Dunstone, Robert

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Stone mason

Robert Dunstone was born on 18 February 1798 at Veryan, Cornwall. He was the son of Luke Williams Dunstone (1760-1836) and Elizabeth (née Dawe) (1769-1825). There is variable spelling of the surname – Dunstone, Dunston or Dunstan. In Cornwall he was described as a mason living in Lower Trefula (1827) and at Redruth Highway (1828-1833) in the parish of Redruth. They were both literate – they both signed their marriage certificate. Robert Dunstone married Elizabeth Williams (1799-1857) on 31 December 1826 in Redruth, Cornwall. They had six children:

  • Robert (1827-1828) born and died at Redruth, Cornwall, as an infant
  • Robert (1829-1903) born at Redruth, Cornwall; aged 24 years married (1st) Juliet Clara Mitchell (1836-1873), age 17 years, on 29 September 1853 at St Michael Church, Mitcham; married (2nd) Mary Anne Bailey in Victoria in 1875. He was resident at Talbot, Victoria, Orroroo and Adelaide, South Australia. He died at Largs Bay.
  • Elizabeth Jane (1831-1885) born at Redruth, Cornwall, aged 19 years, married William Robert Tresidder (1829- 1904), aged 21 years, on 24 November 1850 at St James Church, Blakiston, South Australia. She died at Deptford, Victoria.
  • Luke Williams (1833-1886) born at Redruth, Cornwall, married Esmay Jane Convery in 1869 in Victoria, died at Talbot, Victoria.
  • Thomas Williams (1834-1909) born at Carharrack, Cornwall, died at Talbot, Victoria
  • James (1842-1912) born at Adelaide, South Australia, married Matilda Cole in 1871 in Victoria, died at Geelong, Victoria

Robert Dunstone, with his brother Hugh (recorded as Dunstan), arrived in South Australia on board Java on 5 February 1840. According to the South Australian Census of 1841, Robert Dunstone (recorded as Dunston), his wife Elizabeth and four children, Robert, Elizabeth, Luke and Thomas, were resident in Willunga. They were living on the southern half of Lot 280 (section 700) on Quarry Road near St John’s Terrace, Beltunga (Willunga South). The northern half of Lot 280 was owned by the Williams family at the time. The Dunstone family was resident in South Australia until 1853, with Robert signing a petition in 1844. His wife Elizabeth, who was reported to be resident at Brownhill Creek, appeared as a complainant in a court case in 1846. Two of their children married in South Australia – Elizabeth Jane at Blakiston in 1850 and Robert at Mitcham in 1853. Robert was badly injured while cutting stones for the Trinity Church in North Terrace, Adelaide, which crippled him for life. Subsequently, he conducted a small school for some time. In late 1853, Robert and his family decided to seek their fortunes in the gold fields of Victoria. They travelled by bullock dray, first to Avoca, and were resident at Daisy Hill, Talbot, Victoria by 1856, where Robert was described as a “stone cutter”. His wife Elizabeth, aged 58 years, died in 1857. Robert was cared for by his son Luke, and his family, in later life. Robert Dunstone, aged 78 years, was living in Amherst in Victoria when he died on 16 October 1876.

References: England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014., family histories

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

Genealogy SA,

1889 ‘PROBATES AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION.’, Leader, 18 May, p. 32. , [Luke Williams Dunstone]

1909 ‘Family Notices’, The Age, 16 September, p. 1. , [Thomas Williams Dunstone]

1912 ‘Family Notices’, Geelong Advertiser, 22 October, p. 1. ,

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