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YDHS Friday Talk September 2021

Ruth Gates—Jemima Magor: from emigrant to pauper’s grave

District Council of Yankalilla

Ruth Gates, a former history teacher, explained the difficulties women and girls faced in the 1800s, in particular those immigrating to Australia. Her ancestor Jemima Osborne married John Magor in 1863 and twenty years later, after bearing nine children, she became a widow with minimal resources. Jemima appears to have suffered post-natal depression and was sent to the asylum in 1885 diagnosed as a melancholic. Her children were supported by relatives as Jemima never left the asylum. She was buried in a pauper's grave at the West Terrace cemetery in 1912. As Ruth gave such a moving description of Jemima's life, we felt the talk itself was a sombre but special memorial to her life.

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