Tag Archives: Banks Peninsular

Catherine Cameron, Archibald McQueen and Catherine Cameron, Mary Cameron, Angus Cameron

A group included on the initial list of Blenheim passengers was as follows:

  • Catherine Cameron, Borline, 40, dairymaid
  • Angus McQueen, her son, 21, labourer
  • Catherine McQueen, his wife, 17
  • Angus Cameron, his brother-in-law, 20
  • Mary Cameron, his sister-in-law, 15

In the body of the initial list all of these names were crossed out, but added again at the end were:

  • Angus Cameron, 21, labourer
  • Catherine Cameron (widow), 45
  • Mary Cameron, 15, housemaid
  • Archibald McQueen, 21, labourer
  • Catherine Cameron, 17, housemaid

They were similarly described in the other lists, although  Angus was an agriculturalist.

This post covers all of this family.

Updated information on this family has been provided through the comments below from Jacqui Gee, which have been incorporated into the description.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Catherine Cameron (widow)

Catherine Cameron was listed on the Blenheim arrival list as a widow of 45.

Family tree information on Ancestry.com shows a range of possible marriages. These include to an Angus Cameron (from Mary’s death registration) or to a Ewen Cameron (OPR records show a potential marriage and births, with Catherine’s maiden name as MacPherson or, possibly, McPhee).

No further information on this Catherine Cameron has been established.

Archibald McQueen and Catherine Cameron

According to the Old Parish Register for Bracadale, a parish on the Isle of Skye, Archibald McQueen was born or baptized on 4 February 1819.  His parents were Donald MacQueen and Mary MacLeod, and the witnesses were  John and Mary Shaw.

As noted above, the Old Parish Register for Bracadale recorded the birth, on 18 April 1823, of a Catherine, daughter of Ewen Cameron, Brittle, and Catherine McPherson his wife.

The Old Parish Register for Bracadale records the marriage on 14 March 1840 of Archy McQueen to a Christian Cameron, and this marriage has been listed in family trees on Ancestry.com as relating to Catherine Cameron.

While it is not clear why Archibald McQueen and Catherine Cameron chose not to travel as a married couple, they both emigrated on the Blenheim in 1840, with Catherine Cameron listed in the arrival list as a housemaid of 17 and Archibald McQueen  21, listed next to her.

It appears that Archibald McQueen and his wife travelled to Canterbury in March 1844 to work for the Greenwood Brothers, and then for the Rhodes Brothers in 1847.  They then took up land near Lake Ellesmere in what became known as McQueens Valley.

The Lyttelton Times of 3 November 1855 carried the Birth Notice: “On the 29th ult., the wife of Mr McQueen, Ellesmere Station, of twin sons, one of which survived but a few minutes.”

The Lyttelton Times of 12 September 1860 carried the Death Notice: “Sept 11, at his residence, Ellesmere Station, Mr Archibald McQueen, aged 41 years.”

Catherine McQueen married her second husband John Apps Dockery on 19 June 1865.  Newspapers carried reports of legal action relating to the estate of Archibald McQueen with questions relating to sales of trustee estates (see in particular, the Star of 19 October 1885).

The Star of 2 January 1895 carried the Death Notice: “Dockery.— Dec. 31, after a long and painful illness, Catherine Dockery, of 294, St Asaph Street west; aged sixty-five years. Deeply regretted.”

Catherine Dockery’s death registration noted that her father’s surname was Cameron and he was a shepherd, and her mother’s name was given as Mary.  It was also noted that Catherine was twice married, first in Scotland to Archibald McQueen when she was 16, and second in Christchurch to John Dockery when she was 42.  There was one living male child from her first marriage, aged 45, and five living females aged 31, 33, 35, 38, and 49, while from her second marriage there was one living male aged 27, and one living female aged 24.  [These ages don’t seem to match up]. The informant was her daughter Catherine McQueen.

Catherine (Cameron) Dockery, formerly McQueen, was buried in Addington Cemetery in Christchurch.  The tombstone notes that she was from Lake Ellesmere Station, McQueen’s Valley, Banks Peninsular, born Inverness 1824, died Christchurch 1894, and buried with her are her second and third sons, John McQueen 1851-1884 and Charles McQueen 1857-1889, and her third daughter Catherine.

Based on family tree information on Ancestry.com and New Zealand BDM records, Catherine had at least ten children with Archibald McQueen and two with John Apps Dockery:

  • Marion (Sarah) McQueen, born in 1841, died in 1907, married John Hart in 1860.
  • Hugh McQueen, born in 1843, died in 1927, married Martha Upton Waller in 1879.
  • Mary McQueen, born in 1848, married William Bevins in 1865.
  • Catherine McQueen, born in 1850, died in 1946.
  • John McQueen, born in 1851, died in 1884.
  • Christina McQueen, born in 1853, died in 1903, married John Thomas Radford in 1870.
  • Jane McQueen, born in 1854, died in 1939.
  • Charles Donald McQueen, born in 1857, died in 1880.
  • Jean Dean McQueen, born in 1860, died in 1897.
  • Isabella McQueen, born in 1861, died in 1950, married Joseph Hart in 1882.
  • William Robert Apps Dockery, born in 1866, died in 1929, married Carolina Annie Davies in 1886.
  • Lucy Ann Dockery, born in 1868, died in 1902, married Robert Ferguson in 1884.
Mary Cameron

Mary Cameron was listed on the Blenheim arrival list as a housemaid of 15.  This would make her birth around 1825.

It seems likely, from Jessie Campbell’s Journal, that Mary Cameron was Jessie’s maid (but was not the “Skye woman” who was “always sick”, causing Jessie to engage Mary’s sister Catherine).  It appears, therefore, that Catherine also worked as a maid for Mrs McDonald.

On 7 September 1840 Jessie Campbell wrote:

Catherine had Susan at the window and allowed her to throw the lid of the tin pan overboard in which we keep the fresh water, very vexed about it. Mary defended her sister very impertinently, told her to hold her tongue I did not want to hear her opinion about it, Mary continued to answer very impertinently, said a letter would reach Dr. Macleod yet to tell how she was used, told her instantly to walk out of my cabin that Dr. Macleod forgot his duty when he did not teach her the respect due to a Mistress, that I would oblige her to make out the time she was engaged with me after that she might go about her business. Had preserved soup, roast ducks and fowls for dinner. Capt. said if the breeze continued we would be in the latitude of Madiera tomorrow, did not think we would see land. Lat: at noon 36-5 N., Long: 16-46 W.

On 29 October 1840 she noted, “Mrs Macdonald discharged one of her servants for insolence, she is sister to my Mary Cameron, they are a forward, pert set. My maid has been quite spoiled, she has been tolerably obedient and submissive since she and I had a row soon after coming on board; I will not keep her after her six months are out. My Skye maid has improved very much, she is so careful and interested in the children.”

Mary Cameron married Donald Ross in Wellington on 15 October 1845. One of the witnesses was Alexander McQuarrie who also travelled on the Blenheim.

In 1846 Donald Ross and his family sailed on the Mary Catherine to Otago with Charles Kettle’s survey party. The group included Mary’s brother Angus Cameron and Alexander McQuarrie. When the survey was completed around June 1847 many of the party returned to Wellington in the cutter Leven, but were drowned when it was lost after calling at Port Levy on the Banks Peninsular. Most of the married men, including Donald Ross and his family, had stayed behind in Otago.

Donald Ross died on 9 February 1880. An obituary was published in the Illustrated New Zealand Herald of 27 February 1880:

Mr Donald Ross, of Roslyn, who died early on February 9, at the age of seventy-seven, was a native of Ross-Shire, Scotland. He arrived at Wellington from Cape Colony forty years ago. After residing there for six years, he came to Otago with the late Mr Kettle in the year 1846. Mr Edward Martin and Mrs Duthie of Tokomairiro, were of the party. Mr Ross, then newly married, was among the first who reared a roof-tree in Dunedin. After a time he entered the service of the Government, and latterly served as bailiff of the Supreme Court.
Mr Ross was a great walker, making the journey to Invercargill, when the rivers were unbridged and the roads there were none, in three days. Once and again he all but accomplished the journey to Oamaru in a day.

Mary (Cameron) Ross died in 1886.  The death registration shows that Mary Ross, relict of the late Donald Ross, died on 19 February 1886 at Roslyn, in the district of Dunedin.  She was 60, the daughter of Angus Cameron, shepherd, and Catherine Cameron, maiden surname not known.  Mary was born in Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland, and had been in New Zealand for 42 [sic] years.  She was married in Wellington at 18 to Donald Ross.  Mary’s living issue were three males aged 40, 34 and 29, and two females, aged 38 and 25.  The cause of death phthsis pulmonalis, two years, and exhaustion.  The informant was the undertaker.  Mary Ross was buried at Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery with her husband and many of her children.

Mary and Donald had at eleven children:

  • Robert Ross, born in 1846, died in 1923, married (1) Mary Beckett in 1869 and (2) Sarah King in 1880.
  • Catherine Ross, born in 1847, died in 1848, married James Familton in 1868.
  • Elizabeth Ross, born in 1848, died in 1869 (drowned in Cobb & Co coach accident).
  • Mary Ross, born in 1850, died in 1872.
  • Isabella Ross, born in 1852, died in 1879, married Daniel Forbes Ross in 1875.
  • Sarah Ross, born in 1855, died in 1872.
  • Angus Cameron Ross, born in 1853, died in 1920, married Elizabeth Hopwood in 1897.
  • John Ross, born in 1857, died in 1909.
  • Janet (Jessie) Dunn Ross, born in 1860, died in 1941, married James Dick in 1887.
  • William Ross, born in 1862, died in 1864.
  • Barbara Ross, born in 1864, died in 1874.
Angus Cameron

Angus Cameron was listed in the Blenheim arrival list as being 21 years old. Other sources suggest that he was born in 1822, so would have been 18 when he travelled on the Blenheim.

The Old Parish Register for Bracadale records the birth on 27 September 1818 of Angus, natural son of Ewen Cameron, Crackinish with [Ket McPhee – name not clear on record].

From information summarised in From Alba to Aotearoa, after working as a roadbuilder in Wellington, Angus travelled to Port Chalmers in February 1846 with his sister Mary and her family as part of the Kettle survey party, and remained in Otago. He became a shepherd and stockman at Kelvin Grove on the Otago Peninsular owned by Archibald Anderson. By May 1848 Angus was a member of the Armed Constabulary, becoming a senior constable in 1851.

On 25 June 1852, Angus Cameron married Mary Niven at the house of his brother-in-law Donald Ross in Dunedin. Their first child was born two days later.

Mary Niven was born on 11 February 1834 at Bonhill, Dumbarton, Scotland, to Dugald Niven and Christian Swan. She travelled to New Zealand on the Philip Laing with her parents, sister, and two brothers, one born on board, arriving at Port Chalmers from Greenock on 15 April 1848.

Angus left the Armed Constabulary in January 1853 and became a shepherd on the Otepopo property of Charles Suisted, and in 1856 moved to the Papakaio Run, then owned by Richard Filleul, where Angus was a shepherd and Mary a cook. By 1858 Angus had purchased land at Otepopo (now Herbert, about 22 km south-west of Oamaru), part of the property where he had previously worked, then a store, and served as postmaster as well as working as a shepherd and drover.

The Otago Witness of 2 July 1859 reported that Angus Cameron of Otepopo, drover, was charged with unlawfully driving 200 sheep through the property of Alexander Fraser at Moeraki without the notice required by law. He pleaded guilty and was fined at the rate of 6d per head with costs.

Angus Cameron died on 3 April 1873 at Otepopo. His death registration noted that he was “about 50 years”, and described him as a settler.  The North Otago Times of 8 April 1873 carried the following report:

Sudden death – A well-known resident of Otepopo, named Angus Cameron, died very suddenly on Thursday morning last, He had been, some days previous, on a visit to Oamaru, and left for home by coach on Thursday. Shortly after his arrival he dropped dead. An inquest was held the following day, at the Royal Hotel, by T.W. Parker, Esq., District Coroner, and a jury, of whom Mr Robert Frame was foreman. Dr Haynes deposed to having made a postmortem examination of the deceased, and found that he had died of syncope, congestion of the lungs, and enlargement of the heart, The heart was double the natural size. The jury returned a verdict of “Died from natural causes”.

Mary (Niven) Cameron died on 27 April 1884, at Invercargill. The Southland Times of 29 April 1884 carried the Death Notice: “CAMERON. — At Ythan street, Invercargill, on the 27th inst. Mary Cameron, widow of the late Angus Cameron, Otepopo, aged 50 years.” Mary died at the house of her mother, Mrs J. Kelly, and is buried in the Kelly/Niven plot at Invercargill’s Eastern Cemetery.

Based on family tree information on Ancestry.com and New Zealand BDM records, Angus and Mary may have had at least nine children [this information requires further clarification and checking]:

  • Elizabeth Nivin Cameron, born in 1852, died in 1935, married James Stark Anderson in 1868.
  • Hugh Cameron, born in 1855, died in 1934, married Margaret Hunter Brown in 1886.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1857, died in 1857.
  • William Cameron, born in 1858, died in 1958.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1860, died in 1940.
  • John Cameron, born in 1862, died in 1929, married Elizabeth Susannah Palmer in 1899.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1940.
  • Alexander Angus Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1922 (on gravestone as Alexander Angus Cameron-McNeil), married Rose Winifred Dykes in 1902 (with registration in names of both Cameron and McNeil).
  • David Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1929.


Francis and Eliza Sinclair and John McHutcheson

The Sinclair family was listed in the Blenheim embarkation list as being from Perthshire, and included:

  • Francis Sinclair, 42, described as a sailor in the arrival list
  • Eliza Sinclair, 40
  • John Sinclair, 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

In fact, “John Sinclair” was John McHutcheson, Eliza’s brother, and it is likely he travelled as one of their children because the cost of his travel would then be covered by the the purchase of a £100 land order from the New Zealand Company by Francis Sinclair.

Note on Spelling: The use of “McHutchison” or “McHutcheson” or “Hutcheson” has been determined by the source material, since a variety of spellings have been used at different times.

An interesting perspective on this family can be found in “The Sinclairs of Pigeon Bay, or ‘The Prehistory of the Robinsons of Ni’ihau’: An essay in historiography, or ‘tales their mother told them'” contained in “Watriama and Co: Further Pacific Island Portraits” by Hugh Laracy, ANU Press, 2013.

Return to The Blenheim People.

Francis Sinclair and Elizabeth McHutchison

Francis Sinclair was born around 1797, the son of George Sinclair, a master mariner of Prestonpans.  Elizabeth McHutchison was born on 23 April 1800 and baptized on 27 April 1800.  Her parents were James McHutchison and Jean Robertson, and the record was in the Old Parish Register for Renfrew in the county of Renfrew.

The Old Parish Register for Gorbals, Lanark, recorded that Francis Sinclair and Elizabeth McHutchison, both in Kingston, were married by the Reverend Mr Ritchie in Gorbals on 13 January 1824.

Francis Sinclair was an excise officer, which  is perhaps why the family lived in a number of places, as shown by the locations of the birth of the children.   In 1824 they were in Glasgow, in 1826 in Kinloss in Morayshire, back in Glasgow in 1829, then in Stirling in 1831 through 1839 before they boarded the Blenheim for New Zealand in August 1840.  In her journal of the voyage, Jessie Campbell notes that on Sunday 6 September the cabin passengers had the Bible read to them in English “by a very respectable steerage passenger of the name of Sinclair from Stirling.”

On arrival in New Zealand, Francis got to work immediately by buying a boat and shipping timber from Petone to Wellington.  Within a few months he moved the family to Wanganui, where he had purchased an option on land through the New Zealand Company.  However, there were going to be considerable delays before the land could be settled and they returned to Petone.  There Francis built a boat, the Richmond which he used as a cargo vessel and to relocate his family and that of Ebenezer Hay to Banks Peninsular in the South Island, squatting on land in Pigeon Bay.  In building the vessel, Francis Sinclair, his sons and John McHutcheson did all of the work themselves, except for the iron work which was done by a blacksmith named Fraser, another Blenheim passenger.  The Richmond was sold to pay for cattle, but Francis built another ship, the Sisters, which he used for trading between Banks Peninsular and Wellington.  This vessel was sold in 1845 to purchase land at Pigeon Bay from the Nanto-Bordelaise Company.

Tragedy was to strike, when in May 1846,  Francis, his oldest son George, and two others, were lost when his next ship the Jessie Millar went down while  sailing to Wellington with a cargo of dairy products.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook Strait Guardian of 11 July 1846 reported:

By the Mana we learn that Mr Sinclair, of Pigeon Bay, left that place on the 10th of May last in a small cutter of about 10 tons, bound for this port.  She has never been heard of since, and there is too much reason to fear that the unfortunate vessel foundered the following day in the heavy south-east gale, which our readers may remember came on very suddenly.  Mr Sinclair was accompanied by his two sons, a nephew, and Mr M’Lennan, a shoemaker of Akaroa.  He has left a widow and several children to lament his untimely fate.

This report appears to be not quite correct in the identities of the missing.

Elizabeth moved to Wellington for a couple of years, but in 1849 returned to Pigeon Bay, and on their land at Sinclair Bay built a homestead called “Craigforth”.

The family prospered there for a number of years but in 1863 they decided to make a fresh start elsewhere.  Thomas Gay, who married Jane Sinclair, purchased the barque Bessie and the family set off, first to British Columbia, and then to Hawaii where they purchased the island of  Ni’ihau from King Kamehameha V. Ni’ihau had good grazing land for sheep and the family also bought land on the neighbouring island of Kauai where they grew sugar cane.

The Marlborough Express of 14 January 1893 included the Death Notice: “Sinclair – On October 15, at her residence, Makaweli Kauai, Hawaiian Islands, Elizabeth MacHutcheson, widow of the late Francis Sinclair, formerly of Craigforth, Pigeon Bay, New Zealand, in her ninety-third year.”

George Sinclair

The Old Parish Register for Glasgow records that Francis Sinclair, Excise Officer, and Elizabeth McHutcheson, had a lawful son  George born on 5 November 1824.  Witnesses were James McHutcheson and Robert Miller.

George Sinclair emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840 and worked with his father on his various enterprises until they were lost at sea in 1846.

James McHutcheson Sinclair

According to the Old Parish Register for Kinloss in Morayshire, James McHutcheson Sinclair, lawful son to Francis Sinclair, Excise officer, and Elizabeth McHutcheson, in Findhorn, was born on 23 June and baptized on 25 July 1826.  Witnesses were William Duston, Excise officer, East Grange, and George Gill, Findhorn.

James Sinclair was a passenger on the Blenheim in 1840 along with his family, and moved to Hawaii with his mother in 1863.  James did not marry and died in 1873 in Hawaii.  The Press of 19 December 1873 carried the Death Notice: “Sinclair – At Makawell, Kauai, Sandwich Islands, on 22 September, James McHutcheson Sinclair, Esq, late of Craigforth, Pigeon Bay, Canterbury, New Zealand.”

Jane Robertson Sinclair

The Old Parish Register for Glasgow records the birth to Francis Sinclair, Officer of Excise, and Elizabeth McHutcheson, of a lawful daughter, Jane Robertson, born on 22 March 1829.  Witnesses were James Calder and John Wylie.

Jane travelled to New Zealand with her family on the Blenheim in 1840.   The Wellington Independent of 24 October 1849 carried the notice: “Married – August 18, at the Court House Dunedin, Otago, by the Rev. C Creed, Captain Gay, of the whaling ship Offley, from Hobart Town, to Miss Sinclair, of Pigeon Bay, Banks Peninsular.”

Thomas Gay was a widower, whose first wife was Bridget Burke, who died in Tasmania in 1847.  They had two sons, Thomas Gay and James Walter Gay. James Walter Gay, was born on 19 November 1841 in Tasmania, and died on 28 May 1893 in Hawaii.

The Gays moved to Hawaii with the rest of the family, and Captain Thomas Gay continued to trade with New Zealand and Australia.  In 1864 Thomas Gay and his brother William, his first mate, were tried in Auckland for assaulting an insubordinate seaman, and were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment but were released early.  Thomas Gay, however, died in New South Wales, Australia, on 9 February 1865 of pneumonia.

Jane and Thomas Gay had at least five children in New Zealand and a further child in Hawaii:

  • George Gay, born in 1850.
  • Francis Gay, born in 1852.
  • Eliza Gay, born in 1856.
  • Annie Gay, born in 1859.
  • Charles Gay, born in 1862.
  • Alice Gay, born in 1865.

Jane (Sinclair) Gay died in 1922.

Helen McHutcheson Sinclair

The Old Parish Register for Stirling records that Helen McHutcheson Sinclair, daughter of Francis Sinclair, Officer of Excise, and Elizabeth McHutcheson, was born on 29 May and baptized on 26 June 1831 by the Reverend B Bailey.  Witnesses were James Brown and William McHutcheson.

Helen was on board the Blenheim with her family on the voyage to New Zealand in 1840, and moved with them to Pigeon Bay.

Helen Sinclair married Charles Barrington Robinson on 17 January 1853.  The Lyttelton Times of 29 January 1853 carried the notice: “Married – January 17th, at Akaroa, by the Rev W Aylmer, Charles Barrington Robinson, Esq, to Helen, daughter of the late Captain Sinclair, of Craigforth, in Pigeon Bay.”

Charles Robinson was Akaroa’s first magistrate from 1840 to 1845, and purchased land there from the Nanto-Bordelaise Company.  He is said to have raised the British flag in Akaroa in 1840 to thwart French efforts to claim the South Island.

Charles and Helen had a son, Aubrey, born on 17 October 1853.  However, in 1855 Helen parted from her husband, apparently because he was violent to her, and she and Aubrey moved with the family to Hawaii.

Charles Barrington Robinson died at 15 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Surrey, England, on 28 December 1899.

The date of Helen’s death has not yet been established.

Aubrey Robinson married his cousin Alice Gay in 1885, having travelled in Europe and Asia, and returned to Hawaii in 1883 to manage the family estates with his cousin and brother-in-law Francis Gay. They established the company of Gay & Robinson.  Aubrey died in Hawaii in 1936.

Francis Sinclair

The Old Parish Register for Stirling records that Francis, son of Francis Sinclair, Officer of Excise, and Elizabeth McHutchison, was born on 12 January 1834 and baptized by the Reverend Alexander Marshall of Friar’s Wynd Chapel.  Witnesses were John Paton and George Harvey.

After emigrating to New Zealand with his family, and living with his mother at “Craigforth” following his father’s death, Francis Sinclair and his uncle John McHutchison took up a sheep farm in the Mackenzie Country, but were unable to make a go of it, and returned to Banks Peninsular.  Francis then moved with his mother and siblings to Hawaii, returning to New Zealand in 1866 to marry his cousin Isabella.

The Lyttelton Times of 29 August 1866 has a Marriage Notice: “Sinclair-McHutchison – August 7, at Blenheim, Marlborough, by the Rev Russell, Francis Sinclair, Niihau, Sandwich Islands, to Isabella, third daughter of William McHutchison of Blenheim.”

The New Zealand Herald of 12 April 1890 carried a review of “Ballads and Poems From the Pacific” by Francis Sinclair.  The review noted that he had been well known to New Zealand readers in the past under the pseudonyms of “F.S.C.” and “Aopouri”, with the book of poems originally published under the nom de plume of “Philip Garth”.  In commenting on the poems, the review said “among his sketches in the Pacific Ocean are to be found some glowing descriptions and brilliant pieces of word painting.”

The Otago Witness of 12 December 1900, in a piece entitled “In Starry Byways” set out some biographical details of Francis Sinclair, quotes from his poems, and suggests that he may claim to be New Zealand’s “first poet”.

In 1881 Francis bought a property in Epsom, and in 1883 passed management of the family’s Hawaiian estates to his nephews Aubrey Robinson and Francis Gay.  In 1885 he was in London overseeing the printing of Isabella’s book Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands, and in 1891 sold his property on Ni’ihau to his sisters, Jane Gay and Helen Robinson, and his nephew Aubrey Robinson. When his mother died in 1892 he was living in California, but eventually moved to England.  Following Isabella’s death around 1896 Francis married her widowed sister Williamina Shirrifs.  He settled in London and published more poems, essays and short stories.

Francis Sinclair died on the island of Jersey on 22 July 1916 aged 83.

Ann McHutchison Sinclair

According to the Old Parish Register for Stirling, Ann McHutchison Sinclair daughter of Francis Sinclair, Excise, and  Elizabeth McHutchison, was born on 7 March and baptized on 22 March 1839 by the Reverend Mr Marshall.  Witnesses were Andrew Beath and James Mitchell.

Ann, aged 1, was part of the family party that emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840, lived at Pigeon Bay, and then moved to Hawaii in 1863.

The Lyttelton Times of 27 May 1867 carried the Marriages Notice: “Knudsen-Sinclair – On the 12th of February, at the residence of the bride’s mother, Nihau, by the Rev D S Kupahu, pastor of Nihru, Valdemar Knudsen, Esq, of Waiawa, Kuai, to Annie, youngest daughter of the late Francis Sinclair, Esq, Canterbury, New Zealand.”

Valdemar Knudsen was born in Norway in 1819, and travelled to North America where he was a publisher in New York and a merchant during the California gold rush.  He then moved to Hawaii where he managed a plantation before leasing land at Waiawa on West Kauai.  Valdemar Knudsen died in Honolulu in 1898.

Ann and Valdemar had five children – Ida, Augustus, Maud, Eric and Arthur – and lived in Waiawa, and Halemanu in Kokee when Waiawa was too hot and dry.

Ann (Sinclair) Knudsen died in 1922 at Kauai, Hawaii, aged 83.

John McHutcheson

The Old Parish Register for Glasgow records that James McHutcheson, manufacturer, and Jean Robertson, had a lawful son John, born on 6 October 1816.  Witnesses were Thomas Mitchell and Septimus Ellis.

John McHutcheson travelled on the Blenheim with his sister and her family, but under the name of “John Sinclair” and aged 20 (in fact he was 24), but reverted to his real name on arrival.

John McHutcheson worked with his brother-in-law in their various enterprises, and accompanied the family initally to Wanganui, back to Petone, then to Banks Peninsular. In 1856, with his nephew Francis, John took up a run of 10,000 acres in the Mackenzie Country, but they lasted there only two years because of the difficulties in working it effectively.

It appears that at some point “John McHutcheson” became “John Mack Hutcheson”.  John Mack Hutcheson married Mary Gorrie on 4 July 1856.

In 1873, John Mack Hutcheson was elected Mayor of Blenheim.

John Hutcheson died on 27 January 1899. The Press of 28 January 1899 carried the following obituary:

Wellington, January 27: Mr John Mack Hutcheson, aged 82 years, a very old colonist and one of the best known and esteemed settlers in Marlborough, died at noon to-day. The late Mr Hutcheson was well known in Canterbury. Having come out to New Zealand from Glasgow in 1840, he settled on the Hutt river, Wellington, and though he removed to Wanganui, he soon returned to the Hutt. In 1843, however, he settled at Pigeon Bay, Akaroa. He went to England in 1848, and while there was interested, with Captain Cargill, in securing the despatch of the first immigrants to Otago, in the ships John Wickliffe and Philip Laing. On his return to the colony he settled in Canterbury, and remained in this district till 1864, when he left for Nelson, where he and Mr McDonald re-opened a branch of the Union Bank. Later on he took up a cattle run in the Mackenzie Country, and it is stated that he was the first man, after Mackenzie, to wander over those plains. His nearest neighbour at this time was sixty miles away, and the loneliness of the life did not offer many attractions to Mr Hutcheson, who sold his property, the buyer, it is said, being a Mr Gladstone, a nephew of the late Prime Minister of England. Mr Hutcheson went into business in Blenheim in 1859, and resided in Marlborough ever since.

John and Mary had at least eight children:

  • John Hutcheson, born in 1859, died in 1907.
  • Francis Sinclair Hutcheson, born in 1863, died in 1881.
  • David Gorrie Hutcheson, born in 1868, died in 1930.
  • Richard Morley Hutcheson, born in 1871, died in 1877.
  • Helen Eadie Hutcheson, born in 1873, died in 1941, married Malcolm Bird in 1910.
  • Jeanette Robinson Hutcheson, born in 1877 died in 1889.
  • Ronald Oliphant Hutcheson, born in 1881, died in 1951, married Cecilia Jane Jacobsen in 1920.
  • William Hutcheson, born in 1882, died in 1904.

John’s brother William McHutcheson also emigrated to New Zealand in 1862, having worked for the Inland Revenue in Scotland before moving to Christchurch and then Oamaru. William died in Oamaru in October 1905, aged 95.