Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Trove Tuesday: The Hit-and-Run Death of Ada Caroline Nowitzki (nee Culla)

Trove Tuesday

Another Tuesday, another Trove Tuesday post! Thanks to all those GeneaBloggers and local and social history bloggers who are joining in each week! I have put a list of all the Trove Tuesday blogs on a page on my blog site, so please let me know if I have missed any. It gets updated each Tuesday evening (AEST).

Hit-and-Run - Murder or Manslaughter?


Ada Caroline Culla was born to Denis Culla and Margaret Jane McCormick in 1870, probably at Dora Creek. Her parents had married in 1862 in Maitland.

In 1891, Ada was a bridesmaid at her sister Eather Ellen Culla’s wedding, which I mentioned in my blog post about William Buchanan.

In 1899, Ada had an illegitimate daughter, Maude, who died the same year. For the next 20 years, there seems to be no records relating to Ada, until an accident ended her life in 1920.

On 19 July 1920, she was knocked down by a car and killed on George Street in Sydney, after being to the movies with her husband and a friend.

It was a hit-and-run, and the below articles follow the story of the accident, investigation, and acquittal of two suspects.

I should order some certificates to find out more about Ada’s husband, but I believe he was Bernard Edwin Nowitzki, a sailor born in Danzig, Germany (now GdaƄsk, Poland), who arrived on the merchant ship Harvest Queen on 17 August 1895 and stayed to work on the wharves as a labourer. He successfully applied for Australian citizenship in 1936, and passed away in 1948.


1920 'FATAL MOTOR ACCIDENT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 20 July, p. 7, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15898629

1920 'MOTOR CAR FATALITY.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 21 July, p. 9, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15898709

1920 'MOTOR CAR FATALITY.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 7 August, p. 9, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15901259

1920 'CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 September, p. 9, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15905925

1920 'CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 9 September, p. 4, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15906056

1920 'CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 14 October, p. 6, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16870380

1920 'CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 3 December, p. 7, viewed 11 September, 2012, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16878062