Cyrus Kinder (b 1824)

parents James Kinder & Mary Rider

born (maybe 15 August) 1824, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England[2,4]
died 13 February 1878, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia[8]
buried 14 February 1878, Sandhurst (Bendigo) Cemetery, Victoria, Australia[11]

Cyrus was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, (maybe) on 15 August 1824 the sixth and last (known) child of James Kinder and Mary Rider.  It is likely that he was baptised at St Michaels All Angels Church in Ashton-under-Lyne but this record has not yet been located.

In the 1841 Census, he was noted living with his mother at a house in Wharf Street, Dukinfield[1].  He was 18 years old and worked as a Cotton Piecer, a rather menial job in a cotton mill which basically was to collect small pieces of cotton/material that had fallen from machines for re-use.

From 1841 Census[1]

Cyrus and Elizabeth Kenyon

Elizabeth was born ca 1827, probably in Dukinfield.  Four references have been found with three versions of her surname:-

  1. In the 1841 Census - Kenyson
  2. On her marriage certificate - Keneson
  3. On her death certificate - Kenyon
  4. On her grave headstone - Kenyon

This 1841 census address is for George Street, Dukinfield.

Also shown in the census record is Alice and Ann who will both appear again later.

1841 Census[12]

Cyrus and Elizabeth were married on 15 August 1847 at St Mary’s Church, Manchester, England[3].  Cyrus was 23 years of age and Elizabeth was 21 years old. Cyrus’ occupation was stated as Mechanic a step up from collecting cotton from the floor.  Cyrus must have undergone an apprenticeship, possibly at a cotton mill, to have advanced his occupation so significantly.

Cyrus’ father was noted as James and his occupation is Warper.  It appears their address at the time is Lacey Street - but which town/city?  Elizabeth's father was John.

Cyrus and Elizabeth's marriage certificate

On 5 May 1848, Elizabeth gave birth to James.

Elizabeth Died Young

Cyrus and Elizabeth were probably living at her parent's house in George(s) Street, Dukinfield when on 11 October 1850, Elizabeth died aged only 23 years.  The cause of death was Phthisis, an older term for Tuberculosis.  The informant was her sister, Ann[13].

from Elizabeth's death certificate

Elizabeth was buried at St Mary's Catholic Church, Dukinfield, Astley Street graveyard[14].

Elizabeth being of the Catholic faith and Cyrus baptised as Anglican explains why they were married in the Church of England in Manchester - away from too many family members


Copy of headstone[14]

Cyrus is next found in the 1851 Census[2].  At his time he was living with his mother in a house at 51 Wharf Street, Dukinfield.  He was noted as being 29 years old and a Widower.  His occupation is Mechanic.  His son, James is not noted.

From 1851 UK Census

Emmigration to Australia

Cyrus and his son, James, then aged 5 years, left Liverpool, England on 5 December 1853 and arrived in the Colony of Victoria on 14 February 1854 aboard the steamship – Golden Age, its maiden voyage.  The passenger list noted James incorrectly as Cyrus’ brother[6,9].

The Argus, 15 February 1854

The "Golden Age", 2280 tons, was originally laid down for the Collins Line and intended for service between Panama and Australia.  After a maiden voyage to Australia she sailed to Panama arriving on June 17, 1854.  
The owners decided there was not enough business to warrant the long haul and sold the ship to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.  Along with her sister ships, the "Golden Gate", "John L. Stephens" and "Sonora" she helped Pacific Mail to control the route from Panama to San Francisco during the 1850's.  After completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 the Golden Age was sold to the Japanese firm of Mitsubishi Co.  Renamed Hiroshima Maru she continued in service until about 1890.  
She was very popular among the Japanese who nicknamed her the "Good Luck Ship."  She was specially honored in 1877 by conveying the Emperor from Kobe to Yokohama, the first time an Emperor boarded a steamship. (San Francisco Maritime Museum)[10]

We don’t know how long Cyrus stayed in Melbourne but he certainly met up with his brother James (James & Mary Ramsbottom) and we do know that he travelled on to the Central Victorian goldfields town of Bendigo – to seek his fortune!.

When Cyrus travelled the 150 km to the north east of Melbourne, Bendigo was named "Sandhurst".

Historically, the area has been the 2nd highest gold producing area in Australia after Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and 7th largest in the world, producing in excess of 20 million ounces over the past 150 years.

Cyrus took out the compulsory Miner’s Right – (No 10) on 22 June 1860 (valid for one year) and again (No 22) on 1 April 1862[7].  Presumably he also had one for the intervening year.

In 1854, in Ballarat, Victoria, there was an armed rebellion by miners known as the Eureka Stockade. Rebelling against a harsh licensing system and other injustices the miners armed themselves and built a stockade over which flew their flag – The Eureka Flag (a stylelised version of the southern cross).  The military overran the Eureka stockade and there were many killed and wounded on both sides. License fees were soon abolished and miners were given the right to vote.  After an inquiry in 1855, the Miner’s Right was introduced and remains a requirement today.  Not only does this provide the right to search for gold, subject to certain conditions, but it also allows you to legally keep what gold you find.

Click here to learn the about the rights and obligations of a Miner's Right in those times.

Passing On
Cyrus died on 13 February 1878 in Sandhurst aged 54 years[8].  The cause of death is stated as chronic meningitis, meaning inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.  He was buried the next day at the Sandhurst Cemetery in Section MON A1, Grave 6867[11].

from Cyrus' death certificate

Interestingly, on Cyrus’ death certificate, his father’s occupation is stated as Musician.  We have never found that James’ death.  Could he have left Mary Rider in Dukinfield and roamed?  A Rolling Stone of his time perhaps?


Cyrus and Elizabeth had just one child:-

There must have been considerable contact between the Bendigo and Melbourne Kinders because of the names used in Bendigo tend to reflect brothers and uncles in Melbourne - James, Enoch and John Franklin.

  1. 1841 UK Census HO / 107 / 109 / 4
  2. 1851 UK Census HO 107 2237
  3. Cyrus Kinder & Elizabeth Keneson marriage certificate
  4. Valma Freshwater - personal communication
  5. St Catherine’s House Register
  6. The Argus Passenger Index 1852-55
  7. Courtesy of Valma Freshwater and Joyce Murley
  8. Cyrus Kinder death certificate
  9. Victorian Public Records Office, Index of Immigration to Victoria 1852-1878 from Bristish Ports
  11. Bendigo Cemetery records
  12. 1841 UK Census HO / 107 / 109 / 6 page 10
  13. Elizabeth Kenyon death certificate