Tag Archives: Rangitikei

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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Donald and Mary Ferguson

The Blenheim embarkation and subsequent passenger lists included the family of Donald and Mary Ferguson:

  • Donald Ferguson, 36, miller
  • Mary Ferguson, 35
  • Marion Ferguson, 9
  • Donald Ferguson, 7

A John Ferguson from Skye, 50, miller and wright, with his wife of 46 and 2 children, were included on the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, but this family was not on the embarkation or subsequent lists.

Spelling: The name has been spelled both “Ferguson” and “Fergusson” in the sources used.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Donald Ferguson and Mary McLean

Donald Ferguson was described as a miller of 36 in the Blenheim passenger list, while his wife Mary’s age was given as 35.

Donald and Mary came from Skye.

From the death registration of their son Alexander, it can be confirmed that Mary’s maiden name was McLean.

In Early Rangitikei, Sir James Wilson, noted (pp 85-86):

The Fergussons, whose land joined his [Mr Paulin] on the north, came out in the same vessel as the Frasers. They came from Skye. Donald and Sarah came with their people in the Blenheim, and Alexander was born in Wellington. Donald and Alexander Fergusson were very good settlers and much respected: Donald has departed, and all their descendants have left the district, but Alexander Fergusson still lives in the neighbourhood.

Lists of persons qualified to serve as jurors for the district of Port Nicholson, published between 1845 and 1850, included Donald Ferguson, Kai warra Road, cartwright, and in 1850, wheelwright. In 1847, Donald Ferguson, cartwright, published a notice in the Wellington Independent of 24 February advising that he would not be accountable for any debts contracted by his wife.

It is possible that Mary Ferguson died before the family moved to the Rangitikei district.

The Wanganui Herald of 15 February 1888 published, as an historical document, an 1864 petition from the electors of Wanganui and Rangitikei to the Governor, Sir George Grey, seeking to establish a separate province. The petition had 273 names attached to it, including Donald Ferguson, senior, farmer, and Donald Ferguson, junior, farmer.

Donald Ferguson died on 15 April 1880, aged 75. The Wanganui Herald of 22 April 1880, reported: “The funeral of an old identity (Donald Ferguson) passed along the principal streets to the Clifton cemetery on Monday. As I noticed many old and toilworn pioneers in the cavalcade, it is to be presumed that he was one of the early emigrants to the Colony. He had been bedridden for many years prior to his death, so he was deprived the enjoyment of participating in or even witnessing the progress his adopted country had made in telegraphs, railways, and steamboats during his location in it.”

Donald and Mary had a further child, Alexander, with some question as to whether he was the sixth child born on board the Blenheim on its voyage.

In her Journal, Jessie Campbell wrote, on 15 December 1840, “A woman delivered of a son last night, this makes the sixth child born on board and all very fine, thriving children, this woman with all her former confinements had long and difficult labours, yesterday evening she did not feel herself very well, the Dr. desired her to go into the hospital, she thought they would have plenty of time to remove after she was taken ill, however matters came so quick upon her that the child was born before she could be removed: Dr C was very angry at her and no wonder, think how unpleasant for him going about her before so many women and married men who sleep in the same place. To crown all not one stitch had she prepared for the child, it was rolled in an old petticoat of the mother’s. She is a carpenter’s wife from Skye. All the other women had their baby things so neat and tidy particularly the low country woman.”

In a letter to the Rangitikei Advocate, published in the Manawatu Standard of 31 December 1912, Donald Fraser, in listing the surviving Blenheim passengers, said. “…and Mr Alexander Ferguson, of the Upper Tutaenui, was also born on the voyage…”

However, Sir James Wilson, in Early Rangitikei, as quoted above, suggests that Alexander was born in Wellington, and the age and place of birth given for him in his death registration would appear to confirm this. One possibility could be that the Alexander born on the voyage died, and the name was given to the next born.

Electoral Rolls show that Alexander Ferguson was in the Rangitikei district with his father and brother in 1875-76, and was a farmer at Silverhope, north-east of Marton, in 1905-06, and at Calico Line, Marton in 1911 and 1914.

Alexander Ferguson died on 7 August 1917 at Marton, with his age given as 73.  His parents were Donald Ferguson and Mary McLean, he was born in Wellington and he was not married.

Marion (Sarah) Ferguson

Marion Ferguson was 9 when she boarded the Blenheim, putting her birth year around 1831. Sarah is the anglicized form of Marion.

From the reference in Early Rangitikei it seems likely that Sarah Ferguson went to the Rangitikei district with her father and brother.

There is a record of a Sarah Ferguson marrying George Douglas in 1853 in Christchurch.  George Douglas had settled in Canterbury in 1850 and managed several runs before purchasing his own at Broomfield.  George and Sarah had at least three children before she died in 1867 aged 36, so the birth year is about right.  However, it has not been possible, to date, to confirm whether or not this is the Marion (Sarah) Ferguson who travelled on the Blenheim.

Donald Ferguson

Donald Ferguson was 7 years old when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family.

The Wellington Independent of 3 May 1864 carried the Wedding Notice: “Ferguson-Sutherland – At Lyall’s bay, April 22, by the Rev John Moir, Mr Donald Ferguson, of Rangitikei, to Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Sutherland, Esq.”

Elizabeth Sutherland was born around 1845, the daughter of  Alexander Sutherland and Elizabeth MacKay who arrived in Wellington on 31 January 1840 on the Oriental. As outlined in The Streets of My City, Elizabeth’s father, Alexander Sutherland, was allotted his one hundred acres at Lyall Bay, and subsequently bought more land from absentee owners as well as from adjoining neighbours. He obtained sheep from Australia, and farmed at Lyall Bay successfully for some years, but felt the need for more pasture, and in the late 1850s purchased a block in the Pahaua Valley of Wairarapa (Ngaipu).

The Wanganui Chronicle in June and July 1876 in a number of items from their Bulls correspondent, reported on the death of the eldest daughter of Mr Donald Ferguson from diphtheria, and shortly afterwards the death of his little boy, aged 10, from the same cause. They are buried at Bulls with their grandfather.

Donald Ferguson died on 4 October 1894, aged 59. The Feilding Star of 6 October 1894 reported, “The death is announced of an old and respected Rangitikei settler, Mr Donald Fergusson, of Upper Tutaenui. He had been resident in New Zealand for 53 years.”

Elizabeth (Sutherland) Ferguson died on 25 June 1929, aged 84.  The Evening Post of 29 June 1929 carried the Death Notice: “Ferguson – On the 25th June, 1929, at the residence of her daughter (Mrs D. Matheson, Wanganui) (late of Stanley street, Wellington), Elizabeth, relict of the late Dr. Ferguson, and last surviving daughter of the late Alexander Sutherland of Lyall Bay, Wellington; aged 84 years.  Deeply regretted.”

Donald and Elizabeth had at least five children:

  • Katherine McLean Ferguson, born in 1865, died in 1876.
  • Donald Ferguson, born in 1866, died in 1876.
  • Elizabeth Jane Ferguson, born in 1869, died in 1939, married Joseph Warring in 1892.
  • John Douglas Ferguson, born in 1872, died in 1963, married Catherine Matheson in 1897.
  • Marion Alice Ferguson, born in 1874, died in 1943, married Dugald Matheson in 1895.

Sources:

Donald Cameron and Christian McLean

The Blenheim passenger list noted that this Cameron family came from Ormasaigmore, and Donald McDonald commented that “This man and his family have been known to me for many years, he is very industrious.”  The family included:

  • Donald Cameron, 46, weaver
  • Christian, 40, his wife
  • Dugald, 18, labourer, his son
  • Alexander, 17, labourer, his son
  • Donald, 16, labourer, his son
  • Catherine, 14, housemaid, his daughter
  • Ann, 12, his daughter
  • John, 10, his son
  • Duncan, 8, his son

In order to distinguish the various Donald Camerons, the senior Donald Cameron in this family was nick-named “Weaver” on account of his occupation, and his son Donald Cameron was nick-named “Piper”, because he was a bagpiper.

A detailed history of this family and their life in New Zealand can be found in The Kaiwarra Camerons, by M J Ullyat.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Donald Cameron and Christian McLean

Donald Cameron was born at Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Argyll, probably around 1784.

Christian McLean was born in Ockle, probably in 1791.

Donald and Christian were married around 1820, and went on to have at least the seven children who accompanied them on the Blenheim. One child, Allan, born in 1827, died the same year.

Ormasaigmore is a locality on the Ardnamurchan peninsular of Argyll.  The  parish of Ardnamurchan was partly in the county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness, and comprised the quod sacra districts of Aharacle and Strontian.  As discussed in The Kaiwarra Camerons, the family probably moved to Ormasaigore, on the southern side of the peninsular, in the mid-1830s, from Ockle,  on the northern side, where the children were born.

Following their arrival in Wellington in 1840, the family lived at Kaiwharawhara (“Kaiwarra”). In 1842 Donald and his son Donald joined a New Zealand Company expedition led by the surveyor Charles Kettle and including Alexander Grant, another Blenheim passenger. While exhausting, the expedition did confirm that there was a lot of land in the Wairarapa that would be suitable for farming.  Donald and his sons made further trips to the Wairarapa, and also, in 1856, bought a section of land at Waiwhetu in the Hutt Valley, where Donald and Christina made their permanent home.

There is a suggestion in some histories that in 1843 Donald set up a rope-making business and a flax dressing school in Wellington, at the corner of Molesworth and Murphy streets.  However, this is incorrect, since in fact it seems to have been the activity undertaken by a Mr Robert Cameron, a rope-maker from Durham, England, who emigrated to New Zealand on the Himalaya in 1843 with his wife and six children, and established himself as a rope and sailmaker, ran a flax and rope-making school in Thorndon, and later owned a flour mill in Ngauranga.  Contemporary newspaper reports and advertisements, and juror lists, confirm this.

Donald Cameron and Christina McLean
Donald Cameron and Christina McLean

Donald Cameron and his family had taken up land in the Wairarapa by 1846, at Pahaoa on the Wairarapa coast, which was initially leased from local Maori. In 1854, following the Government purchase of land in the district the leaseholders were able to buy the land. Donald Cameron purchased the homestead block, while the licence for the remainder of the Pahaoa property was in the names of his five sons. By 1858 Donald had also bought land at Parewanui in Rangitikiei to secure a property for his daughter Annie and her husband James McDonell.

In an 1867 court case involving the estate of his son Donald, it was noted that Donald Cameron, the elder, the father of the intestate, died about February, 1860, having devised his freehold land near Pahaua and “Blairlogie” at Whareama to his five sons, their heirs and assigns, as tenants in common. He also bequeathed all his sheep unto, and to be equally divided between, his said five sons. The sheep bequeathed were depasturing upon the devised land. The case goes on to state, that the five brothers took possession of the lands and sheep, and carried on, thereon and therewith, the business of sheep-farmers together, without any agreement in writing.

Donald Cameron died on 12 February 1860 aged 75, apparently as a result of a logging accident at Waiwhetu. and his wife Christina died on 18 December 1872 aged 81.  The Evening Post of 18 December 1872 carried the Death Notice: “On the 18th inst, at the residence of Mr. David Smith, Mulgrave-street, Mrs Donald Cameron, relict of Mr Donald Cameron, of Kaiwarra, aged 81 years. (Canterbury papers please copy.)”

Dugald Cameron

Dugald Cameron was born around 1822 in Ardnamurchan.

In the Blenheim passenger lists Dugald was described as a labourer of 18.

The Wellington Independent of 8 April 1862 carried the Marriage Notice: “Cameron-Jeffs – On 12th March, at Kai-warra-warra, by the Rev. John Moir, Mr Dugald Cameron to Miss Anne Jeffs, both of this City.”

Annie Jeffs was a schoolteacher in Wellington, who was born in Wellington on 1 July 1842 and baptised on 26 June 1845 at St Paul’s in Wellington.  She was the daughter of George Jeffs and Anne Bilton, who arrived in Wellington on 30 October 1841 on the Gertrude, having sailed from Gravesend on 19 June 1841.  The Jeffs came from Coventry in England, and in the 1841 census for the parish of St John the Baptist were listed as living in Spon St, Coventry, Warwickshire.  George, aged 40, was a ‘plush weaver’, born in the county, his wife Ann was 35 born outside the county, daughter Louisa was 12 and son Francis was 8.  The steerage passenger list for the Gertrude had George as a labourer of 35, with a note that he was a cook, possibly meaning on the voyage, his wife Ann was 32, daughter Louisa was 12, an un-named son was 7, twins were born on board on 10 July 1841, with Charles dying on 23 July 1841 and Ann dying on 5 August 1841. At the time of Anne’s baptism their address was given as ‘on the Waiwetu River’, and George’s occupation was ‘labourer’.

Anne (Jeffs) Cameron died on 30 April 1870, aged 26.  The Wellington Independent of 3 May 1870 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On April 30, Ann, the beloved wife of Mr Dugald Cameron, Kaiwarawara. Aged 26 years.”

The Wellington Independent in April 1871 published  advertisements for the auction by Dugald Cameron Esq. of freehold and leasehold property at Kaiwarra, “comprising 8½ acres of freehold land and 20 acres of leasehold land, including a four-roomed dwelling house, large stable, and piggery; also, a very fine garden, well stocked with fruit trees, in splendid order.”

The Wellington Independent of 17 March 1873 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – On March 16, at Kaiwarra, Mr Dugald Cameron, aged 50 years.”  In the same newspaper on 19 March 1873 it was reported that at the inquest on Dugald Cameron, Dr Grace who carried out the post-mortem examination, certified to death having been produced by apoplexy, and a verdict to that effect was returned. The Evening Post of 17 March 1873 reported more fully on the death:

A case of sudden death occurred yesterday at Kaiwarra. Mr Dugald Cameron, an old settler, went at about nine o’clock into the Waterloo Hotel, and having obtained a drink, lay down apparently to sleep. After some time, those in the hotel went to wake him, but found that he was dead. An inquest was to have been held this afternoon on the body.

Dugald and Annie had five children:

  • Christina Ann Cameron, born in 1862, died in 1877.
  • Donald Francis Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1943 in Scotland, married Elizabeth Charlotte Margaret Burles formerly Mathie in 1908 in Scotland.
  • Catherine Lyons Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1908, married George Herbert Humphrys in 1890.
  • George Alexander Allan Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1897.
  • William Duncan Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1890.
Alexander Cameron

Alexander Cameron was born around 1823 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland, and travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840, being described as a labourer of 17 in the passenger list.

On 5 June 1855 Alexander Cameron married Mary Morrison, another Blenheim emigrant, daughter of Hugh Morrison and Anne Turner. This was a joint ceremony with Anne Morrison ‘s second marriage to Hugh McPhee.

Although Alexander Cameron was a partner with his brothers in their Wairarapa farming activities, it seems that he remained primarily in Wellington and handled matters from there as their Wellington agent.

Alexander Cameron died on 19 December 1899 aged 76.  The Evening Post of 21 December 1899 published the following obituary:

The funeral of the late Mr. Alex. Cameron, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Kaiwarra, took place this afternoon, and was very largely attended. The interment was made in the Sydney street cemetery. The deceased, who was a native of Argyllshire, and was 76 years of age, came out to New Zealand by the ship Blenheim in 1840, and has resided in the colony ever since. He was in New Plymouth when the first immigrants arrived there, and later on he walked from that township to Wellington. He went down to Otago with the first party of surveyors sent to that district, the journey occupying six weeks. Later on he worked under the Hon. Captain Russell’s father in forming the military roads near Johnsonville. Mr. Cameron was for some time in partnership with his brothers as station owners in the Wairarapa, but for the last 21 years he has been out of business. Amongst many public offices which he had held were those of Mayor of Onslow, Chairman of the local Licensing Bench, Vice-President of the Caledonian Society, and Chieftain of the Gaelic Society. The deceased, who leaves a widow and nine children, one of whom is the wife of Captain Cameron, Marine Superintendent for the Union Company, was possessed of a genial and generous disposition, and was deservedly popular.

Mary (Morrison) Cameron
Mary (Morrison) Cameron

Mary (Morrison) Cameron died on 11 October 1911, aged 77. An obituary was published in the Wairarapa Daily Times of 12 October 1911:

The death of Mrs Cameron, wife of the late Alexander Cameron, of Kaiwarra, occurred at her son’s residence “Okar,” yesterday afternoon, at the ripe age of 77. The deceased lady was one of Wairarapa’s earliest pioneers. She came out with her father, the late Hugh Morrison, of Glenmorven and Morrison’s Bush in the year 1840, by the ship “Blenheim.” After residing in Wellington for a short time, when quite a young girl, she came to Wairarapa with her father, who had taken up a run known as Morrison’s Bush. They made the journey from Wellington in an open whaleboat, and after a very rough and exciting passage, during which they narrowly escaped shipwreck, they landed on the open beach at Te Kopi. It was in the days when quicker modes of transit were unknown in these parts, and through the roughest of country she made the way to her future home, all on foot. She was the only surviving sister of the late John Morrison, of Blairlogie, well known in this district. Mrs Cameron was a fine type of the early pioneer, facing the difficulties of the early times with undaunted courage; and at the same time had a kindly disposition and was greatly beloved by all who came in contact with her. She leaves three sons and five daughters to mourn her loss. The funeral takes place to-morrow at Wellington.

Alexander and Mary had ten children:

  • Donald Douglas Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1937, married Annie Ida Storey in 1880.
  • Annie Cameron, born in 1857, died in 1949, married Captain Angus Cameron in 1882.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1878.
  • Mary Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1929.
  • Hugh Cameron, born in 1863, died in 1910.
  • Alexander Cameron, born in 1865, died in 1937.
  • Jessie Cameron, born in 1867.
  • Catherine Margaret Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1934.
  • Isabella Jane Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1945.
  • John Duncan Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1957, married (1) Ellen Jane Kibblewhite in 1906, and (2) Helen Annie McBeath in 1939.
Donald (Piper) Cameron

Donald Cameron was born around 1824 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland.

Donald Cameron was a labourer of 16 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Donald (Piper) Cameron
Donald (Piper) Cameron

On 28 December 1853 Donald Cameron married Isabella Glasgow.  Isabella was the daughter of Robert Glasgow and Mary Lamb, and had arrived in New Zealand in 1842 on the Bombay.  The Glasgow family went on to become early settlers in Turakina.

Donald Cameron died on 26 June 1866.  The Wellington Independent of 14 July 1866 carried the Death Notice: “At his residence, Waiwetu, Hutt, Donald Cameron, Esq., on the 27th of June, 1866, aged 40 years. Deeply lamented by a large circle of relatives and friends. He was one of the oldest settlers of this province.”

Isabella (Glasgow) Cameron remarried in 1868 to William Lowes, and died in 1920 aged 86. The Wairarapa Age of 6 July 1920 published the following obituary:

MRS. WILLIAM LOWES. Residents of the Wairarapa will learn with deep regret of the death of Mrs Lowes, relict of the late Mr William Lowes, which occurred on Sunday night. The deceased lady arrived in New Zealand with her parents (Mr and Mrs Robert Glasgow) in 1841, and resided for some time in Wellington. She came to Masterton in 182, and later went to Wanganui, where she married the late Mr Cameron. Returning to Masterton in 1877, the late Mrs Lowes went on to a farm with her husband at Te Ore Ore, and endured many of the vicissitudes of the pioneer settlers. She was a woman of sterling character, and endeared herself to a large circle of relatives and friends by her kindly disposition. The deceased lady was twice married, her second husband being Mr William Lowes, who predeceased his wife some years ago. The family of the first marriage are Messrs Duncan (deceased), Robert, D. J., William, Walter and Allan Cameron, of Masterton, while Messrs F. B. Lowes and J. P. Lowes (Rongomai), Mrs Gledstone, Mrs F. C. Lewis, and Mrs F. F. G. Cooper, of “Westbrook,” Queensland, are the family of the second marriage. The funeral will leave the residence of Mr H. Graham, Gladstone road, Manaia, at 2 o’clock this afternoon, for the Masterton cemetery, the processional route being by the Te Whiti road and Johnstone street.

Donald and Isabella had six children:

  • Duncan Cameron, born in 1854, died in 1918, married Evelyn Barker in 1881.
  • Robert Cameron, born in 1856, died in 1931, married (1) Eliza Clark in 1895 and (2) May Ellen Baigent in 1899.
  • Donald John Cameron, born in 1859, died in 1942, married Anna Robina Woodroofe in 1886.
  • William Lamb Cameron, born in 1861, died in 1933, married Elizabeth Shaw in 1891.
  • Walter Cameron, born in 1862, died in 1946, married Madeline Stewart Baldwin in 1902.
  • Allan Alexander Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1934.
Catherine Cameron

Catherine Cameron was born around 1826 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, in Scotland.

Catherine Cameron was 14, and described as a housemaid, when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Catherine married John Macfarlane on 30 December 1848.

John Macfarlane was born on 9 February 1817 at Letter, Port of Menteith, Stirling, Scotland, and came to New Zealand in 1842, landing at Nelson.  His brothers Daniel and Malcolm followed him to New Zealand some years later.  John Macfarlane was a field man with the survey team at Wairau, and made haste into Nelson to bring news of the massacre there.

John Macfarlane moved to Wellington and by the time of his  marriage to Catherine Cameron he was managing White Rock station in the Wairarapa.  In 1850 he sold out his interests to his in-laws and moved to Canterbury. The family established themselves in North Canterbury, where John Macfarlane and his sons became leading pastoralists.

John Macfarlane died in 1884.  The Press of 24 October 1884 carried the following obituary:

THE LATE JOHN MACFARLANE.
We have to record the decease of Mr John McFarlane, of Rangiora, which took place at his residence, Coldstream, near Rangiora yesterday morning. The deceased gentleman landed in Wellington about thirty-eight years ago, and we believe married there, and then came to Canterbury. He settled first at Loburn station, near Rangiora, and afterwards removed to White Rock, a few miles further up country. He subsequently, bought a large quantity of the best land near Rangiora, and took up his residence on it where he remained until his death. As a sheep farmer he had a most successful career, being able of late years to purchase for his sons several very large stations in the north of this island, The deceased took very little interest in’ political matters, but for some time was a member of the Ashley County Council. He was President, for a number of years of the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association, in which, he took great interest, giving liberally towards the prizes and encouraging the shows with large exhibits of stock of various kinds.
For the past two or three years Mr Macfarlane has been failing in health, and hence has resigned the position he has so worthily filled in connection with the above Society. He leaves a widow and a family of six sons and three daughters, all of whom, except the three youngest sons, are married. The funeral will take place on Saturday.

Catherine (Cameron) Macfarlane died on 24 April 1908 at Christchurch. The Star of 25 April 1908 carried the Death Notice: “Macfarlane – On the 24th inst., at the residence of Mrs Nicholls, Papanui, Catherine, widow of the late John Macfarlane of Coldstream, Rangiora; in her eighty-third year.” The Dominion of 28 April 1908 carried her obituary:

AN EARLY SETTLER.
Christchurch, April 27. Mrs J. MacFarlane, of Coldstream, North Canterbury, who died on Friday night, ranked among the very earliest colonists, having arrived in Wellington with her father, Mr Donald Cameron, in the ship Blenheim in 1841. Seven years later, she married Mr. John MacFarlane, who had landed in Nelson in 1842, and afterwards removed to Wellington. In 1850, three weeks before the arrival of the first four ships; she and her husband came to Canterbury and took up the Loburn run, where they lived until 1862. They then removed to Coldstream, where Mr. MacFarlane died in 1884. Mrs. MacFarlane has left six sons, four of whom are well-known Amuri pastoralists, while the eldest has Coldstream.

Catherine and John had eleven children:

  • Malcolm Macfarlane, born in 1849, died in 1911, married Anna Mary Chisnall in 1883.
  • John Donald Macfarlane, born in 1851, died in 1921, married Margaret Hart Gibson in 1880.
  • Catherine Macfarlane, born in 1852, died in 1934, married John Fulton in 1881.
  • James Macfarlane, born in 1853, died in 1931, married (1) Stephana Mary Tylee in 1876, (2) Isabel Louise Scully in 1916.
  • Agnes Macfarlane, born in 1854, died in 1924, married George Jameson in 1874.
  • Walter Macfarlane, born in 1856, died in 1914 in England, married Minnie Margaret Wilson in 1889.
  • Helen Macfarlane, born in 1857, died in 1922, married Walter Charles Nicholls in 1881.
  • Christina Ann Macfarlane, born in 1858, died in 1875.
  • David Duncan Macfarlane, born in 1860, died in 1914, married Mary Frances Newton in 1893.
  • Frederick Graham Macfarlane, born in 1862, died in 1863.
  • Alexander Macfarlane, born in 1863, died in 1913, married Sarah Helen McRae in 1896.
Annie Cameron

Annie Cameron was born around 1829 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland.

Ann Cameron was listed as 12 years old when she travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand in 1840.

Anne Cameron married James (Big Mac) McDonell on 18 December 1849 at Kaiwarra.

James McDonell was born in Auchlauchrach, Glengarry, Inverness, Scotland, in 1818.  He went first to Australia with other members of his family, and then became  one of the first settlers in the Rangitikei district.

James McDonell died on 4 September 1875 at Parewanui.  The Wanganui Herald of 16 September 1875 published the following obituary:

The death of James McDonnell, which happened on Sunday, has cast a gloom over the whole District. The deceased who has been gradually declining for some mouths past, arrived in the Colony of New South Wales as long ago as 1838, when he came to Wellington, being engaged in the shipping of horses and cattle to the above port. He subsequently determined to make New Zealand his home, and was one of, if not the, first, settler in Rangitikei, where he has remained, living at Inverhoe ever since. The deceased in the early days was known throughout the Province for his unbounded hospitality, and never was there a case of want or distress but what “Mr Big Mac” as his friends fondly called him, came forward to assist and alleviate. The funeral, which took place yesterday, was attended by settlers from all parts and as the procession, which started from Bull’s, neared the family burial ground at Inverhoe, its ranks were gradually swelled by young and old, by Maoris and others, all wishing to pay the last tribute of affection and respect to the once free-hearted settler, until it was at least half a mile long. In passing Parawanui I noticed that nearly all the Maoris who were themselves unable to follow, had adopted the usual symbol of their grief, viz—a garland of green creepers wreathed round their brows. The funeral service, which was performed by the Rev. Father Kirk, was admirably adapted for the occasion, and the address afterwards, pointing to the uncertainty of life and the wonderful mysteries of the never ending future, will long be remembered by the hundreds surrounding the grave where the remains of James McDonnell now rest in peace. Much sympathy was expressed for the widow and the large, though happily grown up family, thus suddenly left in sorrow, which let us hope will soon give way to a feeling of thankfulness in that death in this case was not only painless but peaceful.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 18 September 1875 published the following:

Big Mac has passed away. I know that no irreverence attaches to this old familiar name, with which every one of the pioneers on this coast is so well acquainted. Many will miss his warm hearty greeting, and many will remember his open hearted hospitality. In days of yore, the deceased, Mr James McDonnell, was engaged pretty extensively in cattle trading, Poneke being then the only market. His life has not been without its adventurous incidents, and many and hairbreadth have been the dangers which he encountered and surmounted triumphantly in the early days of colonization in this province. Many an old identity will feel a pang of regret to hear that the genial host of Inverhoe, who was never happier than when his hearth was surrounded with guests, has left the old familiar scenes, where his cheery presence was a welcome in itself. A large family is left behind. His funeral was one of the most touching demonstrations I have ever witnessed Maori and Pakeha seeming to vie with each other in showing respect for the departed.

Annie (Cameron) McDonell died in 1919.  The Wanganui Chronicle of 19 April 1919 carried the following obituary:

BULLS NOTES.
(From Our Own Correspondent.)
I have to record the passing of the last of the pioneers of the Lower Rangitikei, in the person of Mrs. Annie McDonnel, who reached the bend, in the road of life early on Wednesday morning The deceased lady will be sincerely mourned, especially by those’ to whom she was such a friend in the days of long ago. It is a far cry to the year 1840, when she landed in New Zealand in the ship Blenheim. She was a member of one of the Cameron families on board, and to distinguish her family from the others they were known as the Piper Camerons. The deceased lady was the last surviving member of that family. She lived in Wellington for about nine years after her arrival, and was then married to the late Mr. McDonnel, and came up to “Inverhoe,” on the Rangitikei, where she has resided ever since. She is survived by three sons and six daughters, viz., Mr. John McDonnel (Marton), Mr. James McDonnel (Wairoa), and Mr. A. A. McDonnel (Lower Rangitikei), Mrs. Hugh Fraser (of Kauangaroa), Mrs. Gray (Wellington), Mrs. Smith (Palmerston North), Mrs. Daniels (Foxton), Mrs. Morse (Bulls), and Miss K. McDonnel, who lived with her mother. Twelve of her grandsons served at the front, viz., Capt. Daniels (killed), Laurie and Denis Daniels, William, Eric, and Dan Gray, also Lionel, Claude, George, Keith, and Wilson McDonnel, and Jack Fraser. Many of them were wounded. She also had three grand-daughters in the nursing staff—Nurse Gray, at the Front, and Nurses E. Gray and I. Daniels on the nursing staff in New Zealand. The two latter were both able to assist in nursing their grandmother at the last. Mrs. McDonnel would have been 90 years of age on Saturday.

Annie and James had at least eleven children:

  • Archibald McLean McDonell, born in 1850, died in 1917, married Elizabeth Ann Wheeler in 1884.
  • Christina Ann McDonell, born in 1852, died in 1922, married Hugh Fraser in 1874 (New Zealand-born son of Duncan and Marjory Fraser).
  • Flora Jemima McDonell, born in 1855, died in 1938, married Joseph George Smith in 1895.
  • Donald Cameron McDonell, born in 1857, died in 1884.
  • Catherine  McDonell, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • James Angus McDonell, born in 1862, died in 1924, married Mary Jane Nicholls in 1883.
  • Elizabeth McDonell, born in 1863, died in 1942, married George Gray in 1888.
  • Mary McDonell, born in 1864, died in 1936, married Percy Edward Daniell in 1888.
  • John McDonell, born in 1866, died in 1936, married Ellen Brookie in 1891.
  • Aeneas Alexander McDonell, born in 1868, died in 1930, married Elizabeth Burne in 1896.
  • Selina Priscilla McDonell, born in 1872, died in 1960, married Ernest Walford Morse in 1904.
John Cameron

John Cameron was born around 1830 in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Argyll, and travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim as a 10 year old.

John Cameron married Ann Stewart in 1868.

Ann Stewart was the daughter of Duncan Stewart and Anne McPherson, and was born in Ardnamurchan, Scotland in 1841.  The family came to New Zealand on the Oliver Lang in 1858.

In October 1873, a number of newspapers, e.g. the Southern Cross of 15 October 1873, carried advertisements for the sale of station properties in the Province of Wellington in the estate of the Cameron Brothers, noting that in consequence of the death of two partners in the firm, two stations were to be sold at public auction in Wellington on 1 December 1873.  The stations were “Blairlogie” in the Whareama District and the station at Pahaua in the East Coast District.  At the auction they were purchased by the surviving members of the firm.

In 1878 there was a further sale of the Blairlogie and Pahaua stations, with the former purchased by Mr John Morrison and the latter by Messrs J and D Cameron.

The Evening Post of 2 October 1890 reported “The house of Mr John Cameron, at Pahaua, East Coast, was totally destroyed by fire on Sunday last.”  In the Evening Post of 4 October it was further reported that the day after the fire, while returning from the funeral of his nephew William Cameron, John Cameron suffered serious injuries when his buggy overturned as a result of the horse shying at a cow in the road, and he was dragged for a hundred yards along the road.

John Cameron died on 8 December 1900 aged 68.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 8 December 1900 carried the following obituary:

DEATH OF MR JOHN CAMERON.
From one end of Wairarapa to another, the news of the death of Mr John Cameron, of Opaki, will be learned with deep regret. He passed away this morning, at the age of 68. The deceased was born in Argyleshire, Scotland, and came out to New Zealand in 1840, in which year he arrived at Wellington. He lived at Kaiwarra for some little time, and eventually settled at Pahaou, where he has a station, which his son John now manages. He leaves a large family, nearly all of whom are grown up.
The late Mr John Cameron was a brother of Mr Duncan Cameron, of the Coast, and father of Mr Robert Cameron, who joined the Masterton Contingent of the New Zealand force which went to South Africa. The deceased was one of the few remaining pioneers of settlement in this part of the Colony—and was one who had earned the esteem of all who knew him for his integrity and his sterling qualities as a colonist of many years standing. The grieving relatives will have the sympathy of a large number of settlers in their bereavement, The funeral will take place on Monday afternoon.

Ann (Stewart) Cameron died on 13 October 1918, aged 76.  The Wairarapa Age of 14 October 1918 carried the Death Notice: “Cameron – At the residence, Cole Street Masterton on October 13th, Mrs John Cameron, relict of the late John Cameron, Opaki, aged 76.” The paper also published the following obituary:

Mrs John Cameron: Another old resident of the Wairarapa, in the person of Mrs John Cameron, died at her residence at Cole street, Masterton, on Sunday evening. The deceased, who was seventy-six years of age, had been ailing for about five weeks. She was born at Argyllshire, Scotland, and came to New Zealand in 1857 in the «hip Oliver Laing.  For a number of years she resided at Pahaoa, East Coast, and later on the Opaki. She leaves a family of six sons and four daughters. The sons are Messrs Donald Cameron (Hinakura), Duncan A. Cameron (Hunterville), John Cameron (Dunedin), Robert A. Cameron (Mauriceville), M. D. Cameron (Sydney), and E. P. Cameron (France). The daughters are Mrs H. Hamlin (Auckland), Mrs W. Roberts (Whakatane), and Misses C. and M. Cameron (Masterton). The funeral will take place to-morrow afternoon.

John and Ann had at least ten children:

  • Donald Cameron, born in 1869, died in 1945, married Elizabeth Sutherland in 1898.
  • Flora Anne Cameron, born in 1871, died in 1940, married Henry William George Hamlin in 1905.
  • Christina Cameron, born in 1872, died in 1967.
  • Duncan Alexander Cameron, born in 1873, died in 1937, married Ethel Walton in 1909.
  • John Cameron, born in 1875, died in 1928.
  • Mary Stewart Cameron, born in 1877, died in 1949.
  • Robert Allan Cameron, born in 1878, died in 1942, served in South African War, married Florence Jessie Young in 1914.
  • Dugald Stewart Murray Cameron, born in 1880, died in 1967 in Australia, married Ethel Norah Shepherd in 1916 in Australia.
  • Ernest Percival Stewart Cameron, born in 1882, died in 1967, married Donalda Ross Sutherland in 1921.
  • Maud Isabella Katherine Cameron, born in 1884, died in 1970, married William Clare Roberts in 1909.
Duncan Cameron

Duncan Cameron was born in Ockle, Ardnamurchan, Scotland around 1832, and was 8 years old in 1840 when he sailed for New Zealand on the Blenheim with his parents.

Duncan married Mary Gillies in 1863 (daughter of Isabella Turner and Archibald Gillies). They spent the rest of their lives farming in the Wairarapa, although not without mishap. The Evening Post of 29 April 1880 reported that Mr Duncan Cameron of Moroa met with a serious accident at Featherston, when his trap capsized going around a corner, causing cuts and bruises and a broken collar bone.

Duncan Cameron died on 21 April 1915.  The Wairarapa Daily Times of 22 April 1915 carried the following obituary:

MR DUNCAN CAMERON
The: death occurred yesterday morning, at Moroa, near Greytown, of a highly respected and pioneer settler of the Wairarapa, in the person of Mr Duncan Cameron, who had reached the ripe ago of 84 years. Deceased came to New Zealand with his parents, and landed, at Kaiwarra on Christmas Day, 1840. In the year 1846 his father, Mr Donald Cameron, entered into possession of the sheep station, on the East Coast, known as Pahaoa, which later was taken over by the five sons, Messrs Dugald, Alexander, Donald, John and Duncan Cameron. Later again Messrs Duncan and John Cameron bought out their brother’s interest in Pahaoa, and divided the property into two parts, one of which was renamed Glen Dhu, and became the property of Mr Duncan Cameron.
Deceased leaves a widow, who is a daughter, of the late Mr Archibald Gillies, of Otaraia, and there were ten children, as follows:—Messrs William, (deceased), Thomas (deceased), Alan (at Castlepoint), and Jack Cameron (at Glen Dhu), Misses Annie, Nellie. and Grace Cameron, and Mrs Cecil Kebbell, Mrs Fred Pearce, and Mrs J. Goring Johnston. The relatives will have the deep sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their bereavement.

Mary (Gillies) Cameron died on 16 February 1916 at Moroa, Greytown, aged 73.

The Wairarapa Daily Times of 30 July 1919 reported that the Misses Cameron had instructed Messrs Levin & Co to sell by public auction the well-known Moroa homestead, together with fine old home of 15 rooms and outbuildings which, with slight alteration, could be made into a good boarding school.

Duncan and Mary had nine children:

  • Annie Isabella Cameron, born in 1864, died in 1934.
  • Donald Thomas Cameron, born in 1866, died in 1913, married Mary Bulkley in 1910.
  • Mary Christina Cameron, born in 1867, died in 1943, married Cecil Kebbell in 1896.
  • Catherine Ellen Cameron, born in 1870, died in 1956.
  • Jessie Cameron, born in 1871, married Frederick Pearce in 1896.
  • William Duncan Cameron, born in 1872, died in 1901 while serving in the South African War.
  • John Alexander Cameron, born in 1874, died in [1941?] married Helen Gough in 1920.
  • Alice Margaret Cameron, born in 1876, died in 1936, married John Goring-Johnston in 1899.
  • Allan Archibald Cameron, born in 1878, died in 1928, served in South African War, married Kathleen Meredyth Meredith in 1912.
  • Constance Evelyn Grace Cameron, born in 1879, died in 1970.

Sources:

  • Blenheim passenger lists at FamilySearch website
  • Family trees on Ancestry.com
  • PapersPast website
  • NZ BDM records
  • The Kaiwarra Camerons, M J Ullyat, 2009
  • Morvern to Genmorven, Frank Fyfe and Bebe Douglas, 2000
  • The Sons and Daughters, Shona McRae, 1991
  • Hardy Highlanders in New Zealand, Jennifer Macdonald, 1991
  • The Early Canterbury Runs, L G D Acland, 1930, 4th ed. 1975, available online at the Victoria University NZETC site.

Photographs:

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:

Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings

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

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

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

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


Return to The Blenheim People.


Donald McDonald and Anne Cummings

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

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

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

Donald McDonald was born around 1781.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine and Robert had at least five children:

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

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

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

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

Adam Cummings McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adam and Margaret McDonald had four children:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dominion of 24 December 1919 published the following obituary:

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

Flora and Thomas Kebbell had at least seven children:

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

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

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

In his memoir, Alexander MacDonald wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas and Annie had nine children:

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

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

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

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


Sources:

Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern

In the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, this family was noted by Donald McDonald as coming from Borline, and were “Recommended by Hugh MacAskil Esq. of Tallasker in whose Family MacQuarrie has ever been – Tallasker is to pay for the children.”

In the initial list the family comprised of:

  • Donald MacQuarrie, 54, labourer
  • Margaret McEachern, 53, his wife
  • Mary MacQuarrie, 32, his daughter, dairymaid
  • Rachael MacQuarrie, 27, his daughter, housemaid and cook
  • Jane MacQuarrie, 25, his daughter, housemaid
  • Angus MacQuarrie, 23, his son, cooper
  • Donald MacQuarrie, 21, his son, sailor
  • John MacQuarrie, 19, his son, joiner
  • Alexander MacQuarrie, 17, his son, labourer
  • Hugh MacQuarrie, 14, his son, cowherd
  • Isabella MacQuarrie, 3, his grandaughter
  • Mary MacQuarrie, 7, his grandaughter
  • John MacQuarrie, 3, his grandson

Subsequent lists did not include or crossed out daughter Mary, son Donald, and grandaughter Isabella. However, Isabella was probably the McQuarrie child who died on 6 October 1840 while at sea, as noted in Jessie Campbell’s Journal, so it may well be the case that she travelled anyway.

The entries for Jane McQuarrie, daughter, and Mary McQuarrie, grandaughter, should probably have been recorded as Jane Fraser and Mary Fraser, since Jane was the widow of a Fraser. Information relating to this family has been drawn from the diary of Margaret Barrett, nee Perry, a daughter of Mary Fraser and grandaughter of Jane McQuarrie.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Donald McQuarrie and Margaret McEachern

Borline, the place where the McQuarrie family lived at the time of the compilation of the initial Blenheim passenger list, is in the parish of Bracadale, Isle of Skye.

Donald McQuarrie died on 7 October 1860, aged 85, and is buried in Turakina.

Margaret McQuarrie died on 12 May 1850, aged 70.

In her Diary, Margaret Perry notes, “I remember once father taking me out to Turakina to Aunties when she lived with Uncle in a nice large house in the gully; and I have a faint recollection of seeing my great-grandfather, Donald McQuarrie, a greyheaded man sitting in the corner in an arm-chair.”

Rachael McQuarrie

Rachael McQuarrie was a housemaid and cook of 27 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

It seems likely that Rachael was Jessie Campbell’s Skye servant as described in her Journal.  Early in the voyage the Skye servant was often sick and Jessie was not very kind in her descriptions of her, “she is so stupid and heavy she makes herself worse than she really is, wonder Mrs Mac? could recommend such a person even if she is a good cook,” and “Capt. Gray said he never saw much a hulk of a woman, if I put jacket and trousers on her she would do better for a sailor than a nurse.”   Jessie Campbell also noted, “My Skye woman made her appearance in wretched plight, think she is not so ill as she says, told her father I must engage another,”  so her father was on the ship.  Also, an entry on 30 September 1840 noted, “A niece of my Skye maid very ill, threatened with water in the head, she was very sickly when she came on board, she is about 3 years old.” Subsequent entries comment on the health of the McQuarrie child and death on 6 October 1840.  Once the Skye servant, who is never given a name, improved her health, there were kinder remarks, “My Skye maid has improved very much, she is so careful and interested in the children,” and “I forgot to mention that when a sheep is killed my Skye maid is employed to make a haggis, and very good she makes it,” although she also records that Captain Grey was “very angry” when the Skye maid refused to make a haggis on Sunday.

In a letter to her sister Isabella, written from Petone on 8 November 1841, Jessie Campbell says, “My Skye servant has got married, she was so plain looking I thought I was sure to have her for some time. Her husband is a smart good looking young man who came out in the Blenheim from Skye.” 

In 1841 Rachael McQuarrie married John MacKay who was also a Blenheim passenger.   New Zealand BDM registration records that John McKay, agricultural labourer, formerly of the island of Egg, and Rachael McQuarrie, daughter of Donald McQuarrie parish of Bracadale, Isle of Sky, now of Port Nicholson, were married on 11 August 1841. The celebrant was John McFarlane, Minister.

According to New Zealand BDM records, a Rachael MacKay died on 17 August 1855, although the registration year was 1848 and her age was 36.

It appears that Rachael and John may have had a daughter, Christina, born on 9 October 1849 in Wellington.

Jane (McQuarrie) Fraser

As noted above, Jane McQuarrie or Fraser, was the widow of a Fraser.  In the Blenheim passenger list she was listed as a housemaid of 25.

From Margaret Perry’s diary, it seems that Jane Fraser lived in Wellington, with occasional trips to Turakina to stay with her daughter.

Jane Fraser died on 6 July 1863, aged 47.

Angus McQuarrie

In the Blenheim passenger list, Angus McQuarrie was identified as a cooper, with his age given as 23, meaning he was born around 1817.

In the Electoral Rolls for the Napier district of Hawke’s Bay in the 1850s, Angus McQuarrie is listed as a stockholder living at Petane, with his qualification being leasehold property at Petane.

An Angus McQuarrie died in 1859, aged 45.  The Hawkes Bay Herald of 12 February 1859 carried a report of the inquest into Angus McQuarrie’s death by drowning at Petane (now Bay View).   It appears that Angus and his companion, William Henry Thompson, had been drinking.   Angus had passed out on the beach and when Thompson and some local Maoris found him in the morning he had drowned.

John McQuarrie

John McQuarrie was listed as a joiner of 19 in the Blenheim passenger lists.

John McQuarrie married Marjory (Mysie) Cameron on 1 January 1844.  Mysie Cameron was the daughter of Ewen Cameron and Maria Colquhoun, and had also been a passenger on the Blenheim.  The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of 3 January 1844 carried the 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.”

The list of persons qualifying as jurors for the District of Port Nicholson in 1845, 1847-1848, and 1850 included John McQuarry, Kai Warra, carpenter.

In Electoral Rolls for Wanganui and Rangitikei in the 1850s and 1860s, John McQuarry was listed as a settler at Turakina, owning freehold land there.

John McQuarrie died on 10 December 1865.

After his death Marjory (Cameron) McQuarrie married George Perry in 1867.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 13 April 1899 reported, “In the Supreme Court (in Chambers) yesterday, before C.C. Kettle, Esq., Registrar, in re John McQuarrie, late of Turakina, farmer, deceased, on the motion of Mr Watt, probate was granted to Margery Perry and Charles Cameron, the executors named in the will. Date of will, 4th February 1860; date of death, 10th December, 1865.”

Marjory (Cameron) Perry, formerly McQuarrie died in Devonport on 26 March 1903, aged 87.

Alexander McQuarrie

Alexander McQuarrie was a labourer of 17 when he travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

Alexander McQuarrie was a member of the Kettle survey party to Otago in 1846-47.

The list of persons qualifying as jurors for the District of Port Nicholson in 1845 and 1848 included Alexander McQuarry, Tinakori Road, carpenter, in 1849 listed at Lambton Quay, and in 1850 listed at Kai Warra.

It seems likely that Alexander McQuarrie and his brother Hugh spent some time in the militia.

In the Electoral Rolls for Franklyn and Thames in 1870-71 and 1875-76, Alexander and his brother Hugh were listed at Tapu Creek, Thames.  In 1890 they were both at Whangaruru in the Bay of Islands and described as carpenters.  In 1896 they were at the same place but now described as settlers.

Alexander McQuarrie died in 1907, aged 80.

Hugh McQuarrie

Hugh McQuarrie was listed as a cowherd of 14 in the Blenheim passenger lists.

From Electoral Rolls it appears that Hugh lived with his brother Alexander, first in the Thames area, then in Northland.

Hugh McQuarrie died in 1901, aged 73.

Isabella McQuarrie

Isabella McQuarrie, granddaughter of Donald and Margaret McQuarrie, was crossed out in the interim and arrival lists and did not appear on the embarkation list. However, a female McQuarrie child, aged 3, did die at sea on 6 October 1840. In her Journal, Jessie Campbell noted on 30 September 1840, “A niece of my Skye maid very ill, threatened with water in the head, she was sickly when she came aboard, she is about [3] years old.” The next day she noted “Macquarrie’s child rather better,” and four days later “the Macquarrie child better.” However, on 6 October she reported, “The Macquarrie’s child has just expired, her complaint general debility and latterly water in the head.”

On this basis, the assumption must be that although crossed off the list, Isabella did in fact make the voyage. The alternative is that the child who died was John McQuarrie, also 3 years old, but that would assume a significant error by Jessie Campbell that does not seem reasonable.

It is not clear who Isabella’s parents were.

Mary [McQuarrie] Fraser

As noted above, Mary was the daughter of Jane McQuarrie and a Mr Fraser.  In the Blenheim passenger list her age was given as 7 years old, and she was the grandaughter of Donald McQuarrie.

In 1852, Mary Fraser married Robert Perry, a private in the 65th Regiment.

Mary Perry died on 29 June 1879 at Makirikiri, Turakina.

Mary and Robert may have had 10 children:

  • Alexander (Sandy) John Perry, born in 1852, died in 1894, married Maria Hempseed in 1878.
  • Margaret (Maggie) Perry, born in 1855, married Edwin Barrett in 1890.
  • Jane Perry, born in 1856, died in 1932, married Walter Taylor in 1874.
  • Margery Perry, born in 1859, married Thomas Riley Taylor in 1876.
  • Mary Perry, born in 1862, married William Gibson in 1882.
  • Douglas Robert Rogers Perry, born in 1865, died in 1922, married Mary Mitchell in 1889.
  • John Perry.
  • George Perry, born in 1868, died in 1918?
  • Edward (Ted) Perry, born in 1873.
  • Emily Florence Perry, born in 1875, married Edwin Miller in 1896.
John McQuarrie

John McQuarrie, grandson of Donald McQuarrie, was 3 years old when he travelled to Wellington on the Blenheim in 1840.   It is not clear who his parents were.

No other information has been established for John McQuarrie.


Sources:

James and Mary Brown

The Blenheim passenger lists recorded the Brown family as coming from Paisley and including:

  • James Brown, 28, labourer
  • Mary Brown, 30
  • Sarah Brown, 9
  • James Brown, 7
  • George Brown, 5
  • Elizabeth Brown 1½

Return to The Blenheim People.


James Brown and Mary Catherine Flynn

Based on family records listed in Ancestry.com, James Brown was born on 23 May 1806 in Abbey, Renfrewshire, to James Brown and Mary McKorkindale.  On 21 January 1831 he married Mary Catherine Flynn, who was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1807.  The Old Parish Register for Abbey Parish, Renfrew, records that they were both of the parish and were married on 21 January 1831 by the Reverend Walter Blair, Paisley.

Following their arrival in New Zealand, James and Mary went on to have two more children:

  • David Brown, born in 1844, died in 1898.
  • Andrew Brown, born in 1846, died in 1926.

The Evening Post obituary for Elizabeth (see below), included a description of the family’s life in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, where they were the first European settlers in the Upper Hutt:

The voyage in the Blenheim terminated when that vessel anchored off Kaiwharawhara, and on landing there the Brown family were accommodated in a raupo whare provided for their use by the agent of the Kew Zealand Company. Shortly afterwards a removal was made to what is known as Alicetown, Lower Hutt, and at a later date to Belmont. The Brown family were the first settlers beyond the Silverstream-Taita Gorge — communication between these points being by means of a native track over the hills from Taita, across the stream in Stokes Valley, and again across the hills to where the Silverstream brickyards are now located. There was no way alongside the river on the eastern side, as the river ran close in to the hillsides there.
DETOUR AT TAITA. Having acquired possession of a piece of land extending from the neighbourhood of the Upper Hutt Post Office eastward beyond the Borough Council offices Mr. Brown proceeded to settle upon his holding and, placing his worldly goods upon a light dray trekked eastward towards Upper Hutt. The hills of Taita and Silverstream were impassable for wheeled traffic and the vehicle was taken apart, the wheels taken across separately, and the body slung on poles carried by the pioneer, assisted by a couple of stalwart settlers (Messrs. Galloway, of Pahautanui, and M’Ewan, of Rangitikei). On arrival at the eastern side of the gorge the vehicle was reassembled, and the kindly neighbours returned to their homes then at Lower Hutt. On arrival at Upper Hutt Mr. Brown erected a slab whare for his family, and covered it with a sail-cloth for a roof. He conducted the first tavern in the district, which was designated “The Shepherd,” and later on reconstructed and improved it, when it acquired the name of the “Criterion Hotel,” in which the Duke of Edinburgh stayed the night on the occasion of his visit to see the beauties of the Hutt River and native bush at the “Maori Bank.” A photograph of the hotel can be seen now in the Borough Council Chamber at Upper Hutt. The building, until recently temporarily occupied by the local Bank of Australasia, was the “stables” of the Criterion Hotel, and replaced the original stables which had been destroyed by fire on the night of the Duke’s visit. It has the honour of being the first store in Upper Hutt. The original business settlement having been established in the neighbourhood of the Oddfellows’ Hall, Trentham.

The Wellington Independent of 28 February 1871 included the Death Notice: “Brown – On Sunday, 26th February, at the Upper Hutt, Mr James Brown, after a severe and protracted illness, aged 61 years.”

Sarah Brown

The Old Parish Register for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that Sarah, daughter, legal, of James Brown, weaver, Cotton Street, and Mary Flynn was born on 5 March 1831 and registered on 31 March 1831.

Sarah Brown was listed as a child of 9 when she boarded the Blenheim for New Zealand.

Sarah Brown married James Wilson in 1849. The couple had 13 children:

  • Mary Wilson, born in 1850, died in 1905.
  • James Wilson, born in 1852.
  • William Henry Wilson, born in 1854, died in 1938, married Christine Charlotte Fagan in 1890.
  • John Wilson, born in 1856, died in 1923.
  • Elizabeth Wilson, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • Joseph James Wilson, born in 1861, died in 1935, married Catherine McTaggart in 1897.
  • Alexander Francis Wilson, born in 1863, died in 1935, married Adelaide Sophia Worsfold in 1888.
  • George Wilson, born in 1865, died in 1923, married Lydia Mary Riley in 1904.
  • Annie Wilson, born in 1867, died in 1941, married James McLeod in 1892.
  • David Bernard Wilson, born in 1869, died in 1960, married Fanny Louisa Wilson in 1895.
  • Agnes Wilson, born in 1871, died in 1946.
  • Sarah Jane Wilson, born in 1873, died in 1957.
  • Emily Mary Wilson, born in 1875, died in 1946 (Sister Basil).

James Wilson died on 7 July 1912, aged 83.  The Hutt Valley Independent of 13 July 1912 had the following obituary for James Wilson:

JAMES WILSON: Mr. James Wilson, one of Upper Hutt’s early settlers, who for some years has resided in Rangitikei, died at Makino on Sunday last, being 83 years of age. Deceased had an eventful career. Bom in Ireland, he came 67 years ago to New Zealand with the 65th Regiment, and took part in Hone Heke’s war and several other campaigns. He afterwards settled at Upper Hutt, where he married a sister, of James Brown, sen, and Mrs. Alex Martin. While at Upper Hutt he acted as instructor to the local militia at the blockhouse in the rear of the Trentham post office. After farming at Upper Hutt for a number of years, he went to Makino, where he has resided for some thirty years past. Deceased had been ailing for the past five years. Mrs. Wilson, who is an invalid, survives her husband, with six sons and five daughters. The sons are Messrs. W. H. and J. (Feilding), J. J. (Christchurch), A. F. (Levin), G. E. (Auckland), and David (Wellington). Mrs. McLeod (Makino) is the eldest daughter, and the others are unmarried.

Sarah (Brown) Wilson also died in 1912.  The Feilding Star of 23 November 1912 carried the Death Notice:”Wilson – At Makino, on Nov. 22, Sarah, relict of the late James Wilson, R.I.P. No flowers by request.”

James Brown

James Brown was 7 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family.

After living in the Lower and Upper Hutt Valley with his family, in 1852 James set off for the Australian goldfields, being joined by his brother George.  They returned to the Hutt Valley by 1854 and began farming together.

James Brown. Photograph taken Sept 6th 1907 on his 74th birthday. [P3-11-48] http://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/1740#idx1693The Evening Post of 24 December 1913 carried an article entitled “Seventy-Three Years Ago”, which recalled the arrival of the Blenheim in 1840, and noted:

Of the 300 who came out in her only seven are now alive. One of these is Mr. James Brown, of Wellington (now 80 years of age), who lived at the Lower Hutt with his parents for seven years and then removed to the Upper Hutt, the family being the first settlers there. His brother (Mr. George Brown) and one of his sisters (Mrs. James Wilson), both of whom died 18 months ago, also came out in the Blenheim. In addition to Mr. James Brown, Mr. James Nicol (Masterton), Mrs. Miller (Carterton), Messrs. Donald Fraser and Cameron (Rangitikei), Mrs. A. Martin, sen. Upper Hutt), and Mr. Donald Cameron (Greytown], who were also passengers, are still alive.

The Dominion of 26 July 1916 carried the Death Notice: “Brown – At his late residence. 104 Abel Smith Street, Wellington, James Brown, late of Upper Hutt, aged 83 years. R.I.P.”

The Evening Post of 25 July 1916 carried the following obituary:

The company of the Blenheim immigrants, who landed here in 1841 suffered a further diminution yesterday by the death of Mr. James Brown. His father (Mr. James Brown, sen.) was one of the Port Nicholson settlers and lived for many years in the Hutt Valley, eventually settling at Upper Hutt. James Brown, the younger, took part in the early gold rushes, and was at Ballarat at the time of the riots. Finally he settled on the land, in partnership with his brothers George (since deceased) and Andrew. That was about 1854. The brothers experienced all the trials which confronted the early pioneers at a time when communication with other settlements was difficult, and the temper of the Natives was uncertain Mr. Brown retired from active work over a decade ago, and shortly afterwards came to reside in Wellington. Hence he was a well-known figure, especially amongst people who delighted to hear of the early history of the settlement of the province. Though 82 years of age, at the time of his death he was, till a few weeks ago, remarkably active, both physically and mentally. His reminiscences were always interesting. The illness which carried him off came upon him about three weeks ago. He was never married, and his nearest surviving relatives are Mr. Andrew Brown (a brother), and Mrs. Martin (a sister, and one of the Blenheim immigrants), both of whom reside at Upper Hutt.

George Brown

George Brown was 5 when he sailed to Wellington on the Blenheim.

After living in the Hutt valley with his parents he went off in 1853 to join his brother on the goldfields in Australia, but returned to the Hutt.  George Brown married Jemima Hunter on 9 May 1875, but they appear to have had no children. Jemima died in 1898.

The Dominion of 25 March 1912 carried the following obituary:

MR. GEORGE BROWN, J.P.: HUTT PIONEER. There passed away at 1 p.m. yesterday another of Wellington’s pioneers, in the person of Mr. George Brown, J. P., of Buller Street, who has been a resident of the district for the past seventy-two years. He was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1835, and sailed from the Clyde with his parents in the ship Blenheim, when five years of age, arriving here on the eve of the same year. With his parents, he resided in the Hutt Valley, working on the farm until May, 1853, when he went to join his brother, Mr. James Brown (also of Wellington), who a year previously had gone away to try his luck on the Victorian goldfields. The two brothers went through all the trials and hardships of life on the goldfields for five years, both in Australia and Otago. Finally the deceased returned to the Upper Hutt district, and turned his energies to farming, in which occupation he continued up till about six years ago, when he retired, and came to live in town. He always took an interest in public affairs, and represented the Mungaroa Riding on the Hutt County Council for twelve years, finally retiring on account of ill-health. His father, the late Mr. James Brown, owned and built the first hotel in the Upper Hutt, “The Shepherd’s Inn” (later known as The Criterion, but since demolished). Deceased was a member of the Hutt Licensing Committee, and took keen interest generally in advancing the district’s welfare. He was a valued member of tho S.P.C.A. up to the time of his death, and as a Justice of the Peace rendered good service to his district over a very long period. Like his father, he was one of the militiamen called out to meet the Maoris at Boulcott’s Farm, Lower Hutt, upon the historic occasion when Bugler Allen, “the boy hero”, died under such tragic circumstances, in giving a timely alarm to the settlers in the vicinity. Deceased, whose widow survives him, leaves numerous relatives and a big host of friends in this district.

The obituary carried in the Hutt Valley Independent of 30 March 1912, after providing details of the funeral service, gave some further details of George Brown’s life:

Deceased was born at Paisley, Scotland, in the year 1835, and left the Clyde, for New Zealand, on September 6, 1840, in the ship “Blenheim,” with his parents and a large company of other Scottish settlers, arriving at Wellington on Christmas Eve 1840. The family settled at the Hutt, and in 1853, he left for Australia, en route for the Victorian goldfields, to join his elder brother James, who had gone across the year previous. The two brothers remained on the goldfields for some five years, and took a prominent part in all the meetings which culminated in what are known in Australian history as the “Ballarat Riots.” Returning to New Zealand, he, with his brother David, and his, brother-in-law, James Wilson, went to the Otago Goldfields in 1860, and returned to Upper Hutt a couple of years later, where he resided with the other members of the family. From 1860 to 1870 he served in the Militia, which had been called out owing to the Maori troubles. In 1870, on the recommendation of the late Hon. Sir P. A. Buckley, Mr. G. Brown was appointed a Justice of the Peace. The deceased gentleman was married in 1872 to Jemima, the youngest daughter of the late Robert Hunter of Lower Hutt. For twelve years Mr. Brown represented the Mangaroa riding on the Hutt County Council, when he retired owing to failing health. As an active member of the committee of the Wellington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Mr. Brown, after he took up his abode in the city, rendered valuable aid to Inspector Seed, who speaks enthusiastically of his work for the Society, The deceased gentleman, on all occasions took a lively part in local and general politics, he, in conjunction with his brother James, has been a generous friend to the Sisters of Mercy, and has proved an ardent supporter of the Catholic Church locally.

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown was only 1½ when she travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand.

Elizabeth Brown married Alexander Gordon Martin on 18 April 1855, and the couple went on to have 12 children:

  • Jane Martin, born in 1855, died in 1942, married John Golder in 1877.
  • James Martin, born in 1857, died in 1945.
  • William Henry Martin, born in 1860, died in 1957.
  • Isabella Martin, born in 1862, died in 1945, married Patrick McGrath in 1905.
  • Mary Elizabeth Martin, born in 1864, died in 1904.
  • Thomas Martin, born in 1867, died in 1884.
  • Elizabeth Martin, born in 1869, died in 1929, married Timothy Moynihan in 1907.
  • Helen Martin, born in 1872, died in 1960.
  • Alexander Gordon Martin, born in 1874, died in 1910.
  • Emma Martin, born in 1876, died in 1948, married John Larmer in 1909.
  • David Martin, born in 1879, died in 1946.
  • John Alexander Martin, born in 1882, died in 1955.

Alexander Gordon Martin died on 27 May 1902 aged 68.

Elizabeth (Brown) Martin died on 6 December 1929.  The Evening Post of 23 December 1929 carried the following obituary:

MR. BROWN’S DRAY: PIONEERING STORY: FOUNDER OF UPPER HUTT: LAST CHILD DEAD AT 91 (Contributed.)

By the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Martin on Friday, 6th December, 1929 Upper Hutt lost the last original settler of a hardy pioneering Scots family. Born at Paisley, Scotland, 91 years ago, she left the Clyde in September, 1840, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Brown, and other members of the family, arriving in Port Nicholson on 27th December, 1840.

[see above for a description of move to Upper Hutt]

MAORI TROUBLES—THE STOCKADE. Mrs. Martin had two brothers (James and George) and one sister, Sarah (Mrs. Wilson), older than herself, and two brothers, David and Andrew, born in New Zealand, all of whom predeceased her. The deceased lady, though sorely troubled with rheumatism in later life, retained all her faculties until a few hours before her death, and could speak clearly and with wonderful detail upon historical and domestic matters of the Hutt Valley from the sea eastward. She gave vivid pictures of the many hardships and anxieties of the pioneers; of the floods of the Hutt River—half-a-dozen a year—when the water ran through their house in the Lower Valley; of the first bridge over the Hutt River; of the Maori troubles and the early morning attack on Boulcott’s Farm outpost, when Bugler Allen was killed while sounding the alarm; of the building of the stockade at Trentham near what is now known as “Quinn’s Post” Hotel; the local bushfire fights, and the several sawmilling industries of the district— three mills operating at the same time between Whiteman’s Valley road and the Upper Hutt Catholic Church on the main road frontage.

Mrs. Martin was of a kindly nature and ever willing to help anyone in need. She was a keen gardener, and her residence was surrounded with choice plants and flowers, and was one of the beauty spots of the Upper Hutt. She was the first lady elector to record a vote at a Parliamentary election in the upper end of the Hutt Valley. Her husband, Mr. Alexander Martin, a native of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, died 27 years ago. Of her family of twelve there are nine still living. The sons are James, of Upper Hutt, for many years connected with the New Zealand Railways; William, of New Plymouth, farmer; David, of Wanganui, of the White Star Motor Service; and John, of Hastings, fruit expert; and the daughters are Jane (Mrs. Golder), of Upper Hutt; Isabel (Mrs. M’Grath), Elizabeth (Mrs. Monihan), of Wellington; Emma (Mrs. Larmer) and Helen, of Upper Hutt. There are 42 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren.


Sources:

Photographs:

  • Upper Hutt Library, Recollect, James Brown Jnr, from Alexander Turnbull Library, 592 1/11