Emigrants to Australia/NZ

Below is a summary of the Lobbans who established families in Australia and New Zealand prior to World War 1.

If your family’s story is not here and you think it should be, or if you want to correct or add to what is here, please contact me:  lobban (at) one-name.org.

There is a brief account of the conditions during the voyage to Australia in the 1840s in our account of Alexander & Margaret Lobban’s separate journeys, and a longer account in Ross Murray’s book, Of Greater Worth than Gold: The history and legacy of Isabella Murray,    which I highly recommend.


New South Wales

Alexander Lobban, b. 1802 in Fordyce, m. Margaret MacLennan, was tried in 1829 for forgery and sentenced to 7 years transportation to New South Wales. He then settled in the Manning River area and became an upstanding leader and pioneer.  Much has been written about this man and his family and I have gathered it together on a separate page.  Their son, Thomas McLennan Lobban (1829–1883), born in Cabrach, Aberdeenshire, emigrated with his mother to join his father after the 7 years were over. He married  Flora McDermid in Clarence Town, Dungog, Mitchell Is, NSW  and was noted as the pioneer schoolmaster at Oxley Island National School in 1862.  See footnote at end of page regarding the restoration of the gravestone in 2015.  (Tree)

Headstone Inscription: “IN MEMORY of ALEXANDER LOBBAN native of Banffshire, Scotland, who departed this life at Parkhaugh, 30th January 1876 aged 73 years, and who for 26 years was a resident of the Manning district, the interests of which he always strove to promote, and for most of that time as an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia. He performed the duties of that office with a zeal guided by intelligence and sanctified by divine grace. Strong in faith, he was called to his rest leaving an example worthy of imitation as a loving husband, a tender father, a wise counsellor, a faithful friend, a sincere Christian, and in all the transactions of life an honourable man.” Originally posted by Patterson Ross.

Robert Lobban (1877–1960), b. Loanend, Huntly, emigrated to Sydney between 1891 and 1901, where he became a bank manager.  We have not yet traced his tree far.  (Tree)


James Stuart Lobban (1852–1933, b. Inverkeithny, Forgue), m. Mary Strachan. The Courier Mail of Brisbane had this obituary:- “Mr James Stuart Lobban, who died 18th Sept 1933 after a short illness at his home in Coward Street, Sandgate, last Thursday night, was in his 81st year, having been born at Forgue, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in Dec 1852. In his youth he went to Glasgow, where for several years he was a member of the Police Force. He married Miss Mary Strachan there in 1878. Later he decided to take his young family to try their fortune in Australia. They arrived in the Steamer Doruna 49 years ago [1884; with their son William Forbes Lobban (1884– )]. Mr Lobban settled in the Redbank District, where for some time he was engaged in the Brickmaking & Coal Mining industries, but eventually he obtained an appointment to the Staff of the Goodna Mental Hospital. He rose to the position of Deputy Charge Attendant, but about 12 years ago he retired under the age limit regulations. Since that time he has resided at Sandgate, Prior to his retirement Mr Lobban was a keen Rifleman, and Rifle Shooting Veterans will remember him as an enthusiastic competitor at prize meetings, in Queensland and also N.S.W.  At the beginning of the century he was a founder member of the Goodna Rifle Club. The deceased is survived by his widow, three sons & three daughters, 13 Grandchildren and one Gt Grandchild.”  (Marnoch LobbansTree )

John Lobban (1878–1961) emigrated to Australia on the 8 March 1899 from London on the Duke of Buckingham, which arrived at Rockhampton, Qld on 30 April 1899. He was detailed on the ‘Free Passenger List’ as a ‘Single Adult Male, aged 21, able to read & write, a Presbyterian from Scotland.’ After his marriage to Isabella Hall in 1905, he continued his farming occupation in the Tiaro / Hervey Bay area until he retired to Maryborough, Qld. The 1914 Electoral Roll, classified John Lobban as a dairy farmer at Tiaro. The children were all born of his first wife Isabella Hall, who passed away in 1910 after giving birth to son William. Isabella had been 25 years old when she gave birth to Jack on 7 January 1906, making her date of birth probably 1880 and an early death at 29 years of age. He remarried in 1921. The Maryborough Chronicle dated 14th Feb 1922, reads:- “One of the most popular weddings held in Bauple was solemnised at the residence of the bride’s brother, when Miss Rachel Beattie was joined in ‘Holy Wedlock’ to Mr John Lobban by the Rev S Summers (Tiaro). The bride was given away by her brother Mr T Beattie, Miss G McKellar acted as bridesmaid, and Mr J McRobert was best man. Mr & Mrs Lobban left by motor car to catch the Northern mail train en route for Yeppoon, where the honeymoon is being spent.” His brother Thomas Lobban emigrated to Western Australia in 1910 (see below). Their parents were Robert Lobban (1846–1918) and Elizabeth Bremner (Moray LobbansTree).


Kenneth McKenzie Lobban (1818–1895).   Jeanette Jasper provided the following information in her 1994 book Kenneth Lobban, his Kith & Kin. “Kenneth arrived in Sydney during 1839 and joined a company of ‘stock & station agents’ called Gilchrist & Alexander at Shoalhaven River District, where he met his wife Jane McFeteridge. They married in December 1845 at Duga, Moruya River according to the rites of the Presbyterian Church. Kenneth was a ‘cattle drover’ delivering them to new stations over a wide area. In 1854 Kenneth moved with his wife and their first five children overland to settle in Pike’s Flat, Yackandandah, N East Victoria, where the remaining seven children were born. Kenneth tried his hand at gold digging and dairying in addition to managing a 320 acre farm of his own from 1875 at Forest Creek, Talgarno, and added another 80 acres at Kiewa. The book Victoria and its Metropolis Past and Present states that ‘Kenneth Lobban is now [1888] engaged in grazing pursuits covering 200 head of cattle and 25 horses.’ He named the property ‘Thornbush’. When Kenneth & Jane finally retired they moved to Wodonga, thus allowing some of their children to expand the land purchasing at the old estate. Kenneth & Jane were buried together in Yackandandah Cemetery, where their youngest son Alexander was already laid to rest. Later on their two eldest daughters were to be buried on either side of them, together with their husbands. One hundred years later, 16 April 1995, Kenneth’s descendants from many parts of Australia  gathered at Yackandandah to honour his name and enjoy a family re-union.”   [Tree; and  Rothiemay Area Lobbans]

John Lobban (1824–1892), from Cullen, m. Margaret Gaudie. John and Kenneth were 2nd cousins, their MRCA James Lobban (1742– ) = Anne Sandison.  John and Margaret sailed from Liverpool on 8 July 1854 on the SS Indian Ocean, with their son John (1850–1923) and daughter Isabella, arriving at Portland Bay in Victoria on the 6th October 1854. Spending 3 months at sea in vessels of that period, could not have been a pleasant experience, particularly as passengers then had also to share the work required of today’s ship’s crew. John was a carpenter and soon after establishing a new home for his family in Hamilton, Victoria, began setting up his own business. In addition to becoming a building contractor, he also initiated an ironmongers business. Among the many contracts he carried out was the building of the ‘Institute’ in 1876, and St Paul’s Church of England also completed by 1880. His son John also joined the business and took it over on his father’s retirement, even though he retained an interest until his death in Naracoote, South Australia, 1892, aged 68 years.  It is possible that brother James Lobban (b. 1830), house carpenter, also emigrated. [Tree; and  Rothiemay Area Lobbans]

Western Australia

Thomas Lobban (1882–1943), b. Hills of Banff, emigrated in 1910, arriving in Freemantle on Orontes. He was the brother of John Lobban (1878–1961) who emigrated to Queensland in 1899 (see above). In 1911 he married  Mary Porter Harvey in Subiaco, WA. They settled in Albany, on the south coast of the state. (Tree)


George Murison Lobban (1871–1948), b. Bucksburn, Newhills, Aberdeenshire, m. Elsie Low Ingram. The family, except for the oldest son (George McKenzie Davidson Lobban), emigrated in 1914 and settled in Hobart. They had 6 more children in Tasmania. Australian Military records show that George enlisted at Claremont, Tasmania on 21 Aug 1916, his number being 3349 on the 28 Aug 1916, aged 44 years. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 27 Mar 1917 but reverted to Private on the 18 April 1917. He had been sent to Liverpool by troopship, but was returned back to Australia on 23 March 1918 and discharged due to senility.  Son George eventually went to Lewes,  Kent and spent considerable time in the Army, rising to Major. (Tree)


For the larger context of Scots in Australia, see the book of that name by Malcolm Prentis.

New Zealand

According to a chart in Alan Rudge’s book (p. 70) and records I have collected from Ancestry.com, Alexander Lobban (b. 1855, Inverkiethny, Forgue), son of William Lobban (1818–1911) and Mary Simpson [William (1732)=Mgt Reburn line],  emigrated to Hastings, on the North Island, and married in 1904. They had four boys, of whom one died in infancy, and several grandchildren, all in the Hastings area.   (Tree–Alex himself is in this tree, but not his descendants.)


Footnote: restoration of Alexander Lobban’s grave.

Warwick Murray and his son Cameron, a stonemason, have restored the historic grave of ex-convict Alexander Lobban at The Bight Cemetery near Wingham. Alexander Lobban was the father of Margaret Lobban, the wife of George Murray who settled at Pampoolah on the lower Manning and is therefore the ancestor of a large family of Murrays.

Vehicular access was not possible, so restoring the stone, which had fallen over and broken into two pieces, was a major task, involving a hired generator and an engine lifter. A canvas sling was used to raise the stone. The base of the stone was re-positioned and the two sections joined with stainless steel dowels.

Lobban was a driving force in the settlement of Wingham and a key figure in the establishment of the Presbyterian Church. He made an immense contribution to the district so his grave is of considerable historical significance.

A photographic record of the restoration has been kept for historical purposes. (Source: Murray Clan of NSW Newsletter, Mar. 2015, used with permission.)

Photographs of the restoration of Alexander Lobban’s grave by Warwick and Cameron Murray. Source: Murray Clan of NSW Newsletter, Mar. 2015.


Page prepared by Chris S. Lobban based on records and notes in Syd Lobban’s collection of trees.  First posted 22 Mar. 2019, last revised 7 Mar 2020.