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

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

James married 3 times.    

Married (1) Mary McNeil , date unknown. Children: William born 21 Sept 1841 died 11 Nov 1911 Sonoma County California USA. Margaret born 8 Sept 1844 died 19 June 1929 Christchurch New Zealand. 

William married Sydonia Burrows in 1864 Nova Scotia Canada. Their children - James born 1868 died 1949, William born 1871 died 1934, Edward born 1875 died 1961.

Margaret married George Clegg Gardner & settled North Canterbury New Zealand. They had 10 children. 

Married (2) Elizabeth ? born c1819 West Calder Midlothian. Their 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

Thomas 11/12/1868 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).


 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’.

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 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.