Tag Archives: Auckland

Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun

This family were noted as coming from Trishilaig in the initial Blenheim passenger list, with Ewen being the brother to Donald Cameron, the subject of Donald McDonald’s comments, “This man and his family have been known to me all my life & are a very industrious family.  The same remark applies to his brother and his family who is next to him but one in this list, they have besides excellent Certificates.”

The large family was made up of:

  • Ewen Cameron, 50, tailor
  • Maria Colquhoun, his wife, 46
  • Mary Cameron, his daughter, 28, chambermaid
  • Flora Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
  • Marjory Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
  • Jane Cameron, his daughter,22, housemaid
  • John Cameron, his son, 20, shepherd – crossed out on initial list, and not included in subsequent lists
  • 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

Ewen and Maria’s son John Cameron did not travel on the Blenheim – he married Catherine Black in 1840. The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1820 records that John Cameron, son of Ewen Cameron at Gearidh and Maria Colquhoun his spouse was born 4th and baptized 9th April.  John Cameron died on 16 December 1872 at Bailevolan, Lismore.  The registration in the parish of Lismore in the county of Argyll noted that he was a lime burner of 53, married to Catherine Black, and his parents were Hugh Cameron, teacher, deceased, and Sarah Colquhoun.  The informant was his son, Hugh Cameron.

Return to The Blenheim People.


Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for 1783 recorded the birth of Ewen Cameron, son to Angus Cameron and Mary Cameron, Corvig, on 11 June.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) recorded the marriage on 28 February 1811 of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun, at Inverscaddle.

Information from the birth registrations of their children shows that Ewen and Maria lived in Ardgour, the southern part of the Kilmallie parish to the west of Loch Eil.   Inverscaddle was at the mouth of Glenscaddle, north of the Corran Ferry, and Gerridh was to the south, on Linnhe Loch.  Despite the notation in the Blenheim passenger list, it does not appear that they lived at Trislaig, which was at the northern end of Ardgour, opposite Fort William.

Ewen Cameron was actually 57 when he sailed on the Blenheim. A record of Maria’s birth has not been confirmed.

Ewen Cameron, sometimes known as Hugh Cameron, lived in Kaiwarra and worked as a tailor, as confirmed by Juror lists.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 December 1848 reported the death of Ewen Cameron as follows:

A fatal accident occurred on Wednesday last to Mr. Ewen Cameron, who resided on the road to Kaiwarra. On his return home about eight o’clock in the evening, in walking too near the edge of the steep ravine or gulley in front of his house his foot unfortunately slipped, and he fell head foremost, and his head striking a projecting piece of rock he was killed on the spot. The body was discovered by his family the next morning lying in the ravine. An inquest was held on the body by Dr. Fitzgerald the Coroner, yesterday, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The deceased was very much and deservedly respected as an honest man and an industrious settler, and had brought up a very numerous family with great credit and propriety.

As recorded in Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalling her Kaiwarra memories, wrote, “By far the most tremendous episode of that period was the death of ‘Cameron, the Tailor’. He was found dead on the rocky path leading up from the beach to his house. Inquiries showed that he had left the ‘Highlander Inn’ at about nine in the evening and was not seen again alive. He had evidently slipped in the darkness, and struck his head against the wall of rock bordering the way.”

After Ewen’s death most of the younger members of the family appear to have moved to Auckland with their sister Jane and brother-in-law Alexander Alison, and where several of the daughters married mariners. In 1861 Sarah and Catherine went to the Otago goldfields with their husbands, apparently taking their aged mother with them, because Maria Cameron died at Blue Spur, Otago, on 28 December 1874. Blue Spur was in Tuapeka County, near Lawrence.

The Tuapeka Times of 7 January 1874 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 28th December, at the residence of James Campbell, Blue Spur, Maria Cameron, relict of the late Ewen Cameron, of Kaiwarra, Wellington.”  The death registration contains no information, other than the date of death, her name and age, 85, and cause of death, “old age”.  The informant was the local undertaker.

Mary Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll), records that Mary, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Peggy Colquhoun of Glenscaddle, was baptized on 24 January 1812.

Mary Cameron was described as a chambermaid of 28 in the Blenheim passenger list.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage on 5 February 1841 of Mary Cameron and Peter McGrigor, barely six weeks after the arrival of the Blenheim.

The New Zealand Colonist and Port Nicholson Advertiser of 16 August 1842 reported on a narrow escape from drowning, “Last Thursday, a boat laden with wood from Petoni, bound for Te Aro, with Charles Cameron, Peter M’Gregor, and a sailor; it was blowing very hard at the time and the boat being deeply laden, Cameron recommended M’Gregor not to leave, and if he did he might go by himself, as he (Cameron) would walk it, M’Gregor said he would chance it and left accordingly with the other boatman. They proceeded as far as Ngaurangi in safety, when a gust of wind upset the boat, and the men were thrown into the sea, the upper part of the cargo being washed away, the boat again righted, and the men got into her, although she was full of water, and were drifting out to sea all night, sometimes clinging to the outside of the boat, being frequently washed overboard. About nine o’clock the following morning, some natives rescued them from a watery grave, near Barrett’s reef, and brought them ashore more dead than alive. ”  It is not known if the Charles Cameron referred to was Peter McGregor’s brother-in-law.

Peter M’Gregor, Kai Warra, road, labourer, was on the list of prospective jurors for Port Nicholson in 1845.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 15 July 1846 carried the Death Notice: “Died – on Saturday, the 11th inst., Mary, the wife of Mr. P. M’Gregor, and eldest daughter of Mr. Ewen Cameron, Tailor, of Kai Wara.”

Mary and Peter appear to have had one child:

  • Mary McGregor, born in 1842.

Little further information has been established for Peter McGregor or his daughter Mary. However, Margaret Perry, in her diary covering the period between 1865 and 1867, in talking about her Auntie (Marjory Cameron, see below), mentioned a Dan Richardson who had married a niece of Auntie’s and she had died.  A Daniel Richardson married a Mary McGregor on 2 April 1861. A Mary Richardson died on 7 March 1865 aged 22. A child, Ellen Mary Richardson, daughter of Daniel and Mary Richardson, was born on 17 September 1864 and died on 18 January 1865, aged 4 months.

Flora Cameron

In the Blenheim passenger list, Flora was described as a housemaid of 26, suggesting that her birth was probably in 1814.

Flora Cameron and Thomas Ritchie Simson were married on 3 October 1844 in Wellington.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 19 October 1844 included the Notice: “Married – On the 3rd instant, by the Rev. J. Macfarlane, Mr Thomas Richie Simpson, formerly of Glasgow, to Flora, daughter of Hugh Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Invernesshire.”

It seems from Electoral Roll records that the Simsons farmed at Turakina for a period, but by the time of their mother’s death in 1886 the sons had moved to Opunake, although their father was in Wanganui.

The Hawera and Normanby Star of 26 November 1886 included the Death Notice: “Simson – on the 21st instant, at the residence of her sons, Taungatara, near Opunake, Flora, the beloved wife of Mr Thomas R Simson.  She was the second daughter of Mr Hugh Cameron of Kaiwarra, Wellington, who has long preceded her to the grave.  The family arrived in Wellington in 1840; and she has passed away at the age of 66 years.”

Thomas Ritchie Simson died in 1907 aged 88, at Wanganui Hospital.  The Wanganui Herald of 3 September 1907 carried the Death Notice: “Simson – At the Wanganui Hospital, on Sunday, 1st September, Thomas Simson, aged 88 years.”.

Flora and Thomas had at least two children:

  • Charles Simson, born in 1849.
  • David Cameron Simson, born in 1851, died in 1901, married Elizabeth Putt in 1888.
Marjory Cameron

Marjory (Mysie) Cameron was described as a housemaid of 24 in the Blenheim passenger list., indicating she was born around 1816.

Marjory Cameron married John McQuarrie in 1844.  John McQuarrie, son of Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern, was also on board the Blenheim, described as a joiner of 18. The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 3 January 1844 carried the Married Notice: “On the 1st inst., by the Rev. John Macfarlane, Mr John M’Quarrie, formerly of Invernessshire, carpenter, to Marjory, daughter of Mr Hugh Cameron, formerly of Ardgone, Argyleshire, now of Wellington.”

Marjory Cameron was the “Auntie” referred to in Margaret Perry’s diaries. The couple moved to Rangitikei, and Margaret Perry wrote, “I used very often go and stop with Uncle and Auntie in the Valley, Uncle like all the McQuarries used to drink heavily; when he would come home, he was a perfect madman, he would set to work and throw chairs tables and crockery outside the door, Auntie and I used to run and hide, in the bush till the storm was over and all was quiet, then we would go in and find him fast asleep; then we would set to work and gather up the pieces and put all straight.  After a while they left the Valley, and went to live in a four-roomed cottage in Turakina.  Uncle got very ill and the doctors told him that drink was killing him.”

John McQuarrie died on 10 December 1865.  Mysie McQuarrie married George Perry on 14 February 1867.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Marjory Perry died on 26 March 1903 aged 87.  Her death registration indicates that she was a widow, and died at Devonport from heart failure and senility.  Her parents were listed as Hugh Cameron, tailor, and her mother’s maiden surname was Colquhoun.  Marjory was born in Argyleshire and had been in New Zealand for 63 years.  She was married first in Wellington to Hugh [sic] McQuarrie when she was 22, and secondly in Turakina to George Perry.  There were no living children.  The informant was W H Burgess, authorised agent.  William Henry Burgess was Marjory’s brother-in-law, the widower of her sister Margaret.

Jane Cameron

Jane Cameron was listed as a housemaid of 22 when she travelled on the Blenheim in 1840.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 22 November 1845 contained the Marriage Notice: Married, on the 17th November instant, Mr Alexander Allison, formerly of Inverness, Shipwright, now of H.M. Colonial Brig “Victoria,” to Jane, third daughter of Mr Ewen Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Agyleshire.”

Alexander Alison was a ship’s carpenter who came to Nelson in the early 1840s.  The family moved to Auckland in 1848, settling in Devonport in 1854, where Alexander continued his trade as a boat-builder.

Alexander Alison died in 1887.  The New Zealand Herald of 27 June 1887 carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR. A. ALISON, SEN.
It is with much regret we have to announce the decease of another of the old identities of Auckland, in the person of Mr. Alexander Alison, sen., who has been ailing for some weeks past, and who died peacefully at his residence, Devonport, yesterday morning, at half-past eleven, at the advanced age of 7S years. The deceased gentleman, who was a native of Inverness, Scotland, arrived at Nelson some fifty years ago, but shortly afterwards chose Auckland as his place of residence, and has lived at Devonport over thirty years. The deceased was a man of sterling qualities, of a warm-hearted and genial disposition, and highly respected by a wide circle of friends. He leaves a widow and three sons, each of whom are grown up and married, and hold prominent positions, to mourn his loss. The funeral is announced to take place at Devonport to-morrow (Tuesday), at three o’clock.

The New Zealand Herald of 6 February 1893 carried the Death Notice: “Alison – On Saturday, February 4 1893, at her late residence, Beach Road, Devonport, Jane, relict of the late Alexander Alison, Esq., aged 78 years. Interred at Devonport Cemetery.”

Jane and Alexander had at least four children who lived beyond infancy:

  • Alexander Alison, born in 1846, died in 1923, married Annie Stokoe in 1868.
  • Roderick Alison, born in 1850, died in 1882.
  • Ewen William Alison, born in 1852, died in 1945, married Mary Ann Coleman in 1876.
  • Duncan Donald Tobias Alison, born in 1856, died in 1935, married Emma Lyons in 1884.

The New Zealand Dictionary of Biography has an entry for Ewen William Alison, noting that he was born in Auckland on leap day, 29 February 1852, the son of Jane Cameron and her husband Alexander Alison, a shipwright. At the age of 15 Ewen went off to look for gold in the Thames goldrush, and made sufficient money to join his brother in a butchery partnership in Devonport.  He went on to become a businessman involved in shipping and property, and was active in local and national government.  Ewen married Mary Ann Coleman on 26 July 1876, and they were to have four sons and two daughters.  His main claim to fame was to found and develop the Devonport Steam Ferry Company Limited, with his brother Alexander.  Ewen Alison died on 6 June 1945 at the age of 93.

Charles McLean Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1822, records the baptism of Charles McLean Cameron son to Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colquhoun in Gearidh on 28 July, born on 20th Curr. [of the current month].

In the Blenheim passenger list Charles McLean Cameron was described as a labourer of 18.

It seems that by the late-1840s Charles was travelling around New Zealand and was in partnership with Robert Waitt (who married Catherine McDonald) in a contract to supply British troops.  After working with John Wade at the Wellington Brewery, Charles established the Kaiwarra Brewery, but passed it on to his brother Allan, apparently when he took up trading with the Chatham Islands and then Australia.  He returned to New Zealand and purchased a farm at Karaka, near Auckland, but a letter from Duncan Campbell to his brother-in-law Donald McKinnon in July 1861 reported that “Charles Cameron sold his farm in New Zealand 2 years ago for £2,000 he went to Twofold Bay and he lost all.”

The John Cameron Letters include a letter from John Cameron of Marangai to Charles McL Cameron Esq., 35 Great Castle Street, W. London, dated 9 September 1882, which reads:

My Dear Charlie
Your letter of the 24 June I recd about a fortnight ago. I was delighted to hear from you and so was all your old friends and acquaintances about Turakino. We all thought that you had your departure taken to the other world long ago, never hearing from you. We are all much pleased to think that we were wrong, and that there is a chance of seeing you again. Well – in reply to your queries. Your sister that was married to John McQuarie is married again to a man named Perry and I believe is very comfortable I haven’t seen her for a long time. Hitherto they have been living at Turakino but I was told a few days ago that they had shifted down to near Rangatikei on the road to Bulls – I was told that he had taken a small farm there. Mrs Perry – near Bulls – Rangatikei – Wellington – N.Z. I think will find her – of your brother Donald I know nothing or next to nothing – I was asking Charlie Cameron a few days ago if he could tell me anything about him. He says that at one time he heard that he left Hokitika and went to Tauranga but that he heard afterwards that he went back again to Hokitika – that was all he could tell me about him. Of your cousins Donald Bane’s family there are only three of them alive Mrs Grant, Mrs McDonald and Mrs Brabason, all the sons are dead. The Grants have a very nice place at Turakino and are thoroughly independent, Alec McDonald and his family have a fine place on the Oroua Stream about halfway between the Rangitikei and Manawatu Rivers. This is all I know about your relations, of your other fellow passengers on the Blenheim there are several of them still in Turakino – Old John Cameron and wife only died last year within a few weeks of each other. I believe the old man was quite 100 years old – his eldest son John was killed by a tree falling on him when he was felling – Charlie and Archi have both got fine places in Turakino with large grown up famileis and thoroughly independent.
If you ever come to see us again you will find the country very much altered. We have a fine bridge across the Wanganui river opposite the centre of the Town. And a railway opening from Manawatu to Patea and will soon be open all the way to Waitara on the north side of New Plymouth. There is also a railway in course of being formed from Wellington to the Manawatu to join on to the New Plymouth railway, and there is a line to be taken somewhere from the West Coast right up through Taupo into the Waikato to join on to the Auckland railway. Altogehter the country is going ahead notwithstanding the very slack times that Farmers are having and all those public works going ahead make it all the wose for the poor Farmers for it helps to keep the price of labour up sa high as ever. Sheep and cattle are lower now than they have been for many years and the wool market is exceedingly low the lat sales were the lowest we have had for years notwithstanding which land keeps up its price – It is not unusual to hear of properties changing hands at from £10 to £20 an acre. We are looking forward to be able to get ris of our surplus beef and mutton by this freezing process several cargoes have been sent home with great success – some sent from Dunedin was sold in London as English Down mutton. Native difficulty I think is settled now I dont think there is much dange of any more disturbances of any consequence. We are geting too strong for them our volunteer and militia corps are well trained and well armed and amount in the agregate to several thousands and the Maories know it and are afraid of them. They are also wide awake enough to see that in all the wars they have had with Europeans that tho thye may occasionally have a success in the long run they have always the worst of it – they are beginning to find out there is more to be gained by legislating than fighting. Write me on receipt of this and let me know if there is any chance of your coming back to New Zealand, and as you say that tou are still a Batchelor you might be able to pick up a buxom hussey that would keep you comfortable in your old age.

It is not clear when Charles McLean Cameron returned to New Zealand.

The 1905-1906 Electoral Roll for Eden in Auckland, records Charles McLean Cameron, inmate, at Costley Home.  The Costley Home for the Aged Poor, was originally located within the Auckland Hospital grounds, but in 1890 moved to Epsom.

New Zealand BDM records have the death of a Charles McLean Cameron on 1 April 1909, aged 87.

Sarah Cameron

Sarah Cameron was 16 when she sailed on the Blenheim with her family.

In 1851, Sarah married Duncan Campbell, a master mariner.  The Wellington Independent of 27 September 1851 carried the notice: “Married – On the 29th inst., by license, at St Paul’s, by the Rev. J.F. Churton, Mr Duncan Campbell, of Auckland, to Sarah, fifth daughter of the late Mr. Ewen Cameron of Wellington. ”

Duncan Campbell was born in Perthshire, Scotland and was a half-brother of James Campbell who married Sarah’s sister Catherine Cameron.  It is not clear when he came to New Zealand.

In the early 1850s Duncan Campbell was the skipper of the Benlomond, a 35 ton schooner in the coastal trade. According to Electoral Roll records the family was living at Nelson Street, Auckland, in 1856.

It appears that the family moved to Gabriel’s Gully, Otago in 1861.

Sarah Campbell died on 24 February 1863 in Lawrence, Otago, a few weeks after giving birth to Mary.  The Daily Southern Cross of 21 March 1863 carried the following Death Notice: “On February 24th, at the Molyneux, Province of Otago, Sarah, the beloved wife of Mr Duncan Campbell. She leaves six children with her sorrowing husband to lament her loss.”

In 1872 Duncan Campbell was appointed to be teacher at the Tuapeka Mouth School.  An inspector’s report noted that he was untrained and only on trial, and it was doubtful if he would succeed as a teacher.  He then took up farming in the district.

Duncan Campbell died in October 1875.  He was found drowned in the Molyneux River in Otago.  The Tuapeka Times of 6 October 1875 reported:

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF A SETTLER.
We learn that Mr. Duncan Campbell, settler at Tuapeka Mouth, has disappeared in rather a mysterious manner. It appears that on Sunday evening Mr. Campbell crossed a man from the west side of the river to Dalhousie, and remained with the boat whilst the passenger went up to the township, promising to return in a few minutes. The man was longer than he anticipated, and on his return to the river bank was surprised at not to find either the boat or Mr. Campbell who has not yet been seen or heard of. Search was made by the residents of Dalhouse without avail, and up to the hour of our going to press, neither Campbell nor the boat had been heard of. Mr. A. M’Beath gave information to the police last evening, and they started away to assist in the search.

The Tuapeka Times of 9 October 1875 was able to shed more light on the disappearance, noting that Duncan Campbell provided a ferry service and on the day in question had brought over two men then adjourned to public house at Tuapeka Mouth, and was observed as being “slightly the worse for liquor.” It appeared that he may have gone to sleep in the boat while awaiting the later passenger and been carried down by the current, and somehow fallen in the river. The report went on to note:

The missing-man was an old resident in the district having come from the North Island about the first the Gabriels Gully rush. He followed digging for sometime, and subsequently became a mining agent in Lawrence. Being a man of good education, and possessing a fair share of natural talent, he was subsequently appointed Schoolmaster at Tuapeka Mouth, a situation which he resigned only a few months ago, when he took to farming, following it up to the time of bis disappearance. He was well known throughout the district; his obliging disposition and genial character rendering him generally well liked in the place.
A correspondent writes: Not a few in and about the district of Gabriels will read with feelings of melancholy interest the circumstances attending the sad end of poor old Duncan Campbell. He was in many respects of the word a coupling link between New Zealand of the past and New Zealand of the present. The date of his advent in this colony is somewhat obscure, but it is understood he got here about the latter part of the decade ending ’30 or beginning of ’40. When I say here, I mean Auckland, as you must be aware the southern provinces were little known of in those primitive days. The last time I saw him was only a few weeks ago, and he then presented all the animated appearance of a hale hearty old man who had yet many days to live. Nothing delighted him better than to recall the old times and early associations, when British rule was to a great extent subservient to Maori custom. On the occasion to which I allude he was in company with another of the old New Zealand School a resident about Tokomairiro. To hear these two old “fogies” recite their early adventures in the Northern territory was a perfect treat. The name and surname of a leading minister of the Colonial Cabinet was mixed up with one of their exploits the burden of the narrative being that they had only one blue blanket amongst the three of them, and that thus gaudily attired they set out to pay court to a tatooed damsel, possessed of great personal attractions. The conclusions indulged in by these two worthies in drawing parallels between the third occupant of the blue blanket engaged upon this escapade, and his present occupation as leader of the House of Representatives, were whimsical in the extreme. With their recollection still fresh upon my memory the intelligence of his sad end comes home to me with all the force and effect of one of those rude shocks which teaches us too truly that in the midst of life we arc in death.

The Otago Daily Times of 24 November 1875 reported:

Our Lawrence correspondent inform us by telegraph that the body of Duncan Campbell was found on the bank of the river at the mouth of a small! creek 13 miles below Tuapeka Mouth by Mr John Tyson some days ago. The body was brought up to Tuapeka Mouth, an inquest was held by the Coroner, and a verdict returned, ”Found Drowned.” A large number of friends followed the remains to the Lawrence Cemetery.

Sarah and Duncan had at least seven children:

  • Margaret Campbell, born in 1852, died in 1917, married John Glass in 1871.
  • Maria Campbell, born in 1854, died in 1947, married Andrew McBeath in 1875.
  • Donald Campbell, born in 1855.
  • Duncan Campbell, born in 1857, died in 1938, married Mary McFadzien in 1885.
  • Euphemia Campbell, born in 1859, died in 1942, married George Anderson Laidlaw in 1879.
  • Sarah Campbell, born in 1862, died in 1862.
  • Mary Campbell, born in 1863, died in 1944, married William Rainsford Bennett in 1884.
Allan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for baptisms from Corran in 1826, recorded the baptism on 3 September of Allan, son of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun in Girah, Ardgour, born on the 22nd of August.

On the passenger list for the Blenheim in 1840, Allan was described as a cowherd of 14.

The reference in Early Wellington to the death in 1846 of a son of Mr Hugh Cameron, who died of consumption, aged 21, which is confirmed by Bolton St Cemetery records, is not this Allan Cameron.  Advertisements in Wellington newspapers in 1850 show that “A D C Cameron” was taking over the Kaiwarra Brewery from his brother Charles.

Bolton St Cemetery records include a reference to “A I C Cameron”, but no further information has been established for Allan Cameron.

Donald Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) in listing baptisms from Corran and Balacolish, recorded that Donald, son of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun in Ginah, was born on the 25th of December 1828 and baptised on 4 January 1829.

Donald Cameron was a cowherd of 12 in the Blenheim passenger list.

No further information has been established for Donald Cameron, apart from a suggestion that he may have gone to the Victorian goldfields.

Margaret Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Margaret, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colqhuhon, Gearradh, was born 1st April 1831, and baptised on 24 April 1831.

Margaret Cameron was 9 when she travelled on the Blenheim with her family.

New Zealand BDM records show that Margaret Cameron married William Henry Burgess on 26 March 1862.

William Henry Burgess was the son of James William Burgess and Elizabeth Blackburn, and was born in London on 14 March 1834. He became a mariner, like his brother Isaac Burgess, who was the Auckland Harbourmaster for many years, and also lived on the North Shore.

Electoral Rolls for 1870-1876 show that William Henry Burgess lived at North Head, on Auckland’s North Shore, and from 1880 at Devonport, when his occupation was given as pilot, and mariner from 1890 to 1906.

According to New Zealand BDM records Margaret Burgess died on 18 November 1894, aged 60. The New Zealand Herald of 20 November carried the following Death Notice: “Burgess – On Sunday, November 18, at her residence, Devonport, Margaret, the beloved wife of Captain W.H.Burgess, aged 60 years.”

William Henry Burgess died on 8 March 1912, aged 77. The New Zealand Herald of 13 March 1912 carried the following obituary:

Captain William Henry Burgess, brother of the late Captain Isaac Burgess, for many years harbourmaster at Auckland, died at Devonport on Friday, in his 78th year. Born in Limehouse, London, in 1834 deceased, like his forefathers, took to the sea, and shipped as boy on the ship City of Poonah, bound for India. On his return he joined the barque Lord William Bentinck, which arrived in Auckland with troops on board on August 26, 1850. After serving in various capacities in the brigs Invincible and Kestrel, the steamer William Denny, and the brigantine Despatch, he entered the pilot service in 1858, remaining there until 1884 – a service of 26 years. Many of the early arrivals will remember Captain Burgess as being the first person they met in the new land, when he came aboard to pilot them in. After leaving the pilot service he served on the coast in the steamer Waitaki, and then in the Devonport lorry service. Retiring on account of ill-health he lived quietly at his home at Devonport. Captain Burgess passed through all the hardships of the early seafaring days, from ship’s boy to the holder of a deep sea ticket. At Parnell, in 1862, he was married to Margaret Cameron, of Argylshire, Scotland, by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. He leaves two sons, four daughters, and nine grandchildren.

Margaret and William had at least seven children:

  • Alice Maria Burgess, born in 1863, died in 1954, married Charles Frederick Taine in 1895.
  • Clara Margaret Burgess, born in 1865, died in 1950, married Henry Dugald McKellar in 1890.
  • William Isaac Burgess, born in 1866, died in 1869.
  • Flora Cameron Burgess, born in 1868, died in 1945 (Australia), married George William Phillips in 1905.
  • James William Burgess, born in 1870, died in 1952, married Bertha Lucie Barlow in 1904.
  • Maud Jane Burgess, born in 1871.
  • Herbert Donald Burgess, born in 1876, died in 1966.
Ann Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Ann, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colqhuhoun, Gearrigh, was born on 8th April 1833, and baptised on 15 April 1833.

The Blenheim passenger list recorded Anne as 7 years old in 1840.

Annie Cameron, married Donald McLeod McKinnon in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on 23 January 1853.

Donald McKinnon was born on the Isle of Skye, the son of Malcolm McKinnon and Euphemia McLeod.  The family emigrated to Australia on the Midlothian in 1837, and settled in the Maitland area of New South Wales. Donald went to school for a while before leaving to go to sea, working in the whaling industry off New Zealand, and presumably met Ann in Auckland, possibly through her brother-in-law Duncan Campbell.

Ann McKinnon died on 21 June 1881 at Wingham, NSW, aged 45.

Donald McKinnon died on 21 April 1891.  The Australian Town and Country Journal of 2 May 1891 carried the following Notice:

Taree – April 27th
Death.- On Tuesday morning, at his residence, Glen Ora, Clarksons Crossing, after a somewhat protracted illness, died Mr. Donald M’Leod M’Kinnon, at the age of 67 years. The deceased gentleman was a native of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and had resided on the Manning from about 1856 until 1862, when he removed to the Walambra district, where he lived up to the time of his death.
His wife has been dead for several years, but four sons and daughters, all grown up, are left to mourn their loss. The departed gentleman was the father of Mr. Hugh M’Kinnon, commission agent, of Sydney, and was well known and much esteemed and respected.
The funeral, which was very largely attended, took place in the Taree Estate Cemetery, when the Rev. S. P. Stewart officiated at the grave.

Ann and Donald had at least eleven children:

  • Malcolm McKinnon, born in 1853, died in 1908, married Catherine Emily Brewer in 1887.
  • Hugh McKinnon, born in 1855, died in 1930.
  • Donald McLeod McKinnon, born in 1857, died in 1922, married Sarah Jane Cox in 1884.
  • Euphemia McKinnon, born in 1859, died in 1915, married Thomas Richard McCartney in 1883.
  • Charles William McKinnon, born in 1861, died in 1940, married Catherine Taylor in 1923.
  • John McKinnon, born in 1863, died in 1863.
  • Maria Flora McKinnon, born in 1864, died in 1935.
  • Ann McKinnon, born in 1867, died in 1952, married Henry Miles in 1902.
  • Harriet Frances McKinnon, born in 1870, died in 1948.
  • Mary Jane McKinnon, born in 1873, died in 1948.
  • Catherine Mary McKinnon, born in 1879, died in 1962, married Eric Hugh Stuart McMaster in 1911.
Catherine Cameron

Catherine Cameron was 4 years old when she sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

The Daily Southern Cross of 21 April 1857 carried the Notice: “Married. At the North Shore, on the 16th instant, by the Rev. Mr Heywood, Mr James Campbell, youngest son of the late Mr Alexander Campbell, farmer, Dundaree, Grandtuly, Perthshire, Scotland, to Catherine Cameron, youngest daughter of the late Mr Ewen Cameron, of Wellington, N.Z.”

James Campbell was born in 1835 in Grandtuly, Perthshire, and was a half-brother to Duncan Campbell, who married Catherine’s sister Sarah.

The family was living in Whangaparoa, Auckland, and James was described as a farmer, when the first three children were born. They then moved to Gabriel’s Gully in Otago, and James Campbell was described as a miner in the birth registrations of his children.

Catherine Campbell died on 23 February 1898 at Gabriel’s Gully, Tuapeka, Otago.

James Campbell died on 22 October 1898 at Blue Spur, Otago, through the accidental discharge of a gun.

Catherine and James had at least eleven children:

  • James Campbell, born in 1857, died in 1882.
  • Charles Campbell, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Isobel Patterson Cousins in 1884.
  • Alexander Campbell, born in 1862, died in 1922, married Emma Ida Daniel in 1891.
  • Margaret Campbell, born in 1865, died in 1934, married Samuel Edward Portman Vernon in 1907.
  • Catherine Campbell, born in 1866, died in 1946, married Andrew Barr in 1903.
  • Archibald Campbell, born in 1868, died in 1869.
  • Anne Campbell, born in 1870 (twin), died in 1943, married John McDonald in 1903.
  • Jane Campbell, born in 1870 (twin), died in 1923, married Andrew McGregor in 1900.
  • Maria Campbell, born in 1873, died in 1950, married Albert Swanwick in 1897.
  • Sarah Campbell, born in 1875, died in 1955, married Robert Henry Ledlie in 1898.
  • Isabella Campbell, born in 1877, died in 1882.

Sources:

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William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William and Janet Nicholl and their family were described in the embarkation and subsequent lists for the Blenheim as coming from Paisley.  The family was listed as follows:

  • William Nicholl, 47, labourer
  • Janet Nicholl, 35
  • John Nicholl, 18, labourer
  • William Nicholl, 16, labourer
  • Charles Nicholl, 13
  • James Nicholl, 10
  • Janet Nicholl, 8

In all lists their name was spelled “Nicholl”.  However, in most documents prior to departure and subsequent to their arrival in New Zealand the spelling “Nicol” was used.


Return to The Blenheim People.


William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William Nicol was born around 1793, and Janet Jamieson around 1805.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, for October 1804, records that a Janet Jamieson, legal daughter of John Jamieson and Janet Cochran, was born 22 ult. and baptized 5 inst, i.e. she was born on 22 September 1804.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, records the proclamation of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson, both in this Parish, on 17 June 1821, and the payment of one shilling for three proclamations. The proclamation of banns was the notice of contract of marriage, read out in the Kirk before the marriage took place. Couples or their ‘cautioners’ (sponsors) were often required to pay a ‘caution’ or security to prove the seriousness of their intentions. Forthcoming marriages were supposed to be proclaimed on three successive Sundays, however, in practice, all three proclamations could be made on the same day on payment of a fee.

William Nicol was described as a labourer of 47 when he emigrated to New Zealand.  William Nicol, Pipitea, labourer, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1845, and in the 1847 to 1849 lists he was described as a tapkeeper,  Lambton Quay.

Janet Nicol died on 19 October 1848.  The Wellington Independent of 25 October 1848 carried the following report:

Died.—At her residence, Lambtonquay, on Thursday last, Mrs. Janet Nicol, aged 43 years.—An Inquest was held the following day at Barrett’s Hotel, on view of the body, before J. Fitzgerald, Esq., M. D., Coroner.—Mr. Nicol being called in stated, on Thursday the 19th instant, I found my wife lying on the floor (about 3 o’clock) apparently in a fit, but unfortunately she was dead; she had not five minutes before served the coxswain of the Fly’s gig, with a bottle of grog; when I went into the room she was lying on the floor amongst broken dishes and water, which must have been capsized at the time she had fallen by the severe shock of an earthquake the large cask in which we kept our, water having been upset. The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict, died of apoplexy.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 19 March 1878 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 17th inst., at the residence of his son, Mr Charles Nicol, Marton, William Nicol, formerly of Paisley, Scotland, aged 80 years.  The funeral will take place today, at half-past 2 p.m.”

John Nicol

John Nicol was described as a labourer of 18 on the Blenheim passenger list.

The Old Parish Register for November 1821 for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that John, son of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson was born on 21 October and baptized on 18 November.

The following information remains to be confirmed as applying to this John Nicol.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage of a John Nichol and E Rori Kapiti on 4 November 1841.  The records also show a birth, name not recorded, parents Betty and John Nicol, on 17 June 1848.

The Wellington Independent of 24 April 1847 published a Notice from the Treasury, Wellington, dated 23 April 1847, giving notice of the issue of Special Publican’s Licences to, among others, John Nicol, Pukarua [Pukerua?]. A John Nicol was also included in the list, published in the Wellington Independent of 13 August 1853,  of Gentlemen who had consented to act as a Committee to secure the return of W B Rhodes, Esq., to represent the Wellington Country District in the General Assembly.  The Electoral Rolls for Wellington and Wellington Country for 1853-64 included a John Nicol, Paekakariki, publican, qualification a household near Wainui.

The Wellington Independent of 16 September 1869 carried a lengthy report of legal proceedings relating to the lease of an accommodation or public house at Paekakariki, on land owned by Betty Nicol, the Maori wife of John Nicol – apparently known as “Scotch Jock”.  The Nicols lived at Waikanae.

William Nicol

William Nicol was a labourer of 16 on the Blenheim passenger list.

William Nicol Jnr, Lambton Quay, servant, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1847.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 July 1847 carried a report of a case in the Resident Magistrate’s Court where William Nicol appeared on a summons to answer the charge of having refused to support the male infant of Caroline Gooden, of which it was alleged he was the father.

The New Zealander of 9 April 1851 published the list of applications for Publicans’ Licenses, noting that if they were all to succeed the number of public houses in Auckland and its neighbourhood would be nearly doubled at once, and suggesting that they should be as much as possible confined to the leading thoroughfares since “In the back and little frequented streets they too frequently become rather nuisances and receptacles of vice.”  William Nicol, Black Bull, Albert St, was on the list of new applicants.  In 1855, William Nicol, Masonic Hotel, Princes street, was on the list of applicants.

William Nicol married Jane Harriet Brown on 9 April 1853 in Auckland.

The Electoral Rolls for Auckland, Southern Division, for 1853-1864 included William Nicol, Princes street, hotel keeper, freehold estate.

William Nicol retired from the Masonic Hotel in 1869, the occasion being recognised by the United Service Lodge of Freemasons, as reported in the New Zealand Herald of 1 April 1869.

Jane Harriet Nicol died in 1875 aged 49.  The Daily Southern Cross of 12 August 1875 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On August 10, at her residence Grey-street, Harriett Jane, the beloved wife of Mr William Nicol, aged 49 years.”

The Wanganui Chronicle of 2 May 1877 noted, “We regret to learn that Mr William Nicol, eldest brother of Mr Charles Nicol, of Marton, died at Auckland on Friday last.  He was for some time the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel at Auckland, but retired into private life some time ago.”  The Auckland Star of 27 April 1877 had carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 27th instant, at Grey-street, Auckland, William Nicol, in the 56th year of his age.”

William and Harriet had at least seven children:

  • William Henry Nicol, born in 1855, died in 1880, married Rachel Darby in 1875.
  • Emily Elizabeth Jane Nicol, born in 1856, married Edgar Patteson Hulme in 1876.
  • Frederick Thomas Nicol, born in 1858, died in 1927.
  • Harriet Annie Nicol, born in 1859, died in 1887.
  • James McNeill Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1904.
  • Alfred Alexander Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1947.
  • Lucy Isabella Nicol, born in 1865, married Donald Alexander McLeod in 1893.

Charles Nicol

Charles Nicol was 13 when he set out with his family on the Blenheim in 1840.

Charles Nicol and Catherine Jane Murray were married on 20 April 1852 at Wanganui.

In 1865 Charles Nicol founded  a bakery business in Marton, which was taken over by his son John Murray Nicol in 1895.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 April 1883 included the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 3rd April, at Marton, Charles Nicol (brother to Mrs. John Cudby, Lower Hutt), aged 55 years.”  An obituary was published in the same issue:

THE LATE MR NICOL.
The funeral of the late Mr Charles Nicol took place yesterday afternoon at the Mount View Cemetery, near Marton. The burial service over the grave was performed by the Rev. Mr Stewart and a great number of friends from Wanganui and all parts of the district paid a last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased by attending his funeral rites. The late Mr Nicol was a very old and respected settler. He came to Port Nicholson in 1840, in the good ship Blenheim (Captain Gray), which landed its passengers at Kaiwarra. Amongst Mr Nicol’s fellow-voyagers were Captain Cameron, of Marangai, Mr Gregor McGregor, and many other of our leading settlers. Mr Nicol learned the trade of baker in Wellington, and in 1848 came to Wanganui, and was employed to bake for Messrs Taylor and Watt. He subsequently became the possessor of the property in Wickstead Pace now owned by’ Mr Henry Churton and here he carried on his business very successfully for many years, during which he held the bread contracts for the troops stationed in Wanganui. Misfortunes, however, came thick upon him due to his own easy good nature, and the misplaced confidence he reposed in his friends. Taking his large family with him, Mr Nicol went some years ago to try his fortune in the new and rising township of Marton, and there he remained until his death on Tuesday last, at the comparatively early age of 54. Mr Nicol leaves behind him many children, all of them growing up, and having before them every prospect of doing well. As a man and a citizen the deceased gentleman was greatly respected, and he will long be missed by his old friends who knew his amiability of temper, unfailing good nature and sterling worth.

Catherine Jane (Murray) Nicol died on 16 July 1919 at Marton, aged 89.

Charles and Catherine had at least six children:

  • Mary Nicol, born in 1853, died in 1926, married Thomas Stoddart Lambert, architect, in 1871.
  • Janet Nicol, born in 1854, died in 1919, married John Aitken in 1876.
  • John Murray Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1918, married Emma Sophia Bensemann in 1883.
  • Margaret Kate Nicol, born in 1868.
  • Annie Harriet Nicol, born in 1869, married William Williams in 1903.
  • Ellen McFarlane Nicol, born in 1871, died in 1954, married Robert Joseph Carter in 1895.

James Nicol

James Nicol was 10 years old in 1840 when he sailed on the Blenheim to New Zealand with his family.

James Nicol and Isabella Smith were married on 5 March 1861.

James Nicol died in 1918.  The Wairarapa Age of 23 October 1916 carried the following obituary:

MR. JAMES NICOL. Another of the very early settlers of New Zealand, in the person of Mr James Nicol, passed away at his residence in Church Street, Masterton, about eight o’clock on Saturday morning.  The deceased, who had reached the great age of 85 years was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1831. With his parents he arrived in Wellington in the ship Blenheim on Christmas Day, 1840.   When quite a lad he became associated with horses, and was employed for some time in the stable of the late Dr. Fitzgerald. He afterwards had the mounts on the j horses of Mr St. Hill. In 1846 he rode the mare Bella at Bunham Water, Wellington, and was just defeated on the post.  In 1847 he rode the winner of the Te Aro Steeplechase. Later he owned Retribution, the winner of the first New Zealand Steeplechase, since called the Grand National Steeplechase. He also owned the stallion Riddlesworth, one of the first thoroughbred horses to be imported to the Dominion. In 1852 he went to Australia, and was present at the Bendigo gold rush. For a number of years he drove cattle for Wairarapa settlers round the. “Rocks” to Wellington, before the road was constructed over the Rimutaka. Subsequently he became part owner, with the late Mr Hume, of the Blairlogie station, and later resided at the Lower Taueru. In 1870 he came to Masterton, where he has resided ever since. He owned for many years the freehold of the Empire Hotel and possessed other property interests in the town. He was a splendid judge of horseflesh, and a skilled veterinarian. He was the oldest vestryman of St. Matthew’s Church, and was scrupulously conscientious in all his dealings. He was a member of the Scotch Lodge of Freemasons, and was a Sergeant in the Cavalry in the early days. In 1862 the deceased married Miss Isabella Smith, daughter, of the late Mr John Smith, one of the earliest engineers in Wellington. He leaves a widow, two daughters, and four sons The daughters are. Mrs Vincent Hooper (Auckland) and Mrs W. C. Cargill (Morrinsville). The sons are Messrs John Nicol (Te Aroha), George Nicol (Picton), Private Arthur Nicol (on active service), and Mr Len. Nicol, jeweller, of Masterton. The deceased was highly respected by all with whom he was acquainted, and his death will be deeply, regretted. The funeral takes place to-morrow (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock.

James and Isabella had eight children:

  • William Smith Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1865.
  • Harriet Jane Nicol, born in 1864, died in 1941, married Vincent Hooper in 1885.
  • John Robert Nicol, born in 1867, died in 1959, married Elizabeth Barratt in 1892.
  • George William Nicol, born in 1869, died in 1943, married Katrina Neilson in 1903.
  • Isabella Emily Nicol, born in 1871, married William Clement Cargill in 1894.
  • Frederick James Nicol, born in 1873.
  • Arthur Charles Nicol, born in 1876, died in 1941, married Lillian May Jackson in 1900, divorced in 1910, married Caroline Fanny Whyatt in 1920.
  • Leonard Spencer Nicol, born in 1883, died in 1950, married Stella Maud Clark in 1919.

Janet Nicol

Janet Nicol was 8 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

BDM records show the marriage of Jane Nicholl to John Francis Cudby on 9 November 1849.

John Francis Cudby was born on 28 February 1830 in Ingrave, Essex, England, to John Cudby and Henrietta Clampin.  He emigrated to New Zealand in 1842, aged 13, on the Thomas Sparks.  John’s brother Charles also emigrated to New Zealand in 1857 on the William and Alfred.

John Cudby established a contracting business for earthworks and construction, then added a coaching business, which was taken over by his sons George and Walter.

Janet Cudby died in 1907 aged 74. The Manawatu Standard of 2 November 1907 published the following obituary:

Mrs Janet Cudby, a much-respected resident of the Lower Hutt, died at the family residence yesterday morning, aged 74. The deceased lady, who is survived by her husband, Mr John Cudby, had lived in the Hutt district for a great many years, and went through all the trials of the early settlers. She had been ill for some time. The members of her family have been identified with the Hutt all their lives, and with their father have taken a prominent part in the development of the district.

John Francis Cudby died in 1920, at the age of 90.  The Evening Post of 8 June 1920 carried the Death Notice: “Cudby – On the 8th June, 1920, at his late residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, John Francis Cudby, relict of the late Janet Cudby, in his 91st year. R.I.P.”  The paper also had the following obituary:

MR. J. F. CUDBY
An early settler, who grew up with the Hutt district, Mr. John Francis Cudby, died at his residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, early this morning. Mr. Cudby’s interests from early youth had been in the Hutt Valley, and his history was the history of this fertile district. No one could tell its history better than he himself, for he had experienced the events and times of which he spoke and remembered them, even when he had reached the age where, with many men, the memory becomes dim. He was born in Essex in 1828, and came out to New Zealand with Lord Petre as a lad in 1843 in the ship Commerce Sparks. From the time of his arrival in the country to the day of his death, he resided at Lower Hutt. At first he lived and worked on the Woburn estate. Afterwards he became the owner of large livery stables near the railway station. He retired from active participation in the business some forty years ago, but continued to take a very lively interest in the affairs of the district. He possessed the hard, commonsense which was a distinguishing trait of many early settlers, and this made him a valued member of the Lower Hutt Borough Council for many years. He was also a member of the Licensing Committee, and as a Justice of the Peace for over thirty years was a familiar figure on the Hutt Magistrate’s Court Bench. He resigned from the Commission of the Peace two years ago. In the early days of the Wellington Racing Club he held the office of Clerk of the Course. In friendly society work he was a staunch supporter, and he held the record of seventy years’ membership of the Oddfellows Lodge. Mr. Cudby enjoyed good health, in spite of his years, until two years ago. He leaves a family of five sons and three daughters. The sons are: James, living at Lower Hutt; Charles, at Dannevirke; Henry, Alfredton; George, Rangiora; and Walter, Lower Hutt. The daughters are Mrs. J. Fleet, Petone; Mrs. Turner, Lower Hutt; and Mrs. E. D. Dunne, Wellington. Mrs. Cudby, who was also an early settler, having come out from Paisley, Scotland, in the Janet Nicol [sic], died twelve years ago. At the meeting, of the Hutt County Council this morning, a motion of sympathy was passed with the deceased’s relatives, the members standing as a mark of respect.

Jane and John had nine children:

  • James Cudby, born in 1852, died in 1923.
  • William Cudby, born in 1851, died in 1908, married Emily Frances Rivers in 1883.
  • Charles Cudby, born in 1854, died in 1942, married Emma Catherine McIntosh in 1882.
  • Emma Frances Cudby, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Joseph Frederick Fleet in 1884.
  • Henry Cudby, born in 1860, died in 1946.
  • George Cudby, born in 1862 (registration 1913), died in 1934, married Jane Muirhead in 1896.
  • Henrietta Cudby, born in 1864, died in 1955, married James Turner in 1890.
  • Walter Thomas Cudby, born in 1868, died in 1926.
  • Ada Winifred Cudby, born in 1871, died in 1958, married Edward Dowling Dunne in 1898.

Sources:

Alexander Thompson and Helen Gollan

Alexander and Helen Thompson were not on the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, but did appear on the embarkation and subsequent lists:

  • Alexander Thompson, 28, Paisley, labourer
  • Helen Thompson, 26, Paisley

Spelling: Although the Blenheim passenger lists used “Thompson” most other records have “Thomson”.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Based on the details in the Blenheim passenger list, Alexander Thomson was born around 1812 and his wife Helen around 1814.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley Middle parish records that Alexander Thomson, lawful son of Alexander Thomson and Margaret Robertson, was born on 27 October 1812 and baptized on 15 November 1812.

The Old Parish Register for Barony in Lanark, recorded the marriage on 15 May 1836 of Alexander Thomson, cotton spinner, Calton, and Helen Gollan, residing there.

From the reports below, it appears that Alexander and Helen moved to Auckland shortly after the arrival of the Blenheim, and eventually settled on a farm in West Tamaki.

The Auckland Star of 14 June 1886 provided a full report of the Golden Wedding celebrations for the couple:

A GOLDEN WEDDING.
The golden wedding of Mr and Mrs Alex. Thomson was celebrated on the evening of Thursday, the l0th inst., in the Presbyterian Church of Tamaki West. The little church was very artistically decorated for the occasion with evergreens, white and pink camellias, and other flowers of the season. About three hundred visitors were invited, and the church was literally crowded. An excellent repast was provided, chiefly by Mrs Thomson. Tables the whole length of the inside of the building were liberally spread with the daintiest viands. A number of ladies of Tamaki and neighbouring settlementa courteously waited at the table. After a bountiful tea, the Rev. John Macky took the cbair, supported by Mr and Mrs Thomson, Mr William Thorne, and immediate relations. The proceedings opened with the hymn “Praise Ye Jehovah” and prayer by Rev. R. F. Macnicol. The Chairman then made a few appropriate remarks upon the auspicious event, and called upon the Rev. Mr Steele to read apologies from well-wishers who were unavoidably absent, viz., the Revs. David Bruce, A. Carrick, T. M. King (St. John’s College), Mr James Bell, of Wairoa, and several others. The Chairman proceeded and expressed the pleasure he felt in the position which he had been called upon to occupy. He felt sure that in wishing Mr and Mrs Thomson much happiness on the event of their golden wedding day, every heart would respond to the prayer that their kind friends might be spared many years longer in their career of usefulness in connection with the locality and the church. He had known Mr and Mrs Thomson intimately ever since he was first introduced to them thirty three years ago. Having spoken at some length in eulogistic terms of the amiable qualities of his friends, he would call upon Mr Thomson to speak for himself and his aged partner. Mr Thomson, on rising, was greeted with prolonged applause, and proceeded to say that he had frequently said that if it should please God to spare him and Mrs Thomson to see fifty years of married life, he would have all Tamaki and half Auckland present to celebrate the happy event. He had not much to say to married guests upon the subject of matrimony, but he hoped they would all live to see their golden wedding, and be able to look back over half a century with as much retrospective pleasure and satisfaction as he looked over his past. He then gave some advice to unmarried men, enforcing the words of the highest authority, “It is not good for man to be alone,” the truth of which he and his partner had proved in their early colonial struggle by being united. They had found in their mutual endeavours that “two heads are better than one.” The speaker then gave a pleasing sketch of his life from tho time when he started with others from Glasgow, in 1840, by the good ship Blenheim for Wellington, and of his arrival in Auckland with Sir William Martin, the Hon. William Swainson, Mr Outhwaite, and others. He and his partner worked hard, and at length saved sufficient money to purohase Water Yett, Tamaki, the farm upon which he and Mrs Thomson had laboured 40 years. He now occupied the building which formed the first Presbyterian Church in the province. A preacher, still living in Scotland, characterised the church as a barn, and the pulpit a tea chest. He did not approve of the terms. The little church, however, had boen of real service to the people of the district, and the ministrations from that so-called “tea chest” had proved a blessing to many. Mr Thomson then sketched the history of the church and the Sunday school and Bible class, with which he had been closely connected, for the long term of forty-five years, concluding with several suggestions for practical work and general improvement. At Mr Thomson’s request, Rev. Mr Steele read the marriage lines, which showed that Alexander Thomson, bachelor, and Ellen Gollan, spinster, were married on the 2nd of June, 1836, by the Rev. John Edwards, in the Monteith Row Church, Glasgow. (Loud cheers.) Short congratulatory addresses were successively given by Rev. T. G. Carr, D. W. Runciman, G. E. Monro, K. F. Macnicol, Thomas Norrie and Mr Hunter. Between these brief speeches several sacred selections and songs ware sung. Mrs Kimpton, of Otahuhu, sang the old but very appropriate song, “Darby and Joan,” with telling effect. The same lady, with Miss Wallace, sang a duet, and subsequently the fine lyric entitled “Charity.” Miss Pulman sang “Too Late,” with pianoforte accompaniment. Mr James Wallace gave a recitation, “The Young Man Leaving Home,” with much elocutionary skill. Miss Lily Pulman then recited “The Golden Wedding Song,” written for the occasion by Mr John Blackman, which was received in a kindly spirit. This effusion was distinctly and clearly enunciated by the reciter. A splendid picture of the aged pair, photographed by Pulman, Shortland-street, was then exhibited to the audience, elegantly framed. The wedding cake was then cut by the bride with the silver knife and distributed to the assembled visitors. The cake was the gift of Mrs Carr and Messrs W and A, Thorne. The Rev. Mr Steele, on behalf of the company, expressed thanks to Mr and Mrs Thomson, to the ladies of the tea tables, and to all who had assisted in contributing to the entertainment, and the whole closed with the Benediction pronounced by the Chairman.

His death registration shows that Alexander Thomson died on 3 August 1886 at St Andrews Church of Scotland. He was a farmer of 73, the son of Alexander Thomson, stonemason, and Margaret Robertson, was born in Paisley, had been in New Zealand for 46 years, and had been married in Glasgow at 25 to Helen Gollan. There were no living children. The cause of death was apoplexy.

The Auckland Star of 4 August 1886 carried the Death Notice: “Thomson – On August 3, Alexander Thomson of West Tamaki.” The New Zealand Herald of 4 August 1886 included the following account of his life and death:

SUDDEN DEATH AT THE MEETING OF THE AUCKLAND PRESBYTERY.
At the meeting of the Auckland Presbytery, yesterday afternoon, a very sad event occurred. After the Presbytery had concluded the business before it, Mr. Alexander Thomson, an elder residing at Panmure, and representing the church at West Tamaki, rose, having taken no part in the business previously, and asked that the Presbytery should proceed then to inquire whether the collections for the foreign missions appointed by the Assembly had been made by the several congregations. To this the Presbytery at once agreed, out of respect to Mr. Thomson, and was about to carry nut the request when he was observed to have fallen back in his chair in what appeared to be a fainting fit. He was immediately unconscious and, a pallor coming over his features, it became evident that death was at hand. The Moderator and the other members near him did all they could to ease his position, but the heart had ceased its pulsations. Dr. Kenderdine was present in a few minutes, and pronounced life extinct, the cause being apoplexy. After some time had elapsed, and the body had been removed into the vestry, the Presbytery met for a few minutes, and Mr. Carrick, at the Moderator’s request, engaged in prayer, the Presbytery adjourning its meeting until to-day, at ten a.m.
The deceased gentleman was 75 years of age, and on the 10th of June last celebrated his golden wedding. It appears that about two years ago he received injury in the chest from the kick of a horse, which at the time caused a very dangerous illness. Since his recovery he had been subject to fainting fits, and yesterday morning, when coming to the Presbytery meeting, he complained of not feeling well. Mr. Thomson came to Wellington in 1840, and after remaining there for about a year he came to Auckland, where he has been ever since, on a farm at the Tamaki. He leaves a widow, but no children. Deceased was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and took a great interest in the Sunday schools and in other departments of Church work. He was kindly, frank, and hospitable.

The Auckland Star of 14 August 1886 also provided an obituary:

Mr Alexander Thomson, a very old settler of Tamaki West, and an elder of the Presbyterian Church, died on Tuesday, August 3, at the sitting of the Presbytery in St. Andrew’s Church. Mr Thomson came into town early and transacted a considerable amount of business,and while dining at a friend’s house in Shortland street said he feared he had overdone it. He felt somewhat weary, and his breathing was difficult. He left for the meeting of Presbytery at St. Andrew’s, and was speaking upon the subject of the collections of the churches for Foreign Missions, when suddenly he staggered and fell back unconscious upon the seat. A pallor immediately overspread his features, and it was evident that the hand of death «as upon him. Mr Lennox ran for Dr. Kenderdine, and that gentleman, on arrival, pronounced life extinct. The cause of his death was apoplexy. The body was removed at the moderator’s request into the vestry, and subsequently was placed in a shell and removed by Mr Wm. Thorne, solicitor, a nephew of deceased, to Mr Thomson’s late residence. Deceased was born in Glasgow in I811, so that he had reached his 75th year. In early life Mr Thomson was a cotton weaver in his native city, and was of a quiet and religious disposition. He was married June 2, 1836, to Ellen Gollan, in Glasgow, and four years from that auspicious event, in 1840, the young pair left Glasgow in the good ship Blenheim, for the city of Wellington, and after staying there for some months, sailed for Auckland, and filled in this city and suburbs several positions of trust. Mr Thomson and his partner settled on a small farm at West Tamaki, known as Water Yett, where they lived for more than 40 years. Mr Thomson told the story of his colonial struggles with graphic force on the occasion of the celebration of his “golden wedding” in June last. The funeral of the deceased was very largely attended, several hundred persons joining in the procession. A short service at the house was conducted by the Rev. John Macky, sen., minister of the united charge of Otahuhu, Tamaki, and Howick, and the Rev. T. G. Carr, Wesleyan minister (nephew of the deceased by marriage). On arriving at the cemetery the coffin was carried into St. Enoch’s Church, where service was performed by the Revs. J. Macky and T. Norrie, the former giving an appropriate address, in which he spoke of the Christian character of the deceased, and the good services he had rendered in the district for many years, especially to the younger members of the resident families, and concluded by urging all to follow his example. The Rev. D. Bruce and Rev. Mr Steele conducted the service at the grave, near the church.

Helen Thomson, widow of 84, died on 14 May 1898, at Pakuranga. No details of her parents were included in death registration, although it was noted that her father was a schoolteacher. Helen was born in Glasgow, and had been in New Zealand for 58 years. She was married in Glasgow at 18 to Alexander Thomson. There were no living children. The cause of death was senile decay.

The New Zealand Herald of 16 May 1898 carried the death Notice: “Thomson – On Saturday May 14, Helen, the widow of the late Alexander Thomson, of West Tamaki, aged 84.”

The reports above refer to a nephew, William Thorne, solicitor, and nephew by marriage, the Rev T G Carr. William Thorne and Matilda Carr were the children of William Thorne and Mary Gollan, Helen’s sister, who were married in 1846. Mary Gollan emigrated to New Zealand on the Duchess of Argyle which sailed from Greenock to Auckland in 1842. She was 30. There was another family of Gollans from Glasgow on this ship, headed by James Gollan, 33, and including his wife Abigail and several children.


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George and Mary Easton

The entry for the Eastons in the Blenheim embarkation list describes George as 22, a baker from Paisley, and his wife Mary as 21.


Return to The Blenheim People.


George Easton and Mary Wood

George Easton and Mary Wood were married in Glasgow on 24 August 1840, the day before the departure of the Blenheim.   The Old Parish Record for Edinburgh noted that George was a baker living at No 4 Howe Street, St Stephen’s parish, and Mary, who resided at the same place and parish, was the daughter of Lieutenant James Monypenny Wood of the Royal Navy.  The celebrant was the Rev Dr James Henderson of St Enoch’s, Glasgow.  Although the wedding was in Glasgow, the registration was in Edinburgh.

It appears that George and Mary did not stay long in Wellington, moving to Auckland in 1841 where he continued his career as a baker, before moving to Pukekohe in 1862 to take up a farm at Cabbage Tree Swamp. After arriving in New Zealand they had one son, James Hume Easton, in 1842.

George, Mary and James appear to have had a busy time breaking in their farm in Pukekohe East. In 1863 during the Maori Wars, George and James were part of a small group of militia and settlers besieged in the local church.  The action was described in The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume 1: 1845-1864, by James Cowan.

The New Zealand Herald of 10 July 1876 records a serious accident at Pukekohe East when George Easton suffered a broken leg while felling trees.

James Hume Easton married Mary Elizabeth McHayle on 19 July 1870.  According to the Marriage Notice in the New Zealand Herald of 22 July 1870 the wedding was at her father’s residence in Pukekohe East, with the celebrant being the Rev Thomas Norrie.  Both bride and groom were their parents’ only child. James and Mary went on to have nine children, including Annie (1870), George (1871), Elizabeth (1873), Mary Jane (1875), William James (1877), Sarah (1878), Alfred (1881), Walter (1884), Eleanor (1888).

George Easton died on 31 August 1894. The Press Association Telegram, carried in a number of newspapers on 7 September 1894, provided the following obituary:

AUCKLAND, September 6. The death is announced of Mr George Easton, an old settler at Pukekohe East, aged 75. The deceased came to Wellington from Glasgow in 1840 by the ship Blenheim, and in 1841 arrived in Auckland. In 1865 he removed to Pukekohe district with a few other settlers, and fought for his homestead, successfully resisting attacks of the Natives. In commendation for this event he was awarded a medal.

Mary Easton continued to live in Pukekohe East with her son and daughter-in-law, who both pre-deceased her, and died on 17 November 1917 in her 99th year.  The Pukekohe & Waiuku Times of 20 November 1917 included an obituary:

DEATH OF MRS MARY EASTON
ALMOST A CENTENARIAN.
In the death that took place at her residence at Pukekohe East on Saturday last of Mrs Mary Easton, wife of the late Mr George Easton, the district of Pukekohe loses another of the few remaining of its earliest settlers. The deceased lady, who was in her 99th year of age, was born in Scotland and in company with her husband, who died some 24 years ago, came out to New Zealand in 1841. They first lived in Wellington and then in Auckland, the late Mr Easton following his trade as a baker. Farming, however, duly engaged his attention and he next took up a section at Cabbage Tree Swamp. In 1862 Mr and Mrs Easton made their way to Pukekohe East where they acquired a bush farm. When the Maori war was in progress in 1863 Mrs Easton went for safety to Drury but her husband and only son, the late Mr James Easton, who died some three years ago, formed part of the small knot of settlers that were gathered together in the Pukekohe East Church when it was besieged by the natives. On the conclusion of the war Mrs Easton returned to Pukekohe East and has resided there ever since. Despite her advanced age and the trials and vicissitudes of life she naturally went through in the early days the late Mrs Easton retained her faculties up to the very last. She is survived by nine grandchildren, including Private Alfred Easton, who is at the front and who also took part in the Boer war, and Privates Walter and William Easton, both of whom are in camp, and eleven great-grandchildren. The funeral took place yesterday at Pukekohe East Cemetery, Mr R. Begbie (Church of Christ) officiating, in the presence of a large assembly of settlers from all around the district.

George and Mary Easton are buried together at the Pukekohe East Church.


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