March 2017 corrections, additions, DNA test info & Alexina McKenzie at Austinmer etc

I’m finally catching up with some additions and corrections to the McKenzie website. Thanks for providing them.

Don’s book about the McKenzie’s from Skye is saved onto Dropbox and they are changing their set up on March 15 2017 – beware the Ides of March !! I have checked to make sure all the links continue to work after that date.

I’ve also had DNA testing done through Ancestry and was delighted to see the results indicate some likely matches with descendants of Alexander McKenzie Jnr from both his wives Ann McLean and Elizabeth Hanks. Subsequently I uploaded my results to and there was one highly like descendant of Alexander and his wife Elizabeth Hanks, who was also indicated as a likely match from the Ancestry tests. The results also suggest some links with McKenzie’s in Ross Shire Scotland. So perhaps they may be matches as well.

Perhaps one day descendants  of Alexander McKenzie Senior and/or Neil McKenzie may also do DNA testing, which might clarify the questions that have been asked for decades ?

Neil McKenzie’s  Illawarra Mercury 14.10. 1858 obituary certainly states that he was a brother to the two Messrs Alexander McKenzie “The deceased, who was a temperate and respectable man, was a brother of the Messrs Alexander McKenzie, of Ellengowan and Bulli.”

And another clue – when Alexander McKenzie Jnr had remarried in 1849 to Elizabeth Hanks, it seems Alexander McKenzie Snr was a witness to their Parramatta wedding. Yes – agreed that the marriage certificate does not state that they were brothers. However, in 1849 to travel from Wollongong to Parramatta to be a witness at a wedding would have been quite a distance to travel and indeed quite a rugged journey whether by sea, or overland. One can only presume that the relationship between the two Alexander’s must have been both a special and close one.mckenzie-hanks-marriage-certificate


Additionally next month sees Austinmer (formerly North Bulli) Public School celebrate its 150th Anniversary. Alexander McKenzie Senior’s daughter Alexina McKenzie (later Cook) was an early teacher there. And I believe she probably boarded with her cousin Mary Ann Hicks, nee McKenzie (Alexander Jnr’s eldest daughter) while at Austinmer School. Later Alexina moved to teach Avondale School in the Dapto area.

Alexander Snr’s daughter, Alexina Cook nee McKenzie and Alexander Jnr’s daughter, Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie certainly remained close as cousins over the decades afterwards until Alexina’s death in 1926.

In 1898, Alexina had chosen Margaret “Maggie” Hicks, granddaughter of Alexander McKenzie Jnr and daughter of her cousin Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie, to be a witness at her wedding to Alexander “Alick” Cook, formerly of Benares in the Dapto area. Alick’s brother Alfred Cook was the other witness at the wedding. Coincidentally Maggie and Alfred later married and also moved up to the NSW North Coast!

Curiously though,  Alexina and Alick’s wedding  did not take place in the Dapto area, near Avondale in the southern Dapto area of Wollongong, where Alexina lived and taught – and also where Alick’s family lived on the well known Benares farming property. Alick was in fact a son of a prominent local resident William Manning Cook.  And there had also been a Presbyterian church in Dapto since 1841 in fact. Nor did it take place in Wollongong where her brother’s family seem to have been involved in the local Wollongong Presbyterian Church.

But rather –  the wedding took place miles away in the Northern Illawarra – at Bulli where Alexina’s cousin Mary’s husband, Henry Hicks was Church Warden. Perhaps the fact that Alick Cook’s family were Catholic and Alexina’s Presbyterian Church of Scotland presented some difficulties? And Alexina seemed to have looked to assistance from her McKenzie cousin at that special time in her life ?

And then, even when Alexina had moved up to the NSW north coast, following her marriage to Alexander “Alick” Cook, the cousins remained in contact.

Shortly before her December 1926 passing, Alexina had been down to the  NSW South Coast to visit her cousin Mary Ann Hicks – Obituary in Northern Star – 21.12.1926 …. “The deceased lady was away for a fortnight in Sydney prior to her death, and was visiting a cousin, Mrs. H. Hicks, of Thirroul, South Coast, who was most anxious to see her. She said on stepping on to the jetty, at Byron Bay on her return that she had a most pleasant holiday, but before getting into the town of Byron Bay whilst walking along the jetty she complained of a sudden feeling of sickness. After resting for a while she was able to return home. After retiring in the evening she did not rise from her bed again.”

Curiously the above Obituary made no mention of Alexina visiting the family of her late brother, William McKenzie, who had been prominent in Wollongong affairs for decades, serving as Mayor of Wollongong for some years. William’s daughter Jessie had married William Arthur Lang, who also served on Wollongong Council and would become its Mayor in the 1930’s.

And indeed, nor, in Alexina’s Illawarra  December 17 1926 obituary,  is there a mention at all of her late brother, former Wollongong Mayor William McKenzie. Nor was there mention that her niece Jessie was, at the time, the wife of sitting Alderman William Arthur Lang ? “Mrs. Alex Cook died at Alstonville this week. She was well known in the Dapto district at one time, as Miss McKenzie, a teacher at the Avondale Public School.” 

Note – Niece Jessie’s husband William Arthur Lang had also been an Alderman on North Illawarra Council for 1911-1912 (when he resigned causing a by-election). Later he was an Alderman on Wollongong Municipal Council from 1925 till 1934, and then 1937 – 1944, becoming the Mayor in 1932-1934 and 1937 – 1940. William Arthur Lang was also the son of other prominent Illawarra families, viz North Illawarra Council Alderman Alexander Lang and his wife Ann Caldwell. So the omission of these Alexander McKenzie Snr- Lang connections from Alexina’s Illawarra Obituary in 1926 is surprising.

Thus it is clear there were indeed close and ongoing connections between Alexander McKenzie Snr and Alexander McKenzie Jnr, and their daughters, extending over nearly 100 years.




About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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1 Response to March 2017 corrections, additions, DNA test info & Alexina McKenzie at Austinmer etc

  1. Karen Sanders says:

    Hi Kerrie – this will be very interesting when I am able to get my head around it. Currently in a post anaesthetic and analgesic haze following some painful foot surgery; recovering at Mum’s in Condell Park. Apologies for never getting around to copying those many documents for you, but work got busy and there just never seemed a free time to monopolise the scanner. Not working for a few months while I get over this surgery and back up for a hysterectomy in April -Fun fun fun ! This info will give Mum a bit of something else to think about and hopefully take the pressure off me. Bit of over mothering going on here 😉 Am sure Pat would send his love and we would all love to catch up with you again. Thanks, Karen X

    Sent from my iPhone


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