skip to content

Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Elsie Leah Jones

Born: 1895; Died: 1982; Married: Frederick Silas Southwell

Obituary - Mrs Elsie Leah Southwell [1895-1982]

The death of Mrs Elsie Leah Southwell on June 25 has removed another link with the pioneer families of this district. Mrs Southwell, 86, was a daughter of the late Frederick Thomas Jones and Florence Jones, nee Rich. Her grandfather, Thomas Jones, an early resident of Ginninderra, was a carpenter, sawyer and shingle splitter. He supplied the shingles for the roof of the Church of St John the Baptist, Canberra.

Her grandfather on her mother's side, Alfred Mainwaring Rich, conducted a private school at Ginninderra in the early 1880s.

Mrs Southwell's husband, Mr Frederick Silas Southwell of 'Fern Hill', Canberra, died in 1968. He was a son of George Edward Southwell, and Ann Southwell, nee McIntosh. His grandfather, John Southwell, was one of the Southwell brothers who migrated to Australia from England last century and settled in the Canberra district.

Mrs Southwell lived in the Canberra district all her life. At the age of fourteen she took up employment as a maid at Ginninderra homestead for Mrs E. G. Crace, her father being employed by Mr Crace. When the Crace family moved to Gungahlin about 1916 she went with them and continued in their employment until she wed in 1918.

In her younger days she was an expert horse-woman, and was a member of the early Ainslie Tennis Club, which had its first court near the Old Canberra Inn. When St Ninian's Presbyterian Church was re-opened in 1942 Mrs Southwell undertook the care of it and the cleaning for the monthly services. She continued to provide this service for 14 years till she and her husband moved to Turner in 1956.

Mrs Southwell is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Thelma and Ewen MacKinnon, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, five sisters, Mabel (Mrs Jim Swan), Belle (Mrs Fred Hill), Lydia (Mrs Ted Lanham), Vona (Mrs Tom Kercher) and Daphne (Mrs Jack Ross), and two brothers, Lionel and Cyril.

[The Canberra Times, Friday 9 July 1982 p. 11]

Related Photos


< Rediscovering Ginninderra