Male, Nicholas (Senior)

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Quarryman/slate merchant

Nicholas Male was born 29 December 1816 in Lanteglos, Cornwall, England. He was the second son of William Bonear Male (1780-1864) and Elizabeth Mary (née Lane) (1783-1840). He came from a quarrying family, and the 1841 census shows that he was employed as a quarryman, undoubtedly at the Delabole Quarry, Cornwall. His brothers were John Male (1809-1872) and Francis Male (1820-1895) who both emigrated to South Australia – John in 1849 and Francis in 1856. Religion – Wesleyan Methodist. Nicholas Male, aged 26 years, married Margaret Cobbledick, aged 21 years, (1821-1890) on 19 November 1842 at St Teath, Cornwall. She was the daughter of William Cobbledick and Philippa (née Lobb) of St Teath. Both of them may have been illiterate as they made their mark on their marriage certificate. They had four children, one of whom died young in Cornwall:

  • Nicholas Male junior (1840-1867) born at St Teath, married Agnes McBeath (1844-1910) on 23 November 1863 at the residence of Charles Hodge, Port Elliot, He died of consumption, aged 27 years, on 15 December 1867 at Willunga
  • Elizabeth (1853-?) died as a child.
  • William Henry Bonear (1860-1946) born at Willunga, married Mary Martin (1866-1911) in Victoria in 1889; he died aged 86 years at the Corowa Hospital, New South Wales [he had named his Daysdale property Willunga]
  • Margaret (1862-1915) born at Willunga, married Charles Maynes Ponton (1855-1906) on 3 October 1885 at the Presbyterian Manse, Port Adelaide; she died at Salisbury age 52 years on 2 August 1915

Nicholas Male (aged 32 years), his wife Margaret (27) and their son Nicholas (8) arrived aboard Bussorah Merchant in Port Adelaide on 9 Nov 1848. Travelling with them was Frederick Richard George Martin and his wife Mary Ann (nee Cobbledick – the sister of Margaret). He was listed as an agricultural labour. However, this may have been to help him obtain assisted passage. There was, over a period, an exodus of families from St Teath, many of whom were related to Nicholas through his wife, Margaret. Nicholas Male senior was a laborer, quarryman, slate dresser and slate merchant in the Willunga District.

After a short period of working in the Willunga quarries, Nicholas went to Castlemaine with his brother-in-law, Frederick Martin, and then to Bendigo, where he succeeded in finding gold. Their gold prospecting venture meant that he and other St Teath connections, James Kernick (senior) and William Cobbledick, had the capital to work a quarry belonging to Thomas Martin. In 1855 Nicholas Male went into partnership with James Kernick and William Cobbledick to take out a 21-year lease on the Bangor Slate Quarry, but ill health forced him to leave the partnership in 1864, and he died three years later. He paid rates on half an acre and a house in the township from 1853 to 1858 (probably lot 143 – below). He had the building at Quarrymen’s Residences 16 St Georges Street built in the early 1850’s as two separate dwellings for himself and Frederick Richard George Martin. They were identical in size and layout, with a living room and lean-to kitchen on the ground floor, and bedrooms located on the upper storey (road level). Nicholas Male of Willunga, Slate Quarrier, purchased part of Lot 143 on 28 November 1862 with a 66-foot frontage on St Georges Street and 305 feet deep and he owned it until his death in 1867. He also owned part of section 257 from 1864 to 1866.

Nicholas Male, aged just 50 years, died on 7 May 1867 at his residence, Brompton, in St. Georges Street, Willunga and he is buried in the Wesleyan Methodist Church Cemetery, Willunga. His widow, Margaret, remarried to Joseph Gordon and they moved to Victoria.


References:, 1841 Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 152; Book: 14; Civil Parish: St Teath; County: Cornwall; Enumeration District: 12; Folio: 47; Page: 29; Line: 25; GSU roll: 24

Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum,

Genealogy SA,

Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888,


1858-1863 M 4 CT 35/181

1863, South Australian Register, 28 November, p. 2. , [Male/McBeath Marriage]

1867 ‘Family Notices’, South Australian Register, 11 May, p. 2. ,

1869 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 19 November, p. 4. , [Sale of part Allotment No. 143, late Nicholas Males]

1885 ‘Family Notices’, Evening Journal, 14 October, p. 2., [Marriage – PONTON/MALE]

1915 ‘NEW BRIDGE AT YACKA’, The Register, 10 August, p. 3. , [Salisbury – Margaret Ponton obituary],

1921 ‘WILLUNGA SLATE INDUSTRY.’, The Register, 26 November, p. 7. ,

1946 ‘OBITUARY’, The Corowa Free Press, 22 October, p. 3. , , [William Henry Male]

Williams R.F. To Find the Way: Yankalilla and District 1836 – 1986. 1985. Adelaide Lutheran Publishing House,

Family Histories M. Vol 40-12. Willunga Courthouse Research Room, Surnames – M. Vol 40-49. Willunga Courthouse Research Room.

New South Wales, Births, Deaths and Marriages Index,

Victoria Births, Deaths and Marriages,

FlickrID=40718330053 – Nicholas & Margaret Male and son Nicholas

From Heather Geytenbeek

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