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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Kernick, James (senior)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1822
Place of birth St. Teath in Cornwall, England
Date of arrival 1854
Principal occupation Quarryman, slate dresser, slate merchant and slate quarry operator
Date of death 1905
Place of decease Beltunga near Willunga

James Kernick was born at St. Teath in Cornwall in 1822. Parents – John Kernick. Religion – Bible Christian, Wesleyan Methodist.

James, aged 28 years, married Elizabeth Cobbledick, aged 20 years, (1829-1900) on 10 Nov 1849 at St. Teath near Delabole in Cornwall. She had been born in St. Teath, the daughter of William Cobbledick (1790-1852) and Philippa (née Lob, 1797-1874) of St. Teath. Her sister, Margaret, married Nicholas Male senior and her sister, Mary Ann, married Frederick Martin.

James (30), his wife Elizabeth (23) and their infant daughter Mary Ann embarked at Plymouth on 30 Nov 1853 aboard Sir Thomas Gresham and arrived in South Australia on 18 March 1854. Elizabeth’s widowed mother, Philippa, and her daughter, Philippa (28), travelled with them.

James and Elizabeth had 10 children:

  • James (1851-1853)
  • Mary Ann (1852-1916) b. at St. Teath, m. George Norman (1850-1924) on 5 April 1877 at the residence of John Norman. They lived at Willunga and she is buried in the Wesleyan Methodist Cemetery, Willunga.
  • Jane (Jennie) (1855-1910) b. at Adelaide, SA, m. Alfred W. Grant on 4 July 1885 at St. James, Wickham, Newcastle, NSW. They lived in Sydney, NSW.
  • Thomas (1857-1860) b. & d. at Willunga.
  • John (1859-1945) b. at Willunga, m. Alice Susan Waye (1868-1954) on 11 Sept 1889. He was a slate quarryman at Willunga and later they lived at Croydon.
  • Elizabeth (1861-1946) b. at Willunga, m. Frederick James Laycock on 18 July 1888 at Hackney, SA. They lived at Adelaide.
  • James junior (1865-1934) b. at Willunga, m. Annie Jane Hewett on 7 April 1890 at Port Wakefield, d. at Hindmarsh, SA.
  • Thomas (1867-1952) b. at Willunga, m. Rebecca May Carter on 24 Sept 1894 in Victoria and lived at Glen Iris in Victoria.
  • Philippa (1869-1876) b. & d. at Willunga.
  • William (1872-1876) b. & d. at Willunga.

James was a quarryman and slate dresser at Willunga. Kernick & Co paid rates in 1855-1856 on the slate quarry (Bastian’s quarry?) located in section 1008 (owned by Sampson Bastian junior). Between 1869 and 1882, Kernick and Cobbledick paid rates on 256 acres, including the Bangor slate quarry on section 756, and James worked it for a total of 27 years until 1891. They also paid rates on 139 acres, a quarry and grass on section 757 from 1876 to 1878.

The Kernicks paid rates on Lot 43 (on St. Peters Terrace) in the township of Willunga in 1865 and later had property on St Johns Terrace in Beltunga near Willunga. James Kernick was superintendent of the Bible Christian Sunday-school for over 20 years.

James, aged 83 years, died on 13 Nov 1905. His wife, Elizabeth, had died at 71 years of age on 29 Sept 1900 and is buried in St. Stephens Anglican Church cemetery, Willunga.


  • 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
  • Family Histories. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-10 J-K
  • Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Volume 2
  • Chronicle 25 Nov 1905:16

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