Stewart, Duncan

Date of Birth/Death:


Duncan Stewart was born in Southend, Argyll, Scotland on 16 September 1819, son of Robert Stewart and Mary McGregor. He arrived in South Australia on 12 August 1839 as one of just over 100 passengers on board the 501-ton barque Ariadne from Greenock, Scotland (Captain George MacLeod). Also on board was Isabella McMillan (nee Gilchrist) (1780-1860), widow of George McMillan, aged 59 years, with three of her children Duncan (22), Annabella (20) and Isabella (15) – they too were from Southend, Argyll. Other settlers who became resident on the Aldinga Plains to arrive on the same voyage aboard Ariadne included John Colville, his wife Margaret and his brother Matthew Colville.

Duncan, aged 22 years, married Annabella McMillan, aged 22 years, (1819-1896) at Adelaide on 25 May 1843. Duncan and Annabella Stewart had eight children (5 girls and 3 boys):

  • Mary McGregor (1844-1928) born Willunga, married Brant Butterworth on 28 September 1880 at Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide
  • George (1845-1905) born Willunga, died unmarried
  • Barbara (1847-1916) born Willunga, unmarried. Buried in St Stephen’s Cemetery and the first church site, Willunga
  • Robert (1850-1909) born Willunga, married Margaret Cunningham
  • Isabella (1852-1919) married William Wood on 16 April 1879
  • Margaret (1854-1880) unmarried, died aged 26 years.
  • Annabella (1857-1878) born Aldinga, unmarried died aged 20 years.
  • Duncan (1857-1915) born Aldinga, married Isabella Cecilia Ferry on 8 April 1890 at Napperby near Clare

Duncan Stewart was resident in the Willunga District (District C) by 1841 and he was a farmer at Aldinga (White’s Valley) having purchased section 241 (to the east of Bayliss Road) in 1846 from George Fife Angas. He was active during the late 1840s and through the 1850s in the Ploughing matches at Willunga where he regularly won prizes. Later he was often a judge of draught stock at ploughing matches and agricultural shows. From the late 1850s Duncan Stewart also purchased land at Port MacDonnell, Mt. Gambier and Port Pirie as well as in the Hundreds of Young and Blanche.

A Presbyterian, Duncan Stewart donated a part of section 241 in 1856 to the Trustees of the Free Presbyterian Church and he later became one of the trustees of the church. Despite his role as a trustee of the Presbyterian Church, Duncan Stewart could be a forthright, even difficult man as a letter to the Aldinga Council in 1858 indicated when it was mentioned that the letter “was read, but could not be entertained on account of the insulting language it contained”. He was a councillor, and afterwards chairman, of the Aldinga District Council where he held a seat in the council for a period of 60 years (1854 to 1904) without a break. Duncan Stewart was also a justice of the peace for many years.

Duncan Stewart, aged 88 years, died at his property Stewarton Farm in Aldinga on 15 October 1907. He had been a colonist for 68 years and was resident in Aldinga for almost all of that time. His wife Annabella (nee McMillan) had died on 22 May 1896 and he was survived by only five of his eight children.


Scotlands People,

Genealogy SA,

Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum,

SA Census 1841, Index for GRG 24/13 Census Returns – 1841 Census

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

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

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

Family Histories. W.Y. Manuscript folders held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-18

1849 ‘WILLUNGA PLOUGHING MATCH.’, South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal, 2 August, p. 4.,

1848 ‘WILLUNGA PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 15 July, p. 1.,

1856 ‘WILLUNGA.’, Adelaide Times, 24 April, p. 3. ,

1856 ‘WEDNESDAY, MAY 7.’, South Australian Register, 8 May, p. 3.,

1858 ‘MYPONGA PLOUGHING MATCH.’, South Australian Register, 25 September, p. 3.,

1858 ‘TRAMWAY MEETING AT ALDINGA.’, South Australian Register, 30 September, p. 3.,

1858 ‘ALDINGA, NOVEMBER 27.’, South Australian Register, 2 December, p. 3.,

1881 ‘WILLUNGA, April 21.’, South Australian Register22 April, p. 5.,

1907 ‘Family Notices’, The Register, 16 October, p. 6.,

1907 ‘CONCERNING PEOPLE.’, The Register, 17 October, p. 5.,

1907 ‘The Port Pirie Recorder’, Port Pirie Recorder and North Western Mail, 19 October, p. 2. ,

1907 ‘OBITUARY.’, Chronicle, 26 October, p. 45. ,

1907 ‘Advertising’, The Advertiser, 5 December, p. 2. ,

Extracts from SA General Registry Office (GRO) Information, [Refer to Land Memorials Duncan Stewart]

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