Isabella Turner

The embarkation list for the Blenheim listed Isabella Turner as a housemaid aged 28.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Isabella Turner and Archibald Gillies

Family tree information on indicates that Isabella Turner was born in Morvern, Argyll, Scotland, around 1812. There is a Scottish OPR record for Morvern for the birth of an Isobel Turner on 20 July 1810 to Patrick Turner and Mary MacIntyre.

According to NZ BDM records Isabella Turner married Archibald Gillies on 5 March 1844.

Family tree information suggests that Archibald Gillies was born in Kilmallie around 1816 to Alexander Gillies and Mary Cameron.  Based on research prompted by the comment below, it appears that Archibald Gillies accompanied James Coutts Crawford in a sea voyage from Adelaide to Sydney in 1839, then later travelled on the Coromandel from Sydney to Port Nicholson, arriving around 5 September 1840, probably in the employ of James Coutts Crawford to look after the sheep, cattle and horses that were on board.

Alexander Gillies leased land in the Wairarapa with Angus McMaster, which was eventually split, with McMaster taking Tuhitarata and Gillies Otaraia. Isabella Gillies died in 1865.

The Wellington Independent of 13 June 1865 carried the following Death Notice: Gillies – On Thursday morning, 18th inst, at the residence of Mr David Smith. Silver Stream, Isabella beloved wife of Mr Archibald Gillies, late of Wairarapa.”

Archibald Gillies died in 1868.  The Wellington Independent of 28 March 1868 Death Notice read: “Gillies – On March 26, at the Hutt, Archibald Gillies, Esq, of Otaria, Wairarapa, aged 52 years.”

According to family tree information, Isabella and Archibald had at least six children:

  • Annie Gillies, born in 1842, married Charles James Anderson in 1866.
  • Mary Gillies, born in 1844, died in 1916, married Duncan Cameron (see Donald Cameron and Christian McLean) in 1863.
  • John Gillies, born in 1848.
  • Robert Gillies, born in 1850.
  • Alexander Gillies, born in 1851.
  • Hugh Gillies, born in 1852, died in 1934.


3 thoughts on “Isabella Turner”

  1. James Coutts Crawford in his Recollections states that he travelled from Adelaide to Sydney on the brig ‘Porter’ in company with Archibald Gillies, who later became a large landholder in NZ and that Archibald came on to NZ with him. James sailed to NZ on the ‘Success” in 1839, so that is presumably when Archibald arrived


  2. This posting was revised on 7 September 2015 on the basis of research prompted by the above comment, and as summarised below.
    The following is based on newspaper reports from Papers Past in New Zealand and Trove in Australia; from James Crawford’s “Recollections”; and from Te Ara, Encyclopedia of New Zealand. James Coutts Crawford first travelled to New Zealand on the “Success”, which departed Sydney on 14 November 1839 with the passenger list including Crawford and Sinclair. In his Recollections” James Crawford notes that he and his servant, Hugh Sinclair left the “Success” at Mana, travelled to Port Nicholson via ‘Korohewa’ [Korohiwa, Titahi Bay] and Porirua, then travelled to Queen Charlotte Sound before returning to Port Nicholson just after the arrival of the first immigrant ships. The “Success” had reached Port Nicholson on 4 December 1839. Hugh Sinclair became one of the earliest settlers in Wainuiomata. James Crawford returned to Sydney, possibly with Captain Kyle of the barque “Regia”, purchased sheep, bullocks and horses and returned to Port Nicholson on the “Coromandel”, which departed Sydney around 20 August 1840, with Crawford listed as a cabin passenger and Gillies as a steerage passenger. It seems likely that Archibald Gillies was employed to look after the animals. The arrival of the “Coromandel” was reported in the “New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator” of 5 September 1840.


  3. Hi I am a relative of Archibald Giiles. (My great, great grandfather the son of Hugh Gillies) whose is Charles Leonard Frances Gillies who is the son of Hugh Gillies my Grandfather. If this makes sense. I do not know whether you have this information.Archibald arrived on the Middlesex (possibly) which sailed from Sydney on the 17th March 1840 and arriving in New Zealand on the 5th April 1840. Archibald wa farmer formerly of Kilmye Argyll Scotland.
    He married Isabella Turner on the 5th March 1844. She arrived on the Blenheim having left Greenock near Glasgow on the 27th August 1840 and arriving in Wellington New Zealand on the 27th December 1840. She was recorded as Housemaid age 28 and possibly travelled by herself. Archibald Giiles died on 26th March 1868 at Taita The Hutt. Isbella Gillies (nee Turner) died 18 May 1865 at Sliverstream. I have searched to where they are buried but the search as been unsucessfui.
    I do have copies of their death and marriage certs.
    Would like to know some information on where they are.
    KInd regards
    Donna Lee.


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