Family History
2013 Copyright Ruzsicska

MYERS, Israel John & Rachael (nee Levy)
1849 to South Australia

According to the census of 1841, Israel John Myers was living at Ratcliff Highway, St George, Tower Hamlets, Middlesex, England with wife Rachael and children: Lewis 5, Israel 4, Hannah 2 and Henry 20 months. Sarah Levy aged 77 (presumed to be Rachael's mother) and Ruth Ball aged 19 are also listed as residents. Lewis died prior to 1842 and another son, born in 1842 was given the same name. Henry died prior to 1848. Alfred was born in 1843 and another child was born in 1848.

On 13 February, 1849, Israel (who was also known as John) and his family arrived into South Australia on the Glenelg from London. The South Australian Register on 14 Feb 1849 announced the arrival of the 1500 ton 'first-class East Indiaman' ship, mastered by Captain Bannatyne, and stated that it was the largest ship to visit the South Australian waters to date. The Glenelg carried 151 passengers and "Mr Myers, his wife and 5 children", who travelled steerage, were amongst the passengers named.

According to Israel's death certificate, his occupation was a draper and he lived in Kadina. If the article written by Mr J. Hodgson, a colonist of 1849 recalling the drapers in the centre of Adelaide town was anything to go by, there would have been considerable competition in the industry.

Next to Messrs. Flett & Linklater was Mr. Fiveash, a draper, whose shop was known as "The Whole in the Wall," as there was no back exit. Messrs. Meyers & Neustadt were drapers near the corner of Gresham street [note: advertised in the 1850's & 60's as Myers & Neustadt, wholesale drapers]; lower down was Harman, the draper, whose brother, also a draper, had a shop on the opposite side of the street, just west of the Blenheim Hotel. Below Harman's and near Miller Anderson's was the shop of Bryden & Young, drapers. These were all in Hindley street.

In Rundle street, the Beehive Corner was occupied by Riley & Moore, a few doors lower down was J. Delaney; his brother had a shop near Fitch's corner. Going east, on the north side, were Egan and Greer, next west of Parkin & Chinner who were succeeded by Wylde and Claridge, between whose place and the Globe Hotel was I.J. Barclay's tailoring establishment; it had no shop front, and stood back from the street line.

At the corner of Stephens place was McArthur, Kingsborough, & Co., who were wholesale drapers, and next to them was Gerke and Rodemann, who were grocers, not drapers. At the corner of Rundle street and now Gawler place, originally Giles' place, or Rundle place, where the York Picture Theatre is, were Gundry & Chappell drapers; they took these premises which had been occupied by Lanyon & Harris as ironmongers, who were there before 1856. Lower down was the retail establishment of G. Wills & Co., next to G. & R. Wills's wholesale premises.
[The article continues to describe Rundle Street, The Register, 11 April 1923]

Israel may have been in partnership with Neustadt (they were both members of the Jewish Comminity) but no proof has been found to date.

Israel died on 21 May 1890 aged 84, at the Patient's Home on South Terrace in Adelaide [see headstone] and is listed as a "colonist of 41 years" (South Australian Register, 22 May 1890). His wife, Rachael had predeceased him on 7 July, 1883. Both were interred in the Jewish sector of the West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide.

Israel and Rachael's son, Israel John (also known as both Israel and John) married Margaret Hemingway in about 1856. His occupation on his daughter's birth certificate 1857 is lightsman. In both 1864 and 1878, he is recorded as being a storekeeper. Family lore describes him as a fish salesman. John and Margaret had 11 children with only six surviving to adulthood. Margaret died on 29 Mar 1899 aged 64. John died on 15 Nov 1913 at his son, William's residence aged 76 and was interred in the Jewish Cemetery in Adelaide; his grave lies unmarked today.

Daughter, Hannah (1839-1895) married Isaac Isaiah Simmons in 1877 (no issue), Lewis (1842-1896) married Clara Floyd in 1869 (at least one child) and Alfred (1843-1909) married Rebecca Hains in 1870 (six children). All remained residents of Adelaide.