Mary Roberts was the oldest child of William and Elizabeth (nee BOTTRELL)
Shes was 18 when she travelled from Cornwall to New Zealand.
She was not in New Zealand long when she met John ESLICK. John ESLICK was also from Cornwall.
They were married 7 November 1842 in the Wesleyan Chapel, Wellington. John is a sawyer, as so many New Zealand pioneers were then.
John is listed in New Zealand Electoral rolls 1845 as a Juror for Port Nicholson, Te Aro Flat, labourer.
In South Australia in 1845
Copper discovered at Burra, Gold discovered near Montacute
Assisted migration resumed and immigration was recorded at 2,336 persons and emigration at 44. Early South Austalian History
In 1846 they were in South Australia. The Biographical Index of South Australia (1836-1885) records that John and Mary Eslick and one child were residing in South Australia by 1846.
Mary and John ESLICK were informants for the birth of John Thomas BOTTRELL, born Adelaide on 5 August 1846 (son of Joseph and Ann BOTTRELL nee TAMBLYN). At that time they were living in Queen St, Adelaide. John was a miner. They were recorded as ISLICK. Joseph was Mary's uncle (her mother Elizabeth's youngest brother) At Reedy Creek near Adelaide in 1847 when Jemima was born.
In a 1847 South Australia Almanac it states there are 100 Primitive Wesleyan in Adelaide. There were 2 churches of 60-70 parishioners each around Adelaide, and 2 preaching services of 20 people each. There were 2 ministers doing once a fortnight at new outstations, Mt Barker, Strathalbyn, South Australia mine Paringa and the Reedy Creek mine.
Sidney Samuel, in his book "The Three Colonies of Australia" wrote in 1850 that, whilst South Australia was extremely rich in minerals it was only the mine at Burra Burra that paid a dividend. It seems that, at that time a special survey was being carried out at Reedy Creek, which is recorded as being 46 miles from Adelaide.
William and Joseph were also born at Reedy Creek, Joseph in 1852.
Mary's parents and younger siblings have joined them in South Australia.
This time gold was the reason the miners left South Australia for Victoria.
Gold was struck in the Mt Alexander district in September 1851. - and the rush began. They probably made their way to Castlemaine via the Gold Escort Route from South Australia to the Mt Alexander goldfields in 1852-53.
In his book "Gold Escort", L J Blake describes one escort journey which took only ten and a half days to travel the distance from Adelaide to Campbell's Creek.
L J Blake also writes of the dress of the diggers - first a blue flannel shirt, moleskin trousers tucked into boots and a cabbage tree hat. As diggers from other parts of the world arrived this changed to jackboots and leggings protecting the mens' legs and shirts featuring red, white and blue stripes began to appear. Pistols were carried in the belts of many a men and faces were protected from the heat of the sun by heavy beards. The summer of 1852 was particularly dry and the earth became fine dust with the constant tramping over the ground by the diggers. To add to the desolation, many of the trees had been hewn to provide timber for rough furniture, firewood, and also to support the holes, to prevent them from falling in on top of the miners. In the hot, dry summers, water was in short supply and as a consequence, hygiene suffered and dysentery and diarrhea were prevalent. The flies were a constant menace, and almost drove some of the diggers to distraction.
Blake also reports that new arrivals kept coming to the settlement from South Australia, and that many of them prospered, some as diggers, others as storekeepers, whilst others were teamsters, carting goods with their bullock drays.
Crime on the Mt. Alexander diggings was reported to be rife, and sly grog did a very brisk trade. captain William Henry WRIGHT was appointed goldfields Commissioner for the Mt Alexander area in February. 1852, and set up his Central Camp on a strategic point on the west side of Campbells Creek, where the various gold routes from surrounding districts and interstate converged.
Mary died at Campbells Creek of Dysentery in 1854, of which she had had for one month according to the informant at her death - Richard BELL. On the death certificate it states that she had four living children - Jemima, William Henry, Joseph and Elizabeth. She had had 4 children that had deceased. Daughter Elizabeth died not long after Mary.
Mary and John's daughter, Jemima, married Edward TOY and had a big family in the Bendigo area. Thanks to Phyllis TOY for information on this family.