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Bennetts, James

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1793
Place of birth St. Levan, Trebahor, near Lands End, Cornwall, England
Date of arrival 1836
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1883
Place of decease Bennetts Hill, Aldinga

James Bennet(ts) was born in St Levan, Trebahor, near Lands End, Cornwall, England in 1793. He was the son of Richard Bennetts (1762-1827) and Margaret (nee Matthew) (1754-1844). He was Church of England. He married Mary Trembath (1800-1888) in Cornwall, England on 13 July 1821.

James Bennetts was resident for 35 years in the Aldinga area by 1848 until his death in 1883.

The spelling of James’ surname is extremely variable. The spelling, Bennet, appears in the list of passengers aboard HMS Buffalo in 1836 and the 1840 Common Council election. Bennett appears in a list of attendees at a Vice-regal reception for the 1836 colonists, the newspaper announcement for the birth of his youngest son in 1841 and the Ratepayers List. Bennetts is used in the newspaper announcement of his death in 1883 and many of his children used Bennetts.

James and Mary had 6 children:

  • John Trembath Edward (1823-1899) married Elizabeth Collagan at the residence of James Bennetts, Aldinga, in 1858.
  • James Dent Hosea Roberts (1826-) married Ann Munth at Yankalilla on 10 June 1857.
  • Peggy Penburthy (1831-1919) married Levi Lovelock (1827-1907) at Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide on 31 October 1849.
  • Richard Cock Charles Hare (1839- ) was born on Kangaroo Island and married Mary Ann Self (1846-1900) on 16 February 1865 at St. Stephen’s Church, Willunga.
  • William Perkin (1841- )

James Bennet (44), his wife Mary (36) and their four children John (13), James (10), Peggy (5) and Mary Ann (1) arrived in South Australia aboard HMS Buffalo on 27 December 1836. James was a cabinetmaker and wheelwright. The family was living in Adelaide in 1840 and lived there for at least 5 years. In November 1840, James unsuccessfully stood for election to the Adelaide Common Council, receiving 41 votes. There is no clear trace of the Bennet(ts) family in the 1841 census. By 1848, James lived at Bennetts Hill Farm, near Aldinga. James leased section 380 from 1850 and section 379 from 1870 from the South Australian Company. One son, James, farmed sections 179 and 189 and the other, John, leased sections 139, 150 and 384.

James Bennetts died, aged 90 years, at Bennetts Hill, Aldinga, on 15 January 1883. His wife, Mary, died, aged 88 years, at Aldinga on 5 September 1888. She was colonist of 47 years. They are both buried in St Ann’s Anglican Cemetery, Aldinga and James has a slate headstone carved by George Sara.


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • SA Census 1841
  • SAILIS. CT 157/60
  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • South Australian Register 15 June 1857:2
  • The Adelaide Express 29 Dec 1866:2
  • South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail 31 Oct 1868:7
  • The South Australian Advertiser 26 July 1881:4
  • Evening Journal 12 Sept 1888:2
  • South Australian Register 23 March 1892:7
  • Observer 21 Jan 1911:43
  • The Advertiser 25 Oct 1911:8

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