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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Atkinson, William

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1814
Place of birth Waddingham in Lincolnshire, England
Date of arrival 1839
Principal occupation Farmer, pastoralist, builder and building materials supplier.
Date of death 1840
Place of decease Willunga, South Australia.

William Atkinson was born on 14 March 1814. R He was the oldest surviving son of Robert Atkinson (1774-1832) and Susanna(h) Fish (1788-1832) of Hayes Farm, Snitterby, Lincolnshire, England. He took over the family farm, aged 18 years, when his parents died in 1832. Religion - Church of England.

William married Mary Wray (1817- ) on 21 September 1835 at St Mary Church in Waddingham in Lincolnshire, England. They had two daughters: Catherine (b.1836) and Ann (b.1837).

The four Atkinson brothers (William, Robert, Thomas and Joseph) and their sisters Bridget and Susanna, some with their families, travelled to South Australia on board Singapore from London. They arrived at Holdfast Bay on 12 November 1839, William was then aged 25 years.

The Atkinson brothers built the first hotel (“Lincolnshire House” later Old Bush Inn) on lots 6 and 7 in the township of Willunga in Dec 1839. By October 1840 William Atkinson at Willunga was advertising in the South Australian Register to sell bricks, slates and sawn timber.

William, aged just 26 years, died in November 1840. He was one of the first adult British settlers to die in the Willunga district but to date no record of his death has been found and his burial place is not known.

William’s young widow Mrs Mary Atkinson and her two daughters – Catherine (1836 - ) and Ann (12/11/1837 - ) sailed from Port Adelaide on 6 May 1842 on board the barque Caleb Angas, Captain Poole, to return to London.


  • England Select Births and Christenings 1538-1975
  • Southern Australian 10 May 1842:2
  • South Australian Register 24 Oct 1840:2
  • South Australian Register 31 Oct 1840:4.

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