52 Ancestors #6 Keturah Campbell (1869-1942)

A favourite name, blog prompt for Week 6. I know we don’t have to follow these prompts, there are no rules, however, I find that they give me something to focus on and help me tidy up the information I have entered in my database.

I have to say, for a very long time, the names of the Campbell family have always fascinated me, Keturah, Zenobia, Hypatia and Zeno. A couple of my blog followers suggested perhaps they were stage names. Well the more I have researched these past few days, the more inclined I am to think that this is so.

Out of all their names, Keturah is the one that has attracted me the most. Her name stands out in my mind and I’m sure if I’d been researching my family history before my children were born, one of our girls would certainly have been given the name Keturah.

Keturah Catherine Campbell is an Aunty of my grandmother, Annie Norma Lymburner. The only place I have seen her second name of Catherine used was on her father’s death certificate, listing his children. Keturah was mentioned in the New Zealand and West Australian newspapers, alongside her sister, my great-grandmother, Zenobia Campbell, singing and playing the violin.

There is some discrepancy as to where Keturah was born. Her marriage to John Bastian March 1891 indicates that she was born in Dunedin, New Zealand.  She may not have been thinking straight when she gave those details to the minister, as her father, Neil Campbell had died one month previous in February 1891. Oh, and note she is a “lady“!

Keturah Campbell Marriage 1891Keturah Campbell marriage 1891 (2)Then in 1942, the funeral director completes her information on the death certificate, giving Auckland, New Zealand as her birthplace. That fits in with the family having lived in Auckland for at least 18 years, but to date, there has been no birth record.

I have searched the New Zealand BDM indexes, no Keturah, nor a Catherine Campbell are listed.  I’m keeping an open mind regarding the name Catherine, as her father’s mother was given as Katherina Campbell, with a “K” on a death certificate. Which one is correct? I’ve had my DNA done with Ancestry, as has a brother and aunty, so maybe one day a connection to the Campbell family will come to light.

Was Keturah born before they arrived in New Zealand? Maybe on the ship, going over? Where would that registration be, if that was the case? You would think with a name like Keturah, she would be easy to find. Not necessarily so.

Many years ago, I was in contact with Bert Lean, Keturah’s grandson. He filled out a very comprehensive family tree and I had her all sorted, or so I thought.

  • Keturah married John Bastian, carpenter, 26 Mar 1891, in Fitzroy, Victoria, she died 1942, in Adelaide, South Australia, aged 73.
    • They had one daughter, Keturah Bastian, born May 1892, in Victoria, she died June 1972, aged 80.
    • This Keturah married Clarence Lean, 1913 in Adelaide, South Australia and had 2 children
      • Keturah Victoria Lean (d: 1974) married Howard Read, one child, Anthony Read and
      • Albert (Bert) Gordon Lean (d: 1991) married Thelma Nelson, they had four children, Geoffrey, David, Barbara and Christopher.

Maybe one of his children will come forth and tell me more about their great-grandmother’s family. We can’t rush these things and if it was too easy, you wouldn’t learn things along the way.

I was intrigued by a letter of 1916 in the National Archives files of a brother, Private Augustus Campbell, written by his sister (Miss) K. Campbell, address Manilla House, 433 Bourke Street, Sydney, looking for information on her missing brother in Gallipoli. MISS Campbell?? Sydney? Hang on a minute, didn’t she marry in Victoria and then went to live in South Australia with her family?

We read in her sister Zenobia’s blog post that they sang as a family together in many fundraising concerts, both in New Zealand and in Western Australia. Did she keep her maiden name as her stage name? There are several articles in the newspapers under the name of “Keturah Campbell”, a music teacher.

Well, just now, Sunday, 4th February 2018, at 4pm, I found, Miss Keturah Campbell, musician, Gouger St, South Australia in the 1902 Sands South Australian PO Directory. Now you’re probably thinking, that’s South Australia Jenny, not Sydney, NSW. Bare with me! The Bastian’s had been living in Adelaide, SA and Fitzroy, Victoria at different times. I scrolled forward on the online images to the surname Bastian, and who did I find living at Gouger Street, none other than John Bastian, Carpenter. The husband of Keturah Campbell. Soooo, that means she did keep her stage name and taught music under the name of Miss Keturah Campbell.


Bastian, John_1902_South Australian Directory_Gouger Street

Another search on Trove of the newspapers of the time finds an advert for MISS KETURAH CAMPBELL, Teacher Piano, Violin, Viola, Harp, Mandoline and Singing: terms from one guinea per quarter. Music supplied for all occasions. Address – 37 GOUGER STREET. 

The proof is in the pudding, or in the advertisement in this case!

What a teacher! Piano, Violin, Harp, oh I love harp music, Singing and the Mandoline, which reminds of our Christmas Trees at the Ogilvie Hall near Northampton when Pat Drage used to play her Mandolin.

Campbell, Keturah_1902_02-27_The Express & Telegraph_Adelaide SA_Advertising

Keturah is listed on the University of Sydney Austral Harmony website under A Biographical register of Australian colonial musical personnel. She was a pupil of Professor F.O. Cailliau a conductor & composer in New Zealand and at the Fremantle Orchestral Society (1887).

Keturah signed for the effects of the late No 207, Private A. Campbell, 5th Battalion in November 1917, however she has moved from “Manilla House” in Sydney by April 1920, when an officer from the AIF Base Records in Melbourne wrote to her to find out if she has any older siblings. This would be so the “Dead Man’s Penny” or “Memorial Scroll” and Augustus’ medals could be sent to the closest Next of Kin. The letters were returned to Melbourne marked “not here”. Later letters note that her brother, Neil Campbell is in receipt of the medals.

Campbell, Keturah_1920_Unopened Letter from NAA Attestation Papers of Augustus Campbell

More research into the newspapers finds that Keturah did move around and was seen in Brisbane, Queensland in February 1914 and Newcastle, Queensland in October 1914. In May of 1939, when her husband John died, they are living at 28 Cremorne Street, Fullarton, Adelaide, SA.  Her own death certificate of 1942, gives her address as 30 Cremorne Street, New Parkside. Keturah is buried with her daughter at the Mitcham General Cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia.


Campbell, Keturah Catherine [Bastian]_1842_Adelaide, SA

Photo courtesy Ancestry Tree – Len Harley (Lean Descendant)

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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4 Responses to 52 Ancestors #6 Keturah Campbell (1869-1942)

  1. tstatton says:

    Jenny, you should have been named Hercule Poirot instead of Jennifer Patricia Cripps! Love reading your research.

  2. Anne Young says:

    It is an unusual name. I have never heard it before. I love the harp too.

  3. What a tale – I had not heard of the name “Keturah” until 10 years ago when I encountered a little girl at school with my grandson with that name… Lo and behold, her mother was one of the first students I ever taught in 1974 and we have since had a few good natters.
    And there is a few “Keturah Day Spas” that are supposed to be pretty special too.
    Those Campbell girls sure lived life. The stage must have been so glamorous and racy way back then. What a journey!

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