John Binnie and Family, Queensland, Australia

I would never have guessed that this old postcard would lead me up such a fascinating and tragic pathway. I saw this photo postcard for sale on Ebay and just thought the people and the photo had a story to tell, then when I read the writing on the back I was intrigued, so I bought it. Wasn’t I right!

This photo tells such a story doesn’t it, among the rubble, maybe trying to put on a brave face to send a photo to their friends and relations back in the UK. Life must have been tough for the family. Sent from Maryborough, Queensland, Australia.

So I started a family tree for John Binnie, all I had to go on was that he was living in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia and he was obviously married.

Binnie Family History

John Binnie aged just six years old had arrived in Brisbane, Australia on 23 July 1889, with him were his parents and four siblings William, Margaret, Robert and Mary. What an adventure that must have been, all the way from Bathgate, Midlothian, Scotland down into London, England where the family left on the 31 May 1889 on their journey to Australia on the ship Jumna. The name of the ship and the Info from:

John’s parents were Archibald BINNIE who was born about 1855 in Barrhead, Dumbarton, Scotland, the son of Archibald BINNIE (a Miner) and Margaret NEWLANDS. and Margaret Jane More, daughter of John More and Margaret McFarlane born on 25 June 1858 in Drymen, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

When Dad Archibald Binnie emigrated with his family he went to work in the mines at Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. His sons followed him working in the mines as they got older, The eldest William eventually became a Mine Manager.

These are Archibald BINNIE and Margaret Jane’s (MORE) nine children:

1)William BINNIE was born in 1875 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. He died on 05 Apr 1954 in Queensland, Australia. He had married Agnes TAIT on 07 Jul 1906 in Queensland, Australia.
2)Margaret Newlands BINNIE was born in 1879 in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. She died on 30 Oct 1959 in Queensland, Australia. She had married John Whitelaw HOGG on 20 Jan 1909 in Queensland, Australia.

3) John BINNIE was born in 1883 in Stirlingshire, Scotland. He married Josephine JOHNSTON on 18 Mar 1908 in Queensland, Australia. Her parents William Henry Johnston and Jane (Healey) had emigrated from Ireland to Australia in around 1883. John and Josephine had two children that I have found:

John Stanley BINNIE was born on 24 Jul 1909 in Queensland, Australia. He died on 04 May 1940 in Queensland, Australia.
Audrey Eveline BINNIE was born in 1913 in Queensland, Australia. She died in 1975 in Queensland, Australia.

John Binnie died suddenly on 29 Sep 1951 in Queensland, Australia. Article below found on Trove again.

I also found a wonderful article (below) that is attached to a My Heritage members Public Tree, it mentions Josephine and her brother William (Billy) great to see photos of Josephine with her brother in later life. Despite all the tragedy and hardships they went through as children and Josephine later in life they still enjoyed living and being in Australia.

Josephine died in Nov 1979, buried on the 23 Nov 1979 in Brisbane, Queensland, she was the grand age of 95!

4) Robert BINNIE was born in 1885 in Stirlingshire, Scotland. He had married Elizabeth Betsy FOLLETT on 12 Oct 1910 in Queensland, Australia. He died on 16 May 1936 in Queensland, Australia. He died in a horrific mining blast. Of course there were many newspaper articles about the event here’s one of the most comprehensive below:

On Thursday 18 June: this was the first day of the Inquiry in the newspaper the next day: IPSWICH MINE DISASTER INQUIRY OPENED FIRE PRECEDED EXPLOSION IPSWICH; Thursday:— Statements that before the disastrous explosion occurred in Hart’s Aberdare colliery, Blackstone, on May 16, when four men, lost their lives, dense volumes of black smoke were seen issuing from the air shaft, were made by two witnesses! at the inquiry into the disaster, which opened to-day. The victims of the disaster were Albert Edward Perry (50), Christopher Yeoman (55), George Ernest Edward Turner (45) and Robert Binnie (53). William Robinson, colliery timberman, said that about 5 p.m. on the day of the explosion he was sitting on the verandah when he saw black smoke issuing from the air shaft of the mine, three-quarters of a mile away. He thought it was dangerous. Underground fires had been in existence during the five years he had been in the mine. He always worked at these fires with a naked lamp, which he did not consider dangerous. George Hare, miner, gave evidence of having seen dense black smoke issuing from the mine. He was not apprehensive, as he knew experienced men were working down below at the time. Thomas C. Cruickshanks, captain of the rescue team which recovered the bodies, expressed the opinion that it was gas produced by the fire which exploded.

5) Mary McFarlane BINNIE was born on 03 Dec 1887 in Bathgate, Midlothian, Scotland. She died on 20 Nov 1968 in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. She married Albert Edward Perry on 10 Jun 1908 in Queensland, Australia.
6) Jane BINNIE was born on 22 Jul 1890 in Queensland, Australia. She died on 28 Jan 1913 in Queensland, Australia at the young age of 22. Below: ACCOUNT OF DEATH from Trove Newspapers online: DEATH OF MISS J. BINNIE:
The death occurred on Tuesday,under very sad circumstances (writes our Blackstone correspondent) of Miss Jane Binnie, third daughter of Mr and Mrs A. Binnie, of Blackstone. The deceased young lady was only 22 years of age. Always of a sunny, cheerful disposition, she was generally loved by those with whom she came in contact. Some four months ago she went to Brisbane to reside, she, then, being in her usual robust health. On Sunday last, about midday, she took suddenly ill, and was taken to the Brisbane General Hospital, where she passed away on Tuesday morning, at about 5.30 o’clock, death being due to acute kidney trouble. Though her parents were summoned on Monday morning and they proceeded to the hospital, with all haste, the patient was unconscious, when they arrived, and remained so to the end. When it became generally known that such a bright, promising young life had been cut off so suddenly, quite a gloom was cast over the neighbourhood. The body was brought Ipswich by train on Tuesday, and taken to Reed’s funeral parlour. The funeral took place on Wednesday and was largely attended, by relatives and friends of the deceased. The last sad rites were performed by the Rev W. O. Lewis and A. Mckinlay. The deceased leaves a father, mother, four brothers (three of whom are married), and four sisters (two married), to mourn their loss, and with them the deepest sympathy is felt, in their sad bereavement

Jane’s Gravestone from Find A Grave

7)Archibald BINNIE was born on 11 Oct 1892 in Queensland, Australia. He died on 07 Aug 1967 in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. He had married Sarah Jane PHIE on 22 May 1920 in Queensland, Australia.

8) Mabel BINNIE was born on 14 August 1895 in Queensland, Australia. She married Henry George Stevens on 2 December 1914 in her hometown. She died on 16 May 1926 in Queensland at the age of 30.
9) Janet Ann Catherine BINNIE was born on 21 Aug 1897 in Queensland, Australia. She died on 23 Aug 1940 in Queensland, Australia. She had married Owen Thomas EDWARDS on 15 Feb 1919 in Queensland, Australia.

Death of Dad Archibald Binnie senior: Newspaper report from Trove: R.I.P. (Inserted by his loving daughters). FUNERAL.—The Friends of Mr. ARCHIBALD BINNIE, ESQ, deceased, are respectfully invited to at tend his Funeral, to move from his late Residence, Blackstone, at 3 o’clock THIS (MONDAY) AFTER- NOON, for the Ipswich Cemetery. J. & H. REED, Undertakers. FUNERAL.—The Friends of Mrs. A. BINNIE, Senr, Messrs. William, John, Robert, and Archibald Binnie, Mrs. J. W. Hogg, Mrs. A. E. Perry, Mrs. H. G. Stevens, and Mrs. O. T. Edwards, are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of her deceased Husband, and their Father (ARCHIBALD BINNIE) to move from his late Residence, Blackstone, at 3 o’clock THIS (MONDAY) AFTERNOON. J. & H. REED, Undertakers. He died on 04 Feb 1923 in Queensland, Australia.

Death of Mum Margaret Jane Binnie. Newspaper Report from Trove: Queensland Times Mon 23 Oct 1939. Page 6. Blackstone Resident for 50 years: Death of Mrs. M. J. Binnie. Alter 50 years’ residence at Blackstone and Silkstone the death occurred on Friday of Mrs. Margaret Jane Binnie, at the age of 82 years. Born in a village in Stirlingshire (Scotland), Mrs Binnle came out to Australia in 1889 with her young family of five, to join her husband, who had left a year or so before to work in the Ipswich mines. The family settled at Blackstone, In the heart of the mining district, and the name of Binnle has been connected- with the industry here for over 50 years, the men in their work underground and the women as good housewives and respected citizens.

The late Mrs. Binnie came out from Scotland in the old ship ‘Jumna’ which had figured so largely In the emigration voyages from Britain. This trip in 1889, however, was to be the ship’s last for shortly after she was taken off the run just prior to her lose at sea. Mrs Binnle lost her husband 15 years ago. He was at the time Manager of the Noblevale Colliery.

A few years ago the family suffered another loss when the second son, Mr Robert Binnie, was killed in the explosion at Hart’s Aberdare. Also Secretary of the Blackstone Comforts Club, Mrs. Binnie did her share in the Great War for the men over seas, and In other spheres she was a keen worker for the patriotic funds. She was also a keen Church worker, being for over 50 years a member of the Church of Christ and a foundation member of the Bundamba Church. For many years she held the post of Secretary of the Blackstone Congregational Women’s Guild. Until a few years ago she enjoyed good health and was a prominent and respected figure In the suburb. Early this year, how ever, her health failed, and in August she had to take to her bed. Mrs Binnie is survived by three sons and three daughters, Mr William (Indooroopllly) John (Silkstone) and Archie (Newtown), and Mesdames J. Woolly, A. E. Parry, and O. T. Edwards, all of Silkstone. There are also 20 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Much more to be found on the newspaper archives on the National Library of Australia:

Jumna from Royal Museums Greenwich, this is the ship the family sailed to Australia on.

Isn’t it amazing how the story of this family who moved to Australia can be told mainly through the Newspaper Archives. If you do have family that emigrated to Australia Trove is a fabulous resource. I have also compiled a small public family tree for the Binnie Family on Ancestry and here’s the direct link:

Till next time then…………..


  1. I have used Trove for information about my Great Uncle & also Australian soldiers who were nursed in our local war hospital. My grandfather was also born in Bathgate, West Lothian 10 years later in 1889.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s brilliant isn’t it Liz, have used it on previous researching. Hopefully it will help me again soon as I’m waiting for more old photos I’ve bought on EBay & it’s a similar tale from UK x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness Lynn what a fascinating but sad story. How could there be so much tragedy in one family.Thanks for sharing your unique way of research. Hope all is well with you. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awful! It must have been such a tough life for anyone emigrating to another country back then Rita. It was lovely to see the later newspaper article of Josephine with her brother Billy. Xx


  3. Thank you for researching and posting this story. Archibald Binnie and Margaret Newlands are my 2nd great-grandparents, via their son Robert Binnie and his wife Margaret Peterson who emigrated to Bolivar, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, USA. I knew of Archibald Binnie and Margaret Jane More, but I did not know all these stories. I also did not know of the Australian Trove website.
    Thank you again. John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Paul. No I am not related to this family. I am a collector of old photos, if you read my bio you will see that I try and research any of my finds that are named. Thanks for getting in touch. Lynn

      Liked by 1 person

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