Our Australian Story
The first full history of the Kirkpatrick family was compiled by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, a well respected historian of the late 18th century. He translated ancient land charters, manuscripts and monastic records , taking many years of investigation.
This work was revaluated in 1953 by Major General Charles Kirkpatrick CB CBE (aide de camp George v).He had access to family documents unavailable to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe,and he was able to add valuable contributions to our story.
The Kirkpatrick family is descended from one of the many warrior tribes of Scotland who had originally emigrated from ancient Northern Ireland,and converted to Christianity during the time St Patrick was in South West Scotland in the 5th century.They had settled in an area later known as Cella Patricii and later still as Kil Patrick, in the Closeburn area in Dumfrieshire.
In the 9th century they were retained by the crown to defend the area against the Vikings,who had begun to settle in the area and take up farming ,and the Kirkpatrick family was eventually granted ownership of the lands, possibly as a means of ensuring their loyalty.
After the Jacobite rebellion, many left Scotland ,some resettling in North Antrim ,Northern Ireland,and others even further afield.
Members of our branch of the Ballynagashel family settled in New South Wales ,Australia in 1881,with the arrival of James Kirkpatrick, and in Victoria,Australia, in 1910,with the arrival of James cousin ,John.Family members are now found throughout Australia.
John Kirkpatrick and Jane Wallace.
John Kirkpatrick of Ballynagashel House,Loughguile,via Ballymoney, was born in 1768 ,Jane Wallace of Broughanore ,County Antrim, in 1778.Continuing the historically close family ties ,they married in approximately 1801 and raised ten children.
1.Thomas,the eldest son never married.
2.John*,their second son ,married Margaret Ann (Peggy)Leitch.
3.Samuel ,their third son,married after arrival in America but records indicate there were no children.
4.James,the youngest son married Ellen Glenn Moore of Preistland.(James and Ellen's youngest son,John,married Jessie Smail Lang of Edinburgh,Scotland,emigrating to Victoria,Australia)
Their six daughters all married.
5.Jane married John Moore of Ballycraigagh.
6.Anne married Thomas Gardiner of Elginy, Broughshane.
7.Mary married Robert Pinkerton of Dunaverny.
8.Nancy married John Brown of Ballinaloob.
9. Margaret married Rev William McAfee of North Antrim ,emigrating to Cloverport,Kentucky ,USA , and after his death returned to North Antrim with their young daughter Mary and married James Wightman of Stroan.
10.Sarah married James Sinclair of Drunkendault.
John* Kirkpatrick and Margaret Ann(Peggy) Leitch
John and Peggy were married circa 1843 and made their home in Ballinahone.They had six children.
1.John,their eldest son ,a minister in the Presbyterian Church,rose to prominence in America and Canada,before retiring to Philadelphia.Widely known as "Big John" ,he never married and died in March 1909.
2.Joseph,the second son ,died at 23 years of age in 1869.He was unmarried.
3.Robert L , the third son ,died at 30 years of age in 1879.He was also unmarried.
4.James** ,the second eldest surviving son,married Catherine Jane McCook on 2nd December 1880 and emigrated to Australia in January 1881(James) and 1882(Catherine and infant daughter Margaret).
5.Samuel,the youngest son,married his 1st cousin Mary Kirkpatrick and resided at Salem Lodge ,Coleraine.Their only child,Annie Mary, died as an infant.
6.Margaret,the youngest ,married John Moore of Priestland
James** Kirkpatrick and Catherine Jane McCook.
Around the time James married Catherine Jane McCook in 1880 ,he sold his merchants shop at 19 Academy St Belfast to a Mr Connolly .Shortly after their marriage ,in January 1881,James left Northern Ireland for Australia ,aboard "The John Elder".Catherine and infant daughter Margaret Ann remained in London.
On arrival in Sydney ,James secured employment with the Sydney Harbours and Waterways Department as a Stonemason,working on the construction of the "Upper Canal",between the Upper Nepean Catchment and Prospect Resevoir.After settling in and arranging a residence ,he wrote to Catherine requesting she join him.
Catherine and Margaret arrived in February 1882 aboard the "Lusitania" after departing London on 14th January.Both James and Catherine travelled as unassisted passengers.James would have found his new vocation, working as a stonemason on the Upper Canal section of the Sydney Water Supply System, vastly different from the life he had known as a Merchant in Northern Ireland. (It would have been backbreaking work ,his Death Certificate a testament to this-it states one of the causes of his death being exhaustion. He was only 52 years old).
At the completion of the system,James was appointed the first Maintenance Overseer.This allowed the family to move into the Water Board Cottage that was to become the family home for many years.He patrolled the Upper Canal,overseeing any repairs or maintenance required.James and Catherine became very involved in their community,James went on to become the first Church Elder and Lay Preacher in the Hoxton Park area,and also the driving force behind the construction of the first Presbyterian Church in the area. James and Catherine raised eleven children ,all of whom reached their adulthood,and in time nine of the children married ,and raised their own families.
1.Margaret Ann - born in Coleraine,Northern Ireland 1880-Married Frank Fuller.
2.John -born in Hoxton Park in 1883 -Married Dorothea Walcott.
3.James Leitch-born in Hoxton Park in 1884-Married Jane Cameron Lumsden(Nee Perritt).
4.Charles-born in Hoxton Park in 1886-Married Elizabeth Grant Moffat Kinloch.
5.Samuel-born in Hoxton Park in 1888 -KIA on 4th October 1917 at Zonnebeke,Belgium.
6.Agnes-born in Hoxton Park in 1890-Married Edward Charles Hutton.
7.Joseph-born in Hoxton Park in 1892-Married Pearl Ivy Baker.
8.Robert-born in Hoxton Park in 1894-Married Ray Sutherland Smith.
9.Mary-born in Hoxton Park in 1896-Married Sydney Herbet A Kinloch.
10.Lily-born in Hoxton Park in 1899-Married Garnet Josiah Penberthy.
11.George-born in Hoxton Park in 1902-George never married.
James passed away in 1904, due to both physical exhaustion and diabetes at 52 years of age. The position of Maintenance Overseer passed to his eldest son John, and later, when John commenced employment with the Newtown Municipal Council, brother Charles took over.Sadly ,he was killed by lightning whilst inspecting the canal during a severe storm in 1925. Joseph, who at this time was a tram driver in Sydney, applied for and was granted the position. He retained this position until his death in 1957.He and his family were the last of the Kirkpatrick's to occupy the cottage.
James and Catherine's eldest son John had purchased a house at 88 Alice St Newtown (an inner Sydney suburb)in 1917,and moved there from Hoxton Park when he commenced work with the Newtown Council.Catherine was residing there with John and his family until she passed away in her 84th year in 1941.
She was greatly loved by all the family (as was James)and renowned throughout the district for her cooking .From the time of becoming widowed she had worn the "Widow's Weed's" ,a totally black outfit ,from head to toe,and never wore any other more colourful outfits.
Catherine cherished her Irish roots and a tear would always appear in her eye as she listened to her Grandsons singing a favoutite stanza during the many family gatherings.Her favourite was 'A Farewell to C.E.G " by Charles Kingsley..