Monday, July 28, 2014

Matrilineal Monday - A life cut short - Louisa Herbert (nee Seaford) 1872 -1902

Louisa Seaford and John Herbert 

Last week I shared the Obituary of my great grandfather John Herbert (1862-1926).  Tragically, his first wife, Louisa Seaford died at the age of thirty, leaving him with four children, Alice, Essel Mary, William and Annie, all under the age of 11 years. Louisa was born in Burra, South Australia the second daughter of Julianna Grow and Henry Seaford. As a child she attended school in Burra, then at the age of 18 she married John Herbert on the 23 May 1890. 

Marraige Notice - for Louisa and John Herbert *

Life in the mining town of Kooringa was tough, and health risks high, with outbreaks of typhoid and cholera.  Unfortunately Louisa fell victim to Cholera and died very suddenly at the tender age of 30. How was John to care for such a young family all on his own and at the same time working to earn a living?

OBITUARY - Burra Record 

"We have to record this week the death of the wife of Mr. John Herbert, of Kooringa, which took place on Thursday night at the Burra Hospital. The deceased lady was a native of Burra, and had resided here all her life. Fever was contracted a week or two ago, and subsequently alarming symptoms set in, which made her case very serious. Despite the tender nursing and constant attendance of the doctors the deceased never recovered. Mrs. Herbert  was 30 years of age on the day she died.

The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, when a very large number of friends paid the last tribute of respect to the deceased lady. The Rev. W Y. James conducted the service at the graveside. The Lily of the Valley Ten (ladies) and Foresters' lodge formed a procession in front of the hearse and marched to the cemetery. Much sympathy is expressed for Mr. Herbert, (who is left with a family of four young children to mourn their loss." **

*The Advertiser, on 26/7/2014
** Burra Record (SA : 1878-1954), Wednesday 9 April 1902, page 2 National Library of Australia


  1. How sad. It reads as though she died on her birthday.

    Just makes us realise how fortunate we are to have such wonderful health services today.

  2. Yes she was born on the 3rd April 1872 and died on 3rd April 1902. So tragic. John's second wife had a tragic story as well. This story will be my next post!

  3. Hanging out for the next post.

  4. Hi there thought I would let you know I've just started some family history/tree research and John and Louisa are my great great grandparents. John and Louisa's daughter Annie married Gilbert Whitehorn and they we're the parents of my mum's dad Ronald Whitehorn. Thanks for you wonderful blog.
    Paula Boxall

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  6. Hi Paula, nice to hear from you. I am the grandaughter of Annie's half brother Roy. I had the privilege of meeting Auntie Annie about 28 years ago. She was my Mum's favorite Aunt. I have some photos, you can contact me on

  7. Oh wow my Mum would love to see photos, she has been rapped with the ones I have managed to find, she has never seen some of her relatives before now, my Mum was very fond of her Grandma Annie, I'll send you an email, thank you.