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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Mr Thomas Kinlyside

Born: 1795; Died: 1862; Married: Elizabeth [Lockie]

The patriarch of the extensive clan of Kinlysides which spread over the 'Canberra Plains' in the nineteenth century was Thomas Kinlyside, born in Berwickshire, Scotland, in 1895. He was the son of John Kinlayson, a storekeeper and shoemaker in Jedburgh, and Grace Guthrie. In 1816, at the age of twenty-one, he married Elizabeth Lockie, eighteen. Twenty three years later in 1839 they set sail for Australia from Leith, Edinburgh. By that time they had a family of nine children, four girls and five boys, born between 1817 and 1838:

They sailed on the 405 ton ship Hero via Rio de Janeiro on 7th May 1839 and arrived in Sydney 142 days later on 26 September 1839. The family settled initially in Ashfield, where Thomas, with the help of John and George, set up a blacksmiths and wheelwright business. Immigration documents for John and George stated that they were a wheelwright and a millwright respectively. These and related trades were to be a mainstay in the Kinlyside family over the next century.

Although apparently successful enough in Sydney, the family was destined to move south to the Canberra Plains. Janet, the eldest daughter, was the first to make the move, around 1842. She went to a position at Duntroon. In the following year she married Alexander ('Sandy') McDonald. Thomas and the family were to follow in 1858 and began to set up the first blacksmith and wheelwright business in what became the Canberra district, at the property they called The Triangle. The property was on the Yass-Queanbeyan Road (in Canberra today the site of The Triangle is at the intersection of Limestone Avenue and McArthur Avenue) and encompassed a farm, the business and the family home, where various members of the family lived and worked over many years. Son George was in the USA when the move from Sydney was made, but arrived back in 1860 and took over the business from his ageing father.

Thomas died in 1862 at the age of sixty-seven, having suffered from asthma for 16 years – an occupational hazard. His eldest son John sadly predeceased him, having been killed in a horse riding accident the year before. Thomases widow Elizabeth moved to Duntroon to live with her daughter Grace and husband Ambrose Austen at the Duntroon Dairy. Elizabeth died of 'old age' in December 1870, aged seventy-two. Thomas and Elizabeth are buried at St John's cemetery, Canberra.


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