James Good Tunny

The Tunny Family

Thank you to Julian Bukits, who has been researching the life and work of James good Tunny for providing the following information:

Julian wrote:


James Good Tunny was born in Edinburgh on April 8, 1820.

He was the son of:

-  Neil Tunny, an Irish immigrant who became a hand-loom weaver, and

-  Catherine Tunny (née Good)


At the time of the 1841 census, James Good Tunny, then aged 21, was described as a shoemaker.

He was still described as a shoemaker, them employing one man, in the 1851 census.

He was then about to embark on his photographic business which would bring him wealth.


There were many early deaths in the Tunny family.

He survived all 3 of his wives, and at least 5 of his first 6 children.

He had 11 children.  See the table at the foot of this page for further details.

His strong liberal views influenced the naming of his earlier children:  Elihu, Mazzini and Syme.

J G Tunny  died in Edinburgh, aged 67, on 24 September 1887.

Julian Bukits, Southside, Edinburgh:  February, 2007


To read further research by Julian Bukits, see his

James Good Tunny web site


Message from a Relative of James Good Tunny

Bruce Ralston

New Zealand

Thank you to Bruce Ralston, New Zealand, for providing a little more information on J G Tunny's family, and for supplying one of the three dates of death that were missing from the table below.

Bruce wrote:

Emigration to New Zealand

"I was very interested to come across your pages about James Good Tunny while doing a bit of family research.

I am not a descendant, but his son James Mazzini Tunny migrated to New Zealand in the early 1870s. He married my great grandmother Phoebe Dennett (she was previously married and divorced) on 12 June 1875 in Auckland.

He practiced as an analytical chemist and established a sulphur works. They had two children, including a son named after his grandfather, who also died young (aged 20) in 1896. The other child, a daughter Phoebe Margaret, married William Bruce and had 6 children.

James M Tunny died on 24 September 1882 in Auckland, five years to the day before his father. So all six of his eldest children predeceased him.  The widow of James Mazzini Tunny married another Scotsman, my ancestor."

Bruce Ralston, New Zealand:  October 31, 2006


Message from a Relative of James Good Tunny

Sheldon Cunningham

Plano, Texas, USA

Thank you to Sheldon Cunningham, USA, for providing a little more information on J G Tunny's family, and for supplying one of the three dates of death that were missing from the table below.

Bruce wrote:

Emigration to New Zealand

"This weekend, I  Googled "J. G. Tunny Photographic Edinburgh" because the name was on the back of a family photo (subject unknown), and I also knew that Neil Tunny was my relative.  I found your site and am very pleased to find the information that you have published on my second great granduncle, James Good Tunny.

 James's sister, Elizabeth, married Colin Cameron in St. Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh and later emigrated to America in 1849.  Her sister Catherine and  husband Robert Pennycook also came to the US.  Elizabeth's grandson, Arthur Cunningham of Detroit, Michigan, is my grandfather.

As you might guess, I am very interested in gathering any additional information, sources, etc. that you might have or know about regarding the Tunny family.  Also, do you have or know of any pictures of the Tunny family that might be copied?

Sheldon Cunningham, Plano, Texas, USA:  February 14, 2007

If you can help Bruce by providing any further information or photos, please e-mail me and I'll pass on your message to him.

-  Peter Stubbs:  February 14, 2007


James Good Tunny & Family

Births, Deaths, Marriages




James Good Tunny


8 Apr 1820

24 Sep 1887
Age 67

Margaret Smith

Wife 1
Married 17 Dec 1847


12 Aug 1857
Age 35

Cornelius Elihu Brown Tunny

Child 1

29 Oct 1848

31 Dec 1862
Age 14

Amelia Marion Tunny

Child 2

Jul 1850

25 May 1851

James Mazzini Tunny

Child 3

10 Jul 1852

24 Sep 1882

Age 30

Thomas Brown Syme Tunny

Child 4

23 Jan 1855

10 Sep 1872
Age 17

Elizabeth (Leeba) Hancock)

Wife 2
Married 29 Dec 18


15 Sep 1861
Age 25

Leonard William Hancock Tunny

Child 5

5 Dec 1859

18 Jul 1881
Age 21

Leeba Emma Amelia Tunny

Child 6

11 Jan 1861

10 Nov 1881
Age 21

Margaret Wilson

Wife 3
Married 23 Nov 1866


25 Jun 1877
Age 35

Norah Annie Wilson Tunny

Child 7

20 Apr 1867

27 Mar 1923
Age 55

Florence Nightingale Tunny

Child 8

25 Apr 1869

16 Jan 1937

Margaret Wilson Tunny

Child 9

1 Jan 1871

28 Sep 1890
Age 19

Mary Ellen Tunny

Child 10

25 Dec 1873


Kathleen Good Tunny

Child 11

2 Mar 1874


The table above is based on information provided by Julian Bukits


James Good Tunny & Family

1861 Census

At the time of the 1861 census, James Good Tunny was living at 93 Princes Street. 

He described himself as age 40, Photographer employing 2 men and 3 women, b. Edinburgh.  

Also living at 93 Princes Street at the time of the census were:

-  Elizabeth Tunny  [age 25, wife,  b. England]

-  Cornelius GB Tunny  [age 13, son, scholar,  b. Edinburgh]

-  James M Tunny  [age 10, son]

-  Thomas BS Tunny  [age 7, son]

-  Leonard W(?) H Tunny  [age 1, son]

-  Leiba (?) AB Tunny  [age 3 months, daughter]

-  Margaret Neilson  [age 16, photographer's apprentice]

-  Mary Hancock  [age 13, sister in law, scholar,  b. England]

-  nurse

-  cook

-  nursery maid

[1861 Census]


James Good Tunny & Family

1881 Census

In 1881, there were living at 11 Salisbury Place:

-  James Good Tunny [widower,  Photographer and Enameller]

-  Daughters aged, 13, 11, 10, 8, 7

-  Governess and two servants

James CH Balmain

[1881 Census]


James Good Tunny





Maine to California



Collections and For Sale

Early Negatives

Tunny &  Rodger

William Miller



Mrs Tunny

Edinburgh Views

Princes Street  1850s

Princes Street   c1880

Shakespeare Square



Early Days


Studio 1852

Studio 1876

JG Tunny & Co

Tunny & Asher

Family Photos

Cartes de Visite

A carte de visiet by James Good Tunny  -  1860-1870 ©

Cabinet Prints

The back of a cabinet print by James Good Tunny  -  13 Maitland Street + 19 Salisbury Place  - Lady wearing a hat ©


Here is a link to a web page that gives details of a book, written and published in 2009 by Julian Bukits, on the life and work of James G Tunny

Cover of a book 'A Study of James G Tunny - 1820-1887'  by Julian Bukits ©