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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Binney, James

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1817
Place of birth Chacewater, Cornwall, England
Date of arrival 1840
Principal occupation Farmer, blacksmith.
Date of death 1858
Place of decease Willunga, South Australia

James Binney was born on 13 April 1817 at Chacewater, Cornwall, England. His parents were Elias Binney (1771-1836) and Honor Peters (1787-1856). Elias was a butcher. Religion – Church of England.

James' brother, John (1805-1865), and his family arrived in South Australia aboard Cressy in 1847. Another brother, Richard (1813-1880), arrived with his family by 1845. They did not settle in the Wilunga district.

James Binney married Elizabeth Boundy or Bowndy (1820-1859) in the Parish Church at Falmouth, Cornwall on 6 Oct 1839. She was born on 17 Feb 1820 at Falmouth, Cornwall, the daughter of George Boundy. They lived at Chacewater, Cornwall before emigrating to South Australia. James Binney arrived, aged 22, with his wife Elizabeth, aged 20 years, on 16 April 1840 on board Morley from London. Application – 6053 Embarkation – 3958.

James and Elizabeth had 9 children:

  • William Henry (1841-1909) born at Willunga, m. Honor Marshall (1843-1916) at the Wesleyan Church, Willunga on 16 Oct 1862, d. at Crystal Brook, SA.
  • John (1843-1935) born at Willunga, m. Elizabeth Ferris Elliot (1846-1925) on 23 Oct 1866 at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Willunga, d. at Willunga.
  • Elizabeth Ann (1845-1930) born at Willunga, m. Charles Jackson (1841-1907) at Willunga on 13 Dec 1873, d. at Clare, SA.
  • James (1848-1915) born at Willunga, m. Sarah Marshall (1848-1941) on 6 June 1881 in South Australia, d. at Essendon, Victoria.
  • Matilda (1850-1927) born at Willunga, m. Edward William Scotcher (1846-1925) on 15 Mar 1871 at the residence of Mrs. Binney, McLaren Vale, d. at Rose Park.
  • Mary Jane (1852-1927) born at Willunga, m. John McRae or McCrae (1849-1889) on 11 Dec 1872 at the Binney family home, Willunga, d. in West Brunswick, Victoria.
  • Alfred (1854-1855) born & died at Willunga.
  • Emily (1855-1874) born at Willunga, m. James Greenlees (1840-1931) on 11 Dec 1873 in South Australia, d. at Aldinga.
  • Amelia (1858-1941) born at Willunga, m. Thomas Ward (1851-1933) at Rocky River on 11 Oct 1876, d. at Wagin, WA.

The Binney family are not visible in the SA Census for 1841, apart from John Binnie (134/28). James Binney carried on a blacksmith's business at Gawler for a period from arrival in 1840 and then proceeded to Willunga before October 1841 (the birth of their first son William Henry). After 15 months' blacksmithing, he took up land, probably a town allotment in 1842 or 1843. James Binney sold town allotment 27 (now Buckland House at 21 St Lukes Street in the township of Willunga) to Thomas Ferry, labourer of Willunga, for 12 pounds on 12 Sept 1844. James Binney was resident in the Willunga District from 1841 until his death in 1858.

In the 1840s James Binney purchased section 442, two miles north of the Willunga township, on which he built a house and combined farming with his trade of blacksmithing. He paid rates on sections 442 and 444 (each 80 acres) in 1850, 1853 and 1855-8 on either side of what became Binney Road (named after the Binney family). In 1856 he added section 766 (123 acres) and, in 1857, section 765 (100 acres) and a township allotment in 1858. The first pug cottage built in the 1840s was demolished in 1975. Parts of the second Binney home at 100 Binney Road and cellar, built by George Sara in the late 1850s, still survive today, including a small original kitchen with slate flags and an external cellar/store room also with slate flags.

James Binney served as a special juror in a Supreme Court Civil trial in 1855. He was listed as the owner when three of his sons, William Henry, John and James junior, competed in the Boys’ class of the local ploughing matches held in McLaren Vale, Willunga and Aldinga in the years around 1856-58.

James died, aged 41 years, on 28 Aug 1858 at Willunga. Elizabeth Binney (née Boundy) died aged 38 years on 5 Jan 1859 at Willunga. They are both buried at St. Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery, Willunga. Their second son John Binney bought the farm after his father’s death.


  • 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
  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • Family Histories. B. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-2
  • Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Volume 1
  • Thomas J. (ed) 1990. South Australians 1836-1885 Book One A-L. South Australian Register 23 Jan 1841:2
  • South Australian Register 26 June 1855:3
John Binney and family (son of James Binney)
John Binney and family (son of James Binney)
James Binney tomb, St Stephen's Wilunga
James Binney tomb, St Stephen's Wilunga
Binney family home,  Binney Rd Willunga, built circa 1859
Binney family home, Binney Rd Willunga, built circa 1859

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