Colville, Matthew

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Farmer

Matthew Colville was born 31 August 1816 in Scotland. His parents were John Colville (1775-1832) and Martha McMurchy (1778-1856). He lived in Scotland before emigrating to South Australia. Religion – Presbyterian, Church of England. Matthew Coville arrived, aged 23 years, on board Ariadne from Greenock, Scotland on 13 August 1839 with his brother John Colville, aged 25 years and John’s wife Margaret. (Application 4133. Embarkation 2501.) Other settlers who became resident on the Aldinga Plains to arrive aboard Ariadne included Duncan Stewart and Mrs Isabella McMillan with her three children. Matthew Colville resided in Adelaide, Unley and Willunga.

John and Matthew Colville are listed on Section 278 on the Arrowsmith Survey of District C undertaken by John McLaren in 1840. They were resident in District C for the 1841 Census and they had an occupation licence in 1842. They were listed as the owners of section 276 to the south-west of the township of Willunga and they imported 1,500 sheep from Scotland to their property on Colville Road that they called Moy Hall. In 1842 they owned 2,600 sheep. In 1846 John and Matthew Colville applied for an occupation licence for the Rivoli Bay district. In 1850 and 1853 John and Matthew Colville paid rates on sections 275 (80 acres) and 276 (76 acres, house). Then, in the years between 1855 and 1858, they paid rates on sections 275 (80 acres), 276 (76 acres, house), 302 (80 acres) and 755 (120 acres). This parcel of 356 acres of land lies to the south and west of Willunga South.

Matthew Colville was involved in the establishment of the Willunga Volunteer Rifles in 1854 and he had a reputation as a fine singer at social occasions. Matthew Colville never married and he died of apoplexy on 27 July 1858, aged 41 years, at Willunga and is buried at St Stephen’s cemetery and first church site, Willunga.


Genealogy SA,

Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888, Willunga National Trust Branch

Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum,

South Australia Census 1841, Index for GRG 24/13 Census Returns – 1841 Census

FamilySearch – Returns of Census compiled in January 1841 GRG24/13

Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. SAGHS.

1849 ‘WILLUNGA ANNUAL PLOUGHING-MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 28 July, p. 2. ,

1854 ‘Advertising’, Adelaide Observer, 4 November, p. 3. , [District of Willunga]

1858 ‘Family Notices’, Adelaide Observer, 31 July, p. 1.

“Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records”, FamilySearch( : Mon Mar 11 00:31:21 UTC 2024), Entry for Matthew Colville, 15 September 1858.

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