Self, Charles (Snr)

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Bricklayer, plasterer and stonemason

Surname variant = Selfe

Charles Self (Snr), aged 27, and his wife Mary, aged 26, arrived in South Australia in June 1838 on the ship Eden with their only child 6-year-old Charles (Jnr). Charles (Snr) was born on 24 June 1810 to William and Margaret Selfe at Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK. He was a bricklayer, plasterer and stonemason. On 14 February 1832 at Aldeburgh cum Hazelwood, Suffolk he married Mary Ward. At the time of the 1841 census, Charles Self was living in the Bowden area, presumably with his wife and child although they were not mentioned. Charles and Mary’s second child Mary Ann was born 3 March 1845 at Bowden, South Australia. On 16 February 1865, Mary married at St Stephens Church, Willunga to Richard Charles Hare Bennetts of Aldinga, son of James Bennetts. Meanwhile Charles Self had taken up a holding in the south.

On 25 November 1864 he was admitted to the Adelaide Hospital suffering from dyspepsia. He gave his age as 55, bricklayer and residence as Noarlunga. He was discharged on 27 December 1864.

In 1843 he and Jeremiah Swift were recorded as co-farmers on a small holding in the McLaren Vale district with 2 cattle and 8 acres of wheat. However, it was in Bowden on 1 April 1848 that Charles lost his wife Mary, who died of cancer aged 36 years. In October 1850 a Charles Self was granted a timber license by the Colonial Secretary. It is not known if this was granted to Charles (Snr) or his son Charles (Jnr) who would then have been 20 years of age. Charles Self (Snr) aged 40, remarried to widow Susan Renfree, aged 48, in a church in Willunga on 1 November 1851. In 1853 a Charles Self was recorded as paying rates for, and presumably living in, a cottage on Section 222 owned by Abraham Pethick on the eastern fringe of the White’s Valley area. Charles Self signed a petition in the early 1850s requesting the Post-Master General to commence a daily mail service to Aldinga.

Sometime later, date unknown, Charles Self (Snr) was admitted to the Adelaide Destitute Asylum where he died from cirrhosis of the liver on 1 October 1876, aged 66. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in West Torrens cemetery, Adelaide. Susan Self died at Blyths Plain, Clare district on 14 October 1873 aged 72 years. [On 17 August 1865 a Susan Priscilla Renfree age 21 married Alfred Boutell at Trinity Church, Adelaide. However, newspaper notices note they were both from Willunga. Later newspaper reports note Alfred Boutell lived at Blyths Plain. It is therefore probable Susan Boutell (nee Renfree) was a daughter of Susan Self.]

References: England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Notes by Peter Byron, Folders 40 42 Willunga National Trust Branch, Willunga

1850 ‘TIMBER LICENSES.’, Adelaide Times, 4 October, p. 3. ,

1863 ‘DISTRICT COUNCILS.’, Adelaide Observer, 22 August, p. 2. ,[Aldinga] South Australia, Australia, Adelaide Hospital Admission Registers, 1841-1952 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2021.

1865 ‘Family Notices’, South Australian Register, 18 February, p. 2. ,[Self/Bennetts]

1865 ‘Family Notices’, South Australian Register,  18 August, p. 2. , [Renfree/Boutell]

1873 ‘WILLUNGA: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8.’, Adelaide Observer18 October, p. 7. ,

1873 ‘Advertising’, Adelaide Observer, 6 September, p. 8. , [Alfred Boutell]


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