Allan Cameron and Janet (Jessie) Grant

Allan Cameron and his family were included on the embarkation and arrival lists for the Blenheim, but were not on the initial list:

  • Allan Cameron, 35, engineer’s assistant
  • Jessie Cameron, 30
  • John Cameron, 19
  • Hugh Cameron, 17
  • Allan Cameron, 1¼

Return to The Blenheim People.


Allan Cameron and Jessie Grant

In A History of the Camerons of ‘Springhill’, compiled by Norman Cameron, (and in some other references), it is suggested that  Allan Cameron was a brother of John ‘Mor’ Cameron, another Blenheim immigrant, who eventually settled in Turakina, and that a third brother was Angus Cameron, who settled in Turakina in 1857.  There is some evidence available to support the relationship between Allan and John, but other evidence suggests that Angus was unlikely to have been a full brother.

In any event, based on his age (35) as given in the Blenheim list, Allan was born around 1805, while Jessie as described as 30.  Given the ages of their sons, these ages appear to be understated.  It seems more likely that Allan was born around 1797 and Jessie in 1799, which would have made them 43 and 41.

Allan Cameron was described as an “engineer’s assistant” in the Blenheim passenger list, but like many of his fellow-emigrants he took up farming, originally in Happy Valley but later at Pencarrow, near Eastbourne (originally called Okiwi).

According to New Zealand BDM records Allan Cameron died in 15 April 1854, aged 57.

Jessie (Grant) Cameron died on 1 January 1864.  The Wellington Independent of 2 January 1864 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron.— On Thursday, the 1st January, at her residence, Pencarrow, Mrs Jessie Cameron, aged 65 years.”

John Cameron

John Cameron was noted as being 19 years of age on the Blenheim passenger list in 1840.

John Cameron married Catherine Caisey on 6 February 1860 (there is some doubt about the spelling of the surname).

The family farmed at Gollans Valley, behind Eastbourne.

The Evening Post of 24 August 1888 reported as follows (the reference to the Falcon is almost certainly an error):

Another old settler has passed away, Mr. John Cameron, of Gollan’s Valley, died at Petone, on Wednesday, after a short illness of a few weeks. He left his home about four weeks ago to reside at Petone for a short time, in order to receive medical advice, but never returned home again. The deceased came to Wellington about 48 years ago in the Falcon, and has resided at Gollan’s Valley, near Pencarrow Lighthouse, most of the time, enjoying very good health up to about eight weeks ago. He leaves a widow and four sons and two daughters to mourn his loss.

Catherine (Caisey) Cameron died in 1899, aged 60.

John and Catherine had six children:

  • Jessie Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1953.
  • Allan Cameron, born in 1863, died in 1909, married Adonia Taylor in 1891.
  • John Cameron, born in 1865, died in 1919.
  • Hugh Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1903.
  • Charles Cameron, born in 1871.
  • Catherine Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1943, married Daniel O’Sullivan.
Hugh Cameron

Hugh Cameron was 17 in the Blenheim passenger list, suggesting he was born around 1823.

No further information has been established for Hugh Cameron.  In 1888 correspondence relating to the will of Hugh’s brother John Cameron, John’s son Allan stated “I am further informed and believe that my fathers brother Hugh Cameron died in New Zealand some years ago but as to this neither I nor any of my family nor the said Allan Cameron my uncle have any certain information.”

Allan Cameron

Allan Cameron was born around 1835 in Blantyre, and was listed as being 1¼ in the Blenheim passenger lists, but may in fact have been 5-7 .

Details of Allan’s life can be found in A History of the Camerons of ‘Springhill’, which includes the reminiscences of Dr Robert Cameron, Allan’s youngest son.

Allan Cameron married Margaret Miller (see William and Maria Miller), who was born on the Blenheim voyage.

Margaret Miller and Allan Cameron were married on 17 March 1863.  The Wellington Independent of 26 March 1863 carried the Marriage Notice: “Cameron-Miller – March 17, at Wellington, by the Rev. John Moir, Allan Cameron, Esq., sheepfarmer, Province of Wellington, to Margaret, daughter of William Miller, Esq., proprietor of the Commercial Hotel.”

Margaret and Allan had six children:

  • Jessie Elizabeth Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1946, married William Laing (cousin) in 1887.
  • William Allan Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1902, married Margaret Lang in 1895.
  • Charles Archibald Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1943, married Mary Crawford in 1903.
  • James Hugh Cameron, born in 1870, died in 1939, married Fanny Alexander Christina Wheeler Ahradsen in 1898.
  • Alexander John Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1926, married Helen Gregory Laing in 1899.
  • Robert Allan Cameron, born in 1876, died in 1954, married Euphemia Duncan Sutherland in Scotland in 1903.

The Wairarapa Daily Times of 24 November 1915 carried the following obituary of Allan Cameron:

One of the pioneer settlers of New Zealand, in the person of Mr Allan Cameron, died at Masterton yesterday, at the age of 83 years. The deceased arrived in the Dominion from Scotland in the ship Blenheim, which reached Wellington in December, 1840.

After residing in Wellington for some years, and experiencing exciting times, the deceased came to Wairarapa, taking up his residence at Te Whiti. Later he owned Bowlands station, and subsequently Spring Hill and Rewa Rewa.  He had resided in Masterton for the past sixteen years.

The late Mr Cameron was held in high esteem by all who met him, on account of his many sterling qualities, and his death will be deeply regretted. He is survived by four sons (Messrs C. A. Cameron, Masterton, J. H. Cameron, Masterton, A. J. Cameron, Makuri, and Dr. R. A. Cameron, Wellington), and one daughter (Mrs W. M. Laing, of Masterton), who will have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their bereavement. The funeral will take place on Thursday afternoon at 2 o ‘clock.

Margaret (Miller) Cameron died in 1934.  The Evening Post of 8 November 1934 reported:

The death occurred yesterday at Seatoun of Mrs. Allan Cameron, an old resident of the Wairarapa. Mrs. Cameron, who was in her 95th year, arrived in Wellington, with her parents, by the sailing ship Blenheim, on December 31, 1840. After her marriage, Mrs. Cameron went to the Wairarapa, and resided successively at Te Whiti, Bideford, and at “Rewa Rewa” near Tinui. The late Mrs. Cameron is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Wm. Laing, Seatoun, and three sons Mr. Charles Cameron, Flat Point, Masterton; Mr. James Cameron, Tinui; and Dr. R. A. Cameron, Paraparaumu. Two sons predeceased her.  She is survived by twenty grandchildren and thirty-two great-grandchildren. The interment js taking place, at Masterton.


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