Tag Archives: McPherson

Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson

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

This man and his family have been known to me all my life & are a very industrious family. The same remark applies to his brother and his family who are next to him but one on the list, they have besides excellent Certificates.

The list included:

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

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

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


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Donald Cameron and Mary McPherson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Cameron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allan Cameron

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

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

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

The Wanganui Chronicle of 6 March 1878 reported:

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

Donald Cameron jnr

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

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

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

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

Donald Cameron died on 15 September 1851, aged 30.

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

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

Donald and Mary had one child:

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

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

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

No further information has been established regarding Duncan Cameron.

Ewen Cameron

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

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

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

No further information has been established for Ewen Cameron.

Alexander Cameron

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

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

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

James Cameron

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

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

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

No further information has been established for James Cameron.

Ann Christian Cameron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Cameron died in 1856 aged 24.


Sources:

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Dugald McLachlan and Jane Cameron

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

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

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

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

Return to The Blenheim People.


Dugald McLachlan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jane Cameron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine Robertson McLachlan

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

CatherinePoppelwell2
Catherine Robertson (McLachlan) Poppelwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine and William had twelve children:

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

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

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

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

Mary Argyle Naysmith died on 9 November 1918 in Auckland.

Alexander and Mary had nine children:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duncan McLachlan

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

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

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

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

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

Honora Lynch died on 24 June 1891.

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

Isabella McIntyre McLachlan

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

Isabella McIntyre married Isaiah Wade Leigh on 15 August 1862.

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

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

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

Sources:

Photographs:

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