Borgas Family South Australian History

The Borgas Family

Heinrich Borgas, born 31 January 1826 in Germany, arrived in South Australia on 6 November 1848 on the ship Victoria. In 1851 he married Elisabeth Groch, born 27 September 1825 and settled at Hope Valley where three of their children were born. Anna Maria Birtrina was born on 29 February 1852, Johanna Elisabeth on 15 May 1853 and Heinrich Johann Martin on 7 September 1854. Their son Wilhelm was born on 9 August 1857 at Sandy Creek and their other five children at Peters Hill. Heinrich Borgas was naturalised on 9 May 1883.

The Borgas home and out buildings near Hawker

Eventually Heinrich took up farming after having worked as a teamster. First he acquired land in the Hundred of Appila and later bought land for his sons Heinrich Johann Martin and Johann Carl Ernst at Wonoka, near Hawker. When Heinrich died on 22 March 1909, he was buried at the Lutheran Cemetery at Appila, as was his wife and many of their descendants. His youngest son Carl Gottfried, born 9 March 1870 took over his father's property, married Emma Emilie Pauline Wurst and remained at Wonoka until 1947. Johann Carl Ernst married Maria Ernstine Wurst and also started farming at Wonoka but moved to Booleroo Centre in 1891.

The main home

Heinrich Johann Martin married Fredericka Willamina Menz and had eight children. The family lived on the property above from about 1880 but found it extremely difficult to make a good living. They experienced several drought years and major setbacks. From 1894 till 1899 harvests had been very poor and he had to buy seed on several occassions. In May 1899 Heinrich had nearly 6000 acres at Wonoka and Warcowie, 1000 sheep, 20 horses and 20 cattle. but had to apply for a reduction of the purchase price and rental as he was unable to pay.

One of several wells

In 1894 he had sown 400 acres but when the harvest was completed he had only managed to get 100 bags of wheat. In 1895 there was an improvement when he obtained 500 bags from 600 acres. The next year was a total failure. In 1897 after having planted 800 acres only 61 bags had been gained. The next two years were much better. In 1898 he got 600 bags from 1000 acres and the following year 1008 bags from 1160 acres. After that came another very disappointing year when only 96 bags was all to show for cultivating 880 acres.

Regardless of the little or no income, H.M. Borgas had to pay all his rates and taxes. He was not impressed when the Commissioner of Crown Lands kept demanding thirty shillings in respect of the Wild Dog Tax for his lease no 8395 which he had paid six months before on 29 July 1898.

At times a bag of wheat, per acre, often much less

During these years he had tried many different ways to improve the quality of his land and on 8 August 1900, he was granted a patent for an 'Improved appliance for distributing manure'. Although he also finally gained a reduction in the purchase price but not in the rent of his land, Heinrich left South Australia to try his luck in Western Australia. Descendants of Heinrich have lived, or are still living at Appila, Wirrabara, Laura, Hawker, Peter's Hill, Booleroo Centre and Western Australia.

Borgas Bore in the Hundred of Wonoka was named after the Borgas Family.

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