Tag Archives: McGregor

John Cameron and Janet McGregor

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

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

Return to The Blenheim People.


John Cameron and Janet McGregor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wanganui Chronicle of 1 February published the following obituary:

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

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

John Cameron

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

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

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

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

John and Mary had three children:

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

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

Angus was apparently drowned in Lake Wairarapa.

Charles Cameron

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

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

Charles Cameron married Catherine McKinnon on 1 January 1860.

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

Charles Cameron
Charles Cameron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles and Catherine had six children:

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

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

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

Duncan Cameron was apparently drowned in Cook Strait

Allan Cameron

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

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

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

Anne Cameron

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

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

Anne Cameron married Francis Baldwin on 13 August 1852.

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

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

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

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

Anne and Francis had at least seven children:

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

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

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

Archibald Cameron married Mary Laird on 4 August 1858.

Archibald Cameron
Archibald Cameron

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archibald and Mary had eight children:

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

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

Dugald Cameron married Margaret Mitchell on 27 January 1862.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

Photographs:

  • McPhail/McLachlan/Cameron Album: Charles Cameron; Archibald Cameron
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Duncan and Marjory Fraser

The initial passenger list for the Blenheim included the family of Duncan Fraser, his wife and nine children, with the note from Donald McDonald, “Has been long known to me and has excellent certificates.”

The initial list included entries for Simon and John Fraser from Kumachroch which were crossed out, as was a Francis Fraser, 22, a housemaid from Fort William, noted as “Niece to D Fraser Smith Corran and will be a member of his family.” The embarkation list also included a Jane Fraser, 20, housemaid,  along with this family, but the next lists including the arrival list had Jane Fraser located separately from the family.  Her age indicates that she was not a daughter of Duncan and Margaret.

The Fraser family on the Blenheim included:

  • Duncan Fraser, 40, Corran, blacksmith
  • Margaret Fraser, his wife, 36
  • John Fraser, his son, 17, blacksmith
  • Catherine Fraser, his daughter, 16, sempstress
  • Isabella Fraser, his daughter, 15, housemaid
  • Margaret Fraser, his daughter, 14, housemaid
  • Elizabeth Fraser, his daughter, 13, housemaid
  • Ann Fraser, his daughter, 12
  • Alexander Fraser, his son, 8
  • Donald Fraser, his son, 7
  • Duncan Fraser, his son, 4
  • Thomas Fraser, born at sea.

Spelling: The embarkation passenger list for the Blenheim used “Frazer” but the initial list, other documents and subsequent usage have “Fraser”.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Duncan Fraser and Margaret (Marjory) Fraser

Duncan Fraser was born around 1795 in Dalcataig, near Invermoriston in Invernesshire to Donald Fraser and Katherine McDonell, and at a young age moved to Fort Augustus where he worked as a blacksmith. Apparently his father was 107 years 7 months and 7 days old when he died.

Marjory Fraser was from the Lovat family of Frasers, her grandfather being a Captain in the 42nd Highlanders (the Black Watch). Her father was Alexander Fraser and her mother was Elizabeth McDonell.  Marjory’s younger sister, Jane Fraser, also emigrated on the Blenheim.

Duncan Fraser and Margaret (Marjory) Fraser were married on 24 November 1821 at Fort Augustus, Inverness. After five years they moved to Corran, on Loch Linnhe, where they managed a small trading store and post office.

Duncan and Margaret had one child who died in Scotland in infancy. The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour, recorded that Thomas, son of Duncan Fraser and Marjory Fraser, Corran, was born on 12 October 1839. This Thomas died 26 days after his birth.

In 1840 the Fraser family sold up their business and emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

In Wellington, Duncan Fraser established a farm at Wadestown on his country section, and on his town section built the Highlander Inn, a smithy and related buildings. His home was built at the top of what is now Hanover Street towards Wadestown Road.

The Highland Inn was one of Duncan Fraser’s commercial activities, and in 1849 the Wellington Independent of 23 June reported that he was fined 40 shillings for “having supplied liquors and suffered the same to be drunk on the premises, between the hours of 10 o’clock of the night of the 13th, and 6 o’clock of the morning of the 14th instant, contrary to the provisions of the Licensing Ordinance.”

In 1849 Duncan Fraser had purchased land in Rangitikei which formed the basis for the property called “Pukehou”. Initially John and Alexander Fraser settled the property in 1851, then Duncan and Marjory followed later. Sir James Wilson, in Early Rangitikei, wrote,”The family which, undoubtedly, had the greatest effect upon the settlement in Rangitikei was that of Duncan Fraser and his wife Marjorie.”

Duncan and Marjory had more children after they arrived in New Zealand:

  • Hugh Fraser, born in 1843 (twin), died in 1934, married Christina Ann McDonell (descendant of a Blenheim passenger) in 1874.
  • Margery Fraser, born in 1843 (twin), died in 1868, married Francis Morris Deighton in 1868.
  • Catherine (Kate) Fraser, born in 1846, died in 1935.
  • Jane Crosby Fraser, born in 1848, died in 1886, married James Richardson (younger brother of Thomas Furner Richardson) in 1871.

Duncan Fraser died on 6 August 1879, aged 84, at Parewanui.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 11 August 1879 published an obituary:

Death of an old Settler – Referring to the death of Mr Duncan Fraser, of Lower Rangitikei, who died on Tuesday and was buried on Saturday last, the Advocate says: We are not aware of his exact age, but should say his years must have numbered considerably over four score. He was one of the first settlers in the lower district, which is now to a great extent peopled by his decendants. The old gentleman lived to see his grand-children and great-grand-children, many of the latter being well-grown young men and women. It is doubtful if there is another settler in the North Island whose direct decendants are so numerous – not to speak of the connections by marriage which altogether represent almost a young colony. The late Mr Fraser was one of the hardy type of colonists, who settled down in the unknown country, and made his home in his adopted land. Courageous, persevering and industrious, reclamation of wilderness was to him the daily work of his life as a colonist. That he and his prospered, and spread themselves over the land, is not matter for surprise, when the stern stuff of which they were composed is remembered. Till comparatively recently, the late Mr Fraser was a vigorous, hale, hearty, old man; but a long life brought with it declining health and strength, and finally dissolution. It makes one melancholy to have to pen these notices on the passing away of one and another of the old colonists – the men and women who had resided for forty years and upwards in the district, and who had been associated with it from the first days of settlement. Soon none, of the sterling old colonists of half a century ago will be held in reverence by the succeeding generations. The funeral, which, we expect, will compose a very numerous assemblage of mourners, will leave Parawanui at 1 o’clock on Saturday.

Marjory Fraser died on 30 January 1893, aged 89. The Wanganui Chronicle of 3 February 1893 carried the Death Notice: “Fraser – On January 30th, at her residence, Fraser Field Cottage, Pukekoe, Lower Rangitikei, Marjorie, relict of the late Duncan Fraser, and mother of Mr Donald Fraser, aged 80 years.” The Manawatu Herald of 2 February 1893 published an obituary:

Death of Mrs Duncan Fraser.
Another link in the chain that binds the days of first settlement of the colony to the present was broken on Monday evening, by the death, at her residence, Fraserfield, Parewanui, of Mrs Marjorie Fraser, relict of the late Duncan Fraser, and mother of John, Donald, Thomas and Hugh Fraser. The deceased lady was born at Inverness, in Scotland, on the 30th of October 1803, and died, as we have said, on Monday evening at the ripe old age of 89 years. The late Mr and Mrs Fraser arrived at Port Nicholson on the 27th December, 1840, with a family of 10 children, one of whom was born in the Bay of Biscay on the voyage to the colony. After a residence in Wellington of 12 years, Mr and Mrs Fraser came to Rangitikei in 1852, and took up their abode. At that time the settlers in the district, or rather the European male inhabitants of Rangitikei were Thos. Scott, at the ferry; James McDonell at the Hoe; Adam Keir, the first owner of McKelvie’s property on the Rangitikei side of the river; Andrew Green (father of Mr William Green of Bulls), who owned the land where Mr Pitt’s house stands; Thomas Tiley, who owned the place on which now stands the residence of Messrs Keiller Bros; Laurie Daniell and a manager of Killymoon; James Bell, on what is now Woodendean, then the property of Mr Skipworth, for whom Bell had brought up some sheep. In the upper portion of the district the only settlers were Wm. Swainson, on Tututotara, and Mr H. Ross, father of Mr Alfred Boss, of Marton. These settlers had come to Rangitikei in 1850 and 1851. During 1851 Hugh and Donald Fraser came up, and Donald, who arrived six months after his brother, had been here six months before the arrival of his father and mother. From this it will be seen that the settlement was almost in its infancy when Mr and Mrs Fraser cast in their lot with it, and for over 40 years the deceased lady has watched its rise and progress. Mrs Fraser was a lady who was devoted to her Church, and attended with great regularity until a short time before her death. She was a very well read woman, and possessed a most retentive memory being able to relate with great accuracy incidents connected with her childhood’s days. One of these, and one which she was very fond of telling, was of the stratagems to which the residents of Inverness resorted in order to evade the press gangs who traversed the country in the days of George III for the purpose of pressing men into the service to fight for their country against Napoleon. In addition to incidents of her early Scottish life, Mrs Fraser could rehearse as correctly as if reading from a book the geneaology of nearly the whole of the leading Highland families. Just prior to her death Mrs Fraser spoke with great clearness and distinctness of many incidents in her early history. In the early days of Rangitikei, when no houses of accommodation existed, the kindly and generous nature of the now departed lady was shown by the liberal hospitality which she so freely extended to travellers. This gained for her the esteem and regard of all with whom she came in contact, and everywhere she was spoken of in terms of the highest praise. After their arrival, the family increased to 14, of whom six daughters and three sons were married in the colony. The deceased’s grandchildren now number 92, her great grandchildren 201, and her great great grandchildren 6. On the day of the Auckland Jubilee a rather remarkable incident happened at deceased’s residence, Fraserfield, Pukehoe, when some of the numerous older relatives paid her a visit. When seated at dinner, it was discovered that there were present Mrs Fraser, her eldest son, a daughter, a granddaughter and a grandson, a great grandson, and a great great grandson and daughter five generations all dining around the one table. Mrs Fraser’s death was by no means unexpected, her health having been in a very precarious state for some time past. At a few minutes past seven on Monday night she passed peacefully away. Very general sympathy is expressed for the relatives in their bereavement, in which we sincerely join.

In his memoir, Alexander McDonald, writing around 1905, said, “The family of Mr Duncan Fraser and his wife who came out with us must now number fully one thousand souls…I do think it will be very remiss on the part of Mr Donald Fraser and his brothers and sisters, if they do not before it is too late construct a proper Whakapapa, or family tree of the descendants of Duncan Fraser and his wife who came out to New Zealand in the year 1840.” The book Pukehou: The Frasers of the Lower Rangitikei, published in 1996, does just that.

John Fraser

John Fraser was born on 1 November 1822 at Fort Augustus, and was described as a blacksmith of 17 on the Blenheim passenger list.

In Wellington, John worked with his father at the blacksmith’s shop they established on their town section, near where Tinakori Road now starts from the Hutt Road.  John left to join the armed police under Major Durie. In 1851 John and his brother Alexander went up to the Rangitikei district to work on the land their father had purchased.

John Fraser died on 21 January 1898 at Bulls. The Feilding Star of 25 January carried the Death Notice: “Fraser – At Karaka Terrace, Matahiwi, on 21st January, 1898, John, eldest son of the late Duncan and Marjory Fraser, aged 77.” The Manawatu Herald of 27 January 1898 reported, “Mr John Fraser, 77 years of age, who was one of the pioneers of the Rangitikei district, died on Friday last at Matahiwi.”

Catherine Fraser

The Old Parish Register for Boleskine and Abertarff or Fort Augustus recorded that Catherine was born on 2 December 1823, the daughter of Duncan Fraser, smith, Fort Augustus, and of Marjory Fraser his wife.

Catherine Fraser was a sempstress of 16 on the Blenheim passenger list.

Catherine Fraser married Gregor McGregor, a fellow-passenger on the Blenheim, on 6 November 1841, a month before her 18th birthday.

Further details of their life can be found at the post for Gregor McGregor, while the following lists their children:

  • Helen McGregor, born in 1842, died in 1876, married Isaac Sargeant in 1865.
  • John McGregor, born in 1844, died in 1916, married (1) Christian McDonald McGregor in 1871, (2) Florence Ann Beaver in 1896.
  • Duncan McGregor, born in 1845 in NSW, Australia, died in 1923, married Annie Norah Smith in 1869.
  • James McGregor, born in 1847 in NSW, Australia, died in 1849 in NSW, Australia.
  • Jane McGregor, born in 1849, died in 1943, married Gregor McLeod in 1871.
  • Alexander McGregor, born in 1851, died in 1909, married Alice Handley in 1890.
  • Catherine McGregor, born in 1853, died in 1920, married Nathaniel Sutherland in 1874.
  • Margery McGregor, born in 1855, died in 1940, married Hugh Calders (son of Blenheim passengers) in 1873.
  • Gregor McGregor, born in 1857, died in 1942, married (1) Te Pura Manihera in 1879, (2) Paurina Haami in 1921.
  • James McGregor, born in 1859, died in 1925, married Florence Ellen McIlvride (formerly Maplesden) in 1924.
  • Donald McGregor, born in 1861, died in 1864.
  • Matilda McGregor, born in 1863, died in 1894, married Angus MacIntosh in 1891.
  • Mary McGregor, born in 1866, died in 1936.
  • Donald McGregor, born in 1869, died in 1953, married Henrietta Isabella Burr in 1895.
Isabella Fraser

The Old Parish Register for Boleskine and Abertarff or Fort Augustus recorded that Isabella was born on 10 May 1825, the daughter of Duncan Fraser, Smith at Fort Augustus, and of Mary Fraser his wife.

Isabella Fraser was a housemaid of 15 when she embarked on the Blenheim with her family in 1840.

Isabella Fraser married James John Hopkins Stevens on 20 July 1847.

James John Hopkins Stevens was born in England, possibly in Bath, Somerset, England, around 1826.

The birth registrations of the children born in Petone give James’ occupation as boatman. The family moved to the Rangitikei district in 1855 where, in 1859, they took over the Handley Arms Hotel.

James John Hopkins Stevens died on 18 August 1860 at Parewanui, aged 42.  The Wellington Independent of 21 August 1860 carried the Death Notice: “On the 12th instant, at Rangitiki, Mr J.H.Stevens, Publican, aged 42 years.”

As outlined in Pukehou, James’ will suggests that Isabella’s two oldest children, who were born before the marriage were not his although they took his name. The will contained, “…and education of my children Robert, Isabella, Amelia, Duncan, Alexander and James as likewise of two natural children begotten of my said wife named Eliza Pain and John Bell…”

Isabella (Fraser) Stevens married Philip Bevan on 11 April 1863.

The Wellington Independent of 6 December 1866 noted that the stockyard on the property of Philip Bevan, in the Lower Rangitikei District, had been proclaimed a public pound, and Philip Bevan was appointed the keeper thereof. Philip Bevan died on 10 February 1869. The Evening Post of 15 May 1869 noted, “Taranaki boasts of a lady auctioneer, and Lower Rangitikei, not to be outdone, has acquired a lady poundkeeper, his Honour the Superintendent having conferred that office on Mrs Isabella Bevan.”

Isabella (Fraser) Bevan, formerly Stevens, married Joseph Watkins on 18 September 1871.

Joseph Watkins was a carpenter, born around 1830 in Lincolnshire, England.

Joseph Watkins died on 8 June 1889, aged 59.

The Wairarapa Daily Times of 30 September 1901 reported:

RANGITIKEI NEWS.
(By Telegraph—Special Daily Times). Bulls, This Day. I am sorry to say that Mrs Watkins, mother of Mr John Stevens, M.H.R., continues in a very low state, and is not expected to recover. Her serious condition has necessitated the absence of Mr Stevens from his Parliamentary duties for a considerable time, Mr James H. Stevens, postmaster Hawera, has also been down to see his mother. Mrs Watkins is related to nearly every settler in the Lower Rangitikei district, of which she and her family, the Frasers, were among the oldest identities.

Isabella (Fraser) Watkins, formerly Bevan, previously Stevens, died on 6 November 1901, aged 76.  The Hawera and Normanby Star of 11 November 1901 reported:

The Rangitikei Advocate says: The death of Mrs Isabella Watkins, which took place at her son’s residence, Bulls, is announced. The deceased lady was the mother of Mr John Stevens, M.H.R., Mr J. H. Stevens, of Hawera, and Mr Robert Stevens, of Palmerston North. She was the daughter of the late Duncan Fraser, of Pukehou, and arrived in Wellington in the Blenheim on Christmas Day, 1840, after a voyage of nearly five months, which was then thought to be fairly good time. Mr Fraser’s family settled in Rangitikei about 1849, where they have grown in numbers probably far exceeding tbat of any family in the country. Mrs Watkins, during some months of suffering, had shown a fortitude and cheeriness which reconciled her friends to the parting.

Isabella had possibly eleven children:

Before her marriage to James John Hopkins Stevens:

  • Eliza Stevens (Pain), born in 1843, died in 1878, married (1) Richard Howard in 1863, (2) Malcolm Walker in 1871.
  • John Stevens (Bell), born in 1845, died in 1916, married (1) Margaret Campion (cousin) in 1870, and (2) Annie McMaster (daughter of Blenheim passengers) in 1880. He was MHR for Rangitikei 1881-1884, 1893-1896, for Manawatu 1896-1902, 1905-1908.

With James John Hopkins Stevens:

  • Isabella Stevens, born in 1848, died in 1929, married (1) Frederick Manuel Gilbert Richards in 1865, and (2) William Henry Sly in 1909.
  • Robert Richard Stevens, born in 1849, died in 1930, married Marjory Campion (cousin) in 1874.
  • Duncan Hopkins Stevens, born in 1851, married Annie Louisa Davy in 1882.
  • Amelia Stevens, born in 1854, died in 1876, married Thomas McKay Drummond in 1872.
  • James Hopkins Stevens, born in 1856, died in 1946, married Delia Richardson in 1881.
  • Alexander Stevens, born in 1858.

With Philip Bevan:

  • Philip Bevan, born in 1863, died in 1929, married Elizabeth Leech in 1888.
  • Alice Bevan, born in 1864, died in 1946, married Adam Bissett in 1884.
  • Margaret (Margery) Bevan, born in 1867, died in 1942, married Arthur Vaughan Wynn Kirkby in 1887.
  • George Frederick Bevan, born in 1866, died in 1921 in Sydney, Australia, married Amelia Barnes in 1893 in Sydney, Australia.
Margaret Fraser

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie, listings for Corran, recorded that Margaret, daughter of Duncan Fraser and May Fraser, Corran, was born on 26 September 1826 and baptised on 10 October 1826.

Margaret Fraser was a housemaid of 14 on the Blenheim passenger list.

The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 6 September 1843 carried the Marriage Notice: “On the 7th August, Thomas M’Kenzie, formerly of Roskeen, Ross-shire, farmer, to Margaret, daughter of Mr. Duncan Frazer, blacksmith, Ballahalish.”

The story of the family of Thomas McKenzie and Margaret Fraser is told in Poyntzfield, by Rob Knight.

Thomas Urquhart McKenzie was born on 6 July 1820 at Arboll, Parish of Tarbet, Black Isle, Ross-shire in Scotland, the son of Robert Bruce Aeneas McKenzie and Harriet Ross.  He emigrated to New Zealand on the Oriental, arriving in Wellington on 31 January 1840.  After working as a shepherd for a year in the Wairarapa he bought a horse and cart and began a carrying business between Wellington and Petone.

The family lived initially in Kaiwarra, then at Porirua in 1849, before moving up the coast to Turakina in 1850.  In January 1855 they moved to Parewanui in the Lower Rangitikei district.   In 1897, following severe flooding of the Rangitikei River and their Poyntzfield house, Margaret and Thomas moved to Feilding.

Thomas Urquhart McKenzie died on 16 May 1904 aged 83.  The Manawatu Standard of 17 May 1904 published the following obituary:

T. U. McKenzie.
Another old and respected colonist —Mr T. U. McKenzie —has passed away. The late Mr McKenzie, who was one of the earliest settlers on this coast, died at his residence, Feilding, last night, The deceased gentleman arrived in Wellington in 1840 by the ship Oriental, and after having resided at the Upper Hutt, Turakina, and Parawanui (lower Rangitikei), he took up his residence in Feilding a few years ago. Prior to going to Feilding the late Mr McKenzie, who was one of those sturdy pioneer settlers who have made this colony what it is, resided on his estate, known as Poyntsfield, at Parawanui for many years, and be became widely known and highly respected by all those with whom he came in contact, and his demise will be regretted by a wide  circle of friends, especially those who are numbered amongst the early settlers of the lower Rangitikei and Manawatu. The end was not unexpected for the deceased gentleman, who was between 83 and 84 years of age, had been in failing health for some time. The deceased leaves a large grownup family of sons and daughters to mourn their loss. The funeral will leave his late residence, Kimbolton road, Feilding, at 11 a.m. to-morrow for the Fraser private cemetery at Parawanui.

Margaret (Fraser) McKenzie died on 9 April 1909, aged 82.   The Feilding Star of 10 April 1909 published an obituary:

MRS. MARGARET McKENZIE. The death occurred at her residence, Kimbolton-road, yesterday, of Mrs Margaret McKenzie, relict of Mr T. U. McKenzie, at the age of 82 years. The deceased lady had been gradually sinking for some time, and her relatives were quite prepared for the end. Mrs McKenzie was the daughter of the late Mr Duncan Fraser, of Pukehou, Parawanui, and was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, in 1826. She came with her parents to New Zealand in the ship “Blenheim” in 1840, landing at the Hutt. Port Nicholson in those days was nothing but bush and Maori pas. In 1842 she married Mr T. U Mackenzie, and resided in Wellington till 1849. Mr and Mrs McKenzie then lived for a year at Porirua, and from 1850 to 1853 at Turakina. The family then took up their residence at “Poyntsfield,” Lower Rangitikei, where they lived till 1897, when they came to Feilding. Mr McKenzie died here in May, 1904. The deceased lady went through all the experiences of the early settlers, roughing it as only the bush pioneers had to, feeling the terrors of the Maori wars, and braving all the dangers of the vanguard of civilisation. The house at “Poyntsfield” was known far and wide for its hospitality to both the friend and the stranger, and it was no uncommon occurrence for the inmates to be called up in the night to provide for some needy stranger. The garden was also looked on as a mark on the country side. Mr and Mrs McKenzie kept “open house” for the whole district for which they have long been remembered by visitors and old residents of the Rangitikei and adjacent districts. Of a family of twenty-one, there are seven sons and seven daughters living, who also have numerous children. The funeral will take place at 12.15 p.m. on Monday.

Margaret and Thomas had at least nineteen children!

  • Eliza McKenzie, born in 1843, died in 1939, married Gustav August Hermann Rockel in 1866.
  • Margaret McKenzie, born in 1844, died in 1921, married William Hair in 1863.
  • John Alexander McKenzie, born in 1845, died in 1863.
  • Robert Bruce McKenzie, born in 1848, died in 1914, married Grace McAdam Bryce in 1876.
  • Duncan Daniel McKenzie, born in 1849, died in 1901, married Alice Eugenia Campbell in 1876.
  • Thomas McKenzie, born in 1851, died in 1914, married Caroline Amelia Amon in 1875.
  • Harriet Ann McKenzie, born in 1852, died in 1885, married Allan Tamberlain Campbell in 1873.
  • Daniel McKenzie, born in 1854, died in 1891.
  • Marjorie (Mysie) McKenzie, born in 1856, died in 1892, married Duncan Campion (cousin) in 1877.
  • Alexander McKenzie, born in 1857, died in 1941, married Eliza Fox Clouston in 1884.
  • William McKenzie, born in 1859, died in 1942, married Elizabeth Bryce in 1882.
  • Charles McKenzie, born in 1860, died in 1943, married Amy Aldrich in 1897.
  • David Hogg McKenzie, born in 1861, died in 1953, married Eva Redfern-Hardisty in 1911.
  • Joan McKenzie, born in 1863, died in 1926, married Charles Edward Levien in 1883.
  • Annie McKenzie, born in 1865, died in 1959, married John Deroles in 1891.
  • James Alexander McKenzie, born in 1866, died in 1947.
  • Mary McKenzie, born in 1868 (twin), died in 1946, married Arthur Hunter in 1897.
  • Katherine McKenzie, born in 1868 (twin), died in 1919, married Charles Fitzherbert in 1889.
  • Jessie Ross Monro Isabel McKenzie, born in 1871, died in 1855, married Edgar Percy Binns in 1896.
Elizabeth Fraser

Elizabeth Fraser was born on 29 January 1828, at Corran, and on the Blenheim passenger list was described as a housemaid of 13.

The Wellington Independent of 21 June 1848 carried the Notice: “Married – By license, in the Wesleyan Church, Manners Street, on Tuesday June 20, by the Rev.S. Ironside, Mr Cornelius Campion, to Miss Elizabeth Frazer, all of Wellington.”

Cornelius Campion was born in Leinster, Ireland in 1818. In 1837 he enlisted in the 65th Regiment. In 1846 the Regiment provided the guards for a convict shipment to Hobart, was then posted to Sydney, and then to Port Nicholson when disturbances with Maori broke out in the Hutt Valley. In May 1846 Cornelius Campion purchased his own discharge from the Regiment.

Following the marriage, the couple remained in Wellington for three years or so, with Cornelius noted as a licensed victualler in his children’s birth registrations. They moved initially to Wanganui, then to the Rangitikei district, eventually purchasing a section later called Raumai.  Around 1868 the Campions shifted to Pine Creek at Carnavon.

Cornelius Campion died on 28 March 1872, aged 53. The Wanganui Herald of 17 April 1872 carried the Death Notice: “Campion – At his residence, Pine Creek Carnavon, Manawatu, on the 28th March Cornelius Campion, aged 53 years.”

Elizabeth remained at Pine Creek until 1904 when she moved to Palmerston North to live with her daughter Elizabeth.

Elizabeth (Fraser) Campion died on 11 October 1904. The Wanganui Chronicle of 17 October 1904 reported, “A well known Rangitikei, settler, Mrs. Campion, sen., who lived for more than 30 years at Pine Creek, Carnarvon, died on Tuesday at Palmerston, at the residence of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Bryce. Mrs. Campion was the widow of Mr. Cornelius Campion, who held a large tract of land at Parewanui in the early days.”

Elizabeth and Cornelius had at least ten children:

  • Margaret Campion, born in 1849, died in 1879, married John Stevens (cousin) in 1870.
  • Margery Campion, born in 1850, died in 1941, married Robert Richard Stevens (cousin) in 1874.
  • James Campion, born in 1853, died in 1936, married Janet McGregor McDonell (daughter of Blenheim passenger) in 1883 .
  • Duncan Campion, born in 1855 (twin), died in 1928, married Margery (Mysie) McKenzie (cousin) in 1877.
  • Elizabeth Campion, born in 1855 (twin), died in 1949, married Frederick George Bryce in 1883.
  • Cornelius Campion, born in 1858, died in 1879.
  • Alexander Campion, born in 1859, died in 1929, married Margaret Gleeson in 1885.
  • Mary Campion, born in 1863, died in 1942, married Joseph Penny Hammond in 1884.
  • Kate Ellen Campion, born in 1866, died in 1924.
  • Evelyn (Eva) Jessie Campion, born in 1869, died in 1951, married John Joseph Bryce in 1893.
Ann Fraser

Ann Fraser was born on 12 September 1829 at Corran, and was 12 years old when she travelled with the family on the Blenheim to New Zealand in 1840.

The Wellington Independent of 26 December 1849 carried the Marriage Notice: “On Christmas Day at St. Peter’s Church, Te Aro, by the Rev. Robert Cole, Mr. T.F.Richardson of Wellington, to Ann, fifth daughter of Mr Duncan Frazer, of Rose Mount, Wade’s Town.”

Thomas Furner Richardson was born in Hastings, Sussex, England, on 1 April 1825. he accompanied his parents, Thomas and Delia Richardson, on the Arab

Thomas Furner Richardson died on 10 October 1904, aged 80.

Ann (Fraser) Richardson died on 8 October 1907, aged 78. The Wanganui Chronicle of 11 October 1907 provided an obituary:

It is with regret we announce the death of a very old resident of Bulls, in the person of Mrs.Thomas F. Richardson who passed away at her residence, Kanaka Terrace, on Tuesday, at the good old age of 78 years. Deceased was one of the few remaining old colonists. She arrived at Wellington, New Zealand, in the ship Blenheim, in 1840, landing with her parents, the late Duncan and Marjorie Fraser. Mrs. Richardson married at the age of 21 and resided in Wellington for some years, and then came to Rangitikei, in which district she has lived for 47 years. The late Mrs. Richardson (says the “Advocate”) leaves a grown-up family of 13 children, three sons and ten daughters, to regret their loss. The sons are Thos. F. Richardson, Mangamahoe; G. W. J Richardson, Manawatu; W. B. Richardson. Karaka Terrace. The daughters are — Mrs. J. M. Broughton, Bulls; Mrs. F. Thomas, Rangitikei; Mrs. S. Bellve, Auckland; Mrs. W. Richards, Manawatu; Mrs. C. Richards, Rangitikei; Mrs. H. Ryder, Petone; Mrs. J. Cockburn, Manawatu; Mrs. F. Simpson, Manawatu; and Miss Richardson, of Karaka Terrace. There are 61 grandchildren living, and 19 greatgrandchildren.

Anne and Thomas had at least fifteen children:

  • Delia Sarah Richardson, born in 1850, died in 1883, married Richard Bernard Nolan in 1872.
  • Thomas Fraser Richardson, born in 1852, died in 1928, married Unaiki Wairaka Karemihana.
  • Caroline Ann Richardson, born in 1853, died in 1934, married John Markwick Broughton in 1876.
  • John Alexander Richardson, born in 1856, died in 1898.
  • George Wellington Jennings Richardson, born in 1858, died in 1933, married Helena Paul in 1892.
  • Margery Elizabeth Richardson, born in 1860, died in 1931, married Frederick Henry Paap in 1885.
  • William Burgess Richardson, born in 1862, died in 1913.
  • Mercy Olivia Richardson, born in 1864, died in 1950, married Stephen Bellve in 1884.
  • Kate Gertrude Richardson, born in 1867, died in 1956, married Walter Joseph Richards in 1891.
  • Mary Emma Richardson, born in 1869 (twin), died in 1956, married Henry Edmund Ryder in 1894.
  • Magdalene Fraser Richardson, born in 1869 (twin), died in 1944, married Charles Montrose Richards in 1902.
  • Jessie Furner Richardson, born in 1870, died in 1966, married George Frederick Yorke in 1909.
  • Mabel Minnie Richardson, born in 1872, died in 1963, married Henry William Cawood Henderson in 1894.
  • Clara Florence Richardson, born in 1874, died in 1957, married John Cockburn in 1902.
  • Beatrice Gordon Richardson, born in 1875, died in 1950, married Fred Thomas Simpson in 1902.
Alexander Fraser

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour, listings for Ardgour, recorded that Alexander, son of Duncan Fraser and Marjory Fraser, Corran, was born 22nd September 1833 and baptised on 30 September 1833.

Alexander Fraser was 8 years old when he traveled to New Zealand with his family on the Blenheim.

Alexander Fraser died in on 30 December 1858, aged 25, of tuberculosis.  The Wellington Independent  of 1 January 1859 carried the Notice: “Died – At his father’s residence, Rangitikei, on the 30th ultimo, Mr Alexander Fraser, aged 25 years, after a long and painful illness.”

Donald Fraser

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour, listings for Ardgour, recorded that Donald, son of Duncan Fraser and Marjory Fraser, Corran, was born February 28 1835 and baptised on March 1 1835.

Donald Fraser was 7 years old when he sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

In 1852 he travelled up to the Rangitikei district, moving stock to the land purchased by his father.    Donald Fraser spent some time seeking his fortune at the goldfields of Victoria and Otago, and also spent some time in Hawkes Bay, before returning to Rangitikei to manage Pukehou, and to purchase adjoining properties.

Donald Fraser married Margaret Smith on 11 April 1864.

Margaret Smith was born at Colchester, Essex, England, in 1842, and arrived in Wellington with her family around 1847. Her parents established a general store business on the corner of Molesworth and Hill Streets, and her brother, Francis Wilson Smith, became a friend of Donald Fraser.

Margaret (Smith) Fraser died on 3 December 1888, aged 46.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Wellington Provincial District), 1897, included the following description of Donald Fraser:

Fraser, Donald, Farmer, Pukehoe, Rangitikei. The subject of this sketch was born in Argyllshire Scotland, in 1835, and came to the Colony with his parents in 1840 in the ship “Benbow,” [sic] his father having an appointment with the New Zealand Company. Mr. Fraser received his education in Wellington, where he remained until 1851, leaving Wellington for Rangitikei to work on his father’s farm. In 1856 he went to the Victorian diggings, and two years later returned to Rangitikei, which he again left early in 1859 for Hawkes Bay, where he remained till August, 1860. Leaving Hawkes Bay he went to the Otago diggings, where he spent six months with better success than on the Victorian diggings, returning to Rangitikei to manage his father’s farm. Mr. Fraser subsequently bought land adjoining that of his father, and now possesses a fine estate. He has always taken a keen part in the public matters of his district. As a breeder of blood stock, his name is well known in the North Island. In 1893 Mr. Fraser unsuccessfully contested the Otaki seat with Mr. J. G. Wilson.

The Manawatu Standard of 31 December 1912 published a letter from Donald Fraser to the Rangitikei Advocate, recalling his memories of Christmas Day 1840:

CHRISTMAS DAY, 1840.
Mr Donald Fraser writes to the Rangitikei Advocate as follows, under date December 25th: — With your approval I enclose a few notes that this day brings to my memory of Christmas, 1840, which I spent in Wellington Harbour on board the ship Blenheim. On Boxing day we landed at Kaiwarra. There were six or seven whares built by the natives at Taita of raupo, and partitioned off in about four rooms each with blue blankets for the doors. The families were allotted one or two rooms according to the number of them. They were principally Highlanders. At that time there must have been some 400 Maoris there in two pahs, one on each side of the stream. The head chief was Taringi Kuri or “Dog’s Ear.” We lived there for about i year and then shifted to Wellington. There were no roads, only foottracks from Wellington to Petone and to Porirua at that time. There must have been at least 5000 natives within an area of 12 or 13 miles of Wellington; now I suppose 100 or less would include all, and there were no half-castes in that 5000. The changes in the short space of 72 years are most wonderful. The ladies of the early 40’s when they went to dances had to go in bullock drays as there were no buggies or traps. Mr Thomas Kempton and Mr Peter Hume each had bullock drays and were the principal carriers of goods and passengers. There are still living 10 or 12 of the Blenheim people, myself, my sister, Mrs Gregor McGregor, Mrs James McDonald, of the Lower Rangitikei, her brother, Duncan Cameron, of Greytown, Wairarapa, Mrs Cumberland McDonald, of Wanganui, and her brother, Mr Dugald Cameron. There is also my brother, Thomas Fraser, of Longburn, who was born on the voyage in the Bay of Biscay; and Mr Alexander Ferguson, of the Upper Tutaenui, was also born on the voyage, of whom all are alive; and Mrs Thomas Kebble, of Wellington. She was born in Scotland, and is now, I should think, over 80 years.

The Feilding Star of 10 August 1917 recalled an incident from the life of Donald Fraser:

FRASER AND SALISBURY.
An incident in the career of the late Mr Donald Fraser is related by a contemporary. In 1897 the late Mr Fraser went to England to attend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. After a great deal of difficulty he had an interview with Lord Salisbury, then Prime Minister. The latter failed to recognise Mr Fraser till the latter reminded him of an incident which had occurred many years before in New Zealand. It appears that one day Lord Salisbury was walking from Wellington to Rangitikei and in stopping on the way had lunch with a boy (Mr Fraser) on the beach. Lord Salisbury, when reminded of the incident, accorded a hearty welcome to Mr Fraser, in consequence of which the latter had a most enjoyable time, witnessing the jubilee celebrations from the best vantage spots.

Donald Fraser died on 4 August 1917 aged 82. The Wanganui Chronicle of 6 August 1917 carried the Death Notice: “Fraser — At his residence, Pukehou. Bulls, on August 4, Donald Fraser, aged 82 years. The funeral of the late Mr Donald Fraser will leave his late residence, Pukehou, Bulls, for the private cemetery at Parewanui to-day (Monday).” The same issue published his obituary:

DEATH OF MR. DONALD FRASER.
An old, highly esteemed, and widely-known pioneer settler of the Rangitikei district passed to his rest on Saturday morning last, in the person of Mr. Donald Fraser. The deceased gentleman, who had attained the ripe age of 82 years, was born in Coron, Argyle, on Loch Linne, Scotland, in February, 1835. Mr Fraser was wont to describe his father as being “one of a family of fifteen, his mother one of fifteen, and himself one of fifteen.” They left Greenock in August, 184O, in the 450 ton barque Blenheim. and arrived in Wellington on Christmas Day of the same year. The passengers were mostly from the Highlands, and landed at Kaiwarra on December 27th. The father, Mr Duncan Fraser, set up as a blacksmith on the beach near Tinakori Road, Wellington. When the Rangitikei block was purchased from the natives he went to look at it, riding on subsequently to Wanganui, where his daughter, Mrs Campion, was living. On his return he purchased 200 acres from the Government at 10s. per acre. The family then went to live in the Rangitikei. Mr Donald Fraser came up in 1852 with some cattle, he and his brother driving them all the way from Wellington, and travelling on foot themselves, The family had the greatest influence upon the settlement of the Rangitikei, its descendents some years ago numbering well over a thousand, and embracing the McGregors, the McKenzies, the Stevenses, the Campions, and the Richardsons, besides those bearing the name of the clan itself. Mr. Donald Fraser lived at Pukehou ever since he went there in 1852, with the exception of brief intervals when he caught the spirit of the goldfields, and made trips to the diggings in Victoria and Otago. He became widely known throughout the surrounding districts as a farmer on a large scale, though taking little part in public affairs. He was best known, perhaps, for his connection with the turf, wnich extended right back to the early days. His first recollections of racing were of rough and ready meetings on Petone beach and Te Aro flat, in Wellington. He had a vivid memory of such old-time champions as Figaro, Riddlesworth, and Sharkie. Mr Fraser used to do some long tides at different times before the days of trains, and on several occasions rode from Wellington to Pukehou by the old beach road from Paekakariki in 15 or 16 hours. He had a favourite horse by Peter Flat called Cracker, a wonderful horse with easy paces. He bred and owned many good animals, and raced horses for over forty years. Among some of those he bred were Fifeshire. Don Juan, St. Albans, Armourer, Barbarian, Gun Cotton, Bay Leaf, Laurel, Daphne, Lorelei, Laurestina, Glory, Flora McDonald, Titokowaru, Plain Bill, Speculation, Ngatuera and Brown Spec. The greatest of all his horses, however, was the champion Advance, by Vanguard—Laurel, who in his day won the finest prizes of the New Zealand turf. Laurel was subsequently owned and raced by Mr T. G. Collins, of Rangitikei Line, and Plain Bill was raced by Mr Tom Scott of Parewanui.
For many years Mr Fraser had held the position of elected patron of the Rangitikei Racing Club. One of the first horses he raced was Fifeshire, who ran at Wanganui in 1864, so that for over forty years he has been the owner of racing stock. Mr Fraser had only been ill tor a fortnight before his death, and previously had scarcely a day’s illness in the course of his long life. Up till a month ago he was attending the stock sales and buying and selling with as much keenness and acumen as he had ever done. A family of nine are left to mourn their loss. The sons are Mr Duncan Fraser and Mr Alexander Fraser (who left New Zealand with the 23rd Reinforcements), and the daughters Mrs Thomas Scott (Wanganui), Mrs D. H. Guthrie (Feilding), Mrs Frank Gorringe (Palmerston N.). Mrs Mervyn Gorringe (Wellington), and three single daughters — Misses Marjorie, Kate and Sidney Fraser. The funeral will take place this afternoon, when the remains of the sturdy pioneer will be laid to rest in the family burial-ground of the Fraser Clan at Parewanui.

The Feilding Star of 8 August 1917 reported on the funeral:

BURIAL OF DONALD FRASER.
Settlers for many miles round attended the funeral of Mr Donald Fraser on Monday at Parawanui. Over 60 motor-cars left the house, and others assembled at the cemetery. Kawana Ropiha, on behalf of the Ngatiapa tribe, gave the ancient Maori chant for the departure of the chieftain. The Maori women wore wreaths of green leaves, and six young Maori lads bore the coffin on their shoulders. A number of valuable Maori mats were buried with the coffin. These were offerings of the tribe, to whom he had been a friend for 60 years. Sir James Carroll, Sir James Wilson, Mr James Colvin. M.P.. and Mr D. H. Guthrie.M.P. (son-in-law) were present.

Donald and Margaret had eleven children:

  • Margery Fraser, born in 1868, died in 1950.
  • Susan Fraser, born in 1869, died in 1957, married Thomas Scott in 1894.
  • Duncan Fraser, born in 1871, died in 1921.
  • Agnes Fraser, born in 1872, died in 1966, married David John Henry Guthrie in 1907.
  • Kate Fraser, born in 1874, died in 1942.
  • Alexander Fraser, born in 1876, died in 1917 (WW1).
  • Margaret Fraser, born in 1878, died in 1967, married Mervyn Hugh Egerton Gorringe in 1904.
  • Alice Fraser, born in 1880, died in 1880.
  • Edith Fraser, born in 1881, died in 1980.
  • Helen Fraser, born in 1883, died in 1971, married Frank Herbert Rollins Gorringe in 1909.
  • Frances Sydney Fraser, born in 1884, died in 1964.
Duncan Fraser

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour, listings for Corran of Ardgour, recorded that Duncan, son of Duncan Fraser and Marjory Fraser, Corran, was baptised on 27 September 1836.

Duncan Fraser was a child of 4 when he accompanied his family on the voyage to New Zealand in the Blenheim in 1840.

Duncan Fraser died on 26 August 1863, aged 26, of tuberculosis.

Thomas Fraser

Thomas Fraser was born at sea on the Blenheim, somewhere in the Bay of Biscay.

On 3 September 1840, Jessie Campbell wrote in her Journal, “First thing we heard in the morning that Mrs Fraser the smith’s wife from Ardgour had been brought to bed of a fine stout boy, both doing well as possible. Capt. Gray said she must have had a rolling time of it. Child gets no other name than Blenheim.”

The New Zealand birth registration noted that Thomas, eleventh child of Duncan Frazer and Marjory Fraser, both of the Parish of Ballachulish, Argyllshire, a son, born 3 September 1840. The registration was made on 24 January 1840.

Thomas Fraser married Elizabeth Jane Gardiner on 16 November 1875.

Elizabeth jane Gardiner was born in Kent, England, in 1855, and emigrated to new Zealand in 1870 with her parents on the Star of India. The family settled at Campbelltown, later called Rongotea, in the Manawatu district.

Thomas and Elizabeth farmed initially at Carnavon, then in 1880 moved to Awahuri, and in 1888 to Stoney Creek, near Palmerston North. Thomas late moved to Longburn where he built a hotel.

Thomas Fraser died on 9 December 1915. The Manawatu Times of 10 December 1915 carried the Death Notice: “Fraser – At a private hospital, Palmerston North, on Thursday, December 9, 1915, Thomas Fraser, of Longburn, aged 76 years.” The Manawatu Standard of 13 December 1915 published the following obituary:

THE LATE MR THOMAS FRASER.
The funeral of the late Mr Thomas Fraser took place yesterday, the interment being at the Fraser burial ground at Parawanui. There was a large attendance of friends and relatives to pay their last tribute to his memory. The Rev. Mr Nicholson, of Bulls, was the officiating minister, and the pall-bearers were deceased’s three sons, two nephews (Messrs Duncan and Alex Fraser) and Mr Duncan Campion. The late Mr Fraser was one of the Fraser clan of Rangitikei, a family which has taken a prominent part in the settlement and development of this coast. Their progenitors were Mr and Mrs Duncan Fraser who came from Fort Augustus, on the Caledonian Canal, Scotland. They made he voyage to New Zealand in the barque Blenheim, 450 tons. She sailed from Greenock and after a voyage of four mouths and ten days arrived in Wellington harbour on Christmas Day, 1840. Their children numbered fourteen, and there are over a thousand descendants from them. The late Mr Thomas Fraser was born in the Bay of Biscay, on the voyage to New Zealand. He lived for a number of years at Wellington, and then removed to Rangitikei with the family. He followed farming pursuits for a number of years at Rangitikei, Awahuri and Stony Creek, afterwards taking up hotelkeeping at Petone and Longburn, and finally living in retirement at Longburn. He is survived by two brothers and one sister, viz., Messrs Donald Fraser (Pukehoe, Bulls) and Hugh Fraser (late of Pohangina) and Miss Kate Fraser (of Palmerston North). He is also survived by his wife, daughter and three sons, Miss Kate Fraser, Mr W. G. Fraser (of Duthie and Co., Wellington), Mr C. D. Fraser (of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Co., of Wanganui) and Mr J. D. Fraser (of the clerical branch of the Railway Stores Department, Dunedin). The late Mr Fraser saw many stirring times in connection with the early days, and many times he made the journey from Rangitikei to Wellington and back on foot through the hostile Maori tribes. He also had some exciting experiences hunting wild cattle in the Lower Rangitikei, at which dangerous pastime two of his brothers were killed. He took a keen interest in volunteering and was a member of the old Rangitikei Cavalry, which was famous for its proficiency in those days. In his prime he was a man of prodigious strength and performed some extraordinary feats of lifting before block and tackle was imported.

Following Thomas’ death, Elizabeth moved to Petone to live with her son William and daughter Kate.

Elizabeth Jane (Gardiner) Fraser died on 7 September 1936.  The Evening Post of 8 September 1936 carried the Death Notice: “Fraser – On September 7, 1936, at 114 Hutt Road, Petone, Elizabeth Jane Fraser, relict of the late Thomas Fraser; aged 81 years.”

Thomas and Elizabeth had four children:

  • Kate Fraser, born in 1876, died in 1946.
  • William Gardiner Fraser, born in 1878, died in 1941.
  • Cornelius Duncan Fraser, born in 1880, died in 1940, married Emma Catherine Voss in 1906.
  • John Douglas Fraser, born in 1882, died in 1963, married Mary Maud Stubbs in 1912.

Sources:

Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun

This family were noted as coming from Trishilaig in the initial Blenheim passenger list, with Ewen being the brother to Donald Cameron, the subject of Donald McDonald’s comments, “This man and his family have been known to me all my life & are a very industrious family.  The same remark applies to his brother and his family who is next to him but one in this list, they have besides excellent Certificates.”

The large family was made up of:

  • Ewen Cameron, 50, tailor
  • Maria Colquhoun, his wife, 46
  • Mary Cameron, his daughter, 28, chambermaid
  • Flora Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
  • Marjory Cameron, his daughter, 24, housemaid
  • Jane Cameron, his daughter,22, housemaid
  • John Cameron, his son, 20, shepherd – crossed out on initial list, and not included in subsequent lists
  • Charles Cameron, his son, 18, labourer
  • Sarah Cameron, his daughter, 16
  • Allan Cameron, his son, 14, cowherd
  • Donald Cameron, his son, 12, cowherd
  • Margaret Cameron, his daughter, 9
  • Anne Cameron, his daughter, 7
  • Catherine Cameron, his daughter, 4

Ewen and Maria’s son John Cameron did not travel on the Blenheim – he married Catherine Black in 1840. The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1820 records that John Cameron, son of Ewen Cameron at Gearidh and Maria Colquhoun his spouse was born 4th and baptized 9th April.  John Cameron died on 16 December 1872 at Bailevolan, Lismore.  The registration in the parish of Lismore in the county of Argyll noted that he was a lime burner of 53, married to Catherine Black, and his parents were Hugh Cameron, teacher, deceased, and Sarah Colquhoun.  The informant was his son, Hugh Cameron.

Return to The Blenheim People.


Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for 1783 recorded the birth of Ewen Cameron, son to Angus Cameron and Mary Cameron, Corvig, on 11 June.

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) recorded the marriage on 28 February 1811 of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun, at Inverscaddle.

Information from the birth registrations of their children shows that Ewen and Maria lived in Ardgour, the southern part of the Kilmallie parish to the west of Loch Eil.   Inverscaddle was at the mouth of Glenscaddle, north of the Corran Ferry, and Gerridh was to the south, on Linnhe Loch.  Despite the notation in the Blenheim passenger list, it does not appear that they lived at Trislaig, which was at the northern end of Ardgour, opposite Fort William.

Ewen Cameron was actually 57 when he sailed on the Blenheim. A record of Maria’s birth has not been confirmed.

Ewen Cameron, sometimes known as Hugh Cameron, lived in Kaiwarra and worked as a tailor, as confirmed by Juror lists.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 December 1848 reported the death of Ewen Cameron as follows:

A fatal accident occurred on Wednesday last to Mr. Ewen Cameron, who resided on the road to Kaiwarra. On his return home about eight o’clock in the evening, in walking too near the edge of the steep ravine or gulley in front of his house his foot unfortunately slipped, and he fell head foremost, and his head striking a projecting piece of rock he was killed on the spot. The body was discovered by his family the next morning lying in the ravine. An inquest was held on the body by Dr. Fitzgerald the Coroner, yesterday, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned. The deceased was very much and deservedly respected as an honest man and an industrious settler, and had brought up a very numerous family with great credit and propriety.

As recorded in Poyntzfield, Eliza McKenzie recalling her Kaiwarra memories, wrote, “By far the most tremendous episode of that period was the death of ‘Cameron, the Tailor’. He was found dead on the rocky path leading up from the beach to his house. Inquiries showed that he had left the ‘Highlander Inn’ at about nine in the evening and was not seen again alive. He had evidently slipped in the darkness, and struck his head against the wall of rock bordering the way.”

After Ewen’s death most of the younger members of the family appear to have moved to Auckland with their sister Jane and brother-in-law Alexander Alison, and where several of the daughters married mariners. In 1861 Sarah and Catherine went to the Otago goldfields with their husbands, apparently taking their aged mother with them, because Maria Cameron died at Blue Spur, Otago, on 28 December 1874. Blue Spur was in Tuapeka County, near Lawrence.

The Tuapeka Times of 7 January 1874 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On the 28th December, at the residence of James Campbell, Blue Spur, Maria Cameron, relict of the late Ewen Cameron, of Kaiwarra, Wellington.”  The death registration contains no information, other than the date of death, her name and age, 85, and cause of death, “old age”.  The informant was the local undertaker.

Mary Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll), records that Mary, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Peggy Colquhoun of Glenscaddle, was baptized on 24 January 1812.

Mary Cameron was described as a chambermaid of 28 in the Blenheim passenger list.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage on 5 February 1841 of Mary Cameron and Peter McGrigor, barely six weeks after the arrival of the Blenheim.

The New Zealand Colonist and Port Nicholson Advertiser of 16 August 1842 reported on a narrow escape from drowning, “Last Thursday, a boat laden with wood from Petoni, bound for Te Aro, with Charles Cameron, Peter M’Gregor, and a sailor; it was blowing very hard at the time and the boat being deeply laden, Cameron recommended M’Gregor not to leave, and if he did he might go by himself, as he (Cameron) would walk it, M’Gregor said he would chance it and left accordingly with the other boatman. They proceeded as far as Ngaurangi in safety, when a gust of wind upset the boat, and the men were thrown into the sea, the upper part of the cargo being washed away, the boat again righted, and the men got into her, although she was full of water, and were drifting out to sea all night, sometimes clinging to the outside of the boat, being frequently washed overboard. About nine o’clock the following morning, some natives rescued them from a watery grave, near Barrett’s reef, and brought them ashore more dead than alive. ”  It is not known if the Charles Cameron referred to was Peter McGregor’s brother-in-law.

Peter M’Gregor, Kai Warra, road, labourer, was on the list of prospective jurors for Port Nicholson in 1845.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 15 July 1846 carried the Death Notice: “Died – on Saturday, the 11th inst., Mary, the wife of Mr. P. M’Gregor, and eldest daughter of Mr. Ewen Cameron, Tailor, of Kai Wara.”

Mary and Peter appear to have had one child:

  • Mary McGregor, born in 1842.

Little further information has been established for Peter McGregor or his daughter Mary. However, Margaret Perry, in her diary covering the period between 1865 and 1867, in talking about her Auntie (Marjory Cameron, see below), mentioned a Dan Richardson who had married a niece of Auntie’s and she had died.  A Daniel Richardson married a Mary McGregor on 2 April 1861. A Mary Richardson died on 7 March 1865 aged 22. A child, Ellen Mary Richardson, daughter of Daniel and Mary Richardson, was born on 17 September 1864 and died on 18 January 1865, aged 4 months.

Flora Cameron

In the Blenheim passenger list, Flora was described as a housemaid of 26, suggesting that her birth was probably in 1814.

Flora Cameron and Thomas Ritchie Simson were married on 3 October 1844 in Wellington.  The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 19 October 1844 included the Notice: “Married – On the 3rd instant, by the Rev. J. Macfarlane, Mr Thomas Richie Simpson, formerly of Glasgow, to Flora, daughter of Hugh Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Invernesshire.”

It seems from Electoral Roll records that the Simsons farmed at Turakina for a period, but by the time of their mother’s death in 1886 the sons had moved to Opunake, although their father was in Wanganui.

The Hawera and Normanby Star of 26 November 1886 included the Death Notice: “Simson – on the 21st instant, at the residence of her sons, Taungatara, near Opunake, Flora, the beloved wife of Mr Thomas R Simson.  She was the second daughter of Mr Hugh Cameron of Kaiwarra, Wellington, who has long preceded her to the grave.  The family arrived in Wellington in 1840; and she has passed away at the age of 66 years.”

Thomas Ritchie Simson died in 1907 aged 88, at Wanganui Hospital.  The Wanganui Herald of 3 September 1907 carried the Death Notice: “Simson – At the Wanganui Hospital, on Sunday, 1st September, Thomas Simson, aged 88 years.”.

Flora and Thomas had at least two children:

  • Charles Simson, born in 1849.
  • David Cameron Simson, born in 1851, died in 1901, married Elizabeth Putt in 1888.
Marjory Cameron

Marjory (Mysie) Cameron was described as a housemaid of 24 in the Blenheim passenger list., indicating she was born around 1816.

Marjory Cameron married John McQuarrie in 1844.  John McQuarrie, son of Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern, was also on board the Blenheim, described as a joiner of 18. The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 3 January 1844 carried the Married Notice: “On the 1st inst., by the Rev. John Macfarlane, Mr John M’Quarrie, formerly of Invernessshire, carpenter, to Marjory, daughter of Mr Hugh Cameron, formerly of Ardgone, Argyleshire, now of Wellington.”

Marjory Cameron was the “Auntie” referred to in Margaret Perry’s diaries. The couple moved to Rangitikei, and Margaret Perry wrote, “I used very often go and stop with Uncle and Auntie in the Valley, Uncle like all the McQuarries used to drink heavily; when he would come home, he was a perfect madman, he would set to work and throw chairs tables and crockery outside the door, Auntie and I used to run and hide, in the bush till the storm was over and all was quiet, then we would go in and find him fast asleep; then we would set to work and gather up the pieces and put all straight.  After a while they left the Valley, and went to live in a four-roomed cottage in Turakina.  Uncle got very ill and the doctors told him that drink was killing him.”

John McQuarrie died on 10 December 1865.  Mysie McQuarrie married George Perry on 14 February 1867.

According to New Zealand BDM records, Marjory Perry died on 26 March 1903 aged 87.  Her death registration indicates that she was a widow, and died at Devonport from heart failure and senility.  Her parents were listed as Hugh Cameron, tailor, and her mother’s maiden surname was Colquhoun.  Marjory was born in Argyleshire and had been in New Zealand for 63 years.  She was married first in Wellington to Hugh [sic] McQuarrie when she was 22, and secondly in Turakina to George Perry.  There were no living children.  The informant was W H Burgess, authorised agent.  William Henry Burgess was Marjory’s brother-in-law, the widower of her sister Margaret.

Jane Cameron

Jane Cameron was listed as a housemaid of 22 when she travelled on the Blenheim in 1840.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 22 November 1845 contained the Marriage Notice: Married, on the 17th November instant, Mr Alexander Allison, formerly of Inverness, Shipwright, now of H.M. Colonial Brig “Victoria,” to Jane, third daughter of Mr Ewen Cameron, formerly of Ardgour, Agyleshire.”

Alexander Alison was a ship’s carpenter who came to Nelson in the early 1840s.  The family moved to Auckland in 1848, settling in Devonport in 1854, where Alexander continued his trade as a boat-builder.

Alexander Alison died in 1887.  The New Zealand Herald of 27 June 1887 carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR. A. ALISON, SEN.
It is with much regret we have to announce the decease of another of the old identities of Auckland, in the person of Mr. Alexander Alison, sen., who has been ailing for some weeks past, and who died peacefully at his residence, Devonport, yesterday morning, at half-past eleven, at the advanced age of 7S years. The deceased gentleman, who was a native of Inverness, Scotland, arrived at Nelson some fifty years ago, but shortly afterwards chose Auckland as his place of residence, and has lived at Devonport over thirty years. The deceased was a man of sterling qualities, of a warm-hearted and genial disposition, and highly respected by a wide circle of friends. He leaves a widow and three sons, each of whom are grown up and married, and hold prominent positions, to mourn his loss. The funeral is announced to take place at Devonport to-morrow (Tuesday), at three o’clock.

The New Zealand Herald of 6 February 1893 carried the Death Notice: “Alison – On Saturday, February 4 1893, at her late residence, Beach Road, Devonport, Jane, relict of the late Alexander Alison, Esq., aged 78 years. Interred at Devonport Cemetery.”

Jane and Alexander had at least four children who lived beyond infancy:

  • Alexander Alison, born in 1846, died in 1923, married Annie Stokoe in 1868.
  • Roderick Alison, born in 1850, died in 1882.
  • Ewen William Alison, born in 1852, died in 1945, married Mary Ann Coleman in 1876.
  • Duncan Donald Tobias Alison, born in 1856, died in 1935, married Emma Lyons in 1884.

The New Zealand Dictionary of Biography has an entry for Ewen William Alison, noting that he was born in Auckland on leap day, 29 February 1852, the son of Jane Cameron and her husband Alexander Alison, a shipwright. At the age of 15 Ewen went off to look for gold in the Thames goldrush, and made sufficient money to join his brother in a butchery partnership in Devonport.  He went on to become a businessman involved in shipping and property, and was active in local and national government.  Ewen married Mary Ann Coleman on 26 July 1876, and they were to have four sons and two daughters.  His main claim to fame was to found and develop the Devonport Steam Ferry Company Limited, with his brother Alexander.  Ewen Alison died on 6 June 1945 at the age of 93.

Charles McLean Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) for 1822, records the baptism of Charles McLean Cameron son to Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colquhoun in Gearidh on 28 July, born on 20th Curr. [of the current month].

In the Blenheim passenger list Charles McLean Cameron was described as a labourer of 18.

It seems that by the late-1840s Charles was travelling around New Zealand and was in partnership with Robert Waitt (who married Catherine McDonald) in a contract to supply British troops.  After working with John Wade at the Wellington Brewery, Charles established the Kaiwarra Brewery, but passed it on to his brother Allan, apparently when he took up trading with the Chatham Islands and then Australia.  He returned to New Zealand and purchased a farm at Karaka, near Auckland, but a letter from Duncan Campbell to his brother-in-law Donald McKinnon in July 1861 reported that “Charles Cameron sold his farm in New Zealand 2 years ago for £2,000 he went to Twofold Bay and he lost all.”

The John Cameron Letters include a letter from John Cameron of Marangai to Charles McL Cameron Esq., 35 Great Castle Street, W. London, dated 9 September 1882, which reads:

My Dear Charlie
Your letter of the 24 June I recd about a fortnight ago. I was delighted to hear from you and so was all your old friends and acquaintances about Turakino. We all thought that you had your departure taken to the other world long ago, never hearing from you. We are all much pleased to think that we were wrong, and that there is a chance of seeing you again. Well – in reply to your queries. Your sister that was married to John McQuarie is married again to a man named Perry and I believe is very comfortable I haven’t seen her for a long time. Hitherto they have been living at Turakino but I was told a few days ago that they had shifted down to near Rangatikei on the road to Bulls – I was told that he had taken a small farm there. Mrs Perry – near Bulls – Rangatikei – Wellington – N.Z. I think will find her – of your brother Donald I know nothing or next to nothing – I was asking Charlie Cameron a few days ago if he could tell me anything about him. He says that at one time he heard that he left Hokitika and went to Tauranga but that he heard afterwards that he went back again to Hokitika – that was all he could tell me about him. Of your cousins Donald Bane’s family there are only three of them alive Mrs Grant, Mrs McDonald and Mrs Brabason, all the sons are dead. The Grants have a very nice place at Turakino and are thoroughly independent, Alec McDonald and his family have a fine place on the Oroua Stream about halfway between the Rangitikei and Manawatu Rivers. This is all I know about your relations, of your other fellow passengers on the Blenheim there are several of them still in Turakino – Old John Cameron and wife only died last year within a few weeks of each other. I believe the old man was quite 100 years old – his eldest son John was killed by a tree falling on him when he was felling – Charlie and Archi have both got fine places in Turakino with large grown up famileis and thoroughly independent.
If you ever come to see us again you will find the country very much altered. We have a fine bridge across the Wanganui river opposite the centre of the Town. And a railway opening from Manawatu to Patea and will soon be open all the way to Waitara on the north side of New Plymouth. There is also a railway in course of being formed from Wellington to the Manawatu to join on to the New Plymouth railway, and there is a line to be taken somewhere from the West Coast right up through Taupo into the Waikato to join on to the Auckland railway. Altogehter the country is going ahead notwithstanding the very slack times that Farmers are having and all those public works going ahead make it all the wose for the poor Farmers for it helps to keep the price of labour up sa high as ever. Sheep and cattle are lower now than they have been for many years and the wool market is exceedingly low the lat sales were the lowest we have had for years notwithstanding which land keeps up its price – It is not unusual to hear of properties changing hands at from £10 to £20 an acre. We are looking forward to be able to get ris of our surplus beef and mutton by this freezing process several cargoes have been sent home with great success – some sent from Dunedin was sold in London as English Down mutton. Native difficulty I think is settled now I dont think there is much dange of any more disturbances of any consequence. We are geting too strong for them our volunteer and militia corps are well trained and well armed and amount in the agregate to several thousands and the Maories know it and are afraid of them. They are also wide awake enough to see that in all the wars they have had with Europeans that tho thye may occasionally have a success in the long run they have always the worst of it – they are beginning to find out there is more to be gained by legislating than fighting. Write me on receipt of this and let me know if there is any chance of your coming back to New Zealand, and as you say that tou are still a Batchelor you might be able to pick up a buxom hussey that would keep you comfortable in your old age.

It is not clear when Charles McLean Cameron returned to New Zealand.

The 1905-1906 Electoral Roll for Eden in Auckland, records Charles McLean Cameron, inmate, at Costley Home.  The Costley Home for the Aged Poor, was originally located within the Auckland Hospital grounds, but in 1890 moved to Epsom.

New Zealand BDM records have the death of a Charles McLean Cameron on 1 April 1909, aged 87.

Sarah Cameron

Sarah Cameron was 16 when she sailed on the Blenheim with her family.

In 1851, Sarah married Duncan Campbell, a master mariner.  The Wellington Independent of 27 September 1851 carried the notice: “Married – On the 29th inst., by license, at St Paul’s, by the Rev. J.F. Churton, Mr Duncan Campbell, of Auckland, to Sarah, fifth daughter of the late Mr. Ewen Cameron of Wellington. ”

Duncan Campbell was born in Perthshire, Scotland and was a half-brother of James Campbell who married Sarah’s sister Catherine Cameron.  It is not clear when he came to New Zealand.

In the early 1850s Duncan Campbell was the skipper of the Benlomond, a 35 ton schooner in the coastal trade. According to Electoral Roll records the family was living at Nelson Street, Auckland, in 1856.

It appears that the family moved to Gabriel’s Gully, Otago in 1861.

Sarah Campbell died on 24 February 1863 in Lawrence, Otago, a few weeks after giving birth to Mary.  The Daily Southern Cross of 21 March 1863 carried the following Death Notice: “On February 24th, at the Molyneux, Province of Otago, Sarah, the beloved wife of Mr Duncan Campbell. She leaves six children with her sorrowing husband to lament her loss.”

In 1872 Duncan Campbell was appointed to be teacher at the Tuapeka Mouth School.  An inspector’s report noted that he was untrained and only on trial, and it was doubtful if he would succeed as a teacher.  He then took up farming in the district.

Duncan Campbell died in October 1875.  He was found drowned in the Molyneux River in Otago.  The Tuapeka Times of 6 October 1875 reported:

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF A SETTLER.
We learn that Mr. Duncan Campbell, settler at Tuapeka Mouth, has disappeared in rather a mysterious manner. It appears that on Sunday evening Mr. Campbell crossed a man from the west side of the river to Dalhousie, and remained with the boat whilst the passenger went up to the township, promising to return in a few minutes. The man was longer than he anticipated, and on his return to the river bank was surprised at not to find either the boat or Mr. Campbell who has not yet been seen or heard of. Search was made by the residents of Dalhouse without avail, and up to the hour of our going to press, neither Campbell nor the boat had been heard of. Mr. A. M’Beath gave information to the police last evening, and they started away to assist in the search.

The Tuapeka Times of 9 October 1875 was able to shed more light on the disappearance, noting that Duncan Campbell provided a ferry service and on the day in question had brought over two men then adjourned to public house at Tuapeka Mouth, and was observed as being “slightly the worse for liquor.” It appeared that he may have gone to sleep in the boat while awaiting the later passenger and been carried down by the current, and somehow fallen in the river. The report went on to note:

The missing-man was an old resident in the district having come from the North Island about the first the Gabriels Gully rush. He followed digging for sometime, and subsequently became a mining agent in Lawrence. Being a man of good education, and possessing a fair share of natural talent, he was subsequently appointed Schoolmaster at Tuapeka Mouth, a situation which he resigned only a few months ago, when he took to farming, following it up to the time of bis disappearance. He was well known throughout the district; his obliging disposition and genial character rendering him generally well liked in the place.
A correspondent writes: Not a few in and about the district of Gabriels will read with feelings of melancholy interest the circumstances attending the sad end of poor old Duncan Campbell. He was in many respects of the word a coupling link between New Zealand of the past and New Zealand of the present. The date of his advent in this colony is somewhat obscure, but it is understood he got here about the latter part of the decade ending ’30 or beginning of ’40. When I say here, I mean Auckland, as you must be aware the southern provinces were little known of in those primitive days. The last time I saw him was only a few weeks ago, and he then presented all the animated appearance of a hale hearty old man who had yet many days to live. Nothing delighted him better than to recall the old times and early associations, when British rule was to a great extent subservient to Maori custom. On the occasion to which I allude he was in company with another of the old New Zealand School a resident about Tokomairiro. To hear these two old “fogies” recite their early adventures in the Northern territory was a perfect treat. The name and surname of a leading minister of the Colonial Cabinet was mixed up with one of their exploits the burden of the narrative being that they had only one blue blanket amongst the three of them, and that thus gaudily attired they set out to pay court to a tatooed damsel, possessed of great personal attractions. The conclusions indulged in by these two worthies in drawing parallels between the third occupant of the blue blanket engaged upon this escapade, and his present occupation as leader of the House of Representatives, were whimsical in the extreme. With their recollection still fresh upon my memory the intelligence of his sad end comes home to me with all the force and effect of one of those rude shocks which teaches us too truly that in the midst of life we arc in death.

The Otago Daily Times of 24 November 1875 reported:

Our Lawrence correspondent inform us by telegraph that the body of Duncan Campbell was found on the bank of the river at the mouth of a small! creek 13 miles below Tuapeka Mouth by Mr John Tyson some days ago. The body was brought up to Tuapeka Mouth, an inquest was held by the Coroner, and a verdict returned, ”Found Drowned.” A large number of friends followed the remains to the Lawrence Cemetery.

Sarah and Duncan had at least seven children:

  • Margaret Campbell, born in 1852, died in 1917, married John Glass in 1871.
  • Maria Campbell, born in 1854, died in 1947, married Andrew McBeath in 1875.
  • Donald Campbell, born in 1855.
  • Duncan Campbell, born in 1857, died in 1938, married Mary McFadzien in 1885.
  • Euphemia Campbell, born in 1859, died in 1942, married George Anderson Laidlaw in 1879.
  • Sarah Campbell, born in 1862, died in 1862.
  • Mary Campbell, born in 1863, died in 1944, married William Rainsford Bennett in 1884.
Allan Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Inverness) for baptisms from Corran in 1826, recorded the baptism on 3 September of Allan, son of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun in Girah, Ardgour, born on the 22nd of August.

On the passenger list for the Blenheim in 1840, Allan was described as a cowherd of 14.

The reference in Early Wellington to the death in 1846 of a son of Mr Hugh Cameron, who died of consumption, aged 21, which is confirmed by Bolton St Cemetery records, is not this Allan Cameron.  Advertisements in Wellington newspapers in 1850 show that “A D C Cameron” was taking over the Kaiwarra Brewery from his brother Charles.

Bolton St Cemetery records include a reference to “A I C Cameron”, but no further information has been established for Allan Cameron.

Donald Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Kilmallie (Argyll) in listing baptisms from Corran and Balacolish, recorded that Donald, son of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun in Ginah, was born on the 25th of December 1828 and baptised on 4 January 1829.

Donald Cameron was a cowherd of 12 in the Blenheim passenger list.

No further information has been established for Donald Cameron, apart from a suggestion that he may have gone to the Victorian goldfields.

Margaret Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Margaret, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colqhuhon, Gearradh, was born 1st April 1831, and baptised on 24 April 1831.

Margaret Cameron was 9 when she travelled on the Blenheim with her family.

New Zealand BDM records show that Margaret Cameron married William Henry Burgess on 26 March 1862.

William Henry Burgess was the son of James William Burgess and Elizabeth Blackburn, and was born in London on 14 March 1834. He became a mariner, like his brother Isaac Burgess, who was the Auckland Harbourmaster for many years, and also lived on the North Shore.

Electoral Rolls for 1870-1876 show that William Henry Burgess lived at North Head, on Auckland’s North Shore, and from 1880 at Devonport, when his occupation was given as pilot, and mariner from 1890 to 1906.

According to New Zealand BDM records Margaret Burgess died on 18 November 1894, aged 60. The New Zealand Herald of 20 November carried the following Death Notice: “Burgess – On Sunday, November 18, at her residence, Devonport, Margaret, the beloved wife of Captain W.H.Burgess, aged 60 years.”

William Henry Burgess died on 8 March 1912, aged 77. The New Zealand Herald of 13 March 1912 carried the following obituary:

Captain William Henry Burgess, brother of the late Captain Isaac Burgess, for many years harbourmaster at Auckland, died at Devonport on Friday, in his 78th year. Born in Limehouse, London, in 1834 deceased, like his forefathers, took to the sea, and shipped as boy on the ship City of Poonah, bound for India. On his return he joined the barque Lord William Bentinck, which arrived in Auckland with troops on board on August 26, 1850. After serving in various capacities in the brigs Invincible and Kestrel, the steamer William Denny, and the brigantine Despatch, he entered the pilot service in 1858, remaining there until 1884 – a service of 26 years. Many of the early arrivals will remember Captain Burgess as being the first person they met in the new land, when he came aboard to pilot them in. After leaving the pilot service he served on the coast in the steamer Waitaki, and then in the Devonport lorry service. Retiring on account of ill-health he lived quietly at his home at Devonport. Captain Burgess passed through all the hardships of the early seafaring days, from ship’s boy to the holder of a deep sea ticket. At Parnell, in 1862, he was married to Margaret Cameron, of Argylshire, Scotland, by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. He leaves two sons, four daughters, and nine grandchildren.

Margaret and William had at least seven children:

  • Alice Maria Burgess, born in 1863, died in 1954, married Charles Frederick Taine in 1895.
  • Clara Margaret Burgess, born in 1865, died in 1950, married Henry Dugald McKellar in 1890.
  • William Isaac Burgess, born in 1866, died in 1869.
  • Flora Cameron Burgess, born in 1868, died in 1945 (Australia), married George William Phillips in 1905.
  • James William Burgess, born in 1870, died in 1952, married Bertha Lucie Barlow in 1904.
  • Maud Jane Burgess, born in 1871.
  • Herbert Donald Burgess, born in 1876, died in 1966.
Ann Cameron

The Old Parish Register for Ballachulish and Corran of Ardgour recorded that Ann, daughter of Ewen Cameron and Margaret Colqhuhoun, Gearrigh, was born on 8th April 1833, and baptised on 15 April 1833.

The Blenheim passenger list recorded Anne as 7 years old in 1840.

Annie Cameron, married Donald McLeod McKinnon in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on 23 January 1853.

Donald McKinnon was born on the Isle of Skye, the son of Malcolm McKinnon and Euphemia McLeod.  The family emigrated to Australia on the Midlothian in 1837, and settled in the Maitland area of New South Wales. Donald went to school for a while before leaving to go to sea, working in the whaling industry off New Zealand, and presumably met Ann in Auckland, possibly through her brother-in-law Duncan Campbell.

Ann McKinnon died on 21 June 1881 at Wingham, NSW, aged 45.

Donald McKinnon died on 21 April 1891.  The Australian Town and Country Journal of 2 May 1891 carried the following Notice:

Taree – April 27th
Death.- On Tuesday morning, at his residence, Glen Ora, Clarksons Crossing, after a somewhat protracted illness, died Mr. Donald M’Leod M’Kinnon, at the age of 67 years. The deceased gentleman was a native of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and had resided on the Manning from about 1856 until 1862, when he removed to the Walambra district, where he lived up to the time of his death.
His wife has been dead for several years, but four sons and daughters, all grown up, are left to mourn their loss. The departed gentleman was the father of Mr. Hugh M’Kinnon, commission agent, of Sydney, and was well known and much esteemed and respected.
The funeral, which was very largely attended, took place in the Taree Estate Cemetery, when the Rev. S. P. Stewart officiated at the grave.

Ann and Donald had at least eleven children:

  • Malcolm McKinnon, born in 1853, died in 1908, married Catherine Emily Brewer in 1887.
  • Hugh McKinnon, born in 1855, died in 1930.
  • Donald McLeod McKinnon, born in 1857, died in 1922, married Sarah Jane Cox in 1884.
  • Euphemia McKinnon, born in 1859, died in 1915, married Thomas Richard McCartney in 1883.
  • Charles William McKinnon, born in 1861, died in 1940, married Catherine Taylor in 1923.
  • John McKinnon, born in 1863, died in 1863.
  • Maria Flora McKinnon, born in 1864, died in 1935.
  • Ann McKinnon, born in 1867, died in 1952, married Henry Miles in 1902.
  • Harriet Frances McKinnon, born in 1870, died in 1948.
  • Mary Jane McKinnon, born in 1873, died in 1948.
  • Catherine Mary McKinnon, born in 1879, died in 1962, married Eric Hugh Stuart McMaster in 1911.
Catherine Cameron

Catherine Cameron was 4 years old when she sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim.

The Daily Southern Cross of 21 April 1857 carried the Notice: “Married. At the North Shore, on the 16th instant, by the Rev. Mr Heywood, Mr James Campbell, youngest son of the late Mr Alexander Campbell, farmer, Dundaree, Grandtuly, Perthshire, Scotland, to Catherine Cameron, youngest daughter of the late Mr Ewen Cameron, of Wellington, N.Z.”

James Campbell was born in 1835 in Grandtuly, Perthshire, and was a half-brother to Duncan Campbell, who married Catherine’s sister Sarah.

The family was living in Whangaparoa, Auckland, and James was described as a farmer, when the first three children were born. They then moved to Gabriel’s Gully in Otago, and James Campbell was described as a miner in the birth registrations of his children.

Catherine Campbell died on 23 February 1898 at Gabriel’s Gully, Tuapeka, Otago.

James Campbell died on 22 October 1898 at Blue Spur, Otago, through the accidental discharge of a gun.

Catherine and James had at least eleven children:

  • James Campbell, born in 1857, died in 1882.
  • Charles Campbell, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Isobel Patterson Cousins in 1884.
  • Alexander Campbell, born in 1862, died in 1922, married Emma Ida Daniel in 1891.
  • Margaret Campbell, born in 1865, died in 1934, married Samuel Edward Portman Vernon in 1907.
  • Catherine Campbell, born in 1866, died in 1946, married Andrew Barr in 1903.
  • Archibald Campbell, born in 1868, died in 1869.
  • Anne Campbell, born in 1870 (twin), died in 1943, married John McDonald in 1903.
  • Jane Campbell, born in 1870 (twin), died in 1923, married Andrew McGregor in 1900.
  • Maria Campbell, born in 1873, died in 1950, married Albert Swanwick in 1897.
  • Sarah Campbell, born in 1875, died in 1955, married Robert Henry Ledlie in 1898.
  • Isabella Campbell, born in 1877, died in 1882.

Sources:

Gregor McGregor

In the initial list of prospective emigrants for the Blenheim Gregor MacGregor was described as a tailor aged 21, from Borline, recommended by Tallasker, but he is crossed out. In the embarkation and arrival lists he is listed as an agriculturalist aged 21.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Gregor McGregor and Catherine Fraser

Gregor McGregor was born on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides in 1818, and was 21 when he emigrated on the Blenheim in 1840.

Gregor McGregor married Catherine Fraser, daughter of Duncan and Marjory Fraser, who had also been on the Blenheim, on 6 November 1841 in Wellington.

Gregor McGregor
Gregor McGregor
Catherine (Fraser) McGregor
Catherine (Fraser) McGregor

In 1845, concerned by the disturbances with Maori, Gregor and his family moved to New South Wales, where he worked as a stock overseer. They returned to Wellington in March 1849, then in 1851 moved to Turakina. Gregor became manager and shareholder of ‘Annbank” with James Wilson. In 1858 he purchased land in the Matarawa Valley nearer Whanganu. In 1865 the family moved to a new farm in the Matarawa Valley they called ‘Aird’. In 1870 Gregor and Catherine moved to ‘Smithfield’ a 100-acre farm near the Wanganui racecourse.

Gregor McGregor died on 19 May 1876 aged 58, at his residence at Wilton Street, Wanganui.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Wellington Provincial District) for 1897 carried the following entry for Gregor McGregor:

McGregor, Gregor. Settler, Wanganui. Among the early colonists of New Zealand, now passed away, must be numbered Mr. Gregor McGregor. Born in the Island of Uist in 1818, he received a sound grammar school education, and was afterwards apprenticed as a carpenter and boatbuilder. In 1840 he came to New Zealand in the ship “Blenheim,” and had the honour of being one of the first colonists to land in Wellington, where he worked for several years. Upon the breaking out of the Maori war, in 1845, he left New Zealand for New South Wales, taking his wife and family, whose lives were in danger, with him. In 1849 he returned to New Zealand, and entered into partnership with Mr. Wilson, taking up a block of 2000 acres in the Turakina Valley, to which other properties were afterwards added. Mr. McGregor was the first sheep inspector appointed in the district. In 1871 he divided his properties among his family, and went to reside in Wanganui, where he remained till his death, in 1876. Mr. McGregor was married in 1841 to a daughter of Mr. D. Fraser, and left eight sons and six daughters, who are settled in the district. He was a man of strict integrity, whose influence for good was always felt, taking a prominent part in any deserving work, and a consistent upholder of the church. His wife also took a leading part in any charitable or christian work.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 20 May 1876 published the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR GREGOR McGREGOR.
A few days ago we referred to the feeble health of Mr Gregor McGregor, and now it is our painful duty to record his death, which took place at his late residence yesterday evening. The deceased gentleman has lately been suffering from a throat complaint, and a few weeks ago left Wanganui en route for Australia, in the hope that the change of air, climate, and scene might prove beneficial. On his arrival in Wellington he consulted the best medical advice procurable, and was recommended to return home, and to adopt a variety of precautions, with regard to the maintenance of a regular and equable temperature, and a careful avoidance of chills and drafts, by close attention to which it was hoped that he would ultimately be restored to health. But Providence had ruled it otherwise, and a large circle of friends and relatives now mourn his departure from their midst. The cold, chilly, wintry weather doubtless exercised a more or less injurious effect upon his already debilitated system, notwithstanding all the counteracting influences with which, he was so carefully surrounded, which, nevertheless, could scarcely wholly avert the potently penetrating effects of the temperature outside. The deceased gradually sank after his return to Wanganui, and several days ago his friends had abandoned all hope of his recovery. Mr Gregor McGregor was one of the earliest settlers who came to reside in the district, and was one of the pioneers of the olden time, the number of which is being so rapidly thinned of late. As a colonist, Mr McGregor was enterprising and progressive, and as a citizen he was a conscientious and high principled member of the community, by whom he was universally respected for his unwavering integrity, and for his many Christian virtues. He had almost reached the allotted term, and has now passed away to join those near and dear to him when on earth, who are gone before. With respectful sympathy we sincerely join in our condolences with those whose loved and esteemed relative and friend is now cold in death, but whose mournings are of those who look beyond the tomb, where the weary are at rest. Right well has Mr McGregor borne the heat and burthen of the day, in days of yore, when the colonist’s career was liable to sudden and dangerous vicissitudes, of which the settler of to day knows but little, except from the story of the past. But the battle of life for him is now over, and he has gone to receive the reward promised to good and faithful servants. Those who stood around his death bed, previous to his spirit taking its flight, best know how literally fulfilled was the prayer, which so many have breathed as they felt that the night was far spent and the day was at hand, and that for them the impenetrable future had no dread alarms.

The hour of my departure’s near,
I hear the voice that calls me home,
At last, Oh Lord, let trouble cease,
Let thy servant die in peace.

In conclusion, we may append the following brief biographical sketch:- Mr McGregor was, at the time of his death, in his 58th year, having been born in North Uist, Invernesshire, in the year 1818. He left Scotland for New Zealand in 1840, in which year he arrived in the colony. He was one of the first elders of the Presbyterian Church for Wellington, and was appointed for Wanganui over 20 years ago. Of this Church he has been a staunch and liberal supporter, and has now departed steadfast in that faith which he professed and adhered to throughout his life with undeviating constancy and consistency.

Catherine (Fraser) McGregor died on 3 January 1914, aged 90.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 January 1914 carried the following obituary:

Another of our sterling pioneers passed away yesterday in the person, of Mrs Gregor McGregor, senior. The deceased lady was born in Inverness-shire in 1823, and came out to New Zealand in the ship Blenheim, landing at Wellington on December 27th, 1840. Mr. Gregor McGregor, to whom she was married in Wellington two years later, accompanied her on the voyage out. When the Maori war broke out in 1845 Mr Gregor McGregor took his wife and then two children to New South Wales for safety, returning to Wellington in 1849 when the country became more settled. In 1851 Mr McGregor, with the late Mr Wilson and. Captain Daniels, left Wellington on foot. The two latter held scrip from the New Zealand Company, and selected suitable areas at Bulls and at Turakina respectively. Mr McGregor remained some years with Mr Wilson at Turakina and then came on to the Matarawa Valley, where he purchased a farm and settled with his wife and family, subsequently adding to the Matarawa property and acquiring other properties in the Wanganui district. Mr McGregor, who was also a native of Inverness-shire, where he was born in 1818, predeceased his wife, passing away in 1876. For some years past the late Mrs McGregor had resided in Wanganui, spending in peace and quietude the latter years of a strenuous and useful life. A family of five sons and four daughters survive.

Gregor and Catherine had fourteen children:

  • Helen McGregor, born in 1842, died in 1876, married Isaac Sargeant in 1865.
  • John McGregor, born in 1844, died in 1916, married (1) Christian McDonald McGregor in 1871, (2) Florence Ann Beaver in 1896.
  • Duncan McGregor, born in 1845 (NSW, Australia), died in 1923, married Annie Norah Smith in 1869.
  • James McGregor, born in 1847, died in 1849 (NSW, Australia).
  • Jane McGregor, born in 1849, died in 1943, married Gregor McLeod in 1871.
  • Alexander McGregor, born in 1851, died in 1909, married Alice Handley in 1890.
  • Catherine McGregor, born in 1853, died in 1920, married Nathaniel Sutherland in 1874.
  • Margery McGregor, born in 1855, died in 1940, married Hugh Calders in 1873.
  • Gregor McGregor, born in 1857, died in 1942, married (1) Te Pura Manihera in 1879, (2) Paurina Haami in 1921.
  • James McGregor, born in 1859, died in 1945, married Florence Ellen McIlvride (previously Maplesden)  in 1924.
  • Donald McGregor, born in 1861, died in 1864.
  • Matilda McGregor, born in 1863, died in 1894, married Angus MacIntosh in 1891.
  • Mary McGregor, born in 1866, died in 1936.
  • Donald McGregor, born in 1869, died in 1953, married Henrietta Isabella Burr in 1895.

Sources:

Images:

  • McGregor Family