Andrew McKnight of Mulgoa
Robert McKnight of Penrith


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Emily O'Donnell

Robert McKnight of Penrith

  • Born: 1842
  • Married: 15 May 1865, Mulgoa, New South Wales, Australia 1 2
  • Died: 2 Aug 1903, Henry-street, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia 3

  Research Notes:


At the residence of Mr R. D. Graham, in Henry-street, Penrith, Robert McKnight, late of Malgoa, died of heart-disease on Sunday morning last. Robert was a native of Mulgoa, and was the eldest son of the well-known Andrew McKnight, who came from Ireland to this colony, and was one of the first, or nearly so, settlers in that district—an energetic, pushing man who made some mark in life and left many traces of his thrift behind him. It was Andrew McKnight who saw the need (at that time] and started and ran to advantage for years the Victorian flour mills, combining with it many other businesses, and the agricultural pursuits of farming—all works of a progressive nature and a benefit to the immediate neighborhood. The mill was closed about 28 years since, and Andrew's widow passed away some nineteen years ago after a very useful career. Deceased, being in his 61st year when death overtook him, could also be considered an identity and an old resident of Mulgoa, well known and respected by all, of remarkably thrifty habits, of a genial disposition and generally admired as a man to be trusted. An engineer by trade, he, for many years, filled very responsible positions, both under the late George Henry Cox, of Winbourn, and the late Mr. Houston, of the Tweed factory at Regentville. In the year 1875 [sic] he married, at Mulgoa, Miss O'Donnell (a native of Parramatta), niece of Mr R. D. Graham, now of Henry-street, Penrith. Home ten years ago, Robert, having met with an accident of some sort, Dr. Shand was called in, and after minute examination, pronounced the heart to be affected through a serious hurt. Insufficient notice seems to have been taken, however, of the doctor's decision, and for years deceased periodically suffered from this growing deadly disease, until about five years ago it took firm hold and incapacitated him from doing any kind of hard work. For over four years out of the five (his wife being in Penrith with her uncle), he made his home principally with his sister, Mrs McMinn, of Cobbitty, where he was attended by several of the Camden doctors; the rest of the time was spent in Penrith with his wife, he gradually becoming worse, although at times he gave every appearance of' improvement, so that no great anxiety was felt even a month ago, when deceasedd suffered severeIy, as to his early demise. Dr. Higgins, who attended him all through whilst in Penrith, gave him constant and every possible attention; but sleepless days and nights told the dreadful tale as all strength departed and wasting rapidly set in, and the patient, after less than a week of rest in bed, breathed his last, perfectly conscious but in pain. The late Robert McKnight leaves behind a wife and eight children, four sons and four daughters, all married except two, Ernest and Edith, who reside with their mother in Penrith. The married sons are Robert (near Mudgee), Alexander (Menangle), and James (Castlereagh); the married daughters, Mrs Fryer (Cobbitty), Mrs Megarrity (Wauchope), and Mrs Stone (Sydney). He also leaves two brothers—James, engineer, Sydney, and Thomas, farmer, of Yass...." 4

  Marriage Information:

Robert married Emily O'Donnell, daughter of Thomas O'Donnell of Liberty Plains and Mary McGarrity, on 15 May 1865 in Mulgoa, New South Wales, Australia 1 2. (Emily O'Donnell was born on 8 Oct 1849 in Parramatta, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 5 and died on 4 Sep 1907 in Henry-street, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia 6 7.)

  Marriage Notes:

"McKNIGHT-O'DONNELL—May 15th, at the Mulgoa Church, by the Rev. Mr. Bailey, Robert McKnight, eldest son of the late Andrew McKnight, of Mulgoa, near Penrith, to Emily, only daughter of the late Thomas O'Donnell, of Liberty Plains, near Parramatta."


1 NSW Registry BDM (marriages), 3024/1865.

2 The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 21 June 1865.

3 NSW Registry BDM (deaths), 11391/1903.

4 Nepean Times (Penrith), Saturday 8 August 1903.

5 NSW Registry BDM (births), V18492231 35/1849 (surname spelled O'Donald).

6 NSW Registry BDM (deaths), 10731/1907.

7 The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, Wednesday 11 September 1907.

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