John & Ann
Mary  John  Annie  Moses  Isaac  Aaron  Margaret  Harriet  Matilda  Emma  Edwin  Charles  Henry

The Descendants of Moses Adsett

by N. E. Adsett

Children Sex Age Born Birth Place Died Death/Burial Site
1 JamesM027 Feb 1859Brisbane??? 1859unknown
2Elizabeth AnneF??2 Feb 1862 Brisbane??? ????unknown
3Catherine MatildaF8726 July 1867Brisbane5 Oct 1954Brisbane

When Moses Adsett arrived at Moreton Bay on 4 February 1851 with his brothers John and Aaron and John's wife, Louisa, Moses was twenty-three years of age. The list of passengers on the sailing ship Duchess of Northumberland included Moses, labourer, Church of England. He could neither read nor write and he gave his age as only eighteen. Born on 1st June 1827 in Ewell, he had lived with his family in Surrey, no doubt learning much about the practice of farming in Southern England through his experiences as a labourer. top of page

Moses married Susan Jude at St. John's Church in Brisbane 21 June 1855. Their first child, James, was born in 1859. He died in infancy.

There is evidence that Moses owned considerable land in the Parish of Enoggera, County of Stanley. A parish map dated 18751 shows his name attached to several Portions. One of them2 was described as 200 acres of agricultural land while another3 comprised 123 acres of second class pastoral land. In 1859 Moses Adsett paid one pound an acre for a lot of 58 acres along with Robert Cribb who purchased 73 acres and H. H. Payne 42 acres, all at the same rate.4

Enoggera Creek drained part of Moses Adsett's property. This stream features in articles published in the Moreton Bay Courier and Brisbane Courier in the 1860s. One of these could be labelled drink driving as it was done in 1861. "A man, woman, and bullock team in attempting to cross Enoggera Creek had been carried away by flood".5 The report titles "Fatal Accident at Enoggera Creek" said that Joseph Gridley and Moses Adsett had searched and found the bodies of John Dunford and his wife. An autopsy recorded "accidental death by drowning whilst the deceased were in a state of intoxication". The bullocks were also drowned.

The decision to dam Enoggera Creek to provide a water supply to Brisbane residents also affected Moses Adsett. Land for Enoggera Waterworks was resumed from landowners along the creek's course. An engineer's report of 1865 shows that Moses Adsett was paid the sum of £2/17/- for fencing and Adsett and Patten, joint owners of land near the site of the dam, received £150/5/- for land which had been taken.

Another story from family lore tells that one evening Moses was riding on his property when darkness overtook him. Making a pillow of his saddle, he went to sleep. In the morning when birds woke him, he thought this would be a suitable place to build a church. He offered an area of two acres to any denomination willing to do so. His offer was taken up by the primitive Methodists. On the Prince of Wales' birthday holiday on Monday 11 November 1872, a ceremony to mark the breaking of the ground was held. The Brisbane Courier published news of this event before it took place and afterwards.

An advertisement published on Saturday 9th November 1972 read as follows:


The Hon. C.Lilley, QC, MLA, will break the ground; S. Griffith, Esq., MLA; the Revs G. Wight, J. Barton, J. Buckle and T. Thatcher, and others will (D.V.) take part thereat. Luncheon will be provided at 2 o'clock.
TICKETS - ADULTS, 1s.6d.; JUVENILES, 1s. each

In the same newspaper, another paragraph was printed under the heading "The Primitive Methodists". With the public holiday on the following Monday in mind, the reporter was evidently suggesting a fun way of spending it. It began,

Amongst the candidates for the patronage of pleasure-seekers on Monday, are the trustees of the new church and school-house, for the erection of which tenders are now being invited, to be built near the Waterworks, Enoggera.7

An interesting account of the dedication of the site for a Primitive Methodist Church and School-house appeared in the Brisbane Courier on the day following the event. Accounts of the exploits of other pleasure seekers on the Prince of Wales' holiday were also published including the Hibernian Society's steamer excursion to Cleveland and another voyage in Moreton Bay by the Good Templars.

The promoters of yesterday's festivities deserve great praise for the manner in which everything was carried out. A commodious booth was erected, and decorated with flags and evergreens, and ample provision was made for visitors. The proceedings were commenced at about 1 o'clock by the singing of a hymn, after which Mr A.M.Francis, of Breakfast Creek, engaged in prayer. The 122nd Psalm was next read, and Mr Lilley, QC, MLA, then turned the first sod on the spot where the principal pillar of the structure will stand. After the termination of this portion of the programme Mr Lilley delivered an eloquent and impressive address, intersperse with excellent advice, which was received with warm applause. Mr G. Wight also a suitable address. A collection was then made, and a very creditable sum was subscribed. The doxology was then sung and the benediction was pronounced by the Rev Mr Thatcher. The company then adjourned for lunch, at which about 150 sat down, appeared to enjoy themselves heartily. The Rev J. Buckle, who was unavoidably absent from part of the proceedings in consequence of the sudden illness of one of his children, presided, and moved a vote of thanks to Mr Lilley for his kindness for taking part in the proceeding. Mr A. M. Francis seconded the motion, and in a short speech pointed out the propriety of leading politicians mingling more with the people. Votes of thanks were also passed to Mr Adsett, and Mesdames Payne, White, Paten, Peechey, Campbell, and Elder, who had taken an active part in the arrangements, and to Mr Sigley, who had kindly sent a supply of fruit. The meeting separated at about 5 o'clock.8

Moses was present in a wheel chair. Though only forty-five years of age, he was dying of cancer. He indicated the spot where he wished to be buried. He died on 8 February 1873 at his residence in Milton Road. His grave is the oldest in the church cemetery at The Gap Uniting Church, described at the time as a burial place at Enoggera Creek near the Waterworks.

Just three months later, the Primitive Methodist Church at The Gap Waterworks Road was opened on Sunday 25 May 1873. Two sermons were preached, one in the morning on "Christian Liberality" and one in the afternoon on "Following Christ". There were good attendances and collections were reported as satisfactory. Moses' dream had been realised.

In his will, Moses bequeathed to his wife Susan a horse known as the Roan Filly and the sum of ten pounds. Susan later married again. Her second husband was Isaac Daniels and their child David was born in 1876. top of page

During the 1860s Moses and Susan's daughters, Elizabeth Ann and Catherine Matilda, had been born. Aged only eleven and five respectively at the time of their father's death, they were to benefit according to their father's will, from his wealthy estate when they both later married.The elder daughter, Elizabeth, married William Griffiths Williams. There is no record of any descendants of Billie and Lizzie Williams who lived at The Gap. It is said they might have gone to South Africa. top of page

The younger daughter Catherine Matilda, known as Kate, attended the Normal School in Edward Street, Brisbane, as a child. She married Edward George Braine, a real estate agent. Braine left her and their only child, Edward Henry and called Harry when Harry was but four years old. What happened to the estate of Moses Adsett is a matter for speculation. It appears Mrs Kate Braine did not benefit. With little or no schooling, young Harry had earned enough to maintain their home at 152 Junction Road, Clayfield through odd jobs for the Fannings and other families in The Gap area. When he married Phoebe Brooks in 1917, they rented his mother's home in Clayfield while she moved to The Gunyah at Scarborough. Harry Braine was later employed as a railway gardener at Roma Street and stations on the Caboolture, Helidon, Pinkenba and Bethania lines. Kate Braine died at the Clayfield home in 1954 as did her son Harry twelve years after. Both are buried near the grave of Moses Adsett at The Gap.

The descendants of Moses and Susan Adsett are listed in Appendix 3

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1. Queensland State Archives, AG3, Sheet 1A, 1875, Portions 674, 823, 178, 182, 167, 171

2. Portion 674

3. Portion 823

4. Moreton Bay Courier, Wednesday, 6 April 1859

5. Moreton Bay Courier, Saturday, 6 April 1861

6. The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 9 November 1872

7. The Brisbane Courier, Saturday, 9 November 1872

8. The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday, 12 November 1872