Tag Archives: McDonell

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
Advertisements

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: