Blenheim Passenger List

There are a number of sources of information about who was on the Blenheim, and while it is not always clear it does seem that some existing published lists are not completely accurate.

For the purposes of trying to develop a true list, researches have been undertaken into the original lists held by Archives New Zealand and indexed by FamilySearch (relates only to passengers receiving a free passage); newspaper reports at the time of the sailing and arrival of the Blenheim; other contemporary sources; and subsequently-published lists.

On this basis, on departure there were 21 cabin passengers and 178 steerage passengers, totalling 199, and on arrival there were 20 cabin passengers and 183 steerage passengers, a total of 203.

To find out more about the people on the list, go to The Blenheim People.

More information on the Blenheim can be found at About the Blenheim.

Passenger List

Cabin Passengers

Captain Moses and Jessie CAMPBELL [CAMERON] and family
• Captain Moses Campbell, 51
• Jessie Campbell, 31
• John Campbell, 8
• Colin Campbell, 6
• Louisa Margaret Campbell, 5
• Susan Campbell, 1
• Isabella Campbell, 1, died at sea


Donald MacDONALD and Mrs McDONALD [CUMMINGS] and family
• Donald MacDonald
• Anne MacDonald
• Catherine MacDonald, 17
• Donald MacDonald, 16
• Adam MacDonald, 15
• Flora MacDonald, 13
• Alexander MacDonald, 12
• Campbell MacDonald, 10
• Thomas MacDonald, 5
• Duncan MacDonald, 18 mths



Dr Neil CAMPBELL (Surgeon Superintendent)

Steerage Passengers

James BROWN and Mary BROWN [FLYNN] and family, from Paisley
• James Brown, 28, labourer
• Mary Brown, 30
• Sarah Brown, 9
• James Brown, 7
• George Brown, 5
• Elizabeth Brown 1½

Allan CAMERON and Janet (Jessie) GRANT and family
• Allan Cameron, 35, engineer’s assistant
• Jessie Cameron, 30
• John Cameron, 19
• Hugh Cameron, 17
• Allan Cameron, 1¼

Catherine CAMERON and family
• Catherine Cameron, 45, widow, dairymaid, from Borline
• Archibald McQUEEN, her son-in-law, 21, labourer
• Catherine Cameron [McQUEEN], her daughter, 17, housemaid
• Mary Cameron, her daughter, 15, housemaid
• Angus Cameron,  her son, 21, labourer

Donald CAMERON and Christian McLEAN and family, from Ormasaigmore
• Donald Cameron, 46, weaver
• Christian McLean, his wife, 40
• Dugald Cameron, his son, 18, labourer
• Alexander Cameron, his son, 17, labourer
• Donald Cameron, his son, 16, labourer
• Catherine Cameron, his daughter, 14, housemaid
• Ann Cameron, his daughter, 12
• John Cameron, his son, 10
• Duncan Cameron, his son, 8

Donald CAMERON and Mary McPHERSON and family, from Trishilaig
• Donald Cameron, 52, labourer
• Mary McPherson, his wife, 40
• John Cameron, his son, 24, quarrier
• Allan Cameron, his son, 22, quarrier
• Donald Cameron, his son, 20, shoemaker
• Duncan Cameron, his son, 18, shepherd
• Ewen Cameron, his son, 17, ploughman
• Alexander Cameron, his son, 15, cowherd
• James Cameron, his son, 14, cowherd
• George Cameron, his son, 9
• Mary Cameron, his daughter, 26, dairymaid
• Ann Cameron, his daughter, 12

Dugald CAMERON and Christina CAMERON and family, from Glenmore
• Dugald Cameron, Glenmore, 48, a labourer
• Christian Cameron, his wife, 40
• Anne Cameron, his daughter, 16, dairymaid
• Angus Cameron, his son, 9, cowherd
• Mary Cameron, his daughter, 7½

Ewen CAMERON and Maria COLQUHOUN and family, from Trisilaig
• Ewen Cameron, 50, tailor
• Maria Colquhoun, his wife, 46
• Mary Cameron, his daughter, 28, chambermaid
• Flora Cameron, his daughter, 26, housemaid
• Marjory Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
• Jane Cameron, his daughter, 22, housemaid
• Charles Cameron, his son, 18, labourer
• Sarah Cameron, his daughter, 16
• Allan Cameron, his son, 14, cowherd
• Donald Cameron, his son, 12, cowherd
• Margaret Cameron, his daughter, 9
• Anne Cameron, his daughter, 7
• Catherine Cameron, his daughter, 4

John CAMERON and Janet McGREGOR and family, from Achranach
• John Cameron, 49, labourer
• Janet McGregor, his wife, 44
• John Cameron, his son, 26, ploughman
• Angus Cameron, his son, 24, labourer
• Charles Cameron, his son, 20, labourer
• Duncan Cameron, his son, 17, cowherd
• Allan Cameron, his son, 15, cowherd
• Anne Cameron, his daughter, 12
• Archibald Cameron, his son, 9
• Dugald Cameron, his son, 7
• Marjory Cameron, his daughter, 5

John CHISHOLM, 40, labourer

Mathew DUNNET and Margaret DUNNET [BARBOUR] and family
• Mathew Dunnet, 36, labourer
• Margaret Dunnet, 33
• John Dunnet, 7½
• Janet Dunnet, 4
• Ellen Thomson Dunnet, born at sea

George EASTON and Mary EASTON [WOOD], from Paisley
• George Easton, 22, baker
• Mary Easton, 21

Donald and Mary FERGUSON and family
• Donald Ferguson, 36, miller
• Mary Ferguson, 35
• Marion Ferguson, 9
• Donald Ferguson, 7
[Child Ferguson, born at sea?]

John FERGUSON, 22, joiner

Duncan FRASER and Marjory FRASER and family, from Corran
• Duncan Fraser, 40, blacksmith and labourer
• Margaret Fraser, 36
• John Fraser, 17, blacksmith
• Catherine Fraser, 16, sempstress
• Isabella Fraser, 15, housemaid
• Margaret Fraser, 14, housemaid
• Elizabeth Fraser, 13, housemaid
• Ann Fraser, 12
• Alexander Fraser, 8
• Donald Fraser, 7
• Duncan Fraser, 4
• Thomas Fraser, born at sea

Jane FRASER, 20

Alexander GRANT, 30, mason

William HARVIE, 15, labourer

Alexander KEITH, 34, shepherd and labourer

Daniel McCOLLSTY, 27, stonemason

William and Elizabeth McCONNEL, from Paisley
• William McConnel, 22, baker
• Elizabeth McConnel, 21
• Helen McConnel, born at sea

Michael McEACHNIE, 36, labourer

Gregor McGREGOR, agriculturalist, 21

John McKAY and family
• John McKay, 52
• John McKay, 28
• Donald McKay, 25
• Sarah McKay, 19, dairymaid
• Lachlan McKay, 16, cowherd
• Hector McKay, 14
• Colin McKay, 10

Hugh McKENZIE and Catherine McDONALD and family, from Achatany
• Hugh McKenzie, 50, labourer
• Catherine McDonald, his wife, 46
• Jane McKenzie, his daughter, 24, housemaid
• Peggy McKenzie, his daughter, 21, housemaid
• Mary McKenzie, his daughter, 17, housemaid
• Flora McKenzie, his daughter, 15
• Janet McKenzie, his daughter, 12
• John McKenzie, his son, 10

Lachlan McKINNIS, 21, shepherd, from Morvern

John McKINNON, 20, labourer

Dugald McLACHLAN and Jane CAMERON and family
• Dugald McLachlan, 40, labourer
• Jane CAMERON, 35
• Catherine McLachlan, 15, housemaid
• Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan, 11
• Hugh McLachlan, 10
• Duncan McLachlan, 4
• Isabella McIntyre McLachlan, born at sea

Archibald and Christina McLELLAN, from Morvern
• Archibald McLellan, 30, labourer
• Christina McLellan, 27

Angus McMASTER, 36, ploughman, from Kinlochmoidart

Donald McQUARRIE and Margaret McEACHERN and family, from Borline
• Donald MacQuarrie, 54, labourer
• Margaret McEachern, his wife, 53
• Rachael MacQuarrie, his daughter, 27, housemaid and cook
• Jane MacQuarrie [FRASER], his daughter, 25, housemaid
• Angus MacQuarrie, his son, 23, cooper
• John MacQuarrie,  his son, 19, his son
• Alexander MacQuarrie, his son, 17, labourer
• Hugh MacQuarrie, his son, 14, cowherd
• Isabella MacQuarrie, his grandaughter, 3 died at sea?
• Mary MacQuarrie [FRASER] his granddaughter, 7
• John MacQuarrie, his grandson, 3

William and Maria MILLER and family, from Glasgow
• William Miller, 28, labourer (embarkation), weaver (arrival)
• Maria Miller, 27
• Robert Miller, 9
• Janet Miller, 7
• Mary Miller, 5
• Jane Miller, 2
• Margaret Miller, born at sea

James and Jane MITCHELL and family, from Paisley
• James Mitchell, 29, labourer
• Jane Mitchell, 28
• Marion Mitchell, 5
• Jane Mitchell, 3

Hugh MORRISON and Anne TURNER and family, from Kenlochuline
• Hugh Morrison, 50, shepherd
• Anne Turner, 40
• Hugh Morrison, 18, labourer
• Duncan Morrison, 16, labourer
• Anne Morrison, 14, housemaid
• John Morrison, 12, cowherd
• Margaret Morrison, 10
• Mary Morrison, 8
• Colin Morrison, 6

John MURRAY, 24, ploughman, from Paisley

William and Janet NICOL [JAMIESON] family, from Paisley
• William Nicol, 47, labourer
• Janet Nicol , 35
• John Nicol, 18, labourer
• William Nicol, 16, labourer
• Charles Nicol, 13
• James N Nicol, 10
• Janet Nicol, 8

James RANKIN, 21, collier, from Paisley

George ROSS, 21, blacksmith

Francis and Eliza SINCLAIR [McHUTCHESON] and family from Perthshire, and John McHUTCHESON
• Francis Sinclair, 42, described as a sailor in the arrival list
• Eliza Sinclair, 40
• John Sinclair [McHUTCHESON], 20
• George Sinclair, 15
• James Sinclair, 14, described as a labourer in the embarkation list
• Jane Sinclair, 12
• Helen Sinclair, 10
• Francis Sinclair, 6
• Ann Sinclair, 1

Mary SMITH, 19, housemaid

Alexander and Helen THOMPSON, from Paisley
• Alexander Thompson, 28, labourer
• Helen Thompson, 26

Isabella TURNER, 28, housemaid

John TURNER, 20, mason


Original Lists

The original lists held by Archives New Zealand, as reproduced and indexed by FamilySearch, include four lists of registered emigrants, i.e. excluding the cabin passengers:

  • Initial list: The list is headed “We the Undersigned hereby acknowledge to have engaged with Mr Donald Macdonald Agent for the New Zealand Company to Emigrate with him to the said Colony according to the rules of the said Company dated in London 29 June 1839 which have been fully explained to us and we bind ourselves to be ready to Embark with him so soon after the first of June next as he shall be ready to receive us from Fort William, Culchenna 14 January 1840.” The columns cover names and designations of emigrants; ages of male adults, female adults and children under 14; trade or calling; and remarks.  Many of the  names are crossed out, and there is a page which is a late addendum to the original list.   The original list totalled 197, of whom 93 were crossed out, leaving 113.  The additional lists, which added back some of the deleted names, added 36, giving a total of 149 steerage passengers.  This list is at pages 240-247 of the archived document.
  • Interim List: Appears to be an early version of the embarkation list, signed on 25 August 1840 by Robert Watt, the Surveyor Shipping for the New Zealand Company.  The total on the list was 196, but 19 names were crossed out and do not appear in the embarkation list, giving a total of 177. The column headings are the same as in the embarkation list. This list is at pages 218-229 of the archived document.
  • Embarkation list: The cover notes “Embarkation List, ship Blenheim, Capt Grey, off the Tail of the Bank, Greenock, despatched 25 August 1840 at 5 pm,” and it is signed off at the end by Niel Campbell, Surgeon Superintendent, and John Grey, Commander of the Blenheim.  The list was headed “Emigration Register – Register of Emigrant Labourers who have received a Free Passage to NEW ZEALAND”. The columns were: a number on the register; name; Christian name; wife’s Christian name, trade or calling before emigrating; ages, split up by married or single, man or woman; children’s ages split up by boys and girls, number and age; by whom specially recommended; by whom engaged before emigrating; term of engagement; deposit received; departure details of date, from and ship; remarks. Many of these columns had no entries. Some of the names were crossed out because of duplications, giving a total of 179 steerage passengers, which included the additional emigrants from Paisley, Glasgow and Perthshire.  This list was at pages 204-217 of the archived document.
  • Arrival list: This list has the same format as the previous two, and ends with a summary page signed off by Neil Campbell, Surgeon Superintendent which included births and deaths, making it the arrival document. However, it appears to be based more on the interim list than the embarkation list, repeating the crossings out in the interim list, and with one name, James Drummond, on both of the other lists not appearing in this list.  The total of assisted immigrants is signed off as 176 plus six births minus two deaths, but this appears to have miscounted one single man and counted the death of a cabin passenger in arriving at the emigrant total.  It also appears likely that one of the crossed-off children (Isabella MacQuarrie) did board the ship, but died at sea.  This list is at pages 230-238 of the archived document.

This gives a full tally of 203 passengers on arrival, including both cabin and steerage passengers, and including the Surgeon Superintendent, and accounting for 2 deaths and 6 births on the voyage,

The arrivals included 22 married couples, 53 single men, 27 single women, 26 boys and 28 girls, on the emigrant list; with 2 married couples, their 8 sons and 4 daughters, 1 daughter having died at sea, and 4 single men in the cabin.


The Glasgow Herald of 28 August 1840 included a report of the departure of the Blenheim. The report noted that in addition to Mr M’Donald, late of Drimintoran, and his family, the cabin passengers included Captain Moses Campbell and family from Lochaber, Dr Sinclair Sutherland, Mr John Cameron, Mr John M’Farlane, Paisley, Mr Thomas M’Donald, and Dr Campbell, the surgeon of the ship, from Mull.

The New Zealand Journal of Saturday, 29 August 1840 reporting the departure of the Blenheim, noted, “The following is a list of the cabin passengers by the Blenheim:—Donald Macdonald, Esq.; Mrs. Macdonald; Catherine Macdonald; Donald Macdonald; Adam Macdonald; Flora Macdonald; Alexander Macdonald; Campbell Macdonald; Thomas Macdonald; Captain Moses Campbell; Mrs. Campbell; John Campbell; Colin Campbell; Louisa Campbell; Susan Campbell; Isabella Campbell; Dr. Sinclair Sutherland; Mr. John Cameron; Mr. John Macfarlane; and the Surgeon Superintendent, Mr. Neil Campbell.”

The Stirling Observer of September 3rd 1840 reported “DEPARTURE OF THE SHIP BLENHEIM  On Monday last we had the opportunity of accompanying a select party who paid a farewell visit to the ship ‘Blenheim’, before her departure with emigrants for the land of promise in the southern seas. The emigrating band numbered nearly 200; they were principally highlanders who are strangers to the language of the Saxon, and as Dr McLeod had kindly consented to address them in Gaelic for the last time before their departure from the shores of old Scotland, the occasion was one calculated to excite both feeling and interest. The ‘British Queen’ steamer sailed from the Broomielaw at 11 o’clock, with the New Zealand flag flying from her mast head, and both there and at Renfrew wharf, passengers for the remote home of Port Nicholson, New Zealand, were received, and placed on board the ‘Blenheim’, which lay at the Tail of the Bank, shortly after one o’clock. The ‘Blenheim’ is a London ship, commanded by Captain Gray, and although she only reached Greenock on the Sunday week preceding, the time had been so well improved that it only required the lifting of the anchor, and the spreading of the sails, to fit her for sea. It was intended that the ship should be entirely filled with emigrants from the Highlands, but when the day of parting came, the home-sick feeling came so strongly upon them that about 40 drew back, whose places were filled up by families principally from Glasgow and Paisley. Mr Crawford, the New Zealand Secretary, only received notice of the defalcation in the Highland complement on Thursday last; but so eager and so general is the desire to settle in this infant kingdom, that in two days he was able to muster a sufficient number of reputable artisans – weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, &c, with their families – who were willing and ready to leave the land of their fathers for ever. The great majority, however, were Highlanders, and we have rarely seen a more creditable band; they were selected personally by Mr McDonald late of Druimintoran, who shows his sincerity in the cause of emigration, by proceeding at the head of his peasant friends, accompanied by his lady and family.”

The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 9 January 1841 reported the passengers in the “Blenheim”: Mr and Mrs M’Donald and eight children, Captain and Mrs Campbell and four children, Drs Sutherland and Campbell; Messrs Cameron and M’Farlane.

Contemporary Sources

The main contemporary source is the journal kept by Jessie Campbell, wife of Moses Campbell, one of the cabin passengers on the Blenheim.

The cabin passengers mentioned in Jessie’s journal include her family and that of Donald McDonald, Doctor Sutherland, John Cameron and Mr Macfarlane, as well as the ship’s doctor Neil Campbell and the ship’s captain Captain Grey. There were no references to a Mrs Johnston or to a Doctor McDonald who appear on some lists as cabin passengers.

The journal also includes references to servants, Mary Cameron and her sister Catherine, and “the Skye woman”.

References to specific steerage passengers relate generally to those giving birth – Mrs Fraser, wife of the smith from Ardgour, Mrs McLachlan from Portobello [she was not, in fact, from Portobello but from Fort William], and a man from Paisley – or dying – a McQuarrie child died. A man called Sinclair from Stirling gave a bible reading.

Subsequent Lists

A number of lists of passengers have been published in a number of books and online. One of the main sources for these lists was Early Wellington, by Louis Ward, and a comprehensive Blenheim list published on Denise and Peters genealogical website.

The Early Wellington list incorrectly identifies Capt Moses Campbell as the captain of the Blenheim, and leaves out five large families of Camerons and the Miller family. The list identifies as not embarking some of those crossed out in the embarkation and arrival lists, but not all.

The Denise and Peter list has cabin passenger John Cameron in the steerage list, and adds a Dr Sinclair McDonald and a Mrs Johnston to the cabin passenger list. The evidence from newspaper reports and Jessie Campbell’s journal does not support either name, with the reference to Johnston possibly arising from an argument between Jessie Campbell and Mrs McDonald about “Dr Johnston’s [sic, Johnson’s] tour through the Highlands,” referring to a visit by Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell in 1773, the record of which was published in 1785. There are several other names included that were in fact deleted from the final list, or are duplications of those listed.

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