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This page has been introduced to allow readers who have either friends or family who at one time were residents of Farina or the district, to request information on them from the group or any other member of the public.

If you have information that is relevant to any request for data seen on this page, please contact us, and help us all to build up a better picture of life in the early days of Farina!

Your request should be sent to either the Webmaster or News Editor via the contact forms on this site.

On receipt of your request, we will publish any available relevant information to your request on this page, and copy you direct via email. We hope that in publicising your request, and replies from our own files, or from interested readers who are in possession or relevant data, and who have advised us via the site contact forms.

In an effort to maximise the security of your email address, we will NOT publish addresses on this page. Relevant details will be communicated via personal emails.

These paragraphs in the Bakery Page (“The Bakery and more”) contain the only reference to the bakers that endured this hostile place and we would appeal to anyone that may have any record at all of life in this little bakery or any others of the era to contact US via his contact form on this web site.

Query 1

I am trying to find out some information about my Grandfathers family who are originally from Farina. My Grandfathers name was Geofrey Benjamin Martin born in Farina in 1930 to Thomas Benjamin Martin and Evelyn Mabel Reid. I was wandering if you have any suggestions of where I may be able to find some old pictures and any further information on my family so I can continue to track back.


So far, we have nothing on Geofrey Martin, however since Martin is not all that common as a surname, we feel that there’s a good chance that William Joseph Martin, resident of Farina, who died in Murnpeowie on March 4th, 1913 (at the age of 46) is a likely relative. His next of kin at that time was his Brother in Law P.J. Callary.

We also have a record of a Henry Martin who was between 1880 and 1881, the licencee of the Transcontinental Hotel.
From 1882 to 1886, Mrs Martin was the licensee!

Query 2

I was wondering if, while the volunteers are up in Farina from 4th May to 20th July would you have any contact with the Archivists as to my G.Grandparents place of residence in Farina (Old Govt. Gums).

My Grandmother was born in Farina in late 1886.

I would dearly love to know where (the actual Street address) she and her parents – Alfred and Lavinia KEY resided in the Town of Farina in the late 1800’s. My Great Grandparents.

As far as I know, Mr Alfred KEY was a teamster.

Perhaps he/she would have an old archival map/street plan showing where the residents lived in the 1880’s, as much work is being done in the Township. One of the Volunteers (or relatives of the original residents ) may be able to help.

  • The family KEY may not have owned the home they lived in. Perhaps they paid rent in some form. ( not sure if they would have called it ‘rent’ in those days ) 
  • If Church or School records have been kept, the children of Alfred and Lavinia KEY (eg. my Grandmother – Ethel May KEY), may show on one of the Registers, giving the home address of the family.


Karen Baines
email withheld.
Regarding Query 2 – Alfred & Lavinia Key. I think they actually lived at Beltana mostly in the late 1800’s. I’m also a descendant of the Key’s and recently visited Farina. Can you pass on my name and email address to this person who has posted the query?

Query 3

I recently came across your web page searching for information on Farina.

My interest in this town lies with my great Grandfather Johan (aka John) Edward Norgren b. 1861 Sweden and Great Grand Mother Elizabeth (nee Hammond) b. 1871 Mt Lofty SA.

I believe they married at Government Gums/Farina or Quorn around 1890, although we cannot find any information on this.  John arrived in Australia to Port Adelaide in 1878 and probably worked in the area from this time. John and Elizabeth had 1 child born in Quorn 1892, and three in Farina 1894, 1897 and 1899 with the next born in Adelaide 1902. So we know he was in the area from 1890 to 1901 approx. He was also a miner and worked the Yudanamutana Mines in 1899. I assume the children went to school at Farina.

My question for you is, do you have any knowledge of this family? If not, would you like some (as limited as it is)?  Additionally, I will be stopping at Farina early June on a trip I am planning. Will anyone be there to talk to? I found that someone has opened the old bakery and raising funds for the restoration works. When during the year does this happen?

I commend whoever has instigated this restoration works as Farina has such a wonderful history and I for one am looking forward to stepping into the past and walking in my ancestors shoes for a time.


In progress

Query 4
I recently found out my grandfather Frederick John Butler was born in Farina around 1924 to a Janet Butler who then moved to a station in Oodnadatta… would love any info as i’m planning a road trip but don’t have a lot of info on that side of my family. Fred’s sister Mabel is still alive, aged 93. Hopefully you can point me in the right direction!

In Progress


  1. Shellie Cummings

    Re: Query one
    I have considerable research on the Martin family. Geof B Martin was the son of Thomas Martin who was the son of William Joseph Martin. After W J Martin was killed his wife and family stayed in Farina and his mother Ellen J E Martin Nee Callary became the greengrocer in Farina. Thomas and his wife Evelyn Reid married in Paterson’s Hall in Farina in 1929.

    Happy for you to pass on my details to author of query one.

    • Paul

      Shellie, I’m a grandson of John Martin who died in Port Augusta on 1 January 1923. I have recently found more about his sisters Alice and Caroline but had no information about his brothers. Would love to know more about the family.

    • Michael Beerworth

      I am interested in William Joseph Martin. His brother John Martin was my grandfather. John Martin married Mary Catherine Cummings of Eurelia. My mother Iren Mary Martin was born in Port Augusta in 1914. Her parents were living in Iron Knob at the time. John Martin died in 1923 and is buried in Port Augusta.

      • Mark Roberts


        Is this the William Joseph Martin who dies in March 1913 and was buried in the Farina Cemetery?

        I’ve looked at the Land Title records and can’t find any land at Farina the William owned. Apart from that we don’t really have any other specific information about William. We’re still in the process of compiling information about people at Farina and will post it all on the website when we have it.


        • Michael Beerworth

          Hello Mark

          William Joseph Martin died in 1913 on Murnpeowie Station, he was living in Farina at the time

          Some of our research said that he was buried on the station (Graham Jaunay)

          So we don’t know much mores that that.

          • Mark Roberts

            Thanks Michael. I’ll make a note on the cemetery list against his name and if anything more concrete turns up we can update in future


  2. Ian William Laver

    At present I am in the process of trying to piece together information about Farina during the period 1890 to 1900. If anyone can fill me in about the Brown’s, Harvey’s, or Hogan’s I’d be appreciative.
    My Sunday School teacher at St Phillips, Broadview was a Tilmouth who went to school at Farina, but I lost contact with her. Also, if anyone can give me a name or a contact in the SA Railways who could help me find out details of the employment history of John Thomas Carpmail, who worked at Irrapatana, William Creek, Terowie and Farina in the period about 1880 to approximately 1910 and then Islington Railway Workshops in the trade of his youth, as a Brass Fitter and Turner, after that.
    Emma Carpmail, his wife, acted as a midwife and certainly would have been involved in a wide range of other activities in the small community.

  3. Michele Brown

    My Grandmothers maternal grandparents were John Bannigan and Annie Emma Braddock . He bring a local policeman/trooper. Annie’s father died in Farina as well, Edward Thompson Braddock.
    We are also in possession of a photograph album if the family / townspeople and aboriginal troopers . We are interested in visiting Farina Town this year.

    • Mark Roberts

      Hi Michelle,

      I’ve just checked our database of land owners and noticed that John Bannigan owned two blocks of land (Lot’s 249 and 332). You can access the actual land title documents from this page:

      It would be great if you could visit during the work program this year and bring along your photo album for member of our history team to look at.


  4. Margaret Crowhurst

    I am looking for information on my great grandfather Robert Rowe. He was a horse breaker at Mt. Lyndhurst in 1885, married Elizabeth Miekle Todd in 1885 at Quorn and their 1st child Charlotte Florence was born in Farina on 14th November, 1887. In the directories their is a listing of a Robert Rowe who was a mail contractor from 1888-1890. I know that the family moved to Port Augusta around 1889 as that is where my grandfather Robert Henry Rowe was born.
    Anything I can obtain about the family in Farina and his work in Mt. Lyndhurst was be valuable.


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