Storr Family history as we know it

I am the youngest of six children, the rest of the family from the oldest to me is: Elaine, Jeane and Donald (twins), Evelyn, Richard (deceased) and then me. Our Father was Oscar William Storr and Mother was Muriel Gertrude Stockdale. They were married in 1927. Mothers Brothers and Sisters were, Richard, Mavis, Morris, Evelyn and Claude, killed in a motor cycle race in the 1920's. The following is a letter written to me early in 1999 by my eldest sister, Elaine, describing what is known about our families history.

I was interested to read the communication you had received from John Storr of Canada. Most of the information you have passed on to him is correct. As they were a pioneering family, I am very sorry that no one kept a diary of those days in early South Australia. Consequently, all of the information I possess is from oral tradition. The few bits and pieces of information which were passed on to me are as follows:-

Our Great Grandfather was William Storr, who was said to have come from Yorkshire (U.K.) When the family in England broke up (upon the death of the parents, I presume) one brother (William) set sail first for South Africa, but subsequently ended up in Australia. Although passenger lists from ships arriving in the new colony of South Australia are available. (Mortlock Library, or from some geneology society in Pt. Adelaide - you will be able to check this)

I don't think we would be able to find the arrival of any of our Storrs, listed. My guess is that he first went to the Eastern States (probably Victoria) and then came on to S.A. where the family settled at Two Wells. Great Grandfather William was a Methodist Minister, but whether he was ordained or not, I do not know. The Methodists had a great tradition of Local Preachers riding out into the rural areas, and he may have been one of those.

In those days most professional people (including Ministers) needed to have some means of supporting themselves in the new colony, and he was said to have taken up farming at Two Wells, as well as carrying on with his Methodist circuit riding to preach at various Centres. William married an Irish girl Bridget Ryan (Ryan or O'Brien - there is some uncertainty regarding her maiden name). It is said that from her came the red hair, prevalent in some subsequent Storrs. (Bob Bates, while researching his own history, was able to clear this one up and here is what he found:- according to the records in the Mortlock Library William Storr married Bridget Ryan and they had 8 children.)

They had, as far as I can ascertain, 8 children (confirmed above) - Elijah (how about that allied to Storr), John, Henry (Harry), William and Robert (our grandfather). As far as I know the girls were - Elizabeth (Bessie), Rebecca (Becky) and Mary Jane (also known as Ada). Mary Jane and Bessie never married, but had a Millinery shop in Adelaide. I guess that it was on the death of Bessie that Mary Jane subsequently kept a Drapery and Haberdashery shop on the Henley Beach Rd. at Mile End, not far from the corner of Falcon Avenue (where is situated St. James Anglican Church). Mary Jane kept her shop until she became too old and frail. Our mother (Muriel) patronised Auntie's shop and generally kept an eye on her welfare.

Two of William's brothers, John and Henry, were said to have sailed for the United States, where it is believed that they engaged in sheep breeding. Should have come to Australia too, where there was plenty of scope for activities of that nature. In the 60s there was a television programme which Mum and I liked to watch (black and white, of course). It was presented by a Dr. John Storr, a Marine Biologist from the University of Florida (I think). I can't remember the name of the programme.

I remember saying to Mum "He must be somehow related to us - look at that long head". There were other families called Storr, who must have immigrated to South Australia in the early days, but I do not know whether they were in any way connected to our pioneer Storr. There was Storr Signwriters and Bon Storr Tailors (who made Dad's suit for his wedding to Muriel).

Cousin Betty sent me a cutting from the Western Australian "Sunday Times" containing a book review of "Feet of Clay" a Study of Gurus by Dr. Anthony Storr of England. As far as I can gather he is a practising psychologist and you may be able to chase up this book at the local library or the Library of South Australia. There is often information concerning the author at the back of the book.

Our Grandfather was a blacksmith, coach builder, wheelwright, waggon builder (you name it, he did it) in the country town of Port Broughton. As a young man he worked on a Station (ranch) in the Omeo district of Gippsland, Victoria, where he probably learnt the above skills, and subsequently settled down at Port Broughton. Upon his retirement, he and Grandma moved to Mile End, an inner Suburb close to the City of Adelaide. He probably met and married Bridget in Victoria.

One of the difficulties of doing any research on the Storrs is that they don't seem to have been a very "clannish" clan, but were mostly rugged individuals. Once the family broke up they didn't appear to have kept in touch very much, if at all. I know that in the early days things were tough on the frontiers, both in Australia and America.

As an afterthought, there is a Dr. Allen Gale (a Dermatologist, I believe), who is a grandson of Grandfather's brother, Henry and Aunt Emma, who may know something about the Storrs.

The name Storr is of Scandinavian origin and means "big" or "great". An example is the Storthing (Great Council) and the Storkirchen (Great Church) in Oslo, Norway. I am not sure whether, in this case, there should be one ""r" or two. In Scotland, the north of England, Ireland, South Wales, there are still evidences of the Viking invasions of the 9th century, in surnames, (like ours) place names and surviving dialect words. They certainly traveled far and wide in those dragon prowed rowboats of theirs.

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