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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Gregor, James

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1816
Place of birth St. Issy, Cornwall, England
Date of arrival 1838
Principal occupation Quarryman, miner, farmer
Date of departure 1846
Date of death 1895
Place of decease Yorketown, South Australia

James Gregor was born on 2 Aug 1816 at St. Issy, Cornwall. His parents were Francis Gregor (1790-1841) and Johanna (Hannah) nee Bazley (1789-1882). Religion – Wesleyan Methodist.

James , aged 21 years, married Elizabeth Beckerleg, aged 21 years, (1816-1858) on 10 Sept 1837 at the Parish of St. Day near Redruth, Cornwall. He was recorded as a miner living at Goon Gumpas and she was a dress-maker living at Carharrack. The witnesses were his brothers George and Francis Gregor. Within two weeks of getting married they travelled to South Australia aboard Royal Admiral arriving on 17 Jan 1838.

James and Elizabeth Gregor had 10 children (4 sons and 6 daughters):

Francis (1838-1910) b. at Adelaide, m. Christiana Peterson, aged 19 years, on 12 Jan 1859 at Christ Church in Kapunda. d. at Yorketowne

William (1842-1933) b. at Kapunda, m. Elizabeth Brown, aged 18 years, on 11 Aug 1864 at residence of James Gregor at Walleroo

John (1843-1928) b. at Kapunda, m. Maria Goldsworthy, aged 21 years, at residence of Stephen Goldsworthy at Black Point. d. at Curramulka

Elizabeth Ann (1845-1901) b. at Adelaide, m. (1st) Almond Ebernezer Hitchens (1831-1866) on 17 April 1865 at residence of Mr. Richard Knuckey at Ross’s Creek. m. (2nd) William Uren (1845-1892) on 26 Oct 1867 (3rd) Benjamin Julian (1835-1892) at Moonta on 13 April 1876, d. at Ballarat, Victoria

Mary (1847-1890?) b. at Adelaide. m. Thomas Taylor (1843- ) on 27 July 1868 at Adelaide

Caroline (1849-1850) b. & d. at Kapunda, died as an infant

Rosina (1853-1931) b. at Kapunda, m. (1st) Edwin Ralph (1849-1934) at East Moonta on 23 July 1869. m. Edwin Herbert Baker

Jane (1855-1862) died as a child

Catherine Louisa (1858-1858) died as an infant at Allens Creek

James Henry (1858-1859) died as an infant at Allens Creek

James Gregor, aged 45 years, married for the second time to Jane Dunstone (1825-1909), aged 37 years, (widow formerly Williams f. William Williams) on 27 Nov 1862 at Kapunda. They had two children:

Johanna (1863- ) m. Samuel Willis;

James Thomas (1865- ).

James Gregor was a quarryman at Willunga (1841-1846). In 1842 the Colonial government offered the Willunga Slate Quarry for a three-year lease. They accepted a tender by James Gregor and Co. comprising of James Gregor, Thomas Polkinghorne and William Bailey on 8 Nov 1842 for a quarterly rent of 5 pounds (20 pounds per annum). James Gregor wrote a letter of complaint about Thomas Williams encroaching on his slate quarry to the Colonial Secretary on 10 May 1843. He wrote another letter on 11 June 1844 pleading that he could not afford the annual rent and the reply suggested that he could abandon the lease if he wished to. Gregor & Co. abandoned their lease in 1844 and James Hamilton & Co briefly held the lease. Then on 28 August 1845 Sampson Dawe and Thomas Polkinghorne purchased 35 acres in Section 1008 containing the Willunga Slate Quarry for 70 pounds.

James Gregor was listed in the 1844 edition of the SA Almanac and Directory as growing 6 acres of wheat, one quarter of an acre of potatoes and three quarters of an acre of garden on section 263. He later lived at Burra, Walleroo and Kapunda and by 1858 he had moved to Allen’s Creek (section 1553 of the Hundred of Kapunda) in the District of Light.

James Gregor died, aged 78 years, on 12 May 1895 at Yorketown. Jane Gregor (nee Dunstone formerly Williams) died on 07/12/1909 aged 84 years.


  • Family Histories. G. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folders 40-7
  • Willunga District Settlers (1846-1850). Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folders 42-5-2
  • 18-3-3/4 SA Almanac and Directory Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folders 41-4-127
  • SA Maritime Museum. Passengers in History Database. Gregor
  • South Australia. Births Index of registrations. 1842-1906
  • South Australia. Deaths Index of registrations. 1842-1915
  • South Australia. Marriages Index of registrations. 1842-1916
  • South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS).

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