17991,2 - 1853

Farmer of 30 acres employing 1 labourer2

Life History


Born in Morwenstow, Cornwall.1,2

12th May 1799

Baptised in Morwenstow, Cornwall.3

s/o John and Mary

13th Aug 1834

Married Phyllis SYMONS in St Keverne, Cornwall.4

William Kinsman married Phyllis Rashleigh by Licence in August 1834.  Both signed the register.

The witnesses were John Ridington and George Tyacke.


Birth of daughter Mary Jane KINSMAN in St Keverne, Cornwall.1,2

7th Sep 1836

Birth of daughter Eliza Ann KINSMAN in St Keverne, Cornwall.1,2

9th Sep 1838

Birth of daughter Phillipa KINSMAN in St Keverne, Cornwall.1,2


Birth of daughter Grace KINSMAN in St Keverne, Cornwall.1,2

6th Jun 1841

Occupation Farmer in St Keverne, Cornwall.1

6th Jun 1841

Recorded in census in St Keverne, Cornwall (Portkerris).1


Birth of daughter Rosina KINSMAN in St Keverne, Cornwall.2


Birth of son William KINSMAN in St Keverne, Cornwall.2

30th Mar 1851

Occupation Farmer of 30 acres employing 1 labourer in St Keverne, Cornwall.2

30th Mar 1851

Recorded in census in St Keverne, Cornwall (Portkerris).2


Died in ,Victoria, Australia


  • Much of the information here on the Australian descendants of William and Phyllis comes from a tree published by Bill Griggs at Rootsweb.

    From: The Rashleigh/Kinsman Story, by Terry Moyle

    William Kinsman was one of three Bible Christian ministers named Kinsman. Richard Kinsman, born in Stratton, was active in the BC ministry between 1830 and 1860 and died at Stonehouse, Devon in 1881. William (the first) was born at Poundstock and was active in the ministry in the 1830s and 1840s and had two spells as minister of the Breage BC circuit.

    However, it was William Kinsman (the second) who came to play a part in the history of the Rashleigh family. William Kinsman (the second) born in Morwenstow in 1799, began his ministry in the Scilly Isles in 1825 and by 1833 was in Mevagissey.

    According to Rev. Oliver Beckerlegge in his publication "United Methodist Ministers and their Circuits 1797-1932" William Kinsman was at Mevagissey in 1833 but then "disappears". He probably left the ministry but continued to preach for the Bible Christian church. However, he "re-appeared" in St Keverne in 1833 and it can be assumed that, as a BC minister/preacher, he visited the ailing John Rashleigh at Porthkerris.

    On 14 August 1834 William Kinsman, bachelor of St Keverne married Phyllis Rashleigh, widow, by license at St Keverne church. Over the next ten years six children were born to the Kinsmans, five girls and the sixth, a boy, William in 1844. Three of the children (Rosina, Grace and Philippa ) were baptised on 10 March 1843 at the family home at Porthkerris by the local BC minister. In both the 1841 and 1851 Census Returns the Kinsman/Rashleigh family was at Porthkerris.

    William Kinsman tried his hand at farming but he seems to have been fairly useless on the farm so for fifteen years after their marriage Phyllis kept the management of the farm in her hands. In the meantime, Phyllis's eldest daughter Elizabeth Simons Rashleigh who had emigrated to South Australia and married Francis Rowe sent glowing letters home about life in Australia. For some years the Kinsmans had lost money as a result of disease in the potato crop and, as there was only one life left before the lease of Porthkerris would terminate, they decided to sell up and emigrate.

    On 11 November 1851 William and Phyllis together with their six children plus William Richards, Caroline and Thomas Henry Rashleigh sailed from Plymouth on the "Caucasian" arriving in South Australia on 8 February 1852. William paid an excess fare of ?37 on the voyage possibly because he had a large number of children and his daughter Philippa was blind.

    William and Phyllis gave their ages as 30 for the passenger list of the Caucasian when in reality they were much older. This was in response to the stipulation laid down by the South Australia Company that sponsored assisted passages that emigrants must be under 30 years of age and must be agricultural workers. So although Phyllis and William were about 53 years old they had to be thirty to get assistance. Their history of farming at Porthkerris easily fitted the second criterion.

    The Kinsman story can now be taken up by extracts from the diary/memoirs of the Hon.Thomas Playford who married Mary Jane Kinsman in 1860 and who later became the Premier for South Australia and was instrumental in drawing up the Australian Constitution.

    I was most intimate with a family who came (from England) to Mitcham (South Australia) about the year 1852-1853 for I married into that family. (Mitcham was about seven miles from Adelaide but today is now an inner suburb of the city) Some of the children were named Rashleigh and some Kinsman for Mrs. Kinsman had been married twice. I heard him (Mr. Kinsman) preach twice in our little chapel and thought he was a good preacher. He was a tall, well-built man with a pleasing serious-looking face, much liked by his children.

    In the meantime, gold had been found in Victoria and the men in the Colony were flocking there. Mr Kinsman resolved to go also and take William and John (his two stepsons) with him. (Note. John Rashleigh was the son who remained in Cornwall, so could not have accompanied William Kinsman on the journey) He stayed long enough in Mitcham to see the rest of his family comfortably settled and then departed by ship for Melbourne. He and the two Rashleighs duly landed in Melbourne with horses and carts to carry their luggage to the diggings near Bendigo. They made a late start and camped for the first night not far from Melbourne. Mr. Kinsman was troubled in the afternoon with a bad attack of dysentery and told the Rashleighs that they were to go on and that he would walk back to Melbourne and procure some medical advice and medicine and that he would catch them up later. William and John Rashleigh went on but he never turned up and that was the last time that he was seen alive by anyone according to the most diligent enquiry made by Mrs. Kinsman and others. She was informed that a man answering William Kinsman's description had boarded a vessel bound for Port Adelaide but that he had died before the vessel reached the Heads and was taken ashore there to be buried. However, there is no record of his death or burial.

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