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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:

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Dugald Cameron and Christina Cameron

In the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, this family was noted as coming from Glenmore, with Donald McDonald noting, “Also a Pensioner of Chelsea Hospital and brother to the above Duncan Cameron, may be considered as one Family having always lived together since their retirement from the army.”  In the event, Duncan Cameron, his wife and four children, did not sail on the Blenheim.

Dugald and his family were listed as follows:

  • Dugald Cameron, Glenmore, 48, a labourer
  • Christian Cameron, his wife, 40
  • Anne Cameron, his daughter, 16, dairymaid
  • Angus Cameron, his son, 9, cowherd
  • Mary Cameron, his daughter, 7½

Duncan Cameron stayed in Ardnamurchan, appearing in the 1841 and 1851 census returns for Glenmore (1841) and Glenboradale (1851) as a Chelsea pensioner, born in 1786, with wife Janet and children – Alexander in 1841 and 1851, and Mary and Angus in 1851.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Dugald Cameron and Christina Cameron

There is an entry in the Old Parish Register for Kilmallie which records the marriage on 14 October 1826 of a Dugald Cameron and a Christian Cameron in Banavie, Corpack.

In addition to the children who travelled on the Blenheim, it appears that Dugald and Christina may have had other children who died before 1840, but the records are confusing, in that there are two Mary Camerons and two Johns.  While the older Mary is a better match for the age given in the Blenheim lists, the baptisms could have taken place some time after the births, so it has been assumed that the earlier entries were for children who died before the birth of the later child.  Or there could be more than one family involved.

The Old Parish Register for Ardnamurchan and Strontian or Sunart includes the following records:

  • The baptism on 27 May 1827 of Anne, adulterous daughter of Dugald Cameron, pensioner, Glenbeg, and of Christina Cameron.
  • The baptism on 12 October 1829 of John, son of Dugald Cameron, pensioner, Glenmore, and of Christina Cameron, his wife.
  • The record that Dugald Cameron, tenant, Glenmore, and Christina Cameron had a son, Donald, born 5 December 1830 who died before he was baptized.
  • The baptism on 22 January 1832 of Mary, daughter of Dugald Cameron, pensioner, Glenmore, and of Christina Cameron.
  • The baptism on 1 June 1833 of Angus, son of Dugald Cameron, pensioner, Glenmore, and of Christina Cameron, his wife.
  • A baptism on 29 March 1835 of Mary, daughter of Dugald Cameron, pensioner, Glenmor, and of Christina Cameron, his wife.
  • The baptism on 8 May 1836 of John, son of Dugald Cameron, pensioner, Glenmore, and of Christina Cameron, his wife.

It appears that this Cameron family did not stay long in Wellington, and probably moved on to New South Wales.

The death of a Dugald Cameron, parents Angus and Ann, was registered in Maitland, NSW, in 1857.

Anne Cameron

The OPR records show that Anne Cameron was baptized on 27 May 1827, but she was an “adulterous” daughter.  Given that both of her parents were named, and it seems likely they were married by that time, it may be that Anne was born before the marriage took place and baptized afterwards.  Her parents were named as Dugald Cameron, pensioner, and Christina Cameron, of Glenbeg.

In the Blenheim lists, Anne Cameron was described as 16 and a dairymaid, giving her a birth year of 1823 or 1824.

It is possible that Ann Cameron married Hugh Connor in 1845 in New South Wales.

New South Wales BDM index records list possible children of Ann and Hugh Connor:

  • Dugald Cameron Connor, born in 1857, Raymond Terrace, died 1919, Murwillumbah
  • Agnes Connor, born in 1862, Grafton
  • (Male) Connor, born in 1865, Grafton

The Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser of Tuesday 2 June 1885 carried the Death Notice: “CONNOR. — On Tuesday, 26th May, at her late residence, Rosebank, South Arm, Ann, the beloved wife of Hugh Connor, after a protracted illness. Aged 59 years. Deeply regretted by a large circle of relations and friends.”  The BDM index for this death records her parents as Dugald and Christina.

Angus Cameron

According to OPR records, Angus Cameron was baptized on 1 June 1833.  His parents were named as Dugald Cameron, pensioner, and Christina Cameron, of Glenmore.

In the passenger lists for the Blenheim, Angus is described as being 9 years old and a cowherd.

It seems likely that Angus accompanied his family to Australia.

The Clarence and Richmond Examiner of Saturday 20 July 1901 carried the following report:

BRUSHGROVE, MONDAY. Death has claimed an old resident of the district, Mr. Angus Cameron, brother-in-law to Mr. H. Connor, senr., South Arm. On Monday Mr. Cameron was in his usual health and assisting to thrash maize, and on Tuesday morning was found dead in his bed. His remains were taken by the Young Dick to the Maclean cemetery on Wednesday, where the last ceremony was performed in the Presbyterian burying ground. Deceased resided many years ago at Swan Creek, and was well known throughout the district. He was 65 years of age.

Mary Cameron

From OPR records, it seems likely that Mary Cameron was baptised on 8 May 1836, with her parents being Dugald Cameron, pensioner, and Christina Cameron, of Glenmore.

In the Blenheim passenger lists Mary’s age is given as 7½.

Mary probably moved to Australia with her parents, and married William Connor in 1853.

The Clarence and Richmond Examiner of Saturday 24 February 1894, carried a Death Notice: “On 27th January, 1894, at her residence Clark Hill, Noarlunga, South Australia, Ann Cameron, relict of the Rev. R. Balderston, of Paisley, Scotland, aunt of the late Mrs. Hugh Connor, Mr. Angus Cameron, of South Arm, and also Mrs. William Connor, of Grafton, Clarence River.” This Ann (Cameron) Balderstone was therefore a sister of either Dugald or Christina Cameron.

In 1910, the death of a Mary Connor, parents Douglas and Christina, was registered at Balmain South, NSW.


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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.

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Images:

  • McGregor Family