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Dugald McLachlan and Jane Cameron

The initial passenger list for the Blenheim included the McLachlan children – Catherine, 13, housemaid, Alexander 11, Hugh, 8, and Duncan 3 – in the names added at the end, but no parent.  The embarkation list included an additional line for a Jane McLachlan, 13, Hugh’s age given as 10 and Duncan’s age given as 4, and with Dugald, 40,  and Jane, 35, on the same line, with a later line for them both crossed out, including Dugald’s occupation, possibly “weaver”.  The next list had Jane McLachlan, 32, wife of Dugald, several pages away from the others, while the arrival list had them all together again, except for Catherine, who was separated by several lines from the rest of them.  Jane’s age was given as 30.

The initial list also included a Janet Cameron, 26, dairymaid, as the daughter of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson.  First versions of this list may have been prepared as early as January 1840, and Jane Cameron and Dugald McLachlan were not married until 11 February 1840 (second marriages for both of them).

In summary, the family was as follows, bearing in mind that Jane was not the mother of the four older children:

  • Dugald McLachlan, 40
  • Jane McLachlan, 30
  • Catherine McLachlan, 15
  • Alexander McLachlan, 11
  • Hugh McLachlan, 10
  • Duncan McLachlan, 4
  • Isabella McIntyre McLachlan, born at sea.

Return to The Blenheim People.


Dugald McLachlan

Dugald McLachlan was born on 27 November 1793 in Corpach to Louis McLachlan, a weaver, and Isabella McIntyre.

Based on information contained in Dugald’s Family Bible,  Dugald married Ann Abercromby Cleghorn on 31 January 1816.  She was born on 11 January 1797. Their first child was John Cameron McLachlan, born on 27 April 1817, who did not travel to New Zealand.  A son, Ewen, was born in 1820 but probably died before 1831.  There were a number of other sons who did not live beyond infancy.  The other surviving children travelled with their father on the Blenheim.

From family tree information on Ancestry.com, Mary Ann Abercrombie Cleghorn died in 1838.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness), recorded that Dugald McLachlan, weaver, Fort William, and Jane Cameron, Trishlaig, were married on 11 February 1840.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 8 February 1845 and 10 February 1847 published lists of persons qualified to serve as jurors for the district of Port Nicholson, which included Dugald M’Lachlan, Thorndon Quay, labourer.

In April 1852, Dugald McLachlan, landholder, was one of many signatories to a Memorial sent to the Governor, George Grey, expressing concern about the passing of legislation affecting the price and availability of land.

The Wellington Independent of 8 April 1854 in reporting on the inquest into the death by drowning of Private John Dunn, noted that Dugald McLachlan had found the body.

A few weeks later Dugald McLachlan was himself drowned at Wellington on 24 May 1854.  The Wellington Independent of 27 May 1854 carried a report of the inquest:

On Wednesday afternoon, an inquest was held at the Crown and Anchor Inn, Lambton Quay<, touching the death of Dugald M’Lachlan, who had been found lying dead on the sand above the low water mark, opposite the above Inn, about seven o’clock that morning, by a native policeman. From the evidence produced, which was very meagre, it would appear that the deceased was seen to leave the Queen’s Head, Thorndon, about half past nine o’clock, the preceding evening, and that he was the worse for liquor; and that the sentry on duty at the Colonial Treasury, about eleven o’clock, heard a person walk rapidly by the Government House Guard House, and straight down into the sea. It was too dark for him to distinguish who it was and he supposed it to be some maori; not having seen him return, he related the circumstances to a policeman, who obtained a lamp and proceeded to the spot, but found nothing. There was no evidence to show that the person heard going into the water was the deceased. After some deliberation, the Jury returned a verdict to the effect, that the deceased was found lying dead on the beach that morning, apparently drowned; but how he came by his death there was no evidence before the jury to show.

Jane Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) recorded that Jean, daughter to Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson, Inverscaddle, was born on 21 December 1808.

Jane Cameron’s death registration in New Zealand indicates that her first husband was a John McPherson, and they were married when she was 25, i.e. around 1834.  No other record is available nor is it known if there were any children from this marriage.

As noted above, Jane Cameron married Dugald McLachlan on 11 February 1840, and they emigrated to New Zealand in August 1840 with Dugald’s children.  It seems likely that Jane had planned to emigrate on the Blenheim with her parents and siblings anyway.

Jessie Campbell’s Journal entry for 27 October 1840 notes, “An addition made to our number by the birth of a daughter to MacLachlan from Portobello, it is the poor woman’s first child, both doing well.”  [In fact, McLachlan was not from Portobello but from Fort William, and the child may not have been Jane’s first (at 31).]

In addition to the birth at sea, Dugald and Jane had at least five children after their arrival in New Zealand:

  • Mary McLachlan, born in 1841, died in 1932, married William Crawford in 1863.
  • Female infant, born and died in 1842.
  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1843, died in 1925, married James Coombe in 1864.
  • Dugald McLachlan, born in 1848, died in 1918, married Christina McPherson in 1883.
  • Louis McLachlan, born in 1849, died in 1906, married Alice Cameron in 1877.
Grannie Brabazon - Jane (Cameron) Brabazon formerly McLachlan, previously McPherson
Grannie Brabazon – Jane (Cameron) Brabazon, formerly McLachlan, previously McPherson

After Dugald’s death in 1854, Jane and the children moved to Turakina where her parents lived.  Jane married her third husband, Robert Brabazon, on 25 June 1856 and lived at Turakina until her death on 6 August 1897 at Fern Flats, Marton.  The Feilding Star of 9 August 1897 carried the Death Notice: “Brabazon – At Fern Flats, on Friday 6th August, at the residence of her son-in-law (James Coombs), Jane Brabazon, relict of the late Robert Brabazon, Turakina, Aged 88 years.”

Jane’s death registration noted that at the time of her death her daughters were 50 and 48, and her sons were 57, 54 and 52, although this is an error and the sexes of the children were the other way around.

Robert Brabazon died on 9 March 1879. The Wanganui Chronicle of 17-24 November 1879 carried an advertisement inviting tenders “for the lease or purchase of the property of the late Robert Brabazon, of Turakina, consisting of five acres of excellent land, with house thereon, excellently situated, midway between the township and the railway station.”

Margaret Perry’s Diaries include references to the Brabazons and McLachlans – “So almost our only friend was old Mrs Brabazon her and Auntie used to talk Gaelic together, which I did not like…” [Mrs Brabazon and Auntie (Marjory Cameron, m John McQuarrie) were first cousins]; “Old Mr and Mrs Brabazon lived next door to Chapmans.  Mr Brabazon was Lewis McLachlans step-father; I used very often to go there of an evening after tea, generally the old man would go to bed and Mrs B would sit by the fire and tell me love-tales about the days when she was young…”.

Catherine Robertson McLachlan

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) recorded the baptism on 5 December 1825 of Katherine Robertson McLachlan, daughter to Dugald McLachlan, weaver in Correbeg, and Ann Abercromie Cleghorn, born 17 November last. The Family Bible has her birthdate as 16 November.

CatherinePoppelwell2
Catherine Robertson (McLachlan) Poppelwell

In 1840 Catherine travelled with her father and step-mother to New Zealand on the Blenheim. There is a family story that soon after disembarking, Catherine pulled from a stream a small boy who was in danger of drowning. He grew up to become Archbishop Francis Redwood, New Zealand’s first home-reared Catholic Archbishop.

Catherine Robertson McLachlan and William Bell Poppelwell were married on 7 March 1843 at the Wellington Courthouse.  William was a seaman from Berwick, and commanded coastal vessels around New Zealand until 1845 when they returned to Scotland for two years, coming back to settle in Otago in 1848, and eventually taking up land at Tokomairiro (now Milton).

The Bruce Herald of 31 August 1883 carried the Death Notice: “Poppelwell – On the 29th inst., at The Glen, Fairfax, William Poppelwell, late of Sunwick, Tokomairiro, after a lingering illness; aged 64 years.”  The same edition carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF AN OTAGO PIONEER.
One of the oldest New Zealand identities, Mr William Poppelwell, breathed his last at his residence, the Glen, Fairfax on Wednesday morning, at the age of 64. Mr Poppelwell arrived at Wellington at the latter end of the year 1841, the ship Tyne, of which he was chief officer. He did not return by that ship, but assumed the command of a vessel trading on the coast, which occupation he followed for about four years. In 1843 he married Miss M’Lachlan, who arrived in Wellington by the ship which brought the second survey party. Mr Poppelwell brought the first vessel up the Dunedin Harbor. She was named the Governor Hobson, and he was commissioned by her owners to deliver her to a Native named Toby, but better known as “Bloody Jack,” at Black Jack’s Point. In 1845, Mr Poppelwell, accompanied by his wife and son, paid a visit Home, taking their passage on the David Malcolm. Among their fellow-passenger’s were Governor Fitzroy, and suite. It was found impossible to round Cape Horn, in consequence of the vast quantity of ice, and it was decided to shape a course through the Straits of Magellan. The captain being ignorant of the locality handed over the command of the ship to Governor Fitzroy, who safely navigated her through. They arrived at the Old Country just six months to a day from the date of their departure. After a stay of a couple of years at Home, Mr Poppelwell and family returned to Otago, arriving here on September 23, 1848, by the ship Blundell. During the voyage out he contributed numerous articles to a manuscript newspaper published on board, copies of which are, we believe, in the Dunedin Museum. After residing about five years in North-East Valley, he came to Tokomairiro, and settled upon a farm, which he named Sunwick, after his father’s place at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and resided there until six years ago. It may be interesting to state that when Mr Poppelwell first came here, there was only one house on the Tokomairiro plain, that he brought the first dray into the district, which took nine days to bring from Dunedin. It had to be got across the Taierii River in sections, the bullocks swimming. Mr Poppelwell years ago took an active part m public matters, but for a long time past he has been confined to his home through illness. He leaves a family of ten, all of whom are grown up, and of whom three daughters and two sons are married.

The Mataura Ensign of 10 March 1900 carried the Death Notice: “Poppelwell – On the 8th March, at Dunedin, Catherine Robertson, relict of the late William Poppelwell, Milton; aged 74 years.  The same edition carried the following obituary:

Concerning the death of Mrs C. R. Popplewell -(mother of Mr D. L. Poppelwell, of Gore), the Bruce Herald states: The deceased lady landed at Wellington in 1840, at the time of the foundation of the Wellington settlement. Here she was married to the late Mr W. Poppelwell, who at that time was mate of the ship Tyne which he afterwards commanded, trading down the coast, and subsequently returned with Mrs Poppelwell to the Old Country. They, however, came back to the colony in the ship Blundell, which arrived at Port Chalmers in 1848, and took up land in the North-East Valley, where they resided till 1853. Mrs Poppelwell and her husband then came to this district, and settled on the well-known property of Sunnick. Here they resided for a number of years. The death of Mr Poppelwell, which occurred in 1883, left a big gap in the family, and in 1885, two years later, Mrs Poppelwell returned to Dunedin, where she has since resided. Mrs Poppelwell’s hospitable and charitable nature is too well known by all the old residents of Tokomairiro to require reiteration here; indeed, the manner in which any person in poor circumstances was treated was a household word amongst the early settlers, and her death will be deeply regretted by all with whom she was acquainted. It might not be out of place to mention that deceased’s husband was the first person to drive a wheeled vehicle from Dunedin to Tokomairiro— a journey which occupied nine days. Mr Poppelwell was also the first chairman of the Tokomairiro Agricultural Society, now the Tokomairiro Farmers’ Club. Mrs Poppelwell leaves a family of eleven to mourn her loss.

Catherine and William had twelve children:

  • George Matthew Bell Poppelwell (1st), born in 1844, died in 1860.
  • Elizabeth Annie Poppelwell, born in 1846 (in Scotland), died in 1929, married James Alexander Henderson in 1871.
  • Catherine Mary Poppelwell, born in 1849, died in 1904, married Dr Alexander J Ferguson in 1869.
  • William Poppelwell, born in 1850, died in 1934, married Elizabeth Henry in 1861.
  • John Poppelwell, born in 1852, died in 1933, married Margaret McCormick in 1879.
  • David Poppelwell, born in 1855, died in 1937.
  • Ann Abercrombie Poppelwell, born in 1857, died in 1935.
  • Charlotte Mary Veronica Poppelwell, born in 1858, married Augustus Henry Syme Mansford in 1882.
  • Sebastian George Alexander Poppelwell, born in 1861, died in 1939, married Margaret Dorothea Pearse in 1891.
  • Dugald Louis Poppelwell, born in 1863, died in 1939, married Norah Greene in 1894.
  • George Matthew Bell Poppelwell (2nd), born in 1864, died in 1910, married Ellen Hartnett in 1892.
  • Mary Frances Poppelwell, born in 1866, died in 1916, married (1) Robert Boyle Monkman in 1890, (2) William Dempster in 1906.
Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) recorded the baptism on 10 September 1828 of Alexander son to Dugald McLachlan, weaver in Fort William, and Mary Ann Abercromie Cleghorn, his wife. According to the Family Bible, he was born on 2 July 1828.Alexander travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand in 1840 with his father and step-mother.

On 13 August 1861, Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan married Mary Argyle Naismith at the Stapleton Registry Office, Coromandel. Mary was the daughter of Henry and Mary Naysmith, and was born at sea on the Duchess of Argyle, which arrived in Auckland from Greenock in October 1842.

Alexander settled in Thames and worked as a sawyer in the Shortland mill. Electoral Roll information has him living at Mackay Street in the Thames electorate from 1875-76 through to 1900. Alexander Cleghorn McLachlan died on 20 March 1902 at Thames.

Mary Argyle Naysmith died on 9 November 1918 in Auckland.

Alexander and Mary had nine children:

  • Richard Louis McLachlan, born in 1862.
  • Henry Alexander McLachlan, born in 1865, died in 1920, married Bridget Sheehan in 1903.
  • Annie Catherine McLachlan, born in 1868, died in 1939, married John Spraggon in 1893.
  • John James McLachlan, born in 1870, died in 1948, married Marie Andersen in 1898.
  • Elizabeth Mary McLachlan, born in 1873, died in 1939, married Edward Donovan in 1904.
  • Janet Isabella McLachlan, born in 1875, died in 1876.
  • Mary Christina McLachlan, born in 1876, died in 1955, married Thomas White in 1909.
  • Margarita Ewena McLachlan, born in 1879, died in 1937, married (1) Bertram von Rotter in 1897, (2) William Cate in 1910.
  • Janet Scott McLachlan, born in 1882, died in 1944, married Charles Henry Stent in 1920.
Hugh (Ewen) McLachlan

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) records the baptism on 18 December 1831 of Ewen McLachlan, son of Dugald, and Ann Cleghorn, Fort William. The Family Bible records that Ewen McLachlan was born on 4 August 1831.

Ewen McLachlan emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family. He was listed as “Hugh” which is an anglicised version of their common Gaelic origin. Around 1858-59 Ewen went to live at Tokomairiro with his sister Catherine and her husband.

Ewen McLachlan married Margaret Brown on 25 June 1862.  They had two daughters surviving infancy:

  • Mary McLachlan, born in 1863.
  • Catherine McLachlan, born in 1865.

Following Margaret Brown’s death, Ewen married Margaret Glancey on 21 November 1877. They had several children, possibly including:

  • Lewes [Lewis Dawson] McLachlan, born in 1878, died in 1943.
  • Ewen McLachlan, born in 1880, died in 1966, married Priscilla Isabel Calvert in 1921.
  • Margaret Ann McLachlan, born in 1881, died in 1974, married William Simon Saunders in 1901.
  • Dugald McLachlan, born in 1885, died in 1918 (WW1).
  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1889.
  • Elizabeth McLachlan, born in 1891, died in 1919.
  • Linda McLachlan, born in 1894, died in 1970.
  • John Cameron McLachlan, born in 1895, died in 1966, married Mary Ellen McDougall in 1922.
  • Agnes McLachlan, born in 1897, died in 1944, married Robert George Catherwood in 1927.

Ewen McLachlan died in 1906 at Owaka. In mid-June 1906 a number of newspapers around the country carried the Press Association message that a man named Hugh McLachlan, 74 years of age, was found dead on the railway line near Owaka. Death was believed to be due to natural causes. The Otago Daily Times of 20 June 1906 reported, “The late Ewen M’Pherson M’Lachlan, of Owaka, whose body was found on the railway, was one of the first white men to set foot in the North Island. He had been about 70 years in the colony.” A letter in the Otago Daily Times of 23 June 1906 provided some history of Ewen McLachlan and his family:

“OLD HUGH.” TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,—l saw a paragraph in yesterday’s Daily Times which made reference to the death of an old friend of mine, and I ask permission to correct two mis-statements which it contained. The paragraph says—”The old man Ewan McPherson M’Lachlan, who was found dead on the railway near Owaka, was one of the first white men to set foot in the North Island, He had been about 70 years in the colony.” I have known the man intimately since 1863, and I never heard of his name being “Ewan M’Pherson” but always “Hugh.” Hundreds of the old man’s acquaintances at a distance when they read this remark of mine will be satisfied about the fact of his death—a conclusion they could hardly arrive at when they read of him as “Ewan.”
The other mis-statement, which says that he was one of the first white men to come here, corrects itself, to people who know the history of New Zealand, when it adds that “he had been about 70 years in the colony.” There were white men in this country long before 1836.
My poor old friend, both from his character and his history, deserves a longer obituary notice than has yet been given him. He came with his father and other members of the family to Wellington by the ship Blenheim in 1840, under the auspices of the old New Zealand Company. Often I have heard him tell with a look of pride in his eye where he came from, for he was a Scottish Celt to the core. “I am a Lochaber man, and left Fort William to come here.” the geographical names were music to his ear. He was born in 1831. and was consequently only nine years of age when he arrived in Wellington. The site of the now fine city was then either dense bush or under water, and it had just had its name changed from Britannia to that which it now bears, in compliment to the Duke for services rendered to the New Zealand Company in Parliament. For playmates “old Hughie” as he was called by his friends, had Maori boys. He taught them to spin tops and play marbles, and in the process managed to acquire a knowledge of their language — a knowledge much extended in after years. He used often to speak of the great chiefs he had known in his youth; men whose names have long ago passed into history. Amongst these were the celebrated Ta Rauparaha and his terrible fighting nephew Rangiatea, the leaders in the awful massacre at Wairau, Tamata Waka, and E. Puni, the latter a chief who was mainly instrumental in selling the block on which Wellington now stands. His love for the Maori people was almost a passion up to the day of his death, and his knowledge of them and their ways greater than that of any man I have ever known. The medical adviser of the M’Lachlan family, in those early days, was Dr Knox, one of the two brothers who a decade or so previously had earned an unenviable notoriety through their dealings with the Edinburgh resurrectionists, Burke and Hare.
With pardonable pride Hughie used to tell how he once had a conversation with Sir George Grey. They were each on a pedestrian tour, and met in a disturbed part of the country – I think in Hawke’s Bay. Sir George had a small escort, Hughie was alone, and carrying a swag. When they met and had exchanged greetings, the Governor put his question – “Are you not afraid to travel alone amongst so many disaffected Natives?” and strongly advised my friend to turn back. “I know the Maoris so well, Sir George, that I have no fear,” was the reply. His journey was accomplished in perfect safety.
In 1858 or ‘9 he came south, in charge of some sheep, landing them at Oamaru, their destination. From there he walked to Tokomairiro, and took service with his brother-in-law, the late Mr Poppelwell. In August, 1861, he was mining in Gabriel’s Gully, and since then has been simply a labouring man. He was twice married, and by his first wife had two daughters born to him. By his second wife he had a large family of sons and daughters nearly all grown up.
Speaking of such a man as this, Carlyle, in a noble passage, says:-“0, hardly entreated brother, thou wer’t our conscript on whom the lot fell; in fighting our battles thou wer’t so marred.” In this sense my old friend was emphatically “a conscript.” From early youth until, at the age of 75, he lay down to die, he was engaged in the struggle for bread. Honour sometimes peereth from under the meanest habit, it has been said. How often have I seen and admired it peering from under the soiled and frayed working dress of Hugh M’Lachlan. Light lie the turf on his breast! I am, etc., N
Royal terrace, Caversham, June 2l

Duncan McLachlan

Duncan McLachlan was a child of 4 when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim. According to the Family Bible, he was born on 15 December 1835.

It appears that in 1852, even before his father’s death, Duncan moved south to Tokomairiro to live with his sister Catherine.

Duncan McLachlan married Honora Lynch on 20 April 1862 at Dunedin.

Duncan and Honora had at least five children, possibly including:

  • William McLachlan, born in 1869.
  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1871.
  • Catherine McLachlan, born in 1875, married John Aloysius Henley in 1912.
  • Alice Genevieve McLachlan, died in 1949, married Charles William Henry Chilcott Bremner in 1902.
  • Thomas Duncan McLachlan, born in 1878, died in 1957, married Augusta Mary Duffy in 1915.

Honora Lynch died on 24 June 1891.

Duncan McLachlan died on April 1896. The NZ Tablet of 1 May 1896 reported, “Duncan McLachlan died recently; resident in Milton; born 15 December 1835; native of Fort William, Inverness, Scotland; an old and highly respected resident of Milton; in 1840 his father and family emigrated to Wellington; most of his life was spent in Otago whither he came in 1852, and where his sister had married the late Mr William Poppelwell; a convert for very many years.” The Bruce Herald of 5 May 1896 reported “The funeral of Mr Duncan M’Lachlan took place on Friday afternoon last, the cortege leaving St Mary’s Chapel for Fairfax Cemetery. The late Mr M’Lachlan was a very old resident in Milton and a considerable number of residents attended the funeral. Father Ryan officiated at the grave.”

Isabella McIntyre McLachlan

Isabella McIntyre McLachlan was born on 27 October 1840 on board the Blenheim at a point in the middle of the South Atlantic, and named for Dugald’s mother. The New Zealand birth registration notes that Isabel, daughter of Dugald McLachlan and Jean Cameron both late of the Parish of Kilmallie, spouses, was born on 27th October 1840. The registration was made on 24 January 1840.

Isabella McIntyre married Isaiah Wade Leigh on 15 August 1862.

Isabella Leigh died on 26 September 1914 at Turakina. The Wanganui Chronicle of 28 September 1914 carried the death Notice: “Leigh – On the 26th inst., at her residence, Turakina, Isabella, widow of the late Isaiah Leigh, aged 74 years.” Isaiah Wade Leigh had died in 1900, aged 84.

Isabella and Isaiah appear to have had at least five children:

  • Mary Wade Leigh, born in 1863, married Martin Lee in 1879.
  • Charles Ernest Leigh, born in 1865, died in 1942.
  • Ann Eliza Leigh, born in 1868, married Charles Alexander Whale in 1891.
  • Robert Leigh, born in 1870.
  • George Alexander Leigh, born in 1872, died in 1946, married Annie Kennerley in 1895.

Sources:

Photographs:

  • McPhail/McLachlan/Cameron Album: Jane (Cameron) Brabazon, formerly McLachlan, previously McPherson.
  • Otago University, Hocken Library, Hocken Snapshop (10th Jul 2012): POPPELWELL, Catherine Robertson. In Website Hocken Snapshop. Retrieved 13th Apr 2015 15:23.
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James and Mary Brown

The Blenheim passenger lists recorded the Brown family as coming from Paisley and including:

  • James Brown, 28, labourer
  • Mary Brown, 30
  • Sarah Brown, 9
  • James Brown, 7
  • George Brown, 5
  • Elizabeth Brown 1½

Return to The Blenheim People.


James Brown and Mary Catherine Flynn

Based on family records listed in Ancestry.com, James Brown was born on 23 May 1806 in Abbey, Renfrewshire, to James Brown and Mary McKorkindale.  On 21 January 1831 he married Mary Catherine Flynn, who was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1807.  The Old Parish Register for Abbey Parish, Renfrew, records that they were both of the parish and were married on 21 January 1831 by the Reverend Walter Blair, Paisley.

Following their arrival in New Zealand, James and Mary went on to have two more children:

  • David Brown, born in 1844, died in 1898.
  • Andrew Brown, born in 1846, died in 1926.

The Evening Post obituary for Elizabeth (see below), included a description of the family’s life in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, where they were the first European settlers in the Upper Hutt:

The voyage in the Blenheim terminated when that vessel anchored off Kaiwharawhara, and on landing there the Brown family were accommodated in a raupo whare provided for their use by the agent of the Kew Zealand Company. Shortly afterwards a removal was made to what is known as Alicetown, Lower Hutt, and at a later date to Belmont. The Brown family were the first settlers beyond the Silverstream-Taita Gorge — communication between these points being by means of a native track over the hills from Taita, across the stream in Stokes Valley, and again across the hills to where the Silverstream brickyards are now located. There was no way alongside the river on the eastern side, as the river ran close in to the hillsides there.
DETOUR AT TAITA. Having acquired possession of a piece of land extending from the neighbourhood of the Upper Hutt Post Office eastward beyond the Borough Council offices Mr. Brown proceeded to settle upon his holding and, placing his worldly goods upon a light dray trekked eastward towards Upper Hutt. The hills of Taita and Silverstream were impassable for wheeled traffic and the vehicle was taken apart, the wheels taken across separately, and the body slung on poles carried by the pioneer, assisted by a couple of stalwart settlers (Messrs. Galloway, of Pahautanui, and M’Ewan, of Rangitikei). On arrival at the eastern side of the gorge the vehicle was reassembled, and the kindly neighbours returned to their homes then at Lower Hutt. On arrival at Upper Hutt Mr. Brown erected a slab whare for his family, and covered it with a sail-cloth for a roof. He conducted the first tavern in the district, which was designated “The Shepherd,” and later on reconstructed and improved it, when it acquired the name of the “Criterion Hotel,” in which the Duke of Edinburgh stayed the night on the occasion of his visit to see the beauties of the Hutt River and native bush at the “Maori Bank.” A photograph of the hotel can be seen now in the Borough Council Chamber at Upper Hutt. The building, until recently temporarily occupied by the local Bank of Australasia, was the “stables” of the Criterion Hotel, and replaced the original stables which had been destroyed by fire on the night of the Duke’s visit. It has the honour of being the first store in Upper Hutt. The original business settlement having been established in the neighbourhood of the Oddfellows’ Hall, Trentham.

The Wellington Independent of 28 February 1871 included the Death Notice: “Brown – On Sunday, 26th February, at the Upper Hutt, Mr James Brown, after a severe and protracted illness, aged 61 years.”

Sarah Brown

The Old Parish Register for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that Sarah, daughter, legal, of James Brown, weaver, Cotton Street, and Mary Flynn was born on 5 March 1831 and registered on 31 March 1831.

Sarah Brown was listed as a child of 9 when she boarded the Blenheim for New Zealand.

Sarah Brown married James Wilson in 1849. The couple had 13 children:

  • Mary Wilson, born in 1850, died in 1905.
  • James Wilson, born in 1852.
  • William Henry Wilson, born in 1854, died in 1938, married Christine Charlotte Fagan in 1890.
  • John Wilson, born in 1856, died in 1923.
  • Elizabeth Wilson, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • Joseph James Wilson, born in 1861, died in 1935, married Catherine McTaggart in 1897.
  • Alexander Francis Wilson, born in 1863, died in 1935, married Adelaide Sophia Worsfold in 1888.
  • George Wilson, born in 1865, died in 1923, married Lydia Mary Riley in 1904.
  • Annie Wilson, born in 1867, died in 1941, married James McLeod in 1892.
  • David Bernard Wilson, born in 1869, died in 1960, married Fanny Louisa Wilson in 1895.
  • Agnes Wilson, born in 1871, died in 1946.
  • Sarah Jane Wilson, born in 1873, died in 1957.
  • Emily Mary Wilson, born in 1875, died in 1946 (Sister Basil).

James Wilson died on 7 July 1912, aged 83.  The Hutt Valley Independent of 13 July 1912 had the following obituary for James Wilson:

JAMES WILSON: Mr. James Wilson, one of Upper Hutt’s early settlers, who for some years has resided in Rangitikei, died at Makino on Sunday last, being 83 years of age. Deceased had an eventful career. Bom in Ireland, he came 67 years ago to New Zealand with the 65th Regiment, and took part in Hone Heke’s war and several other campaigns. He afterwards settled at Upper Hutt, where he married a sister, of James Brown, sen, and Mrs. Alex Martin. While at Upper Hutt he acted as instructor to the local militia at the blockhouse in the rear of the Trentham post office. After farming at Upper Hutt for a number of years, he went to Makino, where he has resided for some thirty years past. Deceased had been ailing for the past five years. Mrs. Wilson, who is an invalid, survives her husband, with six sons and five daughters. The sons are Messrs. W. H. and J. (Feilding), J. J. (Christchurch), A. F. (Levin), G. E. (Auckland), and David (Wellington). Mrs. McLeod (Makino) is the eldest daughter, and the others are unmarried.

Sarah (Brown) Wilson also died in 1912.  The Feilding Star of 23 November 1912 carried the Death Notice:”Wilson – At Makino, on Nov. 22, Sarah, relict of the late James Wilson, R.I.P. No flowers by request.”

James Brown

James Brown was 7 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family.

After living in the Lower and Upper Hutt Valley with his family, in 1852 James set off for the Australian goldfields, being joined by his brother George.  They returned to the Hutt Valley by 1854 and began farming together.

James Brown. Photograph taken Sept 6th 1907 on his 74th birthday. [P3-11-48] http://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/1740#idx1693The Evening Post of 24 December 1913 carried an article entitled “Seventy-Three Years Ago”, which recalled the arrival of the Blenheim in 1840, and noted:

Of the 300 who came out in her only seven are now alive. One of these is Mr. James Brown, of Wellington (now 80 years of age), who lived at the Lower Hutt with his parents for seven years and then removed to the Upper Hutt, the family being the first settlers there. His brother (Mr. George Brown) and one of his sisters (Mrs. James Wilson), both of whom died 18 months ago, also came out in the Blenheim. In addition to Mr. James Brown, Mr. James Nicol (Masterton), Mrs. Miller (Carterton), Messrs. Donald Fraser and Cameron (Rangitikei), Mrs. A. Martin, sen. Upper Hutt), and Mr. Donald Cameron (Greytown], who were also passengers, are still alive.

The Dominion of 26 July 1916 carried the Death Notice: “Brown – At his late residence. 104 Abel Smith Street, Wellington, James Brown, late of Upper Hutt, aged 83 years. R.I.P.”

The Evening Post of 25 July 1916 carried the following obituary:

The company of the Blenheim immigrants, who landed here in 1841 suffered a further diminution yesterday by the death of Mr. James Brown. His father (Mr. James Brown, sen.) was one of the Port Nicholson settlers and lived for many years in the Hutt Valley, eventually settling at Upper Hutt. James Brown, the younger, took part in the early gold rushes, and was at Ballarat at the time of the riots. Finally he settled on the land, in partnership with his brothers George (since deceased) and Andrew. That was about 1854. The brothers experienced all the trials which confronted the early pioneers at a time when communication with other settlements was difficult, and the temper of the Natives was uncertain Mr. Brown retired from active work over a decade ago, and shortly afterwards came to reside in Wellington. Hence he was a well-known figure, especially amongst people who delighted to hear of the early history of the settlement of the province. Though 82 years of age, at the time of his death he was, till a few weeks ago, remarkably active, both physically and mentally. His reminiscences were always interesting. The illness which carried him off came upon him about three weeks ago. He was never married, and his nearest surviving relatives are Mr. Andrew Brown (a brother), and Mrs. Martin (a sister, and one of the Blenheim immigrants), both of whom reside at Upper Hutt.

George Brown

George Brown was 5 when he sailed to Wellington on the Blenheim.

After living in the Hutt valley with his parents he went off in 1853 to join his brother on the goldfields in Australia, but returned to the Hutt.  George Brown married Jemima Hunter on 9 May 1875, but they appear to have had no children. Jemima died in 1898.

The Dominion of 25 March 1912 carried the following obituary:

MR. GEORGE BROWN, J.P.: HUTT PIONEER. There passed away at 1 p.m. yesterday another of Wellington’s pioneers, in the person of Mr. George Brown, J. P., of Buller Street, who has been a resident of the district for the past seventy-two years. He was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1835, and sailed from the Clyde with his parents in the ship Blenheim, when five years of age, arriving here on the eve of the same year. With his parents, he resided in the Hutt Valley, working on the farm until May, 1853, when he went to join his brother, Mr. James Brown (also of Wellington), who a year previously had gone away to try his luck on the Victorian goldfields. The two brothers went through all the trials and hardships of life on the goldfields for five years, both in Australia and Otago. Finally the deceased returned to the Upper Hutt district, and turned his energies to farming, in which occupation he continued up till about six years ago, when he retired, and came to live in town. He always took an interest in public affairs, and represented the Mungaroa Riding on the Hutt County Council for twelve years, finally retiring on account of ill-health. His father, the late Mr. James Brown, owned and built the first hotel in the Upper Hutt, “The Shepherd’s Inn” (later known as The Criterion, but since demolished). Deceased was a member of the Hutt Licensing Committee, and took keen interest generally in advancing the district’s welfare. He was a valued member of tho S.P.C.A. up to the time of his death, and as a Justice of the Peace rendered good service to his district over a very long period. Like his father, he was one of the militiamen called out to meet the Maoris at Boulcott’s Farm, Lower Hutt, upon the historic occasion when Bugler Allen, “the boy hero”, died under such tragic circumstances, in giving a timely alarm to the settlers in the vicinity. Deceased, whose widow survives him, leaves numerous relatives and a big host of friends in this district.

The obituary carried in the Hutt Valley Independent of 30 March 1912, after providing details of the funeral service, gave some further details of George Brown’s life:

Deceased was born at Paisley, Scotland, in the year 1835, and left the Clyde, for New Zealand, on September 6, 1840, in the ship “Blenheim,” with his parents and a large company of other Scottish settlers, arriving at Wellington on Christmas Eve 1840. The family settled at the Hutt, and in 1853, he left for Australia, en route for the Victorian goldfields, to join his elder brother James, who had gone across the year previous. The two brothers remained on the goldfields for some five years, and took a prominent part in all the meetings which culminated in what are known in Australian history as the “Ballarat Riots.” Returning to New Zealand, he, with his brother David, and his, brother-in-law, James Wilson, went to the Otago Goldfields in 1860, and returned to Upper Hutt a couple of years later, where he resided with the other members of the family. From 1860 to 1870 he served in the Militia, which had been called out owing to the Maori troubles. In 1870, on the recommendation of the late Hon. Sir P. A. Buckley, Mr. G. Brown was appointed a Justice of the Peace. The deceased gentleman was married in 1872 to Jemima, the youngest daughter of the late Robert Hunter of Lower Hutt. For twelve years Mr. Brown represented the Mangaroa riding on the Hutt County Council, when he retired owing to failing health. As an active member of the committee of the Wellington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Mr. Brown, after he took up his abode in the city, rendered valuable aid to Inspector Seed, who speaks enthusiastically of his work for the Society, The deceased gentleman, on all occasions took a lively part in local and general politics, he, in conjunction with his brother James, has been a generous friend to the Sisters of Mercy, and has proved an ardent supporter of the Catholic Church locally.

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown was only 1½ when she travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand.

Elizabeth Brown married Alexander Gordon Martin on 18 April 1855, and the couple went on to have 12 children:

  • Jane Martin, born in 1855, died in 1942, married John Golder in 1877.
  • James Martin, born in 1857, died in 1945.
  • William Henry Martin, born in 1860, died in 1957.
  • Isabella Martin, born in 1862, died in 1945, married Patrick McGrath in 1905.
  • Mary Elizabeth Martin, born in 1864, died in 1904.
  • Thomas Martin, born in 1867, died in 1884.
  • Elizabeth Martin, born in 1869, died in 1929, married Timothy Moynihan in 1907.
  • Helen Martin, born in 1872, died in 1960.
  • Alexander Gordon Martin, born in 1874, died in 1910.
  • Emma Martin, born in 1876, died in 1948, married John Larmer in 1909.
  • David Martin, born in 1879, died in 1946.
  • John Alexander Martin, born in 1882, died in 1955.

Alexander Gordon Martin died on 27 May 1902 aged 68.

Elizabeth (Brown) Martin died on 6 December 1929.  The Evening Post of 23 December 1929 carried the following obituary:

MR. BROWN’S DRAY: PIONEERING STORY: FOUNDER OF UPPER HUTT: LAST CHILD DEAD AT 91 (Contributed.)

By the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Martin on Friday, 6th December, 1929 Upper Hutt lost the last original settler of a hardy pioneering Scots family. Born at Paisley, Scotland, 91 years ago, she left the Clyde in September, 1840, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Brown, and other members of the family, arriving in Port Nicholson on 27th December, 1840.

[see above for a description of move to Upper Hutt]

MAORI TROUBLES—THE STOCKADE. Mrs. Martin had two brothers (James and George) and one sister, Sarah (Mrs. Wilson), older than herself, and two brothers, David and Andrew, born in New Zealand, all of whom predeceased her. The deceased lady, though sorely troubled with rheumatism in later life, retained all her faculties until a few hours before her death, and could speak clearly and with wonderful detail upon historical and domestic matters of the Hutt Valley from the sea eastward. She gave vivid pictures of the many hardships and anxieties of the pioneers; of the floods of the Hutt River—half-a-dozen a year—when the water ran through their house in the Lower Valley; of the first bridge over the Hutt River; of the Maori troubles and the early morning attack on Boulcott’s Farm outpost, when Bugler Allen was killed while sounding the alarm; of the building of the stockade at Trentham near what is now known as “Quinn’s Post” Hotel; the local bushfire fights, and the several sawmilling industries of the district— three mills operating at the same time between Whiteman’s Valley road and the Upper Hutt Catholic Church on the main road frontage.

Mrs. Martin was of a kindly nature and ever willing to help anyone in need. She was a keen gardener, and her residence was surrounded with choice plants and flowers, and was one of the beauty spots of the Upper Hutt. She was the first lady elector to record a vote at a Parliamentary election in the upper end of the Hutt Valley. Her husband, Mr. Alexander Martin, a native of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, died 27 years ago. Of her family of twelve there are nine still living. The sons are James, of Upper Hutt, for many years connected with the New Zealand Railways; William, of New Plymouth, farmer; David, of Wanganui, of the White Star Motor Service; and John, of Hastings, fruit expert; and the daughters are Jane (Mrs. Golder), of Upper Hutt; Isabel (Mrs. M’Grath), Elizabeth (Mrs. Monihan), of Wellington; Emma (Mrs. Larmer) and Helen, of Upper Hutt. There are 42 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren.


Sources:

Photographs:

  • Upper Hutt Library, Recollect, James Brown Jnr, from Alexander Turnbull Library, 592 1/11