Kenneth McKenzie (c1835-1922) was born around 1835 in the Parish of Loch Broom, Ross Shire, on the north-west coast of Scotland, the youngest child of Thomas and Mary McKenzie. He came to Australia as a young child, with his siblings and parents, arriving in Sydney in February 1839 on an emigrant ship called the James Moran. The family settled in the Shoalhaven district on the south coast of New South Wales, first near Jamberoo, then at Terara and finally at Cambewarra near Nowra. As a young man in the 1860s Kenneth worked on the goldfields at Mitchell's Creek near Bathurst, returning to the family home in Cambewarra around 1871 where he set up as a builder and was listed as such in the New South Wales Post Office directory for 1872. In 1886 he was responsible for the design and building of Meroogal in Nowra for his widowed older sister Jessie Catherine Thorburn (1824-1916). Kenneth was an active member of the Presbyterian church, a foundation member of the Nowra Choral Society, and ‘keen on all manly sports’. He was also a keen naturalist and bushman and a talented amateur woodworker.