First 8 Ships

This site attempts to document the descendants (first two generations only) of immigrants on the
first eight ships that arrived at Kangaroo Island, South Australia, in 1836.
If you find your ancestor's name on these pages, and we hope you do, you are entitled to become a member of the Kangaroo Island Pioneers Association

If you don't know the name of the ship of the passenger you are looking for, please type the passenger name into the "Search this site" box (top right).

  • Barque DUKE OF YORK arrived 27 Jul 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. *
  • Barque LADY MARY PELHAM arrived 30 Jul 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. *
  • Schooner JOHN PIRIE arrived 16 Aug 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. *
  • Brig RAPID arrived 20 Aug 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. +
  • Barque CYGNET arrived 11 Sep 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. +
  • Brig EMMA arrived 5 Oct 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. *
  • Barque AFRICAINE arrived 4 Nov 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. 
  • Barque TAM O'SHANTER arrived 20 Nov 1836 in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA. 
* Despatched by the South Australian Company.
+ Despatched by the Colonization Commissioners.

  • Schooner TRUELOVE arrived 27 Nov 1836 Nepean Bay. The TRUELOVE then departed Kingscote of December 24th, 1836 bound for King George Sound [February 7-19] and Mauritious.

Disclaimer: No representations are made that the data in these pages is complete, true or accurate, 
nor that the names are those who stayed on Kangaroo Island for any length of time - indeed, many 
would have moved on to the mainland shortly after these ships arrived at Kangaroo Island, as the 
South Australian Company realised that it would be preferable to start their settlement at what is 
now known as Adelaide.

These descendant reports are produced from a database at 
at which you can inspect the sources of the citations. Only minimal information has been recorded, 
and researchers are encouraged to use this site as a springboard for finding further detail for themselves. 
Much care has been taken to credibly source all data, but there will be mistakes. You are most 
welcome to contact the compiler with any corrections and authoritative evidence. All sources are at 
best "Secondary evidence" - i.e. no original documents have been sighted. Some sources are 
"Unreliable evidence", and some are "Questionable evidence" based on suppositions. 

Before accepting any data as truth, you are encouraged to obtain primary evidence.

 June 20th 1837 - death of King William IV of England.
 June 21st 1837 - Princess Victoria proclaimed Queen

THE PIONEERS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA. (1877, November 6). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 6.

Sir— I have to thank you for publishing my letter seeking to obtain a record of the names and subsequent career of the pioneers who hadarrived prior to the proclamation of the colony on the 28th December, 1836 ; and believing that the information already obtained is of public interest I propose, with your permission, to publish lists of the names forwarded to me from time to time in your columns. I regret to say that while several correspondents have given me much useful information, my lists of the names of the passengers in each ship are still incomplete.I am, however, inclined to think that the publication of these imperfect lists will induce others from whom I have not yet heard to give me fuller information in reference to themselves and fellow passengers.
I am, Sir, &c.,
G. S. KINGSTON. Adelaide, October, 30, 1877. 

Duke of York, Captain C. Morgan, anchored in Nepean Bay July 28, 1836 ; 38 passengers :— Samuel Stephens, Thos. Hudson Beare, Mrs. Beare, one son and three daughters, D. H. Schyvogel, Thos. Mitchell, Chas. Powell, Neale, Wm. West, R. Russell, G. Massiny, Israel Mazey.

Lady Mary Pelham, Captain R. Ross, anchored in Nepean Bay July 30, 1836 ; 29 passengers.

John Pirie, Captain G. Martin, anchored in Nepean Bay August 16, 1836 ; 28 passengers :— Captain G. Martin, Mrs. Martin, Henry Simpson.

Rapid, Captain. Colonel W. Light, anchored in Nepean Bay, August 2, 1836 ; 24 passengers Colonel W. Light, Lieut. G. M. Field, R.N., W. S. Pullen, R. Hele, Wm. Clampton, W. Jacob, John Woodforde, George Mildred, Hiram Mildred, Wm. Bradley and Mrs. Bradley, Wm. Gandy and Maria Gandy, George Penton, Wm. Freemantle, Wm. Lawes, Alfred Barker, Wm. Chatfield, John Thorn, G. Childs, Wm. Tuckey, Wm. Bell, John Duncan, Robert Bush, sen., Robert Bush, jun., Wm. Hodges.

Cygnet, Captain J. Rolls, anchored in Nepean Bay September 11, 1836, and in Holdfast Bay November 5, 1836; 84 passengers— G. S. Kingston, B, T. Finniss and Mrs. Finniss, Dr. E. Wright, Mrs. Wright, and three sons, W. H. Neale, Mrs. Neale, one son and three daughters, Captain Thos. Lipson, R.N., Mrs. Lipson, Emma Lipson, Eliza Lipson, and Mary Lipson, R. G. Symonds, John Cannon, Alfred Hardy, Thos. Gilbert, John Morphett, Thos. Powis, Berry Lipson, Chas. Wright, R. G. Thomas, W. Williams, Ed. Parson, John Goodman, Thos. Bell, Mrs. Bell and two children, & Chapman and Mrs. Chapman, — Green, Mrs. Green, and two children, Jas. Hoare and Mrs. Hoare, Stephen Paris and Mrs. Paris, R. Bristow, Mrs. Bristow, one son and one daughter, — Marshall and Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Adams and Mrs. Adams, John Brinnan, E. Adams, Wm. Adams, Selby Brown, G. Friend, B. Stone, Chas. Parrington, John Locket, Basil Sladden, Smythett Sladden, Isaac Sladden, Thos. Rogers, John Afford, A. Heath, Thos. Avery, Harrington, Stubbington, John Corney, John Lovey, Joseph Finch, J, Osborn, J. Welman, H. Quin, Wm. Teesdale. David Divine. [Many spelling errors! Ed.]

Emma, Captain T. Nelson, anchored in Nepean Bay October 5, 1836 ; 22 passengers :— C. S. Hare and Mrs. Hare, Henry Douglas, William Wilkins, Mrs. Wilkins, and one child, W. S. Bresford, Mrs. Bresford, and one daughter, J. Bennett, Line and Mrs. Line.

Africaine, Captain John Duff, anchored in Nepean Bay November 2, 1836, and in Hold fast Bay November 8, 1836; 76 passengers:— Robert Gouger and Mrs. Gouger, John Brown and Mrs. Brown, Dr. C. G. Everard, Mrs. Everard, and two sons (Charles G. and William), John Hallett and Mrs. Hallett, Robert Thomas, Mrs. Thomas, and four children (Wm. Kyffin, Frances, Mary, and Helen), Lewis and Mrs. Lewis, Coltman and Mrs. Coltman, John Snos well and Mrs. Snoswell, Matthew Smith, Mary Smith, Robert Fisher, Andrew Jacobs, John Baggs, Daniel Cox, Warren, Ben. Smith, Alfred Young, James Windebanks, Slater, Drawn, Masters, Ward, Wm. Williams, Arthur Gliddon, H. Hill, Ben. Wickham, Wickham, jun., S. East, Mrs. East, two sons and four daughters, Callan, Mrs. Callan, three sons, and one daughter, Bushell, Mrs. Bushell, one son, and one daughter, G. Parcills, Mrs. Parcills, and two sons, Pollard and Mrs. Pollard, John Cronk, J. M. Skipper, Mary Vincent, Eliza Clarke, Wickham (3), Lillywhite.

Tam O'Shanter, Captain Freeman, anchored in Nepean Bay November 30, 1836, and in Holdfast Bay December 15, 1836; 74 passengers:— John Stuckey and Mrs. Stuckey, Wm. Phillips, Mrs. Phillips, and three children, F. Allen and Mrs. Allen, P. Lee and Mrs. Lee, J. Bell and Mrs. Bell, Forbes, Mrs. Forbes, and two children, Woods, Mrs. Woods, and child, Seaborne and Mrs. Seaborne, Catchlove, sen., Catchlove, jun., George White, John White, Captain Bromley, Henry Gilbert, Wm. Fouke, Wm. Nation, Barnard, W. Moseley, W. T. Skuce, Botting, J. Clarke, Wm. Jaques, Thos. Masters, Guthrie, Wm. Bailes, Wm. Hardington, Surflen, Allen, jun., Josiah Rogers, R. Ross, R. A. Rogers, W. T. Rogers, Mrs. Rogers, Mary F. Rogers, Fanny Rogers, Clara Rogers, Allen (2), Maria Catchlove, Jane Catchlove.

H.M.S. Buffalo, Captain John Hindmarsh, R.N., anchored in Port Lincoln December 24, 1836, and in Holdfast Bay December 28, 1836 ; 174 passengers : — ...

THE PIONEER COLONISTS. (1886, August 19). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 7.

Sir— Much has been said and written at different times as to who are the pioneers of our City of Adelaide and its surroundings in the colony of South Australia. Some of these accounts are imperfect on many points in a minor degree, and perhaps only observable by the pioneer himself. As the proprietor of the pioneer newspaper, the South Australian Register, on behalf of the few remaining I would ask you to insert the following notes as a help to future records of the commencement of the colony :—

Commencing with Kangaroo Island we find the arrival of the Duke of York on July 27. 1836, followed by the Lady Mary Pelham, Emma, John Pirie, Sarah and Elizabeth, and others. The first of these vessels sent out by the South Australian Company to form a whaling station and settlement landed their colonists on the Island, but they cannot be called the first white settlers there, as they found (Governor) Whalland, Bates, Walker, Jacob Cooper, Battes, and Mate, who had been in possession of the land for years, and as far as we know there is very little authentic record of their ever having been on the mainland.

On August 18, 1836, just 50 years ago to-day, the first vessel sent out under the auspices of the Colonization Commissions for South Australia arrived in the colony. I refer to the surveying brig Rapid,162 tons, which left London May 1, 1836, commanded by Colonel William Light, having on board Lieutenant William George Field, R.N., W. J. S. (now Admiral) Pullen, R.N., William Hill, William Jacob, George Claughton, Dr. John Woodforde, Maria Gandy, George Gandy, William Lawes, George Penton, James Freemantle, David Bradley, Sarah Bradley, Alfred Barker, William Chatfield, John Thorn, John Duncan, George Childs, George Mildred, Robert Buck, Robert Buck, jun., William Tuckey, William Bell, William Hodges, Hiram Mildred. Of these there are now remaining — Admiral Pullen, in England ; in the colony, William Jacob, John Thorn, William Hodges, Robert Buck, and Hiram Mildred.

After a short examination of the Island Colonel light made for the mainland, casting anchor in Rapid Bay, or as it was called by the natives Yatagolinga, and here may be said to have been the first landing of the pioneers or colonists of South Australia, who were followed by the arrivals in the Cygnet, Buffalo, Africaine, John Renwick, William Hutt, Coromandel, and others during the year 1836. Other writers having given the subsequent history of the colony I will not trespass further on your space unless it be to add that at the request of some of the few survivors of the first ship and members of the Old Colonists' Association I forward these notes which are still fresh from the memories of the past.

I am, Sir, &c, HIRAM MILDRED,

Hon. Secretary of the Old Colonists' Association. Adelaide, S.A., August 18. 1886



The vessel which has the honor of being the pioneer ship to South Australia—that is to say, the first to bring out colonists to our shores—was the Duke of York, one of the old fashioned, staunch honest old wooden crafts of a type honored in those days, some sixty years ago, but which would " look like a wherry to a whaler" compared with the big roomy iron clippers of our time, even as these appearinsignificant alongside the floating palaces which now carry our mails. For those com paratively primitive days she was suitable, and it is a pity that we have not a sketch of her in her habit as she lived a life on the ocean wave.

Here are her particulars from the records of her day and generation, and the passenger lists of the rest of the first fleet.

At Kangaroo Island, 28th July, 1830.—Duke of York, 197 tons, Capt. R. G. Morgan, 38 passengers and 4 children.—Mr. Thomas Hudson Beare, Mrs. Mary Ann Beare, Miss Charlotte Beare, Misses Lucy, Arabella, and Mary Ann Beare, Messrs. William L. Beare, Thomas Mitchell, G. Massiney, Israel Mazey, Charles Powell, Robert Russell, Samuel Stephens, I). H. Scheyvogle, and William West.

At Kangaroo Island, July 30th, 1830.—Lady Mary Pelham, 200 tons, Capt. Robert Ross, 29 passengers.

At Kangaroo Island, August 10th, 1836.—John Pirie, 105 tons, Capt. George Martin, 28 passengers —Mrs. Capt. Martin, Capt. Henry Simpson, Mr. Henry Alford, Mrs. Elizabeth Collins.

At Kangaroo Island, August 18th, 1830; Rapid Bay, September 3rd, 1836.—Rapid, 102 tons. Capt. William Light, 25 passengers.- Lieut. W. G. Field, R.N. (on leave), Mr. W. J. K. Pullen. Mr. Wm. Claughton, Mr. Wm. Jacob, Dr. John Woodforde, Mr. Alfred Barker, Mr. William Chattfield, Mr. William Hill (4th officer), Mr. George Mildred, R.N. (on leave), Mr. Hiram Mildred, William Bradley, William Gandy, William Lowes, George Penton, James Freemantle, Miss Gandy, Mrs.Bradley. John Thorn, William Tuckey, William Bell. William Hodges, Robert Buck, Robert Buck jun., George Childs, John Duncan.

At Kangaroo Island, September 11th, 1836; Holdfast Bay, November 5th, 1836, Cygnet, 239 tons, Capt. John Rolls.—Mr. G. S. Kingston. Mr. B. T. Finniss, Mrs. B. T. Finniss, Dr. E. Wright, Mrs. Dr. Wright, Charles Wright, Thomas Wright, Robert Wright, Mrs. W. H. Neale, Mrs. Neale, Master Neale, Misses Neale (3), Capt. ThomasLipson, R.N., Mrs. Lipson, Misses Emma, Eliza, and Mary Lipson, R. G. Symonds, John Cannon, Berry Lipson, Thomas Lipson, jnr., Alfred Hardy,Thomas Gilbert, John Morphett. Thomas Powell, R. G. Thomas, William Williams, Edward Parsons, John Goodman, Thomas Bell, Mrs. Bell and 2 children, Samuel Chapman, Mrs. Chapman, Mr. Green, Hugh Quin, Mrs. Green and 2 children, James Hoare, Mrs. Hoare, 8tephen Paris, Mrs. Paris, Robert Bristow, Mrs. Bristow and son and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, Mr. and Mrs. Adams. John Brinnan, and Wm. Adams, Selhy Brown, G. Friend, B. Stone, Charles Parrington, John Locket, Basil Sladden, Smythett Sladden, Isaac Sladden, Thomas Rogers. John Afford, A. Heath, Thomas Avery, E. Harrington, Edwd. Stubbington, John Corney, John Levey, Joseph Finch, J. Osborn. J. Welman, William Teesdale, and David Devine.

At Kangaroo Island, October 5th, 1836 The Emma, 164 tons, Capt. Nelson.—Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Hare, Mr. Henry Douglas, Mr. and Mrs. W. Wilkins and child, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Brisford and daughter, Mr. J. Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. O. Lines [?arr. Schah 1837?]

At Kangaroo Island, November 2nd, 1836; Holdfast Bay, November 8th, 1836.—The Africaine, 316 tons, Captain John Finlay Duff.—Robert Gouger, Mrs. Gouger, John Brown, Mrs. Brown, Dr. C. G. Everard, Mrs. Everard, Charles G. Everard, William Everard, John Hallett, Mrs. Hallett, Robert Thomas. Mrs. Thomas, William Kyffin, Frances, Mary, and Helen Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. I,ewis, Mr. and Mrs. Coltman, Mr. and Mrs. John Snoswell, Mathew Smith, Mrs. Mary Smith, Messrs. Robert Fisher, Andrew Jacobs, John Briggs, Daniel Cox, Alfred Warren, Benjamin Smith, Alfred Young, James Windebanks, Slater, Drown, Masters, Ward, William Wiliams, Arthur Gliddon, H. Hill, Berry Wickham, Wickham, jun., Samuel East, Mrs. East, and 2 sons and 4 daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Callan and 3 sons and 1 daughter, Mr. and Mrs. W. Bushell, 1 son and 1 daughter, Mr. and Mrs. G. Parcills and 2 sons, Mr. and Mrs. Pollard, Messrs. John Cronk, J. M. Skipper, Wickhams (3), and Lillywhite, Mary Vincent, and Eliza Clark.

At Kangaroo Island, November 30th, 1836.—The Tam O'Shanter, Captain Freeman, 74 passengers.— John Stuckey, Mrs. Stuckey, William Phillips, Mrs.Phillips, and 3 children, F. Allen, Mrs. Allen, P. Lee, Mrs. Lee, J. Bell, Mrs. Bell, Forbes, Mrs. Forbes, and 2 children, Woods, Mrs. Woods, and child, Seaborne, Mrs. Seaborne, Captain Brom ley, Messrs. Catchlove (sen.), Catchlove (jun.),George White, John White, Henry Gilbert, William Fouke, William Nation, J. E. Barnard, W. Moseley, W. T. Skuce, Botting, J. Clarke, Wm. Jaques, Thos.Masters, William Guthrie, William Bailes, Wm. Hardington, Surflcn, Allen, jun., Josiah Rogers, R. Ross, R. A. Rogers, and W. T. Rogers, Mrs. Rogers, Mary F. Rogers, Fanny Rogers, Clara Rogers, Allen (2), Maria Catchlove and Jane Catchlove.

At Port Lincoln, December 24th, 1836; Holdfast Bay, December 28th, 1836.—The H.M.S. Buffalo, Captain John Hindmarsh, R.N., 174 passengers.— Captain John Hindmsrsh, R.N. ...


It was early in the year 1836 that the South Australian Company laid on a number of vessels in London to take colonists to this land of promise, the Duke of York being one of the earliest on the list of departures. She was the Mayflower of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Great South Land, and she anchored in Nepean Hay, Kangaroo Island, on July 27, 1836. according to the data furnished some years ago by the late Mr. Robert Russell, who lived long enough to see the Adelaide of huts grow into a city of stone mansions. Of her and the Lady Mary Pelham, which anchored the day after, and which had been practically her consort on the voyage out, more anon.

The year was only middle-aged, and before its close a fair number of emigrants found their way over the long, wide, weary waste of waters to the untried shores of Holdfast Bay, and a sturdy lot they were.

In 1836 the total tonnage of the shipping was 2,592. During 1838 102 vessels arrived, and the largest tonnage was 600. Between 1838 and 1842 it had mounted up to 48,725, and from 1843 t0 1847 came to 34,546; from 1848 to 1852 the figures were 155,768; and from 1873 to 1877 the tonnage was 617,232; while in 1895 the figures were1,483,440; and for the first nine months of 1896, 1,186,070. In 1895 1,106 vessels arrived, and during the first nine months of 1896, 931.

Leaving England the Lady Mary Pelham started first, but fell in company with th eDuke of York near the end of the voyage, and anticipated reaching the wished-for haven before any other ship, as, in parting company, she flirtfully signalled the Duke, " Do you want a tow ?" but the Duke sighted Kangaroo Island on July 26th, and anchored first, to the huge delight of all on board, as the island was believed to be the mainland. Mrs. Beare's infant girl was taken ashore in the arms of a sailor (Robert Russell), who, wading through the water to the beach, planted the child's tiny feet in the sand so that it might be the first to set foot on the new land. The veteran Robert Russell, before his death at a ripe old age, was wont to give a graphic account of the voyage and the first landing, and he described the Duke of York as "a Falmouth packet, a good sea-boat and fast ; built with bulwarks man o'-war fashion."

Respecting the arrival at Kangaroo Island, Mr. W. L. Beare says: "The vessel anchored directly off what is now known as Queenscliffe, and the first tents were pitched there. Our instructions were to land directly on the point known as Kingscote, but there was no clear space on which to pitch a tent until it was cleared. All hands, ship hands particularly, were anxious to get the cargo out of the Duke so that they could get to work whaling, for which the crew and officers engaged on what was then termed 'lays.' By about the middle of September the ship was ready for sea, but the night before a man named Massey and four or five others left the ship and got into the bush. The captain could not go without these men as he could not man enough boats, so he, with some others, started off to find them. This he managed to do, but then both parties got lost. As they did not return for a day or two Mr. Stephens got one or two of the Islanders, as they were called, to go for them. They came up to the lost ones some time after dark and found that they were all on their knees at prayers. They came on them so quickly that none heard them before they dropped on their knees beside them. All the Islanders wore mocassins in those days."

After leaving Kangaroo Island, the Duke left on a whaling cruise—after transhipping her passengers—and was wrecked near Keppel Island, which the crew succeeded in reaching in boats.

PROCLAMATION DAY IN 1836. THE FIRST FLEET. (1896, December 26). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 1 Supplement: Illustrated Supplement to the Adelaide Observer.