Pengilly, William

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Farmer

Surname variations= Pengilly/Pengelly/Pengilley

William Pengilly was born in 1808 at Littleham, Devon, England on 14 June 1811. He was the son of John Pengilly (1775-1839) and Sarah (nee Davey) (1777-1856) and the younger brother of John Pengilly (1806-1895) and the older brother of Thomas Pengilly (1811-1888) who both emigrated to South Australia. John and Thomas both lived in Aldinga. William Pengilly, farmer aged 40 years, arrived on 13 November 1848 with his wife Prudence (38) and four children (Henry 12, William 9, John 6 and Mary 2) on board Poictiers from London via Plymouth. His older brother, John, had emigrated aboard Lysander in 1840 and his younger brother, Thomas, would emigrate in 1858. William, aged 28 years, had married Prudence Prouse (1810-1885), aged 26 years, in 1836 at Hartland, Devon, England. They eventually had five children (4 sons and a daughter):

  • Henry (1836-1875) born in Devon, England; married Elizabeth Lovelock (1840-1923) (daughter of George Lovelock senior) at the Wesleyan Chapel, McLaren Vale on 1 April 1861. He died at Sellicks Hill aged 38 years
  • William (1839-1925) birth registered The Bideford Union, Devon, England; married on 30 September 1875 Margaret McRae at Sellick’s Hill – he was aged 36, single and she aged 20 and single. He died at Myponga aged 87 years
  • John (1842-1893) born Devon, England; married Mary Jane Dyer at St Andrew Church, Adelaide on 30 March 1870. Died at Sellicks Hill aged 50 years. He left a will
  • Mary Ann/Anna (1846-1887) birth registered in The Bideford Union, Devon, England, and died at Sellicks Hill aged 41 years; married Duncan McRae on 30 March 1870 at St Andrew Church, Adelaide. She left a will naming her husband and children
  • Richard (1853-1877) born at Willunga, died at Sellicks Hill aged 25 years

The first record of William Pengilly in the colony of South Australia is when his daughter Mary Ann was born in 1848 at Sellicks Hill. Then in 1852 he purchased 166 acres (section 529A) near the coast at the south end of Sellicks Hill. In 1853, his 17 year-old son, Henry, won fourth prize in the boys’ competition at the Aldinga Ploughing Match. William Pengilly died on 30 June 1886 at Sellicks Hill.

References: England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1936 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

The National Archives (United Kingdom); Kew, Surrey, England; Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths surrendered to the Non-parochial Registers Commissions of 1837 and 1857; Class Number: Rg 4; Piece Number: 103 [Henry Pengelly] England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

General Register Office England, Births and Deaths Index,

Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum,

Genealogy SA,

Extracts from SA General Registry Office (GRO) Information,

“Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records”, , FamilySearch( : Fri Mar 08 09:01:15 UTC 2024), Entry for William Pengilly, 18 August 1886.

“Australia, South Australia, Probate Case Files, 1849-1935”, database, FamilySearch( : 2 May 2024), William Pengilly, 1887.

“Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records”, , FamilySearch( : Fri Mar 08 13:07:42 UTC 2024), Entry for Mary Anna McRae, 21 December 1887.

“Australia, South Australia, Will and Probate Records”, , FamilySearch( : Fri Mar 08 16:08:43 UTC 2024), Entry for John Pengilly, 9 May 1893.

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

1852 ‘YESTERDAY’S GOVERNMENT LAND SALE.’, South Australian Register, 31 July, p. 3. ,

Adelaide Morning Chronicle 2 Aug 1852:3,

1853 ‘ALDINGHA PLOUGHING MATCH.’, South Australian Register, 21 September, p. 3., [Henry Pengilly]

1857 ‘ALDINGA.’, Adelaide Observer, 21 March, p. 4. ,

1858 ‘ALDINGA ANNUAL PLOUGHING MATCH.’, South Australian Weekly Chronicle, 21 August, p. 4.,

1860 ‘ALDINGA, APRIL 28.’, South Australian Register, 3 May, p. 3. ,

South Australian Weekly Chronicle 21 Oct 1858:4,

South Australian Advertiser 7 June 1860:3,

Evening Journal 17 May 1882:2

1886 ‘Family Notices’, The Express and Telegraph, 4 September, p. 2. ,[William Pengilly]

1886 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 26 August, p. 2. , [Estate William Pengilly]

1886 ‘POSTAL ARRANGEMENTS.’, The South Australian Advertiser, 4 September, p. 4. , [Deaths – Prudence Pengilly; William Pengilly]

1921 ‘Family Notices’, The Advertiser, 11 February, p. 6. , [Margaret Pengilly nee McRae]

1925 ‘DEATH OF MR. OWEN SMYTH.’, Chronicle, 10 October, p. 18. ,[William Pengilly with photo]

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