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Male, Nicholas (senior)

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1816
Place of birth St Teath, Cornwall
Date of arrival 1848
Principal occupation Quarryman/slate merchant
Date of death 1867
Place of decease Willunga

Nicholas Male was born 29 Dec 1816 in Lanteglos, Cornwall, England. He was the second son of William Bonear Male (1780-1864) and Elizabeth Mary (née Lane) (1783-1840). He came from a quarrying family, and the 1841 census shows that he was employed as a quarryman, undoubtedly at the Delabole Quarry, Cornwall. His brothers were John Male (1809-1872) and Francis Male (1820-1895) who both emigrated to South Australia - John in 1849 and Francis in 1856. Religion – Wesleyan Methodist.

Nicholas Male, aged 26 years, married Margaret Cobbledick, aged 21 years, (1821-1890) on 19 Nov 1842 at St. Teath, Cornwall. She was the daughter of William Cobbledick and Philippa (née Lobb) of St. Teath. Both of them must have been illiterate as they made their mark on their marriage certificate. They had four children, one of whom died young in Cornwall:

Nicholas junior (1840-1867) b. at St. Teath, m. Agnes McBeath (1844-1910) on 23 Nov 1863 at the residence of Charles Hodge, Port Elliot, He died of consumption, aged 27 years, in Dec 1867.

Elizabeth (1853- ) died as a child.

William Henry Bonear (1860-1946) b. at Willunga, m. Mary Martin (1866-1911) d. aged 86 years, at Corowa, NSW

Margaret (1862-1915) b. at Willunga, m. Charles Maynes Ponton (1855-1906) on 3 Oct 1885 at Port Adelaide.

Nicholas Male (aged 32 years), his wife Margaret (27) and their son Nicholas (8) arrived aboard Bussorah Merchant in Port Adelaide on 9 Nov 1848. Travelling with them was Frederick Richard George Martin and his wife Mary Ann (nee Cobbledick – the sister of Margaret). He was listed as an agricultural labour. However, this may have been to help him obtain assisted passage. There was, over a period of time, an exodus of families from St Teath, many of whom were related to Nicholas through his wife, Margaret.

Nicholas Male senior was a laborer, quarryman, slate dresser and slate merchant in the Willunga District. After a short period of working in the Willunga quarries, Nicholas went to Castlemaine with his brother-in-law, Frederick Martin, and then to Bendigo, where he succeeded in finding gold. Their gold prospecting venture meant that he and other St Teath connections, James Kernick and William Cobbledick, had the capital to work a quarry belonging to Thomas Martin. In 1855 Nicholas Male went into partnership with James Kernick and William Cobbledick to take out a 21-year lease on the Bangor Slate Quarry, but ill health forced him to leave the partnership in 1864, and he died three years later.

He paid rates on half an acre and a house in the township from 1853 to 1858 (probably lot 143 – below). He had the building at 16 St Georges St built in the early 1850’s as two separate dwellings for himself and Frederick Martin. They were identical in size and layout, with a living room and lean-to kitchen on the ground floor, and bedrooms located on the upper storey (road level). Nicholas Male of Willunga, Slate Quarrier, purchased part of Lot 143 on 28 Nov 1862 = with a 66 foot frontage on St. Georges St and 305 feet deep and he owned it until his death in 1867. He also owned part of section 257 from 1864 to 1866.

Nicholas Male, aged just 50 years, died on 7 May 1867 at his residence, Brompton, in St. Georges Street, Willunga and he is buried in the Wesleyan Methodist Church Cemetery, Willunga. His widow, Margaret, remarried to Joseph Gordon and they moved to Victoria.

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  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
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  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • SAILIS 1858-1863 M 4 CT 35/181
  • South Australian Register 9 July 1860:2
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  • South Australian Register 11 May 1867:2
  • South Australian Register 20 Dec 1867:2
  • Evening Journal 14 Oct 1885:2
  • Family Notices (1867 May 11). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) p. 2 (Supplement to the Adelaide Observer.). Retrieved May 16 2018 from
  • WILLUNGA SLATE INDUSTRY. (1921 November 26). The Register (Adelaide SA : 1901 - 1929) p. 7. Retrieved May 16 2018 from
  • Williams R.F. To Find the Way: Yankalilla and District 1836 – 1986. 1985. Adelaide Lutheran Publishing House
  • Family Histories M. Vol 40-12. Willunga Courthouse Research Room
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Nicholas & Margaret Male and son Nicholas
Nicholas & Margaret Male and son Nicholas

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