discharge papers state born near Battle in County Sussex) while his father’s army regiment the 5th regiment of foot the Northumberland Fusiliers were barracked there.  He lived his early life in Doncaster Yorkshire with his mother Sarah and brother William, before moving back to Dublin Ireland to stay with his auntie Catherine HIGGINS. In 1831 he joined the 2nd Dragoons (Scots Greys) rising to the rank of Sergeant, then purchasing his release in 1839.



William HIGGINS (the second son) went to Madras India in 1831 joining the Madras European Volunteer Artillery Company a part of the Honourable East India Company and died there. 

On April the 30th 1839, Thomas Walker HIGGINS (3rd)  (3rd) married Jane FRANKS (nee WATSON) from Newcastle on Trent, at St George Church in Southwark London. 

On May the 28th 1839 they joined the passengers on ship ‘Anna Robertson’ a 448 tone, 3 mast sailing ship leaving London and arriving at Port Misery (Port

Adelaide) on September 30th 1839. 

They lived for a while in Adelaide where Thomas Walker Higgins found employment with the Post Office as a clerk, their only child Thomas William was born April 19th 1840 in Adelaide.

City life did not suit him. In 1840 they journeyed to the South Coast where good land was plenty. They took up a run near Currency Creek, and on Section 2147 in

the hundred of Goolwa they built their home naming it ‘Higginsbrook’ after his family’s ancestral home back in Ireland. 

Thomas’s ‘Higginsbrook’ was built on a side of a hill, giving a scenic view over the valley towards the sea. Jane HIGGINS prepared a lovely English garden where she entertained friends, neighbours and even the cavalry held an all night dance camping near by to revelry in the morning and carry on. 

Thomas Walker HIGGINS took up an OCCUPATIONAL LICENCE on 2nd August 1843 

He took up lease on lands from near Currency Creek to Port Elliot, from the coast to the hills, first paying 10 schillings a square mile. His ‘run’ went from Currency Creek to Port Elliot from the seas to the hills. He bread Devon cattle to supply the whaling station at Encounter Bay, began to breed sheep and grew cereal crops.

He also established a report and respect amongst the local aboriginal tribe. 

He continued with mixed farming also leasing his own land to new residents where cereal crops were grown. 

In 1841 a young girl called Sarah McHARG left a survey camp near Meadows to proceed to her father’s house nearby. She never made home and in 1843 Thomas HIGGINS while searching for lost cattle near Currency Creek found her remains, a sad ending to a young life. 

In 1849 Thomas Higgins purchased what is now known as Middleton. 

In 1854 he had the land surveyed and made plans for the township of Middleton, naming after his connection with Ireland. Many locals took up the opportunity and

purchased land allotments. 

Thomas was a Gentleman and grazier, he also became a Justice of the Peace in South Australia sitting on many Police and Coroners courts in the area, appointed

Magistrate in the state of New South Wales, the first chairman of the District Council of Port Elliot and Goolwa, and commissioned n the Volunteer Military


Jane HIGGINS a small and petite lady not from the land soon adapted and was well respected in the area. She had the privilege in opening the Currency Creek Bridge in 1866. 

In the 1850’s and 1860’s the Volunteer Force movement began to take shape in South Australia, with men from Port Eliot, Goolwa and Strathalbyn along with other country town and areas in Adelaide forming local Rifle Brigades.

In 1872 Jane HIGGINS died at Higginsbrook and buried at Currency Creek cemetery. 

On February 3rd 1874 in the Chapel at Yatala Labour Prison, Thomas William HIGGINS married Heloise May Moorundie SCOTT. 

Heloise’s father was Edward Bate SCOTT an explorer; grazier was Superintendent of Yatala labour prison from 1869 for 23 years before retiring to Currency


Thomas Walker HIGGINS donated large bell to the Church of the Holy Evangelist at Goolwa in 1897. 

May 24th 1899 Thomas Walker HIGGINS died at the Austral Club in Adelaide. 

His coffin was carried home by train to his beloved ‘Higginsbrook’ and buried at Currency Creek Cemetery along side Jane HIGGINS. 

In 1915 Heloise HIGGINS and family built the church tower in memory of her son Thomas Edward Charles HIGGINS who died in Sydney 1905. The HIGGINS family

also donated a clock for the tower in 1915. 

Thomas William HIGGINS carried on with rifle shooting after his volunteer involvement along with his mixed farming at “Burnt Oak’ dying in 1915. 

Their children were


. Thomas Edward Charles born 1877 dying 1905,


. Mabel Janet Celia born 1879 dying 1946, she married Robert CAVE,


. Blanche Isobel Mary born 1882 dying 1948 married John Richard BORROW in 


  1909, and 

. Hugh William Desmond born 1885 dying 1937. 

  Hugh married Mabel Yseult VASEY on May the 25th 1915 at Glenelg.

  He built their home called ‘The Brook’ on Section 2146 hundred of Goolwa.

Their children were 

Alan Thomas Desmond HIGGINS born 1915 died 1983

farmer and grazier of ‘Burnt Oak’ local Country Fire Service volunteer and councillor for Goolwa and Port Elliot Council, married Beatrice Joyce LANGCAKE.

Mary Aileen HIGGINS born 1920, married Wally FORTH a Mounted Police officer and later a stock and station agent with Dalgety. 

Charles Frederick Kevin HIGGINS born 1927, died 1991 a farmer and grazier living at ‘The Brook’ involved in Country Fire Service, married Muriel Grace WEIR..

Margaret Heloise HIGGINS, born 1929, moved to Melbourne and worked for the Victorian Cricket Association, married Allan STANBROUGH.

Raymond Hugh Edward HIGGINS born 1932, died 1996, moved to Adelaide as an accountant with Shell Australia, married Jennifer RUSSELL. 

Today, the homes of ‘Higginsbrook’, ‘The Brook’ and “Burnt Oak’ still stand. ‘Higginsbrook’ and ‘The Brook’ have changed hands, but Burnt Oak is owned my

Mark HIGGINS and Silverhills be Jeffrey HIGGINS descendants of Thomas Walker and Jane HIGGINS


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