Duncan Macfarlane (1793-1856) - Scottish born Duncan Macfarlane arrived in NSW, Australia in 1824 with his brother James.  They began squatting in the mountains near present day Canberra.  In 1835, Duncan purchased 1200 acres at Goulburn, NSW approx 195km south-west of Sydney.  The brothers also expanded into Port Phillip, Victoria where they ran mainly sheep.

After some financial difficulties, Duncan Macfarlane came to South Australia in 1838 on the brig 'Parland' with his friend, William Hampden Dutton.  In January 1839, together with his partners, William Hampden Dutton and Captain John Finnis, the 4000-acre (1619 ha) Special Survey at Mount Barker was purchased.  It was on portions of this survey property that the townships of Hahndorf and Mount Barker were founded.

Macfarlane established a station at Mount Barker in 1839 when he imported 1,000 head of cattle overland from Sydney and also landing 1,100 ewes at Port Adelaide via the brig 'David Witten'.  Macfarlane subsequently introduced some of the MacArthur merino ewes from Camden Park, NSW to South Australia.

Scottish shepherds came to live in a row of stone huts almost upon the later Mount Barker township which Macfarlane and his partners laid out on part of his sheep run during 1840.  A sales office opened next to his homestead, his residence being the first built in Mount Barker.  Later he built a butcher's shop and supplied the early settlers with meat.

Soon, scab and closer settlement made the Mt Barker area unsuitable for sheep and Macfarlane shifted his pastoral interests to the South-East near where Millicent is now situated.  Unfortunately, he lost a lot of sheep there due to coast disease.  When he moved to Tatiara in 1845, he sold the butchering business to a man named Greenfields.

The 'Great Easten Road' between the Mount Barker District in South Australia and the overland road to New South Wales and Port Phillip was commenced in January, 1841.  Duncan Macfarlane, was appointed as one of the Trustees for the finances and for collecting tolls for this project.  In August 1841, Macfarlane was appointed a Justice of Peace for the Province of South Australia and presided over the Mount Barker Magistrates Court for a considerable number of years.

He subsequently owned land on the south side of Glen Osmond and took up shares in the Glen Osmond silver-lead mines.  For a time he lived at the old York Hotel in Adelaide, but finally retired to his residence at Glen Osmond where he died on 27 October 1856 at the age of 63 years.  His grave is believed to be in the West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.

Additional Information

  • Duncan Macfarlane's name is often incorrectly spelt as MacFarlane, McFarlane and other variants in various documents, however Macfarlane is considered to be correct as this is the spelling he used in all legal documents he signed.
  • The following additional information was extracted from notes compiled by Reg Butler (Hahndorf)
    • MACFARLANE,  Duncan Esquire Mt Barker township 1842 - (Memorial 376/97)
    • MACFARLANE,  Duncan Esquire Lake Albert 1855 - (Memorial 236/87)
    • MACFARLANE,  Duncan Esquire Glen Osmond 1856 - (Memorial 2309/105)
    • MACFARLANE,  Duncan Esquire Glen Osmond died 27/10/1856.  Executors were John TAYLOR Esquire Urrbrae and John HECTOR Esquire Adelaide.  £500 to nephew Duncan MITCHELL of Blairfockie.  Nephews Walter and Thomas MACFARLANE to get the leasehold grazing country in the North, together with the stock.  The executors to get £100 each.  The rest of the estate to be sold.  £4,000 of that money to be invested in trust for Agnes FLETCHER, nee MACFARLANE, wife of Nicol B FLETCHER surgeon Prahran Vic, for her life free from the control of any husband, then to her children in equal shares absolutely in remainder expectant as tenants in common.  The rest of the money to be divided equally between D MacFARLANE’s two brothers Lewis and Walter MacFARLANE, and his sister, Christian MITCHELL.  If any of the brothers and sister died, then any children of the deceased to inherit that person’s share equally absolutely in remainder expectant - (Deposit 37/1874)
    • Walter MACFARLANE the Elder born 26/4/1755 - died 15/4/1836, buried at Buchanan, Co Stirling.  Tombstone erected by his son, Walter MacFARLANE the Younger.  Walter MacFARLANE the Elder of Buchanan and Marjory COLQUHOUN of Lass married 5/6/1784 at Buchanan, Co Stirling.  The young couple farmed at Salachie, in Buchanan parish.  Eldest son, Donald, baptised 22/4/1787 at Buchanan, a farmer of Milling/Millwig, Port (in the parish of Buchanan), when he died 29/3/1836, a bachelor, aged 48 (buried at Buchanan).  Second son was Lewis (baptised 22/4/1789 Buchanan), who was living at Lettermay, near Lochgoilhead, Co Argyll, Scotland when his brother Duncan MacFarlane died.  Daughter Christian MacFARLANE baptised 11/3/1785.  Son Walter MacFarlane the Younger baptised 30/3/1793.  Duncan MACFARLANE baptised 1/3/1798 at Buchanan - (Deposit 37/1874)
    • MACFARLANE,  James stockholder Gippsland Vic, declared that Duncan MacFarlane of Adelaide, who died in October 1856 a bachelor, was his youngest brother 19/3/1860.  Further details about the MacFarlane family already taken from the Deposits.  Duncan MacFarlane owned allotments in Strathalbyn - (Application 5940)
    • MACFARLANE,  Lewis of Lochgiolhead, Scotland, eldest brother and heir at law of the late Duncan MacFarlane Esquire formerly of Glen Osmond now deceased 1861 - (Memorial 187/179)