Fanny Miller's life seems to have had more than its fair share of tragedy. She first appears in South Australia on the 12th of April 1855 coming ashore alone from the vessel 'Caroline' at Port Adelaide. On the Caroline's passenger list she is recorded in the Single Women's section as a 24 year old domestic servant from Southampton, although we now know she was born in Sherborne, Dorset.
Soon after arriving in Port Adelaide she travelled to Gawler to join her brother, James Foxwell MILLER. Gawler was one of the first South Australian towns to be settled beyond the city of Adelaide. Later Fanny and James were joined by their brother Caleb who came to South Australia via N.Z. after fighting in the Maori Wars there. Fanny might possibly have found employment as a domestic servant in Gawler, although no occupation is recorded on her marriage certificate of 1858. It was in Gawler she met a young Cornish man named Samuel Harvey, and they married on 26 January 1858. The wedding took place in St George's, the oldest church in Gawler and was attended and witnessed by Samuel's older brother, John Harvey Jnr, and John's wife, Jane Loney. The Wedding was officiated by the Rev. William Henry Coombs and witnessed by Leonard Samuel Burton, head master of St. George's School, Gawler.
In May of 1858 the couples first son, James (named after his maternal grandfather), was born in Bertha (Willaston), but sadly survived only two short months. Their next child, daughter Elizabeth Jane , died at the tender age of three and the couple appear to have been so overcome with grief that the child's uncle, John Harvey jnr, had to perform the sad duty of registering the death.
Their second daughter, Sarah Ann, married Richard James BUSBRIDGE in 1883 but tragically died in 1890 aged just 29, leaving her young husband with three small children to raise. Richard remarried to Ethelleen JOHNSTON later that same year but then died himself the following year, 1891, leaving the three children orphaned.
The couple's only surviving son, William Henry HARVEY, married Rosa DEW, whose parents were weavers from Wiltshire. George & Jane DEW immigrated to South Australia from Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire in 1857 aboard the vessel "Marion".
Fanny and Samuel's youngest daughter, Mary Jane, married James SMITH in 1892. They settled in Echunga and had four children together. Mary Jane was the longest surviving of Fanny and Samuel Harvey's children, she died in 1961 in Echunga aged 92.
Samuel Harvey immigrated to South Australia as a child with his parents in 1840 aboard the vessel 'Waterloo". He was variously described as a farmer, labourer and lime courier. Considering his father, John Harvey, was a miner and his Cornish background, Samuel may also have been a miner. At the height of the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s barely an able bodied man remained in South Australia so it is possible, at the time of his marriage to Fanny in 1858, Samuel was recently returned from the goldfields of Victoria.
In the Autumn of 1883, at age 50, Samuel suffered a bout of Bronchitis severe enough to take his life on the 25th of April 1883. He is buried in the Willaston Cemetary with his brother, John Harvey Jnr and John's wife, Jane Lonely.
Fanny remained a widow for the next 20 years, perhaps she was busy helping to raise her orphaned grandchildren, the Busbridges. Then, surprisingly, she remarried to James Rice of Gawler. They were both in their early 70s. Fanny and James had fourteen good twilight years together before James' death in 1916. Fanny then moved to Echunga to live with her youngest daughter, Mary Jane, and son-in-law, James Smith. She passed away in 1917, aged 87, and is buried in the Wesleyan Church, now the Uniting Church, of Echunga, South Australia.