Tag Archives: Cameron

John Cameron and Janet McGregor

According to the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, John Cameron was from Achranach, and were recommended by Sheriff Gregorson and his Parish Minister.  The family included:

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

Return to The Blenheim People.


John Cameron and Janet McGregor

John Cameron, known as John “Mor’ Cameron, meaning Big John Cameron, was born probably at Invermaillie in Inverness-shire, near Achnacarry in Lochaber, in the parish of Kilmallie.  His parents were Angus Cameron and Anne McIntyre. The age of 100 given in reports of his death was probably overstated, 90 being more likely, giving a birth year of around 1790.

At some point, John Cameron must have moved to Morvern. Achranach (or Achranich) was part of the Ardtornish estate at the head of Loch Aline in the parish of Morven, in Argyll.    John Gregorson purchased the estate in 1819, having previously rented it from the Duke of Argyll, and for a time was Sheriff for the district. Achnagoun/Achnagaun is near to Achranich.

Based on information provided for her death registration, Janet McGregor was born in Argyll, Scotland to John McGregor, farmer, and Ann St Clair, and was married at Lismore to John Cameron when she was 17 years old. If she was 94 at the time of her death this would put the marriage in 1803, but it is more likely that her age was around 84, which would put the marriage in 1813, a better match for the birth information for her children and their name order, and her birth year as around 1796.

In any event, the family of John Cameron and Janet McGregor which set sail on the Blenheim in 1840 included 7 sons and 2 daughters.

After arriving in New Zealand, John Cameron may have worked on the road from Kaiwarra to Wellington, but later explored in the Wairarapa and obtained a property on the shores of Lake Wairarapa.

During this period, Angus Cameron was drowned in Lake Wairarapa and then his brother Duncan was drowned in Cook Strait.

In 1850, the Wairarapa farm was sold to Charles Matthews, and the Camerons moved initially to Porirua, and then to Turakina, where they were among the first settlers. Their first property in the Rangitikei was called “Invermaillie”, but after a few years John and Janet moved to another property up the Turakina Valley which they called “Glenmore”.  They later moved to Mangahoe in the Hunterville district, before returning to Turakina.

Janet (McGregor) Cameron died on 9 November 1880, with her age given as 94. Her death registration noted that she died at Turakina Valley. She was the daughter of John McGregor and Ann St Clair; born in Argyllshire, Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 40 years; was married at Lismore, Scotland, to John Cameron when she was 17; and had 4 sons and 2 daughters living. The informant was her grandson, John Baldwin, Turakina Valley.

The Wanganui Herald of 13 November 1880 reported, “There has passed away at her residence up the Turakina Valley, a very old resident of that district, in the person of Mrs John Cameron, senior. The old lady was approaching her hundredth year, and till recently enjoyed the use of all her faculties, and was remarkably active considering her very advanced age.”

The Grey River Argus of 24 November 1880 carried a report of the funeral: “The Highland customs are even in the north of Scotland rapidly passing away. A funeral in the old style is seldom witnessed in Scotland now save in the case when a representative of the nobility ‘shuffles off this mortal coil.’ One would hardly expect, therefore to see a real Highland funeral here at the Antipodes. Yet such a funeral was that of the late Mrs John Cameron, who, at the ripe age of 94, was gathered to the lap of mother earth at Turakina recently. The customs of the Gael, which were in vogue a century ago, were rigidly observed, The husband of the deceased lady, though 102 years old, prescribed all the dirges which were to be played on the bagpipes at the funeral of the wife who had shared his joys and sorrows for 77 years. The cortege was the largest ever seen in the district, and amongst the mourners were many of the oldest settlers of the West Coast. It was not only by Europeans that Mrs Cameron’s death was lamented; about 40 Maoris met the sad procession with weeping willows, and their wailing cry drowned the notes of the bagpipe.”

John Cameron died little more than two months later on 19 January 1881.  His age was given as 100 years but was more likely to have been 90.  The Wanganui Herald of 20 January 1881 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – Died at his residence, Turakina Valley, on Wednesday, January 19th, Mr John Cameron, senior, at the advanced age of 100 years.  The funeral will leave his late residence, on Saturday, the 22nd inst., at 1 o’clock precisely.  All friends are invited to attend.”  The funeral was reported in the Wanganui Herald of 24 January 1881:

FUNERAL OF THE LATE JOHN CAMERON OF TURAKINA,
The earthly remains of this venerable old gentleman were interred in the Turakina Cemetry on Saturday last. The funeral cortege was the largest ever seen in the district, among the number being nearly all the old pioneers of settlement on the coast. The procession started from the late residence of the departed in the Turakina Valley, and entered the township in the following order. Two carriages containing the pall-bearers, the Minister (Rev. J. Ross), the undertaker and piper. Then came the hearse, followed by two carriages containing the nearer relatives as chief mourners. The carriages were followed by eight grand-daughters on horseback and more than that number of grandsons, also riding. Then came eight carriages filled with friends and neighbors, followed by about 60 others on horseback. As the cortege rounded the Valley road into the Turakina road the pedestrians to the number of 60 or more formed in file and followed on. The cemetery was also attended by a large number of women and children. As the grand-daughters entered the Cemetry they were each handed a wreath of flowers which were dropped into the grave at the conclusion of the services. The Rev. J. Ross performed the last sad rites, delivering an impressive address suitable to the occasion. Business in the township was entirely suspended during the day.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 1 February published the following obituary:

THE LATE MR J CAMERON.
(FROM A CORRESPONDENT.) On my return from the funeral of the late John Cameron, senr., of Turakina, I fully intended to have sent you a full description of it, but I found every part of the ceremony so much the same as that adopted at the funeral of his wife, who departed this life about two months ago, that a repetition would not have been interesting to many of your readers. I will, however, give a brief account of the last days of the old man, and a short biographical sketch of a few of his ancestors, which I hope will be interesting, at least to his friends and neighbours, among whom he has sojourned for the last forty years.
On the 19th January, 1881, at the ripe age of a hundred years, old John Cameron passed away from the midst of his family, deeply lamented and regretted. He had been ailing for some time previous, but, excepting the decay of nature, there was nothing painful attending his latter days. Saturday, January 22nd, was fixed for the funeral, and, as the day was remarkably fine the attendance exceeded that at the funeral of his wife. At 1.30 p.m., the pipes commenced ‘Return no More’ and the procession moved on from his residence, some hundred and fifty horsemen and several conveyances following. As on the former occasion, when the cortege reached Glenmore, the residence of his son Archibald, a halt of ten minutes was made for refreshment, and here many joined the procession, which with others at the village was swelled to upwards of two hundred. Business was entirely suspended, and the whole of the inhabitants were in attendance at the graveyard. The Rev. John Ross performed the service and gave a very impressive address, which was listened to with silent attention, and the scene and the grave thus closed over one of the best and noblest specimens of our nature and the pride of his family. His stalwart frame, manly bearing, and simple honesty and generosity will be long remembered by all whose lot it has been to enjoy his acquaintance and friendship. To allow one, who has contributed so largely to advance and promote the interests of our adopted country by his own industry, as well as that of a large family who accompanied him here nearly forty years ago in the ship Blenheim, to pass away without comment, would be a reproach to the community, and I can only wish that some one more able to do justice to his memory had taken up the task. However, to me it is a labour of love, and if critics will let it pass, and you consider it worth a place in your columns, I shall feel well repaid. During the few days that have elapsed since the funeral I have endeavoured to collect some little information about the ancestors of our departed friend, and I learn that they have all descended from the clansmen of the Great Lochiel, whose attachment to the House of Stuart, and his determination against his own judgment to share the fortunes of the Pretender, or, to use his own words, of “His Prince,” proved not only disastrous to his followers, but fatal to himself. Mr Cameron’s great grandfather, Dugald McDugald, followed him at Preston Pans, where he fell after cutting to pieces with his broadsword many of the muskets of the enemy. His grandfather fell at Culloden, and his father died at the age of eighty-eight. His family consisted of eleven sons and three daughters. Charles was mortally wounded with Abercromby in Egypt. Alexander served in Holland, and was paymaster of the regiment. Dugald served in Ireland, and was cut down by a cannon-ball while engaged with the French. The regiment lost its colours, but next day the whole of the French were made prisoners, and the colours recovered. Evan and John served with Fassifern, in the 92nd Highlanders, all through the Peninsula War and at Waterloo, where they fell with their chief. One settled in America; two others came with John to New Zealand. One of them, Allan, was considered the most powerful and best built man in Wellington. Angus died in Turakina, aged eighty-four, the other died in the Highlands. Mr Cameron was accompanied to New Zealand by his wife, seven sons, and two daughters, who with four of the sons survive him. They are all settled in the neighbourhood of Turakina, where, with their families, they may form the nucleus of a clan wealthier, if not so powerful or so warlike as their forefathers.

As noted in the newspaper article quoted above, there is a suggestion that two brothers of John Cameron also emigrated to New Zealand, including Allan Cameron, who came out on the Blenheim (see Allan Cameron and Janet Grant), and an Angus Cameron, who died in Turakina aged 84. The passenger list does not refer to any relationship between the families, unlike that referred to in the comments on Donald Cameron and Ewen Cameron, both of Trislaig, which identified them as brothers, or between Dugald Cameron of Glenmore and his brother Duncan, who did not embark. Possibly this was because unlike the others referred to, John and Allan Cameron were not personally known to Donald McDonald, and in any event, Allan Cameron did not appear on the main list in which comments were made. However, in The History of the Camerons of Springhill, material from Robert Cameron’s journal in describing the voyage of the Blenheim, refers to advice he received from his father’s cousin, Charles Cameron, who was around 18 at the time of the voyage. The fact that both families were involved in the illicit distillation of spirits, one in Turakina and the other in Gollans Valley might also suggest a common heritage. The evidence is less clear in relation to Angus Cameron, who emigrated on the John McVicar in 1857 with his wife and two of his children, and was joined at Turakina in 1864 by his older son Duncan and his family. Angus Cameron was in fact 80 when he died, and his parents were Angus Cameron and Annie (or Mary) McMillan, which would mean at the least a different mother from John Cameron. The newspaper obituary for Angus Cameron in the Wanganui Chronicle of 6 June 1876, and family references, do suggest a relationship, but its nature cannot be confirmed as necessarily familial.

John Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son John was born on 6 January 1816.

The Blenheim passenger list had John Cameron as a ploughman of 26.

On 25 September 1855 John Cameron married Mary (Robertson) Cameron, formerly Mitchell, widow of Donald Cameron.  Donald Cameron, the son of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson, was also on the Blenheim.

Mary (Robertson) Cameron, formerly Mitchell, died on 5 June 1887.  Her death registration noted that she was 66, her father was Alexander Robinson, carrier, she was born in Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 40 years, and was married in Wanganui to John Cameron.  She had three female children living, aged 30, 28 and 27.  The cause of death was dropsy.  There was no reference to any of her other marriages.

John and Mary had three children:

  • Margery (Mysie) McGregor Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1915, married Robert James McAlley in 1883.
  • Janet Robertson Cameron, born in 1859, married Thomas Reid Dodson in 1886.
  • Frances Mitchell Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1936, married James Alexander Bailey in 1882.
Angus Cameron

Angus Cameron was described as a labourer of 24 on the Blenheim passenger list.

Angus was apparently drowned in Lake Wairarapa.

Charles Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern records that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son “John” was born on 14 September 1820.  While the name given is not Charles, the rest of the facts appear to fit, so perhaps there was a mistake somewhere along the line.

Charles Cameron was a labourer of 20 when he sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Charles Cameron married Catherine McKinnon on 1 January 1860.

Catherine McKinnon was born around 1833 in Morvern, Argyll, Scotland.

Charles Cameron
Charles Cameron

Charles Cameron appears to have led a busy and eventful life, with frequent appearances in court disputes, active in local affairs, a range of sporting and cultural activities, and a successful  farmer and cattle-breeder.   In Early Rangitikei , Sir James Wilson in writing about Turakina settlers noted, “One of the most familiar figures was ‘Charlie Cameron,’  who for long was in partnership with Mr Alick Simpson.  Mr Cameron had ‘got’ the Gaelic: he died quite lately, over eighty years of age.  A fine stamp of a hardy old Highlander.”

In 1869 Charles Cameron faced a charge of  the illicit distillation of spirits. In April 1869 police found a still on Charles Cameron’s property in the Turakina Valley and initially charged John Cameron, senior, and Ewen (Hugh) McIntosh, but these charges were withdrawn and new charges brought against Charles and Dugald Cameron.  The Wanganui Herald of 28 May 1869 reported on the outcome of a hearing before the Resident Magistrates Court in the case of Collector of Customs v Chas. and Dugald Cameron. The Resident Magistrate, Walter Buller, Esq., noted that the Distillation Act carried a presumption that if an unlicensed still was found on the certain premises then guilty knowledge on the part of the owner of the premises is presumed, and a conviction must follow, but the Act enabled the Court to give the accused the benefit of any doubt that might exist as to any real complicity in the offence by allowing a very wide discretion as to the measure of punishment, ranging from a fine of £50 to a term of imprisonment. In the present case, the Magistrate noted, there was no direct evidence before the Court to connect the defendants with the illicit distillation that had been carried on, or with any participation in the profits arising therefrom, and he therefore fined each defendant £50 and a moiety of costs.  An appeal against the conviction failed.

Charles Cameron died on 12 February 1909, aged 89. The Wanganui Herald of 13 February 1909 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 12th inst., at the residence of his son-in-law (Mr W. Chapman Fordell), Charles Cameron, native of Morven, Scotland; aged 89 years.” The Wanganui Herald of 12 February 1909 carried the following obituary:

Mr Charles Cameron, of Wangaehu
It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of another of our sturdy old pioneers in the person of Mr Charles Cameron, of Ratamapua, Wangaehu, and formerly of Invermarlie, Turakina. The deceased gentleman, who was the eldest son of the late John Cameron, of the Turakina Valley, was in his ninetieth year, and enjoyed excellent health up to within a few days of his death, in fact he rode up to Fordell, and came on to town on the morning of the Caledonian sports on January 22nd last, and as usual took a prominent part in the day’s proceedings. But he had, nevertheless, a presentment that the sands of time had nearly run their course with him, and, in bidding good-bye to many of his old cronies, he said he felt that that was his last outing, and that they must not forget him when next they met, as he would then be “a silent member of a doleful cortege.” On his return journey home, not feeling well, he stayed with Mrs Wm. Chapman, Fordell, where he passed away after a few days’ illness. The deceased was a true type of a real old Hielan’ Laird, a man of sterling integrity whose word was his bond. Hospitable almost to a fault, his door was always open, and no one ever passed his home without being asked to come in and have a meal and a night’s lodging if necessary. He was a man of the most genial disposition, but he lacked not the Highland temper, and he proved a doughty warrior when any man dared to disparage the men of Auld Scotia. But quick as he was to anger as quick was he to shake hands and be friends again, and all those who had the pleasure of sharing in that friendship might well be proud of knowing one who was always a friend, come weal or woe. The “Commodore” as he was familiarly called by the old identities will be greatly missed by his large circle of friends and relatives, and to all the latter we beg to tender our deepest sympathy. The late Mr Cameron leaves a widow and grown up family, among whom are Mrs James Higgie (Okoia), Mrs William Chapman (Fordell), Mr D. Cameron (Fordell) and Mrs Charles Cameron, jnr. (Turakina Valley), also a number of grand-children besides a brother (Mr Dougald Cameron), and a sister (Mrs Cumberland McDonell) and a very large circle of near relatives to mourn his loss.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 16 February 1909 published a report of the funeral:

There was an exceedingly large attendance of mourners at the funeral of the late Mr Charles Cameron, of Wangaehu Valley, which took place on Sunday. The remains were conveyed from Fordell to Turakina, and amongst vehicles which followed were two brakes containing some twenty-six members of the Wanganui Caledonian Society, which body the deceased had been prominently connected since its inauguration thirty years ago. A very large number of settlers followed the procession, which was about a mile in length. As the procession wended its way past the house to the main road, on past Wangaehu, and again on arrival at Turakina, the laments “The Land of Leal,” “Lord Lovett’s Lament,” “Flowers of the Forest,” were played by Pipers Mackenzie Forbes, C. McDonald, and Muirhead. There was a very large crowd of sorrowing friends waiting the arrival of the cortege in Turakina. The service at the house was conducted by the Rev. Mr Ross, that at the graveside by the Rev. R. McCully. The pall-bearers were the following members of the Caledonian Society:—Messrs T. Copeland, Jas. Dempsey, R. G. McNiven, D. Stewart, A. Strachan, and D. Urquhart. Many handsome wreaths were laid on the grave, one of the most noticeable being that sent by the Wanganui Caledonian Society. This wreath was a magnificent one and was finished with Cameron tartan.

Catherine (McKinnon) Cameron died on 1 June 1917, aged 84.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 2 June 1917 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 1st inst., at Okoia, Catherine, widow of the late Charles Cameron, aged 84 years.”

Charles and Catherine had six children:

  • John Cameron, born in 1861.
  • Duncan Cameron, born in 1863, married Eliza McDonell (cousin) in 1888.
  • Elizabeth Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1906, married John Baldwin (cousin) in 1888.
  • Janet Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1959, married James Higgie in 1884.
  • Sarah Cameron, born in 1868, died in 1913, married William Chapman in 1891.
  • Charles Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1969, married Jessie Paton Templeton Robson in 1908.
Duncan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son Duncan was born on 23 July 1823.

Duncan Cameron was a cowherd of 17 on the Blenheim passenger list.

Duncan Cameron was apparently drowned in Cook Strait

Allan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, Achnagaune and Janet McGregor, a lawful son Allan was born on 19 September 1825.

Allan Cameron was a cowherd of 15 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Allan Cameron, farmer, died on 24 October 1895 at Mangahoe, aged 70.  His death registration noted that his parents were John Cameron, farmer, and Janet McGregor; he was born in Morvern, Argyllshire, Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 55 years; and was unmarried.  The cause of death was asthma and old age.

Anne Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, residenter, Achnagaune, and Janet McGregor, a lawful daughter Anne was born on 23 March 1828.

Anne Cameron was 12 years old when she accompanied her family on the Blenheim in 1840.

Anne Cameron married Francis Baldwin on 13 August 1852.

Francis Baldwin was born around 1823 in Brighton, Sussex, England

Francis Baldwin died on 10 March 1904.  The Wanganui Herald of 10 March 1904 carried the Death Notice: “Baldwin – At St John’s Hill, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs H Earle; Francis Baldwin, of Turakina Valley; aged 81 years.  Died March 10 1904.”  The Wairarapa Times of 14 March 1904 reported, “The death is announced in the Wanganui papers of Mr Francis Baldwin, a well-known old colonist, at the age of 81.  He was for some time the proprietor of the Red Lion Hotel, and was well-known to many old Wairarapa settlers.  At one time, – away back in the sixties – he was engaged in shipping cattle from Wanganui to Auckland, and bringing back sheep.”

Anne (Cameron) Baldwin died on May 1908.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 22 May 1908 carried the following Death Notice: “Baldwin – On the 21st inst., at the residence of Mr A. Smith, Wilson Street, Anne, relict of the late Francis Baldwin, aged 82 years. Interment at Turakina.” The Wanganui Herald of 23 May 1908 carried the following obituary:

It is with regret that we have to announce the death of another of our pioneers in the person of Mrs. Frank Baldwin, Senr., of the Turakina Valley, who passed away peacefully on Thursday last, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. A. Smith, Wilson Street, Wanganui, at the ripe old age of 82. The deceased lady was a daughter of the late Mr. John Cameron, of Turakina Valley, and sister of Mr. Charles Cameron, of Invermallie. The late Mrs. Baldwin was a native of Morven, Argyleshire, and came to the colony with her parents in 1840, and shared all the vicissitudes of the early settlers, eventually settling down in the Turakina Valley, where she has resided for the better part of half a century. The late Mrs. Baldwin leaves a family of two sons, Messrs. John and Frank Baldwin, and four daughters, Mesdames Smith, Earles, Land [sic], and Miss Baldwin, besides a number of grandchildren, to mourn her loss. The deceased lady was a quiet, unassuming character, and endeared herself to all her friends by her hospitality and her many unostentatious acts of kindness, and of the many hundreds of people who have travelled up and down the Valley, no one was ever known to leave the hospitable roof of Mrs. Baldwin without partaking of her good cheer. The present generation have little knowledge of the hardships and privations of the sturdy pioneers who paved the way for them. They had to bear the heat and burden of the day, and it is with deep regret that we see the ranks of these good old folk depleted by the relentless hand of Death. To the bereaved family we tender our deepest sympathy. The funeral will take place to-morrow (Sunday), reaching the Turakina Cemetery at 2 p.m.

Anne and Francis had at least seven children:

  • John Baldwin, born in 1852, died in 1922, married (1) Elizabeth (Betsy) Cameron (cousin) in 1888, and (2) Rubina May Cowie in 1909.
  • Janet Baldwin, born in 1854, died in 1927, married Henry Earles in 1875.
  • Mary Anne Baldwin, born in 1856, died in 1930, married Alfred Mozart Smith in 1879.
  • Duncan Baldwin, born in 1858, died in 1859.
  • Maria Baldwin, born in 1861, died in 1920, married Charles Laird in 1881.
  • Francis Baldwin, born in 1863, died in 1931.
  • Elizabeth Catherine Baldwin, born in 1870, died in 1923.
Archibald Cameron

Archibald Cameron was 9 years old when he sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

After trying the Wairarapa, the family had moved to Porirua before taking up land in the Rangitikei district.  Archibald had a position in the commissary of the Porirua barracks, and did not immediately move to Turakina with them.  In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalls their family leaving Porirua for Turakina at the end of 1850, “Everything was ready at last, and we were to begin our journey on Monday morning, by being rowed across ‘The Ferry’.  Archie Cameron who lived at Pahatanui near the barracks, because he had something to do with the Commissariat, had arranged to come and take us across in his big boat.  He arrived soon after sunrise – looking as I see now, the impersonation of that early summer morning, so handsome, so happy, so full of life, and with a voice to match. ”

Archibald Cameron married Mary Laird on 4 August 1858.

Archibald Cameron
Archibald Cameron

Archibald Cameron took over the Glenmore property from his father. He suffered a fall from a horse in 1867 which affected his mobility, but went ahead and purchased a section in the Paraekaraetu Block at Hunterville, called Mangahoe. He was active in local affairs, being a member of the Rangitikei County Council and the Rangitikei Highway Board.

Mary (Laird) Cameron died on 21 January 1902. The Wanganui Chronicle carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On January 21, 1902, at Mangahoe, Mary, the beloved wife of Mr Archibald Cameron, aged 66 years.”

The New Zealand Tablet of 30 January 1902 published the following obituary:

MRS. CAMERON, MANGAHOE. I deeply regret (writes our Wanganui correspondent) to record the death of Mrs. Archibald Cameron, of Mangahoe, which occurred very suddenly on Monday morning of last week. Mrs. Cameron, who was 66 years of age, was the daughter of one of those gallant Irish soldiers who have done so much to build up the Empire. Her husband, Mr. Arch. Cameron, is one of the most respected settlers on this coast. He and his wife were always regarded as perfect land marks of hospitality in the early days on the West Coast of this island. We can only give expression to the hope (says the Chronicle) that the rapidly-thinning rank of these forceful and hospitable pioneers, such as the lady whose death we announce to-day, may be filled by successors worthy of the early settlers of this colony. A grown-up family of four sons and four daughters is left to mourn the loss of a good mother. R.I.P.

Archibald Cameron died just two months later on 19 March 1902 at Mangahoe, Hunterville. The Wanganui Chronicle carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – At Mangahoe, Hunterville, on the 19th of March, Archibald Cameron, aged 74 years. Deeply regretted.” The Wanganui Chronicle of 21 March 1902 published the following obituary:

MR. ARCHIBALD CAMERON
It is with deep regret that we have to chronicle the death of one of Wanganui’s old identities, in the person of Mr. Archibald Cameron, of Paraekaraetu, who passed away at his residence, Mangahoe. on Thursday last, at the advanced age of 74 years. The deceased gentleman had only been pre-deceased by his wife by a few weeks, and since her death his strength had gradually failed him until he succumbed on Thursday afternoon. The deceased was third son of the late John Cameron, of Turakina. He landed in the colony when quite a boy, and passed the greater part, of his life on the west coast of the North Island. Some forty years ago he took up his residence in the Turakina Valley, and in the olden days, when the hospitality of the pioneers was proverbial, no more hospitable roof welcomed the stranger than that of Glenmore. Some thirty years ago Mr. Cameron met with a serious accident through a fall from a horse, which deprived him of the use of his limbs to a great extent, but the indomitable pluck of the man was such that notwithstanding his infirmity, he was one of the first to take up land in the Paraekaraetu Block, a then unknown country, and buying a large block of country at Mangahoe, took up bis residence there. For many years he took a foremost part in every movement for the advancement of the country and progress of the district, and was for many years a member of the Rangitikei County Council. Of late years increasing infirmity compelled him to forsake the more active pursuits, and leasing his properties to his sons, he has lived a retired life at Mangahoe. His death removes another old land mark from our midst, and many will miss his cheery manner and kindly disposition. Although a martyr to infirmity, his indomitable courage was such that he always looked at the happy side of things, was ever ready to say a kind word, and do a kindly act. He was a man of the greatest integrity, whose word was his bond, and who always enjoyed the utmost respect of all those who knew him or had the pleasure of coming in contact with him. He leaves a grown up family of four sons and four daughters to mourn their loss—namely, Mr. William Cameron, of Waituna; Mr. Archibald Cameron, of Mangahoe; Mr. John Cameron, of Glenorchy; and Mr. Hugh Cameron, of Glenmore; Mrs. Balmer, Mrs. J. Morgan, Mrs. W. Simpson, and Miss Cameron, to whom we tender our deepest sympathy. The funeral will take place this afternoon, and will reach the town bridge at 2 p.m.

Archibald and Mary had eight children:

  • William John Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1930, married Margaret Eleanor Cameron in 1882.
  • Mary Bridget Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1937, married John Duncan Cameron Balmer in 1886.
  • Janet Agnes Cameron, born in 1863, died in 1932, married John Charles Morgan in 1886.
  • Archibald Cameron, born in 1865, married Catherine Euphemia Gair in 1906.
  • Catherine Cameron, born in 1868, married William Simpson in 1890.
  • John Cameron, born in 1870.
  • Hugh Joseph Cameron, born in 1874, died in 1957, married Helen Jane Spurdle in 1899.
  • Elizabeth Cameron, born in 1877.
Dugald Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, crofter, Achnagauna, and Janet McGregor a lawful son Dugald was born on 15 June 1833.

Dugald Cameron married Margaret Mitchell on 27 January 1862.

In 1869 Dugald, with his brother Charles, was tried and convicted of keeping an illicit still (see above under Charles Cameron for details).

Dugald Cameron died on 17 February 1919.  The Death Notice in the Wanganui Chronicle of 18 February 1919 said: “Cameron – On the 17th inst., at Wanganui, Dugald, son of the late John Cameron, Invermaillie, Turakina Valley; aged 86 years.”  The death registration noted that he died at 1 Parnell Street, Wanganui, from Turakina Valley, and that he was a farmer.  His parents were John Cameron, farmer and Janet McGregor; he was born in Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 79 years; was married in Turakina when he was about 32 to Maggie Mitchell, now deceased, and there was no living issue.

Dugald and Margaret may have had children who did not live beyond infancy:

  • Janet McGregor Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1867.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1868.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1877.
Marjory (Mysie) Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that to John Cameron, labourer, Achranich, and Janet McGregor a lawful daughter “Mary” was born on 9 July 1835.

Marjory Cameron was 5 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalls their family leaving Porirua for Turakina,  “Mysie was Archie’s sister and housekeeper. (Their father was ‘Big John Cameron’ who with his family came out on the Blenheim with ours).  Mysie was more dignified than her close friend ‘Little Annie’ [Annie (Cameron) McDonald]; but scarcely less beloved, she was so kind.”

Marjory Cameron married Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell on 31 August 1858.

Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell was the son of Archibald McDonell and Annie McRae, and the younger brother of James McDonell, an early Rangitikei settler, who married Anne Cameron, daughter of Donald Cameron and Christian McLean, also Blenheim passengers.

In Early Rangitikei Sir James Wilson noted, “Mrs Cumberland McDonell was a daughter of big John Cameron, of Turakina, and was renowned as a rider.”

Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell died on 24 May 1907, aged 75. The Wanganui Chronicle of 25 May carried the Death Notice: “McDonell – On 24th May, at his residence, 25 Ingestre street, C.R.S. McDonell, aged 75 years. R.I.P.” The Wanganui Herald of 25 May 1907 reported:

Another of Wanganui’s oldest settlers has joined the great majority. Mr C. R. S. McDonell, one of the best known and most highly respected residents in the district, having died last night at the age of 75. The late Mr McDonell was a native of Invernesshire, Scotland, and came out to the colonies in 1852, settling in Victoria for a few years, and then coming on to New Zealand, taking up his residence in Wanganui. He engaged in contracting for some time, and then purchased the Red Lion Hotel, which he conducted for some years. He subsequently owned hotels in Bulls and Turakina, and then entered into farming pursuits in the Turakina district. Two years ago his health failed, and he came into Wanganui to reside. His many friends will regret to hear of his death, and keen sympathy will be felt towards his family – three sons and four daughters in their bereavement.

Marjory (Cameron) McDonell died on 21 October 1914, aged 79. The Wanganui Chronicle carried the Death Notice: “McDonell – On the 21st inst., at her residence, No. 27 Ingestre Street, Marjory, relict of the late Cumberland McDonell, aged 70 years. R.I.P.”

Mysie and Cumberland had at least ten children (there may have been others who died in infancy):

  • Kate McDonell, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • Janet McGregor McDonell, born in 1859, died in 1941, married James Campion (son of Blenheim passenger) in 1883.
  • Eliza McDonell, born in 1861, died in 1896, married Duncan Cameron (cousin) in 1888.
  • John McDonell, born in 1865, died in 1892, married Helen Brookie in 1891.
  • Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell, born in 1866, died in 1866.
  • Annie McDonell, born in 1867, died in 1943, married Francis Herbert Cane in 1894.
  • Charles McDonell, born in 1871, died in 1943, married Mary Sarah Smith in 1895.
  • Alexander Cumberland Reed Scott McDonell, born in 1872, died in 1941, married (1) Margaret Clifford Lucy McDonald in 1899, and (2) Flora Cameron in 1910.
  • Flora McDonell, born in 1875, died in 1954.
  • Mysie McDonell, born in 1879, died in 1946.

Sources:

Photographs:

  • McPhail/McLachlan/Cameron Album: Charles Cameron; Archibald Cameron
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Hugh Morrison and Anne Turner

Hugh Morrison and Anne Turner were included on the initial passenger list for the Blenheim with the comment “Recommended by his late Master Mr McLachlan Laudale and his Parish Minister.”:

  • Hugh Morrison, 50, Kinlochaline, shepherd
  • Anne Turner, his wife, 40
  • Hugh Morrison, his son, 18, labourer
  • Duncan Morrison, his son, 16, labourer
  • Anne Morrison, his daughter, 14, housemaid
  • John Morrison, his son, 12, cowherd
  • Margaret Morrison, his daughter, 10
  • Mary Morrison, his daughter, 8
  • Colin Morrison, his son, 6

Spelling: In some records the name is spelled “Morison” in others “Morrison”.  “Eun” was a form of “Ewen” or “Hugh”.

The book Morvern to Glenmorven, by Frank Fyfe and Bebe Douglas, contains considerable detail, background and surmise relating to this family. The Kaiwarra Camerons, by M J Ulyatt, also covers this family.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Hugh Morrison and Anne Turner

Hugh Morrison was born on 28 May 1782 on the Isle of Mull to John Morison and Jannet Cameron.

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded the marriage on 10 July 1819 of Hugh Morison, labourer, and Anne Turner, by Mr N McLeod, Minister.

Anne Turner was born around 1800.

Hugh Morrison worked as a cattle drover, and the family lived initially in the village of Glencripesdale in Morvern until they were cleared around 1820 to the hamlet of Knock on the Lochaline Estate, then at some time after 1830 they moved to the new village of Lochaline, erected by the landlord John Sinclair.  Dugald McLachlan of Laudale and Killiemore (Mull) bought the Laudale estate in 1825.  This estate bordered the Glencripesdale estate in the northern part of Morvern.

Old Parish Registers for Morvern indicate that Hugh Morrison and Anne Turner had other children, not on the passenger list. These included Katrine born on 12 March 1820, and an un-named daughter born on 15 October 1821, who both died at birth, and Katherine, born on 24 August 1823, who stayed behind in Scotland.

Following their arrival in Wellington, the Morrisons lived initially at Kaiwarra, then moved to Evans Bay, where Hugh worked on J C Crawford’s property on Watts Peninsular, which was managed by Archibald Gillies.  They later moved to Mein Street in Newtown.

Anne (Turner) Morrison died on 11 June 1844, following the birth of a daughter, she was aged 44.

In 1846 the family moved to the Wairarapa, and took up their land at Hakeke (later called Glenmorven), near where Greytown now stands.

In The Kaiwarra Camerons, there is a quote from the diaries of the missionary William Colenso describing a visit to Hakeke in 1847:

The settler whose name is Morrison, is an aged Xn [Christian] man in humble life. He gave me a brief outline of the trials he had had since his arrival in the country but not in a repining spirit, although he had been tried severely, having lost his wife, a son grown to man’s estate and a son-in-law, (but recently married), and all within a short time of each other. He acknowledged, however, the Lord’s hand, and all that he did was for good. He still had several sons and daughters about him. He spoke well of the Natives; and of the great injustice to take from them their lands; “which” said he “is doubtless as much theirs, as that of any Scotch laird is his.”

According to New Zealand BDM records Hugh Morrison died on 5 September 1872 aged 87. The Evening Post of 10 September 1872 contained the following:

Intelligence was received at Greytown, on Thursday, of the death, at eight o’clock that morning, at his residence, Glenmorven, of Hugh Morrison, Esq. one of the earliest colonists of New Zealand, having arrived here in 1840. He was also one of the first settlers in this district, coming here in 1846, where he has ever since resided. The deceased was a worthy man, and universally respected. All persons visiting the Wairarapa were ever sure to receive at his house a warm and hospitable reception. He has left two sons and three daughters all of them married and settled, and a whole host of grand-children and greatgrand-children. Deceased was interred in the Cemetery here yesterday, the funeral procession being very large.

After arriving in New Zealand Hugh and Anne had a child, Annie, in 1844.

The Lyttelton Times of 8 May 1858 carried the Death Notice: “On the 6th inst., at Christchurch, Annie Morrison, youngest daughter of Mr Hugh Morrison, of Glenmore, Wairarapa Plains, and sister-in-law of the late Mr William Stewart, Christchurch, aged 14 years.”

Hugh Morrison Jnr

Hugh Morrison was 18 and a labourer when he came to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Hugh Morrison died in 1843 at Wellington, aged 22, possibly from a fall from his horse.

Duncan Morrison

The Old Parish Register for Morvern for 1825 recorded that Hugh Morison, crofter, Knock, and Anne Turner, had a legal son Duncan, born 27 March.

Duncan Morrison was recorded as a labourer of 16 in the Blenheim passenger list.

Duncan Morison married Mary McPhee on 4 June 1856.  Mary was the sister of Hugh McPhee, Ann Morrison’s second husband.  The McPhee family also came from Knock in Morvern.

Mary (McPhee) Morrison died on 1 November 1883, aged 57.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 3 November 1883 published the following:

The many friends of Mrs. Duncan Morrison, of Glenmorven, Morrison’s Bush, near Greytown, writes the Standard, will regret to hear of her very sudden death, at the age of 57, which occurred on Thursday morning. It appears the deceased, who had been an invalid for some years, did not complain of anything unusual on the morning in question, but on taking her a cup of tea, between 9 and 10 o’clock, it was discovered that she had passed away, and her sudden departure was a painful shock to the family. The cause of death has not yet been ascertained, but it is supposed to have resulted from the bursting of a blood vessel. Mrs Morrison has been many years a resident in Moroa, she having resided there since 1855, and was greatly respected by all who knew her. Mrs Morrison was one of kind-hearted old settlers who was always ready to entertain a visitor, and her household kindnesses will long speak for her. An inquest will be held to-day, and the funeral will take place at 12 o’clock.

The inquest confirmed that Mrs Morrison died from natural causes.

Duncan Morrison died on 29 November 1889 as a result of a fall from his horse.

The Evening Post of 3 December 1889 reported:

Greytown, 30th November. Death has removed two more of our early settlers. Mrs. Jones, who came to the Wairarapa in 1853, died last Wednesday, and Mr. Duncan Morrison, of Morrison’s Bush, was thrown from his horse near Blairlogie and received such injuries that he died shortly after. He came to this colony in the ship Blenheim, and lived for some years at Evans Bay. He then came up to the Wairarapa with his father, and has lived at Glenmorven, his run, ever since. His funeral, which takes place on Monday, will draw together a large number of settlers from all parts of the valley.

The Wairarapa Daily Times of 30 November 1889 provided a more detailed description of the accident:

FATAL ACCIDENT TO AN OLD SETTLER.
In addition to particulars telegraphed and published in Friday’s issue, one of our staff whilst at Blairlogie yesterday gained the following information of the sad accident which befel Mr Duncan Morrison and ultimately led to his death on Friday evening, On his way up to Blairlogie Mr Morrison called at Mr Carswell’s Hotel at an early hour on Wednesday morning. During his stay he intimated he was paying a visit to his late brother’s people at Blairlogie, where he had not been for many years. He seemed in excellent spirits and expressed the pleasure he felt at being able, after such a long interval, to again pay a visit to that locality. His horse appeared to be a very spirited animal, especially for a man of his great weight (over 19 stone) and age to ride. Mr Morrison proceeded on his journey and had scarcely crossed the threshold of the estate, when his horse shied and threw him heavily to the ground. How long he lay there even the poor fellow himself could not afterwards tell, but it must have been a considerable time, The first to notice him lying on the road was the mailman from the East Coast, who jumped off his horse, had a look, and then rode on. It was several hours after this when Mr Urquhart, buyer for the Happy Valley Meat Company came along, and carried the news to Mr A. McPhee, at Blairlogie station, that an old gentleman, very much resembling Mr Duncan Morrison, of the Lower Valley was lying on the road apparently badly hurt. Mr McPhee immediately rode off to ascertain if anything serious had happened. When he came up to Mr Morrison he found him sitting on the roadside. In reply to inquiries, Mr Morrison stated the horse had shied at some object on the road and threw him. That was all that he could remember. Poor Morrison at this time was almost smothered in mud, and drenched with rain. Seeing that be was badly hurt, Mr McPhee, with the assistance of the roadman (who happened to be at work a short distance away), conveyed him to Mr Carswell’s Hotel, This was late in the afternoon. Being under the impression the case was not a serious one, medical aid was not called in that evening. In the meantime everything that could possibly be done to relieve pain was resorted to. On Thursday he appeared no easier, and a wire was despatched to Dr Milne, who promptly attended, and reimained at the hotel all night. On Friday morning the doctor left for Masterton, and returned in the afternoon in company with Dr Hosking. Within a short time of their arrival, although they did everything possible to relieve their patient’s suffering, he expired. Great sympathy is felt with the surviving relatives, this making the third death in the family in the short space of two months, Mrs Strang, a daughter of Mr D. Morrison, having died a month ago, and John Morrison, brother of deceased, on the 27th of September. He leaves a large family of children and many connections to mourn their loss. Deceased came out to New Zealand in the ship “Clydesdale” [sic] forty-seven years, and settled with his parents at Glenmorven where he carried on the pursuit of a grazier in an extensive way.

Duncan and Mary had six children:

  • Hugh Morison, born in 1857, died in 1859.
  • Ann Morison, born in 1858, died in 1891, married Donald McLaren in 1882.
  • Mary Morison, born in 1860, died in 1889, married John Strang in 1883.
  • Hugh Morison, born in 1861, died in 1938, married Isabel Hodge in 1891.
  • Colin Morison, born in 1862, died in 1918.
  • Sarah Morison, born in 1863, died in 1929, married Peter Lee McLaren in 1889.
Anne Morrison

The Old Parish Register for Morvern records that that Eun  [Hugh] Morison, crofter, Knock ,and Anne Turner, had a legal daughter Anne, born 21 March 1827.

Anne Morrison was recorded as a housemaid of 14 on the Blenheim passenger list.

Anne Morrison married Donald Smith on 2 October 1845 in Wellington. The Church Register recorded that Donald Smith, now of Wellington, formerly of Kirkmichael, Perthshire, N.B., and Ann Morison, daughter of Hugh Morison of Morvern parish, Argyllshire, N.B., now of Wellington, were married.  The witnesses were Hugh Morison, Katherine Bethune and Andrew Reid.

Donald Smith was christened in Kirkmichael, Perthshire, Scotland, on 20 April 1826, the son of John Smith and Barbara Watson.

Donald Smith died of fever on 8 January 1846.  He and Anne Morrison had one child:

  • Donald Smith, born in 1846, died in 1920, married Margaret Morrison in 1870.

Ann (Morrison) Smith married Hugh McPhee on 5 June 1855 in a joint ceremony with her sister Mary, who married Alexander Cameron.

Hugh McPhee was the son of Hugh McPhee and Ann Cameron of Knock, Morvern, Argyll, and would have known the Morrisons there.  In 1854, Hugh, with his mother, sister Mary and brother Donald, emigrated to Australia, but in 1855 came on to New Zealand.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Hugh McPhee died on 14 April 1859.

Ann and Hugh had three children:

  • Margaret Ann McPhee, born in 1856, died in 1932, married Thomas Harvey in 1876.
  • Hugh Morrison McPhee, born in 1857, died in 1916, married (1) Margaret Daysh in 1883, (2) Hannah Compton in 1894.
  • Archibald McPhee, born in 1858, died in 1938, married Beatrice Hughan in 1892.
Ann (Morrison) McLachlan, formerly McPhee, previously Smith
Ann (Morrison) McLachlan, formerly McPhee, previously Smith

Ann (Morrison) McPhee, formerly Smith, married Duncan McLachlan on 22 July 1862.

Duncan McLachlan had come to New Zealand on the Oliver Lang in 1858, and was related to the McPhees by marriage.

Duncan McLachlan died on 9 October 1886, aged 58.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 9 October 1886 reported, “A settler on the Taratahi by the name of Duncan McLachlan died this morning at 10 o’clock after a short illness. He was taken ill while at the dairy factory with his milk yesterday morning, and was brought into Carterton to Dr Johnston, and conveyed from their to his home where he died as, above stated. ”

Ann (Morrison) McLachlan died on 28 June 1900, aged 73.

Ann and Duncan had three children:

  • Annie McLachlan, born in 1863, died in [….].
  • Donald McLachlan, born in 1864, died in 1918
  • Colin McLachlan, born in 1865, died in 1939.
John Morrison

The Old Parish Register for Morvern for 1829 recorded that Hugh Morison, Knock, and Anne Turner had a legal son, John, born on 22 March.

John Morrison was described as a cowherd of 12 on the Blenheim passenger list.

John Morrison worked on the Glenmorven property, but was also involved in shipping cattle to the Otago goldfields and purchased land in Christchurch.

John Morrison married Jessie Morrison in 1868.  Jessie Morrison was the daughter of Hugh’s cousin Alexander, who emigrated to New Zealand on the Oliver Lang in 1858.

In 1870 John Morrison purchased the Whareama Station and soon afterwards he bought Blairlogie from the Cameron brothers.  He also owned Bowlands.

John Morrison died on 29 September 1889.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 27 September 1889 reported:

The sufferings of Mr John Morrison of Blairlogie, are over. A few days ago he came up from Wellington in a moribund state to die amongst his own people, He attempted to travel to the Whareama, but became exhausted by the time he reached Otahuao and took shelter at the house of a kind friend, Mr John Drummond. The nature of his malady was such that he was unable to take nourishment, and though doctor after doctor visited him nothing could be done but wait patiently for the inevitable end. This morning he breathed his last, and will long be remembered by a thousand friends as one who always welcomed both rich and poor to his homestead and dispensed hospitality with an ungrudging hand.

The Evening Post of 28 September 1889 reported:

The death is announced yesterday of Mr. John Morrison, of the Wairarapa, one of the oldest settlers in the district, and after whom Morrison’s Bush was named. He arrived in the colony when quite a boy, accompanied by his parents, in the ship Clydesdale [sic], in 1842 [sic]. The emigrants were almost exclusively Scottish Highlanders, and after their arrival at Kaiwarra, near Wellington, their interviews with the Maoris, to whom the Gaelic was an extraordinary tongue, created many an amusing scene. The cause of death was stricture of the gullet, so that really he was starved to death.

Jessie Morrison died on 10 March 1922, aged 77.

John and Jessie had eight children:

  • John Morrison, born in 1869, died in 1902, married Helen Blanche Calders (grand-daughter of Blenheim passengers) in 1900.
  • Alexander Morrison, born in 1870, died in 1892.
  • Jessie Isabella Morrison, born in 1872, married (1) John Chapman Andrew in 1894, and (2) Francis Arnot Bett in 1910.
  • Margaret Ann Morrison, born in 1875, died in 1957.
  • Mary Morrison, born in 1876, died in 1883.
  • Hugh Morrison, born in 1878, died in 1951, married Muriel Stanley Booth in 1908.
  • Catherine Maud Christina Morrison, born in 1882, died in 1950.
  • Rupert Donald Matthew Morrison, born in 1884, died in 1918, married Amy Violet Thompson in 1912, in Australia.
Margaret Morrison

The Old Parish Register for Morvern recorded that Eun Morison, crofter, Knock, and Anne Turner had a legal daughter Margaret, born 20 December 1831.

Margaret Morrison was 10 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Margaret Morison married William Stewart on 25 June 1850.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 29 June 1850 carried the Notice: “On Tuesday, the 25th inst., at the Scotch Church, Wellington, by the Rev. W. Kirton, Mr William Stewart of Wellington, to Margaret, third daughter of Mr. H. Morrison, Wairarapa.”  Apparently the witnesses were Alexander Grant and Donald McLean.

William and Margaret travelled to Canterbury in 1850 with John Macfarlane and his wife Catherine Cameron (see Donald Cameron and Christian McLean).  They landed at Heathcote, and the men became supervisors for the building of the road into Christchurch.  William and Margaret took over the lease of the Heathcote Ferry Arms, then moved into Christchurch in 1853 to establish the Royal Hotel in Oxford Terrace.

William Stewart died on 24 November 1857 aged 34.  The Lyttelton Times of 28 November 1857 carried the following Death Notice: “On the 24th instant, at his residence, the Royal Hotel, William Stewart, aged 35 years, deeply lamented by all who knew him.”

There was one child from the marriage:

  • William Morrison Stewart, born in 1852, died in 1935.

Margaret remarried in 1861. The Wellington Independent of 9 August 1861 carried the following Marriage Notice: “MacKay-Stuart – On the 20th June, at Glenmorven, Wairarapa, by the Rev. Wm Ronaldson, Mr David Mitchell of Wellington, late of Tain, Rosshire, to Margaret, second daughter of Hugh Morrison, Esq., of Glenmorven, and relict of the late Wm. Stuart, Esq., Christchurch, Canterbury.”

David Mitchell Mackay was a clerk in the Immigration office, and after the wedding the couple moved back to Christchurch, where they lived in Antigua Street.  In September 1869 David Mackay, immigration officer, was brought up at the Police Court, Christchurch, charged with embezzlement of public funds of the province of Canterbury.  The Timaru Herald of 11 December 1869 reported the Supreme Court proceedings before Mr Justice Gresson, with the final outcome being that the judge accepted the defence argument that the Crown had failed to establish to his satisfaction that the prisoner was clerk in the strict sense, or at all events, that the money he received was the property of Mr Rolleston [Canterbury Superintendent].  That being the case there was no use in letting the evidence go before the jury, whatever might be the moral guilt of the prisoner, and the judge directed them to return a verdict of acquittal, which they did, and the prisoner was discharged.

It is not clear what happened to David Mitchell MacKay, but at the time of the marriage of his daughter Margaret in 1888 he was described as “the late D.M. MacKay of Christchurch”.

Margaret (Morrison) MacKay died 25 February 1907, aged 73.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 26 February 1907 carried the Death Notice: “Mackay – At the residence of her son, H. Mackay Martinborough, Margaret, relict of the late P.M. Mackay, aged 73.  Christchurch papers please copy.”

Margaret and David had possibly four children:

  • Hugh MacKay, born in 1862, died in 1932, married Catherine Mary Bunny in 1924.
  • Margaret Ann Mackay, born in 1864, died in 1942, married William Andrew in 1888.
  • John Stanley MacKay, born in 1867, died in 1871.
  • Name not recorded [possibly Mary Isabella] MacKay, born in 1869.
Mary Morrison

Mary Morrison was 8 years old when she travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand with her family.

Mary (Morrison) Cameron
Mary (Morrison) Cameron

On 5 June 1855 Mary Morrison married Alexander Cameron, another Blenheim emigrant, son of Donald Cameron and Christian McLean.

Alexander Cameron died on 19 December 1899 aged 76, and Mary (Morrison) Cameron died on 11 October 1911 aged 77.  See Donald Cameron and Christian McLean for more information about this family.

Alexander and Mary had ten children:

  • Donald Douglas Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1937, married Annie Ida Storey in 1880.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1857, died in 1949, married Captain Angus Cameron in 1882.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1878.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1929.
  • Hugh Cameron, born in 1863, died in 1910.
  • Alexander Cameron, born in 1865, died in 1937.
  • Jessie Cameron, born in 1867.
  • Catherine Margaret Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1934.
  • Isabella Jane Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1945.
  • John Duncan Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1957, married (1) Ellen Jane Kibblewhite in 1906, and (2) Helen Annie McBeath in 1939.
Colin Morrison

The Blenheim list recorded Colin Morrison as a child of 6.

The Wellington Independent of 9 February 1859 carried the following Death Notice: “On Tuesday evening, the 8th instant, at the residence of Mr. W. F. Mason, Lambton-quay, Colin, son of Mr. Hugh Morrison, of Glenmorven, Wairarapa; aged 22 years.”


Sources:

Photographs:

Donald Cameron and Christian McLean

The Blenheim passenger list noted that this Cameron family came from Ormasaigmore, and Donald McDonald commented that “This man and his family have been known to me for many years, he is very industrious.”  The family included:

  • Donald Cameron, 46, weaver
  • Christian, 40, his wife
  • Dugald, 18, labourer, his son
  • Alexander, 17, labourer, his son
  • Donald, 16, labourer, his son
  • Catherine, 14, housemaid, his daughter
  • Ann, 12, his daughter
  • John, 10, his son
  • Duncan, 8, his son

In order to distinguish the various Donald Camerons, the senior Donald Cameron in this family was nick-named “Weaver” on account of his occupation, and his son Donald Cameron was nick-named “Piper”, because he was a bagpiper.

A detailed history of this family and their life in New Zealand can be found in The Kaiwarra Camerons, by M J Ullyat.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Donald Cameron and Christian McLean

Donald Cameron was born at Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Argyll, probably around 1784.

Christian McLean was born in Ockle, probably in 1791.

Donald and Christian were married around 1820, and went on to have at least the seven children who accompanied them on the Blenheim. One child, Allan, born in 1827, died the same year.

Ormasaigmore is a locality on the Ardnamurchan peninsular of Argyll.  The  parish of Ardnamurchan was partly in the county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness, and comprised the quod sacra districts of Aharacle and Strontian.  As discussed in The Kaiwarra Camerons, the family probably moved to Ormasaigore, on the southern side of the peninsular, in the mid-1830s, from Ockle,  on the northern side, where the children were born.

Following their arrival in Wellington in 1840, the family lived at Kaiwharawhara (“Kaiwarra”). In 1842 Donald and his son Donald joined a New Zealand Company expedition led by the surveyor Charles Kettle and including Alexander Grant, another Blenheim passenger. While exhausting, the expedition did confirm that there was a lot of land in the Wairarapa that would be suitable for farming.  Donald and his sons made further trips to the Wairarapa, and also, in 1856, bought a section of land at Waiwhetu in the Hutt Valley, where Donald and Christina made their permanent home.

There is a suggestion in some histories that in 1843 Donald set up a rope-making business and a flax dressing school in Wellington, at the corner of Molesworth and Murphy streets.  However, this is incorrect, since in fact it seems to have been the activity undertaken by a Mr Robert Cameron, a rope-maker from Durham, England, who emigrated to New Zealand on the Himalaya in 1843 with his wife and six children, and established himself as a rope and sailmaker, ran a flax and rope-making school in Thorndon, and later owned a flour mill in Ngauranga.  Contemporary newspaper reports and advertisements, and juror lists, confirm this.

Donald Cameron and Christina McLean
Donald Cameron and Christina McLean

Donald Cameron and his family had taken up land in the Wairarapa by 1846, at Pahaoa on the Wairarapa coast, which was initially leased from local Maori. In 1854, following the Government purchase of land in the district the leaseholders were able to buy the land. Donald Cameron purchased the homestead block, while the licence for the remainder of the Pahaoa property was in the names of his five sons. By 1858 Donald had also bought land at Parewanui in Rangitikiei to secure a property for his daughter Annie and her husband James McDonell.

In an 1867 court case involving the estate of his son Donald, it was noted that Donald Cameron, the elder, the father of the intestate, died about February, 1860, having devised his freehold land near Pahaua and “Blairlogie” at Whareama to his five sons, their heirs and assigns, as tenants in common. He also bequeathed all his sheep unto, and to be equally divided between, his said five sons. The sheep bequeathed were depasturing upon the devised land. The case goes on to state, that the five brothers took possession of the lands and sheep, and carried on, thereon and therewith, the business of sheep-farmers together, without any agreement in writing.

Donald Cameron died on 12 February 1860 aged 75, apparently as a result of a logging accident at Waiwhetu. and his wife Christina died on 18 December 1872 aged 81.  The Evening Post of 18 December 1872 carried the Death Notice: “On the 18th inst, at the residence of Mr. David Smith, Mulgrave-street, Mrs Donald Cameron, relict of Mr Donald Cameron, of Kaiwarra, aged 81 years. (Canterbury papers please copy.)”

Dugald Cameron

Dugald Cameron was born around 1822 in Ardnamurchan.

In the Blenheim passenger lists Dugald was described as a labourer of 18.

The Wellington Independent of 8 April 1862 carried the Marriage Notice: “Cameron-Jeffs – On 12th March, at Kai-warra-warra, by the Rev. John Moir, Mr Dugald Cameron to Miss Anne Jeffs, both of this City.”

Annie Jeffs was a schoolteacher in Wellington, who was born in Wellington on 1 July 1842 and baptised on 26 June 1845 at St Paul’s in Wellington.  She was the daughter of George Jeffs and Anne Bilton, who arrived in Wellington on 30 October 1841 on the Gertrude, having sailed from Gravesend on 19 June 1841.  The Jeffs came from Coventry in England, and in the 1841 census for the parish of St John the Baptist were listed as living in Spon St, Coventry, Warwickshire.  George, aged 40, was a ‘plush weaver’, born in the county, his wife Ann was 35 born outside the county, daughter Louisa was 12 and son Francis was 8.  The steerage passenger list for the Gertrude had George as a labourer of 35, with a note that he was a cook, possibly meaning on the voyage, his wife Ann was 32, daughter Louisa was 12, an un-named son was 7, twins were born on board on 10 July 1841, with Charles dying on 23 July 1841 and Ann dying on 5 August 1841. At the time of Anne’s baptism their address was given as ‘on the Waiwetu River’, and George’s occupation was ‘labourer’.

Anne (Jeffs) Cameron died on 30 April 1870, aged 26.  The Wellington Independent of 3 May 1870 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On April 30, Ann, the beloved wife of Mr Dugald Cameron, Kaiwarawara. Aged 26 years.”

The Wellington Independent in April 1871 published  advertisements for the auction by Dugald Cameron Esq. of freehold and leasehold property at Kaiwarra, “comprising 8½ acres of freehold land and 20 acres of leasehold land, including a four-roomed dwelling house, large stable, and piggery; also, a very fine garden, well stocked with fruit trees, in splendid order.”

The Wellington Independent of 17 March 1873 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On March 16, at Kaiwarra, Mr Dugald Cameron, aged 50 years.”  In the same newspaper on 19 March 1873 it was reported that at the inquest on Dugald Cameron, Dr Grace who carried out the post-mortem examination, certified to death having been produced by apoplexy, and a verdict to that effect was returned. The Evening Post of 17 March 1873 reported more fully on the death:

A case of sudden death occurred yesterday at Kaiwarra. Mr Dugald Cameron, an old settler, went at about nine o’clock into the Waterloo Hotel, and having obtained a drink, lay down apparently to sleep. After some time, those in the hotel went to wake him, but found that he was dead. An inquest was to have been held this afternoon on the body.

Dugald and Annie had five children:

  • Christina Ann Cameron, born in 1862, died in 1877.
  • Donald Francis Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1943 in Scotland, married Elizabeth Charlotte Margaret Burles formerly Mathie in 1908 in Scotland.
  • Catherine Lyons Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1908, married George Herbert Humphrys in 1890.
  • George Alexander Allan Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1897.
  • William Duncan Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1890.
Alexander Cameron

Alexander Cameron was born around 1823 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland, and travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840, being described as a labourer of 17 in the passenger list.

On 5 June 1855 Alexander Cameron married Mary Morrison, another Blenheim emigrant, daughter of Hugh Morrison and Anne Turner. This was a joint ceremony with Anne Morrison ‘s second marriage to Hugh McPhee.

Although Alexander Cameron was a partner with his brothers in their Wairarapa farming activities, it seems that he remained primarily in Wellington and handled matters from there as their Wellington agent.

Alexander Cameron died on 19 December 1899 aged 76.  The Evening Post of 21 December 1899 published the following obituary:

The funeral of the late Mr. Alex. Cameron, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Kaiwarra, took place this afternoon, and was very largely attended. The interment was made in the Sydney street cemetery. The deceased, who was a native of Argyllshire, and was 76 years of age, came out to New Zealand by the ship Blenheim in 1840, and has resided in the colony ever since. He was in New Plymouth when the first immigrants arrived there, and later on he walked from that township to Wellington. He went down to Otago with the first party of surveyors sent to that district, the journey occupying six weeks. Later on he worked under the Hon. Captain Russell’s father in forming the military roads near Johnsonville. Mr. Cameron was for some time in partnership with his brothers as station owners in the Wairarapa, but for the last 21 years he has been out of business. Amongst many public offices which he had held were those of Mayor of Onslow, Chairman of the local Licensing Bench, Vice-President of the Caledonian Society, and Chieftain of the Gaelic Society. The deceased, who leaves a widow and nine children, one of whom is the wife of Captain Cameron, Marine Superintendent for the Union Company, was possessed of a genial and generous disposition, and was deservedly popular.

Mary (Morrison) Cameron
Mary (Morrison) Cameron

Mary (Morrison) Cameron died on 11 October 1911, aged 77. An obituary was published in the Wairarapa Daily Times of 12 October 1911:

The death of Mrs Cameron, wife of the late Alexander Cameron, of Kaiwarra, occurred at her son’s residence “Okar,” yesterday afternoon, at the ripe age of 77. The deceased lady was one of Wairarapa’s earliest pioneers. She came out with her father, the late Hugh Morrison, of Glenmorven and Morrison’s Bush in the year 1840, by the ship “Blenheim.” After residing in Wellington for a short time, when quite a young girl, she came to Wairarapa with her father, who had taken up a run known as Morrison’s Bush. They made the journey from Wellington in an open whaleboat, and after a very rough and exciting passage, during which they narrowly escaped shipwreck, they landed on the open beach at Te Kopi. It was in the days when quicker modes of transit were unknown in these parts, and through the roughest of country she made the way to her future home, all on foot. She was the only surviving sister of the late John Morrison, of Blairlogie, well known in this district. Mrs Cameron was a fine type of the early pioneer, facing the difficulties of the early times with undaunted courage; and at the same time had a kindly disposition and was greatly beloved by all who came in contact with her. She leaves three sons and five daughters to mourn her loss. The funeral takes place to-morrow at Wellington.

Alexander and Mary had ten children:

  • Donald Douglas Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1937, married Annie Ida Storey in 1880.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1857, died in 1949, married Captain Angus Cameron in 1882.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1878.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1929.
  • Hugh Cameron, born in 1863, died in 1910.
  • Alexander Cameron, born in 1865, died in 1937.
  • Jessie Cameron, born in 1867.
  • Catherine Margaret Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1934.
  • Isabella Jane Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1945.
  • John Duncan Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1957, married (1) Ellen Jane Kibblewhite in 1906, and (2) Helen Annie McBeath in 1939.
Donald (Piper) Cameron

Donald Cameron was born around 1824 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland.

Donald Cameron was a labourer of 16 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Donald (Piper) Cameron
Donald (Piper) Cameron

On 28 December 1853 Donald Cameron married Isabella Glasgow.  Isabella was the daughter of Robert Glasgow and Mary Lamb, and had arrived in New Zealand in 1842 on the Bombay.  The Glasgow family went on to become early settlers in Turakina.

Donald Cameron died on 26 June 1866.  The Wellington Independent of 14 July 1866 carried the Death Notice: “At his residence, Waiwetu, Hutt, Donald Cameron, Esq., on the 27th of June, 1866, aged 40 years. Deeply lamented by a large circle of relatives and friends. He was one of the oldest settlers of this province.”

Isabella (Glasgow) Cameron remarried in 1868 to William Lowes, and died in 1920 aged 86. The Wairarapa Age of 6 July 1920 published the following obituary:

MRS. WILLIAM LOWES. Residents of the Wairarapa will learn with deep regret of the death of Mrs Lowes, relict of the late Mr William Lowes, which occurred on Sunday night. The deceased lady arrived in New Zealand with her parents (Mr and Mrs Robert Glasgow) in 1841, and resided for some time in Wellington. She came to Masterton in 182, and later went to Wanganui, where she married the late Mr Cameron. Returning to Masterton in 1877, the late Mrs Lowes went on to a farm with her husband at Te Ore Ore, and endured many of the vicissitudes of the pioneer settlers. She was a woman of sterling character, and endeared herself to a large circle of relatives and friends by her kindly disposition. The deceased lady was twice married, her second husband being Mr William Lowes, who predeceased his wife some years ago. The family of the first marriage are Messrs Duncan (deceased), Robert, D. J., William, Walter and Allan Cameron, of Masterton, while Messrs F. B. Lowes and J. P. Lowes (Rongomai), Mrs Gledstone, Mrs F. C. Lewis, and Mrs F. F. G. Cooper, of “Westbrook,” Queensland, are the family of the second marriage. The funeral will leave the residence of Mr H. Graham, Gladstone road, Manaia, at 2 o’clock this afternoon, for the Masterton cemetery, the processional route being by the Te Whiti road and Johnstone street.

Donald and Isabella had six children:

  • Duncan Cameron, born in 1854, died in 1918, married Evelyn Barker in 1881.
  • Robert Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1931, married (1) Eliza Clark in 1895 and (2) May Ellen Baigent in 1899.
  • Donald John Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1942, married Anna Robina Woodroofe in 1886.
  • William Lamb Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1933, married Elizabeth Shaw in 1891.
  • Walter Cameron, born in 1862, died in 1946, married Madeline Stewart Baldwin in 1902.
  • Allan Alexander Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1934.
Catherine Cameron

Catherine Cameron was born around 1826 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, in Scotland.

Catherine Cameron was 14, and described as a housemaid, when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Catherine married John Macfarlane on 30 December 1848.

John Macfarlane was born on 9 February 1817 at Letter, Port of Menteith, Stirling, Scotland, and came to New Zealand in 1842, landing at Nelson.  His brothers Daniel and Malcolm followed him to New Zealand some years later.  John Macfarlane was a field man with the survey team at Wairau, and made haste into Nelson to bring news of the massacre there.

John Macfarlane moved to Wellington and by the time of his  marriage to Catherine Cameron he was managing White Rock station in the Wairarapa.  In 1850 he sold out his interests to his in-laws and moved to Canterbury. The family established themselves in North Canterbury, where John Macfarlane and his sons became leading pastoralists.

John Macfarlane died in 1884.  The Press of 24 October 1884 carried the following obituary:

THE LATE JOHN MACFARLANE.
We have to record the decease of Mr John McFarlane, of Rangiora, which took place at his residence, Coldstream, near Rangiora yesterday morning. The deceased gentleman landed in Wellington about thirty-eight years ago, and we believe married there, and then came to Canterbury. He settled first at Loburn station, near Rangiora, and afterwards removed to White Rock, a few miles further up country. He subsequently, bought a large quantity of the best land near Rangiora, and took up his residence on it where he remained until his death. As a sheep farmer he had a most successful career, being able of late years to purchase for his sons several very large stations in the north of this island, The deceased took very little interest in’ political matters, but for some time was a member of the Ashley County Council. He was President, for a number of years of the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association, in which, he took great interest, giving liberally towards the prizes and encouraging the shows with large exhibits of stock of various kinds.
For the past two or three years Mr Macfarlane has been failing in health, and hence has resigned the position he has so worthily filled in connection with the above Society. He leaves a widow and a family of six sons and three daughters, all of whom, except the three youngest sons, are married. The funeral will take place on Saturday.

Catherine (Cameron) Macfarlane died on 24 April 1908 at Christchurch. The Star of 25 April 1908 carried the Death Notice: “Macfarlane – On the 24th inst., at the residence of Mrs Nicholls, Papanui, Catherine, widow of the late John Macfarlane of Coldstream, Rangiora; in her eighty-third year.” The Dominion of 28 April 1908 carried her obituary:

AN EARLY SETTLER.
Christchurch, April 27. Mrs J. MacFarlane, of Coldstream, North Canterbury, who died on Friday night, ranked among the very earliest colonists, having arrived in Wellington with her father, Mr Donald Cameron, in the ship Blenheim in 1841. Seven years later, she married Mr. John MacFarlane, who had landed in Nelson in 1842, and afterwards removed to Wellington. In 1850, three weeks before the arrival of the first four ships; she and her husband came to Canterbury and took up the Loburn run, where they lived until 1862. They then removed to Coldstream, where Mr. MacFarlane died in 1884. Mrs. MacFarlane has left six sons, four of whom are well-known Amuri pastoralists, while the eldest has Coldstream.

Catherine and John had eleven children:

  • Malcolm Macfarlane, born in 1849, died in 1911, married Anna Mary Chisnall in 1883.
  • John Donald Macfarlane, born in 1851, died in 1921, married Margaret Hart Gibson in 1880.
  • Catherine Macfarlane, born in 1852, died in 1934, married John Fulton in 1881.
  • James Macfarlane, born in 1853, died in 1931, married (1) Stephana Mary Tylee in 1876, (2) Isabel Louise Scully in 1916.
  • Agnes Macfarlane, born in 1854, died in 1924, married George Jameson in 1874.
  • Walter Macfarlane, born in 1856, died in 1914 in England, married Minnie Margaret Wilson in 1889.
  • Helen Macfarlane, born in 1857, died in 1922, married Walter Charles Nicholls in 1881.
  • Christina Ann Macfarlane, born in 1858, died in 1875.
  • David Duncan Macfarlane, born in 1860, died in 1914, married Mary Frances Newton in 1893.
  • Frederick Graham Macfarlane, born in 1862, died in 1863.
  • Alexander Macfarlane, born in 1863, died in 1913, married Sarah Helen McRae in 1896.
Annie Cameron

Annie Cameron was born around 1829 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland.

Ann Cameron was listed as 12 years old when she travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand in 1840.

Anne Cameron married James (Big Mac) McDonell on 18 December 1849 at Kaiwarra.

James McDonell was born in Auchlauchrach, Glengarry, Inverness, Scotland, in 1818.  He went first to Australia with other members of his family, and then became  one of the first settlers in the Rangitikei district.

James McDonell died on 4 September 1875 at Parewanui.  The Wanganui Herald of 16 September 1875 published the following obituary:

The death of James McDonnell, which happened on Sunday, has cast a gloom over the whole District. The deceased who has been gradually declining for some mouths past, arrived in the Colony of New South Wales as long ago as 1838, when he came to Wellington, being engaged in the shipping of horses and cattle to the above port. He subsequently determined to make New Zealand his home, and was one of, if not the, first, settler in Rangitikei, where he has remained, living at Inverhoe ever since. The deceased in the early days was known throughout the Province for his unbounded hospitality, and never was there a case of want or distress but what “Mr Big Mac” as his friends fondly called him, came forward to assist and alleviate. The funeral, which took place yesterday, was attended by settlers from all parts and as the procession, which started from Bull’s, neared the family burial ground at Inverhoe, its ranks were gradually swelled by young and old, by Maoris and others, all wishing to pay the last tribute of affection and respect to the once free-hearted settler, until it was at least half a mile long. In passing Parawanui I noticed that nearly all the Maoris who were themselves unable to follow, had adopted the usual symbol of their grief, viz—a garland of green creepers wreathed round their brows. The funeral service, which was performed by the Rev. Father Kirk, was admirably adapted for the occasion, and the address afterwards, pointing to the uncertainty of life and the wonderful mysteries of the never ending future, will long be remembered by the hundreds surrounding the grave where the remains of James McDonnell now rest in peace. Much sympathy was expressed for the widow and the large, though happily grown up family, thus suddenly left in sorrow, which let us hope will soon give way to a feeling of thankfulness in that death in this case was not only painless but peaceful.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 18 September 1875 published the following:

Big Mac has passed away. I know that no irreverence attaches to this old familiar name, with which every one of the pioneers on this coast is so well acquainted. Many will miss his warm hearty greeting, and many will remember his open hearted hospitality. In days of yore, the deceased, Mr James McDonnell, was engaged pretty extensively in cattle trading, Poneke being then the only market. His life has not been without its adventurous incidents, and many and hairbreadth have been the dangers which he encountered and surmounted triumphantly in the early days of colonization in this province. Many an old identity will feel a pang of regret to hear that the genial host of Inverhoe, who was never happier than when his hearth was surrounded with guests, has left the old familiar scenes, where his cheery presence was a welcome in itself. A large family is left behind. His funeral was one of the most touching demonstrations I have ever witnessed Maori and Pakeha seeming to vie with each other in showing respect for the departed.

Annie (Cameron) McDonell died in 1919.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 19 April 1919 carried the following obituary:

BULLS NOTES.
(From Our Own Correspondent.)
I have to record the passing of the last of the pioneers of the Lower Rangitikei, in the person of Mrs. Annie McDonnel, who reached the bend, in the road of life early on Wednesday morning The deceased lady will be sincerely mourned, especially by those’ to whom she was such a friend in the days of long ago. It is a far cry to the year 1840, when she landed in New Zealand in the ship Blenheim. She was a member of one of the Cameron families on board, and to distinguish her family from the others they were known as the Piper Camerons. The deceased lady was the last surviving member of that family. She lived in Wellington for about nine years after her arrival, and was then married to the late Mr. McDonnel, and came up to “Inverhoe,” on the Rangitikei, where she has resided ever since. She is survived by three sons and six daughters, viz., Mr. John McDonnel (Marton), Mr. James McDonnel (Wairoa), and Mr. A. A. McDonnel (Lower Rangitikei), Mrs. Hugh Fraser (of Kauangaroa), Mrs. Gray (Wellington), Mrs. Smith (Palmerston North), Mrs. Daniels (Foxton), Mrs. Morse (Bulls), and Miss K. McDonnel, who lived with her mother. Twelve of her grandsons served at the front, viz., Capt. Daniels (killed), Laurie and Denis Daniels, William, Eric, and Dan Gray, also Lionel, Claude, George, Keith, and Wilson McDonnel, and Jack Fraser. Many of them were wounded. She also had three grand-daughters in the nursing staff—Nurse Gray, at the Front, and Nurses E. Gray and I. Daniels on the nursing staff in New Zealand. The two latter were both able to assist in nursing their grandmother at the last. Mrs. McDonnel would have been 90 years of age on Saturday.

Annie and James had at least eleven children:

  • Archibald McLean McDonell, born in 1850, died in 1917, married Elizabeth Ann Wheeler in 1884.
  • Christina Ann McDonell, born in 1852, died in 1922, married Hugh Fraser in 1874 (New Zealand-born son of Duncan and Marjory Fraser).
  • Flora Jemima McDonell, born in 1855, died in 1938, married Joseph George Smith in 1895.
  • Donald Cameron McDonell, born in 1857, died in 1884.
  • Catherine  McDonell, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • James Angus McDonell, born in 1862, died in 1924, married Mary Jane Nicholls in 1883.
  • Elizabeth McDonell, born in 1863, died in 1942, married George Gray in 1888.
  • Mary McDonell, born in 1864, died in 1936, married Percy Edward Daniell in 1888.
  • John McDonell, born in 1866, died in 1936, married Ellen Brookie in 1891.
  • Aeneas Alexander McDonell, born in 1868, died in 1930, married Elizabeth Burne in 1896.
  • Selina Priscilla McDonell, born in 1872, died in 1960, married Ernest Walford Morse in 1904.
John Cameron

John Cameron was born around 1830 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Argyll, and travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim as a 10 year old.

John Cameron married Ann Stewart in 1868.

Ann Stewart was the daughter of Duncan Stewart and Anne McPherson, and was born in Ardnamurchan, Scotland in 1841.  The family came to New Zealand on the Oliver Lang in 1858.

In October 1873, a number of newspapers, e.g. the Southern Cross of 15 October 1873, carried advertisements for the sale of station properties in the Province of Wellington in the estate of the Cameron Brothers, noting that in consequence of the death of two partners in the firm, two stations were to be sold at public auction in Wellington on 1 December 1873.  The stations were “Blairlogie” in the Whareama District and the station at Pahaua in the East Coast District.  At the auction they were purchased by the surviving members of the firm.

In 1878 there was a further sale of the Blairlogie and Pahaua stations, with the former purchased by Mr John Morrison and the latter by Messrs J and D Cameron.

The Evening Post of 2 October 1890 reported “The house of Mr John Cameron, at Pahaua, East Coast, was totally destroyed by fire on Sunday last.”  In the Evening Post of 4 October it was further reported that the day after the fire, while returning from the funeral of his nephew William Cameron, John Cameron suffered serious injuries when his buggy overturned as a result of the horse shying at a cow in the road, and he was dragged for a hundred yards along the road.

John Cameron died on 8 December 1900 aged 68.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 8 December 1900 carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR JOHN CAMERON.
From one end of Wairarapa to another, the news of the death of Mr John Cameron, of Opaki, will be learned with deep regret. He passed away this morning, at the age of 68. The deceased was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, and came out to New Zealand in 1840, in which year he arrived at Wellington. He lived at Kaiwarra for some little time, and eventually settled at Pahaou, where he has a station, which his son John now manages. He leaves a large family, nearly all of whom are grown up.
The late Mr John Cameron was a brother of Mr Duncan Cameron, of the Coast, and father of Mr Robert Cameron, who joined the Masterton Contingent of the New Zealand force which went to South Africa. The deceased was one of the few remaining pioneers of settlement in this part of the Colony—and was one who had earned the esteem of all who knew him for his integrity and his sterling qualities as a colonist of many years standing. The grieving relatives will have the sympathy of a large number of settlers in their bereavement, The funeral will take place on Monday afternoon.

Ann (Stewart) Cameron died on 13 October 1918, aged 76.  The Wairarapa Age of 14 October 1918 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – At the residence, Cole Street Masterton on October 13th, Mrs John Cameron, relict of the late John Cameron, Opaki, aged 76.” The paper also published the following obituary:

Mrs John Cameron: Another old resident of the Wairarapa, in the person of Mrs John Cameron, died at her residence at Cole street, Masterton, on Sunday evening. The deceased, who was seventy-six years of age, had been ailing for about five weeks. She was born at Argyllshire, Scotland, and came to New Zealand in 1857 in the «hip Oliver Laing.  For a number of years she resided at Pahaoa, East Coast, and later on the Opaki. She leaves a family of six sons and four daughters. The sons are Messrs Donald Cameron (Hinakura), Duncan A. Cameron (Hunterville), John Cameron (Dunedin), Robert A. Cameron (Mauriceville), M. D. Cameron (Sydney), and E. P. Cameron (France). The daughters are Mrs H. Hamlin (Auckland), Mrs W. Roberts (Whakatane), and Misses C. and M. Cameron (Masterton). The funeral will take place to-morrow afternoon.

John and Ann had at least ten children:

  • Donald Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1945, married Elizabeth Sutherland in 1898.
  • Flora Anne Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1940, married Henry William George Hamlin in 1905.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1872, died in 1967.
  • Duncan Alexander Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1937, married Ethel Walton in 1909.
  • John Cameron, born in 1875, died in 1928.
  • Mary Stewart Cameron, born in 1877, died in 1949.
  • Robert Allan Cameron, born in 1878, died in 1942, served in South African War, married Florence Jessie Young in 1914.
  • Dugald Stewart Murray Cameron, born in 1880, died in 1967 in Australia, married Ethel Norah Shepherd in 1916 in Australia.
  • Ernest Percival Stewart Cameron, born in 1882, died in 1967, married Donalda Ross Sutherland in 1921.
  • Maud Isabella Katherine Cameron, born in 1884, died in 1970, married William Clare Roberts in 1909.
Duncan Cameron

Duncan Cameron was born in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland around 1832, and was 8 years old in 1840 when he sailed for New Zealand on the Blenheim with his parents.

Duncan married Mary Gillies in 1863 (daughter of Isabella Turner and Archibald Gillies). They spent the rest of their lives farming in the Wairarapa, although not without mishap. The Evening Post of 29 April 1880 reported that Mr Duncan Cameron of Moroa met with a serious accident at Featherston, when his trap capsized going around a corner, causing cuts and bruises and a broken collar bone.

Duncan Cameron died on 21 April 1915.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 22 April 1915 carried the following obituary:

MR DUNCAN CAMERON
The: death occurred yesterday morning, at Moroa, near Greytown, of a highly respected and pioneer settler of the Wairarapa, in the person of Mr Duncan Cameron, who had reached the ripe ago of 84 years. Deceased came to New Zealand with his parents, and landed, at Kaiwarra on Christmas Day, 1840. In the year 1846 his father, Mr Donald Cameron, entered into possession of the sheep station, on the East Coast, known as Pahaoa, which later was taken over by the five sons, Messrs Dugald, Alexander, Donald, John and Duncan Cameron. Later again Messrs Duncan and John Cameron bought out their brother’s interest in Pahaoa, and divided the property into two parts, one of which was renamed Glen Dhu, and became the property of Mr Duncan Cameron.
Deceased leaves a widow, who is a daughter, of the late Mr Archibald Gillies, of Otaraia, and there were ten children, as follows:—Messrs William, (deceased), Thomas (deceased), Alan (at Castlepoint), and Jack Cameron (at Glen Dhu), Misses Annie, Nellie. and Grace Cameron, and Mrs Cecil Kebbell, Mrs Fred Pearce, and Mrs J. Goring Johnston. The relatives will have the deep sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their bereavement.

Mary (Gillies) Cameron died on 16 February 1916 at Moroa, Greytown, aged 73.

The Wairarapa Daily Times of 30 July 1919 reported that the Misses Cameron had instructed Messrs Levin & Co to sell by public auction the well-known Moroa homestead, together with fine old home of 15 rooms and outbuildings which, with slight alteration, could be made into a good boarding school.

Duncan and Mary had nine children:

  • Annie Isabella Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1934.
  • Donald Thomas Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1913, married Mary Bulkley in 1910.
  • Mary Christina Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1943, married Cecil Kebbell in 1896.
  • Catherine Ellen Cameron, born in 1870, died in 1956.
  • Jessie Cameron, born in 1871, married Frederick Pearce in 1896.
  • William Duncan Cameron, born in 1872, died in 1901 while serving in the South African War.
  • John Alexander Cameron, born in 1874, died in [1941?] married Helen Gough in 1920.
  • Alice Margaret Cameron, born in 1876, died in 1936, married John Goring-Johnston in 1899.
  • Allan Archibald Cameron, born in 1878, died in 1928, served in South African War, married Kathleen Meredyth Meredith in 1912.
  • Constance Evelyn Grace Cameron, born in 1879, died in 1970.

Sources:

  • Blenheim passenger lists at FamilySearch website
  • Family trees on Ancestry.com
  • PapersPast website
  • NZ BDM records
  • The Kaiwarra Camerons, M J Ullyat, 2009
  • Morvern to Genmorven, Frank Fyfe and Bebe Douglas, 2000
  • The Sons and Daughters, Shona McRae, 1991
  • Hardy Highlanders in New Zealand, Jennifer Macdonald, 1991
  • The Early Canterbury Runs, L G D Acland, 1930, 4th ed. 1975, available online at the Victoria University NZETC site.

Photographs:

Alexander Grant and Mary Cameron

Alexander Grant was not on the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, but was on the embarkation list as a mason of 30, and the arrival list as a quarrier of 30.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Alexander Grant and Mary Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Urquhart and Glenmoriston in Inverness, records that on August 12th 1808 John Grant and Catherine Grant, Balnacarn, had a male child born and baptized this day called Alexander.

Alexander Grant was 31 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Alexander Grant and Mary Cameron were married on 29 January 1841, barely a month after the Blenheim’s arrival in New Zealand.

Mary Cameron was the daughter of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson, sister of Jane Cameron (see Dugald McLachlan and Jane Cameron) and of Annie Cameron (see Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings).

Alexander Grant worked initially as a surveyor for the New Zealand Company, which included a move to New Plymouth for a period, then undertook an exhausting trip to the Wairarapa with a survey team in 1842.  In 1850, the family headed to the Rangitikei district where they purchased land and established a farm called Tullochgorum.  The property continues to be farmed by the Grant family today.

Alexander Grant
Alexander Grant
Mary (Cameron) Grant
Mary (Cameron) Grant

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Wellington Provincial District), 1897, included the following in its section on Turakina:

Grant, Alexander, Sheepfarmer, Turakina. At the time of writing—1896 this old colonist was in his eighty-ninth year, having been born on the 12th of August, 1808, at Glen Morison, Inverness, Scotland. He landed in Wellington per ship “Blenheim” in 1840, and ten years later settled in Turakina, purchasing 700 acres of land, on which he resided for the best part of fifty years. Mr. Grant considered New Zealand the best country in the world and held the opinion that all who have health, and are careful and industrious, may make a fair living in the Colony. He enjoyed robust health till just before his death, and in 1894 paid a visit to a married daughter in Gippsland, Victoria, with whom he remained three months. Mr. Grant was married in February, 1844 [sic 1841], to a daughter of Mr. D. Cameron, of Argyllshire, Scotland, and left three sons and four daughters, a great many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. (Mr. Grant died in January, 1897).

The Wanganui Chronicle of 4 February 1891 reported, “Mr and Mrs Alexander Grant, of Tullachgorum, Turakina, celebrated their golden wedding on Thursday last, when a large number of children and grandchildren, as well as a host of friends were present to do honour to the occasion. We are glad to hear that Mr and Mrs Grant are in the best of health and likely to enjoy a good many more years of a happy contented life.”

Mary (Cameron) Grant died on 21 April 1895, aged 82.  The Feilding Star of 23 April 1895 contained the Death Notice: “Grant – On the 21st instant, Mary (Cameron) Grant, beloved wife of Alexander Grant, of Tullochgorum, aged 82 years.”

Alexander Grant died on 10 January 1897, aged 88.  The Feilding Star of 12 January 1897 contained the Death Notice: “Grant – At his residence, Tullochgorum, Turakina, on the 10th of January, 1897: Alexander Grant, aged 88.”  The newspaper also reported, “Mr Alexander Grant, whose figure has for many years been one of the best known in Rangitikei, died on Sunday at his residence, Tullochgorum, near Turakina. Death was due to old age and failure of the heart’s action. Mr Grant took an interest in public affairs to the last, and was Mr Bruce’s seconder at the recent election for Manawatu.”  The Evening Post of 12 January 1897 included the following report:

ANOTHER OF THE PIONEER BAND GONE.
Marton, This Day. Mr. Alexander Grant, of Tullochgorum, Turakina, who died on Sunday at the age of 88, was one of the earliest settlers in the Provincial District. He arrived in Wellington in 1840, and was for some time inspector of works for the New Zealand Company. Mr. Grant led an exploring party through the Manawatu Gorge, and after an absence of ten weeks returned to Wellington via the Hutt River, he and his followers being in a half-naked state. One of the incidents of the journey was an attack by Maoris, who fled wildly in terror on Mr. Grant feigning uncontrollable madness. The deceased has lived on his estate at Turakina for 50 years.

Alexander and Mary had nine children, not all surviving infancy:

  • John Grant, born in 1841, died in 1843.
  • Catherine Grant, born in 1843, died in 1918, married Robert Kirkpatrick Simpson in 1863.
  • John Archibald Grant, born in 1845, died in 1845.
  • Ewen Grant, born in 1846, died in 1920.
  • Mary Cameron Grant, born in 1848, died in 1938, married James McDonald in 1874.
  • John Grant, born in 1850, died in 1942, married Mary Shove in 1885.
  • Elizabeth Grant, born in 1851, died in 1878.
  • Duncan Donald Grant, born in 1853, died in 1900.
  • Betsy Grant, born in 1857, died in 1947 in Australia, married Alexander Fraser McRae in 1891.

Sources:

Images:

  • Grant Family

Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson

In the passenger lists for the Blenheim Donald Cameron is recorded as a labourer of 52, from Trishilaig, with the note by Donald McDonald:

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 are next to him but one on the list, they have besides excellent Certificates.

The list included:

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

Also on board were Donald and Mary’s oldest daughter, Jane, wife of Dugald McLachlan, and the family of Donald’s brother Ewen Cameron.

Donald Cameron was called “Cooper” or “Bane”  (fair) to distinguish him from the other Donald Camerons.


Return to The Blenheim People


Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) records the birth of Donald Cameron, son to Angus Cameron and Mary Cameron, Corveg, on 28 April 1776, making him rather older than the 52 noted in the Blenheim list.

Mary McPherson was born around 1790, so was also older than the listed 40.

The couple were married around 1807 and were living in Inverscaddle when their first child, Jane, was born in 1808, but by the time of the next recorded birth, of John  in 1812 they were at Trislaig, across Loch Linnhe from Fort William, and seemed to have remained there until their departure for New Zealand in 1840.  There are no records of births between John in 1812 and James in 1825, but if the ages given in the Blenheim passenger list are correct (and the younger children are about right), then there may have been others who died in infancy or did not travel.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) recorded that Ewin and Mary, son and daughter to Donald Cameron, Trislaig, and Mary McPherson, his wife, were born  on 1st current, and baptized on 6 January 1829.  These twins were not on the voyage to New Zealand, so presumably died before 1840, but it is strange that they were given the same names as those held by older siblings.

Donald and Mary and their family had moved on from Wellington to Turakina by 1850 and farmed there for the rest of their lives.  In his book Early Rangitikei, Sir James Wilson wrote:

A second family of Camerons, of Turakina, was that of Donald “Bane,” whose family consisted of John, Allan, Duncan, Sandy, James, and George, Mrs McLauchlan (afterwards Mrs Brabazon), Mrs Grant (Mrs A.K. Simpson’s mother), and Mrs Alick McDonald…

The family is also mentioned in the reminisces of Eliza McKenzie, daughter of Thomas Urquhart McKenzie and Blenheim emigrant Margaret Fraser, published in Rob Knight’s Poyntzfield, “…but we lost interest in the subject sooner than we would owing to a more intimate interest – namely of the arrival of the Grant family in Turakina, They had come out in the same ship as my Grandfather and his family and we had always known them – that is to say we were friends. We children were sorry that their place was not near. It was away past McQuarrie’s, and their first whare was built on the flat opposite the old ‘Makiri’ homestead, occupied by its first owner Donald Cameron. ‘The Cooper’ he was called in Wellington, but here he soon took on the ‘Cameron Makiri’ that seemed natural. I liked to go to that house on account of the furniture. Not like other houses but made of queer shaped branches and roots put aside from time to time, we were told it was ‘Rustic’. Mr and Mrs Cameron were Mrs Grant’s parents – were also ‘Little Annie’s’ and others not so interesting,” and “On our way out to the beach we passed the house of ‘Cameron Makiri’. (In Wellington he was called Donald the Cooper.) The old man, calling his grand-daughter with him went with us as far as the sand hills, said ‘Good-bye’ in solemn Gaelic and we went on.”

Donald died in 1854,  and Mary on 15 February 1874 at Turakina, aged 84.  A memorial plaque has been reinstated, with additional references, at the Makirikiri Private Cemetery on land that was part of their farm.  It reads:

Sacred to the Memory of Donald Cameron native of Argyle Shire Scotland, died at Turakina 1854 aged 78 years, and of Donald Cameron son of the above died at Turakina Sept 15th 1851 aged 30 years & of his son Donald Cameron died April 6th. 1851 aged 6 months and of George Cameron son of the above died at Turakina 1856 aged 24 years and of Alexander Cameron son of the above died at Turakina June 7th. 1860 aged 32 years and of Mary Cameron died at the Makirikiri 15th. Feby 1874 aged 84 years. Also sons, Allan died 1878, aged 60, John born 1816 & Ewen born 1823 died in Wellington prior 1850, James born 1828 died?

Mary Cameron

Mary Cameron was born on 12 August 1813 , probably at Trislaig in the parish of Kilmallie (Argyll).

The initial Blenheim passenger listed a Janet Cameron,  26, dairymaid, as the daughter of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson.   The embarkation list had her as Mary, 26, but in the subsequent lists she was back to being Janet.  Possibly the confusion arose because Mary’s older sister Jane was planning to travel with them, and eventually did so but with her new husband Dugald McLachlan and his family.

Mary Cameron married Alexander Grant, another Blenheim passenger, on 29 January 1841, a month after their arrival in New Zealand.  Their story is continued at Alexander Grant and Mary Cameron.

Mary (Cameron) Grant died on 21 April 1895, aged 82.

Alexander and Mary had nine children, not all surviving infancy:

  • John Grant, born in 1841, died in 1843.
  • Catherine Grant, born in 1843, died in 1918, married Robert Kirkpatrick Simpson in 1863.
  • John Archibald Grant, born in 1845, died in 1845.
  • Ewen Grant, born in 1846, died in 1920.
  • Mary Cameron Grant, born in 1848, died in 1938, married James McDonald in 1874.
  • John Grant, born in 1850, died in 1942, married Mary Shove in 1885.
  • Elizabeth Grant, born in 1851, died in 1878.
  • Duncan Donald Grant, born in 1853, died in 1900.
  • Betsy Grant, born in 1857, died in 1947 in Australia, married Alexander Fraser McRae in 1891.
John Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for 1812, recorded the baptism of a John Cameron, son of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson of Trinslack, on 12 May.  it is not clear if this is the John who travelled to New Zealand.

John’s age was given a 24 on the Blenheim passenger lists, suggesting a birth year of around 1815-16, but if this is the same John he would have been 28.  He was described as a quarrier.

John Cameron apparently died by drowning, possibly in Wellington harbour, although his inclusion in the Early Rangitikei reference suggests he may have moved to Turakina by 1850.

Allan Cameron

Allan Cameron was described as a quarrier of 22 in the Blenheim passenger list, indicating he was born around 1817-18.

Margaret Perry’s diary, around 1863, notes,”Old Granny Cammeron lived not far off in an old whare with clay walls, and her son Allan,…”.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 March 1878 reported, “March 4. Allan Cameron, a settler, was found drowned in the Turakina river this morning.  Deceased was last seen on the racecourse on Friday.”   New Zealand BDM records suggest that he was 61 years old at the time.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 6 March 1878 reported:

An inquest was held to-day at Belvie’s Railway Hotel, on the body of Allen Cameron, before Mr Ross, coroner, and a jury, of which Mr A. Simpson was chosen foreman. The jury having been sworn, Joseph Henderson was the first witness called, who deposed to having seen deceased on the racecourse on Friday last, at 6 p.m.; deceased was the worse of drink. Mr Duncan Grant stated that he was a nephew of deceased; he saw him last on Friday, on the racecourse; he missed him since then; on Monday last went to look for him, and found his body in the Turakina river, at the foot of a high bank; deceased must have fallen 40 feet; was unable to get him out alone, so went for assistance; Mr Archibald Cameron and Mr Mclnnes helped him to get the body out; deceased was quite dead; he was about 61 years of age. Mr McInnes said he was called to help to pull deceased out of the water; recognised the body as the same. The Coroner summed up the evidence, and the jury returned a verdict of found drowned.

Donald Cameron jnr

Donald Cameron was described as a shoemaker of 20 in the Blenheim passenger list, suggesting a birth year around 1820.

The list of persons qualified to serve as jurors in the district of Port Nicholson included Donald Cameron, jun, as a labourer, Kai warra Road in 1845; and a shoemaker, at Willis Street in 1846 and at Lambton Quay in 1847-1850.  A Donald Cameron, Kai warra Road was also listed as a shoemaker in 1845.

From the Makirikiri memorial, Donald was married, and had a child born around October 1850 who died on 6 April 1851. New Zealand BDM records show that a Donald Cameron and Mary Robertson Mitchell were married on 18 March 1850, and that a son Donald Cameron was born on 24 October 1850 to Donald and Mary Cameron.

Mary Robertson was born in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, on 6 May 1821, and may have emigrated on the Lady Nugent, which arrived in Wellington in March 1841.  A Mary Robertson, 18, servant, was included on the passenger list.  On 15 April 1844, Mary Robertson, daughter of Mr Robertson of Blair Gowrie, Perthshire, married Francis Mitchell, an agriculturalist, formerly of Logie, Perthshire.  Francis Mitchell had arrived in Wellington on the Martha Ridgeway in July 1840.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 12 April 1848 carried a report of the death of Francis Mitchell, apparently at sea after an absence of two years, having left his wife and young child in Wellington in January 1846.

Donald Cameron died on 15 September 1851, aged 30.

After Donald’s death, it appears that Mary (Robertson) Cameron , formerly Mitchell, married John Cameron on 25 September 1855.  John Cameron, the son of John Cameron and Janet McGregor, was also on the Blenheim, and the posting for that family provides further information on Mary Robertson.

Mary (Robertson) Cameron died on 5 June 1887.  Her death registration noted that she was 66, her father was given as Alexander Robinson, carrier, she was born in Scotland and had been in New Zealand for 40 years, and was married in Wanganui to John Cameron.  She had three female children living, aged 30, 28 and 27.  The cause of death was dropsy.  There was no reference to any of her other marriages.

Donald and Mary had one child:

  • Donald Cameron, born in 1850, died in 1851.
Duncan Cameron

Duncan Cameron was a shepherd of 18 on the Blenheim passenger list, indicating he was born around 1821-22.

Duncan was referred to in Early Rangitikei but was not included on the Makirikiri memorial plaque.

No further information has been established regarding Duncan Cameron.

Ewen Cameron

Ewen Cameron was described as a ploughman of 17 on the Blenheim passenger list, meaning he was born around 1822-23.

The History of the Parewanui district and schools incorrectly states that this Ewen Cameron married Sarah McKinnon, but that was a Ewen Cameron from another Turakina, but non-Blenheim, family of Camerons.

The reference in Early Rangitikei noted above does not include a Ewen or Hugh, suggesting that he may have died or gone elsewhere before the family moved to Turakina.

No further information has been established for Ewen Cameron.

Alexander Cameron

The Blenheim passenger list described Alexander Cameron as a cowherd of 15, suggesting he was born around 1824.

According to the Makirikiri memorial, Alexander Cameron died on 7 June 1860 at Turakina aged 32.  New Zealand BDM records confirm the date but give his age as 34.

The History of the Parewanui district and schools incorrectly states that this Alexander Cameron married Jemima McDonell, but in fact it appears that he did not marry, and his estate administration involved his mother, Mary Cameron (who signed documents with her mark “X”), John Cameron, the younger (son of John Cameron and Janet McGregor, who married the widow of Donald Cameron jnr above), and James Stewart, both of Turakina.  Alexander was described as a farmer of Turakina in the probate documents.

James Cameron

According to the Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1825, James, son of Donald Cameron in Trislaig and Mary McPherson, was born on 24 October and baptized on 1 November.

In the Blenheim passenger list James was described as a cowherd of 14.

James is referred to Early Rangitikei and is included on the Makirikiri memorial, but with a date of death unknown.

No further information has been established for James Cameron.

Ann Christian Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) records that Ann Christian, daughter of Donald Cameron crofter in Trinsleig and Mary McPherson was born on 27 ulto, [i.e. November] and baptized on 27 December 1827.

The Blenheim passenger list included 12 year-old Ann Cameron.

In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie described a picnic on Somes Island in 1848 or 1849, “Most of the company we were acquainted with, and were pleased to see amongst them ‘Little Annie Cameron’ (The cooper). It was so nice just to look at her….Near her was sitting ‘Alick’ called so by all present and genial to all, and a member of a proud Scottish family as he was. He too had come out in the Blenheim but as a passenger with some others, not as immigrant, and I feel now that neither he nor the rest of the party forgot that fact.”

Annie Cameron married Alexander McDonald on 13 January 1852, and more details of their life can be found at Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings.

Ann Christian (Cameron) McDonald died on 26 February 1898.

Annie and Alexander had possibly eight children [details require confirmation and completion]:

  • Mary McDonald, born in 1854, died in 1939, married Alexander Dundas in 1878.
  • Annie McDonald, born in 1855, married (1) Henry Seegers Palmerson, (2) George Latta Rodaway Scott in 1891.
  • Donald McDonald, born in 1857.
  • Adam Alexander McDonald, born in 1860, died in 1940, married Mary Helen Sarah Dundas in 1898.
  • Ada McDonald, born in 1863, married John Henry Lee Macintyre in 1887.
  • Catherine McDonald.
  • Georgina McDonald, born in 1866, died in 1945, married Alfred Richard Lyons in 1889.
  • Margaret McDonald, born in 1869, died in 1924, married Edward Cyril Morley Netherclift in 1897.
George Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1831 shows that George, son to Donald Cameron, crofter Trislack, and Mary McPherson, was born on 11 February and baptized on 16 February.

George Cameron is referred to in Early Rangitikei and was included in the original Makirikiri memorial.

George Cameron died in 1856 aged 24.


Sources:

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:

John Cameron of Marangai

John Cameron was a cabin passenger on the Blenheim, so was not included on the list of assisted passengers.  Newspaper accounts of the departure and arrival of the Blenheim note that John Cameron was one of the cabin passengers.


Return to The Blenheim People.


John Cameron was a member of the family of Camerons of Callart. According to Somerled MacMillan in Bygone Lochaber, he was born at Lochmaddy, North Uist, on 7 October 1817, the son of Allan Cameron and Mary Campbell, daughter of Duncan Campbell of Ardgour House.

Callart lies on the northern shore of Loch Leven, directly opposite Glencoe, but was forfeited to the Crown because of the participation in the 1745 rising by Allan Cameron, 9th of Callart.  His son John Cameron, 10th of Callart, recovered the estate by payment of a fine, but he then sold Callart to Ewen Cameron of Fassiefern, and was succeeded, as representative of the family, by his brother James.  James’ second son Allan succeeded him as representative of the family, and after serving as Captain and Paymaster of the Lochaber Fencibles, Allan Cameron was factor for Lord MacDonald in North Uist for a period of 27 years and resided at Lochmaddy, where John Cameron was born.

In their history of the Wanganui County, From Sand to Papa, Rex H Voelkerling and Kevin L Stewart devote a chapter to John Cameron as a case study of an early settler in the district.  In this book it is noted, “John initially took up medicine as a career but decided that he was unsuited to this work and studied surveying instead.  Hearing the persuasive propoganda put out by the New Zealand Company and being attracted to the idea of starting afresh in a new country, Cameron travelled to London and purchased a land order.”

John Cameron’s grandmother, Mary Cameron, wife of James Cameron and daughter of Alexander MacSorlie-Cameron, 12th of Glenevis, was the aunt of Jessie Cameron, who married Moses Campbell, making John Cameron and Jessie Campbell first cousins, once-removed. John Cameron and the Campbells were fellow-passenger on the Blenheim, and neighbours and business partners in Wanganui, New Zealand.  Jessie Campbell made no overt reference to the family relationship in her Journal or letters, although she was full of praise for his character and hard work.

In Wanganui John Cameron lived with the Campbells for a period. In a letter of 4 December 1842, Jessie Campbell wrote, “John Cameron has gone to Wellington on business of his own, also to purchase cattle for the section, if he can get any to his mind. We miss him very much, he makes himself very useful, he sleeps on a sofa in the sitting room, makes his bed every evening and in the morning clears everything away and even sweeps the room. I often tell him, what would his friends at home say if they could see him with a scrubbing brush cleaning his canvas trousers or in the evening mending them, he can patch as neatly as I can,” and “Cattle are the only thing that pay here, but it requires judgment, experience and money. Of all this John Cameron is possessed, so that instead of being a burden upon us as George would be, he is a very acquisition. He was busy making oars for the boat when he went away, he intends making some of the doors for our new house, in short he can put his hand to anything, even to the nursing of Willie who is an immense pet of his, besides he is well enough informed to support his own side of an argument rather stiffly which makes him a pleasant companion for the Capt. he is quite au fait in all farming matters and gardening.” In March 1843 she wrote,”John Cameron is still an inmate of our house, and a valuable acquisition he is. He provides so much for the house, such as tea, flour etc. that his living with us is a great assistance besides his own labour which he does not spare. He is the person to do well here, he has so much prudence, good sense, energy of mind and of activity of body. My better half was most fortunate to get him for a partner. He has worked as hard at that new house of ours as if it were his own, I hope it will be his house until he gets a wife.”

Survey work and the allocation of sections of land in Wanganui took longer than expected because of the failure of the New Zealand Company to finalise purchase arrangements in Wanganui with the Maori tribes concerned.  It took until 1848 before Governor Gray brokered a solution and Donald McLean negotiated the details of the purchase.  Up until then John Cameron and Moses Campbell had been working on the land they had selected, although troubles with Maori in 1847 meant that their cattle had to be moved to Waitotara.  Once the land purchase was settled, the Campbells built a house at Wiritoa and John Cameron lived with them and supervised the running of both that property and his adjoining section of Marangai.

In 1853 the partnership with Moses Campbell was terminated, and John Cameron built his own house at Marangai.  In 1863 problems with the Maoris re-emerged.  John Cameron raised a troop of volunteer cavalry from the local area and a blockhouse was constructed.

John Cameron of Marangai
John Cameron of Marangai

In 1863 John Cameron had employed a housekeeper and eventually he married her.  John Cameron and Annie Sutherland were married on 6 June 1865 at Marangai. Annie Sutherland was born in Nova Scotia on 22 October 1832 to Hector Sutherland and Jessie Ferguson.  The family moved to Australia and then to the New Zealand settlement of Waipu, in Northland, in December 1852. Annie (Sutherland) Cameron died on 20 August 1884. The Wanganui Chronicle of 21 August 1884 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 20th instant, at Marangai, Annie, the beloved wife of John Cameron.”

John Cameron died on 6 November 1892, aged 75. The Wanganui Herald carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – At Marangai, Wanganui, on November 6th, John Cameron, aged 76.” The Wanganui Chronicle of 7 November 1892 published the following obituary:

It was with deep regret that we heard yesterday of the death of Captain John Cameron, of Marangai. None of our readers, we are sure, will read of his death without concern, for a kinder heart was not known in the district nor one more entitled to the respect of either rich or poor. Mr Cameron was one of our oldest settlers, and at such a juncture one cannot avoid the thought that the sturdy race of pioneers who have been the very backbone of the country are surely and swiftly passing away from amongst us. Mr Cameron arrived in New Zealand in 1840, over half a century ago, and we believe that at least 50 years of that time have been spent in Wanganui. In the early days of his colonial life the deceased was in partnership with the late Captain Campbell, and the two estates of Marangai and Weretoa were held between them. In the time of the wars Captain Cameron did good service as captain of the Wanganui Cavalry, but for many years before his death he had ceased to take any active interest in Volunteering. He was President of the Wanganui Jockey Club, and a successful horse breeder, although he never ran any of his horses at the races. In character he was quiet and unassuming, and he preferred the quietude of private life to the stir of public business. He was a kind and hospitable friend, and his family of four sons and one daughter will in their bereavement have the sympathy of all with whom he was ever brought into contact. The funeral takes place to-morrow afternoon, leaving Marangai at 1 o’clock.

John and Annie had five children:

  • Allan Cameron, born in 1865, died in 1950, married Maude Mary Ralston in 1892.
  • John Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1915 (WW1, also served in Boer War).
  • Hector Sutherland Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1944, married Eleanor Grierson Robertson in 1906.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1954, married Henry William Wilson in 1897.
  • James Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1916 (WW1, Australian Forces).

Sources:

Photograph:

  • Mr Cameron. Harding, William James, 1826-1899 : Negatives of Wanganui district. Ref: 1/4-008083-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23503123