Angus & Family – where they lived in the Illawarra

under construction

According to sources (1, 2, 3)  on the passenger list for the William Nicol of 1837, Angus McKenzie arrived without dependent children. He was allocated to T. Thompson in Wollongong. Angus’ age was given as 50 years, yet in the 1841 Census he is listed as 60 years of age at Springhill (near to Mt St Thomas) – so perhaps he dropped his age to qualify as an assisted Bounty Emigrant.

Eldest son Alexander McKenzie Snr arrived with 4 children and was also allocated to T. Thompson in Wollongong.

The list does not indicate where Alexander McKenzie Jnr nor Neil were allocated – however as each of their first Australian born children were born in the Illawarra in 1839, perhaps they were also allocated to the Illawarra. Donald MacKenzie in his “Over the Sea from Skye” stated that Alexander Jnr had also gone to T Thompson’s in 1837 and that Neil had gone to T J Hughes of MacQuarie Rivulet in the Illawarra.Also there are details for Alexander Jnr at Springhill, ie death of family members in the 1840’s.

Angus and Mary McKenzie also had at least one daughter, Mary, who had married Donald McKinnon in Scotland and that they had also sailed on the William Nicol in 1837. It seems that Donald McKinnon’s sister Flora was the first wife of Alexander McKenzie Snr who perished during childbirth of triplets in the Great Australian Bight in 1837. Further, it has been suggested that Donald McKinnon had a brother who may have emigrated to Australia at the same time.

The above-mentioned passenger list gives two Donald McKinnon’s on the Isle of Skye – one arriving with one child, the other arriving with three children. So far two children of our Donald have been identified as being born prior to arriving in Australia.

It must have been quite a voyage which took its toll on the passengers’ health, especially the children – refer UK Archives for William Nicols 1837.

Tracking down approximately where our McKenzie’s were living … and when … after their arrival in the NSW Colony has been interesting. Below is a summary of records that I have been able to piece together – still a work in progress. The information is drawn from various sources including the Illawarra Family History Group’s Illawarra Pioneer publications (input from Ted Finn), 1841 Census entries, BDM & Baptism certificates where available, NLA’s Trove digitised newspapers collections and the 1825 – 1871 Transcripts of NSW Land Titles records for the Illawarra and nearby regions prepared by Terry and Wendy Nunan. I am particularly grateful to Terry and Wendy for the huge amount of work that they have done which particularly helped with tracking the land dealings of Alexander Snr and Alexander Jnr.

It is clear that they had all moved a great deal from the 1837 arrival.

However I am yet to find the records of Alexander Snr’s earliest purchase of land in Fairy Meadow/Balgownie and of the Ellengowan Estate. Donald Mackenzie reported the 1858 purchase of part of the Balgownie Estate in his book, “Over the Sea from Skye“, but did not have any information on any earlier purchases. Yet there there is evidence of Alexander Snr being both on Ellengowan / Balgownie Estate and being the Freehold owner in earlier years …

  • 1852 – birth of Alexander Snr’s son William was publicised in the Sydney newspapers as being at Ellengowan – the first newspaper mention of Alexander McKenzie Snr’s family in regard to Ellengowan – note the local newspaper, Illawarra Mercury, did not commence publication until 1855 – and there are no newspaper notices for the births of earlier children of Alexander Snr and third wife Christina – Margaret Hunter (1848), Christina Mary (1849) nor Alexina (1851) – although perhaps it was the birth of a son that was worthy of a notice in the newspapers ??
  • 1854 – Alexander Snr’s purchase of land from Henry Mole Bagster of London is in NSW Land Titles.
  • 1855 – Alexander Snr is listed on the electoral roll for 1855-1856 as being a Freehold landowner at Fairy Meadow
  • 1856 – Alexander Snr advertised heifers for sale from his Ellengowan property
  • 1857 – Alexander Snr of Ellengowan is a subscriber and committee member of the Illawarra Agricultural Society – and he offered an acre of land of his Fairy Meadow holding for the proposed school – reported in newspaper stories
  • 1858 – various newspaper reports – Alexander Snr was writing letters to the  Editor and participating politically – all from his Ellengowan address, and in his brother Neil’s obituary he is described as being of Ellengowan
  • 1858 – from NSW Land Titles – purchase of land in the Balgownie Estate and transfer of land to the NSW Education Department for the Fairy Meadow school.

To download an Excel version of the following table – click McKenzie’s where were they when

Event Angus Alexander Snr Alexander Jnr Neil Mary McKinnon
1837 Arrival in Sydney & Distribution Angus to T Thompson Wollongong Alexander Snr to T Thompson Wollongong Unknown – although Don MacKenzie believed that Alexander Jnr had also gone to T Thompson of Wollongong Unknown – although Don MacKenzie believed that Neil McKenzie had gone to T J Hughes of MacQuarie Rivulet Illawarra Major Lockyer or Stephen ESQ St Vincent – although Don MacKenzie believed that they had gone to Stephen’s
1839 Birth Daughter Mary Ann at Fairy Meadow Daughter Sarah Ann at Hearne (Heron/Herne) Farm – at Keira Vale
1840 Birth Daughter Flora at Berkeley – on Jenkins land ?
1841 Birth Son Donald at Hearne Farm (Heron/Herne Farm at Keira Vale)
1841 Census Spring Hill, Illawarra – leased from CC Innes – (note Don MacKenzie read CC as “LeLe “- however checking Trove suggests it is more likely “C C”) Fairy Meadow on property of McKay Spring Hill Illawarra – leased from CC Innes Heron / Herne Farm on property of James Shoobert Berkeley Estate on property of W W Jenkins
1841 For Sale Ellengowan Estate – not yet owned by Alexander Snr Son Angus at Charcoal
May 18 1842 Birth Daughter Catherine at Berkeley – perhaps Berkeley Estate of Jenkins family ?
July 2 1842 Insolvency legalities Springhill Illawarra
1843 Births Son Angus Daughter Agnes – said to be at Spring Hill
1844 Birth Daughter Jessie at Barkly (Berkeley Estate)
1845 – 1846 Birth  – Death Son John at Charcoal
1846 Birth Son Angus at Barkly (Berkeley Estate)
1846 Presbyterian Church Neil of Berkeley contributed to paying off the debt
1847 Birth  – Death Daughter Mary at Charcoal
1848 – 1849 Birth daughter Christina Mary – said to be at Ellengowan Fairy Meadow Son Alexander at Lake (Lake Illawarra on Berkeley Estate ?) Son Charles at Berkeley part of Jenkins Berkeley Estate ?
1850 Birth Daughter Elizabeth at Balgownie Daughter Mary at Lake Illawarra (on Berkeley Estate?) Daughter Mary at Charcoal
1851 Birth Son Robert at Balgownie
1852 Birth – Death Son John at Springhill
1852 Death Daughter Catherine at Spring Hill Illawarra
1852 Birth son William at Ellengowan Fairy Meadow – newspaper notice
1853 Birth Son Hugh at Lake Illawarra (on Berkeley Estate ?) Another Daughter Catherine at Spring Hill Illawarra
1853 Public Notice Straying Cattle at Stanwell Park placed by Donald McKenzie of Fairy Meadow – note Alexander Snr’s son Donald may have left the area by this time ?
1854 Land Purchase / Sale Land purchase from Henry Mole Bagster at Balgownie Estate Keera Woonona land purchase from Campbell’s (Speering Grant) – Alexander’s abode given as Fairy Meadow at time of purchase  and also at time of sale of some land to Thomas Hale – some of Thomas Hale land on – sold to Charles Throsby Smith, Charles Fairs, Devenish Matthew Mears
1854 Birth Son Thomas at Bulli
1855 Land Sale Woonona sale of some land to Janet Thomas – discharge of mortgage
1855 – 1856 Electoral Rolls No mention of Angus McKenzie in this electoral roll Freehold near Fairy Meadow Road Freehold near Bulli Leasehold – Illawarra Lake Freehold near Bulli Road – was this our Donald  ? Or the other Donald ?
1856 Birth Son Duncan at Lake Illawarra (on Berkeley Estate ?) Daughter Annie at The Oaks
1856 Public Notice Sale of Heifers Alexander at Ellangowan
1857 Land Sale Woonona land sale to Ebenezer Bourne
1857 Subscribers & Committee of Illawarra Agricultural Society Alexander of Ellengowan on committee & a subscriber Alexander of Bulli on Committee & a subscriber
1857 Meeting for School at Fairy Meadow Held at Alexander Snr’s home in Fairy Meadow & he offered land for the school
1857 Bulli Road meeting Held at Alexander Jnr’s home
1857 Land Purchase discharge of mortgage Woonona land from Janet Thomas to Alexander Jnr
1858 Public notice – lost cow Alexander McKenzie and John Alexander McKenzie of Bulli mentioned
1858 Bulli Road Letter to Editor by Alexander Snr of Ellangowan
1858 Political Support Committee Listed as being at Ellengowan Listed as being at Bulli
1858 Neil’s death – Obituary No mention of Angus nor wife Mary in Neil’s Obituary Mentioned as brother to Neil living at Ellengowan in Obituary Mentioned as brother to Neil living at Bulli in Obituary Lake Illawarra Farm – as Dr Grover was in attendance according to obituary points to being on Berkeley Estate of Jenkins No mention of sister of Neil in Obituary
1858 Land –  licence for Tramway At Bulli on Bellambi Estate part of Lots 2 & 3 – nr Nth bank of
crk & running ESE to SW cnr of Sarah Stoney’s 100a farm  from Alexander Jnr to Thomas Hale for 14 years
1858 Contract of land related to coal mining From Thomas Hale to Henry Osborne – extensive lands including some from Alexander Jnr’s Bellambi Estate holding
1858 Land Purchase Land purchase Balgownie Estate from Goulburn’s and Campbell’s
1858 Land Sale From Balgownie Estate Keera to Dept Education
1858 – 1862 Land Sale Woonona Land sale to John Stewart – Foreclosure on Mortgage
1858 Birth Daughter Annie at Bulli
1859 Horse to stand for breeding Alexander McKenzie of Bulli  Julius Martin (husband of Neil’s daughter Sarah) organised the ad but no address given
1859 Death Probate of Neil’s estate sought by his widow Christina who was living at Lake Illawarra – On Berkeley Estate ?
1859 – 1860 Political Meetings & Committees Alexander Snr signatory to newspaper ad Weekly meetings on Thursdays at Alexander Jnr’s home in “Bulli” – signatory to newspaper ad – John McKenzie also on Bulli Committee
1859 Public Notices John McKenzie of Bulli calling for debts to be paid as closing business then resuming Butchery – Alexander Snr’s son John may have left the district by 1859 ?
1860 Land Sale Part of Balgownie Estate of Buckland grant to Robert Owen Land at Bulli transfers between Charles McKinnon, Neil McKinnon, Norman McKinnon and Donald McKinnon – but our Donald McKinnon was at Pictin so was this the other Donald McKinnon
1860 Land Purchase in Wollongong from William Frost
1861 Land Sale Some land in Balgownie Estate to David Johnston and Michael Hindmarsh
1860 Death Neil’s widow Christina at Wollongong ?
1861 Birth Son Charles at Bulli
1861 Board and Lodgings offered By Christina wife of Alexander Snr at Ellengowan
1862 Birth Son Alexander John at Ellangowan – newspaper notices Son Archibald at Bulli
1862 Meeting for National School Alexander Jnr is part of organising committee
1862 Land Sale Transfer From John Stewart to Thomas Hale, William Somerville, Thomas Collaery for Bulli Bellambi School of Arts
1862 – 1863 Land Sale Some Bulli land to John Stewart on – sold to William Hemming, John Hardy,  Peter Griffin, Charles Throsby Smith, William Mills (who on-sold to Robert Owen), then on-sold to Henry Fry
1863 Birth Daughter Christina at Taralga
1864 Land Transfers of what had been part of Alexander Jnr’s farm between Stewart, John &
Hemming, William &
Hardy, John and Hewen, John
1864 Political meetings and ads Alexander of Fairy Meadow signatory to ad Donald McKinnon of Bulli – but our’s had moved to Picton so the Bulli Donald McKinnon is not our’s
1864 Farm for rent Henry Fry advertising a farm for rent formerly Alexander Jnr’s
1874 Public Notice Trepass warning by Alexander at Ellangowan
1875 Death Alexander Snr at Ellengowan
1894 Dairy Health Notice Alexander (Snr’s son?) at Ellengowan
1896 Council notice Thomas Farrell has purchased Ellengowan recently
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