Tag Archives: McDonald

Hugh McKenzie and Catherine McDonald

In the initial Blenheim passenger list Donald McDonald noted that this family came from Achatany and “This family have been known to me all my life and have mostly been in my own and my Brothers service”.  The family was:

  • Hugh MacKenzie, 50, labourer
  • Catherine McDonald, 46, his wife
  • Jane, 24, housemaid, his daughter
  • Peggy, 21, housemaid, his daughter
  • Mary, 17, housemaid, his daughter
  • Flora, 15, his daughter
  • Janet, 12, his daughter
  • John, 10, his son

Also on the initial list, but crossed out, was Donald MacKenzie, 27, engineer, noted as “his natural son”.

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan records the births and baptisms of several children who did not travel to New Zealand, and most likely died in infancy.  These include the baptisms of two daughters named Catherine, who likely died in infancy – Hugh McKenzie, crofter, Achtenny, and Catherine McDonald, had a daughter, Catherine, born 10th April 1833, baptized 19th May 1833, witnesses John Stuart, Braynault and Allan McKenzie, Beadle; and in 1835 Ewen McKenzie crofter Achtenny and Catherine McDonald his wife, had a daughter Catherine, born 12th May 1835 baptized 15th May 1855, witnesses Niel McPhail, Kilmory, and John Stuart, Braynault.  There may also have been another daughter, Anna in 1831.

Spelling: The Blenheim passenger list used “MacKenzie” but most other sources have “McKenzie”.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Hugh McKenzie and Catherine McDonald

Hugh McKenzie was recorded as being 50 years old on the Blenheim passenger list, but his Death Notice (and New Zealand BDM records) which put him at 96 in 1877 suggests that his birth year may have been around 1781, which would have made him 59 in 1840.

A McKenzie Family 1840-1990 includes information that Hugh McKenzie was born at Buarbleg, Moidart, in 1781, the son of Malcolm McKenzie and Aleen Stewart.  If this is correct then it is unusual not to find the name Malcolm given to any of his sons.

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan, recorded that Hugh MacKenzie, tenant, Ockill, and Catherine McDonald, Drimintorran, were married on 9 September 1814.

From the birthplaces of the children, it appears that the family moved around the Ardnamurchan Peninsular.  Ockill/Ockle/Ochdal, Braynault/Braenault, Achtenny/Achateny, Swordalmore/Sourdals – are all localities on the north-western coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsular of Argyll.  Buarblaig/Borblaig, is on the southern side of the peninsular.

Hugh McKenzie and his family emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840, arriving in Wellington on 27 December 1840. The family lived at Kaiwharawhara in Wellington, but also farmed land in the Wairarapa.

Hugh McKenzie worked on the Kaiwarra road building as the paymaster, but in 1848-49 took up farming at Tupurupuru in the Wairarapa, and in 1854 purchased a block at Te Whiti, which he worked on with his son John.

In 1855, it appears that Hugh McKenzie had decided to sell his freehold property of 3 acres in Wadestown, advertising it in the  Wellington Independent of 20 January 1855:

For sale
FREEHOLD PROPERTY delightfully situate in Wade’s Town, commanding a fine view of the harbor, and within an easy distance of Te Aro. There are three acres of land, having a house on each, with a byer, calf house, barn, &c. There is also a beautiful stream of water running through the property. The above presents an eligible opportunity for investment; and is well worthy the attention of the capitalist, as the ground is most suitable for building villa residences on. Parties can view the property, and learn further particulars, on application to Hugh M’Kenzie, Wade’s Town, or James Calder, Kaiwarra.

By 1866 Hugh McKenzie had returned to Wellington to live on his property in Thorndon, between Grant Road and Tinakori Road.

Hugh McKenzie died on 31 August 1877.  The Evening Post of 1 September 1877 included the Death Notice: “M’Kenzie – On the 31st August at Kaiwarra, Hugh M’Kenzie, aged 96 years.”

Catherine (McDonald) McKenzie died on 10 August 1879, aged 87. The Wanganui Chronicle of 14 August 1879, carried the following Death Notice: “McKenzie – On the 10th August, at her residence, Kaiwarra, Katherine McKenzie, relict of the late Hugh McKenzie,  aged 87 years.”  The Wanganui Chronicle of 15 August 1879 published the following obituary:

Another old colonist has passed away from amongst us, in the person of Mrs McKenzie, relict of the late Mr Hugh McKenzie, formerly of the Tuhitu Station, Wairarapa, who died at her residence early on Sunday morning, at the advanced age of 87.  Mrs McKenzie came to the colony with her husband during the year 1840, in the ship Blenheim, one of the first passenger vessels sent out by the New Zealand Company. The deceased lady leaves a large number of relatives and friends, and only survived her late husband about twelve or fifteen months. The late Mr McKenzie also lived to a very advanced age.

Jane McKenzie

Jane McKenzie was listed as a housemaid aged 24 in the Blenheim passenger list, so was born around 1816.

Jane McKenzie married James Calder on 18 September 1844.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 12 October 1844 included the Notice: “On the 18th ult., James Calder, licensed Pilot, formerly of Cathesshire, to Jane, daughter of Hugh M’Kenzie, formerly of Adnamurchan, Argyleshire.”

In 1848, following an inquiry into the wreck of the barque Subraon at the entrance to Wellington harbour, James Calder was removed from his appointment as Pilot.  He then established the Rainbow Hotel in Kaiwharawhara, before moving to the Rangitikei district.

James Calder died in 1858 near Otaki.  The Wellington Independent of 24 November 1858 carried the following report:

Information was brought into town yesterday morning, that a pocket book and papers belonging to Mr. James Calder, had been found in the Ohau River. Upon enquiry, it was found that he was missing from his residence, and it is therefore presumed that he has been unfortunately drowned. Mr. Calder was formerly pilot at Wellington, and afterwards built the Rainbow Inn, Kai Warra and removed to the West coast a year or two ago.

It appears that Jane continued to run the Rainbow Hotel in Kaiwharawhara for a number of years.  Records indicate that she held the licence in 1861 and 1871, when she transferred the licence to her son David Calder.  It appears that Jane Calder was still the owner of the hotel in 1895, but not the holder of the publican’s licence.

Jane (McKenzie) Calder died on 23 December 1900.  The Colonist of 27 December 1900 carried the Death Notice: “Calders – On December 23rd at the residence of her son, Hugh Calders, Stoke, Jane, relict of the late Captain James Calders, formerly of Wellington, aged 86 years.”  The Colonist also carried the following obituary:

Obituary — On Sunday last there passed away in the person of Mrs Calders, senior, one of the early colonists, the deceased lady’s residence in New Zealand extending to within a few days of sixty years. Mrs Calders landed in Wellington on 25th December, 1840, from the ship Blenheim, together with her father, the late Mr Hugh McKenzie, and the rest of his family, and a large number of Highland passengers. Mr McKenzie was. the first superintendent of road construction on the road from Wellington to the Hutt, and two years after his arrival his daughter married Captain James Calders, who was then pilot and in charge of Wellington harbor, and took a prominent part in the early settlement of Wellington. Captain Calders later entered upon farming in the Rangitikei district, and was in 1859 drowned in the Otaki river. For the last 20 years Mrs Calders has resided with her son Hugh, the present Chief Postmaster of Nelson, and one other son and a daughter survive their mother, who attained the age of 86 years, her father, by-the-way, living to the great age of 98, retaining his faculties to the last. Allusion was made in the Presbyterian Church on Sunday by the Rev. J. H. MacKenzie to Mrs Calders’ death, she having, as far as her years permitted, taken a keen interest in the Church.

It is not clear when the name came to be “Calders”.

Jane and James appear to have had at least four children:

  • David Calders, born in 1846, died in 1880.
  • Hugh Calders, born in 1848, died in 1904, married Marjory McGregor (daughter of Blenheim passengers) in 1873.
  • James Calders, born in 1850, died in 1926, married Florence Emily Cockerell in 1879.
  • Margaret Calders , born in 1852, died in 1902 in Australia, married Henry Tucker in 1866.
Peggy (Margaret) McKenzie

The Old Parish Register for Western Ardnamurchan records the baptism on 8 February 1819 of Peggy, daughter of Hugh MacKenzie, tenant, Ockill, and of Catherine McDonald, his wife.

Peggy was 21 in 1840 when she sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

Margaret McKenzie married James Gee on 8 January 1844.  In the marriage registration James Gee described himself as “formerly boot and shoemaker”, but was at the time a member of the Grenadier Company of the 96th Regiment of Foot.  He was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, and joined the regiment in 1839, being posted to Australia then, by 1845, to Port Nicholson.  The Regiment was sent to Tasmania, where James Gee was discharged in 1847, returned to Wellington, and settled in Kaiwarra as a shoemaker.  By 1855 the family had moved to the Wairau district of Marlborough, but in 1863 James enlisted in the 3rd Waikato Regiment which engaged in action against Maori forces.  In 1865 he was discharged and the family settled in Renwick in Marlborough, where Margaret practised as a midwife.

James Gee died on 15 September 1885, aged 63.  The Marlborough Express of 17 September 1885 published the following obituary:

An Old Colonist.— In the late Mr James Gee, who died at Renwick on Tuesday, aged 63, the colony loses one of its early settlers. He was the second son of the late Sergeant Major George Gee, of the Kilkenny Staff, Ireland. He arrived in the Colony in 1841 with the Grenadier Company of the 96th Regiment of Foot (chief officers, Major Richmond and Captain Eyton), to assist in preventing the Maori outrages taking place at that time at the Hutt. He served through the first and second Maori campaigns. Mr Gee leaves a wife and three children — two sons and a daughter — to mourn their loss. He had been a resident in Renwick for a number of years, and was greatly respected by all that knew him.

Following James’ death the family moved to Wellington, and Margaret (McKenzie) Gee died at Kaiwarra on 14 May 1896.  The Evening Post of 15 May 1896 Death Notice said: “Gee – On the 14th instant, at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr E. Coleman, Kaiwarra, Margaret Gee, aged 76 years.”

Margaret and James had five children:

  • George Gee, born in 1845, died in 1914, married Emma Louise Harford in 1867.
  • Hugh Gee, born in 1849, died in 1920, married Emma Henrietta Grace Ricketts, formerly Sedgwick, in 1877.
  • Catherine Gee, born in 1851, died in 1879, married Donald Munro in 1870.
  • Jessie Gee, born in 1854, died in 1856.
  • Margaret L’Estrange Gee, born in 1857, died in 1923, married Ewen Colman (cousin) in 1888.
Mary McKenzie

In the Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan there was a Mary McKenzie, daughter of Ewen McKenzie, tenant Buarblaig and of Kate McDonald, his wife, baptized on 10 December 1821, who would have been 18 when the initial Blenheim passenger list was compiled.  This Mary may have died and a daughter born in 1823 given the name Mary.

In the passenger lists of the Blenheim, Mary was recorded in the family of Hugh McKenzie, as a housemaid aged 17.

Mary McKenzie married Angus McMaster another of the Blenheim passengers.  For details of their life see Angus McMaster and Mary McKenzie.

Angus and Mary had nine children, and then sadly she died in 1864 as the result of a miscarriage when pregnant with their tenth child.

Angus and Mary’s children included:

  • Hugh McMaster, born in 1846, died in 1902.
  • Duncan McMaster, born in 1848, died in 1896, married Dolina Catherine Drummond in 1874.
  • Donald McMaster, born in 1849, died in 1919.
  • Ann McMaster, born in 1851, died in 1893, married John Stevens (son of Blenheim passenger) in 1880.
  • Bethiah (Bessie) McMaster, born in 1854, died in 1898.
  • Sarah McMaster, born in 1856, died in 1927.
  • John McMaster, born in 1858, died in 1935, married Mary Colman (cousin) in 1895.
  • Jessie McMaster, born in 1860, died in 1884.
  • Mary McMaster, born in 1862, died in 1892.
Flora McKenzie

Flora McKenzie was born on 29 September 1825 in Ardnamurchan, Argyll, and was 15 when she emigrated to New Zealand with her family on the Blenheim in 1840.

A McKenzie Family 1840-1990 notes that Flora was married twice, the first time to a Mr Betts, with a son, John Betts, being born in Wellington on 9 March 1852.  However, New Zealand BDM records show the birth, on 9 March 1852, of John McKenzie, mother Flora, father Henry, suggesting that there was no marriage.

  • John Betts, born in 1852, died in 1920.

The New Zealand BDM records show that Flora McKenzie (not Betts) married Thomas Coleman on 8 February 1854.  They both signed the marriage register with their marks “X”, and the witnesses were John McKenzie and James Calder.

Thomas Colman was born in Kent, England, in 1819, and is believed to have brought the first shipment of horses to New Zealand from Sydney in 1842.

Flora and Thomas settled first in the Rangitikei district but had returned to Wellington by 1873.

Thomas Colman died on 5 July 1889, aged 69.

Flora Colman died on 4 June 1898 aged 73.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 6 June 1898 reported, “Mrs Colman, mother of Mrs J. McMaster, of Tuhitarata, Martinborough, died at Tuhitarata on Saturday..”

Flora and Thomas had at least six children:

  • Thomas Colman, born in 1855, died in 1919, married Alma Greer in 1887.
  • Ewen Colman, born in 1857, died in 1916, married Margaret L’Estrange Gee (cousin), in 1888.
  • Jessie Colman, born in 1859, died in 1891, married Jerome Sinclair in 1884.
  • William Colman, born in 1861, died in 1949, married Bridget Ruane in 1896.
  • Mary Ann Colman, born in 1864, died in 1927, married John McMaster (cousin) in 1895.
  • Catherine Margaret Colman, born in 1868, died in Australia
Janet (Jessie) McKenzie

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan records the baptism on 20 May 1827 of Janet, daughter of Hugh MacKenzie, tenant, Swordalmor, and of Catherine McDonald, his wife.

Janet was 12 when she emigrated to New Zealand with her family on the Blenheim in 1840.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Jessey McKenzie died on 18 July 1857, aged 29. The cause of death on her death certificate was “liver complaint”.

John McKenzie

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan recorded that John, son of Hugh McKenzie, resident, Achatennie, and Cath McDonald, his wife, was baptised on 27 December 1829.

John McKenzie was 10 years old when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

John McKenzie moved to the Wairarapa by 1850, initially to work on Angus McMaster’s property at Tupurupuru, and then on the property at Te Whiti, purchased by his father in 1854. John also served as a Maori interpreter.

John McKenzie and Isabella McKenzie were married on 19 February 1857 at Te Whiti.

Isabella McKenzie (no relation) was born on 2 May 1837 in Urray, Ross-shire, the daughter of Alexander McKenzie and Mary Gollan, who emigrated initially to Australia, then to New Zealand in 1854, and became early settlers in the Wairarapa at Masterton.

In the Wellington Independent of 26 March 1863 there is a report of court proceedings which notes that there was a case of Hugh McKenzie, senior, v John McKenzie, junior, of assault, fined 10s and costs 7s 6d.

Isabella McKenzie died on 5 April 1915, aged 78.  The Wairarapa Age of 6 April 1915 carried the following obituary:

MRS JOHN McKENZIE. It is with deep regret we have to record the death of one of the early pioneers of the Wairarapa, in the person of Mrs John McKenzie, of Masterton, which occurred at the residence of her son, Mr James McKenzie, Te Whiti.  The deceased lady, who had attained the ripe age of 78 years, had been a resident of Masterton for over 60 years. When, just a girl, she came with her parents from the Hutt, and their first residence here was on the Upper Plain. With her husband, she bravely shared the trials of the early pioneering days, and although she reared a family of 18 children (nine sons and nine daughters), she still found time to assist those in trouble, and her many acts of kindness and devotion will long be remembered. Tnose who are left to mourn their loss are Messrs Malcolm, Alex. James, Donald, Kenny, Joshua, J.M., Colin, and Hugh McKenzie. The daughters are Mrs Cade (Pahiatua), Mrs J.G. McDonald (Carterton), Mrs J. Daysh (Newman), Mrs Meenkin (Carterton). The funeral will leave Te Whiti at noon to-morrow (Wednesday) for the Masterton cemetery.

John McKenzie died just over two weeks later on 23 April 1915, aged 86.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 24 April 1915 carried the following obituary:

MR JOHN McKENZIE,
An old and highly respected resident of this district, Mr John McKenzie, of Te Whiti, passed away last night, at the ripe age of 86 years. Mr McKenzie, who came to New Zealand in the ship Blenheim Castle [sic] in the year 1840, has resided at Te Whiti for sixty years. The old gentleman had been in poor health for some time, and for the past two years was confined to his home. His wife died about a fortnight ago. The late Mr McKenzie’s family numbered eighteen, thirteen of whom are living. These are Mr Malcolm McKenzie, Taueru; Mr James McKenzie, Te Whiti; Mr Angus D. McKenzie, Dalefield; Mr H. D. McKenzie, Wairoa; Mr K. D. McKenzie, Matahiwi; Mr Josh McKenzie, Poroporo; Mr J. M. McKenzie, Te Rangitumau; Mr Colin McKenzie, Te Whiti; Mrs R. Cade, Pahiatua; Mrs J. G. McDonald, Carterton; Mrs J. Daysh, Newman; Mrs Baggarley, Hamilton; and Mrs Minton, Carterton. The family will have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their bereavement. The funeral will leave Te Whiti at 1 o’clock on Monday, arriving at Masterton at 2.30 p.m.

John and Isabella had eighteen children:

  • Malcolm McKenzie, born in 1857, died in 1952, married Sarah Ann Bland in 1882.
  • Alexander McKenzie, born in 1859, died in 1893.
  • James McKenzie, born in 1860, died in 1945.
  • Catherine McKenzie, born in 1861, died in 1942, married Robert Barney Cade in 1877.
  • Mary McKenzie, born in 1862, died in 1910, married Robert John Baker in 1882.
  • Annie McKenzie, born in 1864, died in 1954, married John George McDonald in 1885.
  • Jessie McKenzie, born in 1865, died in 1913, married Francis John Court in 1885.
  • Jane McKenzie, born in 1867, died in 1952, married James Alfred Daysh in 1890.
  • Angus McDonald McKenzie, born in 1868, died in 1948, married Elizabeth Jane Mulvay in 1890.
  • Isabella Flora McKenzie, born in 1870, died in 1910, married Charles Augustus Alexander McColl in 1909.
  • Johanna Margaret McKenzie, born in 1871, died in 1963, married Samuel Harold Baggarley in 1896.
  • Hugh Donald McKenzie, born in 1873, died in 1964, married Sarah Jane Anderson in 1902.
  • Roderick Colin McKenzie, born in 1874, died in 1966.
  • Kenneth Duncan McKenzie, born in 1876, died in 1916, married Hannah Bella McKay in 1905.
  • Joshua McKenzie, born in 1878, died in 1965, married Minnie Rebecca Bagley in 1908.
  • John Murdoch McKenzie, born in 1879, died in 1916 (WW1), married Ivy Winifred Pilcher in 1915.
  • Jemima Elizabeth McKenzie, born in 1880, died in 1908.
  • Lillian Hannah McKenzie, born in 1882, died in 1928, married John Herbert Minton in 1913.

Sources:

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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:

Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings

The Caledonian Mercury of 29 August 1840, in reporting on the departure of the Blenheim, noted, “The ship is commanded by Captain Gray, and the emigrants amount to betwixt 150 and 200. They are all from Lochaber, Morvern and Skye, with a few Lowlanders. The families consist of the parents, and from six to ten children each, and they are all under the kindly and fatherly care of Mr M’Donald of Drimintoran, a genuine and highly respectable Highlander, who, to prove his confidence in the benefits to be derived from emigration, and the trust that might be put in his sincerity, goes out along with his family and friends to the land of hope, which we understand, is Wellington, Port Nicholson.”

Because they were cabin passengers the family was not on the passenger lists of those receiving free passage. From newspaper reports the family included:

  • Donald MacDonald, Esq., 51
  • Mrs MacDonald,
  • Catherine MacDonald, 17
  • Donald MacDonald, 16
  • Adam MacDonald, 15
  • Flora MacDonald, 13
  • Alexander MacDonald, 12
  • Campbell MacDonald, 10
  • Thomas MacDonald, 5
  • Duncan MacDonald, 18 mths

Spelling:  The variations used in documents and other sources include “MacDonald”, “Macdonald”, “M’Donald”, and McDonald”.  In this post “McDonald” has been used unless the source indicated otherwise.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings

Donald McDonald was described in the New Zealand Journal of Saturday August 29 1840 as “a large landholder in the colony, and nearly the whole body of emigrants by the Blenheim was composed of his own and the neighbouring clans, near Fort William, in Inverness-shire.”

Alexander McDonald wrote a memoir which included some of the history of his family. He noted that he had documentary evidence sufficiently conclusive to himself, that he belonged to the Glencoe branch of the MacDonald Clan.

Alexander’s grandfather’s name was Donald MacDonald, and while he was too young to join the clan in the rising of 1745, he ran after and overtook the Glencoe men and marched with them to Culloden. After Cullodon, this Donald McDonald escaped with others to France, but returned to Scotland while he was still a young man and took to farming. His son Donald (Alexander’s father) followed in the same pursuit, and was presented with a silver cup in 1829 by the Highland Agricultural Society in testimony of the best managed farm in the West Highlands (this cup, and another awarded to the senior Donald MacDonald, have been recovered by descendants of Alexander MacDonald and are their treasured possessions). Donald MacDonald was in the Commission of the Peace, and Deputy Lieutenant of Argyleshire for 22 years. The cup was not the only recognition received by Donald McDonald. The Caledonian Mercury of 31 January 1828, in its publication of premiums adjudged by the Highland Society of Scotland, reported that Mr Donald MacDonald, Tenant in Drimintoran, Sunart, received five Sovereigns for the best two Quays [heifers] of two years old in the District of Morvern, Ardnamurchan etc, and in 1833 the Caledonian Mercury of 31 January reported that he received eight sovereigns for the best bull exhibited at the Competition held in Strontian in August 1832.

Donald McDonald was born around 1781.

Donald McDonald had an early marriage to Jane Kennedy, who died a few years after the marriage.  It seems unlikely that there were any children.  The Caledonian Mercury of 19 February 1814 carried the Marriage Notice: “At Keppoch, on the 3rd current, Donald McDonald, Esq., of Drimintoran, to Miss Jane Kennedy, only daughter of the late Rev. Mr John Kennedy, of Auchterer.”

A few years later, Donald McDonald married Anne Cummings.  The Old Parish Register for Coldstream in the county of Berwick recorded that Donald McDonald of the parish of Ardnamurchan, and Ann Cummings of this parish, were registered for proclamation on the 23rd September and married the 9th October 1820.

The New Zealand Company employed Donald MacDonald to arrange with a number of Scottish families to emigrate to New Zealand, and a large number from the West Highlands agreed to make the trip. There were some late withdrawals and the ship could take more, so several families of Paisley weavers were also enlisted for the voyage.

Jessie Campbell’s Journal includes many references to the McDonald family, given that they lived cheek by jowl for several months on the voyage to New Zealand.  Not all of the remarks were charitable.

In talking of the McDonald’s plans, Jessie wrote, “Capt. Gray told Capt. C today that he knew all Mr Macdonald’s history, that he had failed for £10,000 and of his intemperate habits. Mr Macdonald told Capt. C that he has hopes of getting a situation from the company as he had letters from some of the Directors to Col. Wakefield; he says it will be useless for him to go to his land as he has no subject to stock it or improve it. (Of course we are very doubtful however time will soon shew). His wife and daughter are to keep school he says in Port Nicholson. Catherine is fit to teach none but mere beginners, what her mother means to teach I cannot fancy. ”

Before leaving Scotland Donald McDonald, and others, had bought land at Wanganui from the New Zealand Company, but remained in Wellington at Kaiwarra where he had charge of the road-making from Wellington to Petone, Porirua and Karori. The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 3 March 1841 noted, “We walked out on the Porirua road a few days since, and were much gratified with the rapid progress which had been made. About three miles of the road are now as good as need be for the present. Mr. M’Donald has shown great judgment in the management of this important undertaking, and the colonists may consider themselves fortunate in having among them a gentleman so evidently well qualified to perform the task he has in hand.”

Jessie Campbell’s letters home included much gossip about the McDonalds, including Donald McDonald’s reversion to intemperence and the effect it had on his health.  In a letter of 4 December 1842, she wrote, “I wrote to my mother about Drimantoran having lost his situation, alas miserable man, the accounts we had a few days ago are still more wretched, he is a ruined man. Everything he has was seized for debt. His son Adam, saved him from being sent to jail by giving up the little pittance he had saved. God help his poor wife, I feel deeply for her, with all her faults she is well principled. He, poor wretch, is lying dangerously ill, scarcely expected to recover, I think his death would be a happy release to his family, he has brought such disgrace upon them. Adam is very steady and a sensible lad. Donald’s death was blessing, he was as drunken as his father without his abilities when sober. Catherine’s intended has not returned from Auckland, all this blow up has occurred during his absence. I wonder what he will feel about it when he hears of McDonald’s disgrace. The Capt. and John Cameron were thankful to be at such a distance from him, they would not like to have intercourse with a man spoken of as he is.”

As outlined by Alexander McDonald in his memoir, his father, once a first-class farmer and magistrate, fell “victim to the intemperate use of intoxicants,” which broke him down but not irretrievably before leaving Scotland, but after a year or two in New Zealand he gave way to the habit.

Donald McDonald died on 26 July 1849. The Wellington Independent of 28 July 1849 carried the Death Notice: “At Glengower near Wellington, on Thursday Evening the 26th inst., Donald M’Donald, Esq., late of Drimintoran, Argyleshire, and Deputy Lieutenant of the same County, Aged 68 years.”

Anne (Cummings) McDonald died on 7 April 1870 at Christchurch under the name of Agnes McDonald.  The death registration noted that she was 70 years old and died of “general vital failure consequent on old age”, with the informant being Llewellyn Powell MD, Christchurch, but with no other information.  It is likely that she was living with her daughter Catherine at the time.   The Press of 8 April 1870 carried the Death Notice: “McDonald—At Christchurch, on the 7th April, Agnes, widow of the late Donald McDonald, Esq. Drinintoran, Argyleshire, and of Wellington, N Z, aged 74.”

Catherine McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian records the baptism on 27 October 1823 of Catherine, daughter to Donald MacDonald, tacksman of Drimintoran, and Anne Cummings.

Catherine was 16 when she boarded the Blenheim in August 1840. She appears to have given lessons to the younger children, occasioning Jessie Campbell to remark that she had a very good method with young children.

In a letter of 27 June 1843 Jessie Campbell wrote, “…but my servant, who was with them for some time, says Catherine was quite the fine lady, did nothing to assist her mother. Her intended has not yet returned from Auckland, she hears from him regularly. From a reduction of the surveying staff he lost his situation, he has been wanting the acting Governor to fulfil his promise of giving him another place, by the last accounts he was on the eve of being appointed Protector of the Aborigines either here or at Kafia, a place further down the coast. I do not know what his salary will be, probably 200 pounds a year. Catherine has been very fortunate. Mr. Campbell has been highly spoken of by all. Mr. Spain told me he was a most honourable well principled young man.”

The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator for 14 October 1843 carried the following Marriage Notice: “At ‘Kai Wara Wara, on the 10th October, by the Rev. J. Macfarlane, first minister of the Scotch Church, N.Z., John Campbell, Esq., formerly of Edinburgh, now Protector of Aborigines at Taranaki, to Catherine, daughter of D. M’Donald, Esq., formerly of Druim-an-Soran, Argyleshire, N.B.”

However, the New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 15 November 1843 reported:

Died. At Wellington, on the 2nd instant, John Campbell, Esq., formerly of Edinburgh, aged 29. Mr. Campbell was originally bred to the profession of the Law, but having emigrated to New Zealand, he was employed as a Surveyor by the Local Government, for which his scientific acquirements particularly fitted him. Subsequently he was appointed Protector of the Aborigines at Taranaki, and it is much to be regretted that the liberal and enlightened views which he entertained as to the relative position of the European’s and Natives, and his anxious wish to promote the interest of both, have been frustrated by his premature death. He was much respected by all who knew him his funeral was attended by most of the officials connected with the Government and the New Zealand Company, and upwards of a hundred Natives.

Catherine (McDonald) Campbell remarried, to Robert Waitt on 5 June 1844.

Jessie Campbell wrote on 9 September 1845, “Catherine seems quite wrapped up in her baby and Grandmama not less so.” and in another letter, “The last time I heard from Mrs. Macdonald, Mrs. [Waitt] was so ill with rheumatism she was preparing to go to Sydney in hopes of the warm climate benefiting her, her baby is a very fine child, Catherine is so thin and haggard John C, says I would hardly know her.”

The family moved to Christchurch in 1854 where Robert Waitt carried on business as a merchant in Lyttelton and leased a sheep station at Double Corner at Motunau. By 1857 he had purchased the Casterton Estate in the Heathcote Valley.

Robert Waitt died on 14 September 1866. The Lyttelton Times carried the Death Notice: “Waitt – Sept. 14, at Opawa, Robert Waitt, aged 50 years.”

Catherine (McDonald) Waitt died on 23 December 1877. The Press carried the Death Notice: “Waitt – On the 23rd December, Catherine, widow of the late Robert Waitt, Esq., aged fifty-four years.”

Catherine and Robert had at least five children:

  • Mary Douglas Waitt, born in 1845, died in 1865, married Llewelyn Price Traherne in 1863.
  • Robert McDonald Waitt, born in 1847, died in 1879, married Janie Emerald White in 1876.
  • Agnes Isabella Waitt, born in 1850, died in 1882, married Andrew Jameson in 1869.
  • Flora Margaret Waitt, born in 1851, died in 1885, married Thomas Dyke Acland in 1874.
  • George Caverhill Waitt, born in 1855, died in 1867.
Donald McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian records that Donald, son of Donald MacDonald, tacksman of Drimintoran, and Anne Cummings, was born the 26th September was baptized the 1st October 1824.

Donald McDonald was 16 when he travelled to New Zealand in 1840.

It appears from Jessie Campbell’s letters that Donald McDonald died before December 1842, but details have not been found.

Adam Cummings McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian records that Alexander, son of Donald MacDonald, tacksman of Drimintoran, and Anne Cummings, was born 27th March, baptized the 5th April 1829.

Adam Cummings McDonald and Margaret Wallace were married in Wellington on 10 June 1852.

Adam Cummings McDonald died in Wellington on 20 September 1858 at the age of 35.

In his memoirs, Alexander McDonald wrote that after his father’s death:

His place was nobly filled by my elder brother, Adam Cummings McDonald, who at the time of my father’s death was a valued clerk in the Union Bank of Australia.  It pleased God however, that he should also be taken from us.  He died very suddenly in 1858, leaving a widow and two sons, and two daughters.  He was then Manager of the Wellington Branch of the Union Bank of Australia.  On his sudden death the directors of the Bank wrote a letter of sympathy to his widow, enclosing also a whole year’s salary £400 of their late Manager in testimony of their appreciation of his worth.  The Directors also expressed a wish that the two boys of their late Manager would be kept at school, with a view to commercial life, and that a place would always be open to them in their Bank when of suitable age.  In due time the eldest boy Adam was taken into the Bank, and the youngest, George, went into the office of Messrs. Turnbull.
Let me say here to you young people that there never was in this world two young men who gave greater promise of a beautiful, useful, Christian life.  And yet it pleased God to take both these fine young men before they reached the prime of life.  They both died of typhoid fever within a fortnight of each other.  It had been found impossible to prevent the younger from nursing the elder brother, who was first taken ill, and the former caught the infection and they were both taken.  The youngest sister Amelia, without exception the most delightful child I ever saw in my life, also caught the infection and died within a few weeks of her brothers.

[The reference to the date of Amelia’s death is not consistent with BDM information.]

Adam and Margaret McDonald had four children:

  • Adam Campbell McDonald, born in 1853, died in 1879.
  • George Robertson McDonald, born in 1854, died in 1879.
  • Agnes Jane McDonald, born in 1856, died in 1924.
  • Amelia Jessie McDonald, born in 1858, died in 1875
Flora McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian records that Flory, daughter of Donald McDonald, tacksman of Drimintoran, and Anne Cummings, was born the 6th and baptized the 17th day of March 1828.

Flora McDonald was 13 when she emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

Flora McDonald married Thomas Kebbell on 8 November 1848. The couple moved to the Manawatu district, where Thomas Kebbell and his brother John built the first steam sawmill. After returning to Wellington following the 1855 earthquake, Thomas Kebbell carried out duties as a J.P. and was active in business.

Thomas Kebbell died in 1890 by drowning during a yacht race on Wellington Harbour. The incident was reported by the Feilding Star of 23 January 1890:

Terrible Drowning Accidents
It is with deep regret that we record the death by drowning of Mr Thomas Kebbell, a well known citizen, which occurred during the progress of the First Class Yacht Race at the Regatta yesterday. Mr Kebbell, who has taken great interest in yachting for many years, was engaged in sailing the Florence, whicb was owned by him, when the accident occurred. The yacht, which was leading, had completed her second journey round the course, and shortly after passing the flagship Mr Kebbell took the tiller from Dr Fell, who formed one of the party, remarking, strangely enough, “that this would be the last race he would ever sail.” He was sitting on the weather gunwale of the boat holding on to the tiller lines, when he was observed by the doctor to suddenly fall backwards into the water. The yacht, which was travelling at a great rate, was put about as speedily as possible, and in the meantime Mr Cecil Kebbell jumped overboard with the intention of assisting his father. A small rowing boat, manned by two boys, which had been cruising about, had been brought up alongside Mr Kebbell, and the lads succeeded in holding his head above water until the Florence was brought up alongside. The unfortunate gentleman was then hauled into the boat as speedily as possible. Mr Kebbell had evidently been dead some time before he was taken out of the water.
The deceased gentleman was 71 years of age, arrived in New Zealand by the ship Mandarin in 1841. In co-operation with his brother he built a steam sawmill (afterward a flour mill) in the Manawatu, from which place he was driven by the earthquake of 1855, which destroyed the mill. He leaves a widow and six children. Three sons are living in the Wairarapa. and the three daughters are Mesdames H. P. Higginson, A. de B. Brandon, and Tilley (Wanganui). Inspector Thomson received the following telegram from Otaki last night Catherine Mary and Dora Ann Kebbell, 10 and 8 years respectively daughters of Mr J. Kebbell, J.P., Ohau, were drowned while bathing in the Ohau river at 11 a.m. to-day.” Mr J. Kebbell, father of the two children who have thus met with a terrible death, is a nephew of Mr T. Kebbell who was drowned yesterday. We feel sure that the people of Wellington generally will sympathise with the members of a highly esteemed family in their severe bereavement.

Flora (McDonald) Kebbell died on 20 December 1919, aged 91. The Dominion of 22 December 1919 carried the Death Notice: “Kebbell – On December 20, 1919, at her residence, No [..] Hobson Street, Flora, widow of the late Thomas Kebbell, Esq., in her 92nd year.” The Wairarapa Age of 24 December 1919 noted:

Many people will regret to hear of the death of Mrs. Flora Kebbell, widow of the late Mr. Thomas Kebbell, both being much respected and popular pioneer residents of Wellington, Mrs. Kebbell passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday morning early, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Tilly, of Hobson Street. She was in her 92nd year, and had enjoyed wonderfully good health, considering her advanced age. Mrs. Kebbell leaves three daughters, Mrs. Higginson, who is resident in England, Mrs. A. de B. Brandon, and Mrs. Tilly, both of Wellington. Her sons are Messrs William, Richard, and Cecil Kebbell.

The Dominion of 24 December 1919 published the following obituary:

AN INTERESTING MEMOIR
THE LATE MRS. THOMAS KEBBELL. On January 22 next it will be 80 years since the pioneers of the New Zealand Company landed at Petone, and laid the foundation of the settlement of New Zealand. Ship after ship followed in succession’ laden with immigrants and stores, and among them was the Blenheim, which cast anchor in Port Nicholson on December 27, 1840, welcomed by bright sunshine. Among her passengers was a girl twelve years of age accompanying her father, mother, brothers, and sister, who had left the home of their ancestors to found a new home in a new land, M’Donalds of Druimantorran, in Scotland, they sought a favourable turn of fortune’s wheel in New Zealand. The people of to-day cannot really form any conception of travel as it was in those days. The Blenheim was a ship of 378 tons burthen, and on that voyage carried 197 passengers, besides officers and crew. Salt meat and biscuits were the staple food, and the voyage lasted four months.
The excitement of the child on waking one morning and finding the, ship at anchor may be imagined, and her joy at seeing the beautiful harbour of Port Nicholson surrounded by hills, bush-clad to the water’s edge and alive with singing birds, created an impression which lasted her lifetime. For eight years she saw forest disappear to give place to dwellings and pasture during the infancy of the city of Wellington. Towards the end of 1848 she married Mr. Thomas Kebbell, who was then a pioneer settler on the banks of the Manawatu River, but in the meantime she had experienced the awful earthquake of that year. That convulsion so disturbed the peace of mind of some of the settlers that they chartered a schooner to take themselves and their goods and chattels to Sydney. They set sail at the earliest moment, and among them was one of three men prominent in the call for constitutional government, and who were known as “The Three F’s.” The wreck of the schooner at the heads put an end to the desire of Dr. William Fitzherbert to cast the dust of New Zealand from off his feet, and he subsequently did great service to the colony in helping to adjust the differences between Downing Street and its distant protege, ending in the launching of the “self-reliant” policy which quickly brought an end to the Native troubles that hitherto, under the Imperial control had seemed interminable.
The bride accompanied her husband to the Manawatu, making the journey on horseback, which at that time was the only alternative to walking. Riding along the Old Porirua Road, and passing the Porirua Harbour on the west side, they swam their horses across the entrance to the harbour at the ferry east of where Plimmerton now stands. Following the Maori track through the bush over the Pukerua hill and down to the seashore, they rode along the coast to the Manawatu River, and thence to their home.
Few nowadays know of the difficulties which then beset travellers on that coast – high spring tides, the rivers Waikanae, Otaki, Manakau, and Ohau each liable to flood, and each with a deep channel running back into sandhills. Many a traveller had been compelled to wait for hours or even days until the flood had subsided or the tide had ebbed sufficiently to allow of a passage in comparatively shallow water near the line of the breaking waves; or in the case of the Otaki the traveller might have made a laboured journey inland and sought, the assistance of a friendly Maori who would take him across the river in canoe and tow the horse behind. In those days the beach was the main road northward from Paekakariki as far as Scott’s Ferry on the Rangitikei River.
The earthquake of 1856 and unprecedented floods in the river ended the Manawatu venture, and the bride of ’48, with three children out of four (one having met the “New Zealand death” — drowned in the river) were brought to Wellington, where she saw further great changes in the development of the city. She had already seen forest removed for dwellings and pastures: later she saw shops and stores replace dwellings, and still later she saw dwellings displace horses and cows.
Nurtured in times when “woman rights” were motherhood and home management, home life was the life of the late Mrs. Kebbell. With all her faculties clear to within a few hours of death, she lived loved by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. With her death it might almost be said that the foundation of this Dominion has now passed from the ken of the eye-witness into the domain of tradition.

Flora and Thomas Kebbell had at least seven children:

  • William McDonald Kebbell, born in 1850, died in 1933, married (1) Charlotte Ellen Willock in 1882, (2) Annie Hassell Liddle in 1902.
  • Ann Kebbell, born in 1852, died in 1854 (drowned in the Manawatu River).
  • Florence Kebbell, born in 1853, married Harry Pasley Higginson in 1874.
  • Louisa Kebbell, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Alfred de Bathe Brandon jun. in 1879.
  • Edith Kebbell, born in 1861, died in 1929, married Henry Johnston Robinson Tilly in 1883.
  • Cecil Kebbell, born in 1866, died in 1938, married Mary Christina Cameron in 1896.
  • Richard Cummings Kebbell, born in 1868, died in 1940.
Alexander McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian records that Alexander, son of Donald MacDonald, tacksman of Drimintoran, and Anne Cummings, was born 27th March baptized on the 5th April 1829.

In a letter of 2 August 1843, Jessie Campbell wrote, “I think I mentioned in former letter that one of Drimantoran’s sons had gone to be herdboy with his old servant, Angus McMaster, is not this terrible?”

In his memoir, Alexander MacDonald wrote:

In some respects I was a precocious boy, in other respects I was extremely slow in assimilating wisdom, of which I fear I have not a very large stock even now. As an example of my best qualities I will mention that coming out on the “Blenheim” I made the acquaintance of a Highland lassie of about my own age. We forthwith became sweethearts and agreed that when our respective parents would permit, or we became of age to act for ourselves, we certainly would marry. Well through thick and thin we stuck to that agreement, until I was a little over 22 years of age, and then my little sweetheart was foolish enough to become my wife. This is the only act of my life in which I showed absolutely just discrimination.

Alexander MacDonald and Annie Cameron were married on 13 January 1852. Annie was the daughter of Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson, sister of Jane (see Dugald McLachlan and Jane Cameron), and Mary (see Alexander Grant and Mary Cameron).

In Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie’s memories of the wedding day are recorded:

Though this was Mr Hogg’s first there, it was not the first Turakina marriage, because our beloved ‘Little Annie’ and Alick had gone to Wanganui before Mr Hogg had arrived. I think it was by ‘Missionary Taylor’ so well known and liked – but it might have been Mr Nicholl. I remember her coming to our house, accompanied by Mysie who introduced her as ‘Mrs MacDonald’ at which everyone laughed, and Annie blushed, looking lovelier than ever. Both ladies were bewildering in the beauty of their attire, culminating in the wreath of ‘orange blossom’ round the vivacious face of the bride, and some sprays on the outside of the bonnet mixed with ‘blond’ lace. Annie carried a nice little kit in her hand from which she presently took a parcel of wedding cake saying to Mother “This is something for you, somebody gave it to me and I have a bit for Mrs McGregor” with which they went on to ‘Annbank’, a vision of brightness to us.

Alexander McDonald’s memoirs provide an informed assessment of the issues arising in first few decades of settlement in New Zealand, and in particular his views and engagement in issues relating to Maori land purchases and the relationship with Maori. The memoir also provided a history of the various places he lived in and the people there, and was quoted extensively by his friend Sir James Wilson in his book Early Rangitikei.

It was as a result of his support for the rights of some Maori in relation to purchases that Alexander McDonald was imprisoned after shooting a horse pulling a mail coach to prevent it crossing Ngatikauwhata land. The iwi supported Alexander and his family with land and money during his imprisonment.

Ann Christian (Cameron) McDonald died on 26 February 1898. The Feilding Star of 1 March 1898 carried the following obituary:

Mrs A Macdonald: On Saturday night, at Shannon, there died one of the best-natured and truest-hearted women it is the lot of human beings to meet, Mrs Macdonald, wife of Alexander Macdonald, at the age of 69. Few women have had a more stirring life, and few have retained their natural kindness and love for their fellow-creatures to the same extent as Mrs Macdonald. As Miss Cameron, she came to the colony when quite a child, in the ’40’s, and both before and after marrying Mr Macdonald lived at Kaiwarra. From thence they went to the Wanganui district, subsequently removing to Turakina, Bulls, Kopani, Awahuri and Shannon. Coming to the bush districts years in advance of settlement, Mrs Macdonald had every opportunity of displaying that hospitality for which she was so well known, and very many can testify to her kindness even to those who had not the slightest claim to consideration. Her death leaves a good wife, a loving mother, and a kind friend the less in the world, and her relatives have our heartfelt sympathy in their loss. Mrs Macdonald had five married daughters (Mesdames Dundas, Scott, Lyons, Macintyre, and Nethercliffe), one single daughter, two sons (Adam and Donald), and a number of grandchildren. The funeral took place yesterday and was very largely attended.

Alexander McDonald died on 25 March 1905 at Shannon, aged 76.

The Manawatu Standard of 27 March 1905, contained the Death Notice: “McDonald – At his late residence, Shannon, Alexander McDonald, late of Rangitikei and Turakina, aged 76 years.”  The newspaper also included the following obituary:

On Saturday last at Shannon, Mr Alexander McDonald, one of the best known settlers on this coast, died at the age of 76 years. Mr McDonald, who descended from the McDonalds of Glencoe, of historic fame, was born at Drimmentoran, in Argyleshire, in 1829. He came to the colony in the early forties, and after his marriage with Mrs McDonald (nee Miss Cameron), who predeceased him eight years ago, lived at Kaiwarra. From there he removed to Turakina and, subsequently, at different stages of his life, lived at Bulls, Kopani, Awahuri and Shannon. From his earliest days Mr McDonald was an authority in all native matters. He was created a chieftain by the Awahuri natives and dowered with a large acreage of land just adjacent to the township. Mr McDonald lived there for several years but, subsequently, owing to legal informalities at the time of the gift from the natives, had to re-transfer the property to the natives. He then removed to Shannon, where he has resided for the past ten years. There was, probably, no better Maori linguist in the colony, and for years the deceased gentleman acted as Native Assessor for the Government and Maori Interpreter. In the latter capacity he was engaged in several of the most important subdivisions of native property that have taken place on this coast. He was a keen friend of the natives, and possessed their confidence in a high degree. His life in the early days of the colony, during war time, was particularly adventurous, much more so than the average colonist of that time, and many a stirring tale the deceased gentleman could tell of the trials, tribulations and adventures of those historic days. As stated, his wife predeceased him eight years ago, but he is survived by five married daughters, Mesdames Dundas, Scott, Macintire, Lyons, and Nethercliffe, one unmarried daughter and two sons, Adam and Donald. Deceased was a man of splendid physique and bore his years remarkably well up to the last twelve months, when he aged considerably, and showed signs of failure of the heart. On Saturday he complained of feeling unwell and went to lie down. His son going to his room a few minutes later was just in time to be with him in the closing moment. The funeral will take place to-morrow, the 76th anniversary of his birth.

Annie and Alexander had 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.
Campbell Riddell McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian records that Campbell Riddell, son of Mr Donald MacDonald of Drimintoran, was born 22nd July and baptized 30th ditto 1830.

Campbell McDonald was 10 years old when he embarked on the Blenheim.

In 1845 Jessie Campbell wrote in a letter, “Campbell Macdonald has determined on going to sea and is bound apprentice to Capt. Dawson of the Skiro Castle when his contract with the Government expires, she is to go home and will be at least 5 months at Home. Campbell is to spend that time with his friends in the Highlands, he is at present with the ship in Auckland, he is a very steady boy.”

Campbell Riddell MacDonald died on 11 January 1853 aged 22.  The Wellington Independent of 12 January 1853 carried the Death Notice: “On Tuesday, the 11th instant, at Wellington, Mr Campbell Riddell McDonald, aged 22 years.”

Thomas McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian recorded that Thomas, son of Donald MacDonald and Anne Cumming, was born September 9th 1835.

Thomas McDonald was 5 years old on the voyage of the Blenheim.

Thomas McDonald moved to North Canterbury and worked on a number of farms before moving to Waikuku. He was active in community affairs, especially the Waikuku School Committee.

Thomas McDonald married Annie Ford, formerly Adams, in 1864.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], 1903, carried the following entry:

McDonald, Thomas, Woolscourer and Farmer, Waikuku Woolworks, Waikuku. These works were established in 1869, by Mr. W. Bailey, the present proprietor having acquired them in 1872. Mr. McDonald was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, in 1835, and arrived in Wellington with his parents in 1840, by the ship “Blenheim.” As soon as he was old enough he became a cadet on a station. Having qualified as a manager, Mr. McDonald was in charge of Horsley Downs estate for about eighteen years, and settled at Waikuku in 1872. He has for many years served on the Waikuku school committee, and for a long period held the position of chairman. Mr. McDonald is a member of the committee of the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association. He was married, in 1864, to the widow of the late Mr. T. K. Adams, and has four sons and four daughters.

Thomas McDonald died on 2 August 1907. The Press of 3 August 1907 published the following obituary:

DEATH OF AN OLD COLONIST
MR T. McDONALD,
The many friends of Mr T. McDonald, of Waikuku, will learn with regret of his death, which occurred at an early hour yesterday morning. He had been ill three weeks, and a few days ago underwent a serious operation, which afforded temporary relief. Mr McDonald was a native of Argyleshire, Scotland, and arrived, with his parents by the ship Blenheim, at Wellington, in 1840. Shortly afterwards Mr McDonald came to Canterbury, and, as a cadet, was well known. For some years he was at Motonau, and took charge of Cheviot when that country was first taken up by Mr J. S. Caverhill. He became manager for Messrs J. W. Mallock and J. D. Lance at Horsley Downs, on which large run he remained for about eighteen years. About 1872 Mr McDonald took over the Waikuku wool scouring works, which had been started by Mr Joseph Bailey, of Christchurch. Mr McDonald was chairman of the Waikuku School Committee and manifested a very keen interest in the education of the children of his district for twenty-five years. He likewise held a position as a warden of the Woodend Church, and was foremost in matters intended for the benefit of the district. He was a most valuable supporter of the local Agricultural Show, and one of the earliest members of the North Canterbury Racing Club, being an admirer of good honest sport. He was a gentleman of thoroughly genial and open-hearted disposition, and through life won the highest respect and loyalty from all whom he employed. His business transactions were characterised by irreproachable methods in conducting the same. He married in the early sixties, and leaves a widow, four sons, and four daughters. His sons are: – Messrs H. McDonald (Pyne and Co.), J. McDonald (North Canterbury Stores), R. McDonald (Waikuku), and G. McDonald (Hawarden). Flags were flown at half-mast in Rangiora yesterday, and at the horse fair general regret was expressed on all sides on hearing of Mr McDonald’s death.

Thomas and Annie had nine children:

  • Flora Agnes McDonald, born in 1865, died in 1950.
  • Harry Donald McDonald, born in 1867, died in 1924, married Mary Agnes Buss in 1895.
  • John Glencoe McDonald, born in [1868, died in 1938, married Edith Nora Steele in 1902].
  • Thomas Campbell McDonald, born in 1870, died in 1877.
  • Catherine Annie McDonald, born in 1872, died in 1934, married John Pratt Andrews in 1902.
  • Constance May McDonald, born in 1873, died in 1946, married Joshua Henshaw in 1897.
  • Ronald McDonald, born in 1875, married Alexandrina Agnes Palmerson in 1903.
  • Isabel Margaret McDonald, born in 1876, married William Charles Frank Lukis in 1906.
  • Duncan George McDonald, born in 1878, died in 1953, married Elsie Annie Archer in 1903.
Duncan Campbell McDonald

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Duncan Campbell, son of Donald McDonald Esq., and Ann Cumming, Calchenna, was born 3rd July 1839 and baptized on 9 August 1838.

The electoral roll for Kaiapoi in 1890 listed Duncan Campbell McDonald, Waikuku, accountant.

The Feilding Star of 20 July 1900 carried the following Death Notice: “McDonald — On July 16th, at Waikuku, Canterbury, at the residence of his brother, Duncan Campbell McDonald, youngest son of the late Donald McDonald of Druimintorran, Argyleshire, Scotland aged 60 years.”


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