COCOS ISLANDS (State)


TITLE: King 1827/1857 (not recognized)
AREA: 14 km2 DYNASTY: Clunies-Ross
LOCATION: East Indian Ocean POPULATION: 596 (2009)
RELIGION: Sunni Muslim ~80%



PRESENT HEAD OF HOUSE: John Cecil Clunies-Ross, Head of the Family since 1944.
born 1928, Governor of the Cocos Islands 1947/1978, married Daphne Parkinson, and has issue, five children.
  • John George Clunies-Ross, born 1957, married Catherine, and has issue.
    • Katherine Clunies-Ross, born ca1984.
    • John Douglas Clunies-Ross, born ca1985.
    • Nicola Clunies-Ross, born ca1986.
    • Aiden James Clunies-Ross, born 1999.
  • Joy Clunies-Ross
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: In 1609 Captain William Keeling was the first European to see the islands, while serving in the East India Company, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century, when a Scottish merchant seaman named Captain John Clunies-Ross stopped briefly at the islands on a trip to India in 1814. Settlement was established on South Island by John Clunies-Ross on 27th February 1827, the islands were annexed by the British Empire in 1857, and in 1886, Queen Victoria granted the islands in perpetuity to the Clunies-Ross family who declared the islands a kingdom; this title was not recognized by the British or the Australian Governments, it became Australian territory on 23rd November 1955, and John Cecil Clunies-Ross relinquished his authority on 1st September 1978 under the threat of compulsory acquisition by the Australian Government. Title holders were...
  • George Cluness, married Elizabeth Ross, and had issue.
    • John Clunies-Ross (qv)
    • Robert Clunies-Ross, born 1790 in Weisdale in the Shetland Islands, married and had issue.
      • generation
        • William John Clunies-Ross, born 1850, married Hannah Elizabeth Tilley and had issue. He died 1914.
          • Allen Clunies-Ross
          • Capt. Egerton Clunies-Ross, born 5th September 1891 in Bathurst, N.S.W., Australia, served in Gallipoli, Egypt, France and East Africa with the A.I.F. 1914/1917 and K.A.R. (King's African Rifles) 1917/1918 holding the rank of Captain. He died 27th September 1918 and was buried in Rookwood Cemetary.
          • Robert Clunies-Ross, born 1897, died 3rd October 1918, buried in Rookwood Cemetary.
          • Sir (William) Ian Clunies-Ross CMG, born 22nd February 1899 in Bathurst, NSW, educated at Newington College 1912/1916 and at the University of Sydney (B.Vet.Sc. with Hons., 1920), made a Fellow of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in 1922, he worked at the Molteno Institute for Parasitology in Cambridge and the School of Tropical Medicine in London, he was appointed parasitologist to the newly established Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 1926, he completed his thesis at the University of Sydney for the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Science in 1928, he was the Australian representative at the International Wool Secretariat in London from 1937 to 1940, president of the Australian Institute of International Affairs from 1941 to 1945, he was appointed Director of Scientific Personnel in the Commonwealth Directorate of Manpower and also Adviser on the Pastoral Industry to the Department of War Organization of Industry in 1943, he was appointed a full-time member of the CSIR Executive Committee in 1946, he served as the executive officer of the CSIR until 1949 when it was renamed the CSIRO and then served as chairman of the CSIRO until his death in 1959; he was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George on 1st January 1954 and a Knight Bachelor on 10th June 1954; he was honoured by having his likeness on the Australian $50 banknote from 1973 to 1992; married 6th October 1927, Janet Leslie Carter (later Lady Clunies-Ross), died 1986, and had issue, three sons. He died 20th June 1959.
            • Anthony Ian Clunies-Ross, born 9th March 1932, educated at Knox Grammar School, Scotch College, Melbourne 1947/1949, University of Melbourne (BA), and Pembroke College, Cambridge University (MA), married 1961, Morag Fraser McVey, and has issue, two sons and two daughters.
            • Maj.-Gen. Adrian Clunies-Ross, born 10th October 1933 in Sydney, A.O. [1986], M.B.E. [1971], educated at Scotch College, Melbourne 1946/1951, the Royal Military College, Duntroon and University of QLD (BA), married Julienne Honora Anthony, and has issue, three children.
            • David Egerton Clunies-Ross, born 5th May 1936 in Sydney, educated at Knox Preparatory School in Sydney, then attended Scotch College, Melbourne from 1946 to 1953 and at Melbourne University, graduating with an honours Arts degree, majoring in History; he was a member of the 1951 and 1952 1st XVs, Vice-Captain of the 1953 1st XV, a 1953 Prefect, and co-editor of the 1953 Scotch Collegian; he was employed with China Navigation Company in Hong Kong and later in Japan; he opened his own wallpaper business, Clunies-Ross Packman in 1964, which became very successful; he retired in 1989 and became a novelist, publishing three books, viz. Springboard, White Guard and Black Orchestra,   married 1961 in Hong Kong, Frederica Worch, and had issue. He died 3rd December 2010.
              • Andrew Clunies-Ross, educated at Scotch College, Melbourne 1978/1983
              • Matthew Clunies-Ross, educated at Scotch College, Melbourne 1979/1984
  • John Clunies-Ross, King of the Cocos Islands 1827/1854, born 1786, married Elizabeth, and had issue, seven children. He died 1854.
    • John George Clunies-Ross (qv)
  • John George Clunies-Ross, Governor of the Cocos Islands 1854/1872, born 1823, married and had issue. He died 1872.
    • George Clunies-Ross (qv)
    • Andrew Clunies-Ross
    • Charles Clunies-Ross, married and had issue.
      • Sophie Clunies-Ross
      • Eleonor Clunies-Ross, married Simon Oscar Syvertsen, born 1867 in Mandal, Norway, died 1936 in New York, and had issue. She died 1900 in childbirth.
        • Cyril Clunies-Ross Syvertsen, born 1895, died 1942 during a Japanese air raid.
  • George Clunies-Ross, Governor of the Cocos Islands 1872/1910, born 1841, married and had issue, four sons and three daughters. He died 7th July 1910 at Ventnor, Isle of Wight.
    • John Sydney Clunies-Ross (qv)
  • John Sydney Clunies-Ross, Governor of the Cocos Islands 1910/1944, born 1880, married, Rose Nash, died after 1944, and had issue, four children, as well as further issue by a local Malay girl. He died 1944.
    • Inin Anne Clunies-Ross
    • John Cecil Clunies-Ross (qv)
    • Elizabeth May Clunies-Ross
    • Charles William Clunies-Ross 
  • J. E. B. Jessamine, Administrator of the Cocos Islands 1944/1946
  • D. A. Somerville, Administrator of the Cocos Islands 1946/1947
  • John Cecil Clunies-Ross, Governor of the Cocos Islands (see above)
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