Are you related to Dysart’s famous son Robert Cock?

Robert Cock
Robert Cock

Locals with a connection to one of the first explorers of the Adelaide region of South Australia, who was from Dysart, are being sought by family members in Oz.

Jock Chambers, who lives in Australia, discovered four years ago that his great great great grandfather was Robert Cock who was one of the first new settlers following the establishment of a colony in Adelaide in December 1836.

Jock Chambers with his wife Dianne and their granddaughters Chloe and Ella.

Jock Chambers with his wife Dianne and their granddaughters Chloe and Ella.

Robert was born in Dysart in 1801 and arrived in South Australia with his family aboard HMS Buffalo in December 1836. Robert actively set about setting up his business affairs in the new colony.

He set up a makeshift shelter in which he and his wife and six children lived while he built a house. This is where the family remained while he pursued his explorations.

Robert was appointed SA’s first government auctioneer in early 1837, a position he held until November 1838. He went on to explore the areas around Adelaide, and the Yorke and Eyre peninsulas. Robert died in Mount Gambier in 1871, where he is buried in the Pioneers cemetery.

Jock (67) said he is due to visit the UK next month and is hoping to make contact with any relatives from the Fife area.

He said: “Around four years ago my wife Dianne (65) and I visited my father’s younger cousin Dr Gordon Chambers in Peterborough in the UK. We got to talking family history and this is when I made the discovery.

“I knew the name Robert Cock, but had no idea that he and his family were pioneers of South Australia. I am very proud of his efforts and some people I have known here for many years turned out to be distant cousins.

“One of Robert’s sons was an MP in Adelaide in late 1800s. Robert started the first brewery here and produced the first commercial wheat crop. Obviously he was a man of vision and hard work.”

“One of his daughters married my great great grandfather, Dr Henry Chambers, who was a nephew of the navigator Capt Matthew Flinders and came out from England in 1846.”

He added: “I have never been to Fife before but if I can locate some relatives I am planning to visit in October. I am interested in what/who Robert left behind in Scotland.”

Anyone with a connection to Robert Cock should contact Jock at jock.chambers@gmail.com