Adam Amos1

#10717, b. 4 March 1774, d. 16 January 1845
  • Father: James Amos2 b. b 1750
  • Mother: Helen Hoy2

Individual's Timeline

Birth4 March 1774Adam Amos1,3
Christening13 March 1774Adam Amos4
Marriage15 April 1804Adam Amos5,3
EmigratAU1821Adam Amos6
Marriage of SonMarch 1833John Amos7
Marriage of Son9 December 1834James Amos3
Marriage of Son1 May 1839Adam Amos8,9,10
Death16 January 1845Adam Amos1,3

Primary events

Secondary circumstances

  • EmigratAU: Adam Amos and Mary Tait emigrated to Australia in 1821 in ship 'Emerald.6'
  • Will: Adam Amos left a will in 1845 in Tasmania, Australia.11
Some aspects of Adam Amos's life. Tho Amos family celebrated their centenary on Thursday last at Gala. Kirk, Cranbrook. A tablet erected to the memory of the pioneers of tho family was unveiled in the presence of numerous friends of tito family and people from every part of the district. The Right Rev. Roy, Moderator of tho Presbyterian Church, assisted by Rev. W. Dykes, conducted the service, which was most impressive. Messrs. Adam and John Amos, of Glen Gala and Cranbrook respectively, and their families, to whoso memory the tablet was erected, landed at Hobart Town on March 17th, 1821, from the ship Emerald, after a voyage of six months from tho Old Country. The Emerald was the first ship under private charter to sail direct from England to Van Die- mens Land. Soon after arriving they were granted land in Glamorgan, and their descendants still own the original farms, Glen Gala and Cranbrook, granted nearly 100 years ago. The ceremony of unveiling the tablet was performed by Mr. Norman Amos, of Brisbane (grandson of Mr. Adam Amos, of Glen Gala), and Mr. James C. Amos, of Burrumbah, New South Wales (grandson of Mr. John Amos, of Cranbrook). After the ceremony all present were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Amos, at Cranbrook, where afternoon tea was served. In the evening there was a bonfire and fireworks for all the children in the neighbourhood.12
His life was recorded thus ~~ AMOS, ADAM (1774-1845), pioneer settler, was born on 4 March 1774 at Melrose, Scotland, the son of James Amos, lessee of Heriot-mill, Galawater, and his wife Helen, née Hoy. In 1809 he served as ensign in the 2nd Regiment and in 1814, after discharge from the army, moved with his wife Mary, née Tate, of Lauder, and their family to Wales. His brother John (1776-1848) accompanied them, and they leased farms at Hayscastle, Pembrokeshire, from George Meredith. Adam prospered, and had accumulated capital of £1500 by 1820, when both brothers sailed for Van Diemen's Land with Meredith. They arrived in March 1821 in the Emerald, and were advised to look for land on the unsettled east coast. Adam's capital entitled him to a grant of 1000 acres (405 ha) which he located on the Swan River at Cranbrook, and called Gala. By 1824 his mill was supplying the district with flour, and five years later he had many other substantial improvements.

By comparison with Adam, John had little capital and, not familiar with colonial conditions, was at the mercy of his astute 'protector'. When within sight of the colony, he was panicked into signing an agreement with Meredith, binding himself to work as carpenter and mechanic on Meredith's properties, and at the same time manage for him any grant that Meredith might obtain in Amos's name in return for a third of the annual profits and ownership, after eight years service, of 100 acres (40 ha) of this grant.

Meredith duly obtained in Amos's name a grant for 400 acres (162 ha), proportionate to the capital he allowed Amos to claim as his, though it is unlikely Amos was financially indebted to him. Other terms of the agreement were mutually abandoned and, as Amos had received no copy, it was soon forgotten. By his industry John earned within a year a further 400 acres (162 ha), and 200 acres (81 ha) extra were added later as compensation for a transfer made to oblige the government. Despite a delayed start John's improvements on Cranbrook were soon equal to those at Gala. The brothers' success was beyond all expectation. They were not dependent on unreliable and frustrating convict labour, and soon became almost self-sufficient. The land commissioners reported on the Amos farms in lyrical terms and the lieutenant-governor, who also visited their properties in 1828, hailed the family's successful endeavours as one of the few instances of fulfilment of the government's intentions in its land grant policy. Grants in extension were bestowed with liberality and within ten years the Amos holdings amounted to 6400 acres (2590 ha). Hard work contributed to the achievement, but their wide experience and farming knowledge were invaluable. They favoured intensive farming methods and regularly their crops were both better and earlier than those about them; in 1854, when other districts were becoming exhausted, their wheat crops yielded nineteen bushels to the acre.

Soon after arrival Adam Amos had accepted the duties of poundkeeper and chief district constable, and served for twelve years in this office at a time when both natives and bushrangers made the remote settlement particularly vulnerable. Other members of the family also joined the police in both paid and voluntary capacities. The erection of Gala Kirk in 1845 was yet another family effort.

After the death of Adam on 16 January 1845 his holdings were divided among his sons: ownership has since never left Amos hands. John and his wife Hannah, née Hardy, whose birthplace in Kent had given the name to their property and the township, died in 1848. Cranbrook was retained in the family but with difficulty. John and his family's seventeen years of industry had nearly proved in vain when in 1838, on the strength of the long forgotten agreement of 1821, Meredith contested Amos's right to a title deed. The government, long since wary of Meredith, favoured Amos, but the case had to be referred to private arbitration. A large award was made in Meredith's favour, and although Amos was assured of his title by a sympathetic government, the property had to be mortgaged to raise the award.
Select Bibliography

correspondence file under Amos family (Archives Office of Tasmania). More on the resources

Author: A. Rand

Print Publication Details: A. Rand, 'Amos, Adam (1774 - 1845)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp 12-13.

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: AMOS, Adam - In index to land grants in Van Diemen's Land (Fiche 3262; 4/438 p.3).13

Children of Adam Amos and Mary Tait

  • James Amos3 b. 21 Oct 1804, d. 18 Jul 1864
  • John Amos b. 24 Feb 1806, d. 22 Apr 1880
  • Adam Amos14 b. 13 Jul 1807, d. 18 May 1874
  • Margaret Amos15 b. 12 Mar 1809, d. 27 Feb 1896
  • Helen Amos16 b. 23 Dec 1811, d. 1890
  • Mary Amos17 b. 26 Mar 1814
  • Robert Amos18 b. 1821, d. 28 Mar 1843

Child of Adam Amos

  • Jessie Amos b. b 1828


  1. Memorial Inscriptions in Tasmania Index of TAMIOT in Tasmania, by unknown.
  2. Copyright 2006, updated continuously, ISSN 1833-7538 Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian Dictionery of Bigraphies online.
  3. Amos Family, online…
  4. International Genealogical Index (IGI), "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Apr 2014), Adam Amos, 13 Mar 1774; citing MELROSE,ROXBURGH,SCOTLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0844776 IT 1.
  5. International Genealogical Index (IGI), "Scotland, Marriages, 1561-1910," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Apr 2014), Adam Amos and Mary Tait, 15 Apr 1804; citing Heriot By Crookston,Midlothian,Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1057752, 0103108.
  6. First Families 2001, online
  7. Trove Digitised Newspapers, MARRIED at St. David's Church, Hobart town, by the Rev. Wm. Bedford, this morning, Elizabeth eldest daughter of Robert Hepburn, Esq. of Roy's hill, to Mr. John Amos, second son of Mr. Adam Amos, Glengala, Great Swan Port.

    The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) Friday 8 March 1833 p 2 Family Notices.
  8. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1839/232.
  9. Tasmanian Family Link, online
  10. International Genealogical Index (IGI), M310111 1837-1885 0918016 Film 1238705 Film.
  11. Tasmanian Wills 1825 - 1915, online, Amos Adam 1845 AD960/2 232 282.
  12. Trove Digitised Newspapers, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Tuesday 22 March 1921 p 4 Article.
  13. Correspondence on line index, by unknown photographer.
  14. Trove Digitised Newspapers, The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859) Thursday 23 January 1845 p 2 Family Notices

    Assumed from the fact he was named as Adam AMOS senior.
  15. International Genealogical Index (IGI), "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Apr 2014), Adam Amos in entry for Margaret Amos, 12 Mar 1809; citing , reference 2:183T2FC; FHL microfilm 1067752.
  16. International Genealogical Index (IGI), "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Apr 2014), Adam Amos in entry for Helen Amos, 23 Dec 1811; citing , reference 2:183T2W8; FHL microfilm 1067752.
  17. International Genealogical Index (IGI), "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Apr 2014), Adam Amos in entry for Mary Amos, 26 Mar 1814; citing , reference 2:183T3BW; FHL microfilm 1067752.
  18. Website ( "Australian Cemetery Index."