Kingswell Family

<table width="100%" height="385" border="1"><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td rowspan="6" width="29%"> <p><a href="#MH_Kingswell_1852"><strong>Mary Hilder <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Kingswell</strong></a><br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <font size="-1">Born, 8 December 1851, Tasmania, Australia<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Married, <a href="gillow_main.html#_top"><strong>Edmund Gillow</strong></a>, <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> 17 February 1870, Invercargill, NZ<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Died, 27 May 1924, Wellington, NZ</font><br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <a href="young_main.html#_top"><img src="images/leftarrow.gif" width="13" height="13" align="left" border="0"></a> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td rowspan="4" width="36%"> <p><a href="#WB_Kingswell"><strong>William Burcher <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Kingswell</strong></a> <br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <font size="-1">Born, 15 July 1826, England<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Arrived Australia 1838.<!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Married, <strong><a href="#E_Bryant">Elizabeth Bryant</a></strong>, 3 January 1850, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Died, 2 November 1888,<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Melbourne, Australia</font></p></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" height="65" rowspan="2"><a href="#W_Kingswell"><strong>William Kingswell</strong></a> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <br> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <font size="-1">Born, about 1803 in Wiltshire, England. <br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Arrived Australia <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> 1838.</font></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" height="34"><span class="style2"><font size="-1"><a href="#W_Kingswell_maybe">William Kingswell</a></font></span></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td height="31"><span class="style2"><font size="-1">Ann Allen </font></span></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" height="18" rowspan="2"><span class="style1"><a href="#MrsMaryKingswell">Mary Burcher</a></span><b><br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </b><font size="-1">Born, about 1806 in Wiltshire, England. <br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Arrived Australia <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> 1838.<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Died Pt Sorell, Tasmania 23 February 1876.</font></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" height="72">Mr <strong>Burcher</strong><br> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <font size="-1">Died before 1826</font> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td height="54">Mary <strong>Burcher</strong><br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <font size="-1">Died Wiltshire, England 1836. </font> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td rowspan="2" width="36%"><p><strong><a href="#E_Bryant">Elizabeth Mary Bryant</a></strong><br> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <font size="-1">Christened, <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> 10 February 1833, Tasmania, Australia.<br><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> Married, <strong><a href="#WB_Kingswell">William Burcher Kingswell</a></strong>, 3 January 1850, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Died, 4 April 1894, Bluff, NZ. </font></p> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" height="65">James <strong>Bryant</strong></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%"> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" height="22" valign="middle"> <p>Mary<strong> Hilder </strong></p></td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td width="35%" valign="middle"> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </table>

Biographical Details:

(Reverend?) William Burcher Kingswell
Born, 15 July 1826, Shropshire, England
Christened 19 February 1827, Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England
Married, Elizabeth Bryant, 3 January 1850, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Died, 2 November 1888, Melbourne, Australia

A key detail of this generation of the Kingswell family is not confirmed. Primary records (births, deaths and marriage records) along with shipping registers, correspondence, George Herbert Kingswell’s biography and the Kingswell family bible disagree, in one significant area. Who was the mother of the second daughter, Mary Hilder Kingswell. Several sources (including the oral history of W B Kingswell’s own sister) states that the mother’s maiden name was Hilder – and connected to the Chichester family of the Donegal Earldom. I’ve listed Mary Hilder, who is the mother of Mary Bryant, as being the source of the Hilder link. Other evidence is of the family christening gown, from this period, is said to be embroidered with the Donegal pattern. This gown is in the possession of the Australian branch of the Gillow family.

There is now so much information on W B Kingswell he has a seperate biography page here.

List of the children of William B Kingswell & Elizabeth Bryant.  The full details of this interesting family are here.

  1. William Burcher Kingswell, born 21 October 1850, Launceston. Died 1 December 1850 Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
  2. Mary Hilder Kingswell, born, 8 December 1851, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Married Edmund Gillow 17 February 1870 and died 27 May 1924 in Wellington, NZ.
  3. Eliza Annie Kingswell, born, 10 March 1854, Westbury, Tasmania, Australia. Married Samuel Nichol, 24 January 1871, in Invercargill, Otago, NZ. Died 1 August 1913 in Bluff, NZ.
  4. Charles Burcher Kingswell, born, 29 January 1856, Westbury, Tasmania, Australia. Died, 21 November 1908 in Purewa Auckland NZ.
  5. Ada Elizabeth Kingswell, born 16 February 1858, Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia. Married William Arctus Perry Sutton (b. 1837 d. 1912) February 1877, in Invercargill, Otago.
  6. Eva Florence Kingswell, born 23 May 1860 Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia. Married Charles Henry Howard, 12 October 1885, in All Saint’s Church, Nelson NZ.
  7. William “Will” Henry Kingswell, born 22 August 1862, Deloraine Tasmania Australia.
  8. Edwin Croucher Kingswell, born 30 September 1864 – most likely in Tasmania, Australia. Married Marcilla Lawlor, September 15, 1908 at New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada. Died 28 February 1930 in Toronto, Canada.
  9. George Herbert Kingswell, born 20 July 1867, Kew, Invercargill, New Zealand. Married Winifred Maude Adams, in South Africa. Died 23 June 1931 South Africa.
  10. Percy Nichol Kingswell, born 16 October 1870, at the Kingswell’s residence Woodville, Bluff Road, Invercargill, New Zealand. Married Victoria Emily Mountney on 27 September 1898 in Bluff NZ. Died in Auckland NZ on 4 September 1928.
  11. Ethel May Kingswell, Born 16 August 1872, Kew, Invercargill. Married Roderick Paterson on 11 November 1895 in Auckland, NZ. Died 1950, Auckland, New Zealand.

Biographical Details:

Elizabeth Mary Bryant
Christened, 10 February 1833
Married, William Burcher Kingswell, 1850, Tasmania, Australia.
Died, 4 April 1894, Morningside, Bluff, NZ.

Little is yet known of her background. I’ve added Mary as her middle name as this was listed as her middle name by her son Edwin Kingswell in his marriage record (Canada September 1908).

Her father was James Bryant and her mother only listed in BDM records as Mary. I have surmised that her mother was Mary Hilder. Searches on ‘James Bryant’ in Tasmania around this show several men of the same name;

  1. James Bryant, Headstone at St Davids, Hobart (Anglican). Died in 1833, aged 34yrs
  2. James Bryant, From the History of Devon Cattle. Arrives 4 Feb 1825 in Tasmania. In Dec 1825 he is listed as ‘Mr. James Bryant, at Jerico’ in Hobart. Granted land ‘Sand Hill’ at Jerico and Eastern Marshes with his brother Edmund Bryant. Devon cattle continued to be raised there until 1845.
  3. James Bryant, has sheep stolen from his property, in 1835.

In the Thursday 5 April 1894 edition of The Southland Times there are two notices:

“Funeral Notice;
The friends of the late Mrs Kingswell are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, leaving the residence of Mrs S. Nichol, at 3pm on Saturday, 7th inst, for the Campbelltown Cemetery.”

KINGSWELL – on the 4th of April 1894, at Morningside, Bluff, Elizabeth, relict of the late W. B. Kingswell, and beloved mother of Mrs S. Nichol, aged 62 years.”


Biographical Details:

William Kingswell
Born, about 1803, England. (either in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, or Tunbridge Wells, Kent). Married Mary Burcher, St. George Church, Middlesex.

So far information about the Kingswell’s presence in England is limited to:

  1. The will of Mary Burcher (mother of Mary Kingswell, nee Burcher). This will is dated 1827 and refers to”Mary Kingswell wife of William Kingswell of Castle Combe”. Mary Burcher died in 1836 and her will was written in Chippenham – only a few miles from Castle Combe. By the way, Castle Combe has a fabulous web site and the town itself is largely preserved as it would have been in the early 1800 (they don’t have TV aerials or power lines and many original 16th century and earlier houses remain – but not the Castle!) The web site is,
  2. Their marriage at St. George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex – on 23 October – 1823. Listed in “The register book of marriages belonging to the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex” edited by John H. Chapman. Snippet of page 227 found in Google books. St. George is pictured right and has remained largely unchanged.
  3. A letter to George Gillow from Mr. E. Ingledew dated 17 March 1934. Which reports the recollection of their daughter, Sarah Kingswell.

The Kingswell family left England (either London or Plymouth) in April 1838 as assisted emigrants on the ship “Canton” and arrived at Port Adelaide, Australia on 2 May 1838. According to the passenger list and repeated in the Biographical Index of South Australians (1836-1885), the family then consisted of:

  1. William Kingswell, born circa 1803
  2. Mary Kingswell, wife, born circa 1806 and their four children (as below).

Their daughter, Sarah, who turned ten during the voyage, recalled to Mr E Ingledew that the family settled first in Holdfast Bay in South Australia in 1838 and later came to Launceston, Tasmania in 1840. She said that there was a very poor settlement in Holdfast Bay and they suffered a deal of hardship, including fear of wild dogs. In Launceston they lived first at house in Canning Street and she recalled that her sister, Elizabeth, was born there in 1841. She recalled that her father was employed for some time as a Collector of Customs. (source)

In the “Unassisted Arrivals to Australia Index” (copy held at National Library NZ) is the following record for Port Adelaide:
“Kingswell, William, age 40, Passenger on the ‘Elizabeth’, from Launceston, arriving 12 May 1846 with the remarks of ‘Merchant/Hampshire/Visitor'”.
In this index there are also seven other listings for W Kingswell in the date range 1846 and 1847 and all between Launceston, Twofold Bay, Moreton Bay, Circular Head and Pt Phillip.

W Kingswell appears in the “Shipping arrivals and departures, South Australia 1627-1850“, by R. T. Sexton (copy held at National Library NZ) a newspaper notice is reproduced (sadly, it doesn’t say which paper and only lists the year in which it appears 1839):
Enterprize (sic), Cutter 30
This British-built boat of 35 ft keel and 12 ft beam, undergoing repairs at Port Adelaide, was offered for sale by Auctioneer Neale in late June. Anyone having claims on C Towgood or W. Kingswell for repairs or materials were to forward them to W. Edwards for examination.”
My assumption is that Kingswell and Towgood where either unable to afford the repair costs or left town! I feel it is safe to assume that the W. Kingswell mentioned is William Kingswell (there are no unaccounted for Kingswell’s in Australia during this period) and in the same book William Kingswell is listed as being a passenger on this ship in 1839 (there being only room for four berths).

In the Mr E Ingledew letter he mentions that W Kingswell was for a time a Collector of Customs.

A William B. Kingswell appears in the 1855 and 1858 Jury lists for Van Diemens Land (Tasmania).

It is possible that William Kingswell is the person of the same name who died by drowning in Melbourne in 1861 (aged 64) – not an exact match! (Source – Victoria Inquests 1840-1985)

Above: CANTON. New Bedford. 239 tons. Built at Swansea. 1835. (Wood). Brodie Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Little is yet known about Mrs Mary Kingswell. She died at Point Sorell, Tasmania on 23 February 1876. All that is known are from the two following newspaper obituaries and from the Mr E Ingledew letter where he writes she was “… in some way connected with the Chichester family (Donegal earldom) but I don’t know exactly how. Her maiden name was Hilder. She died in 1876 and is buried at the old Don Cemetery the headstone stating she was born in 1799.”


KINGSWELL – On the 23rd February, at the residence of her son-in-law, Edwin Cummings, Esq., River Don, Mrs. Mary Kingswell, late of Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, aged 77 years. (Bath papers please copy).
The Examiner 2nd March 1876

These two obituaries appeared on the ‘Tasmanian Coastal Cemeteries website,

Obituary: Mrs. Kingswell
This old respected colonist died on the 23rd February, at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. E. Cummings, Don. Our correspondent writing on the 28th Feb., says: “Mrs. Kingswell had been on a visit to one of her daughters, Mrs. Robinson, in Victoria, and while there was taken with dropsy. Though very ill she wished to return to Tasmania, for she felt that her end was drawing near. Her medical adviser stated that it would be certain death to attempt to remove her, and especially to put her on board the steamer; but the old lady was resolved on making the effort, as she did not like the idea of being buried amongst strangers. She arrived here per s.s. Argyle in a very feeble state, accompanied by another of her daughters, Mrs. L. Grant. She seemed to rally greatly, and we began to think that she would be spared for some time to come; But on the 19th or 20th she began to sink rapidly, and it became plain to all that her time was close at hand. She spoke of her death and funeral with the greatest composure. Mrs. Kingswell had been about 36 years in Tasmania, and was about one of the oldest members of the Congregational body. And though she had attained the age of 77 years she was very active, and not long ago took a trip to New Zealand, where she went about with as much ease as many younger women. She will be greatly missed in our circle as she was a constant visitor in cases of sickness, and had a kind word for everyone, particularly the young people, and was a great friend to the Church and Sabbath School. Her remains were interred in the Don Cemetery on the 25th Feb; Rev. T. E. O. Mell officiated at the grave. About 100 persons were present.
The Examiner 18th March 1876

Children of William and Mary Kingswell

  1. Mary Ann Kingswell born 1 February 1823 – there are two records for her christening, both agree on date of birth and parents names:
    1. christened 19 May 1823 at Morgans Hill Independent, Bradford On Avon, Wiltshire, England.
    2. christened 19 February 1823 at Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England.
      Died 1894 in Pland, Victoria. Awkwardly, her tombstone states that her mother was Mary Hilder! (and father of William Kingswell). Married Charles Vallance Robinson (baptised 21 Aug 1825 in Bermondsey, Surrey and died later thanMary Ann) on 30 September 1848 in Launceston. In 1851 Charles began an Auctioneers business and then buying ships. He, and Mary Ann, sometimes made journeys from Launceston to Melbourne. The ships he owned or part owned are, SS Gazelle,1860, Royal Shepherd, Gem, Titania (wrecked 15 July 1865 without lost of life on the Hokitika bar, NZ) Havilah, Black Swan, Helen McGregor (named after his sister Mary’s 5th daughter). He formed an alliance with James Lilly and set up a steamship company travelling from NZ to Tasmania and then along the Victoria and SA coast. He was residing in Bell Hill, Dunedin for at least 8 years (1856-1862+) as co-owner of, and agent for, Titania. (see notes below). In 1878 he bought the Rob Roy sawmill from Edwin Cummings (his brother-inlaw, who had become bankrupt) although Edwin remained manager. He built a house in 67 Gawler Street Pland, Victoria (which is still standing) and later died there. He also had property in Percy St. where he is listed as a bark merchant (for tanning).
      This branch of the family appear to be the first of this generation that left Tasmaina and may hav einfluced the later move of William B Kingswell and family in 1863.
  2. William B Kingswell born circa 1826.
  3. Sarah Kingswell, born circa 1828. Died 3 August 1916. Married John Gray, 8 December 1853, in Launceston Tasmania. Married again, date unknown, Mr Lewis Grant (obits for Lewis and Sarah below).
  4. Harriette Kingswell born in 1831 and died 19 October 1890 in Port Frederick, Tasmania. She married Rev. Malcolm Duncanson (born 1828 and died 26 September 1888, in Deloraine) on 10 June 1856, in Launceston.

    Their children;

      1. Lilias Elizabeth Duncanson, born 17 April 1858, Deloraine, Tasmania
      2. Agnes Harriet Duncanson, born 7 November 1861 died, 23 June 1862.
      3. Malcolm McLeod Duncanson, born 14 April 1863, Campbelltown, Tasmania.
      4. Isabell Mary Duncanson, born 7 May 1869, married William Ingledew, 10 November 1896 in Mersey, Tasmania
      5. Jessie Harriet Duncanson, born 30 March 1867, Campbelltown, Tasmania.
  5. Elizabeth Hilda Kingswell, born in Launceston, Tasmania 1841. She married, 26 April 1859, Edwin Cummings in Launceston.

    Their children;

        1. Edith Leroy Cummings, b. 28 February 1863, Pt Sorell, Tasmania.
        2. Charles Edwin Cummings, b. 1 February 1865, Pt Sorell, Tasmania.
        3. Lewis Bently Cummings, b. 30 November 1866, Pt Sorell, Tasmania.
        4. Edith Caroline Cummings, b. 19 November 1871, Pt Sorell, Tasmania.
        5. Edwin Leroy Cummings, b. 15 July 1874, Pt Sorell, Tasmania.
        6. Douglas William Cummings, b. 15 May 1876, Pt Sorell, Tasmania.

Edwin Cummings was a business man of some repute; Cummings, Henry, and Co., River Don, which finally was merged into the River Don Trading Co.



  1. History of the Deloraine Municipality” J. R. Skemp, Tasmania, Australia 1964 (copy held at University of Melbourne). Chapter ‘Municipal Government’, page 31, W. B. Kingswell listed as a trustee of the Road Trust in December 1855 (other trustees included Charles Field and John Field). A key area for introducing roading was to the settlers and farmers of Whitefoord Hills.
  2. Reproduced below

Grant, Lewis Grant, FUNERAL
The funeral of the late Lewis Grant will leave his late residence, Penguin, at 9.30 a.m. Thursday, February 1, and arrive at the Don Cemetery at 2 o’clock. Friends are invited to attend. D. Hall, Undertaker.
The North West Post 31st January 1906

About People

Mr. L. Grant passed away on Tuesday morning at his residence, Penguin, at an advanced age. He had been a great sufferer for a long while, and his end not unexpected. Mr. Grant was well known at the Don and Devonport, where he carried on a general store for a number of years.
The North West Post 1st February 1906

A well-known resident of the North West Coast passed away in the person of the late Mr. Lewis Grant, yesterday morning, at the age of 75. Mr. Grant was a native of Montreal, Canada and arrived with Mr. Cummins at Don 45 years ago. His sterling upright character, his wonderful cheerfulness during years of suffering endeared him to a large circle of friends, who sympathise with the widow, whose burden of sorrow has been heavy. The deceased gentleman leaves no children.
The funeral will take place tomorrow leaving deceased’s late residence at 9.30 a.m.
The Advocate 31st January 1906

Sarah Grant, DEATH
GRANT – On the 3rd August, at Devonport, Sarah Grant, relict of the late Lewis Grant, in the 89th year of her age.
The North West Post 4th August 1916

The funeral of the late Sarah Grant will leave the residence of Mrs. M. E. Northrop, Best Street, at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday the 5th inst., for the Don cemetery.
The North West Post 4th August 1916

The death occurred yesterday afternoon at Mrs. M. E. Northrop’s private hospital, Best Street, of Mrs. Grant, a very old and respected resident of the Coast, at the ripe old age of 89 years. The deceased lady was born in Kent,
England, and landed in Launceston, which was a mere hamlet then, 76 years ago. Since growing to adult age, deceased lived chiefly at Don, Devonport, and Penguin, coming to Devonport ten years ago, on the death of her husband. The late Mrs. Grant was a true type of “mother of Israel”, and was popular with and respected by all. Her end came suddenly. Half an hour prior to her demise, she appeared to be in normal health but collapsing, she suddenly passed away. The deceased lady had been actively associated with the Congregational church for many years and years ago was a Sabbath schoolteacher in that church. She took a keen interest in religious affairs. The funeral leaves the residence of Mrs. M. E. Northrop, Best Street, at 2.30 on Saturday for the Don cemetery.
The North West Post 4th August 1916

The funeral of the late Mrs. Grant took place at the Don cemetery on Saturday afternoon last. There was a very large gathering of residents of the Don and along the Coast, many of the old identities being present to pay the last tribute of respect to one they had known so long. The Rev. Owen Lewis conducted the services of the Congregational Church at the graveside, and the pallbearers were Messrs. J. T. Henry, S. Priest, E. Ingledew and A. J. Stokes.
The North West Post 7th August 1916

3. Correspondance with a decesentant of Charles Vallance Robinson – April 2010. Charles gives extensive edvince in 1865 (printed in the Otago Witness) as co-owner of Titania, in the trial of Capt Jarvey for poisoning his wife.

Biographical Details:

Possible match as the parents of William Kingswell.

William Kingswell
Born, 1780, Shanklin, Isle of Wright, England.

On 13 November 1801, he (grocer, age 22) and Ann Allen (spinster, age 21) sought in Newport, Isle of Wright, a marriage licence in the registry of the Bishop of Winchester, Hampshire.

I feel this is a possible match as:

  • The Kingswell’s appear to have been non-conformists. And, their marriages and christenings are hard to find in the parish registers where they lived. It is therefore likely that they would be more likely to have a marriage licence and not have held the wedding in a recognised church.
  • These generations appear to have regularly moved.
  • The name of their first child, Mary Ann Kingswell, born 1823 (where Mary is the mother’s first name and Ann the grandmother’s first name)
  • This couple are the right age.


  • There are a lot of Kingswell in the Isle of Wright – many share familiar names used in later generations of our Kingswells; Mary, Ann, Mary Ann, William, Charles and George. The trap here is in assuming because of similar names that they must be related and ignoring that these where very widely used names.
  • Many of the Kingswell’s of Isle of Wright appear to be nonconformists.