James McKinlay was born 7 May 1816 Hamilton Lanarkshire Scotland. Died 15 August 1871 age 55 years at Larkhall Lanarkshire Scotland. 

James was buried 18 August 1871 in the Old Churchyard Cambusnethan. Occupation Colliery Manager, address Fernigair House.

His father was William McKinlay and mother Margaret McKinlay nee Stewart/Stuart.

James married 3 times.

Married (1) Mary McNeil , date unknown. Children: William 1841-1911 and Margaret 1844-1929. 

William married Sydonia Burrows in Nova Scotia and settled California USA.

Margaret married George Clegg Gardner & settled North Canterbury New Zealand.

Married (2) Elizabeth (?) child James born c1850.

Married (3) Mary McConnell born Glasgow. At the time of her marriage 6 Feb 1855 Blythwood her age is given as 26.

They had 9 children.

Mary 25/11/1855 (Mark's great grandmother)

Edward 17/03/1857

Robert 04/08/1858

David 20/01/1861

Marion 12/10/1862 died prior to family leaving for NZ

Elizabeth 14/02/1864

John 01/03/1866 died 24/03/1866

Janet 11/12/1868 (twin to Thomas)

Thomas 11/12/1868 (twin to Janet) died prior to family leaving for NZ.

Census Records


James’ age is given as 25, address is Woodhall, Cambusnethan, Lanark, and his occupation is Coal Miner. His wife is Mary (presumably nee McNeil) aged about 20.


James, aged 34, is now living at Torbush Cottage, Cambusnethan, is a Coal Miner, and his wife is Elizabeth, aged 32. Elizabeth was born at West Calder, Midlothian. Children are William (9), Margaret (7) and James (1).


There is a William McKinlay, aged 19, boarding in a different household. He is a Coal Miner at Faimegare Colliery, so it is likely that this is James' son. At some stage, he migrated to Canada (Nova Scotia), was involved in gold mining and lived in various parts of the USA.We know that Margaret did not get on with James’ 3rd wife, so she had obviously moved out of the family home too.

James, aged 44, is living at Faimegare Colliery, where he is a colliery Fireman. His wife is Mary McConell, aged 35. Children are James (12), Mary (5), Edward (4), Robert (2) and David (2mths).

We know that in 1868, James was employed at Bog Colliery, Larkhall, as his son, Edward, has passed down a watch presented to his father and inscribed '11 November 1868'


James, aged 54, is now Colliery Manager, and is living at Dalserf , with wife Mary, aged 41. Children are Mary, ‘Servant’(15), Edward, ‘Coal Miner’(14), Robert, ‘Coal Miner’(12), David (10) and Elizabeth (7), both ‘Scholars’, and Janet (2). These are the same 6 children, who accompanied Mary to NZ in 1874.


After James’ death, Mary sailed from Greenock to Wellington, N.Z. on 22 August 1874 on the ‘Soukar’. She was accompanied by children Mary, Edward, Robert, David, Elizabeth and Janet.

Passenger List for Soukar

see Single men - Edward, Robert, David

see Single women - Mary, Mary, Elizabeth, Janet